Write a Movie Critique Essay

Often students confuse critique writing with review writing. Therefore, one must learn how to write a critique paper about a movie before starting working on this assignment. One of the core differences is that a movie review includes a viewer’s impression of the movie whereas a movie critique requires one to focus on the cinematographic means, such as analyzing the film production and providing recommendations on what can be improved to attract a wider audience whatsoever. In case you encounter difficulties when writing a movie critique paper, you can rely on professional assistance from our company.

Our writing specialists will provide you with detailed and effective guidelines on how to write a movie critique essay in the best way. Even though it may seem easy, it is not, and you may need help from professionals.

Movie Critique Paper Format

Writing a movie critique paper involves analyzing and evaluating various aspects of a film, including its plot, characters, cinematography, sound, and overall impact. Here is a suggested format for a movie critique paper:


  • Provide basic information about the movie, including its title, director, release date, and genre.
  • Offer a brief overview of the plot without giving away any major spoilers.
  • Include a thesis statement that previews your overall evaluation or main argument.


  • Provide a concise and objective summary of the plot, focusing on the main events.
  • Highlight key characters and their roles in the story.
  • Avoid excessive detail; focus on the essential elements to set the stage for your analysis.

Analysis of the Plot:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the storyline, including the development of the plot, pacing, and structure.
  • Discuss any plot twists, surprises, or key turning points.
  • Consider whether the plot engages the audience and maintains their interest.

Character Analysis:

  • Assess the characters’ development, depth, and believability.
  • Analyze the performances of the actors portraying the characters.
  • Discuss the characters’ motivations and how well they contribute to the overall narrative.


  • Evaluate the film’s visual elements, including camera work, framing, and composition.
  • Discuss the use of color, lighting, and visual effects.
  • Analyze how the cinematography contributes to the mood and atmosphere of the film.

Sound and Music:

  • Assess the use of sound effects and background music in enhancing the viewing experience.
  • Discuss the appropriateness of the soundtrack and its impact on the overall mood.
  • Consider how sound contributes to the storytelling and emotional engagement.

Themes and Messages:

  • Identify and discuss the major themes or messages conveyed in the film.
  • Evaluate how well the movie explores and develops its themes.
  • Consider whether the themes are relevant and resonant with the audience.

Technical Aspects:

  • Evaluate the film’s technical aspects, such as editing, special effects, and set design.
  • Discuss how these elements contribute to the overall quality of the production.

Audience and Reception:

  • Consider the target audience and how well the film caters to their expectations.
  • Explore the critical and audience reception of the movie.
  • Discuss any controversies, accolades, or notable responses from viewers.


  • Summarize your main points and restate your overall evaluation of the film.
  • Offer any final thoughts on the movie’s impact, significance, or potential influence.
  • If applicable, suggest the type of audience that might appreciate the film.

Remember to support your analysis with specific examples from the movie and use critical language to express your opinions. Additionally, maintain a balance between objective analysis and personal interpretation.

Steps to Writing a Movie Critique

Step 1

Start with finding out a definition to movie critique writing. The core purpose of critique writing is to provide insight into what could have been done better about the movie. As such, you are to highlight the weaknesses of the movie and pinpoint to the areas of improvement. If the movie is not popular with the general audience, please identify the reasons why it could have happened. Write not only about the plot and characters but focus also on the effects, music, and other aspects that are critical for the movie in general.

Among the general guidelines how to start a movie critique paper, make sure you do the following:

  • pick a movie;
  • highlight the issues and aspects you plan to discuss;
  • be sure you have enough time to watch the movie for a few times. One time will not be sufficient as you should first watch for the general understanding and then watch more to grasp some specific issues and pay attention to the points that are worth attention. You will definitely spot some issues that you were not able to see for the first time;
  • be sure to take notes while watching the movie;
  • be as specific and detailed as possible;
  • try to be objective and unbiased.

Remember that writing a critique does not mean criticizing and focusing only on negative aspects and expressing negative emotions. Therefore, do not delve into too much pessimism when providing a movie critique. If you focus merely on the negative aspects, your readers will not want to read your paper till the end. More so, they will never want to acquaint themselves with the film and with the director’s other works. Therefore, instead of focusing on the weaknesses, try to provide a sophisticated evaluation of the movie.

Step 2

Focus on the premises of writing a film critique essay. Premises denote the background of the story. Provide the setting of the story pinpointing all the important events that led to specific consequences or to the central event that is described in the movie. What should be done:

  • analyze the main controversies or specifics about the plot;
  • be sure to provide sufficient details about the premises so that the readers properly understand what the film is about.

Remember to provide specific examples from the film. They will serve as supporting evidence for proving your arguments. When you provide supporting evidence, your statements do not seem as mere suppositions.

