How to write a movie critique: A step-by-step guide
A movie critique is a paper, in which a person who has seen the movie shares his/her informed opinion about it. A successful movie critique is comparable to a successful movie in that it is a combination of skills, experience, and art. If a person knows how to write a movie critique, he/she can encourage others to watch a good movie or prevent them from wasting their time on something not worth their attention.
When writing a movie critique essay, a student has to share the information about the plot of the movie and evaluate the quality of production. In addition, the writer has to support their claims with strong evidence. On the one hand, this essay is an opportunity to share one’s impression with others, but on the other hand, such an essay requires good analytical skills and ability to express one’s thoughts in a clear and convincing manner.
Basic steps you should take when writing a film critique essay
Watch the movie
Some students assume that they can write an essay just after reading a summary on Wikipedia. Well, if you wish to produce a meaningful critique that deserves a good grade, be prepared to invest a lot of time in the writing process. First of all watch the movie and watch it attentively. Take notes as you watch because you will need evidence when you begin writing the critique.
Try to remain impartial in your judgment
It is true that the primary purpose of a movie review is to share your opinion about the movie; yet, if you do not know how to write a critique for a movie, you are in the risk of making a common mistake – expressing your opinion without supporting it. Now, that is why you need evidence. Avoid emotional phrases like ‘the actors were simply amazing!’ Instead, strive to provide an impartial opinion and back it up with detailed evidence from the film. Including evidence means that you give your readers a chance to disagree with your point of view and form their own instead of blindly following your recommendations.
Know your audience
Identifying your audience is the next important step of movie critique writing. A movie reviewer should know their audience and adapt their writing style to it. Obviously, a review that will be read by teens will differ from that for senior people. Knowing your audience means that you can use the expressive means, such as tone, vocabulary, literary devices, etc. more effectively and include content that will be more suitable for your readers.
See also: "Writing Service Movie Review"
Get to the point
Long-winded movie reviews are tiresome and boring to read, so avoid unnecessary descriptions and reflections. Ideally, a movie critique essay should be between three to five pages long, so keep this requirement in mind as you write film critique. Start by including a brief plot summary but do not describe each scene in detail. At the same time, be careful not to include spoilers if you do not want your readers to hate your essay. True masters of reviews describe the most interesting scenes and twists without revealing the crucial details so that their readers remain excited by the film and want to know what happens in it. If you liked the movie, share the excitement but keep the details to yourself.
Mention the actors and their performances
Keep in mind that many people watch some movies just because they want to see their favorite actors, so mention acting in your essay. Include the names of the leading act and evaluate their performance. For example, you can name a character and include the actor’s name in parenthesis. The evaluation should be focused on the aptness of the choice in regards to the plot. In some cases, movie reviewers refer to other roles of the actor(s). If you think that someone’s play was crucial to the success of the film, mention the actor by name. Yet, when describing the film and the plot, use the character’s name.
Analyze the storyline and film structure
Instead of simply consuming the movie, try to analyze the behavior of the characters and trace the changes that occur. This technique will help you note the different layers of meaning and interpret the work more deeply. Say whether the storyline was focused and whether the choice of the storyline was successful given the purpose of the movie and the context. Note that storyline is another component of a movie that encourages viewers to watch it, so discuss it in detail.
Share your opinion about the key film aspects (direction, music, and screenplay)
Such movie essentials as music, screenplay, and direction have to be discussed, as well. Readers are eager to know about successful (and not really) cinematographic techniques. Mention score music, and lights. Explain how they contributed to the movie and whether they helped the filmmakers convey their intended message more effectively. In this part of the essay, movie reviewer has to share his/her personal opinion.
After you read a bunch of articles on how to write a movie critique it might still be challenging for you to create a powerful and convincing paper. If you experience a writer’s block and do not know where to start, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this a film adaptation of a book, true story, or an original story? If this is an adaptation, how effectively does it convey the original idea?
- Was the cast choice successful?
- What is the central theme of the movie?
- Were the locations suitable for the story?
- Does the music help set the appropriate mood?
- Was the cinematography successful?
- Which character is the most impressive?
- Did the filmmakers use any notable technology?
This list is not exhaustive and might contain other questions that will help you analyze the movie more deeply. At the same time, including answers to some of these questions in your critique will contribute to the quality of the paper and make it more valuable to the readers.
Another important component of your critique is language. Remember that you should use present tense. When the paper is ready, proofread it and revise the passages that you do not like. Re-read the paper several times to make sure there are no grammar mistakes.
Movie critique writing example to read for free
The stages of movie critique writing
The task to write a movie review might seem somewhat challenging at first but do not jump into conclusions. It is true that even the brightest students will face some difficulties when working in their papers but the right writing techniques will make the process much easier. Follow the simple steps described below and you will see that doing a review can be as pleasing as actually watching movies. If you want to make sure your paper is not only informative but is also easy to read, adhere to the requirements to the structure and follow the basic academic writing guidelines. And of course, remember that you can always ask professional writers for help.
The first step is watching the movie you are planning to review. Watching a movie in order to review it differs from watching a movie as your pastime. First of all, because you have to take notes. You might assume that you will remember all the meaningful moments but you will not, so notes will save your time later. Second, analyze the movie as you watch it and ask questions that were outlined earlier in this article.
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