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How to Write a Movie Review - Steps and Examples

How to Write a Movie Review - Steps and Examples

It has become a trend to post your thoughts about a movie on public pages, social media platforms, review sites, blogs, etc.

Not only that, students in high school or college are also assigned to write a movie review in their academic life to test their review writing skills.

It’s easy if you have good observational and good analytical skills. Otherwise, it can become a bit of a headache.

You can learn how to write a movie review with the tips and examples provided in this step-by-step guide.

What is the Main Purpose of Movie Reviews?

The chief purpose of writing film reviews is to provide information regarding the movie and its ideas to the readers.

In doing that, students often make a common mistake of elaborating all the events that occurred in a particular movie. They state personal opinions about the movie.


Where such a review permits writers to express their personal opinions regarding some documentary or film, these reviews require an objective and unbiased approach as well. Know that an ideal review combines both elements.

Your review deliberates why someone should watch the movie or not. Make sure to write your review by considering that no one has ever watched that particular film or documentary before. This helps a lot in analyzing events that have occurred on the screen.

The summary of the movie needs to be detailed enough to deliver assistance for the reader while making a true and honest decision.

How to Write a Good Movie Review?

It is always difficult to start writing any paper. If you are staring at a blank screen unable to come up with ideas, go through the steps given below to write a film review:

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Let us discuss these steps in detail.

1. Watch the Movie Twice

It may sound obvious, but most of the students ignore it and simply copy-paste content posted by professional reviewers. It does not make a good impression, and more importantly, if you get caught with plagiarized content, you will have to face severe consequences.

You don't want that, do you?

So, watch the documentary or film twice and don't forget to take notes of minor and major characters and events.

If you rely too much on your memory, then you might forget or overlook something.

2. Conduct Thorough Research

Never start to write a movie review without conducting thorough research. A good reviewer not only watches the film but also gathers data relevant to it.

Search for the details like the name of the filmmaker, his motivation behind the movie, plot, location, historical events, and characterization, etc. See the intended target audience of the movie.

In short, the purpose of your research should be to gather information that delivers more depth and details to the review.

3. Analyze the Movie

Never ever start writing a review if you don’t even understand the movie and its concept. It is essential that you evaluate it from start to finish. Watch it again and again if you think it’s necessary or if certain elements are unclear. You can only make the writing process easier if you understand the events and the plot summary of the movie.

4. Outline Matters

Make sure you create an outline cohesively and concisely, comprising elements to follow while writing a movie review.

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5. Include Examples

Add examples, along with the claims you make regarding the movie. If you think the plot of the film has some holes, then state an example of a scene or situation when that was apparent.

Moreover, if the bad casting or poor development of the characters affected the quality of the movie, name such examples as well. Mention examples while commenting on locations, plot, or any other film criticism.


If you want to persuade your readers to agree with you, try to back your claims with evidence. Make sure your readers get the perception that you are objective while reviewing.

Never make it obvious that your personal feelings are involved while praising or criticizing the movie. It lowers the efficiency of the review.

6. Comment on the Quality of Scenes

Discuss what makes this movie stand out. Or simply that it uses similar strategies which worked for earlier works in the film industry. For this, it is a good idea to read reviews given by other authors.

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What is the Proper Way to Organize a Movie Review?

Organizing information before getting started is the best way of saving time. Never undervalue the significance of a well-structured outline, as it helps focus on the subject and participate in a logical flow.

This way, instead of figuring out what to include, you will have an organized and logical plan to follow.

“What is a movie review format?”

Here's how you need to organize the review of a particular movie:

  1. Introduction
  2. Summary of the movie
  3. Analysis of the elements of the plot
  4. Creative elements (mood, symbols, tone, camera techniques, costumes, dialogues, characters, use of colors, etc.)
  5. Opinion (with evidence)
  6. Conclusion

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Elements of a Movie Review

Following are some important elements that you must incorporate into your review.

The title of the film/documentary

Just because your headline includes the name of the documentary or movie, it does not mean that it can be skipped in the text.

Make sure you always mention the name of the movie in the introductory part of your review. It may sound logical and obvious, but most of the students repeatedly make this mistake.


The main point of your review is to summarize the movie or documentary for those people who haven't yet watched the movie.

Know that as a reviewer, you need to discuss what exactly happened in the movie and state whether the moviemaker succeeded or failed in doing his job.

Research on a Filmmaker

Conduct research on who directed the movie. Find out if a person is a controversial figure, known for a political stance, and whether he/she has an interesting background, etc.

Write a paragraph on the people behind the creation of the movie and what they did to create this particular movie.


Evaluate the artists and their acting. Was it realistic? Were they able to do justice to the character?

Movie Review Example

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Movie Review Example

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Mistakes to Avoid While Writing a Movie Review

  • Do not forget the film you are writing a review about. Sounds obvious, right? But most of the students get off the train while discussing some historical event regarding film and start writing about that event specifically.
  • Make sure you do not get off the train while writing your review. It will be considered irrelevant information.
  • Avoid using personal nouns, over and over, such as “I like this, I dislike this, it bothered me, I do not think this should be done that way, etc.”
  • Do not fail to check facts regarding the background, casting, director, release date, etc. of the movie.
  • Do not give your opinion without stating any reason why you think that particular way.
  • Do not write a review without following a structure.
  • Do not write generalizations like cool effects, great acting, a bad movie, or it was a good movie, etc.
  • Do not write a review without analysis or substance of the feature.

A movie review is all about the symmetry of personal opinion and unbiased reports. If you’re still finding it difficult to write, there’s nothing to worry about.

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