What’s the best way to pen down some phrases for tantalizing plots, spectacular plot twists, and beguiling characters to create the hype for any movie? You guessed it right, It’s a movie review. Now, the question arises how to write a movie review?
For the film buffs who have an underlying penchant for watching the latest movie in the market, movie reviews are the perfect salvation for them to determine if the latest flick is worth it or not.
Some avid fans also love spilling the beans about a movie after watching it. However, the remarks greatly vary on whether the film was a hit or miss. Even writing a movie review is art given it has to be a seamless blend of opinion, some vivid imagery, and conclusive remarks.
The majority often miscalculate the importance of acing the technique to jot down a movie review. If you are one of the people who are confused about how to write a movie review or wish to perfect your movie review writing skills, then fasten your seat belt and prepare for takeoff!
What is a movie review?
In general, a movie review is a genre of art criticism and journalism. It is a complex overview, usually made by a professional critic, of films that have just been released, to help decide what film to watch.
Professional reviews differ from those made by amateurs. Without a doubt, reviews by experienced critics are far more structured, sharper, and detailed. That’s not all! They are more compact in wording. In a professional movie review, you will always find awareness of the film’s director, their previous works, and previous filmmaker’s pictures, as well as a deep understanding of different film genres and classics for each of them, and filming techniques and modern trends.
Purpose of movie review
For starters, reviews and comments about movies are usually posted on social media profiles or public pages, review sites, and blogs, among other platforms. The primary purpose of a movie review is to advise the reader about the film and its sentiments. Seems simple, right? Reporting all events that happen and stating one’s opinion about them is a common mistake that many people make. Of course, the movie review allows writers to express their opinions about some film or documentary without any restraint. But one can only strike the perfect balance when there is an unbiased unanimous critique. So the bottom line is that an ideal review will combine both – the writer’s opinions and the element of an enigma.
Be it a successful trilogy or top Netflix, ratings and reviews are the detrimental factors of whether someone will want to see the movie or would skip it. Like an untapped portal, one should act like this is the perfect opportunity to introduce the cinematography work to its readers while writing. Always assume they haven’t seen it before. As a result, it becomes easier to analyze events that happened on the screen.
A film review should be precise enough to provide assistance in making an honest decision i.e. whether the reader wants to see it or if they’d like it. If you are a media student who is assigned the task of movie review writing, then the lecturers want to get more insight into your critical thinking skills and the ability to report events in a comprehensible manner.
In addition, the reader who taps on reading a film review wants to assess the way you analyze the plot and characters. After all, movie reviews also involve the analysis of events that happen. Reviews test writing and vocabulary skills, adapting to different genres and events they portray. That’s not all. It also weighs your capacity to sum up some significant twists and turns and report it in a cohesive, rational, and engaging fashion.
How to write a good movie review? You have to write a movie review for school and now what? Where to start, how to make it look more “academic”? Today, we have the opportunity to use numerous tools to make every part of our lives easier, and movie review writing is no exception. Throughout this tutorial, you’ll learn how to compose a report about some film and what tools to use to simplify the process.
While movie reviews entail more responsibility than initially thought, people find them fun and with this guide, you will too.
Step-by-step guide to how to write a movie review
New beginnings are always hard. This is the point where you set the pace and determine how to approach the task at hand (movie review writing) in the most efficient manner. Below, we list down some of the most useful tips to kick-start the movie review writing process:
First and foremost, watch the movie with a critical eye for the illustration and explanation in the review. The first time the film is watched you might have missed details owing to the entertainment and joy. So watch the movie or documentary twice and take notes of both major and minor events and characters. Never trust to gulp in the intricacies of the movie meaning do not rely on the power of your memory.
