How to Write a Film Critique Essay

How to Write
Nov 24, 2018 | 4 Minutes

If you are confused about how to write a good film critique essay, this detailed guideline will supply you with all the necessary information. But before going about your movie review, you need to do some prewriting activities.
First, you need to choose a good and preferably renowned movie if you have not been assigned one. Second, you should watch this movie a few times. During your first viewing, just enjoy the movie and try to delve into its atmosphere. While watching it again, pay attention to acting, sound, effects, etc. Remember to take notes of fascinating sequences, moments, and details.

How to Write a Film Critique

For a top-notch movie review, conduct research and collect interesting facts about this movie. Do not forget to mention the process of shooting.
If the movie won some renowned awards, do not hesitate to mention them since it is will be a reason for movie buffs to watch it immediately.
Also, before going about your movie review, look through some professional reviews written by well-known critics.

How to Critique a Film?

If you wonder how to critique a film, these questions will come in handy:

  1. Is this film a part of a franchise? How does it match the series?
  2. What is the basis of the plot?
  3. Did the writer succeed in writing a fascinating plot?
  4. Is the rhythm of the film dynamic or smooth? Is there an overabundance of unnecessary details?
  5. What is the target audience of the movie? Is it G-rated, R-rated, or unrated?
  6. Are there any movies on the same theme/topic which you should mention in your review?
  7. What shots does the camera-man use in the movie? How do they influence a general impression?
  8. Does the film have an exceptional character or bring up important issues?
  9. Was the casting appropriate? Did all actors succeed in depicting their characters?
  10. What is the overall atmosphere of the movie? Is it strained /joyous /obscure?

How to Write a Movie Review?

The following 10 steps will show you how to write a movie review.

1. Start With an Eye-catching Introduction

Your introduction must contain important information about the film: title, genre, director’s name, and release date. Additionally, you can include the awards, the budget and the box office (if they are impressing), and the cast crew. Do not forget to write your thesis in the introduction. Your thesis may cover such aspects as:

  • the connection between the movie’s main idea and the nowadays issues or events;
  • your personal experience identification with the plot;
  • the interrelation between the thematic content of the movie and its formal elements.

2. Do Not Reserve Your Evaluation for the Conclusion

If your readers do not feel like reading the whole review, you can give your evaluation at the beginning of your review. Don’t keep your opinion for the conclusion. You should express it in the first or second paragraph.

3. Provide a Concise Plot Summary

Describe a few key events but do not unveil the ending. Also, avoid the “spoilers” because your readership will blame you for destroying the suspense. If you want to describe an important twist, tell the readers in advance.

4. Give a General Impression

Plot summaries are meant to tell what the movie is about. The description must tell the readers not about what you have observed but what you have felt. Describe the feelings and thoughts arisen by certain sequences and the most moving moments. Tell about your experience in cinematography to make your review more personal.

5. Define the Purpose of the Film

Answer the question, “What was this film created for?” You can come across the answers in the interviews with the film crew. Frequently, the purpose reveals in the process of the plot. If the film is meant for entertainment, do not try to seek out some hidden sense. Some movies are brilliant while being simple.

6. Provide Information about Filmmaking

The analysis of the formal techniques is an integral part of any movie review. Focus on one or two elements that you hold the most important for this movie. You can include the following aspects:


You can concentrate on three main aspects of cinematography if they are significant for the better understanding of the movie: camera movement, camera angles, and camera distances.


Despite the fact the sound influences the atmosphere of the movie as much as the visual elements, its importance is usually belittled. Every sound in the movie can be divided into diegetic and non-diegetic. Diegetic sound is similar to the thunder, birdsong, barking, or talks in the restaurant as the part of the narration. Non-diegetic resembles off-screen comments or movie scores which appear from outside the universe of the film.


The purpose of editing is to provide a clear connection between all pieces of the film. The filmmakers adopt different methods to create the integral reality of the movie: graphic similarities, eyeline match, etc.


This aspect covers almost everything that you see in the movie. Each scene, actor’s action, and visual effect are a part of the mise-en-scène.

7. Find the Deep Meaning

A good-quality movie is never mediocre. There are a lot of words, symbols, and repeating elements that are instrumental in understanding the movie. Be watchful to unleash all secrets of filmmaking!

8. Give the Examples

No review will be reliable without examples. Such phrases as “the acting is perfect” or “the sound is lousy” do not seem plausible. Be more specific! For instance, when you depict a certain character, exemplify what exactly makes the actor suitable for this part: physique, the manner of speaking, facial expressions, etc.

9. Create a Powerful Conclusion

Stress once again the film elements that made the biggest impression on you. Give your personal recommendations and indicate who can be more interested in the movie and why. Mind that your conclusion is your last opportunity to persuade your readership.

10. Do Some Revision

Look through your paper a few times. Correct all the mistakes because errors can wreck even the most masterful review!

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