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How to Write a Movie Review for College

Updated 13 Jun 2024

how to write a movie review

If you wish to know how to write a movie review, then you are on the right page. A movie review forms part of essays college students writes. While many cinema-loving students find it interesting, others don’t. A film review does not mean writing what happened in a film; instead, it involves doing a critical assessment of the same. Also, you can proof your paper instantly with Edubirdie plagiarism tool .

What is a movie review? A movie review is a detailed analysis of a film or a documentary. It involves analysis, research, and reporting the writer’s views in a structured way. The writer assumes a position of educating readers whether they have watched the film or not. In fact, many people read movie reviews to decide whether they want to see a film or not.

A film review tests students' critical thinking and reporting skills. It also examines their dexterity in writing in a logical, concise, lucid, and creative manner. This post shall teach you to craft the best film review in your class without being redundant in writing , and you can find many interesting tips on how to write a movie review for college and movie reviews examples.

How to Write a Movie Review Like a Professional Critic

Writing a movie review though challenging for some students can be quite easy. What you should know is that the format of presenting a review are the same which makes it an interesting task. Here we offer a step-by-step process of how to write a good film review or how to write an introduction for a movie review that any student can follow:

  • Watch the movie: Before you can review any film, you must watch it. You cannot review a motion picture you have not watched. Therefore, for success watch the film at least twice. Note: do not watch it like you’re a regular moviegoer or movie enthusiast. Be focused and conscious through the film. Take notes if necessary.

You will need to take notes hence have a notebook and pen handy. Record all events and characters (major and minor). Try to be meticulous do not overlook anything.

  • Research the movie: Watching the film should give you the overview and feel of the movie. With that, it should be easy and exciting to research the movie. The research augments what you have watched in the movie. In your research, you should find out who the filmmaker is, what prompted the making of the movie, the characterization, historical events the lead to the film, location, plot and so on.

If you are aware of the details behind the movie, the movie will be more understandable and engaging. Note also that if you do not understand the movie you cannot move to the next step which involves analysis. Try not to proceed to the next step unless you vividly understand the movie. If it entails watching it again until you fully get it, do it. The following should form part of your findings regarding the film:

  • Title and year
  • Names of the lead actors
  • Name of the director
  • Title of the book (if based on a book)
  • Draft the review outline: Draft an outline with which you will write the review. The overview will help you organize your review concisely and logically. The outline is more like the skeletal frame on which the whole study will stand. A good draft will yield a perfect report, and the reverse is also true.

An outline enhances the quality of the film review, and it is essential you have your outline before you start writing. A sample outline looks like this:

1. Introduction

  • Date released
  • Background info

2. Summary of the story

3. Analysis of the plot elements (read also: guide about a critical analysis for movies)

4. Creative elements

5. Opinions (add examples to back up your claims)

  • Camera techniques
  • Special effects and so on

6. Conclusion

  • Analyze the movie: After fully understanding the movie, you can start its analysis. Critically evaluate the film from the beginning to the end, noting every detail. While analyzing, if you observed any confusing part, re-watch to grasp the idea portrayed there fully. After you fully understand it, then you are set to write the movie review. To write a decent analysis, you need to know how to write a film critique.
  • Augment Your Review with Examples : While watching the movie, your observations should be supported with examples, i.e., mention scenes the event took place. If the plot is faulty, mention it but state examples to support that claim. You can also mention poorly developed characters evident in the movie and others. Everything you observed in the film must be noted.

Examples of notables include locations, faulty or beautiful dialogues, quotes that appeal to you, poorly made speeches, bloopers, editing errors and so on. Do take note that it is not enough to make general statements about how awesome or awful the movie is, you must support your claim with evidence in the film. That is why it is called a movie review and not opinion sampling interview about the movie.

  • Comment on the originality of the movie: Finally mention the uniqueness of the film which you noticed in the one you’ve watched. But even if the movie happens to be a standard feature with conventional approaches, you can still mention this as well. A regular film is still a film.
  • Write Your Review: With all the fact gathered above, you can now use the outline to write your film review. Make every part easy and enjoyable to read. Importantly, make the introduction engaging and captivating. You should go for a grand opening that will grab the attention of any reader. A good opening keeps the reader on the article.

Let us assume your introduction is watertight and engaging; any sloppy body will lose your reader. Hence, make the body informative and engaging. The review aims to reveal as much information as possible. Therefore, do your best to give all the details in the film to the reader. Engage your analytic mind.

