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How to Write a Good Movie Review for College Like a Film Critic | Blog – EssayShark

How to write a movie review for college

Video How to write a movie review for college
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Imagine that you are one of the most famous critics to take part in evaluating a film for an Oscar. Thrilling, huh? In this article we will tell you what points to consider to write a professional movie review for college or another occasion.

the difference between a school and university film review

Writing a movie review for college or university is more than just a brief history of your enjoyment of the movie. You will need to analyze elements of the film and see things that would be invisible to a normal viewer. Plus, you’ll need to use your critical thinking and research skills to create a powerful text.

what makes a film review perfect for college? the answer is a well-balanced overview of the key points, considering the internal story, themes, and other elements that make the film into a cohesive whole. an extended movie review also includes the judgment and exchange of emotions about the movie, but contains a deeper analysis of the components of the movie.

the art of filmmaking consists of many parts that play an important role in the overall perception of the story. Here is a list of basic elements you can include in a sample movie review:

– film genre – producer – film director – budget – script – overall setting and atmosphere – cast and acting – plot lines – film message(s) – dialogue – musical accompaniment – power scenes – camera operations – effects specials – lighting – costumes and makeup

how to write a good film review for college in 8 steps

1. watch the movie like a movie critic. Even if you have already seen the movie several times, it is time to analyze it from another angle. Do the actors wear historically correct costumes? What emotions is the camera operator trying to convey? how do you move from scene to scene? what mood does the color and lighting set? try to evaluate all the elements that went into making the movie.

2. Divide the movie into scenes. this will help you figure out the sequence of scenes and assess their importance to the overall idea. watch as the director moves from one story line to another, introduces a twist to the story, and portrays the characters. Does the movie have flashbacks?

3. check the critical reviews of the movie. Search not only on the internet, but also in the academic databases at your university library. Academic papers on movies and professional opinions on movies can give you good ideas for your own review.

4. determine the main thesis. what will be the main thought of the critics of your film? for example, you might discuss the film in terms of its effect on the audience, the film’s adherence to the era depicted, or the quality of the book adaptation.

5. analyze the most significant scenes. analyze the location, the development of the story and the camera work. How does the director use technical means and the performances of the actors to create mood, meaning, and character development?

6. Present your own point of view and understanding of the film. For example, you can explain the philosophical aspects of the movie “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

7. write your first draft. Create an outline that will help you structure your review. Typically, you’ll need an introduction, body (story review, technical features, cast, direction), and conclusion.

When you finish your first draft, make sure your movie review:

  • has an attractive and catchy title;
  • has a brief description at the beginning;
  • contains a brief overview of the story;
  • discusses key elements of the movie;
  • contains actual examples from the movie to support your personal opinion;
  • keeps the ending and story twists a surprise;
  • recommends the film to a particular audience.

movie review ideas: college assignment

When writing an effective movie review, you’ll need to take a certain approach to the movie. here is a list of approaches you can apply to your movie review:

  • the role of music, special effects, operator work, motifs, editing, characters, or other details in the film. for example, you can discuss the role of black and white tones in luc besson’s “angel-a” (2005).
  • analysis of narrative form. for example, one can define the influence of postmodern scripts in quentin tarantino’s “pulp fiction” (1994).
  • analysis of a film from a cultural, political, theoretical, historical or ideological perspective. you can do an in-depth analysis of the film in the context of a particular approach.
  • the influence of an artistic vision and the director’s approaches on the overall character of the film. How has the director’s point of view influenced the film? Do the director’s works have distinctive characteristics that distinguish him from other directors?
  • Analysis of the film genre from the perspective of the typical qualities of the genre. for example, you have chosen the thriller “the silence of the lambs”. What typical qualities of a thriller does this film have? what makes it different from other thrillers?
  • the role of cultural traditions and the history of the country in the film. For example, a typical ending for Hollywood movies is a happy ending. bollywood movies are often accompanied by dancing or singing.
  • comparison of two movies. it can be two movies by one director, or two movies about a book or story, or two movies of identical genres.

examples of movie reviews for college students

In the sample below you can read an excerpt from a movie review dedicated to the movie “donnie darko”. the author makes a brief summary of the film, touches on the main themes and argues about the main character. he considers the structure, choice of words and phrases that he can apply to his own review.

tips to keep in mind when writing a film review for college

  • Explore the imdb glossary of terminology and apply it to your writing. this will make your review look more professional.
  • always consider the audience you are writing for. apply the correct writing style to make your text more compelling to the reader.
  • use facts, numbers and statistics to make your review more credible. cite the director’s and producer’s opinions on the film, or quote professional film critics.
  • use active sentences. it’s okay to write several sentences using the passive voice, but don’t overuse it.
  • provide evidence to prove your point of view. for example, you can add scene descriptions or character descriptions.
  • use phrases from our list of phrases you can read below.

phrases you can use in your review


is a typical representative of the drama/comedy/action/thriller genre… the movie was directed/produced by… the screenplay was written by/taken from… the story is about… the movie has a classic style/multiple timeline/hyperlink/circular structure…

main body:

the film contains/ fills/ obtains… the music underlines/ conveys/ supports… the story unfolds/ takes place/ creates an atmosphere… the story arouses curiosity/ maintains tension/ entertains/ touches/ excites/ has unexpected twists… dialogues are melodramatic/ convincing/ realistic… actors’ performances are outstanding/ personal/ moving/ realistic/ attractive/ convincing… the movie contains some funny/ scary/ weird scenes… the movie becomes extremely funny/ dramatic/exciting in places… the most powerful scene is…


if you enjoy…, you will like this movie… the movie literally… if you find films/works by director x compelling, you will also enjoy this movie… this movie will change your mind… I certainly/definitely recommend this movie to…on a scale of ten to zero…in short, the movie is unmissable/worth seeing/not to be missed/blockbuster…

We hope our article will help you create an amazing review. Additional information on how to write a movie review can be found from our team of paper writers. We hope you enjoy your writing! in any case, remember that our service is always online to help you take care of your homework. just let us know you need help by filling out the order form on this page. good luck!

photo by anncapictures from pixabay

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