Movie Review Writing Tips: Top Ideas to Make the Work Star


Movie Reviews 

Movies have become a part of our culture and we love to watch them and talk about them. If you need to write a movie review essay, it may seem difficult at first to produce something that’s high quality. We will take a look at all the aspects related to review writing and provide you with some tips on how to write a successful review essay borrowed from expert guidelines provided by a team of professional academic writers from SmartWritingService which is committed to help students online.

Movie reviews

The first question we will answer is what a movie review actually is. It is a well-balanced opinion about a movie and it includes a critical perspective of the content of the film. A movie review essay needs to inform, persuade and entertain the reader without giving away too much of the story.

Source materials

  1. Begin by collecting some basic facts ie. the title, the characters, the genre, the name of the main actors, etc.
  2. When watching the movie, take notes related to anything that stands out.
  3. After watching it, ask yourself how you feel about the writing, cinematography, acting and soundtracks, etc.

How to create a movie review 

Below we will provide you with some tips on how to create a gripping thesis and write a film review. 

  1. The draft. You need to begin by pointing out an interesting opinion or fact related to the movie. This will help to get your reader’s attention.  Your opening sentence needs to give your reader an idea of what the movie is like and want to keep them reading. For example, provide your reader with some background information or context related to it. Alternatively, review the movie or compare it to a relevant event.
  2. Provide a clear opinion. You don’t want to leave your reader questioning whether you enjoyed the movie or not. You need to make sure that you make this clear early on. This way you can spend the remainder of your essay highlighting the rating you have given the movie. You could use a scoring system such as thumbs up/ thumbs down, star rating or a grade out of 10. Next, you will need to justify why you have given it the rating that you have.
  3. Construct your essay. Note any opinions that you have made about the movie. However, remember that there is no point giving an opinion if you can’t back it up. 
  4. Look deeper than just the plot. The plot is just one aspect of a movie and should not be the crux of your essay. Some films don’t have particularly good plots, but this does not make it poor. The other aspects that you can talk about are the acting, the tone, the cinematography, music and sound.
  5. The ending. Your review essay needs to come full circle at the end. Usually, you need to link back to your opening opinion or fact. 

5  steps to creating a movie review essay


  1. Thesis. You now need to create your own thesis related to your analysis. Consider what perceptions you can provide. Use these to create your thesis, so the main idea which needs to be discussed and then supported by your observations of the movie. You could consider the following questions to help you create a thesis: What message is the film trying to send out? Is it trying to create any particular response from the viewer? Does it achieve this? Can you relate to the film on a personal level? Consider adding your personal thoughts and feelings to your review paper. Does the film relate to any current issues? Are there any ways in which the film relates to the real world?
  2. Summary of the plot. You need to provide a summary of the plot so that your reader knows what the movie is about.  Provide a quick outline of the plot and this needs to include the setting, the main characters as well as the central theme of it. What is important is that you don’t give too much of the plot away as you don’t want to ruin the movie. 
  3. Analysis. In the next section of your essay, you need to discuss any interesting aspects of the movie such as the setting and the cinematography, etc. It’s important to keep your writing easy to read and understand and avoid using too much technical jargon. As well as your opinion, you also need to present any facts.
  4. Supporting your opinion. If you make any comments about the film you need to be able to back them up. One way you can do this is by using quotes.
  5. Conclusion. Your conclusion needs to link back to your original thesis and discuss whether your readers should watch this movie. Make sure that your conclusion is interesting and captivating.

Useful sources 

Below are some sources that you can use to help you craft your review.

  • Name: Writing about movies
  • Author: Karen Goscsik
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Fifth edition
  • Year: 2018

A perfect resource for any film student as this book not only helps you with academic writing but also provides you with a guide to film analysis, film theory and film form.

  • Name: Looking at Movies
  • Author: Dave Monahan
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Sixth edition
  • Year: 2019

A great text to help to stir up your passion for movies and get you excited to learn about film and analysis.

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