How to Write a Movie Review for College or Publishing House

How to Write a Movie Review for College or Publishing House
Table of Contents
  1. How to Write a Movie Review for College or Publishing House
  2. How to Write a Film Review: 8 Important Steps to Succeed
  3. 1. Watch the movie at least once and make notes
  4. 2. Gather the main facts about the movie (do the research)
  5. 3. Express your opinions & provide support to your criticism
  6. 4. Mind your audience
  7. 5. Avoid spoilers
  8. 6. Rate the actors and the story
  9. 7. Rate the actors, the story, and technical details
  10. 8. Proofread and edit
  11. 7 Common Mistakes to Avoid
  12. How to Write a Movie Review for College or Professional Purposes?
  13. Example of Formal & Informal Discussions
  14. Conclusion
“The most expected movie release of 2009 is «Avatar» by James Cameron, the producer and director of «Terminator» and «Titanic». The picture managed to achieve the same level of production as the movies listed above and has introduced much innovations to the science-fiction genre.”

It sounds like a good introduction, doesn't it? A perfect introduction and successful topic choice is half the battle a student should "win" to learn how to write a movie review. So, want to know how to write a film review to obtain the highest teacher’s/editor’s appreciation? So, want to know how to write an essay? The article was designed to help both college students and journalists to create the top-quality papers on the art of cinema and cinematography.

Once you finish reading, think whether you demand an extra help with your homework. If you do, please, feel free to turn to an expert academic writing company - a smart and quick solution to your college writing assignments, including the question - “how to write a film review?”

How to Write a Film Review: 8 Important Steps to Succeed

These tips shared by experts help students and journalist around the world:

1. Watch the movie at least once and make notes 

We suggest watching the movie at least once but it would be great if you can watch it for 2 times. Take notes during the process. The notes must contain a description of the characters and the most interesting moments from the movie.

2. Gather the main facts about the movie (do the research) 

Gather more valuable information with the help of research. The additional information includes the details on film genre, title, year, director/producer, the name of the lead actors, theme, settings, plot development, character analysis, etc. 

3. Express your opinions & provide support to your criticism 

Provide your own opinion about the movie. Make sure you have backed up your critics with support. Use details from the movie that surprised/embarrassed you the most. Base your review on real facts but not just write your thoughts without evidence. 

4. Mind your audience 

Define your readers to understand which elements of the movie they will want to be highlighted in your review. Make sure your style of writing fits your audience's age category. For example, in traditional publications, you should sound more fair and calm, but if your main audience is fangirls and fanboys, you can take the gloves off!

5. Avoid spoilers 

Of course, you can tell the plot to your readers but do not write spoilers! It's unprofessionally to do because people wouldn't feel like they would want to watch the movie. Good advice here is to keep your audience interested but not to cross the line with spoilers. Remember that after reading your exciting review, people will be interested in watching the movie.

6. Rate the actors and the story 

Write if the actors meet the expectations of the plot and the whole story? If their play was really exciting and they showed real characters? If not, is it because they played badly or maybe something is wrong with a script? Or maybe it's a director's mistake? Answer these questions to rate the movie actors and define if the plot is really interesting to watch the whole movie.

7. Rate the actors, the story, and technical details 

Evaluate the technical details of the movie, including lighting, editing, sound, and other things. Do they help to make the movie more interesting? Analyze if the music fits the movie. Are there some scenes that seem not professional? Remember you shouldn't be a professional movie critic who is familiar with jargon to write your thoughts about these simple but important elements.  

8. Proofread and edit 

When you have finished writing, don't forget to edit your document. Make sure you have written the actors' and director's names correctly. Check out if your work has any grammar mistakes and correct them accurately. Use this checklist to make sure your review looks perfectly:

  • It contains no spoilers
  • It is written in a proper format
  • It's original
  • It contains no mistakes and misspells
  • It fits the given requirements

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Take a look at the most common mistakes people make when they do not understand how to write movie reviews and do the opposite to each step to succeed!

It is important to memorize these common pitfalls if you have a strong desire to review a film the way it will be worth of the readers' attention!

  • Forgetting to focus on the movie. It does not make sense to describe the history of art, specific genre’s features, snacks, and things, which do not relate to the plot directly.
  • Stressing the “I.” Avoid using the 1st person in every paragraph/every sentence – the review will sound more objective and persuasive if the student switches to the 3rd person. Reflect personal impressions from the movie with the limited 1st person voice. Support every personal argument with the credible evidence found in the official sources shared by the famous authors.
  • Ignoring formatting rules. Academic assignment results in F without being formatted according to the accepted academic writing standards. Insert in-text direct/indirect quotes; cite them in the required referencing style and prepare a Bibliography list on the last page.
  • Failing to check the facts. If the student does not have enough time or patience to find corresponding evidence, the facts on the movie’s background (release date, producer, cast) will be false. Keep silent if you are not confident.
  • Sharing the thoughts the author cannot support with the meaningful reasons/retrieved facts/statistics/evidence.
  • Including the irrelevancies.
  • Preventing the review from being A+ due to the absence of a logical structure (developing an essay’s outline may help to avoid this problem).

How to Write a Movie Review for College or Professional Purposes?

How to write a movie review to make the target reading audience trust the author’s view on the recently released piece of art? The assignment develops many essential skills. Students have an opportunity to:

  • Enrich vocabulary
  • Improve critical thinking & analysis
  • Develop attention to details
  • Obtain necessary research skills
  • Increase their knowledge of cinema
  • Understand how to write a film review for college to use this knowledge further in their lives

The process of working on a movie review seems easy in contrast to developing a research paper or coursework. Some challenges still exist. One of them is the need to re-watch the film minimum two times to capture the significant details the student has not noticed before. The author should support the arguments with the credible evidence. It means there is no way to avoid the research procedure like the students do when preparing a reflection essay.

We will list the tips & tricks every professional journalist or student must keep in mind during the process of observing certain movie or group of videos.

Example of Formal & Informal Discussions

It is impossible to explain how to write a film review without providing several recommendations and tips shared by the expert journalists.

People watch a movie at home, in the theatre, and other places with Internet access. The process of discussing a film with friends or family members is exciting because it does not require special formatting, voice, and perfect grammar. What if you should summarize a film for your English class? If you want to understand how to write a movie review as part of the college homework assignment, it is important to realize the difference between oral & informal and writing & formal communication. Have a look at the examples:

A formal reply to the question on “Avatar” would look this way: “The special effects and 3D technologies intensify the impression of Cameron’s spectacular space world compared to Earth, a gloomy, surly planet. The plot of the film is fast-moving. It has several funny episodes.”

In your conversation with friends/family members, the reply to the prompt might sound like, “The movie was awesome, and I enjoyed the world of aliens more than ours.”

How to write a film review using official language? Try to keep in mind some principles of creating a great response to the movie.


How to write a critical film review? The last thing to add is the author should be aware of the argumentative paper principles if he/she wants to persuade the reader. The information in this article may be insufficient. If you lack time or skills, try another option. Contact experienced online authors & editors to get fast, qualified help with any homework assignment in the world!