Carry out thorough research – It’s human nature to overlook or forget to carry out detailed research of the film and its makers. Just watching the movie with keen observation is never enough, research plays an equally noteworthy role. Look for details such as the name of the filmmaker and his/her motivation to make that film or documentary work, locations, plot, characterization, and historic events. Basically, the research phase should serve to collect information that provides more depth to the review
Analyze the movie after you watch it – Never start working on the review if you aren’t sure about all the fragments in regards to the film. Evaluate the movie from beginning to end. Re-watch it, if necessary, if you find some parts confusing. Only when you understand events that happened on the screen will you find it easier to create the review
Draft an outline that you will follow to write the review in a concise and cohesive fashion
Include examples of claims you make about the movie. If the plot has holes, then mention an example of a situation or scene when that was evident. Also, if the character(s) is poorly developed or bad casting affects the movie quality, name examples too. Provide examples when commenting on dialogues, locations, plot, everything. If you want the reader to agree with you, it’s essential to back up your claims with evidence. You don’t want to make it seem like you’re praising or criticizing the movie without any reason whatsoever
Consider and comment on a movie’s originality and quality of scenes. Explain how the movie stands out or whether it just uses the same approach that worked for previous works in the industry
How to organize your movie review
The quality of your review depends on many things namely, structure, vocabulary, and much more. Never underestimate the importance of a well-structured outline, regardless of the genre of the movie.
Primarily, things should be organized before you start writing. It is a great way to save time later on. Apart from dabbling in points to add, have a well-structured plan to follow. Here’s how to organize your movie review:
- Introduction (This section will include the title, release date, and background information)
- Summary of the story
- Analysis of the plot elements (Explain the rising action alongside the climax)
- Creative elements (dialogues, characters, use of colors, camera techniques, mood, tone, symbols, costumes or anything that contributes or takes away from the overall plot)
- Opinion (supported with examples and facts from the story)
- Conclusion (announcing whether the filmmaker was successful in his/her purpose, re-state your evidence, explain how the motion picture was helpful for providing a deeper understanding of the course topic)
Movie review elements
Moving on, let’s discuss the movie review elements that are key features when penning the writing.
The title of the film/documentary – Mention the title of the film twice in our headline features the name of the movie or documentary. Don’t skip mentioning the headline in the text. Always name the feature you’ve watched in the introductory paragraph. This may seem like a stupid thing to point out, but it’s one of the most common mistakes that students make
Summary – The whole point of the review is to summarize the documentary or movie for people who haven’t watched it yet. To make this as effective as possible, always assume that your professor hasn’t seen it either (as mentioned above). Why is this important? You won’t leave out some important details thinking he/she watched it already so they won’t bother. As a reviewer, your job is to explain what happened in the film and express whether the filmmaker failed or succeeded. Again, saying you liked or disliked it isn’t a viable comment. Your opinion has to be supported by specific reasons and examples from the feature itself
Filmmaker – Do a little research on the person who directed the piece. Is that person a controversial figure? Is he/she known for a political stance? Does the filmmaker have a significant background? Devote a paragraph or two to the person behind the movie and their other works in order to establish the significance of the film you are reviewing for the director’s career
Significance to your class – How does the content of the documentary or film fit into your course topic? Is it important for historical accuracy? If you are watching the motion picture for history class, make note of over-dramatization. If the motion picture is based on the book you’ve analyzed in English class, you can mention similarities, differences, or some elements that the film contains, but the book doesn’t, and so on
Creative elements – Filmmakers work hard to include creative elements in their motion pictures. How are these elements important to the plot and movie in general? For example, costumes can either enhance the movie or betray its intent. Colors can be vivid and lift the atmosphere or mood in the movie or they can be dull and make it seem depressing. Good sound effects enrich the viewing experience while bad ones only destroy everything. Moreover, camera movements and angles also add elements to the story. Take notes of symbols in the story, if any.
Actors and characters – let’s not forget the casting! Were the actors realistic? Did they portray the role of a specific character successfully? Did they have good acting skills? Do you believe that some particular actor was the right fit for the role?
Movie review format
Structuring is extremely useful in any type of paper and a movie review isn’t an exception. A written outline will help you organize your thoughts properly, not to forget anything and to actually end up writing it faster. Here is an example outline you may use:
- Introduction – In this part you need to provide some general information about the picture: title, release date, main actors, filmmakers, film company and filming budget.
