Donna C.
Donna C.

Learn How to Write a Movie Review in Quick Steps

8 min read

Published on: Dec 3, 2020

Last updated on: Dec 29, 2022

How to Write a Movie Review

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It is a lot of fun to watch movies. But, sometimes, we want to share our thoughts about the film with other people, and that's when writing movie reviews come in handy.

In this blog post, you will learn how to write a movie review in quick steps. Let's get started!

Writing a movie review is an exciting and creative endeavor for any aspiring critic. You'll learn how to write the perfect paper by following these detailed guidelines on structure, purposes, preparatory work, and stages of the writing process.

Whether you're looking at plot points or theme development, we have all the information necessary in this comprehensive guide.

What is a Movie Review?

A movie review is a creative exploration of the film's flaws and merits. It can be an engaging examination of all aspects, from cinematography to dialogue or even post-modernism in cinema.

As a rule, your word limit should be around 1000 words or less. However, you will spend time researching before writing this work. Therefore, it's best to start working on your essay in advance to avoid any last-minute mishaps with turning something in as an assignment for school.

A movie review is a type of creative journalism. It means that any movie seen at the cinema must be approached as an artwork, and you need to use both creative and analytical approaches when writing your film criticism.

The combination of these two things will allow you to make a good piece about any topic or text. For example, if there is something specific going on in your head right now and you are not sure where to start with writing.

Do not be afraid because we have all sorts of information on this site that can help people like yourself who need help getting their thoughts down on paper.

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What is the Purpose of a Movie Review?

The purpose of a movie review is to inform, analyze, convince and entertain readers, who are all important aspects for reviews to have an impactful message.

A professional movie reviewer's essential duty is to inform and entertain their target audience with thoughtful analysis that will make them want more.

One of the things that a reviewer should do is to inform readers about the content as well as the quality of films. Without this basic understanding, it would be impossible for them to decide whether or not they want to watch movies like these.

If you only write about technical elements without mentioning anything about genre or cast, your review will not provide enough information.

How to Start a Movie Review?

The pre-writing process for a movie review can often be extensive and requires time, but the length of this writing is usually limited to 1000 words.

  • To write a good review, you need the right movie. Sometimes your instructor will specify what sort of film you will have to review; other times, it is up to you.
  • So when deciding on one for yourself, if not given, try choosing an acclaimed and well-received work that has also been favored by critics and audiences alike.
  • The next step is to watch the film. Keep in mind that there are so many details you may not notice on your first viewing, and it might be necessary for a second or even third time before everything really clicks into place.
  • During your first viewing of a movie, you should immerse yourself in its atmosphere and get an overall impression without worrying about detail. It takes away from experiencing what's going on at that moment.
  • The second viewing requires more attention than inspiration. Make sure you take note of everything this time around by taking some notes with questions occurring during each scene. There may be significant differences between versions when compared side-by-side (if possible).
  • One aspect of the movie you should look at more closely is editing. Without good edits, there would just be continuous shots one after another with no flow between them.
  • This becomes boring very quickly unless they’re edited well enough for us to discern what we were looking at from shot to shot as time goes by.

If you have trouble coming up with a conclusion to your review, watch the movie at least one more time. You need a central claim that ties together all the thematic and technical aspects to evaluate their combination.

Take notes about the significant scenes, impressive details, and key moments for a deeper understanding of the overall movie.

How to Write a Movie Review?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write a movie review.

1. Write an Interesting Introduction

In the opening paragraph, provide some basic information about the film. Include the film’s name, year, director (writer), and major actors who starred in it. Your introduction should also begin to evaluate movies while alluding to their central concept or theme. You will explore later on, as well as offer a thesis-like claim for what this particular piece is trying to convey through both visuals and dialogue.

2. A Brief Plot Summary

There are four or five major events in this story, but you don't need to reveal the ending. Do not ruin the suspense for your readers by giving away spoilers. If you must mention an important turn, please warn them first so they can enjoy it too.

3. Describe an Overall Impression

The objective of the plot summary is not just about what happened but also why people felt certain ways or had specific reactions such as laughing aloud when something funny happens on-screen or feeling tense at times during an intense scene.

Otherwise, there would only ever be one reaction each time someone watched a film.

4. The Purpose of the Movie

Explain why the film was created. Certain films are good for their simplicity, and some people may find it hard to delve deeper into them to figure out what they're trying to imply or convey other than just being enjoyable.

