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Elements of A Good Movie Review

Film Review definition

Elements of a good movie review. A movie review is an expression of your personal views towards a particular film, documentary or movie.

Always apply the elements of film review structure. In essence you are writing about movies.

A review gives you an opportunity to express opinions about the movie including its characters, plot, and background.

Ideally, the characteristics of a good movie review are meant to help your audience.

They gain a brief idea about the film and help them determine whether they should watch the movie or not. This is true if you are writing a simple movie review for students or a movie critique example.

The film review essay should be detailed enough following the 5 parts of a movie review.

How to write a movie review Assignment

Writing a movie review for college students involves an analysis of the film and reporting on these happenings logically and interestingly.

Adhere to the given film analysis essay structure. You can also be given good movies to analyze.

At school, these reviews are primarily used by lecturers to gauge a student’s critical thinking skills. By learning the components of a review you can easily how to be a movie reviewer.

Elements of a Good Movie review format for students

These can also refer to as the characteristics of a movie review or and include a synopsis, a description of the film background, and arguments praising or critiquing the filming. They help in generating a film review structure.

It also involves an in-depth evaluation of the different parts of the movie such as its entertainment value and relevance to society.

These elements of a film analysis are applied using the correct film review format and structure.

 what makes a good movie review?

Synopsis of a movie

Also known as a condensed plot synopsis, this is a brief description of the movie.

It is one of the most important parts of a good movie review.

You, however, have to be creative when developing the film analysis essay structure.

For example, if you are writing a film review of the Titanic, avoid describing the ending.

Movie’s background information

Background information relates to the film’s characters and production crew.

Include information about the motivation and ideas informing the plot of the movie and relating to the shooting.

The background should particularly contain the source material for the film.

For instance, if it was from a book, consider giving a brief description of the book or its authors.

You should also introduce your audience to the genre to which the movie belongs.

In the recent past, professional reviewers have made it a habit of incorporating comments and insightful reviews from fellow film review professionals.

Consider using these comments and views from industry insiders to reinforce your opinion of the movie.

Abbreviated arguments of the movie

It gives you a chance to expressly commend and critique the cinematography.

Air your views on what works or doesn’t work with any part of the film.

Consider backing up your commendations and critiques with reasons.

For instance, if you think the lead actor was impressive back this argument up with reasons.

You can also drag the production crew mentioned in the background information section and explain their role in making the movie a hit or miss.

If the sound, costumes or movie graphics are superior or dreadful, take time to credit this success or mishap to the responsible parties.

Evaluation of a movie 

Evaluating a movie can be seen as a reinforcement of your argument.

It also goes on to critique and gauges the film’s social relevance.

How to write a movie critique example

The fact that you like a movie or documentary and rate it highly doesn’t mean that you can’t critique it.

This is so where you feel the actors or the production team could have done better.

By critiquing a movie, you are only pointing out areas that you think something could be done to improve.

You are also at liberty to call out any of the parties involved in the writing, production and even the marketing of the movie and critique their actions.

For instance, call out on writers and critique their laxity towards the development of the particular movie in relation to their previous productions.

Similarly, the directors and actors for lack of energy or thrill in a movie while comparing it to amazing movies they might have released in the same genre.

Caveat: Your critic or commendation points must be backed up by appropriate examples from the movie.

It is not enough to say that a comic film isn’t funny.

You have to compare it to similar movies in falling in the same genre.

Besides, it is important to compare with previous movies either by the same cast of the production crew.

This adds credibility to your arguments.


Movies, documentaries, and films have a key message to its viewers and the world at large.

Try as much as possible to decipher and capture this message early on in your review as this helps inform the tone of your critique.

For instance, is a particular film addressing the evils or corruption of morals in the society today or was it just meant to be entertaining?

A film dedicated to highlighting the evils of the society must be judged differently from another intended to be purely entertaining.

You have to gauge the content and relevance of the movie to the society at the time of its production.

Summer blockbuster releases have an action-packed theme and have a cast that viewers can readily identify with.

Stunts in a film of documentary meant to educate the masses of current or past real-world happenings.

It only means that the individual effects need not be amplified.

The same case applies to movies inspired by true events.

Most viewers approach this with a mind with more thirst for information and less of entertainment.

Therefore, while a few stunts and special effects are essential in breaking the monotony in the movie further.

It doesn’t overshadow the film’s message.

 Sample movie review for school paper

While Oliver Stone did an excellent job bringing to the light some of the human rights violations, especially the right to privacy in the Snowden movie, one can’t help but notice the amount of time wasted in addressing non-issues like the lead actor’s early life.

The movie is also quite dull for a technology movie.

The film doesn’t elicit as much thrill as you expect of a technological film.

There is little activity during Snowden’s collection of information at the NSA headquarters as well during his exit in the highly guarded and technologically secured building.

The manhunt for the whistle blower also doesn’t match up to what they report in the media at the time of the security breach.

Buy movie review essay

Recommendation on whether to watch or not to watch

You have to rate the chosen film either on a scale or give it a percentage score.

Support your claim with credible reasons that are further backed up with examples.

Choose the angle by which you rate the film.

You can rate a movie based on how well it fits into its genre.

You can also do so based on the directors, and the production crew apt delivering quality film or casting.

How well do the actors fit their role in the film?

Do you think the actors were realistic or whether they gave this particular film based on their previous acting history? These are some of the critique points that a reviewer uses to back up his rating claim.

How to write a movie review template?

Before you sit behind the screen to watch a movie you would like to review.

Make ensure that you have an idea of what to look out for and critique.

In light of the fact that movie reviews consist of five key areas.

Here is a sample movie review template:

Elements Of A Good Movie Writing Format


This part contains the title of the film written within “quotation marks.”


The first few lines introduce the move and give it a class according to the genre to which it belongs.

The film classification board’s rating can guide your view of the appropriate genre and class.


Capture the plot summary here.

Include the plot setting, the main characters, and the main theme or message the film seeks to pass through.


Discuss the cast and their respective role, such as who did a good job and who flanked throughout the movie.


Get into details about the scenes and anything else you might have liked about the movie.

This, however, doesn’t call for the narration of every scene.

Proper application of the elements of a good movie review will lead to success.


Rate the film and give specific reasons drawn from either the movie or the cast’s previous works.

Conclusion/ biography:

You can opt to conclude the review by summarizing your review or with a providing a short biography out yourself.

Example of a film review

What you shouldn’t include in your movie review


Movie reviewing involves finding a balance between reporting on a film and giving an account of the film.

Avoid divulging too much information about the movie and concentrate on feeding your audience with suspense.

Bottom line

Reviewing a movie is an art that calls for great analytical, reporting and organizational skills.

You should also aim at delivering an unbiased review regardless of how much you love or dreaded film.

Understand that the review is meant to help your audience understand the movie.

Besides help them make a decision on whether to watch it, not to push them towards your choice.

See more movie review examples here

Further reading:

Film review examples

Elements of A Good Movie Review

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