Another essential part of the review is the closing or conclusion. Here you give your view about the movie with evidence revealed in the body. Connect the conclusion with the introduction creatively.

  • Edit Your Final Draft: After writing your first version of the review, you can re-write the final one after editing. Also, you should check the final draft for spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and so on. Ensure sentences connects logically to each other and watch the format used. Make a final comparison of your work with the requirement by your professor or lecturer.

With the help of free word counter check the number of words required and cut them if more than needed but if not, add relevant information to make them up. Do not add irrelevant details for the sake of space. Ensure your final submitted draft is well edited, polished, plagiarism-free and presented in the recommended format or style.

Need more writing assistance?

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Tips to Follow While Writing a Movie Review

Since a movie review essay requires dedication and time investment, you might want to know the special tips to get you through the assignment seamlessly. Do recall that perfect conclusion of this assignment will add to your grades, hence the need to take it seriously. If you wish to know How to write a movie critique easily, then this section will tell you that.

The useful tips you should consider are as follows:

  • Watch the film at least two times
  • If you have seen it before, make sure you re-watch it for the assignment.
  • Watch the movie not as a moviegoer but with an analytic mindset of a professional reviewer
  • Pay attention to details
  • Take notes as you watch
  • Don’t be in a rush - take your time, but be aware of the deadline
  • Do not write out of the contest of your coursework
  • Follow the requirements of your professor
  • Use an outline to organize your work
  • Start working on the body of your film review first and the introduction next
  • Write an engaging introduction and a powerful closing.
  • Never forget to edit your work.
Read also: How to write an editorial Essay: Useful Tips for Those Who Want To Perfect Their Skill 

Elements of a Professional Movie Review

One similar thing about these reviews is that they all should contain the same elements regardless of the genre. The elements of a movie review provide the structure on which you will base the analysis. A proper movie review format comprises the following components:

  • The Title: It’s not enough that the movie title appears on the headline, it must appear in the review too. Mention it in the text and feature it in the introductory paragraph; there is no harm in doing that.
  • The Storyline (Plot): The motion picture review itself refers to the summary of the movie. Present it in a concise way for people who are yet to watch it. When you are beginning to write a movie review, never have the mindset that your professor or any would-be reader has watched the movie. Therefore, never leave important points or events out. Your job is to elucidate the movie clearly to the reader: mention the faults observed, and the filmmaker’s brilliant points or downers.
  • Filmmaker: What is a movie analysis without the filmmaker? Your review must feature him or her. Therefore, dedicate a paragraph to him, write about the kind of personality he or she is. Reveal the filmmaker's political stance (if relevant), background, the controversial life of the person (if he is one), etc. You can also use the opportunity to talk about other movies the director has worked on before now, and then connect it with the one under review.
  • Significance to your class: Relate the content of the film or documentary to your course topic. Check its importance for historical accuracy. If the film is for history class, discuss any over-dramatization noticed in the act. However, if the film was based on a book you have reviewed in one of your classes, mention the connection between the book and the movie: state variances, comparisons and other elements present in the book that are missing in the film.
  • Creative elements: Creative elements make or mar films, that is why filmmakers go out of their ways to add them to their movies. It is your job to state how these elements work in the plot and the film in general. For instance, comment on the effectiveness of the sound effect in enriching the viewing experience of the movie? Talk about the lighting, costume, makeup, colors, camera, etc.
  • Actors: The cast carry the movie; without them, there is no movie. Your review should reveal if they acted well or poorly. State if their acting was realistic or not. Do not fail to mention if they have the skills and charisma to portray the role they played. You can also state if they were the right actors to play the role they did. Furthermore, you can suggest actors who could have played certain roles better than those in the film.

