It is becoming more common for college professors to use extended visuals, including full-length movies, as teaching aids. It is also becoming more common for professors to assign reviews of those movies as a means of gauging both your understanding of the finer points of the film along with their relevance to the subject of the class.
College essay writing isn’t always fun, but writing movie reviews usually are, so enjoy this little break from heavy academia. To deliver the best possible review, there are several things you need to keep in mind. First, this is still a collegiate-level writing assignment so don’t take the task too casually. Second, follow these five steps to the letter. Doing so will help make sure you have fun and get a good grade.
#1: Rewatch the Movie
Unless this is a film you have seen before, you will want to watch it several times, taking notes and writing down relevant observations as you go. The more times you watch, the more missed details you will uncover. The more information you discover, the more thorough your review will be.
If you budget your time well, you should even have time to step away from the movie, then watch it one last time to be sure that what is written in your notes agrees with the details onscreen.
#2: Research Relevant Details
Is the movie based on a true story? If so, you should research relevant news articles, videos, or other published works that deal with the subject. See how the facts line up with the details on screen. Contrasting or contradictory information can help fortify your review by showing that you checked your facts and sought out accurate information.
If the movie is a work of fiction, production details like the screenwriter, director, and producer can help reinforce information in your review by showing how specific information and devices are commonly used in their storytelling. You can then compare and contrast details between projects to validate your opinions and observations about the movie in general.
#3: Form A Complete Analysis
Jot down the most essential points you want to make in outline form. Don’t get caught up in the more delicate details just yet. Get all your points clear and lined up for use in your first draft. Once you know what specific things you want to use in your review, it becomes much easier to develop a draft that flows well and is thorough in its details.
#4: Write Your First Draft
Take your outline and follow it point-by-point, expanding upon and adding your perspective to the details as you write. Movie reviews are far more subjective than most academic papers. That means that your opinions are every bit as important as the facts. Your prof likely wants to know what you think about the movie, and its message so doesn’t be afraid to share your thoughts and perspectives liberally.
#5: Check For Adherence to Format and Content Requirements
Go back to your syllabus and re-read the assignment in full. Make sure that all the details required have been included in your draft and that the review is formatted in the way specified. You will likely get a decent grade for simply following the assignment objectives even if your writing isn’t the best in the class. From there, simply proofread, make any necessary changes and submit your final draft.
Remember that while writing a movie review may be a fun diversion, you still have the responsibility to deliver a well-structured, publishable paper. Even though you are writing to an audience of one (your professor) you should always write movie reviews that would be appropriate for public consumption. Take the time to become as familiar as possible with all the most relevant details of the movie. Doing so will help you write the best and most thorough review you can.