What is a film review?

film review1 Film reviews are most often found in printed or online newspapers. The review is normally written by a journalist and intended as a guide for moviegoers.

There are many ways of writing film reviews. Here is a basic structure that you can follow:

  1. Title and lead: to get the attention of the reader, it is important that the review has a catchy title and a lead that says something about the film (see examples below). Sometimes the reviewer’s verdict is also given here, in the form of a rating, e.g. points out of five, six or ten.
  2. Introduction: this gives an overview of who is in the film and what it is about. It also sums up the reviewer's conclusion about the film, so readers can form an opinion without reading the whole of the review.
  3. Paragraph 2: the reviewer then describes the plot and the action, while informing the reader which actor plays which role. An important point to remember is that the reader of the review has not yet seen the film, so the review must not reveal too much of the plot of the film.
  4. Paragraph 3: the reviewer then analyses the film, talking about the director and the actors, visual effects and plotline, looking at positive as well as negative aspects.
  5. Final paragraph: the review informs the reader when the film is out (and sometimes, in a local review, where it can be seen). It is also possible to inform of other activities connected to the film here.


Examples: Title and lead

Title of review: "Eddie the Eagle – keep calm and carry on ski-jumping"

Lead: "Dexter Fletcher’s film celebrates doughty British spirit in this classy, comic tale of a true-life sporting underdog

dice Title of review: "Zootropolis – Disney’s animated odd couple has a perfect chemistry"

Lead: "A rabbit and a fox team up to solve crime in an entertaining anthropomorphic adventure for children and parents alike"