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Common Movie Review Mistakes You Should Avoid

After your arduous work of submitting your film report, you might be shocked to learn that your hard work received a query. You may wish to know why, well it could be because you commit any of the following common mistakes:

  • Focusing on the wrong thing: Do not shift your focus. You might want to connect the film with some historical events, however, do not give unnecessary analysis or details that are not relevant to the movie under review. For instance, avoid giving the history of motion picture unless the film is about the development of the industry. Try and be focused.
  • Alienating yourself from the review: You are the one writing the review, therefore, do not insert yourself in it. The review already has your name and signature on it so adding the possessive pronoun "I" should be discarded. The mistake most student make is writing in the first person, e.g., “I like the movie a lot, I admired the lead character,” and so on. Since the review exposes your understanding, opinions, likes, and dislikes, then it is unnecessary to insert yourself in it.
  • Not doing your research: As said earlier, watching the movie is one side of the coin, you need to check out other details. Researching the film is highly critical because it would expound to you all the nitty-gritty details, not in the motion picture.
  • Lack of evidence: In writing about a motion picture, you must substantiate any opinion or claim. You need to state your reason for liking, disliking, etc. of the film.
  • Avoid irrelevant discussion: Do not start explaining issues not related directly with the motion picture you are analyzing.
  • Unstructured review: Never write a movie review without structure, it would reveal you as an unorganized student. Hence structure your review properly by first creating the outline and organize your work.
  • Avoid Generalization and be Precise: Never generalize ideas when you write a movie review. Avoid general statements like “a fantastic movie,” “beautiful set,” “excellent acting,” and such like. Support any comment you make with evidence from the film.
  • Review lacking substance and analysis: Avoid writing a motion picture review that does not have substance or analysis. A review is a piece of educational literature, therefore, add intelligent analysis to it.

Movie Review Example from Top Writer

Here are a few examples of movie review topics to steer you in the right direction:

  • Avatar Movie Review
  • Beautiful Woman Movie Review
  • Black Panther and its Global Significance
  • In Pursuit of Happiness: Lessons to Learn
  • iRobot: The Depiction of AI in the Future
  • Matrix Movie Review
  • Roots and Its Implication on the Life of the Black Men
  • The Good, the Bad, the Ugly Movie Review
  • The Last Holiday Movie Review and the Lesson of Living Life Too Cautiously
  • Titanic Movie Review

Quick & Reliable Writing Help

As you can see, a movie review essay is an interesting paper to write. Recall that the whole point of a movie review is to inform the reader about the film and the ideas behind it. Also, it reflects your unbiased and objective view about the film. Adopt all our tips, and you shall submit a professional-looking report.

However, if you don't care about movies or still have issues coming to terms with all we have explained above, then contact us for help. At Edubirdie, our movie and book review writing service  are poised to help with your assignment and guarantee a high-quality review at an affordable price. With us, you shall learn how to do a movie review that will wow any professor.

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10 Movie Review Examples That Will Help You Write Better Reviews

Studying movie review examples is a great place to start if you’re looking for inspiration for your own movie reviews. 

This article has gathered different kinds of movie review examples that will help you write better and more insightful reviews in whatever style you choose.

10 Detailed Movie Review Examples

The classic movie review.

A classic movie review example has a neat structure that clearly communicates the author’s sentiment toward the film in a clean, straightforward manner.

1. “North” by Roger Ebert

“I have no idea why Rob Reiner, or anyone else, wanted to make this story into a movie, and close examination of the film itself is no help.”

The opening sentence of this movie review example makes it clear to the audience that Ebert did not enjoy the film in question and if they would like to know why, they are encouraged to continue reading.

The whole first paragraph is chock full of strong adjectives setting the tone for the scathing critique this film is about to get.

“He [Elijah Wood] plays a kid with inattentive parents, who decides to go into court, free himself of them, and go on a worldwide search for nicer parents.”
“This idea is deeply flawed. Children do not lightly separate from their parents – and certainly not on the evidence provided here, where the great parental sin is not paying attention to their kid at the dinner table.”

In this movie review example, Ebert dives deep into the oddities of the narrative and what makes it so unbelievable.

“What is the point of the scenes with the auditioning parents?… They are not funny. They are not touching. There is no truth in them.”
“I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it.”
“‘North’ is a bad film – one of the worst movies ever made.”

After reading Ebert’s movie review example there is no question of whether he liked the movie or not. I don’t know, he might’ve even mentioned hating it at one point…

The Real World Parallel Review

A movie review that can parallel the events occurring within the movie with events occurring outside of the movie shows a deeper level of critical thinking.

2. “The Flash” by Justin Chang

“‘The Flash’ is a time-travel story and a cautionary tale, a warning of how dangerous it can be to change the past or mess around with alternate realities.”
“…this initially enjoyable, increasingly sloppy megabucks mess…”

This review, unlike the classic movie review, spends more time following the plot of the story through a biased lens, further walking readers through the details of the story.

