How to Write a Movie Review

How to Write a Movie Review: One Template

Five Parts (Paragraphs) of a Movie Review

Opening: Catch the Reader’s Attention

Think about how advertisements sell movies: “trailers” show you a few seconds of the movie to get you interested.

When you begin your movie review, make your own “trailer”, a brief, descriptive narrative. If you liked the movie, then your trailer should make people want to see it; but if you didn’t like it, the trailer should be something that shows why you didn’t like it. Therefore, you should begin your review by retelling an incident or moment from the movie. Don’t explain why you liked it or didn’t like it; make the reader like or dislike the movie through your “preview”. END WITH A THESIS: for example, “The Joy Luck Club was a(n) average/poor/strong/unconvincing/uneven (choose any adjective) film due to its X, Y and Z”; or “Although The Joy Luck Club’s X (criterion) is convincing/powerful, etc.), The Y and Z were weak/laughable/boring…’ OR STATE THE REVERSE DEPENDING UPON THE THRUST OF YOUR THESIS: “Although The Joy Luck Club’s X (criterion) is weak/unconvincing.), The Y and Z were compelling/powerful…”

X, Y and Z (not necessarily in this order) should be acting, fidelity to the stories, and a criterion of your choice (plot, musical score, theme(s)…

Second Paragraph: Take Care of Business

Near the beginning of the review, you have to tell the reader all the obligatory facts–the title of the movie, the director, the studio, the main actors, the year it was made (if you watched it on video), the rating. Also, in one sentence or two, you should provide a very brief plot summary.

Third and Fourth Paragraph: Critique the Movie

In these paragraphs, you discuss the quality of the movie by following your thesis (and the order of the criteria) in paragraph #1. Your job here is to convince us why or why not to watch this movie by providing specifics from the film. In these paragraphs, go into detail about what interested you/disappointed you about the movie. USE YOUR FILM NOTES FOR REFERENCE and write more about one or two characters who were intriguing or annoying/weak/ineffective; or critique the acting, fidelity/infidelity to the spirit of the book or setting. You must give specific examples of scenes/character/actors. For example, you cannot criticize or compliment the acting without evaluating a particular scene. NO UNSUPPORTED GENERALIZATIONS.

Fifth Paragraph

Rate the movie on a scale of your own devising. Who might enjoy this movie? Thumbs up/down/stars, etc. You might also suggest how the movie could have been improved.