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Writing Film Review Tips and Techniques

Film review essay writing is a broader understanding of film analysis, film criticism and retelling the plot of the film. Writing film reviews require a deep understanding and analysis of the film, the plot, visual effects and the main characters. Even though a film is a one piece, it also has chapters or different scenes and interactions between the main characters. There is not a specific film review format so the student should make it very clear of what the paper is going to analyze, whether it is a plot, or specific scenes, or visual effects, or making the topic more abstract and connect it to the film. 

Movie Review

Professors rarely assign specific films to be analyzed, rather than they assign a topic and ask students to come up with the film on their own. This makes the assignment a little bit tricky, as students start searching for film review templates and end up retelling the plot of the film, absolutely forgetting about the main theme and the topic assigned. 

Useful Tips on writing film reviews:

    1.    Even though interpreting movies requires knowledge of certain visual principles and sound design as well as narrative form, the disciplines of Film Studies adopted some terminology and techniques from the Literary Studies, sometimes pretending that films are equal to texts while analyzing them. 

    2.    When you mention the film for the first time in your paper, its title should be accompanied by the name of the director and the release date. 

    3.    Whenever you need to cite the movie and apply in-text citation, academic writing recognized IMDB (the Internet Movie database) website as a credible source for TV, films and celebrities. 

Searching for film review example online may lead a student into a confusion, as the student will automatically percept the movie review through the example. It is very hard to apply the film review techniques used for one film onto another, therefore, film review are always tricky to succeed. Film analysis is a broader understanding of the main theme of the movie. 

Every student writing a movie review is required to see the film and it is quite uncommon that assigned movies are fun and entertaining. They usually required a close attention and revealing the inside scoop of the plot and the whole story. 

For instance, professors may assign the topic “Geography” and ask students to come up with the film and only discuss the nature in the movie. This usually requires students to pay a very close attention to the things and events on the background. Film analysis is a complicated task. Turninpaper team of writers know exactly how to write a successful movie review and know exactly what your professor is looking for when assigning you film analysis or film review. Take a look at one of the film review templates our writers prepared for you all. 


Sample Movie Review Essay: The Wild Film Review

The Wild by Jean-Marc Valee

For three months Cheryl hiked almost 1,100 miles along the Pacific Crest Train by herself, crossing the country from Mexico border to Canada border, passing by nine mountain ranges, from the Laguna to the Cascades. The film talks about the story of  young woman Cheryl Strayed, who takes a journey to save herself from depression and her mother’s death. The Wild Film Review.

Cheryl tried numbed her pain by cocaine and having sexual relations with strangers and at some point she stopped and took the trail to clear her head. The film is directed by Jean-Marc Valee and it is audacious how closely the camera follows the narrator, portraying her emotions and the beautiful nation at the background.

The film starts in a picturesque place in the mountains, depicting the main character being tired of climbing one of the mountains. Apparently the scene is from the middle of her journey. Cheryl is wearing shorts, so assumably the weather is quite warm and dry. The film is full of flashbacks about her childhood she had with her mom. 

Day number 1 started the Pacific Crest Train, taking it's beginning at the Southern Californian desert. To set up a tent for the night, Cheryl walked to a more green area, with yellow already-dying grass. Even though it was quite hot during climbing day time, at night it was quite cold so she hd to wear long sleeve hoodie to sleep in. The flora around her mostly reminds of desert scrub, chaparral, oaks. 

On day 5 Cheryl already walked 30 miles north. The nature is somewhat rocky, no big mountains, just some hills around. She ran out of food and intervened with other people to buy some groceries. After Cheryl is back on track with some food supplies, the scene shows how she happily cook her a dinner, it is already a dusk, the mountains start looking a little rocky, and it could be heard the sound of coyotes. Animals from this area, depicted in the movie, include snakes cougars, coyotes and lizards.The Mountains seem to be bounded by faults that have been active, forests could be seen only at the higher elevations. 

At the beginning of the journey, Cheryl was walking averagely 7 miles a day. She was still going through the desert, when she saw a snake on her way. On day 12 she already walked 80 miles and when she reached a mountain river. The nature is green and not so yellow like it was before. 

The nature is not a desert anymore, as you could see forests already. There are some pine trees by the river indicating that desert is gone. Cheryl is wearing a long sleeve shirt during her interaction with another hiker she meets by the river, meaning that forests and mountains may be very close because of the wind and the air temperature. 

After a moment of her flashbacks about her pregnancy, the main character already is climbing a giant rock. Later on, Cheryl is walking to another, much smaller mountain river - the Kern River-right next to the forest, reaching the Kennedy Meadow, where she meets other tourists. The route gives turn to expansive meadows and beautiful forests. Among plants it could be seen corn lily, snow plants, ponderosa pine and red fir. Mule ears, mountain hemlock and bark pines are seen near the tree line. 

Cheryl reaches the glaciers, that are formed shallow basins, filled with water in order to create thousands lakes and tarns. The transformation from beautiful warm weather to a deep snowy are was quite sudden. There are several snowboarders passing by. It looks quite cold, however, snowy during the daytime, making snow covered with ice on the top, making it hard to walk. 

On day 32 Cheryl sees a red fox, she was trying to chase it, but the snow was too deep for her to run. On day 36 she was still walking in the snowy area, but it was possible to see a dried out area ahead. Her next scene illustrates takes place on top of a rocky mountain, which was in the beginning of the film, where she trows away her shoes. She created herself some new ones out of duct tape. The Wild Film Review.

The flashbacks Cheryl is seeing are mainly filmed in the urban area, in a big city, with lots of cars and restaurants. Her flashbacks are linked to her mother’s death, pre- or post-death period and her own feelings. Her mother living in a house, loving riding her horse, being diagnosed with cancer, dying in a hospital. The geographic location of these events is city, quite a different illustration of the nature than the PCT she is taking now. 

The next of her journey was a cold forest area, with another Mountain River. The current was quite strong so she stumbled while crossing it. She is wearing some long pants with a warm shirt, indicating that the weather might be quite cold in this area. In just a couple of days, she is in a small town gas station, sunny weather, green forest area, indicating that she walked in her duct tape shoes for around 50 miles, and is 600 miles from her starting point.

After Cheryl met another female hiker, they sit together having a drink in fold-up chairs, observing some country side with cows on a green meadow, watching a beautiful sunset. She then walks on her own in the forest under a heavy rain. The trees in that area are lupine, paintbrush and manzanita. 

On day 56 she reaches some desert like areas again, having some green meadows in from of her. Further walking, Cheryl is depicted in the middle of the desert. Her desire to put the water on her make it understandable that the weather is quite hot. 

Walking further north, she reaches area with heavy rains and quite picturesque pine trees forests. Cheryl sees a horse that reminds her of her mother’s favorite horse. Later on her path, she also meets a lama. She keeps walking through the wilderness up north. At the end of the film Cheryl reaches the Bridge of the Gods over the Columbia River, picturing a beautiful river with forests around it and hills. 

The nature in this film is breathtaking, illustrating deserts, forests, lakes and rivers, snow glaciers, rocks and mountains. The camera could beautifully capture both the main character and the nature around her. The idea of the film is that Cheryl healed herself with the help of nature. The film showed how beautiful and diverse the nature of the West coast is, shifting from deserts, to snow glaciers and rainy forests just during the summer time. 


Works cited

The Wild. Dir. Jean-Marc Vallée. Perf. Reese Witherspoon. N.p., 2014. Web.