“He gets stuck in the past and… winds up unwisely joining forces with a teenage version of himself (also Miller, with floppier hair), who’s had a much happier childhood but doesn’t (yet) have the Flash’s superheroic powers.”
“Really, though, is nostalgia that satisfying anymore?”
“Lost in an endless game of IP-reshuffling musical chairs, Barry realizes, possibly too late, the futility of dwelling on the past — a fatuous lesson from a movie that can’t stop doing the same.”

3. “Bonnie and Clyde” by Roger Ebert

“‘Bonnie and Clyde’ will be seen as the definitive film of the 1960s, showing with sadness, humor, and unforgiving detail what one society had come to… it was made now and it’s about us.”

READ THE FULL REVIEW OF Bonnie and Clyde BY Roger Ebert

4. “Black Panther” by Soraya Nadia McDonald

“Honestly, the worst thing about Black Panther is that it had to be released in 2018 and not during the term of America’s first black president.”
“Perhaps it’s even capable, just as The Birth of a Nation once was, of helping to steer an entire national conversation.”

The Storytelling Movie Review

If you have a story of your own that you can parallel with the movie’s story, then connecting the movie’s narrative with your own is a particularly entertaining way to craft your review.

5. “The Help” by Wesley Morris

“Three summers ago, I went to visit a friend in West Texas.”
“This pretty much captures the cognitive dissonance of watching “The Help’’: One woman’s mammy is another man’s mother.”

The following paragraph gives a synopsis of the film and introduces the audience to the main characters:

“Meanwhile, the heart of the film itself belongs to Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer), the two very different maids and best friends at the center of the story.”
“‘The Help’ joins everything from “To Kill a Mockingbird’’ to “The Blind Side’’ as another Hollywood movie that sees racial progress as the province of white do-gooderism.”
“And yet here’s the question you ask as you watch a black actor in 2011 play a white lady’s maid, decades and decades after that was the only job a black woman in Hollywood could get. What went through the minds of Davis, Spencer, and Aunjanue Ellis, who plays Hilly’s maid, as they put on those uniforms and went to work?”
“These are strong figures, as that restaurant owner might sincerely say, but couldn’t they be strong doing something else?”
“On one hand, it’s juicy, heartwarming, well-meant entertainment. On the other, it’s an owner’s manual.”

6. “Me Without You” by Stephen Hunter

This movie review example also tells a story although it’s not personal.

“Friendship isn’t rocket science. It’s much harder.”
“Oh, yeah, it’s easy to say just be loyal and true and that makes you a good friend. But suppose the other person does something that really irks you, like chew gum or vote Democratic?”
“And that thorniness, that dark underbelly of it, is the gist of the acerbic British import ‘Me Without You…'”
“But the truth is, of course, that friendship matters to those of us who still claim membership in the human race…”

READ THE FULL REVIEW OF ME WITHOUT YOU BY STEPHEN HUNTER (Under the title: ‘Me’: Friendship as Relationship)

The Unconventional Movie Review

7. “et” by roger ebert.

“Dear Raven and Emil: Sunday we sat on the big green couch and watched “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” together with your mommy and daddy.”
“The camera watches Elliott moving around. And Raven, that’s when you asked me, “Is this E.T.’s vision?” And I said, yes, we were seeing everything now from E.T.’s point of view.”

Ebert uses this opportunity to make a simplified analysis of the director’s use of POV in the movie, praising the film’s direction without losing the context of a grandfather’s letter.

“Some other filmmaker who wasn’t so good might have had subtitles saying, “E.T.? Are you out there? It’s Mommy!” But that would have been dumb.”
“Well, that’s it for this letter. We had a great weekend, kids. I was proud of how brave you both were during your first pony rides. And proud of what good movie critics you are, too. Love, Grandpa Roger”

8. “Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse” by IMO Flicks

I approached the film this way because I was tired of reviewing Marvel Superhero films but the thought of writing it as an out-of-touch grandma made the review so much more fun and less pressure-filled, even if it’s really not the most straightforward or informational read.

“My granddaughter told me to rate this spider film [ Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse ] out of 10 points. I initially wanted to give it 4 points out of 10… Apparently, my grandchildren think this rating is ridiculous. One of my grandsons almost threw a chair. He gave the film a 200/10, claiming it’s one of the best films he’s ever seen.”

The Self-Aware Review

9. “manchester by the sea” by ty burr.

