Sixteen tips on writing movie review essays

Many people love watching movies. Whether it is a Hollywood movie or a film-noir, it will be in the spotlight if people adore it. There are millions of movie reviews these days. People like reading them before watching a film. Doing that, they evaluate whether the film is worth watching or not. But the goal of movie reviews goes way farther. Students of different film degrees have to write movie review essays to demonstrate their understanding of movies. This article discusses practical tips on writing movie review papers.

Watch The Film

If you want to sound like a professional critic, you have to learn the movie. Make sure to watch it twice to understand the predominant idea and devices used to record it. Remember that you are a critic, not a simple person. Your goal is to watch carefully and even note down important aspects. Therefore, ensure having a notebook and pen. This strategy will help with an essay later on.

Research The Movie

Watching the film twice is a must but not the only thing to be considered when writing a review. Aside from that, you have to deep dive into the movie after watching it.

Research is another vital aspect of a successful review. It demonstrates that you took the assignment seriously and analyzed the bigger picture. When researching, you have to pay attention to the filmmaker, the main idea, the location, the characters, the plot, etc.

You will make your essay more comprehensive and engaging by providing the reader with such pieces of information. Moreover, make sure to inform the audience about the genre, the title and year of release, the main characters, the director, and other essential facts.

Outline The Work

Craft an outline that you will rely on when writing the first draft. This layout will help you make your final review logical and concise. The outline is a brief plan of the work, so make it condensed and accurate. Your outline may have a following look:

  1. Introduction
    1. Title
    2. Date of release
    3. Background Information
    4. Director
  2. Summary of the movie
  3. Examination of the plot
  4. Exclusive elements
  5. Peculiarities
    1. Characters
    2. Unique cinematic techniques
    3. Colors
    4. Dialogs
    5. Atmosphere
    6. Tone
    7. Symbols
    8. Creative visual elements
  6. Conclusion

You can modify this outline, adding or subtracting particular elements. Remember to follow the right formatting style required by your educational institution.

Mind The Correct Structure

As a rule, every essay should have the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Each of these parts has unique features and objectives. When writing the introduction, make sure to include:

  • The opening sentence: A hook strives to draw the reader’s curiosity about your paper. You can write it in different forms, making it more jocular or statistical.
  • Background information: Background information provides the audience with additional knowledge to understand what your paper will be about.
  • A thesis statement: A thesis statement is the most critical part of your paper, as it points out arguments that you will develop within the movie review.

In turn, the body paragraph should possess the next attributes:

  • The topic sentence: It draws parallels with the thesis statement and one single point. The topic sentence always starts the paragraph.
  • The main content: It takes the most significant part to describe the movie’s qualities, quirks, and other unique features. Also, it should have academic sources included.
  • A brief conclusion: Each body section must be concluded. Remember to provide a short encapsulation and add transitions to make the essay coherent.

Finally, the conclusion also has to have the following three necessary items:

  • The thesis rephrased: The conclusion must remind the readers about the thesis statement. When writing the thesis, make sure it is rephrased, not copied.
  • Key points: Wrap up the paper’s content by briefly stating key points. Don’t forget about the word count. Make it short.
  • A closing sentence: The last sentence usually has to evoke some actions. Ensure adding Call to Action phrases to make the readers discuss the topic afterward.

Write The First Draft

When you know the topic and have the outline, you can start writing the review. You are encouraged to write the first draft quickly without mulling over particular sections or sentences. The thing is, this draft is just your essay’s first version. You will edit and proofread it before submitting anyway. You can divide the writing process into three stages:

  1. Writing the introduction.
  2. Proceeding to the central part.
  3. Finishing the conclusion.

It is recommended you check every section after completing it.

Edit and Proofread

Once you have the written paper in front of you, you can analyze it as a whole. Don’t hesitate to read the paper several times to ensure it is smooth, and every part is glued together. If there is something that doesn’t fit the context, highlight it, and return to it later.

When you check the work, leave it behind, or give someone else to read it. Your friends or parents will be glad to assist you. Even though they may not be as proficient as you are, they can proofread the review and check grammar and punctuation. Once you are ready to go, submit the paper.

Short Tips To Hone Your Writing Skills

Check this list of small yet useful hacks to refine your movie review:

  1. Omit the first-person pronoun.
  2. Learn the movie by watching it more than once.
  3. Not down every bit of detail.
  4. Don’t be in a rush skipping fragments; better increase playback speed.
  5. Don’t be a spoiler.
  6. Spend some time researching the movie and its history of creation.
  7. Remember to use apps like Grammarly and Dictionaries to improve your writing.
  8. Make sure you cite academic sources.
  9. Don’t exceed the word count more than by 10 percent.
  10. Write an outline to organize your ideas.

Movie reviews help people understand whether the film is worthwhile. However, they are often hard to write, especially when you are a student and assigned such a task. Indeed, writing a movie review is by no means effortless. But you can wrestle with it by following the mentioned tips.