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Tips and Tricks on Writing a Film Review for College

If the film is interesting to the audience, then it is worth attention of critics, no matter if the film itself is a work of art or a completely talentless piece of tape. How to write a film review for college? A good film review informs, convinces and entertains readers, contains some special opinion without revealing too many plot details, while an excellent film review can become a work of art itself. In this article from a professional review writing service you’ll find out how to analyze films, shape intriguing theses and write excellent college reviews as a pro. Which means your review will entertain readers not worse than your source material.


Film review writing

How to Write a Movie Review Outline

1. A Starting Fact

Write some interesting or wondering fact or opinion on the movie in the very first sentence of the review. You need to catch your reader’s attention instantly. They have to be able to set an impression about the kind of your review and the film quality at once, right after they read first lines of the text. For instance, you can use these ideas:

  • Compare the movie with a relevant event or another movie;
  • Write a short but intriguing conclusion right away;
  • Mention context or background topical information to catch the reader.

2. A Precise Opinion

Set your precise and substantial opinion at once. Don’t make people reading your review guess how you actually liked the movie. Message your mark right in the beginning of the review and show your arguments further in the text.

Use stars, 0-10 or 0-100 scales, or just simple “good” and “bad” words to state your opinion at once. Then, explain why you chose such a mark.

3. Draft Writing

Write the first complete draft of your review. On this stage, your notes during watching the film matter the most. Nobody will be interested in an opinion not supported with relevant facts.

4. Argumentation Aspects

Do not just write an obvious story analysis. A story is just one of the film aspects. It should not dominate other components in your review. Some good films have pretty average stories. Pay attention to the following:

  • The approach of a camera operator;
  • The film’s mood;
  • Music and sound;
  • Acting.

5. Closed Circle

Close the circle of your proofs in the final part of a review. Try to go back to the first fact or your review to make it look completed. People read reviews to find out if the film is worth watching. You need to give them your precise answer in the last sentence of the review, even if you write it for a college writing task.


Write a film review

How to Write a Movie Review: Analysis

1. Analyze Film Facts

Study main facts about the film. You can do this before or after watching the film itself, but it is better to do this before writing the review because thee facts should be included into the text. Find out the following:

  • The precise film title;
  • Release year;
  • Director’s name;
  • Names of main role actors;
  • The genre of the film.

2. Notes

Make notes while watching the film. Prepare a laptop or a notebook to make notes in advance. Because of films being quite long, it is easy to forget some details or plot twists. Notes help you fix facts required for the review.

  • Write down any positive and negative moments you notice. They can be costumes, makeup, decorations and many other things. Think about how these details influence the film and how you can use them in a review.
  • Write down connections and patterns you notice while watching.
  • Pause the movie frequently and use rewind options if necessary to avoid missing important things.

3. Technical Movie Review Format

Mark technical aspects of the film. Analyze separate components building it. During or after watching the film, state your opinion about:

  • Director’s job.
  • Operator’s job.
  • Cutting.
  • Costumes.
  • Decorations.
  • Music background.

4. Watch it Again

Watch the film once more. It is impossible to completely understand the film after watching it once especially when you make pauses for notes. Watch the film at least once more and start writing a review only after that. Notice details you might miss previously. Concentrate on other aspects. If you paid all attention to acting earlier, then review the operator’s job this time, for example.

How to Write a Movie Review for College

1. Original Thesis

Form your original thesis after analyzing the film.

What unusual thoughts appear in your mind after you studied the film carefully? Set up a thesis, some central idea to discuss which should be supported by facts about different film aspects. State your thesis in the first paragraph of a review.

Thanks to this approach your review won’t be limited by a short story retelling but enter the world of film criticizing which is rightfully known as a separate art. Think over the following questions to create a thoughtful review thesis:

  • Does the film touch ongoing events or a relevant problem? Maybe, the director tries to involve viewers into the discussion. Try to compare the story with the real world and find parallels in a review if possible.
  • Does the film try to deliver a message, to call for a certain reaction or emotion? How well does it reach its goals?
  • How much is the film close to you personally? The review can be dictated by personal feelings and touch real life stories that may possibly be interesting for readers.

2. The Plot Summary

State the plot shortly after the thesis paragraph. The reader should know what they agree for when deciding to watch the film. Tell them the plot shortly: mention main characters, a place of events and a central conflict or basic conditions. The review never has to break the main rule: do not reveal plot details. Don’t spoil your reader’s satisfaction from watching the film!

  • In a short plot description, mention names of actors in brackets after names of their characters.
  • Don’t forget to include the director’s name and the full film title.
  • If you can’t avoid spoilers, warn the reader about them in advance.

3. Film Analysis

Now, switch to the film analysis.  Devote some paragraphs to review interesting film aspects supporting and confirming the thesis of a review. Mark acting, direction, filming, place of events and other moments with a clear and living language able to support the interest of your readers.

  • The text should be precise and easy. Avoid overusing technical terms from movie industry jargon. Use obvious and understandable language.
  • State facts combined with your personal opinion. For instance, write something like that: “The background baroque soundtrack made a great contrast with decorations of the 20th century”. This explanation will be much more informative than the phrase “The choice of soundtracks caused many questions”.

4. Support Statements

Support your statements with examples. Any statement requires a spectacular example. Describe the decoration, acting manner, camera plans, and other aspects. Dialogue quotes will become great illustrative materials. The reader will be able to feel the film’s mood and understand your viewpoint.

5. Individuality

Add some specialty to your review. Reviews can be perceived as strict essays written to enter the college, but it will be much more interesting for you and your teacher if you try to use your own style.

If you like being curious and joking or dramatically serious, do not change that when writing your film review. The language and style should reflect your unique view and personal qualities. Your reader will definitely be interested in them.

6. Conclusion

Finish your review with a conclusion. Your final paragraph should account the premier thesis and tell the reader if the movie is worth watching it. In addition, the final part of the review should be intriguing, too: people memorize first and last sentences of the text best of all.


Film review tips

Additional Tips on Writing a Film Review

  • If you didn’t like the film, don’t rush to write a totally negative review. A good reviewer helps to understand how interesting the film might be for the reader. Everyone has different tastes, so let the reader judge and decide if they will like the movie even if you didn’t like it at all.
  • Read other film reviews regularly and notice aspects making certain reviews more useful comparing to others. It is worth noting that the value of a review is not about its preciseness (how the reader is agreed with the review writer) but about its usefulness level (how actually the reviewer can predict if people will like the film).
  • Even if you didn’t like the movie, don’t be rude in a review.
  • No spoilers!
  • The text structure matters a lot. Group different aspects of the film according to categories and comment each one separately. Carefully analyzing every aspect you’ll make right conclusions.

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