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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GRAMMAR

6 Uses of Auxiliary and Modal Verbs

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Auxiliary verbs are special words that help the main verb.

Modal verbs are special words that help the main verb show possibility, intent, ability, or necessity.

You have learned that both, auxiliary and modal verbs, are used to ask yes or no questions and to give short answers.

However, auxiliary verbs have many more uses. In the table below you can see 6 different patterns for auxiliary and modal verbs.

RELATED TOPICS:

So, Neither + auxiliary/modal verbs

Show emphasis (Emphatic do)

Tag Questions

Be, Do, Have

Be, Do, Have Common mistakes

GRAMMAR

Future Perfect vs. Future Continuous

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Future Perfect

We use the future perfect (will have + past participle) to say something that will be finished before a certain time in the future.

  • This tense is frequently used with the time expressions by + day/time or in + time expression
  • by + a time expression = at the latest
  • We form the negative form with won’t have+ past participle
  • We make questions by inverting the subject and will (Will you have + past participle …?)

Future Continuous

We use the future continuous (will + be + verb+ing) to say that an action will be in progress at a certain time in the future.

Let’s compare it with the simple future:

We‘ll have dinner at 8 o’clock (= we will start dinner at 8 o’ clock)

We‘ll be having dinner at 8 o’clock (= we will start dinner before 8 o’clock/ at 8 o’clock we will already have started eating)

  • We sometimes use the future continuous, like the present continuous, to talk about things that are already planned or decided
  • We form the negative with won’t be + verb+ ing
  • We make questions by inverting the subject and will (Will you be + verb+ing…?)
Drag the arrows <> to compare the future perfect and the future continuous

If you are still confused, you can find an easy explanation in your first language in the link below πŸ‘‡ :

 Grammar Practice

Level of difficulty: β­

  • Complete the sentences using the future continuous or the future perfect.
  • Flip the tile to check your answer
  • Write down the sentences in your notebook

Β Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: β­β­

Discuss each prediction with your group. Decide:

a) if you think it will happen

b) if you think it will be a good thing

Give as many details as possible

✍️ Writing Practice

Choose a card. Write a comment (reply) below πŸ‘‡ with your opinion.

a) Do you think it will happen?

b) Do you think it will be a good thing?

VOCABULARY

Verb get

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Get is one of the most common verbs in English. There are more than 280 definitions of the verb get. But don’t worry! You don’t have to memorize all the definitions. You need to learn how to use the most common phrasal verbs and verb phrases.

The most common definitions of the verb get are:

  • arrive
  • become
  • receive
  • buy
  • obtain
  • understand
 Vocabulary Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐

Part 1

Part 2

Quiz

Level of difficulty: β­β­

Quiz

Level of difficulty: β­β­β­

FLUENCY · GRAMMAR

Reporting Verbs

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Reporting verbs are verbs which are used to tell someone what another person said. They are used in reported speech.

Say and tell are the most common reporting verbs. However, there are other reporting verbs that we can use instead of say and tell to communicate our ideas more clearly.

Example:

He said that he would drive me to the airport (this sentence is correct but long)

We can say instead:

He offered to drive me to the airport (this sentence is shorter and absolutely clear)

Common reporting verbs patterns

NOTES:

recommend and suggest are special verbs that can be followed by a “that clause” when we want or need to mention who is the recommendation/ suggestion for.

recommend/ suggest + that + someone + base form

Example:

I suggested watching a horror movie. (suggest + gerund)

If you want to be more specific and want to add information about who is the recommendation for, you can use a “that clause” (noun clause)

I suggested that my friends watch a horror movie.

My friends suggested that I study for the English test tonight.

My teacher recommended that Maria practice speaking with me.

Practice time

Level of difficulty: β­

 Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: β­β­

Student A:

  1. Choose one box
  2. Read the sentence out loud.
  3. Tell your partner the hint.

Student B:

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Listen to your partner
  3. Complete the following sentence: My friend __________________

Example:

Student A: If you stay in a hostel it will be cheaper (Hint: explain)

Student B: My friend explained to me that staying in a hostel would be cheaper.

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