You must have come across the word “review” in literature class when talking about critics. And sooner or later, your turn will come. But today, we are going to talk not about book reviews but about movie reviews. How to write a good movie review that the teacher will be delighted with?
What is a movie review?
A review is a type of essay that involves:
- Analysis of a work of art (film)
- Points out its strengths and weaknesses
- Gives an assessment
- Reveals the idea and non-obvious points.
Simply put, this is a critical comment on a movie. However, the review should not look like an essay. It is built according to clear criteria and involves a kind of scientific research, and not just a detailed expression of one’s opinion.
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Why should a student be able to write a movie review?
In addition to the fact that this genre is included in the school curriculum (that is, it is mandatory), those who will enroll in media arts universities will definitely encounter it. After all, the review involves movie analysis, that is, those skills that are necessary for various tasks while studying media arts.
The skill of writing movie reviews is good training for other subjects and tasks in which you need to be able to consider the problem from different angles and argue your point of view (English language, social studies, etc.).
Movie review structure
How to write a movie review? Collect it from four sections:
A brief retelling of the main points of the movie and the disclosure of the composition. It is important not to overdo it here: it makes no sense to give a detailed presentation because the essence of the review is not in the retelling but in your own reasoned impressions, so it is enough to mention a few main points that you can rely on in the future.
- Author’s position
What problem does the director raise with this movie? What thought do they want to convey to the viewer? More often, so-called eternal themes arise here: friendship, love, fate, betrayal, and so on. However, it is also important to indicate the vision/opinion of the author regarding this issue.
- Student’s reasoning
Here the features of the movie are indicated, and an assessment can be given – always with arguments and logical conclusions, without emotional overtones. As points for consideration, you can take: characters, methods, style, and features of the composition – in a word, everything that surprised you/seemed important and contributed to the disclosure of the topic.
Most often, it contains general conclusions or recommendations from the student – whether or not to watch this movie.
How to write a movie review? 10 tips
- Work with the movie
Since the review is a research work, it is important not just to “go over” the movie or watch it in a concise version but to really delve into the details so that the review is as deep and meaningful as possible, with logical conclusions and based on theoretical material. It is desirable that the movie be watched several times. Otherwise, you risk missing an important aspect.
- Plan your review
The review should not look like a stream of consciousness; you should adhere to the structure and follow the logic of the story, which I wrote about above. Remember: structure and clarity are what distinguishes a scientific text, and you need to achieve exactly that.
- Analyze both strengths and weaknesses
It is not only good or only bad. Therefore, you need to analyze all the nuances that will allow you to draw logical conclusions and add depth and informativeness/meaning to your research.
- Speak your own opinion
The review assumes your point of view; this is the essence of the genre. Therefore, do not forget to share your vision, write recommendations in the conclusion, and even build hypotheses that will allow readers to better understand the idea or features of the movie (especially if it is complex and ambiguous).
- Argument conclusions
Any of your statements (whether it be your own opinion or an analysis of an idea, or characters, mentioning the pros and cons) must be reasoned. Without this, the work again becomes an essay and is not relevant to the study. Remember, in a review, it’s like in court: you can’t say anything without evidence!
- Stick to the scientific style
Since the review is more of a scientific work, the style and language of writing should be appropriate. Avoid using colloquial and emotionally charged words/phrases; this will elevate your work to the category of amateur essays that are not suitable for school or exams.
It is also not necessary to embellish the text with means of artistic expression (for example, with the epithets “beautiful,” “wonderful,” etc.). It has no semantic load and looks subjective and even naive.
- Check the text for errors
This applies to all types of errors – logical, grammatical, factual, and speech. Nothing reduces the quality of your work, like mistakes. And you definitely risk losing a score for them when it comes to an exam.
- Be critical
You only need to criticize – you need to look at the movie from different angles. It adds depth to your work. In many exams where there are evaluation criteria, it is the depth that is the most important requirement.
- Broaden your horizons
Without watching experience and analytical skills, it is impossible to write a decent movie review, so practice and develop observation. This will help to build reasoned conclusions and understand the subject of research.
- Remember the idea of the movie
The idea is what the director wanted to say with their movie, its essence. Agree; it is strange if you bypass this aspect. In addition, often, the idea does not lie on the surface of the work, and your review can help you better understand it and reveal it correctly.