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How to Write Movie Review

When writing a film review, it is important to provide just enough plot details to entice the reader and provide them with a fair and accurate assessment of the film. However, it is important that the entire plot – particularly surprise twists in the storytelling – not be given away. As with any piece of writing, a thesis statement should be used to guide the review itself, with all the author’s primary points leading back to this thesis. It is essential that one’s overall opinion be clearly stated within this thesis statement. Comparisons can be made between the movie being reviewed and other films, but it is important to not allow this comparison to color one’s assessment too unfairly.

Your review should include the following:

  1. An Impartial opinion - make up your own mind over an issue related to Africa that you liked;
  2. Bear in mind your audience - peers, professionals etc...
  3. Characters, events and structure
  4. Lessons and themes

The review would typically entail the following steps:

  1. Start with the introduction
    Create a good lead. You want your reader to be interested in what you have to say. Grab the readers attention in the first or lead paragraph. This can be done in one of several ways: e.g. start with a quote from the movie, and explain how it reflects the movie. Explain what your expectation of the movie was and then if it was fulfilled or not.
  2. Back up your major opinion with specifics
    The readers now know what you think. What aspects were familiar to you prior to watching the movie, if not, what did you learn from the movie? Be specific.
  3. Be interesting
    Just because this is a movie review doesnt mean the review has to be dull. From lead to ending paragraph, make the review as engaging as possible, using metaphors, analogy, specific adjectives and adverbs to create the images youre looking for.
  4. Retell the big moment
    Write more about one moment that is really intriguing. Or retell another big moment from the movie and explain why it is important. If you think the "idea" behind a movie was really interesting, explain that idea and talk about it a little bit more. In this paragraph, you must go into depth about the movie Two months from today, what will you remember about the movie?
  5. Evaluate the Movie Do you recommend it or not?
    The most important thing here is that you must also explain why you are making your recommendation.
    You must justify your opinion--and that opinion should grow out of what you write in the rest of the review. Give at least three reasons why you liked or didn't like the movie.
  6. The last step
    The final step of the movie review writing is editing and proofreading. Every student knows that the grade depends on the accuracy, proper writing and formatting; coherent movie critique structure, good grammar and punctuation. This aspect is very important.

As one moves through the review, there are several paths one can follow. One can move chronologically through the film, remembering not to reveal the entire plot in the review. Strengths and weaknesses of the film as a whole can be discussed as they appear in the finished piece. A second approach is based within the thesis itself. The evidence that one relied on when creating one’s position can be discussed in order of importance. If one specific element of the film detracted from its overall value, this can be discussed first – even if it didn’t appear until later in the movie. This allows the reader to understand the greatest strengths or weaknesses of the film in the perspective of the reviewer. It is important that concrete examples from the film be given to support one’s opinions, moving beyond just a summary. By bringing the review full-circle at the end, connecting back to the overall theme of the review or the message of the film itself, the reviewer is able to present the reader with a clear, concise analysis that enables them to make a decision whether or not to see the film.

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