book and movie review writing

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Steps for writing a great film review

Films have become part of our culture as we watch, discuss, and learn from them. Interestingly there are chances to review films to determine whether or not the film is worth advocacy. A film review should be honest, simple, and encourage constructive discussion.

Its main objectives include enlightening, persuading, and entertaining the reader. To achieve these goals, there are key recommendations for an exciting and catchy review.

Steps to a catchy and exciting film review

Step 1: Before the film watching

The most challenging part of review writing is evading the temptation to read other reviews before watching the film. Getting trapped in this temptation denies one the liberty to cultivate an honest, genuine, and credible personal opinion. To avoid biased perspectives as a reviewer, do not read reviews before watching the film.

Step 2: Watching the film

 First, watch several times to grasp every aspect of the film. For the first viewing, get absorbed in the movie’s atmosphere to obtain the general impression. At this point, surrender to the film's flow, and do not worry about the final argument you will come up with. The second viewing requires attention to technical aspects such as cinematography, sound, and lighting. Take note of thematic content such as history, gender matters, and race issues being addressed by the film.  If you have not made sense of the connection between the thematic and technical content, a third viewing should be considered or watch certain scenes.  Also, previous works of the director can give a sense of the individual's style.

When watching, avoid repeating scenes or rewinding in search of deeper meaning. Sometimes the theme is simple, no need to overthink. Taking lengthy notes while watching can have you miss important moments. Take notes using words or short phrases that stand out when watching.

Step 3: After watching the film

Immediately after viewing, be sure to put down what you consider important and that which caught your radar. Be precise when commenting and incorporating certain examples to back up opinions about the film. Create a checklist to cover the important aspects that sculpt the final product.

What to include in the checklist


·         The title of the film and introduction: Include the name of the feature, the director, and the main characters. In the introduction, you can begin to evaluate the film and allude review's main concept.

·         Plot summary/synopsis: this informs the reader about the film. Be precise and avoid being specific as it can be a spoiler.

·         Description: While the synopsis introduces to the reader a general idea about the film, it is through the description that you put forward your cinematic experience. This part gives the reviewer a chance to express what they felt stood out in the film. What does the film looks, feels, and sounds like?

·         Analysis: Discuss how the film utilizes technical and thematic content as:

Ø  Direction: Did you like how the director told the story? Was the manner complex or simple, and was the conflict delightful? Also, did they use effective tension and suspense?

Ø  The character: The cast may enhance or betray the scheme by successfully portraying specific roles or fail to. Did they excel or fail? Also, did the costumes perfectly suit the role?

Ø  Cinematography– these are characterized by color, sound, lighting, and camera movements. Critique the production according to the impression it provides you.

Ø  Pace: Was the pace too slow or fast, and how did it affect the film's flow?

Ø  Interchange: Judge whether the dialogue leads to the development of the plot. Also, consider if it is realistic and necessary as well as if it fits the film's tone.


 These are the vital parts containing critical content that creates an impression and influence the reviewer's experience.

·         Conclusion: Remind the reader of your general thoughts about the film. What impression did the film provide you? Is it worth watching or not? Do you recommend it or not, and to who you advocate it?


Step 4: writing the review

After setting down your thoughts, consider the flow. Carefully organize the structure of your writing to ensure that your thoughts are cohesively and comprehensively formulated for the audience to understand your point of view.

The most crucial component of a film review is the feeling the film gave you. Great reviews convey to the audience how the film reverberated with you. Connect with the audience by exerting your voice into your commentary. This way, your opinion is trustworthy.

Ensure your views ignites constructive discussions about the film and helps the audience to choose if the film fits them or not.


 Step 5: Mistakes to avoid

The following mistakes should not exist in film reviews whatsoever.

·         Poor structure:  One that is not cohesive, does not flow, and not easy to understand.

·         Unnecessary information, for example, filming history and affiliate industries.

·         Generalities such as great work, awesome film, and excellent. Always provide supporting evidence to such comments.

·         Unsubstantiated review: One without analysis hence doubts whether the reviewer understands the film.

·         Critique without reason:   Ensure to provide affirmation to your argument about the film.

·         Writing in the first person:  Even though you the one providing opinions about the film, avoid the first person state such as I notice, I liked, and I disliked.

·         Spoiler:  Don't dilute curiosity for those who haven’t watched the film.  The review should increase curiosity. Enhance suspense by not being extensive about the film’s detail.

·         Poorly formatted writing: Read through your review to correct typing errors and grammar. Well done review uplifts the confidence of the reviewer.