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How to write a film review

A guide

Writing a film review is a great way of expressing your opinion of a film.

The purpose of most film reviews is:

to help the reader in determining whether they want to watch rent or buy the film.

Maro Neophytou

Guidelines and tips for writing a good film review:


The review should give enough details about the film that the reader can make an informed decision, without giving anyway any essentials such as the plot or any surprises.

1. Watch the film


Watch the film in a relaxed environment you are familiar with. You do not want to be distracted by an unfamiliar room. Watching the film a second time will help you absorb a lot more detail about the film. Most film reviewers take notes as they watch the film review.

2. Give your opinion


This is important as the reviewer can express the elements of the film they enjoyed or disliked. Give impartial details. Allow the reader to make his/her own mind over an issue the reader liked or disliked. Opinions should be explained to allow the reader to determine whether they would agree with your opinion.

3. Who is your audience?


Consider who your likely readers are. Writing a film review for children requires a different approach than if writing for a film club. Ensure you report on the factors that matter to your likely audience.

4. Give an outline
Give the outline of the film, but don't give away essential details such as the end or any surprises. If there is a big surprise you want to entice readers by telling them something special happens, just don't say what.

5. Actors
If the film contains actors, as most do, detail who is starring in the film and how well you think they acted.

Ask yourself the following:


1. Does the film keep your attention? (This is where the plot comes in.) 2. Give your opinion about the acting. Was it good or bad? 3. How was the action or special effects? 4. Would you see the film again?

A Film Review
The kind of film The plot The characters Photography Direction Soundtrack Impact on: you personally, other people, young people. Recommendations based on : film critics, awards/participation in film festivals

Useful vocabulary on Film Reviews


Hilarious, touching, overdone, superb, disturbing, well-portrayed, low-key, shrouded, sequel, hinted, core, blockbuster, convey, suspense, vaunted, emotionally-charged, disjointed, dull, clichd, avant-garde, shallow, thoughtprovoking, ponderous, lapsing, overstudied.

Example review
As far as the plot is concerned it is rather uninspired and clichd. The directing on the other hand is superb and is almost enough on its own to make the viewing experience worthwhile. As regards the acting the performances are powerful and often hilarious. The photography is rather disappointing but the music combining blues and jazz is inspired. Paradoxically ,the sound effects and the quality of the sound are disappointingly third-rate, which is a great pity.

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