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How to Write a Film Review to Impress Readers

October 24, 2019


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How to Write a Film Review

Instructions on How to Write a Film Review

Though students adore watching films, the majority of them do not have the faintest idea about how to write a film review – the task that is often assigned at colleges, schools and other educational establishments. If you are a beginner, producing such a project may seem particularly complicated to you.

The tips on how to write a film review for college presented below include detailed and useful information about the specifics of such a piece of writing, i.e. organizational mode, preparation stage, writing process, etc. With explicit guidelines at hand, the process of producing your review may be quite engaging. Thus, do not lose an opportunity to discover details about criticizing films.

What is a Film Review?

It is a combination of writer’s viewpoint on the watched movie and critical evaluation of all aspects of its content. Though such a paper usually contains about 1000 words, the preparation stage may take several days. Hence, do not delay starting managing your assignment!

A movie review is considered a creative piece of writing since each movie is regarded as a form of art. It follows that you are supposed to apply both your creative and analytical skills to produce a desirable output. In order to achieve it, you are required to detect how to write a good film review. In this article, you will get all the necessary information about crafting this type of paper.

Major Goals of a Film Review Essay

A film review essay performs four key functions i.e. informs readers about a specific movie, analyzes it, persuades readers to watch/not watch a movie, and entertains readers. Let us discuss the mentioned aspects.

When creating your paper, a chief task is to give readers detailed information about the examined video. Remember that it is hard to decide whether to spend time watching a movie or not if one knows nothing about it. In case you are focused on just one aspect of the film, technical, for example, your piece of writing will be incomplete what may restrain readers from watching a movie. If you are confident that the film you are dealing with is thrilling, you have to produce your critical film review in a persuasive tone to motivate readers to watch it. In case you consider a movie dull and do not want readers to waste their time on it, the tone of your paper has to be convincing as well.

Finally, your review has to be appealing. It is clear that a list of pros and cons concerning the movie is not what readers want to deal with.

Now, let us find out how to prepare oneself for creating a review.

Writing a Movie Review: Preparation Stage

Before talking about the specifics of writing a movie review, it is necessary to discuss the preparation process.

First, pick the film which you would like to examine (unless the one is assigned by your professor). If your instructor specifies the genre only, try to select a well-known movie that has received a positive appraisal from critics. In such way, it is highly possible that you will enjoy the film and manage to craft a superior movie review paper.

Second, watch the chosen movie. Note that you may need to watch it a few times to jot down all details. When watching the video for the first time, you should not write down any information. Just enjoy the video! When watching it for the second time, pay attention to some special effects, costumes, scenery, actors’ play, etc. If the movie is concentrated on the events which you are unaware of, research the matter to collect enough information about it. Only in this case you will be able to review a film properly.

If you cannot formulate a firm assertion after watching a movie a couple of times, watch it once again. You need to realize how to establish the connection between the technical and thematic aspects of a movie to identify the role they play in perceiving the movie.

In order to understand the style and peculiarities of the chosen film better, you may scrutinize several pictures shot by the same director. Additionally, examine how the actors “change” their heroes by their play.

Write down the data relating to exciting scenes and astonishing moments. Your notes will help start your film analysis essay. In addition, note some curios phrases said by the key characters. You may use them as an epigraph to your piece of writing.

Since it is impossible to be aware of all details about the movie after watching it, you should undertake thorough research. The facts which you discover in the course of investigation can make your review a catchy one. Remember to provide information about the shooting process, issues the shooting team has faced when working on the movie, etc.

In case the film has any awards, it is essential to mention it in the review. It will definitely arouse readers’ interest. Not a single piece of information about the film you are examining should be skipped. However, remember that alongside the basic data about the film, there should be a room for your personal opinion.

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Producing a Detailed Film Review Outline

Preparing a top-notch review of a movie is rather complicated and without a clear film review outline, the writing process may be rather slow and painful. The question is how to prepare an awesome review and do not get concerned about such items as a film review structure, format, style, etc. The most effective way is to break the writing procedure into several stages.

