How to Write a Movie Review!

The Amazing Spider-Man 2Now while developing my craft as a movie reviewer I decided to take what I’ve learned and share with anyone else who have/will want to review movies.  I am definitely a critic of films. Honestly, brutal honesty is the only way I give my reviews and I highly recommend that others do the same.  It definitely makes reviews a lot more personal while keeping it interesting. Note: this is a guide and does state sections of movies that probably should be considered when reviewing it.


Introduction

Usually this is where we get to the basic information about said movie.  Some reviewers don’t utilize this but I find it quite effective for fleshing out different aspects that can be used to link to other post (kind of a cheat but who cares, it works). Give the review a brief summary of the movie.

  • What is the film’s title?
  • Who is the director?
  • What is the genre?
  • Who are the cast members?

The Matrix

Plot/Story

Give a brief plot summary without giving away any key details about the movie. What is the story about? Viewers want to know enough about what happens in a movie to know whether they’ll find it interesting.  Does the plot make sense? Is the story line logical? Is it original? How complex is it? Is the story predictable or full of surprises? Is the story exciting or is it dull? What themes or motifs stand out? Is there a sub-plot and how is it related to the main plot? Is the plot primary or secondary to some of the other essential elements of the story? Other questions to be considered are:

  • Where and when did it take place?
  • Does the story unravel gradually or is it quickly revealing?
  • Is the story exciting or is it dull?
  • How good is the pacing?
  • How are the various elements of plot handled?
  • Did the story grip you and keep you watching?
  • What other devices of plot complication and resolution are employed?

Sherlock Holmes

Characters

Characters are just as important as story.  Who are the main characters and are they credible?    Could you relate/empathize to any of the characters in the story?  Does the writer make you believe in them as people? Why or why not? As you learn about the characters, use examples of things they’ve said or done to give a sense of their personalities.  Also, include the character development arcs as well as any stereotypes.  Other questions to be considered are:

  • Are the characters flat or three dimensional?
  • What did the main characters do in the game?
  • How well do the characters develop?
  • Who are your favorite character(s)? Why?
  • Is character delineation direct or indirect?

Transformers Dark of the Moon

Visuals/Graphics

The visuals focus on the movies graphics. This will consist of characters and environment, lighting and shade detail. Some movies will require more heavily detailed visuals than others. Films like Avatar and Transformers focuses on realism while films like The Incredibles, Toy Story, and Frozen focus on a cartoon-like animation-style into 3D. Consider how the setting of the film influenced its other elements.

  • What type of animation style? Realistic? Cartoon-like?
  • How does the animation style hold up?
  • What style does it resemble?
  • Are the colors vibrant? Dull?
  • What techniques were used to film the movie?
  • How does the cinematography support the visuals?
  • What is the overall tone? What setting and background were used to help create it?
  • Costume design? Did the clothing choices fit the style of the movie?
  • Set design? Did it add or subtract from the experience for you?
  • Was the location well-chosen?
  • Does the quality appear high-budget, or low budget?


Room

Writing

This area focuses on the film’s writing style (usually the story).  This is a great way of establishing another relationship with the writers.  Writing is artistic; both through the writer’s and director’s presentation as well as through the viewer’s interpretation.  Were certain types of scenes written particularly well (action scenes, emotional scenes, scary scenes, etc.)?

  • How effective is dialogue?
  • How well is the overall script written?
  • Is the writing simplistic or complex?
  • Does it contain humor, wit, satire?
  • Does the writing have rhythm?
  • Does the writing style utilize symbolism?

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Dubbing

Dubbing plays an important part when considering movies far reaching influence across the planet.  Dubbing does focus on writing versus voice acting and how well they work together.

  • Do the actors match their characters?
  • Are they doing an effective job of voicing the characters?
  • Does the cast as a whole work?
  • How effective is the quality?
  • Are the cultural references taken seriously?
  • How well does the dub track run with the subtitles?

Avengers Age of Ultron

Casting

Casting focuses on the actors and actresses who are performing.  Casting is as important as the character themselves.  There are other elements that affect how actors/actresses portray these characters such as direction or a poor script.

  • How well is the acting?
  • Do the actors match their characters?
  • Are they doing an effective job of voicing/portraying the character?
  • Does the cast as a whole work?
  • Do they meet the expectations dictated by the plot and other story elements?

Final Fantasy VII - Cloud Strife

Score

The score can make or break a game.  It consists of several factors. First, there is the voice performances and how well the voice actors did their job. There is the soundtrack which focuses on the music, but don’t forget to include the intro and outro. How they set the tone for an anime also contributes to gaining interest in it.  And lastly there is sound effects which focuses on the noises such as footsteps, animal noises, rainfall, etc.

  • Does the game have its own score?
  • Does it feature songs from popular artists?
  • Do the songs have meaning?
  • Is the music effectively employed?
  • Is the music over/under-used?
  • Is the music amusing? Irritating? Emotional?
  • Are the voice performances on point?
  • Are they lively? Dull?
  • What kind of tone does the intro make? Outro?

Smile Vs Frown

Likes/Dislikes and Commentary

What was your favorite part of the movie?  Why?  What was your least favorite part of the movie? Why?  If you could change something, what would it be?  What do you like or dislike about the movie’s writing style?


Question Marks - Conclusion

Conclusion

Your conclusion should summarize, perhaps include a final assessment. What type of person would like this movie?  Would you recommend this movie to another person? Would you watch more by this director? Why or why not?


Thanks for checking out this post.  For any ideas or comments on how to write movie reviews,  leave them in the comment section below.

 

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