Movie Review

How to write Movie Review

Writing a movie review can be a challenging task if you are not familiar with the main principles of the evaluation of a movie. You should understand that it is not just a detailed description of each scene in a movie. It is a reaction paper in which you should reveal the strengths and weaknesses of a particular film. Its main purpose is to help readers determine whether they want to watch the movie you are reviewing or not.

A movie review is supposed to contain a statement of what the director tried to show, assess how well they succeeded, and give evidence. Also, it should provide enough details to be informative to the readers without giving any essentials, such as the ending of the film and any surprises. When providing opinions on the movie, you should support them with technical criticism.

To Write a Good Movie Review You Should

  • Consider the plot. Did it seem clear and well-organized, or was a key element omitted?
  • Assess the direction. Think of the reasons why the director decided to portray the events in the movie in its particular format.
  • Analyze editing. Did the movie flow smoothly from scene-to-scene? Did it include only what is necessary, or was it cluttered with needless details?
  • Rate the acting. Did the actors convey the message well? Were they convincing?
  • Evaluate the camera techniques. What sort of shots were typically used in the film? What is the influence of them?
  • Examine the settings. Did the decorations, lights and sound effects create the appropriate atmosphere?
  • Explore the visual elements. Did the movie contain computer-generated graphics? Did it look realistic?
  • Think about costume design. Did the costumes fit the style of the movie? Did they take away from the overall tone?
  • Describe time and place. Was the movie accurate in portraying a particular time-period and place? Do you think the audience feels involved when viewing this motion picture?

guidelines to write Movie Review

  1. Give the title of the movie, the name of the director, celebrated stars, basic setting (place and time), and genre of the film (comedy, drama, horror, etc.).
  2. Mention whether the movie is based on a book or inspired by real events.
  3. Provide a brief plot summary of the movie.
  4. Define the movie's purpose and write whether it fulfilled this purpose.
  5. In the thesis statement, show your attitude towards the movie, and provide the main ideas that you are going to develop in the review.
  6. Discuss at least one or two aspects of film-making in detail. This can be directing, costume design, background music, set design, acting, editing, photography, etc.
  7. Search for symbolism. Watch the movie attentively in order to notice symbolical elements, such as an object repeating in many scenes, or a word or phrase that is said at significant times during the film.
  8. Support your critique with strong arguments. If you are disappointed or bored with the movie, provide a valid reason, even if it seems obvious to you.
  9. Give your overall impression of the movie as well as your opinion on its quality. Avoid the usage of generalized judgments, such as “it was a good movie” or “the acting was awful”. You should supply reasons for your thoughts and give the answers to the whys.
  10. Write the review in present tense.

  11. In a movie review, you should explain how the particular movie affected you, evaluate the effectiveness of the director's work and consider aspects of film-making. Since your review will reveal your personal ideas, do not use such phrases as “in my opinion” or “to my mind”. The readers already know that these are your thoughts.

Now you know how academic paper of this type should be written and what tips are necessary to follow. You can look through our movie review samples to see the connection between theory and practical skills.


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Movie Review Examples

Reviewing a film is not an easy task, even though they may be seen as being pleasurable to watch. To save your time and effort in selecting a film to review, we have prepared a list of 50 captivating films. You can find here the classics of world cinema, as well as the latest films that have garnered respect from critics. The title of the film and the director follows:

  • Legends of the Fall by Edward Zwick
  • Into the Wild by Sean Penn
  • Mr. Nobody by Jaco Van Dormael
  • The Piano by Jane Campion
  • Some Like It Hot by Billy Wilder
  • Once Upon a Time in America by Sergio Leone
  • Cast Away by Robert Zemeckis
  • It’s a Wonderful Life by Frank Capra
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Milos Forman
  • Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock
  • Scent of a Woman by Martin Brest
  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door by Thomas Jahn
  • Hachi: A Dog’s Tale by Lasse Hallström
  • Dead Poets Society by Peter Weir
  • The Sixth Sense by M. Night Shyamalan
  • Outsourced by John Jeffcoat
  • Four Rooms by Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino
  • The Pursuit of Happiness by Gabriele Muccino
  • Peaceful Warrior by Victor Salva
  • Awakenings by Penny Marshall
  • Million Dollar Baby by Clint Eastwood
  • Pay It Forward by Mimi Leder
  • The Butterfly Effect by Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber
  • The Bucket List by Rob Reiner
  • A Beautiful Mind by Ron Howard
  • 127 Hours by Danny Boyle
  • The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius
  • The King’s Speech by Tom Hooper
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by David Fincher
  • Gangs of New York by Martin Scorsese
  • The Help by Tate Taylor
  • The Experiment by Paul Scheuring
  • Trance by Danny Boyle
  • Django Unchained by Quentin Tarantino
  • Black Swan by Darren Aronofsky
  • Avatar by James Cameron
  • Dark Shadows by Tim Burton
  • Les Misérables by Tom Hooper
  • Cloud Atlas by Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Tom Tykwer
  • Argo by Ben Affleck
  • Broken by Rufus Norris
  • Life of Pi by Ang Lee
  • Anna Кarenina by Joe Wright
  • The Dark Knight Rises by Christopher Nolan
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by Peter Jackson
  • Oz the Great and Powerful by Sam Raimi
  • Prometheus by Ridley Scott
  • Skyfall by Sam Mendes
  • Intouchables by Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
  • Memento by Christopher Nolan