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Tips on Writing a Movie Critique Essay

Are you a film buff? Then you might originally be excited when given a film analysis essay assignment. But you quickly discover that this type of paper is more than just sitting back and enjoying a movie for what it is. You need to know how to critique a movie. Your movie critique essay is not merely a summary of the film, nor is it a simple matter of writing a movie review in which you argue that the film is worth watching. Instead, you have to dig deeper and provide a film critique that examines different elements of the movie and uses evidence from the movie (as well as outside sources) to support your statements. For instance, your professor might ask you to discuss the role that symbolism plays in the movie. Or you might discuss how the mood or setting enhances the film. If you know how to write a film critique essay, none of this will seem overwhelming. However, if you have never written a film analysis essay before, you might find yourself struggling. You can also order a custom film analysis essay from our academic writing agency.

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Writing Perfect Movie Analysis Essay

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Movie Analysis Sample

It would be a good idea to look at our film analysis essay example to get you on the right track. You can reap the benefits from our memo sample, as it vividly shows you how a high-quality film critique essay should be completed.

How to Write a Film Analysis Essay Step-By-Step

Looking at a film critique essay example might serve as a helpful guideline, but it would also be a good idea to look at the process step-by-step so that you can both plan and write it properly. Here are some tips that can help you write a winning film critique essay:

Step 1: Watch the movie, but not merely as a viewer.

While most of us watch movies as a way to escape the academic rigors of college, a film analysis essay requires you to put on your thinking caps and think critically about what you are watching. Your professor has likely provided you with guidelines for what to examine, especially as it relates to concepts that you learned in class that need to be applied.

Step 2: Determine your objectives.

For what purpose are you critically examining the movie? Is it to evaluate how the tone and setting help drive the movie? Are you arguing that the movie is innovative? What themes are touched upon and how are they effective? In many ways, you have to think of a movie critique in the same way that you would view a critical book analysis.

Step 3: Examine at the characters.

The characters obviously help drive any movie. You might be asked to discuss the intentions and motivations of the actions performed by the characters, especially if they serve as an important plot device. You can also make an argument about how the characters are influenced by the setting of the movie.

Step 4: Consider how everybody contributes to the movie.

The actors and directors obviously receive top billing, but remember that a film requires hundreds of different professionals from the camera operators to the engineers and costume designers, those responsible for the lighting and visual effects, and the person who pens the musical score. If you are critiquing a science fiction movie, for instance, you could discuss what elements made the movie seem realistic. Likewise, you could examine how the soundtrack helps carry the film emotionally.

Step 5: Write a brief summary of the story.

It is necessary to provide some context and background. To achieve this, in a couple of sentences you can give the reader some basic information about the film such as the genre or setting. However, do not provide a full plot summary as that is not the purpose of a film critique paper.

Step 6: Write your essay.

After following the first 5 steps, you should have a better idea about how to approach your movie analysis paper. Start with an outline. A lot of students skip this step and go right into the paper itself, but you will find that if you outline the essay beforehand, it will provide focus and make the paper far easier to write.

  • Paragraph 1: Start with an introduction. Mention the title, director, main actors, some background about the movie, and the thesis statement (your argument).
  • Paragraph 2: The first main point that is directly connected to your thesis. You will use evidence from the film (or even outside sources if, for instance, you are discussing how the filmmaker’s life influenced how they made the movie) to support your claim.
  • Paragraph 3: Discuss your second main point, also supporting it with evidence.
  • Paragraph 4: Discuss your third and final point, using evidence from the film or other sources.
  • Paragraph 5: Conclusion, restate your thesis and discuss what your critique achieved.

Step 7: Edit.

This is another process that students tend to skip. But you should not underestimate the importance of a highly polished paper. While it is important to check the essay for spelling and punctuation mistakes, you should also ensure that the paper does not use repetitive language, flows well between paragraphs, and makes logical arguments.

As it can be inferred from the title, a movie (film) critique denotes the process of providing a critical analysis of a given movie. As such, you are expected to provide a concise overview of the movie’s main points as well as provide your opinion on the movie’s strengths and weaknesses, and overall recommendations how you see it better. Besides, you need to present a conclusion whether the movie was worth watching and what was interesting/ appealing/ intriguing about it. It is essential to provide specific evidence from the movie to support your opinion on why the author/ director did something in the movie, etc.

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