This movie review example of Manchester By the Sea wants to encourage you to watch the movie but doesn’t want your expectations so high that you don’t experience the same subtle unexpected magic that the movie works on viewers.

“Nothing destroys an audience’s appreciation of a small good movie like advance praise.”
“So I won’t tell you that I’ve seen “Manchester by the Sea” twice now and both times felt haunted for weeks.”
“I won’t bother you with how the movie stands as a soul-satisfying comeback for its maker…”
“I could say, but I won’t, that we’ve all seen too many movies in which a lost soul comes out of his shell and rejoins the human race after he inherits a kid from a dead relative.”
“If I do tell you all this, forget I ever did. Just remember you heard somewhere that “Manchester by the Sea” is an experience worth having…”

10. “Mark Kermode” by Mamma Mia

Kermode’s review of Mama Mia takes his self-awareness in a different direction where he personally loves the movie Mama Mia and is not afraid of letting the world know it.

“One minute I was a miserable critic; the next, everything had gone pink and fluffy.”

Kermode continues the movie review example, touching on the actor’s performances, the director’s execution of the film, and the soundtrack before returning to how the film affected him as a critic.

“I feel duty-bound to report that I came out of the screening an utter wreck.”
“I have certainly mellowed, and perhaps my critical faculties have withered and died. But I simply can’t imagine how Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again could be any better than it is.”

A lot of the time, this personal voice can be merged with other review styles as well.

Common Questions

How to write a movie review, what should a good movie review include, what is the best movie review for students, in conclusion….

If you would like to view 50 more outstanding movie review examples , I’ve grouped some here in a shared Word document available for free!

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When I'm not over-analyzing movies, I'm eating chocolate, belting my favorite songs, and binge-watching reality dating shows. Feel free to share your opinions with me and follow me through my social links!

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How to Write a Good Movie Review for College Like a Film Critic

Imagine that you are one of the most famous critics to take part in evaluating a film for an Oscar. Thrilling, huh? In this article we will tell you what points to consider to write a professional movie review for college or another occasion.

The difference between a school and college movie review

Writing a movie review for college or university is more than a brief story of your enjoyment of the movie – this can tell you any college essay writer . You will need to analyze elements of the film and see things that would be invisible for an ordinary viewer. Also, you will need to use your critical thinking and research skills to create a powerful text.

What makes a perfect movie review for college? The answer is a well-balanced overview of key points, considering the inner story, themes, and other elements that form the movie into a coherent whole. An extended movie review also includes the judgment and sharing of emotions about the movie, but contains a deeper analysis of movie components.

The art of filmmaking consists of many parts that play significant roles in the overall perception of the story. Here is a list of basic elements that you can include in a movie review sample :

Movie review essentials

Getting ready to write the movie review

It may seem obvious that for a movie review, you need to watch the movie. But the practice has shown that more than preparing popcorn is required to write a good movie review. Here is some advice you can follow to evaluate the movie better.

  • Get prepared. If the movie is filmed based on a book, read it or look through the brief description to have a general idea.
  • Make a list of touching points to consider while watching. Learn the teacher’s requirements and also add them to the list. It will help you be more attentive to details.
  • Watch the movie two-three times to mention all the details and better evaluate all moments. Refrain from relying on your memory. You can’t remember all the moments at once. Moreover, some moments in movies are revealed only after re-watching. Make sure that you have entirely understood the film.
  • Note down the most touching moments while watching. If you watch the record, write down the time to see them again. Note your impressions and thoughts right after the movie ends.
  • Learn more about the director and filmography. To make your review more solid and profound, read about the director’s motives for creating this movie, explore the locations where the movie was filmed, events that inspired the director to make the film, etc.

How to write a good movie review for college in 8 steps

How to write a movie review

1. Watch the film like a film critic. Even if you have already watched the film several times, it’s time to analyze it from another angle. Do actors wear historically correct costumes? What emotions does the camera operator try to convey? How does one scene move to another? What mood does the color and lighting establish? Try to evaluate all elements that were involved in the film creation.

2. Divide the film into scenes. This will help you find out the sequence of scenes and evaluate their significance to the overall idea. Look how the director moves from one story line to another, presents a story twist, and depicts characters. Does the movie have flashbacks?

3. Look through critical reviews of the movie. Search not only over the internet, but also look at academic databases in your college library. Academic works about films and views of professionals about the films may give you good ideas for your own review.

