How to Write a Movie Review


How to Write a Movie Review

Are you wondering how to write a good movie review? What are the steps to use, how to structure it, and what mistakes to avoid? This is your lucky day. This guide will touch on these questions and much more.

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What Is a Movie Review?

A movie review is a detailed description of a movie that mentions the movie’s summary, the author’s general opinion of the film, and an analysis of the movie’s thematic content. It is also known as a film review; other experts also refer to it as a movie or film analysis.

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The key skills you need to write a good movie review are as follows. If you haven’t honed these skills, then you need to do it.

  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Research skills
  • Story-telling skills

The main reason why students write movie reviews is that their teachers have instructed them. Professional individuals write movie reviews for blogs, radio broadcasts, entertainment podcasts, news publications, streaming platforms, and television. Movie reviews greatly assist filmgoers and movie lovers in making decisions. These individuals go through a movie review to decide if they will watch a movie or not.

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What Are the Steps for Writing a Movie Review Essay?

Do you want to know the secret of how to write a movie review essay? Just follow the steps highlighted below. Before you initiate these steps, grab a notebook and a pen, as you will need to scribble something in each step.

1. Watch The Movie

How you watch a movie for reviewing differs from how you normally do it. For reviewing purposes, you need to be conscious and absorbed throughout the entire movie-watching process. Some key items to note when watching the movie for the first time are:

  • The central story
  • Major themes and patterns
  • Major characters
  • Setting

2. Research The Movie

Research the movie to supplement what you have watched. You should research details that are not provided or are hard to discover, such as:

  • The director or filmmaker
  • The reason that facilitated the creation of the movie
  • Cultural contexts, such as history and location

Knowing the key details, like the ones listed here, will assist you in better understanding the movie.

3. Identify The Key Elements

Note down the key elements you have noted while watching the movie. Some common elements in all movies are indicated below. Check out guides and study materials issued by your instructor, as they may have some more elements.

The elements are:

  • Content
  • Cinematography
  • Sound
  • Lighting
  • Props and costumes
  • Editing

These elements are discussed in-depth in this guide below, in their own section.

4. Rewatch The Movie

You need to rewatch the movie and write some details about the movie’s elements while watching.

5. Create A Movie Review Outline

Before you start writing the movie review, make an outline. An outline is essential when writing any essay, including a review. It makes the writing process easy: you will know the direction of the movie review, and you will not forget vital information.

So, what should a movie review outline consist of? Just like an ordinary essay, it should have an introduction, body, and conclusion.

The body structure ought to have the following sections.

  • Plot summary
  • Your overall opinion of the film
  • Analysis of the elements

These three sections, plus the introduction and conclusion, have been discussed in detail in a subheading below: “How Should You Structure a Movie Review?”. Go through this subheading to learn more details about these sections.

Overall, your outline will have these five sections. Write them down in your own words and fill them with the notes you have collected.

6. Draft The Movie Review

Now it’s time to write the review. You will use the outline, the notes you have created, and the resources you researched. Make it captivating and easy to read for the general public. As always, the introduction should start with a hook.

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7. Input Citations

After drafting the review, insert the citations. It includes both in-text citations and a list of references. Many ways exist for formatting your citations and the essay in general. Ensure you go through the instruction prompt to comprehend what the instructor requires.

8. Proofread Your Draft

Scrutinize your draft for any errors. The typical ones include grammatical, punctuation, and clarity.

How Should You Structure a Movie Review?

Although many ways to structure a film review exist, most experts recommend using the structure below. If your instructor does not explain how you should structure the movie review, then use this structure of ours.

Our structure has five broad parts, which are:


Start with an attention-grabbing hook and then give some basic details about the movie. Some crucial details are:

  • Movie’s title
  • Director and screenwriter
  • Year of production
  • Major actors

Your introduction can have more than one paragraph, and a main claim or thesis is not necessary. You can simply end the introduction by stating it is a movie review.

Plot Summary

A whopping number of the readers have not watched the movie at the time they are reading the movie review. It is thus good to offer them a plot summary. Ensure the summary is brief and keep away from spoilers.

Author’s Opinion

Provide a generalized cinematic experience you got after watching the film. It can be a comment about how the movie feels, looks, sounds, etc.

Elements Analysis

This section explains how the movie uses thematic content and formal techniques. In short, you will analyze all the critical elements of the movie. More about these elements is discussed below in its own segment.

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Here, you restate the main ideas and impressions of the movie. You can directly or indirectly mention whether or not you vouch for the film.