5. Add Some Details About Filmmaking

Certain elements that you can focus on are as follows:

  • Cinematograph

Cinematography is the art of capturing all that goes into a film. Cameras are used in three different ways to capture footage and can be described as camera movement, angles taken by the cameras during filming (both high or low), and their distance from subjects.

  • Sound

The sound in a movie is just as important, if not more so than the visuals. Sound can affect how viewers feel and also alter their understanding of what's happening on screen. Film score composers are often overlooked but have an enormously powerful effect on movies.

Every single noise that we hear has been carefully designed to transform our experience into something new.

  • Editing

Editing is a key component of filmmaking that creates the flow between all parts. The editor compiles footage and organizes it into an easy-to-follow storyline while also creating space for the viewer through various techniques like graphic similarities. They are essential in composing reality within movies by using methods such as establishing shots and graphics.

6. Provide Examples

A review is only trustworthy when it's backed up with specific examples. It doesn't help to say things like "the sound is bad" or "the acting is great,” so be more forthcoming by talking about what specifically makes an actor fit a role, e.g., appearance, mannerisms in speaking, and facial expressions...

7. Write a Strong Conclusion

The conclusion is the most important part of your review because it's what will leave an impression on readers. Remind them about those film elements that impressed you and share some personal recommendations for who might like this movie more (action fans).

Plus, if there are any details they may have missed or other information in general.

8. Edit and Proofread Your Movie Review

When you're reading your paper, do not miss any mistakes that can spoil an otherwise excellent review. It is a good idea to read it two or three times to get rid of all the errors and typos for it to be perfect.

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What are the Elements of a Good Movie Review?

Here are the key elements that you should add to your movie review.

  • Title

The name of the documentary or movie may be in your headline, but don't take that as an excuse to skip it. Make sure you mention its title at least once throughout your review so readers know what they're reading about and can make informed decisions on their own.

  • Summary

The main point of your review is to provide a summary for those people who haven't yet watched the movie. Know that as a reviewer, you need to discuss what exactly happened in the movie and state whether or not the moviemaker succeeded at his job.

  • Details About Filmmaker

Conduct research on who directed the movie. Find out if they are controversial figures or have some interesting background that should be discussed when talking about them, so it becomes more engaging.

  • Actors

Don’t forget to evaluate the artists and their acting. Did the actors and actresses were able to portray their characters well?

Movie Review Example

If you're assigned a task to write an essay about your favorite movie, don't feel overwhelmed. Here is a professional review example that can help you guide the way:

Mistakes to Avoid for a Great Movie Review

Here are some mistakes that you need to avoid for writing a great movie review.

  • The idea of a movie review is not to put the film on paper - nobody likes spoilers. So, share only the general plot and clever dialogue so people can see if it's worth visiting to get their personal opinion about what they liked or disliked most.
  • Telling someone your opinion without giving any explanation for why you feel that way isn't a reliable source of information, even if it is which movie to watch.
  • Don't make your readers search for another review to find out what they need. Give them the background information in a summary that is engaging and creative.

Reading reviews can help you understand the key elements and the required format for writing your review on a movie.

A movie review is all about the symmetry of personal opinion and unbiased reports. If you're still finding it difficult to write, there's nothing to worry about. can help with essay writing services for any need, including an expert essay writer that offers exceptional service at a very affordable rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a movie review format?

The movie review format includes the following elements.

  • Introduction
  • Summary
  • Analysis of plot elements
  • Analysis of creative elements
  • Opinion with examples and facts
  • Conclusion

Is a movie review a summary?

A movie review is a summary and analysis of the work. Here you introduce the material by giving some background information, then summarize what happened in detail while providing your opinion on it.

Can I copy a movie review available online?

One of the best ways to get better at writing film reviews is by looking up example reviews available online. But it's important not to copy them directly, as your curator will know that you plagiarized if you do so.

Donna C.


Donna C. (Literature, Marketing)

Donna has garnered the best reviews and ratings for her work. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics but is particularly interested in social issues, current events, and human interest stories. She is a sought-after voice in the industry, known for her engaging, professional writing style.

Donna has garnered the best reviews and ratings for her work. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics but is particularly interested in social issues, current events, and human interest stories. She is a sought-after voice in the industry, known for her engaging, professional writing style.

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