Film Review

The purpose of a film review is to let the reader know what the movie is about, who might like it and who might not like it, what's good about the movie and what's not good about it, and to put it into the context of the era in which the story takes place.  To write a quality film review, you need to not only be able to analyze and critique a film, you also need to be a skillful writer.  With that in mind, the steps you need to follow to write a movie review have been outlined below:

Before you Start to Write

  • Obviously, you must view the film in order to write about it, but when you do, make sure you take notes about important observations you make as you watch.  Films can be long and it's easy to forget these points by the time you start to write your paper.
  • As you watch, look for specific elements of the movie.  Pay attention to the actors and the acting in the movie, the film genre, the director and direction of the movie, the plot, theme, editing, music, scripting, originality, costume and set design.  These are important elements to discuss in a movie review.

Format for a Film Review

  • The introductory paragraph should include the following:
    1. The name of the film, the director, the main  actors and the genre of the film.
    2. A brief summary of the film's plot.
    3. Your general opinion of the movie or an explanation of an element you intend to focus upon in the movie and your thesis statement regarding that element.
  • Body Paragraphs are comprised of the critical analysis of the film and should include the following:
    1. An analysis of the theme of the film, the actors' performances, film techniques, music, setting, and direction.
    2. Supporting evidence for your analysis taken directly from the movie.
  • The concluding paragraph for a film review should include the following:
    1. A brief restating of your opinion of the movie or your thesis statement.
    2. A brief summary of the main points you made about the film in the body of the paragraph.
    3. A sentence or two explaining why you feel the way you do about the movie.
    4. An intelligent final statement about the movie that sums up your feelings about it and what you want your reader to know about it.

Helpful Hints for Writing a Film Review

  • Provide a catchy title for your film review and one that indicates what you think about the movie.
  • Use descriptive words when writing film reviews.
  • When you summarize the plot of the film, avoid giving away the ending.
  • Avoid simple generalizations such as 'the acting was great' or 'the film was boring'.  Be specific and detailed.

One last tip you might want to follow through on is to see a lot of films and practice writing reviews for the films.  The old adage 'practice makes perfect' is also true for writing film reviews.

Recently published film reviews