Film review writing comprises two stages, namely describing a movie as well as providing some factual information about it and expressing own opinion. Such a review can be informal, like the one that you, being a cinema fan, may post on a Facebook page, and formal, the one you might need for the academic writing class. The latter must use a complicated language.
Steps of Writing Process
- Select the film. When professors want their students to write film reviews, they give specific recommendations of what would be an appropriate choice. The criteria are typically based on the subject discussed during the class. Also, they may provide the students with a list to choose from or simply assign a particular film.
- Watch the movie twice, at least. In such a way, you will be able to notice more and, thus, have more material to write about.
- Find out more about the film. In order to improve your understanding of the motion picture and enrich your film review with compelling facts, investigate the story behind the movie. Maybe, it is based on a famed novel or real-life events. Search for interesting information about the director, crew, shooting process and setting. Include the most interesting discoveries in your paper.
- Take notes while watching. When you do it for the first time, write down information about the plot, its twists, characters, setting, etc. When watching the movie for the second time, pay attention to and list the features that are critical for the movie. These details are the key to how to write a film review well.
- Write a clear and informative introduction. It should contain the name of the film and its director, main characters and actors, who played them, as well as the date of release.
- Compile the main body. Interpret, analyze, and assess the story critically. Discuss the actors’ performance and the director’s work. Mention what did not appeal to you. Remember that everything you write should have a rationale. You may use a film review template, which has much room for examples that are to support your claims.
- Draw the conclusion. Indicate how the audience felt about the movie, express own opinion. Besides, you should either recommend the picture or dissuade one from watching it and justify your evaluation.
Selecting the Topic
Feelings are the criterion to rely on. It is much easier to write a film review essay if the movie under consideration does not leave you indifferent. You may like the film because of uncommon usage of light or hate due to the poor performance of actors. It does not really matter what the feelings are. The point is that you have them and, thus, are able to write about the picture in a passionate and captivating manner. So, feel free to choose any film you like but mind the audience of the essay as well. Will your choice evoke unsettling sentiments in your professor? You should make sure it does not.
Points to Keep In Mind
- Avoid reading about the film before actually watching it. It will disrupt your ability to critically analyze the movie and stay impartial. Nevertheless, it is essential to get acquainted with critics’ perception of the movie and the impressions of a wider audience. Having examined various attitudes, you will make your review a complete film analysis essay.
- Compare the film under consideration with at least one work of the same genre or with a similar topic and/or plotline. Think of the strengths and weaknesses of both. Such a comparison may disclose you a new aspect to consider in your paper.
- Write a movie review essay after the second watch and a small pause if possible. Few additional hours of mulling over film details will contribute to better understanding of the picture, its message, and making unbiased evaluation.
- Go beyond the movie and watch interviews with actors and/or director as well as some shooting scenes in order to clearly imagine the whole process of filmmaking.
You may choose a special episode from the movie, the one that impressed you most, and conduct its full analysis. Describe a setting, light usage, dialogue, background music or any other feature that is worth mentioning in your paper.