Writing a movie review is as challenging a task as it may seem. Students can turn this academic assignment into a fun activity that can give them a mini-experience of stepping into the shoes of professional film critics. Experienced online paper writers have given us tips on making this process much easier, enjoyable, and more engaging.
Explore the sources
Learn all the basic facts about the film. You can do this before or after watching the movie, but certainly before writing the review, as you need the information to enrich the story. This information includes:
- Title and year of the release of the film;
- The name of the director;
- The names of the main actors;
- The history behind the story.
Take notes while watching the movie
Before you start watching the film, keep a notebook right by your side so that you can take notes at the right moments. Movies are long, so you risk forgetting important details or plot points if you do not write anything down. You must return back to your notes when you start writing a review.
- Write down the movie’s positive and negative features: costumes, makeup, types of scenes, soundtracks, etc. Think about how these details fit into the film and what they could mean in the context of your review.
- Make notes about the film’s structure in the context of the plot.
- Pause and rewind so that you do not miss out on anything.
Analyze the technical aspects of the film
Note down your feelings about the film during or after watching it and while doing so, pay special attention to these aspects:
- Director’s work – Think about the way the director depicted and explained the story’s subplots. If the film was tedious or missed important episodes, it could be attributed to the director’s account. Compare the viewed film with other works (if you have watched them) of the same director and choose the movie that you think is the best.
- The camerawork – What techniques did the operator use for filming? What decorations and elements of the second plan allowed to achieve the desired effect?
- Screenplay – Evaluate the script, dialogue and imagery. How would you describe the plot as original and unprecedented or as tedious and weak? Do you “believe” the characters in the film?
- Editing – Did the film look smooth or did the transitions turn out to be rough? Pay attention to the use of visual effects. If the film has computer graphics, consider how realistic and well they fit into the film.
- Costumes – Does the choice of costumes fit the general style of the film? Is there any dissonance in this sense?
- Decorations – Think about how the locations of the film influenced the other elements of the film. Did they enhance the overall impression or weaken it? Were the directing locations appropriately chosen?
- Musical accompaniment or soundtrack – Was the music appropriate? Was it too much or too little? Was it disturbing? Did it feel divine? Was it daring? The soundtrack can enhance the film or even destroy it, especially if the songs carry a special meaning in the film.
Watch the movie twice
It is impossible to grasp a film completely if you have watched it only once, especially if you often hit pause to write something down. Watch it at least once more before you start writing your review. Pay attention to the details that you might have missed during your first go and focus on something else/new during your second shot at the movie.
Form a genuine opinion based on your analysis of the film
What valuable insights could you form from the movie? Take any basic idea and back it up with your own observations of the various elements of the film. This thought should be the subject of the first paragraph of your review. The presence of the thesis will allow you to proceed directly to the criticism, briefly telling you about the film’s connections. Ask yourself the following questions to formulate the main thesis:
- Does the film reflect any of the current events and problems? Does it feel like perhaps the director wants to say something important in this way? Try to “transfer” the events of the film into your life.
- Does the film have some message or is it perhaps meant to evoke some kind of response from the end of the viewer? Can you think if it has achieved its goals in this case?
- Does the film touch your personal feelings? Write a review, grounding it on your feelings and while telling a couple of stories from your life. Following that way, you will make your review interesting.
Write a summary
It is necessary to give the readers an idea of what they may expect to see if they watch a film. Name the main characters and describe the place of action and the main plot of the film. Do not tell too much or you will simply ruin the film for the viewers!
- Name the characters and state the names of the actors playing them;
- Mention the name of the director and the full title of the film;
- You should warn the readers if your review includes spoilers.
Continue analyzing the film
Write a few paragraphs discussing the special features of the movie that support your thesis. Write about the cast, direction, location, and so on. Your style must be simple and understandable. Do not use too much of professional technical jargon.
Support your thoughts with facts. Describe what the scene looked like, what the character did, the camera angle, and so on. You can quote the dialogues. In this way, you give readers a “feel” for the film while expressing your opinion about it.
Complete your review with a conclusion
It should confirm your initial thesis and serve as a certain indicator: whether or not should the reader watch the movie.
Edit your review
When you finish writing the first draft, reread it carefully and decide whether it has been given the right structure or not. It may be necessary to change the places of paragraphs, remove certain statements or add new material in certain places. Edit your review at least once, perhaps twice or if needed, even thrice.
Think about whether your review is in line with the main thesis or not. How does your review correlate with the main points that have been made?
Think about whether your review has got enough details about the film or not. Maybe you should go back and add a description so that the reader can understand more about the movie.
Check your review for mistakes. Make sure that the actors’ names are spelled correctly and that all the information is accurate. Correct any grammatical, spelling, or other miscellaneous errors wherever you find them.