What Elements Should You Discuss in A Movie?

A film consists of many elements, but there are those that you should not miss when reviewing. Below is a list of the key elements to analyze.


Some people may argue that the content is not an element, but just go ahead and analyze it if it is significant to the movie. Although you briefly mentioned the setting and characters in the introduction, you may give more details about them in the “Elements Analysis” section. You may explain more about the essential characters and dramatic or intriguing events.


Cinematography involves all aspects of a camera’s function and movement; for instance, the kinds of shots, camera viewpoints, and distances of the subject from the camera.

Props and Costumes

When discussing this element, state how the props and costumes connect with the settings and characters.


Under this element, you just need to state the general music. Does the movie have its own soundtrack? Is there ambient music? or what are the common sounds? Even silence is a sound and is primarily used in important instances.


Movies utilize several lighting techniques within and between their scenes. The most common are:

  • Key light
  • Backlight light
  • Fill light


Movies usually undergo thorough editing to accomplish a certain scene. So, you can describe how the scenes transition, the shot durations, and other crucial edits needed to have a specific flow.

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6 Essential Tips for Writing a Movie Review

Adhere to the following tips to write a movie review essay that stands out.

1. Read Other Movie Reviews

You need to look at what other people have done to become a master in movie review writing. You can read all the reviews, but not the one that touches on the movie you are writing about. Why? The review might influence your writing and perspective.

2. Concentrate On the Film

Each section of your film review must connect to the movie. Thus, you should avoid irrelevant or unnecessary details like the history of the specific genre or cinematography.

3. Avoid Spoilers

Most readers of movie reviews have yet to watch the movie and are mainly reading a review to decide whether to watch it. So, do not give them spoilers, as it will destroy the experience of viewing the film. Use vague language if you have to explain a crucial plot turn or twist.

4. Avoid First Person Perspective

The reader knows that you are the one that has written the review. Therefore, there is no need to use a first-person perspective consistently. So, stay away from comments such as I realized this, I was intrigued by, and I shunned this.

5. Defend Your Claims

One key feature of movie reviews is that you will make many claims. The trick to scoring well in each review is ensuring that sufficient evidence defends each claim. It can be a fact, a quote, a statistic, or a rational explanation.

6. Follow All the Guidelines

Make sure to follow all the guidelines, including the formatting rules.

What Is the Purpose of Writing a Movie Review?

The reasons for writing a movie review in school or the professional arena differ a lot. In professional fields, you do it to inform and guide the public, mainly movie lovers. However, as a student, you write a movie review essay mainly because of the following two reasons. Keep in mind that you can also get article review writing services from us. 

  • Meet the school qualifications: Some courses or schools demand students to do a movie review, among other tens of assessments, in order to earn the degree. This can be one of the reasons your instructor may assign you a movie review essay.
  • Enhance your abilities: The other reason for being assigned a movie review essay is to improve your writing skills. After writing several movie reviews, your writing and analyzing skills will move a notch higher.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Should I Format My Movie Review Essay?

It depends on the instructions provided by your teacher. If there are no formatting instructions, ensure your movie review contains the sections below.

  • Introduction
  • Plot summary
  • Your opinion of the film
  • Analysis of the elements
  • Conclusion

2. What Should I Avoid When Writing a Movie Review?

Avoid the following if you want to write a good movie review:

  • Avoid spoilers
  • Avoid deviating from the movie
  • Avoid using a first-person perspective
  • Avoid unsupported claims

3. Who Can Help Me with My Movie Review Essay?

We can assist you. We offer wide-ranging academic help throughout the clock, with one of our focuses being a movie review writing service. Reach out to us to get this help.

4. What Do I Need to Review in A Film?

There are many elements that you can review. Look at the instruction prompt and class notes to know which elements your instructor would like you to analyze. Some typical ones that students analyze are the content (plot, setting, and characters), lighting, cinematography, sound, editing, and costumes.

Take Away

Are you seeking expert tips and tricks for how to write a good movie review essay? This guide will thus be resourceful. It has focused on what a movie review is, the quick steps to write one, the structure of movie reviews, key elements to analyze in the film, and the tips to utilize to outdo yourself. We understand that you, students, face a plethora of difficulties that may block you from writing a good movie review. Due to this, and our commitment to your success, we wish to tell you that you can get movie review writing help from us. Place an order with us to have a stress-free school life.

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author Melaine

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Melanie is a seasoned writer with more than 8 years of experience. She is passionate about academia and works off the clock to ensure she write the topnotch content for her readers.

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