How to Write a Film Review

Cinema art is a child of a new artistic era, which we designate as modernism. The era of modernism, in our opinion, dates back to the 30s of the 19th century since the emergence of photography and completed in the 50s of the 20th century. The ubiquity of television if the emergence of cinema at the end of the 19th century marked the genesis of screen culture, its first phase, then publicly available television predetermined the beginning of the second phase, the formation of a media screen culture. Its development coincided with another, postmodern era. Today, thanks to the development of technology, people can write their own short film reviews. Learn some of the features of this process.

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On the one hand, the shot is a film segment, a mini-photo, and on the other hand, it is the first principle of cinematic imagery. Interframe space has important semantic content. It can be quite realistic, recognizable, concrete, or abstract (symbolic). The frame space can be built inland with the camera lens according to the laws of perspective. Translated from Latin, “perspective” means seen through something. This is one of the ways of depicting three-dimensional bodies on a plane in accordance with apparent changes in their size, shape, and clarity, caused by their location in space and the degree of remoteness from the observer (camera).


Cinematographic perspective is inseparable from the viewpoint; it is another important means of frame expressiveness. Perspective contributes to the orientation of the viewer in the event space, identifying the position of the shooting camera. In addition, the perspective reveals specific features of the object, which can be seen only from a certain point of view (for example, an architectural ensemble; full face and profile, etc.). Finally, it may be a pictorial epithet, i.e., serve as a means of psychological characteristics of the personage, transfer his or her inner self-awareness. While working on the film, pay attention to what angles were shown in it. Find a good sample film review on the Internet and read how professional critics describe the work of the cameraman and the director.


Color is an pivotal artistic component of the imaginative frame system and film production as a whole. If it does not serve only as “coloring” objects and environments (in common parlance, we define such a color status as the phrase “color film”) yet bear dramatic and semantic meaning, then it is better to talk about the color score of the film. The coloring of the film affects the audience psychologically. It tires, excites, alarms, and calms. It can express the inner state of the character, his or her attitude; it can complete the general symbolic and metaphorical essence of the picture, and present the artistic and philosophical concept of the director.


The sound image of the film is composed of four interpenetrating layers, such as noise, speech, music, and silence (as a significant absence of any audio component). The internal ratio (proportionality) of these elements changed in different periods of cinema development, but initially, the cinema operated not only with visual but also with sound imagery. The sound image of the film, having received the opportunity to be fully audible by 1930, radically influenced the entire aesthetics of cinema: drama, editing, and acting. The directors were faced with a complex aesthetic task: to balance two intense artistic tools on the screen – image and sound, to harmonize the rhythm of the visual and sound images while maintaining the expressive power of the movie. At the dawn of sound films era, movies sank in a dense stream of dialogues and monologues, so the figurative weight of the silence component tended to zero. Music for the film plays a much more rational role than people usually think; very often, it serves as a real sign. Music can perform a formal illustrative function (to characterize an event), but it can become a through dramatic (theme of the personage), lyrical and epic (author's theme) element of the film. Sometimes, it turns into a denominator of philosophical and artistic generalization. At the same time, there is no fundamental difference in whether music is reproductive (quoted from independent musical works) or original, written by the composer specifically for a particular picture. 


Until recently, researchers have identified four types of cinema, such as scientific, documentary, artistic, and animated ones. In recent years, art historians have tended to more precise intraspecific differentiation. They divided all films into some groups, such as non-fiction, acting, and animation, which is based on the principle of increasing artistic conventionality: from the smallest in non-acting cinema to the largest in animated one. Moreover, any film (documentary, fiction, animated) is never a literal reflection of reality, but only its figurative interpretation on the screen. Today you can find a lot of film review podcasts on the Internet, whose authors analyze various types of movies.

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