Discover How to Write a Movie Review Like a Rotten Tomato Critique

29 April 2020

Most people love watching movies; they serve as a form of either entertainment, educational purposes, or both. As a student, you may be tasked by your professor to write a film analysis essay. The choice of a movie may either be theirs or yours. Nonetheless, if you’re a film enthusiast and a good writer, this presents the perfect opportunity to combine these skills and come up with excellent grade material. 

Without further ado, let us begin. 

Film Analysis Essay Outline

So, you’ve picked out this movie. You’re watching it, and it’s so exciting that you don’t want to miss any part of it. Good! That is an essential trait because you will be paying attention to details as scenes unfold. However, you mustn’t watch it for entertainment purposes only as a writer. This is because you need to pay attention to the details. That is what you will use and what you will discard when picking data for your essay report. 

Keep in mind the following when you’re watching a movie for the first time.

  • What are you able to pick up on in the movie?
  • What message is the producer trying to communicate? 
  • How is he/she conveying it? 
  • Why did the director make a particular choice?

It is crucial that you first watch the movie before writing your film analysis. After all, what do you have to write about if you haven’t watched it yet? Re-watch the film, this time paying even closer attention to components that you might have missed the first time. To properly analyze the movie, you can use the following pointers as guidelines.

  • Take into account the impression that the movie gave you. What stood out for you?
  • Make a list of the essential details you noted
  • Try to interpret the movie’s message in your manner
  • Seek opinions from experts who have something to say about the film
  • Present the movie to others and debate on each other’s clashing viewpoints 
  • Ground your ideas on the numerous elements of movie theory (an academic approach that strives to clarify the essence of a film)
  • Blend analysis with theory 
  • Offer quotes from the film as evidence to your statements
  • Draw distinctions between the film you are reviewing and other films 
  • Make observations on the story; it’s settings, characters therein and their source material
  • Thoroughly search for information that nobody else has seen yet
  • Lastly, create a back-and-forth dynamic with your audience by discussing and interacting with them

For any movie, cinematic structures are as important as the script itself. Its elements include camera positioning (how they are angled during shooting), scene composition (decor), and shot structure (the combination of uninterrupted videos across several scenes to form a film). 

Bear in mind that films are based on particular moments in time that certain events happened. These tenets will help you develop a better grasp of the movie. Again, don’t forget about history. In an epic film, it’s invaluable to go digging for renowned movie directors in this genre, their styles, etc. This will help you in preparing an informative film analysis essay. 

Under films, there are two categories.

  • Regular movies
  • Documentaries

Point to note: A film review doesn’t share a similar structure with a documentary. 

Structure of a Movie Review

A movie review is simply an analysis and individual or group of individuals make about a particular film within their topic of interest. A film review has to have a layout, also known as a film review template, in that it will be easier for a writer and his/her audience to follow their analysis. 

A correct movie review format for students should have the following. 

1. The Introduction;

  • The title of the film
  • Date of its release and
  • Essential information about the film

2. The plot summary

3. The story elements research

  • Action
  • Finale

4. Movie imaginative explanation

  • Story
  • Actors
  • Unique effects in the film
  • Camera team works
  • Sites
  • Hidden motives
  • Tone
  • Aura

5. Summary

Even as you focus on the structure, don’t forget that a movie review should present a particular stance on the movie. To make this effective, we recommend you to back your beliefs with clear examples from the film you’re analyzing. 

Now that’s the typical movie review format. When handling such an assessment, you should focus on the following;

  • Focus on the achievements and downfalls of the director
  • Look at the importance of the movie in the realm of cinematography 
  • Analyze how the audience received the movie
  • Gauge as to how valuable our film is to our educational course

When it comes to documentaries, we consider the following aspects.

1. Preface

  • Title of the movie
  • Date of its release
  • Vital information about the film

2. Historical precision. How compatible is the researched data with the actual event?

3. Dependability of the citations used. 

4. The way imaginative elements have been used.

5. Your judgment of the film. 

6. Summary of the entire research. 

Additional Tips On Writing a Movie Review Outline

  • While preparing one, keep in mind the length of your assignment: how many words or pages are required? 
  • Having an outline will help you break down your statements into manageable paragraphs per section. After that, you can allocate yourself some reasonable time to write each category. 
  • Decide which ideas are more important than others. Which ones can you dump?
  • Develop your ideas equally across your work. Make sure that they are relevant to your topic of assessment. For example, it’s an imbalance to use 400 words for one section and 250 for another. 
  • Arm yourself with a theme, thesis statement, and supporting arguments to back up your thesis. 