4. Determine the main thesis. What will be the main thought of your movie review? For example, you can discuss the movie in terms of its effect on the audience, compliance of the film with the depicted epoch, or the quality of the book adaptation.

5. Analyze the most significant scenes. Analyze the location, story development, and camera work. How does the director use technical means and the actors’ performances to create the mood, meaning, and character development?

6. Present your own point of view and understanding of the film. For example, you can explain the philosophical aspects in the movie “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

7. Write your first draft. Create an outline that will help you to structure your review. Typically, you will need an introduction, body (review of story, technical characteristics, cast, directing), and conclusion.

8. Edit and proofread the text of your movie review. It’s essential to ensure you have no grammatical errors or other mistakes in the text, as you usually do when you write my college essay . Re-read the text to check whether you have covered all movie scenes, every thought has an ending, and the text reads smoothly.

When you finish your first draft, make sure that your movie review:

  • has an attractive and attention-grabbing title;
  • has a brief description at the very beginning;
  • contains a short overview of the story;
  • analyzes the key elements of the movie;
  • contains real examples from the movie to back up your personal opinion;
  • keeps the ending and story twists a surprise;
  • recommends the movie to a particular audience.

Ideas for movie review writing

While writing an effective movie review, you will need to take a certain approach to the movie. Here is a list of approaches that you can apply to your movie review:

  • The role of music, special effects, operator work, motifs, editing, characters, or other movie details. For example, you can discuss the role of black and white tones in “Angel-A” (2005) by Luc Besson.

  • Analysis of the narrative form. For example, you can define the influence of postmodern scripts in “Pulp Fiction” (1994) by Quentin Tarantino.

  • Analysis of a movie from a cultural, political, theoretical, historical, or ideological perspective. You can make a profound analysis of the movie in the context of a particular approach.
  • The influence of an artistic vision and the director’s approaches to the overall character of the movie. How has the director’s viewpoint influenced the movie? Do the director’s works have distinctive characteristics that distinguish him or her from other directors?
  • Analysis of the film genre from the perspective of typical qualities of the genre. For example, you have chosen the thriller “The Silence of the Lambs.” What typical qualities of a thriller does this movie have? What differentiates it from other thrillers?

  • The role of cultural traditions and the country’s history on the film. For example, a typical ending of Hollywood movies is a happy ending. Bollywood movies are typically accompanied by dancing or singing.
  • Comparison of two films. It may be two films of one director, or two films on one book or story, or two films of identical genres.

Questions to get more ideas for movie review

– What atmosphere does the movie convey? – How does the director address the story? Which methods were utilized? – How does the film differ from other movies filmed by this director? – Is the script well written? What are the most effective parts? Which parts need more development? – What lessons does the film present? – Does the script flow smoothly? – Are movie characters memorable and clear? Do they change across the film? – What do you think about dialogues? Do they sound truthful and authentic? – How have the actors portrayed their characters? Did the director choose the actors right? – What are the main motives of the main characters? What makes them stand out? – How does the director depict the protagonist and antagonist? How does it influence the full story? – How is the conflict depicted in the film? – Was the setting chosen right? What do you think about the costumes? – What makes this particular movie good for you? – What were your thoughts about the movie at the beginning? Have you changed your mind after you have finished watching the movie?

Movie review example for college students

In the sample below you can read an excerpt of a movie review dedicated to the movie “Donnie Darko.” The author makes a brief overview on the movie, touches the main themes, and makes an argument about the main character. Consider the structure, word choice, and phrases that you can apply to your own review.

Donnie Darko: Superhero or Ordinary Schizo?

The film Donnie Darko was directed by Richard Kelly when he was 26 years old. The director tried to reflect his childhood fears and phobias, providing them with a mystical and fantastic environment. The whole movie was filmed within 28 days and remains on the list of the 250 best movies on IMDB. Donnie Darko is an ordinary American teenager who lives with his family in a small town. However, Donnie has one distinctive feature. He is schizophrenic. Donnie periodically meets a creature named Frank (James Duval), who calls him somewhere or asks about something.

The scene of a family dinner introduces us to Darko’s family. His father is always ready to apply humor to even the most awkward situations. His mother is calm and extremely worried about the future of her children. Despite the fact that all children quarrel, it seems that the family is happy. They have their own problems, but we see that everyone loves each other.

