Step-by-Step Instructions for Writing a Good Movie Review

By Editorial Team Last updated: Oct 12, 2023

Step-by-Step Instructions for Writing a Good Movie Review

A movie can provide anything a person requires: humor, adrenaline, drama, love, a voyage back in time, or an alternate universe. As a result, writing a movie review appears to be one of the most intriguing assignments for the majority of pupils. However, watching a good movie in the evening and watching it for the sole goal of writing a review are not the same thing. This essay will teach you how to avoid common errors and write a great movie review.

What Is a Film Review?

According to Duke University's Thomson Writing Program, a movie review is a type of art criticism and journalism. It is a detailed overview of a recently released film, usually provided by a professional critic, to assist in deciding which film to watch.

Professional reviews differ from those written by amateurs in that they are more structured, sharper, and more thorough, while also being more concise in wording. A professional movie review will always include knowledge of the film's director(s), their earlier works and previous filmmaker's images, as well as a thorough comprehension of many cinema genres and classics for each of them, as well as filming techniques and recent trends.

However, there are many evaluations written by average moviegoers, and they can sometimes be more insightful and beneficial than a professional review.

Read also: Guide to Writing a Book Review and How to Increase the Length of an Essay

The Goal of a Movie Review

Understanding the goal of a movie review is essential to writing an excellent one. So, keep the following goals in mind as you write:

  • Discuss the plot of the film briefly. Share some details about individuals, relationships, and events, but don't tell the entire tale. Reading the review should not be substituted for watching the film. However, you are free to identify the most significant moments or turning points in the film that make it worthwhile to watch.
  • Analyze the film in general as well as specific areas such as acting, direction, topic, music, and special effects. Make a decision if the film's core theme was properly implemented. In your evaluations, try to be objective and detailed.
  • Please express your thoughts. Describe your sentiments during and after seeing the film, and be specific about what you enjoyed and didn't like. Give your overall assessment of the film using examples, descriptions, and analogies so that people may make their own conclusions.
  • Make recommendations. Try not to be too categorical, but let your readers know what to expect from the film and who could be interested in it. Tell us if it matches the official film description and genre, why it could be worth viewing, and what its flaws are.
  • Make the reader entertained. Reading movie reviews is a lot of pleasure in and of itself. As a society, we've grown accustomed to employing this choice before deciding on a movie to watch. Make an effort to write an easy-to-read review that is also fascinating.

How to Write a Movie Review: A Step-by-Step Guide

Writing a movie review may not be as difficult as it appears. This form of academic task is by no means the most difficult. It does, however, have its own quirks — and if you can nail these, you will be successful.

To begin working on your paper, you should be familiar with and comprehend the following characteristics of a good movie review:

  • It contains bibliographic information.
  • It provides a clear yet succinct description of the film in issue;
  • It contains a plot synopsis that does not contain any spoilers.
  • It names the main characters and actors.
  • It recognizes and analyses the setting, themes, conflicts, and other details present in the film.
  • It contrasts the film with others of its kind.
  • It identifies the film's significant strong and weak parts.
  • It provides an overall assessment of the film.

Another crucial aspect to consider while learning how to start a movie review is the proper structure of such an assignment. The key to conducting your movie review successfully is proper organization. A excellent film review essay, like any other academic assignment, should adhere to a precise structure, style, and, most crucially, formatting.

Main points to remember when formatting your paper:

  • All sides should have 1-inch margins.
  • Choose a clear and readable font (the best fonts are Times New Roman, Courier, and Bookman).
  • Change the font size to 12 pt.
  • The title of the paper, as well as your name, should be in the center of the page.

Read also: What is Referencing?

Finally, all you need to do to succeed in writing a movie review is to follow the appropriate sequence of steps that will gradually lead you to your intended result. In this section of our essay, we will provide a complete step-by-step method for writing a film review.

  • Select a Film

If you have an option, consider carefully which film you want to evaluate. Most of us would undoubtedly select one of our favorites. Though it is not required to give a comment on the tone of the films you enjoy, you may write about one you dislike and explain why. Such an approach could be novel and refreshing, and it could get you extra points.

  • View the Film

Even if you've seen it a hundred times, watch it again to uncover fresh subtleties and develop a better understanding of the characters and their motivations. We recommend seeing a film at least twice, if not three times. When we initially watch it, we normally focus on the major characters, their storyline, and their emotions. The second time around usually helps you notice tiny character and story details, such as music, chronology, costumes, decorations, and locales. All of these factors influence your perception of the film and your critique.

  • Make Observations

Keep a pen and paper nearby to jot down anything you observe in the film or to jot down thoughts you have while viewing or afterward. When an idea strikes you, jot it down as soon as possible.

  • Research the Film

Filming is a lengthy and intricate process that involves a large number of individuals, making the shooting process a compelling tale in and of itself. Learn everything you can about it. Is it a new story, a retelling, or a remake? Is the plot inspired by a book? How much money did you have? How has the cast evolved over the process? Choose two or three of the most remarkable production facts and include them in your paper.

  • Analyze the Film

Consider everything you witnessed in the film and form your own opinions about it. Is there a social context in the image? What was the film's original concept, and how successful were the producers in putting it into action? Take note of how it was shot and what techniques were used. For example, in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, we can obviously observe an extraordinary zoom effect called vertigo. Consider which actor most impressed you and why. Examine this job in relation to his or her prior work. Discuss the film you've chosen with your friends or family to acquire new ideas to back up your point of view or to get a different perspective.

  • Create a Review Outline.