- Summary of the story – This is a short exposition of movie plot, characters and their interaction.
- Analysis of the plot elements – starting point, rising action, and climax.
- Analysis of creative elements – dialogues, characters, use of colors, camera techniques, mood, tone, symbols, costumes or anything that contributes or takes away from the overall plot.
- Analysis of the topic and its implementation – viewers’ understanding of the topic, relevance of the topic, and comparison with other resembling works.
- Opinion – Your point of view supported with examples and facts from the story.
- Conclusion – Announce whether the filmmaker was successful in his/her purpose. Explain how the motion picture was helpful in providing a deeper understanding of the course topic.
Movie review format for students
Feature films and documentaries may serve as primary resources for your research. As for the fiction movies, a student may use them for inspiration while writing, for instance, a compare and contrast essay on the similarities and differences of a book and film based on that piece of literature. In any case, films can be used as great supplemental learning tools.
If you look at our movie review examples available for free, you can notice that the structure of such papers is different from an ordinary essay’s outline. By their nature, film reports are also different from essays. You should not also confuse a brief summary with a detailed review, which also implies an in-depth analysis of the chosen piece.
So, in any film critique example, you can notice the following structure:
Title of the analyzed work. A writer has to specify the movie’s title in the opening part and put down the release date.
An abstract usually refers to the summary of the main points. In the case of the samples of movie reviews, that is a summary of the plot. Discuss what happened in the video and share your thoughts: was it a success or failure?
You may say that you hated the movie, or, vice versa, believe it’s the best motion picture in the world, but make sure to provide specific reasons. That is why you need to watch the full movie and pick various details like character quotes to prove your point of view.
To answer various questions that the audience may have, an author should provide replies to meaningful questions about the movie maker/director. Decide whether this person can be considered a controversial figure. Is there any sort of political stance? Finally, think about a significant background a movie creator may have (if any). Depending on the answers to these questions, the length of your paper may vary.
Relevance to your subject
Was it a good idea to assign this movie to your class? Think about whether the video content matches the topics that you study currently or have recently covered.
Perhaps, the movie has to do with historical accuracy. Include a note of embellishments or over-dramatization if you write for your history lesson. Comments and citations from credible sources can be useful.
You can see from any movie critique example that a list of creative tools is listed. Those could be costumes, decorations, colors, sound effects, music, and other visual and audio elements. A paper writer should discuss which of the elements add drama and which of them have comical purposes.
Mistakes to avoid while writing a movie review
Below, we list down some of the most common mistakes while writing a movie review. If you are a student who has an assignment or a movie enthusiast who wishes you pour their emotions with fellow fans, we recommend you give this section a thorough read,
Retelling the film plot in detail – The idea of a movie review is not to put the film on paper or spill the beans. Everyone abhors spoilers. So try sharing the general story by adding some spice to make your reader curious about seeing the film.
Giving a too general opinion of the film – Some writers take the generic term of general writing
Remember that things are rarely unequivocal. Even if you don’t like the content and quality of the film, don’t forget to mention if the music was actually pretty good, or if one of the actors managed to portray a believable character.
Lack of evidence – Presenting your opinion without any explanation why you think that way won’t be considered reliable. The unfounded statement isn’t a good resource for a decision, even if we are talking about a choice of which movie to watch.
Lack of film research – Don’t force your readers to conduct their own research, or to look for another review to find out the background information of a movie.
Absence of structure – If your work is not structured properly, it will be really difficult to follow your thoughts and understand your points. Reviews should be helpful to readers, and good structure helps get your message across correctly.
No conclusions and recommendations – As we mentioned above, providing recommendations regarding the film is one of the main purposes of writing a movie review. Do not deprive readers of your findings and thoughts. By recommending a good movie to watch, you may make someone’s evening.