Armed with these, you can comfortably move on to writing your introduction. 

Crafting your Movie Review Introduction

The opening of any literature is essential. So much so, that how you present your statements will determine whether your audience will continue reading your material or not. The introductory part covers three main areas. That is the title of the film, the date of its release, and its essential features. Your preamble also has to have a thesis statement. 

What Is a Thesis Statement? 

A thesis statement is simply an idea that you believe in and how you intend to substantiate it. Coming at the end of your introductory paragraph, it should be clear, short, and compelling. So, what are the characteristics of a good thesis? 

  • It is controversial. It presents ideas in its statements that spark debate between two opposing sides
  • It’s a subject in itself. Researched properly, it can provide enough information to write a whole essay 
  • It affirms your findings based on evidence. That way, your work carries weight in terms of credibility 
  • It’s a reliable guide for your work to your audience
  • It cuts out first-person opinions such as ‘I believe’ or ‘the way I see it’ that would otherwise stain your objectivity
  • It avoids using ambiguous statements. For instance, ‘it’s possible.’ 

In the introduction paragraph, we should be careful not to copy someone else’s ideas. Make your work original and captivating. Secondly, develop your statements with your audience always in mind. This will help you stay within the confines of your debate that is relevant to them. Additionally, you’re just a reviewer; revealing crucial details of the movie ruins the experience of part of your audience who haven’t watched it. 

Craft the Movie Review Summary

Coming up with a summary involves following a few guidelines to give sense to your points. Firstly, Illustrate, with particular references, the fundamental concepts of the film you’re analyzing. Think of the 5 W’s while doing this (Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How). 

Secondly, while writing the plot, be cautious with your facts, presenting them with all possible attention. 

Finally, write about anything else that connects with the point of view, style, and structure of your assignment. 

Get to the Movie Review Analysis

This is the torso of your work. The writer has leeway here to give comprehensive information about the film. Mix your opinions (backed with sufficient evidence from the movie) with facts, drawing comparisons with other movies with a similar plot. 

Look at various people and elements that form the trunk of a film. Such figures include

a) The Director

He/she is the architect of the film. Focus on their method of film making, their political angle, and controversy surrounding their persona. For example, what are their most valuable influences? Do the films relate to any of their earlier production? All directors have a unique print that characterizes all of their works. 

b) Ingenuity

When assessing the film’s ingenuity, you should consider more than one aspect. Some of the principal elements to consider include;

  • What can you comment on the film’s locations? 
  • Did the whole decor correspond to the historical setting of the story? 
  • Were the outfits well designed? 
  • What technique did the director use to make the movie? 
  • Write about the grading of the film. 
  • How do you quantify the work of the camera team?

Creative directors take into account the smallest details that can spark the viewer’s imagination and craft an emotion of totally being soaked into the film’s aura. 

How were the film’s music composers? Was their music fitting for the story? 

c) The Cast

Well, you know the cast – protagonist, antagonist, etc. How do you analyze these crucial figures in a film?

Here’s a simplified approach;

  • Is there something about their actions that sticks out?
  • Did the director successfully choose the right candidates for roles in the movie?
  • Were any of these artists a perfect fit for their given roles? 

d) The Significance of the Movie in Your Study

Think deeply about the film you are analyzing. What importance does it bear for your course? Some stories may be original compositions, while others are from books. If, say, it’s a story from a book, just how much does the movie narration correspond to its publication? The more relations you find in the scenario mentioned above, the more meaningful your work will be. 

Example of A Film Review 

Supernatural (2005)

As children, we were always terrified of the dark: the many stories of ogres, ghosts, vampires, and demons we saw on television or read in books still had us begging our moms or dads not to switch off the light when they left our room. Well, imagine these monsters coming to life! Everyday killing, exorcising, or temporarily putting the devil to sleep. This is the story of two boys who lived life a long way from ordinary. 

