A film review is a type of review that provides a short description of a film and includes the reviewer’s opinion about it. A film review can be formal or informal. When talking about an academic writing assignment, a scholarly film review should definitely use formal language.
Steps for Writing a Film Review
- Select a film to review, if one was not assigned to you by your instructor. Usually, students are given either a specific film to review or a list of films to choose from. Take note that your film of choice has to meet certain criteria your instructor has set (usually a subject you discussed in class).
- Watch the film at least twice. It might seem like a boring and unnecessary requirement, but this rule has been proven by many. It is practically impossible to write a solid film review having seen the film only once.
- Read about the story behind the film (whether it is based on real-life events, on a well-known novel, or on the personal experience of the director, etc.). Include any interesting and peculiar facts about the production process, the basis for the story, the cast and the crew, the budget and the shooting location.
- While the film is being seen for the second time, make notes of critical scenes or distinctive performances of the characters in the film, which you can later analyze in detail.
- Write an introduction where you include all the basic information so that the film can be easily identified and there is no confusion. Note the name, the director, main cast, and the characters in the story, along with with the year (and possible date) of the premiere.
- Write the main body. Analyze the story, on the whole, the performance of the actors, and vision of the director. Discuss what you would possibly have approached differently. Include examples from the scenes you noted earlier.
- Make a conclusion. State what the general perception of the film was by the audience and the critics. Then express your personal opinion and either recommend the film (in this case, specify what audience will most likely enjoy it) or not recommend it. Include the rationale for your opinion.