Critical Analysis of a Movie: Principles of Successful Writing

When working on a critical analysis of a movie, it is important to keep in mind that this type of writing assignment is subjective in nature as you are asked to share your reflection, feelings or opinion on the film. The very meaning of the word “analysis” is to break something into constituents and study them in detail. As such, it is crucial that your critical analysis of the assigned movie focuses on two aspects: studying the movie (its idea, storyline, topic, etc.) and providing its critique. 


Film Analysis Paper

Film Analysis Paper

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Watch the movie.

Watching a movie for pleasure and watching a movie for a review are different things. In the latter case, you need to be really focused and pay attention to different aspects of the movie as well as to cinematographic features. Moreover, when you watch a movie for a critical analysis, you will definitely need to watch it at least two times because you will not be able to grasp everything in just one session. As such, you may watch the movie for the first time for general understanding, namely to get the main idea. The second time you watch, it is recommended to take notes: jot down the characters’ names, make notes about the relation and interaction between characters, etc. 

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Approach the movie in a critical way.

Before you write a critical analysis essay, you need to identify one or two core concepts/ themes that prevail in the movie. It is important that your critical analysis paper is logical, concise, and properly organized. For example, you may concentrate on the relation of the film’s events to real historical events, drama features, music, photography, etc.

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Provide an outline.

It is strongly recommended to prepare a plan or devise an outline when you are writing a critical analysis of a movie. Composing a plan in advance will help you save time in the very process of writing and also make the paper more structured and focused. You will not be distracted by thoughts related to paragraph planning at the time when you have to focus on writing and clear expression of your thoughts. Moreover, with the prepared outline or plan, you will not overlook any important aspects worth including in the paper. In the process of writing an outline, you will decide on the number of body paragraphs you will have.

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Write an introduction to the movie under analysis.

Here is where you start the actual process of writing. You need to provide background information on why the movie was chosen, why it is important, what it depicts, what problems or issues it focuses on, who the main characters are, which actors are starring in the movie, etc. You also have to mention the director and the year of release. If relevant, you can mention the names of the other members of the film crew.

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Provide a brief paragraph of the movie summary.

After the introduction, switch over to writing a short and concise movie overview. Here make sure that you do not let out any secrets. Your readers will not be happy if they spot some spoilers.

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Provide the movie analysis.

After you have summarized the main aspects of the movie, start writing the movie analysis. This is when your notes taken during the watching session may come in handy. Mention all the important aspects you plan to review.

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Double-check whether you are aware of cinematographic jargon.

When writing a movie analysis assignment, make sure you know at least some of cinematographic or technical jargon.

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