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Movie Reviews

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Written by
Dr. Isabel Larsen
  • Icon Calendar 23 May 2024
  • Icon Page 1121 words
  • Icon Clock 6 min read

In movie reviews, students analyze specific films on their mise-en-scène elements in cinematography. Firstly, they watch the film, making notes for their academic papers. Then, students define key elements of the mise-en-scène, such as lights, angles of the camera, colors, characters, actors, music, speed of frames, exposure, costumes, visuals, composition, and others, that they will cover in their paper. After that, students start organizing their papers and face many challenges in what, how, and about what to write. In this case, this guide on movie reviews can help everyone to write a high-quality critic on the film.

What Is a Movie Review?

Movie reviews are specific assignments that students get to learn how to analyze different aspects of cinematography. Basically, main elements for the analysis of a particular film may include any mise-en-scène, covering lights, angles of the camera, colors, characters, actors, music, speed of frames, exposure, costumes, visuals, composition, and others. Because a movie review assignment is one of the types of papers and requires following specific instructions like a book review, students define a film that they want to analyze in genres, like historical works, dramas, comedies, horrors, adventures, and others. In this case, students watch the film, making some notes that they will use in their academic papers. Therefore, a movie review is an assignment in academic writing that requires watching the film and knowledge of the main elements of cinematography.

What Are the Steps Needed in Movie Reviews?

Any type of work supposes a person to follow specific steps to achieve the desired results. In this case, in order to write a high-quality movie review, the recommended steps are:

  1. Watch the film.
  2. Define the main elements of cinematography that you will use to analyze and your audience.
  3. Make notes of specific scenes that you will use in your movie review.
  4. Define the structure of your academic paper.
  5. Outline the main points.
  6. Develop a thesis statement.
  7. Find scholarly sources that can help you to prove your thoughts.
  8. Write the first draft of your movie review.
  9. Revise your thesis statement and paper.
movie reviews

What Are the Main Elements of Cinematography in Films?

Mise-en-scène is a term in cinematography that covers all elements that people see in movies. Basically, it is a term for the analysis, not production. As a result, mise-en-scène elements in movie reviews may include:

Exposure is a state of control of lights that must be used for movie reviews. In this case, exposure depends on settings of used camera and vision of cinematography of the director or directors.

Composition means a scene as a screenshot of the situation that can be covered in movie reviews. In simple words, if people see a picture, they consider different elements that they see in it, including objects, subjects, background, main elements, and others. Hence, the quality of a picture depends on the composition.

Music is an element of the mise-en-scène that helps to highlight specific elements. For example, if a person is happy, it can be supported by funny sounds.

Visuals mean visual elements that people see in the film. Basically, it may include many other elements in mise-en-scène.

Lights mean levels of lights that are used to manipulate the emotions of the audience. The different levels of lights lead to specific emotions.

Other mise-en-scène elements

Angles of the camera serve to represent characters or scenes and highlight something important or hide unnecessary things. Since a camera is what shows scenes, its representation may lead to different results.

Colors may mean not only the quality of frames but also represent bright examples of different aspects. For example, if people see beautiful blue mountains or green wood, they can feel the glory of nature.

Characters or all people involved in the movie with their roles are actors. In this case, their play, costumes, dialogues, and other aspects define the success of feelings or ideas that they want to present to the audience.

Actors are people who play characters in the films. Their plays define success or failure of the designed scene.

Speed of frames means speed in changes of scenes. For example, if many events constantly change at high speed, people may not understand what they watch. However, in order to highlight the speed of the scene, frames can be accelerated.

Costumes mean clothes in which actors are dressed. For example, if the film is a historical work, costumes must correspond to the time of the plot.

Why Is Writing Movie Reviews Important?

Movies and reviews are the products of human creativity and technologies. Because people invited cameras, they started to make movies on stories as alternatives to books and other readings. In this case, movies helped people to see visual representations of different stories through the eyes of the directors. However, not all of the films can be done with high quality while movie reviews develop the field of cinematography. Hence, movie reviews serve to shape and expand the quality of films.

First Paragraph in the Movie Review

Specifically, any academic paper must include an introduction part with a clear thesis statement that reflects all body paragraphs, including the target audience. However, in movie reviews, the introduction part must also include the title of the film with the director or directors. In this case, readers can understand what the student or another person writes. Moreover, the introduction part must cover the main elements of cinematography that are used in the analysis clearly and logically. As a result, the introduction part will be appropriate for the movie analysis.

Body Paragraphs

The structure of body paragraphs of movie reviews differs from typical essays and research papers. Basically, the first body paragraph must be a summary of the film or its plot. In this case, not all of the people who read the written paper may watch the film. After that, the next body paragraph can cover the main elements for the analysis with specific scenes of the defined film or other scholarly articles that approve the thoughts of the writer. Moreover, the last body paragraph may be the reflection of the writer about key aspects of the film. In this way, this structure in movie reviews can help to organize a high-quality paper.


The conclusion part of the movie review reflects the written text in the body of the paper, restating a thesis statement. Since all body paragraphs with their analysis and evidence are discovered, students must write a review with key points resulting from the review. In this section, students also can discuss the professionalism or weak sides of the work of the director or directors as a result of the analysis. As a result, the final sentence of the movie review can be a final claim on the film.

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