WRITING

How to Write a Movie Review

For the B2 FCE Cambridge exam

A movie review is an informal piece of writing that describes and evaluates a movie. Movie reviews are usually written by experts giving their opinion about the movie and published in newspapers, magazines, or blogs.

Parts of a movie review

1. Title

This should include the movie title and an eye-catching heading

2. Introduction

This paragraph should include the name of the movie, the genre, the director, the stars and any prizes they have won. You can also include information about the place and the time the movie is set and filmed. The purpose of this paragraph is that you engage the reader and give them a general idea of the type of movie you are going to review.

3. Summary

This part should include an outline of the main events along with general information about the characters and the plot. Your summary should NOT spoil the film. Therefore, you should not mention anything about the ending of the movie.

4. Analysis

In this section you should share your opinion about the movie. Your review should examine the plot, the actors, the special effects and the soundtrack. You can also compare the movie you are reviewing to a similar film in the same genre. In this section you can also give examples of the good elements and the bad elements in the movie.

5. Conclusion

In this part you should summarize your thoughts on the good and bad elements of the movie. Finally, you should evaluate the movie (give stars ⭐⭐⭐, thumbs up πŸ‘ or thumbs down πŸ‘Ž) and make a recommendation. You should mention why you recommend/ don’t recommend the movie.

Now that you know which parts should be included in a movie review 🎞️🍿, let’s see an example:

Check the movie trailer out to learn more about β€œLittle Boy”

Useful language to describe movies

Movie genre

  • an action movie
  • an animated movie
  • a drama
  • a historical movie
  • a horror movie
  • a musical
  • a romantic comedy
  • a science fiction movie
  • a thriller
  • a war movie
  • a western

People and things in movies

  • audience
  • cast
  • cinematography
  • extra
  • plot
  • review
  • scene
  • script
  • sequel
  • soundtrack
  • special effects
  • star
  • subtitles

Adjectives to describe movies

PositiveNegativeNeutral
funny
hilarious
exciting
interesting
moving
first-rater
original
imaginative
legendary
inspiring
insightful
thought-provoking
flawless
first-rate
suspenseful
riveting
intriguing
heart-warming
stellar
standout
stunning
must-watch
tragic
violent
too boring
too scary
uninteresting
too slow
too long
weak
flawed
second-rate
third-rate
silly
disappointing
bloody
predictable
confusing
ordinary
disgusting
suspenseful
low-budget
big-budget
dramatic
highly-charged
sentimental
romantic
fantasy
slow
romantic
satirical
fast-moving
oddball
picaresque
wacky

Verbs and phrases

  • It was directed by …
  • It was written by…
  • It was dubbed into [languge]
  • The movie explores themes of …
  • The movie shows…
  • [Actor] played the part/role of [character]
  • It is set in…
  • It is based on the book…
  • It was shot on location in [city]
  • It’s about…
  • One of the main storylines is…
  • It stars…
  • In the end…
  • My favourite scene is…
  • I strongly recommend the movie because…

Pro tips for writing a movie review

  • Remember to write the movie’s title.
  • Write an eye-catching heading.
  • Remember to mention the genre of the movie.
  • Don’t forget the audience. Who is the movie for?
  • Don’t forget to include the names of the characters, the year the movie was made and if the movie or the actors have won any awards (For example, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, an MTV Movie Award, etc).
  • Never ever mention the ending!!! You don’t want to spoil the movie.
  • Remember to share your personal opinion and your evaluation.

Time to practice

You see this announcement in your English school magazine.

Review wanted!
Write a review about a movie you enjoyed or a film that you didn’t like. It could be a recent film or a movie that you watched a long time ago. Explain that is it about, why the main character is interesting/ boring and if you recommend it or not.

Type your answer in the box below, and I’ll give you personalized feedback.

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