A plan is always a smart idea, and it may account for half of your success. Make an overview of your work before writing the real movie review to structure all of your thoughts and arguments. Continue reading for an example of a movie review outline.

  • Create a catchy title.

“My Titanic review” sounds tedious. Consider an intriguing or striking title, such as "Why taking a trip isn't always a good idea." Make your readers want to keep reading.

  • Write a Review

After you've completed your research and prepared your work, it's time to put it all together and write a review. Put all of your ideas and arguments together and stick to the outline you created before. Make a general review of the film so that readers can understand what difficulties can arise from it, but don't give away the ending because they may not have seen the film yet. Write down the major aspects you liked and didn't like. Use evidence and examples to back up your points. Comment on the film's originality and compare it to other films of the same genre, films about the same subject, or films directed by the same individual.

  • Finalize Your Draft

Take a break when you've completed your review. A brief pause before final reading and editing will allow you to approach it with a fresh perspective. You should go over your work multiple times. Check for spelling and grammatical problems, presentation sequence, adherence to the outline and professor's requests, and format and style.

Related: Reviews & Criticism

Outline of a Film Review

Structuring is essential in every form of document, and a movie review is no exception. A written outline will assist you in correctly organizing your thoughts, not forgetting anything, and actually writing it faster. Here is an example outline that you might use:

  • Introduction: In this section, you must offer some general information about the film, such as the title, release date, principal actors, filmmakers, film company, and filmmaking budget.
  • Movie summary, which is a brief synopsis of the movie plot, characters, and their interactions.
  • Movie analysis, which is an analysis of the film, which includes:
    • Analysis of the plot elements: beginning, escalating action, and climax
    • Analysis of creative components such as dialogues, characters, color use, camera methods, mood, tone, symbolism, costumes, or anything else that contributes to or detracts from the overall plot.
    • Analysis of the issue and its implementation: viewers' grasp of the topic, relevance of the theme, and comparison to other works of a similar nature.
  • Opinion. Your viewpoint is supported by examples and facts from the story.
  • Conclusion. Declare whether or not the filmmaker was successful in his or her goal. Explain how the movie helped you have a better understanding of the course topic.

Short Film Review Form

If you're in the middle of writing a one-time movie review, reading our entire guide and following the suggestions and steps outlined here should be enough to obtain an A+. But what if you know you'll be writing a lot of reviews in the future?

In this instance, we recommend that you;

  • Establish a standardized movie review form (also known as a template) to help you save time and succeed in future projects.
  • Format and arrange your template in accordance with the basic rule of writing film reviews, and leave blank text areas. Alternatively, you can save even more time by searching for a template on the Internet.

Avoidable Errors

Here are some of the most typical mistakes made by students that we recommend you avoid.

  • Retelling the plot of the film in detail. As previously said, the purpose of a movie review is not to put the film on paper—no one likes spoilers. Share the general plot to pique your reader's interest in viewing the film and hearing their thoughts.
  • Giving an overly broad assessment of the picture. Remember that things are rarely clear-cut. Even if you don't agree with the film's subject or quality, don't forget to note whether the music was good or whether one of the actors was able to depict a believable character.
  • There is a lack of evidence. Presenting your perspective without explaining why you think that way will not be seen as reliable. Even if we're talking about which movie to watch, an erroneous statement isn't a suitable resource for making a decision.
  • Inadequate film research. Don't make your readers do their own study or hunt for another review to learn about the history of a film.
  • There is no structure. It will be quite tough to follow your thoughts and understand your points if your work is not correctly structured. Readers should benefit from reviews, and proper organization aids in conveying your point.
  • There are no conclusions or recommendations. As previously said, one of the primary goals of writing a movie review is to make recommendations about the film. Don't deprive readers of your findings and ideas. You could make someone's evening by recommending a nice movie to watch.

Related: Tips for Writing a Film Review

Movie Review Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it necessary for me to write a film review in a specific format?

Typically, the formatting style of the movie review is dictated by your teacher's individual assignment instructions. A movie review may be exempt from academic formatting in specific cases. You should, however, confirm this with your teacher.

  • Can I use a movie review I found on the internet and submit it as my own?

No, if you simply duplicate an existing review and submit it as your own, your teacher will identify plagiarism and penalize you. However, you can still look at examples of movie reviews on the Internet to gain ideas for how to write your own. Instead of taking the chance, have one of our experienced academic writers write your movie review. You will save time while not giving up on your success!

  • How Do You Write a Film Critique?

A movie criticism, in a nutshell, is a peer-reviewed academic study that analyzes and assesses films and the cinema medium. This term is frequently used interchangeably with "film review." As a result, when writing a movie criticism, you should use the same processes and tactics as described in this article about how to write a movie review.

  • What Are Some Good Films to Write About?

Basically, you may write a movie review about any film. However, we recommend that you exercise extreme caution when making these decisions. It is critical that you select a film that you will be able to analyze and critique. Typically, students choose films that they either enjoy or dislike for a movie review.

  • What Characteristics Define a Great Film?

The plot, the visual aesthetics, the quality of directing and acting, the impression it leaves on the audience, and so on are all important factors in determining if a film is good or bad. In general, you can tell a movie is amazing when it keeps the audience engaged and able to follow the tale, and then leaves them with a strong impression and something to think about when the credits roll.

We can Help you with Movie Reviews

Writing a movie review is simple if you follow the stages, tips, and methods in this post. Furthermore, we really believe that with the assistance of this article, you will get fantastic achievements! However, if you need a little extra push to earn the fantastic grade you deserve, the Eprowriters crew is always available to assist you. Contact our professional writers by clicking HERE and secure your academic achievement!


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