How to Write a Movie Review

How to Write a Movie Review — A Simplified Guide

When you write a movie review, your critical thinking skills are put to the test. It may be why you will get at least one such assignment regardless of what your college major is.

Many students have no idea how to write a movie review, so do not feel embarrassed to admit that you are struggling. In this article, we will give you the ultimate guide to writing good reviews for any film.

What Is a Movie Review? Understanding the Basics

What is the best movie review definition?

As the name implies, a movie review is an objective analysis of a specific film. It gives a comprehensive analysis of various aspects of the movie. Although it sounds quite simple, this task can be quite difficult especially if you do not use the right strategy.

When you write a movie review, you have to walk the fine line between academic and creative writing. This is not to say that you should come up with content, but that you should use an entertaining tone. Engagingly write your individual opinion to capture your reader’s attention.

Below is everything you need to know to write a good movie review.

How to Write a Good Movie Review — 3 Important Considerations

What are the qualities of a good movie review?

Depending on the assignment’s instructions, there are different qualities that your writing should have.

Generally, a well-written movie review meets the following criteria:

  • Comprehensiveness — it should analyze all aspects of the movie;
  • Clarity — the discussion should be well organized to avoid confusing the reader;
  • Appropriate length — it should be brief but informative;
  • Originality — write your opinion objectively.

After reading movie review guidelines, you might worry about your ability to write well.

“How do I write a movie review that meets all the criteria listed above?”

Follow the tips below to write a high-quality composition that is worth a good grade:

  • Look at more than the plot, evaluate technical elements such as lighting and sound;
  • Provide reasonable arguments that support your criticism of the movie;
  • Stick to academic writing norms to meet your instructor’s expectations.

Tips for Writing a Movie Review — 3 Strategies that Work

Looking for movie review tips from the experts?

Here are 3 strategies that will make your movie review better than most.

Watch the Movie More Than Once

Even if you hate re-watching movies, do it. Watching a movie more than once helps notice details you may have missed. Your perspective might change the second and third time you watch the film.

Do Not Give Spoilers

Write a movie review that does not have spoilers. Do not pre-empt the movie entirely. Bear in mind that your job is to review the film, not to give a detailed plot summary.

Research the Actors’ Portfolios

Knowing a little more about the actors is helpful. Take time to research their portfolios and understand how they work. Do not shy away from giving an honest critique of their performance in the film.

How to Start a Movie Review the Right Way

When you write a film review, always start by compellingly stating your opinion. Let your reader know where you stand right away. An example of a compelling statement is one that states exactly how you feel about the film.

Did you think it was good? Could it have been better?

You can write your opinion in comparison to an event that your reader can relate to. Having a relatable statement immediately brings your reader on board and makes them curious.

Alternatively, write a statement that summarizes your review. Instead of leaving your reader curious, answer the question right away.

If you have in-depth knowledge of the film, write some background information as your introduction. Giving your reader the context before the review will pay off. When the reader understands the context, it is easier to follow your argument.

How to End a Movie Review Comprehensively

The end of a movie review serves one purpose — to tie back to the thesis. When you write well, the conclusion becomes the easiest section to deal with. All you have to do is remind your reader what your argument was. You should also take the opportunity to write a rhetorical question that gives the reader something to think about.

Write the ending to your movie review without introducing any new information. If you have analyzed the movie chronologically, you will exhaust all aspects before getting to the conclusion. So, if you feel there are a few things left unsaid, go back and write your body paragraphs differently.

Movie Review Outline Explained

Write an outline for your movie review to keep track of all the ideas you have. After watching the movie, you will probably have a lot to say about it. However, you cannot write tens of pages for one review. An outline is great for filtering which information should make it to the final draft.

So, how do you write an outline?

Start with a thesis statement, and have topic sentences for each paragraph. Do not worry if you are not sure about what your thesis statement should be. An outline is the initial draft of your movie review. You will improve it as you write.

Movie Review Structure Explained

Wondering how different the movie review format is to other types of papers?

Generally, a movie review can have a simple introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion structure. The area you need to pay attention to is how you write the content.

Decide whether you will review the movie chronologically, or using any other order. It is important to write in an organized manner so that your reader can follow your argument. If the assignment instructions have specified a format, follow it. You should write an engaging piece that meets all the requirements.

Movie Review Introduction Explained

Write an introduction that has an original thesis. The thesis should be based on your analysis and hint at what you will discuss. Be careful when coming up with a thesis — it should give room for your argument. The thesis is the most important part of the introduction because it goes beyond the movie summary to give a critique.

Movie Review Body Explained

Write body paragraphs that prove your thesis. The first paragraph should have a summary of the film’s plot. This is to familiarize the reader with the movie. Next, you should have paragraphs with topic sentences that discuss your opinion on the film. Each paragraph should be independent of the other, yet have transition sentences that guarantee a smooth flow.

Movie Review Conclusion Explained

Conclude with a comprehensive summary of your essay. Without sounding repetitive, remind the reader of your thesis. You should show how you proved your argument using different words than those used in the essay.

The conclusion presents a rare opportunity to give the reader something to think about. Write a rhetorical question or an interesting statement. Concluding your essay on the right note is crucial to the success of your writing.

Final Take

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