Guidance on How to Write a Movie Review for College

Here we offer a step-by-step process of how to write a good film review or how to write an introduction for a movie review that any student can follow:

  • Watch the movie: Before you can review any film, you must watch it. You cannot review a motion picture you have not watched. Therefore, for success watch the film at least twice. Note: do not watch it like you’re a regular moviegoer or movie enthusiast. Be focused and conscious through the film. Take notes if necessary.

You will need to take notes hence have a notebook and pen handy. Record all events and characters (major and minor). Try to be meticulous do not overlook anything.

  • Research the movie: Watching the film should give you the overview and feel of the movie. With that, it should be easy and exciting to research the movie. The research augments what you have watched in the movie. In your research, you should find out who the filmmaker is, what prompted the making of the movie, the characterization, historical events the lead to the film, location, plot and so on.

If you are aware of the details behind the movie, the movie will be more understandable and engaging. Note also that if you do not understand the movie you cannot move to the next step which involves analysis. Try not to proceed to the next step unless you vividly understand the movie. If it entails watching it again until you fully get it, do it. The following should form part of your findings regarding the film:

  1. Genre
  2. Title and year
  3. Names of the lead actors
  4. Name of the director
  5. Title of the book (if based on a book)
  • Draft the review outline: Draft an outline with which you will write the review. The overview will help you organize your review concisely and logically. The outline is more like the skeletal frame on which the whole study will stand. A good draft will yield a perfect report, and the reverse is also true.

An outline enhances the quality of the film review, and it is essential you have your outline before you start writing. A sample outline looks like this:

1. Introduction

  • Title
  • Date released
  • Background info
  • Cast
  • Director

2. Summary of the story

3. Analysis of the plot elements (read also: guide about a critical analysis for movies)

4. Creative elements

5. Opinions (add examples to back up your claims)

  • Characters
  • Camera techniques
  • Dialogues
  • Colors
  • Mood
  • Tone
  • Symbols
  • Costumes
  • Special effects and so on

6. Conclusion

  • Analyze the movie: After fully understanding the movie, you can start its analysis. Critically evaluate the film from the beginning to the end, noting every detail. While analyzing, if you observed any confusing part, re-watch to grasp the idea portrayed there fully. After you fully understand it, then you are set to write the movie review. To write a decent analysis, you need to know how to write a film critique.
  • Augment Your Review with Examples: While watching the movie, your observations should be supported with examples, i.e., mention scenes the event took place. If the plot is faulty, mention it but state examples to support that claim. You can also mention poorly developed characters evident in the movie and others. Everything you observed in the film must be noted.

Examples of notables include locations, faulty or beautiful dialogues, quotes that appeal to you, poorly made speeches, bloopers, editing errors and so on. Do take note that it is not enough to make general statements about how awesome or awful the movie is, you must support your claim with evidence in the film. That is why it is called a movie review and not opinion sampling interview about the movie.

  • Comment on the originality of the movie: Finally mention the uniqueness of the film which you noticed in the one you’ve watched. But even if the movie happens to be a standard feature with conventional approaches, you can still mention this as well. A regular film is still a film.
  • Write Your Review: With all the fact gathered above, you can now use the outline to write your film review. Make every part easy and enjoyable to read. Importantly, make the introduction engaging and captivating. You should go for a grand opening that will grab the attention of any reader. A good opening keeps the reader on the article.

Let us assume your introduction is watertight and engaging; any sloppy body will lose your reader. Hence, make the body informative and engaging. The review aims to reveal as much information as possible. Therefore, do your best to give all the details in the film to the reader. Engage your analytic mind.

Another essential part of the review is the closing or conclusion. Here you give your view about the movie with evidence revealed in the body. Connect the conclusion with the introduction creatively.

  • Edit Your Final Draft: After writing your first version of the review, you can re-write the final one after editing. Ensure sentences connects logically to each other and watch the format used. Make a final comparison of your work with the requirement by your professor or lecturer.

Do not add irrelevant details for the sake of space. Ensure your final submitted draft is well edited, polished, plagiarism-free and presented in the recommended format or style.

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