  1. Start with an appealing introduction.
    This section should contain important details about the examined film, i.e. title, genre, the name of the director, etc. The budget, cast and the box office may be mentioned as well. This paragraph should also include a powerful thesis which signifies the beginning of a critical part of your paper. A thesis may illustrate:

    • The connection between the chief idea discussed in a film and current events;
    • Some similar points between the movie plot and your personal experience;
    • The link between the thematic content and some technical items.
  2. Provide your assessment at once.
    If readers lack time to read your film review example till the end, present your analysis at the beginning of your review. There is no need to keep your personal viewpoint secret till the concluding paragraph. Revealing your secrets in the first paragraphs is not a crime when it goes about such a piece of writing.
  3. Prepare a succinct summary of a plot.
    When writing a film review, you should describe several events highlighted in the movie you are examining. Nevertheless, do not disclose the ending. Bear in mind that it is not worth being a spoiler, as readers will not appreciate your “goodwill” gesture. If you do intend to mention a vital point, make sure to warn readers about it.
  4. Describe the feelings aroused by the film.
    The summary of a plot should tell readers what the movie is about. Here, you are supposed to state what emotions you have felt when watching a movie. Perhaps some scenes or dialogues made you ponder over something. If you want your review to be more personal, you should tell readers about your experience in the film area.
  5. Identify the objective of a film.
    Give the answer to the question: “What is the purpose of shooting a film?” In order to find a clear response to this query, you may need to listen to the interviews given by the shooting team. In some cases, the plot may be constructed in such way that the answer to this question will be obvious. If there are some specific peculiarities about the movie, you should not start making their in-depth analysis. Some pictures are superior due their simplicity.
  6. Provide some data about filmmaking.
    It is vital to analyze the techniques used to shoot a film. Focus on a couple of items which you regard essential for the movie you are analyzing. Avoid using too many terms not to confuse readers. Describe the points mentioned below:

    • Cinematography
      Here it goes about the details connected with the shooting process. You may get concentrated on three major items, i.e. camera movements, angle, and distance.
    • Sound effects
      Sometimes, the role of sound effects, which are as significant as visual effects, is underestimated. Nevertheless, ingenious score composers are valued in the movie industry. The sound viewers hear in the movies can be divided into diegetic and non-diegetic. The former are like a thunder and accompany the narrations, while the latter – are like the sounds coming from the background.
    • Editing stage
      Essentially, the purpose of editing is to establish a strong connection between all parts of a movie. The editor is the one who creates the “the world the actors playing in a movie are living in” which gives readers a feeling of reality. In order to create the very reality, filmmakers apply different techniques, i.e. they use graphic design, establish shots, etc.
    • Mise-en-scène
      It can be said that this is the most essential aspect of movie since it embraces everything people see on the screens of their TVs. Characters’ smiles, scenery details, visual effects are an indispensable part of the mise-en-scène.
  7. Search for the deep sense.
    A quality movie is the a profound one. When watching a specific picture, we may notice some phrases, elements, symbols and other issues that play a crucial role in understanding the movie. Thus, try to detect such important symbolic elements, as they can help you make your review impressive.
  8. Give examples.
    You will not be able to produce a credible review without examples. Such phrases as, “the actors played well,” or “the sound effects were horrible” will not let you persuade readers that a movie is worth their time and attention. You should be more precise! For instance, when describing a specific character, highlight the features that make the actor suitable for the role, e.g. gestures, appearance, etc.
  9. Write a powerful conclusion.
    Reiterate the film components that astonished you most of all. Give readers some recommendations and state who will find the movie the most engaging and why. Depending on your conclusion, readers will decide whether to watch a picture or not. Thus, do your best to write it appropriately.
  10. Edit your review.
    Read your review a few times. Correct all types of errors and typos so that readers can enjoy your flawless review.

We do believe that the hints provided above will help you understand how to review a film professionally. In case you do not consider yourself a great reviewer, you are welcome to turn to us for assistance. We will be pleased to assist you in crafting a fascinating film review.