How To Write A Film Review
Firstly, you need to think of an imaginative title. For instance, if I was writing a review of the new Star Wars film, perhaps a good title could be, ‘Love and War amongst the Stars’. This title gives a very brief idea of the nature of the film and provides a starting point for the reader to focus on. The title might also give an indication of whether the rest of your review will be positive or negative (suggesting if you liked it or not).
The second stage (the opening paragraph) is to give a brief synopsis (summary) of the film. You can also state your early opinions here, but don’t give too much away too soon. Your aim is to make the audience want to finish the article.
After the synopsis, go into detail about what you thought of the film. Was it thought provoking? Did it have lasting images and ideas that particularly enthralled you? Did you think that it was a complete turkey? Whatever you view is, it is important to stress it in a comprehensible manner. Examine the film more closely, try to go into detail about the many ideas contained within the film.
Don’t forget, what you enjoyed and remembered from the images and ideas in the film are what could be the deciding factor in whether or not the reader actually goes to see the film themselves. If you really enjoyed it or really hated it, make it clear.
It is necessary to break the film down into its separate parts. By this, I mean that you should spend time stating which parts of the film worked for you. Was the setting and atmosphere successful? Did the plot flow all the way through the film or did it become disjointed and messy part of the way through? You must also look carefully into the characterisation. A close examination of the key roles in the feature will provide your audience with a better idea of how the film is going to be. Never simply say that you loved or hated a certain movie without giving your reasons. Always explain why you feel the way you do and back it up with descriptive examples.
Even though your article should show from the start what your opinions are, at the end of the piece you should give a conclusion that states strongly what you thought. Following these guidelines should provide you with enough information to start writing your own reviews. When you write a good review you should find it rewarding, especially if it is published!
Structure in a Nutshell!!
1. Title – catchy, can indicate if review will be positive or negative, you can play with words to make it funny or different
2. Paragraph 1 – Opening paragraph – can start to summarise film and give early suggestions about your general view of it (positive/negative)
3. Paragraph 2 – Start or continue summary of film, don’t give details about the ending or else no one will go and see the film!!
4. Paragraph 3 and 4 – positive things you thought about the film, what did you like? Why? Use descriptive words, think about the story, setting, effects used, music used 5. Paragraph 5 and 6 – negative things you thought about the film, what didn’t you like?
Why? Comment on the same type of things that you mentioned in paragraphs 3 and 4 6. Paragraph 7 and 8 – Characterization – talk about the characters, did you like them? Did
the actors play them well? What was it about their portrayal that you liked or didn’t like?
Other impressions of the characters, will certain audience members be able to relate to certain characters? How? Will certain audience members not like certain characters? Why not?
7. Paragraph 9 – Final comments – general comments that summarize your view of the film,
you may want to say something inspiring to get the reader to want to go out and see the film or you might say something that would want them not to go and see it! After the paragraph you would give it a star rating out of 5 to indicate your rating for it. Common words and phrases used in film reviews that you might want to use in your own reviews;
spectacular visual effects, excessive violence, breathtaking, evocative, mood, atmosphere, poorly, unsuccessful, detail, scenery, irresistible, perfect, moments, plot, this movie has been compared to ____ because, wonderful, hilarious, momentum, unexpected plot twists, unbelievable, phenomenal, hype, suspense, disappointing, confusion/confused, fake, imitation, genre, unoriginal, typical, thrilled, was a very moving portrayal, quality of the film, I was impressed by, credible, cliché, a mixture of, classic, captivating