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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WRITING

How to write a report for the B2 (FCE) test

for B2 Cambridge First

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A report is another piece of formal writing. It is based on facts (you’ll probably have to invent those ‘facts’ for the exam, and that’s okay). By writing a good report in English you will demonstrate that you can organize and communicate factual information using a formal tone. As with other pieces of formal writing (for example, essays, formal emails, articles, etc.), there is a special format used to write reports in English.

Parts of an English report
1. Title

This part will give the reader a general idea of the topic of your report.

Make sure that you follow the capitalization rules for titles. You can find more information about how to write titles in English here.

2. Introduction

In this section, you should state clearly the purpose of your report and what information you are going to include.

Try to paraphrase (use your own words) to write the information given in the instructions.

3. Topic points

In these paragraphs, you will give most of the information and details of your report. It should be factual and clear. It shouldn’t sound like a story or like a novel.

You should write at least 2 topic points. One topic point per paragraph. Each paragraph must contain a topic sentence.

What is a topic sentence?

A topic sentence is a sentence that includes the main point (idea) of a paragraph. It has the information that readers need to understand what is the most important point in the paragraph.

The topic sentences guide readers and protect them from confusion. They usually appear at the beginning of each paragraph.

Click here to learn more about topic sentences.

4. Your suggestions/ recommendations

This is the last part of the report. You need to finish it up by writing your recommendations. You must base your recommendation on the facts that you wrote in the topic paragraphs.

Make sure that your recommendations are well-connected with the topic points that you wrote in the previous paragraphs.

Steps to writing a report

Step 1: Make a plan

Step 2: Write it

Step 3: Check it

Now that you know the parts of a report and the steps to follow, let’s see an article sample for the B2 (FCE) Cambridge writing test.

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Useful language

For the introduction:

  • This report describes…
  • This report is based on …
  • The purpose of this report is to …

For the topic points:

  • Currently …
  • To begin with …
  • It appears that …
  • It seems that …
  • Furthermore/ In addition
  • In general/ Generally speaking
  • It is generally believed that …
  • almost always/ nearly always
  • Most/ The majority of + noun
  • noun + tend to be + adjective

For your suggestions/ recommendations:

  • All things considered …
  • Based on the findings of this report I recommend/ suggest + verb-ing
  • I would recommend/ suggest + verb-ing
  • Although both… I think that …
  • It would be advisable that …
Pro tips for writing reports

Make sure that you:

  • wrote a title that shows what the report is about
  • divided the report into clear paragraphs with subheadings
  • answered all the parts of the question
  • did NOT use contractions or informal words
  • Used connectors and formulaic expressions (useful language)
Practice time

You have been asked to write a report about entertainment in your city for a travel magazine. Write your report in the comments below.

GRAMMAR

How to express wishes

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This mini lesson includes a review of verb wish.

Verb wish is used to express our desire for something different from how it is now. Wish expresses a desire that is impossible or almost impossible to happen.

In this mini lesson you'll learn how to express desires in English

Difference between I would like and I wish

 Grammar Practice

Level of difficulty: β­

Wishes about present situations

Put the words in the correct order

Wishes about past situations

Student A:

  1. Choose one box
  2. Read the sentence out loud

Student B:

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Listen to your partner
  3. Make a wish (I wish + past perfect)

Student C:

Write the sentence on a piece of paper

Switch roles <>

 Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: β­β­

QUIZ