Movie reviews are aimed to help readers decide whether they will watch a movie or not. Good movie reviews are distinguished by independent opinions. While trailers provide you with a brief idea of the movie, reviews help in analyzing and understanding the movie in more detail. Trailers often show the most beautiful moments and best visual effects. Reviews provide readers with an independent opinion on the whole movie: its plot, idea, and its realization.
The Purpose of a Movie Review
- Academic reviews are a common task for students. It helps develop critical skills and improve writing.
- Journalistic reviews can be seen in magazines or blogs. They include critique and analysis of various significant aspects of the movie.
- Advertisement. This type of review is aimed to persuade readers to watch the movie.
We suggest starting writing a review right after watching the movie. You’ll be able to analyze more details and provide a more accurate estimation of the idea. Given that an impression of the movie may differ depending on how you watch it (in cinema or on a 10-inch tablet), we suggest avoiding watching movies in poor quality.
First of all, define questions that you’re going to discuss in the review. Keep in mind all necessary questions while watching the movie, so that you won’t miss any important details.
Bring your laptop to the cinema, and start writing right after the movie has finished. You have to note the brightest moments and the most interesting details. When you start writing the review, write your headline first. Headlines are important, so make sure that your headline is unique and creative.
Do a research, and find all necessary information about the movie. You have to provide readers with names of the director and actors, genre, and year.
Familiarize yourself with standards of writing. You have to know the required format, the number of words, and the deadline. We also suggest choosing a type of the review – it may be critical or descriptive.
Ask Yourself Important Questions
- What is the mood of the movie?
- How was the story presented by the director? If you’ve seen other movies of such a director, compare them and decide which one is the best.
- Was the script interesting or weak? Did you like dialogues or not? Why?
- Did you like elements of the background and the shooting scene?
- Were the costumes chosen appropriately?
- How good were special effects? How important were they for the entire movie and the story?
- Analyze the soundtrack. Did it influence the story positively?
- How good were actors?
- What did the movie teach you? Does it have an interesting general idea?
- What moments couldn’t you understand?
- What is your favorite character, and why?
- What character you hate, and why?
- What part of the movie was the most important, and why?
- Did the movie remind you of any real events from your life?
- What do you think about characters? Do you respect them? Why?
- What you’d like to change in the script?
- What events impressed you most of all?
- What is the most important moment of the film? Is it impressive or funny?
- What problems the main character has to overcome?
- What is the background of events described in the movie?
- What dramatic issues do you consider the most important?
- Was the ending unpredictable or trivial?
- What audience you’d like to recommend this movie?
Writing the Review
The very first sentence of the review must reflect your opinion about the movie. You can compare it to another movie, or consider its idea. You can also start with an interesting fact about the movie.
Once you’ve written an impressive first sentence, you have to write a not less impressive introduction. It must provide readers with brief information on the idea of the movie. You can also describe the main line or list actors, writing where they have shot before. Make sure that you don’t just retell the movie, because it’s really boring. Your opinion must be introduced at the beginning because it will form a basis for the whole review. Your readers must understand what you think about it, and you also have to motivate them to read further. An average introduction is 2-4 sentences long, so don’t write too many details at this stage. Just give general information that suggests what you’re going to discuss.
You have to describe key moments of the film but do it briefly. Just make sure that your readers get the main idea and all the main twists and turns. Don’t retell the entire story, but make sure that you’ve mentioned the following components:
- Exposition – the beginning of the story.
- Rising action – this part precedes the culmination. Main characters are trying to solve the conflict, but they can’t.
- Climax – the culmination of the story, the most stressful part.
- Falling action – events that occur after the culmination.
- Resolution – basically, it’s the end of the story. Here problems and conflicts are finally solved.
If the movie is bad, you can describe it without many details. However, you will have to provide a detailed analysis.
Analysis of the Movie
Write about actors and tasks they’ve coped with. Analyze the plot in more details and highlight its strong and weak points. How was the main idea disclosed? How good was the director’s work? How good was the production team? Try to estimate the operator’s work and special effects. Write what you like most of all in this movie.
Your Personal Impression
You don’t have to be really objective here, but you must write your opinion based on the analysis above. Focus on your impression, and don’t try to evaluate it.
The last section of your review must draw conclusions and summarize the whole analysis. Define what viewers will get from watching this movie. Does it give any positive emotions? Does it teach viewers something, or is it just fun? Tell whether or not this film is worth watching it, and what audience may like it.
Now take a little break, and then read your review. You may need to add some details or get rid of unnecessary sentences. Ask yourself, did you describe the movie enough, and does your review provide readers with the understanding of what the film is about?
Check actors’ names, and make sure that you’ve spelled them correctly. Check the format of the review and make sure that it’s easy to read, and that all the sentences are logically connected.
Useful Words and Phrases
Sometimes you may have no idea how to start a sentence, so we want to help you with these universal phrases:
- Judge solely on the merits
- Watered-down version of another movie
- Haphazardly executed
- Something close to earlier works
- Something is sorely missing
- Far-cry from masterpiece
A movie can:
- be a silver screen
- include a star-studded cast
- eclipse everything made before
- be a true classic
- win universal approval
- reveal controversial issues
- bombard the viewer with upsetting information or violent scenes
Checklist for Movie Reviews
- Genre and title
- Brief description of a story
- Year of production, rating, director, setting
- Comparison with another movie of this genre
- Effective and brief overview of the script
- Evaluation of the director’s work
- The quality of the movie and its budget
- Key scenes
- Critical analysis of the main scenes
- Your personal opinion
- Descriptive examples that support your point
- Strong and weak points of the movie, supported by facts
- Message of the movie
- Summary of the review and final judgment
- A memorable comment at the end of the review
- Grammar mistakes and spelling
- Explanatory style
We also suggest taking into account that you don’t need to express your negative emotions if you don’t like the film. Good reviewers just guide their readers through the film and make some hints if the movie is worth watching it. Read as many reviews as you can to get new ideas and understand the necessary style. Don’t hurry up, take your time, and you’ll create an excellent movie review!