Premiering on September 13, 2005, this combination of drama, action, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, and supernatural fiction has drawn millions of fans across the world from the edge of their seats into a world of killing Wendigos to Lucifer! Yes, Mr. Pitch-fork himself. In 2010, AOL ranked Supernatural fourth of the top 20 sorcery /mystical shows of all time, comparing it to the X-Files, another mysterious tv show. In 2012, Entertainment Weekly classified the TV Series at no. 19 in the ‘25 best cult tv shows from the past 25 years’. Its writers include Eric Kripke, Robert Singer, Jeremy Carver, Sera Gamble, Jenny Klein, Ben Edlund, Eric C. Carmello, Andrew Dabb, Adam Glass, Robbie Thompson, and Nicole Snyder. 

Two brothers, Jared Padalecki, starring as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, live in a home in a small town of Lawrence, Kansas City, with their mother and father. Early on, their mother is murdered by a yellow-eyed demon who has been chasing Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester (Sam and Dean’s mom) for years. Driven by despair and vengeance, John Winchester (real name Jeffrey Dean Morgan) makes it his life’s quest to hunt down the demon and destroy it permanently. What I love most about this story is the ever-changing encounter with monsters that the Winchester boys have with evil: werewolves, ghouls, ancient gods, vampires, shapeshifters - even Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) himself! Mostly posing as FBI agents (fake, of course), this was one of their favorite ways of tracking cases that sounded creepy to the police. 

Dealing with issues that are ‘way above their pay grade’ as Dean would always describe it, they formed unexpected alliances with angels. They included (Castiel, an archangel starred by Misha Collins and Metatron, a prophet of the Lord played by Jim Beaver), Ruby (Genevieve Cortese- a demon that Sam falls in love with by the way!), and Crowley (Mark Sheppard), a high ranking demon eyeing the throne in hell. Both Sam and Dean have literally been to hell and Heaven, seeing the best and worst of Lucifer and ‘Chuck’ or God  (Rob Benedict). 

Supernatural shares similarities with the X-Files. For starters, both the Winchester boys and FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully deal with the unnatural that few, if nobody else, can understand, let alone see. It makes us, the fans, wonder if really what we see and feel is all there is to life. Secondly, the chemistry between Dean Winchester and his younger brother is similar to that of the X-Files. One is the rational one (Agent Scully & Sam), always careful and methodical with a softness to them, and the other is ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ (Agent Fox and Dean)

The music is fresh, as the theme song Carry on my wayward son wraps up all the mood and struggle that the Winchesters go through. The show so far has 15 seasons, 320 episodes. The 15th season is set to be the finale, a disappointment to its fan base. There’s no doubt that Supernatural’s tale of monsters, hope, despair, of new twists and turns, will forever endear itself to the hearts of millions of its fans. 

Finalize your Movie Review

You’re winding down the essay; you are tired of stating your case, and you just want to get it over and done. Hurrying through your writing, hoping that your professor will overlook your mistakes, is a dangerous assumption. The endings section is as relevant as your essay’s opening paragraph. In the conclusion paragraph, you should submit a definitive comment about your article. 

So, how exactly do you come up with a brilliant conclusion? 

Start your ending with ‘in conclusion.’ This will prompt your reader that you’re winding up your work. Do so in a new paragraph. 

Keep your statements short, conclusive, and precise. The last thing you would want is to tire your readers more than they already are. 

Ensure that you repeat your thesis statement, only this timetabling proof offered in the body. 

Condense the arguments you made in your essay. Be careful not to add any more details to it. 

Fit in a quote from the film as your closing statement. For instance, one of Dean Winchester’s famous sentences in our Supernatural example is “We do what we always do: hunting creatures, saving lives - the family business.” 

Need Assignment Help with Your Movie Review?

Hey, perhaps you can now review your favorite movie and send it to Rotten Tomatoes? Your movie review just might get published. Anyway, I know nothing about that. But, I can tell you everything you need to know about writing movie reviews. 

If you found the example of a movie review on Supernatural helpful, you can check out more movie review examples in our resource center. If you’d like a custom essay instead, we can always write you a unique movie review from scratch.

So, what’s it going to be? If it’s the former, visit our resource center. If it’s the latter, order your custom essay now.



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