Step 3

Move on to characterization of the movie. Particularly, you need to focus on the main characters, their role, interaction, personalities, behavior, beliefs, dialogues, etc. What should be done:

  • Identify movie characters and pinpoint to their role in the movie.
  • Pay attention to how the characters communicate, to the way they talk, dress, look, etc. Focus on their ways of interaction. What message do they convey to the viewer?
  • The better you develop the movie characters, the more character-driven essay you will have.
  • Make sure you explore the main motivation of characters that lies behind their dialogues and way of conduct.

Keep in mind that some movie characters will need a more serious and detailed analysis than others. Why? – Because different characters play a different role and function in the movie. So, first of all, pay attention to more impactful ones.

Step 4

Move on to the analysis of plot and overall movie organization. The movie plot refers to the actions and events that take place in the movie over a specific period of time. The organization of the movie denotes the way the movie parts relate to each other. Moreover, it can concern the general way the plot is developed. What should be done to analyze the plot successfully:

  • State whether the plot is predictable or not.
  • Analyze specific scenes in the film and their predictability. There are certainly scenes that are unpredictable. What is their role? What influence do they have on the further layout of events? Were there any shocking events? In what way have they impacted you?
  • Keep in mind that the movie structure should have three parts: introduction of the main characters; discussing the gradual tension that arises in the story; and conclusion of the movie.
  • Double-check whether the plot adheres to the motivation of the main characters.
  • Before summing up the movie, be sure to pay attention to the point that reflects the story’s culmination.

When the plot is really unpredictable, try to look deeper into it. It often hides some philosophical issues. Therefore, try to examine the plot closely to get to core essence of the movie.

Step 5

Write about the dialogues in the movie. A dialogue refers to a conversation between at least two people. To analyze the dialogues, you should do the following:

  • pay attention whether the dialogues sound natural;
  • explore whether there is sufficient logical connection within the conversations.

To analyze and critique the dialogues, pay attention to the language, body language, pauses. Analyze their gestures and mimics and whether they correspond to what they say.

Step 6

Originality in the movie critique writing. If you are interested in how to write a movie critique essay, pay close consideration to originality of ideas and storylines. Originality is what can attract viewers to the story.

Originality in the movie can refer to everything that a viewer has never seen before. It can be a dialogue, a character, a setting, an idea, etc.

If certain original ideas or settings have been introduced to the movie, try to explain the reason that lies behind their adaptation. There should always be specific reasons why certain originality is introduced by the movie director.

Step 7

Scenes in the movie. A scene is a specific episode united by a single theme or message that is usually found within a larger work (i.e. a scene in a movie). Focus on the following:

  • Analyze the overall quality of scenes (how well they are played by the film’s actors, etc.).
  • Pay attention to their way of development (whether they are logically and smoothly developed within the film).
  • Identify the chain that should be formed between all scenes to organize a single dramatic unit.
  • Explore whether there is conflict in the story and how characters interact within it.

Follow each scene and identify similarities and differences. Pay attention to the transitions between the scenes. Make sure you do not lose any of the important transitions between the scenes.

Step 8

Visual presentation of the movie critique. It encompasses the way characters interact with each other. While analyzing their mode of interaction, also consider the setting and the main storyline. Normally, the interaction is manifested in the form of dialogue. Guidelines on how to analyze the visual presentation:

  • Identify which motif is communicated across by the movie scene.
  • Pay attention to how much interaction there is in the story.

The best recommendation on this point of writing is to provide as many examples as possible.

Step 9

Movie critique structure. Overall, the structure is the same as in the essay. How to organize the movie critique in the best way:

  • Provide an introductory paragraph. Here you need to provide background information about the movie, summarize the plot, formulate a strong and clear thesis statement, and inform your readers what you will focus on in the critique.
  • Make sure the main body comprises of well-organized body paragraphs. Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence and clearly examine the points raised in the movie.
  • End the critique with a conclusion, where you sum up the main ideas and address each question on the essay prompt.

Read your paper from the beginning to pay attention to the aspects addressed there. Pay attention to editing and proofreading. Particularly, eliminate grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes, as well as typos. You should care not only about impeccable structure but also outstanding mechanics.

Before you start your paper, be sure to look through some paper samples of movie critique.

Step 10

Useful words and phrases for critique writing. Once you have got familiar with the core elements of a movie critique paper, learn how to present the information in the comprehensible and outstanding way. Try to make your writing style impressive and interesting for reading.

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  • Express your opinion on the given topic and analyze the movie (instead of merely focusing on summarizing the plot).
  • Use effective vocabulary that is understandable for your target readers.
  • Express your standpoint in a clear way. Be as objective as possible and avoid biased opinions.
  • Pay consideration when it comes to special vocabulary used in the movie. Analyze its purpose.

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