Tips on Writing a Good Critical Movie Analysis


Students often consider a movie analysis to be one of the sweetest assignments. Finally, it sounds like you just have to share your opinion regarding the movie, and who doesn’t like to watch and discuss movies? That is precisely why so many students fail this assignment dealing with it for the first time. When writing a critical movie analysis, you should follow the specific requirements, which are too far from discussing the last episode of a serial movie at your favorite forum. We have prepared for you several working tips on writing this type of assignment.

Define the type of critical movie analysis

While at high school students are mostly assigned to write just a broad critical analysis, at college, and university students often need to pay attention to semiotics, narration, or context. Sometimes, all these types of analyses should be presented in one work. Writing a contextual analysis, you have to show a movie as a part of a particular, broader context. Every movie is a result of the culture which created it, and you should describe that culture and define the links with the specific movie’s characteristics. If your assignment is to write a narrative structure analysis, you should first of all focus on plot structure, the motivation of the characters, the story elements. Preferably, you should divide the movie into several acts, identify them, explain their structure and meaning. Semiotic movie analysis requires finding a meaning behind the particular symbols and signs. The three words you will be looking for when writing this type of analysis are metaphor, analogy, symbolism.

Make notes while watching

Don’t trust your memory not to lose time later. Watching a movie you need to analyze, make pauses, and note down all the thoughts that come to your mind. It can be related to the operator’s work, it can be an idea regarding the dialogue or the feeling you had when the particular event in the movie took place. You will not remember all this later, so if you note it down while watching, when the movie is finished you will have half of your paper written. Of course, you should note down everything that catches your attention, but first of all, you should be attentive to the details relevant to the type of analysis you are assigned with.

Follow the structure

As we’ve already mentioned a critical movie analysis has a particular structure and you cannot change it, you want to receive a good grade. Here is how you should actually write your own movie analysis from scratch:

  • Describe the background of the movie. Pay attention to the creators, and when applicable give some short facts about them.
  • Present your readers with a comprehensive thesis. Sometimes in the assignment itself, there is a question, which your movie analysis should answer. Make sure your thesis answers that question. If you are not sure, feel free to consult your professor.
  • Provide the results of your analysis in a coherent, well-thought-out manner. One abstract should consist of only one thought. The finishing line of the particular abstract should be logically followed by the opening line of the next one. Try to avoid wordiness. It is better to add senses than words.
  • Make a conclusion that is relevant to your thesis statement. In the conclusion of the analysis, you give a short overview of your work and this overview should once again confirm your thesis statement.

Pay attention to the formatting. MLA, APA, Chicago, and other styles have specific rules of formatting quotes, links to IMDB, etc. You can even refer to comments on the analyzed movie on the Internet, but you have to cite those entries properly and make sure all of them are mentioned on your work cited page.

Last but not least advice we can give you — make sure to proofread your paper properly. Students often complain that they had brilliant thoughts in their papers, but still received bad grades. Mostly the reason is a lack of attention and meticulous proofreading. Use grammar and anti-plagiarism checkers, make sure that every in-text citation is also mentioned in the reference list. Read your paper aloud, and if you lose breath in the middle of the sentence, you should cut it. These are the simplest rules, but they are genuinely useful for improving grades.


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