Movie review essay
What’s your story? Any individual who has carried on with a full life has something entrancing to impart to the world. The secret to composing a life account is to deal with it like any great story: it ought to have a hero (you), a focal clash, and a cast of interesting characters to keep individuals locked in. You might need to consider a specific topic or idea that has been available in your everyday life to rotate your story around.
The wide classification of life accounts remains among the strong classes of verifiable composition. Blockbuster records show that readers love to find out about the lives of their kindred people, especially those with recognized individual stories. An account composed by its subject is known as an autobiography. As a firsthand record of the writer’s own life, an autobiography offers an unrivaled degree of closeness to perusers of the more extensive history classification.
If you want to know more about how to write an autobiography, then you have come to the right place. We have gathered all relevant information to help you understand everything that you need to know. Read on to figure out how to make the narrative of your life and clean your composition to make it sing.
Good movies make great reviews
Words and catchlines can pave the way to describe anything including any genre of film. So
Basically, you can write a movie review on pretty much any film. However, it is advisable by the experts and there is a general debate that is careful while dabbling in tricky or multi-themed genres. Careless choices result in trouble points and confusing reviews that fall flat on the readers. Hence, it is essential that you pick a film that you will be able to analyze and evaluate. Generally, for a movie review, students choose films they either like or don’t like.
What makes a movie great?
No critics have ever described any film as the epitome of perfection. Quintessential movies are dubbed as major successes on the basis of spectacular characters or fulfilling plotlines. Other things include visual aesthetics, the quality of directing and acting, and the impression it has.
Typically, you can suggest if a characteristic movie is great when it keeps the audience engaged. A great movie also leaves the audience with a powerful impression and then something to think about once the credits roll.
Key pointers to remember while writing a movie review
Understand that any piece of writing is not a do-or-die job. It demands consistency and devotion. However, the key to writing an exceptional movie review is understanding your target audience. So, keep the following key pointers in your mind while writing:
- Discuss the film plot – The goal is to discuss the movie without giving away spoilers and hurling the entire plot in your article. The more the mystery, the better the movie review.
- Share some information about the characters – Thrust the film’s main lead and supporting characters in the limelight. Discuss their relations and events. Since reading the review shouldn’t replace watching the film, just touch base on the points that make the film worth watching.
- Analyze the film – In general retrospect, the star cast or their impeccable acting skills set the film apart from its contemporaries. The work of the director, theme, music, and other features become objective and detailed in your evaluations.
- Share your opinion – Describe your feelings during, and after watching the movie and specify what you liked, and what you didn’t like. Provide your general impression about the film based on examples, descriptions, and comparisons to enable readers to make their own decisions.
- Give a recommendation – A review(no matter what kind) is a recount of opinions and is influenced by the writer’s preferences. Avoid being categorical and focus on the highs and lows of the film from a general prospect.
- Entertain the reader – The target audience has to feel entertained, amused or glad by the written material. The review should pique curiosity and many people read movie reviews because it is actually kind of fun in itself. Try to make an easy-to-read review, and write in an interesting manner.
The accomplishment of a decent movie review or any book for that matter comes from the capacity of the writer to show perusers the story from “an external perspective”, and cause the reader to feel like they are in your place and understand your point of view. Everyone couldn’t care less about your troublesome youth, your parents’ separation, or the way that in school you were the nerd with glasses. However, on the off chance that the troubles experienced by you will be shown so the peruser learns a few lessons for himself – this would qualify as a decent book.
Thus, you can see that writing a movie review is not an easy task. You should design and organize your time, read and get motivated by reading other reviews, surfing online by looking for composing styles, language structure, and artistic descriptions to describe the cinematography. Remember to sort out your last objective and why you need to compose a movie review. The entirety of this time investment with end with you feeling a sense of accomplishment and success as your labor of love gets completed.
Ideally, this article will help you in this intriguing yet hard way. So you do not have to worry anymore about writing. Just pick a pen or open your PC and start your magnum opus. Just remember that honesty is the best policy and to avoid bias at every cost.