During the film we can trace two main themes: one about God, and the other youthful vitality. These two themes are intertwined, so the viewer may not mention one separately. This also takes place in the confrontation of the young, crazy, idealists (liberals) who are open to new ideas, and the reasonable and cautious adults (conservatives). This was stated from the very beginning: Elizabeth Darko declares that she will vote for Dukakis on recent presidential elections and is not going to marry until she will be thirty. Most of the events in the film show how 15-year-old teenagers can sometimes be wiser and cleverer than teachers. (…)

The music accompaniment highlights the most significant moments in the films. Each moment can be represented as an individual music clip. The Tears for Fears song introduces the college staff during the scene in the school’s hall and makes a strong association of music and the school community. (…)

While Donnie seems to be an awkward teenager, his actions make the viewer think that he is a superhero. During the first conversation, Gretchen asked: “Donnie Darko. What the hell kind of name is that? It’s like some sort of superhero or something.” And Donnie answered: “What makes you think I’m not?” The ending of the movie proves that he was right. (…)

This movie is exceptional, original, and extraordinary. Donnie Darko is not a parody on thrillers and horrors; it’s an extremely serious, dark, and depressive story. The movie can be recommended to teenagers and adults interested in multi-genre films. (…)

Donnie Darko. Directed by James Richard Kelly, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 19 Jan. 2001.

More movie review examples

We have gathered some excellent movie review samples in one place for your convenience. Get fresh ideas, analyze the author’s approach, and explore paper structure to understand better the process of writing a movie review. Moreover, we have added videos that you may also find helpful.

Avatar movie review

One can say that “Avatar” by James Cameron is another Pocahontas adaptation. But in fact, the movie has much more to say. Read the following sample to get more ideas and touching points for writing your review about the Avatar movie.

Mad Max movie review

Are you a fan of dystopian future films? Mad Max by George Miller is one of the world classics that is still popular among movie fans. One of our authors has dedicated time and passion to writing this movie review sample. Check it out for inspiration!

In Bruges movie review

It’s always a good idea to write a movie review about a good movie. The movie “In Bruges” by Martin McDonagh has controversial opinions, as it highlights killers in a positive light. Our writer has reviewed the topic in a more catchy way. You can check the sample below if you still need to form your point of view on the movie.

American Beauty movie review

Sam Mendes has genuinely depicted the life of an average middle-class American family. American Beauty is a movie that can entertain for a long time. One of EssayShark’s writers has created the following sample considering all crucial points to create an outstanding movie review on American Beauty.

Suicide Squad movie review

This movie is a treasure for all DC fans. If you plan to write a review on this movie, you are at the right place. Our writer has paid much attention to crafting this unique movie review. Consider the points disclosed in the text and catch the ideas for your writing. Enjoy!

Movie review format

Movie review structure

Including all the necessary points in your movie review is essential. Creating an outline will significantly improve your concentration on the movie’s central idea and help you stay aware of the variety of information you wish to disclose.

Below you will find the typical movie review format. You can use it as a basis if the teacher has yet to require the other.

Introduction.

It’s not only the opening words. You should give basic information about the movie right ahead in a movie review. Remember to list the title, director, year of production, and any background information.

Whether your reader has seen the movie or not, you need to shortly write about the story that laid the film’s foundation. Take time to explore other works of the director to compare his movies to other works.

Analysis of the plot.

Evaluate the plot points, which typically include exposition, rising action, dilemma, climax, falling action, and resolution (see the explanation of these words in the image below). The plot structure may differ and contain more or fewer points.

Review of creative tools.

Here you can discuss soundtracks, actors, lighting, camera angles, costumes, dialogues, and other methods contributing to the overall picture and movie perception.

Evaluation of cast.

Acting and actors’ choices may significantly influence the overall portrayal of the story. Think about whether all actors fit their roles and the quality of their performance.

If you have found any plot gaps or wish to make an accent on the most exciting twists in the film, support it with facts from the movie. Explain whether the director succeeded in telling the story and how. If required, relate the topic to your course, its similarity with the original book, or the topic’s relevance nowadays.

Conclusions.

The final paragraph is always a summary of your main point previously disclosed. Sum up the director’s efforts to create the picture and restate the most exciting moments from the movie.

movie plot components

Tips to consider while writing a movie review for college

  • Browse the IMDB terminology glossary and apply it to your writing. This will make your review look more professional.
  • Always consider the audience you are writing to. Apply the right writing style to make your text more compelling to the reader.
  • Use facts, numbers, and statistics to make your review more credible, as well as professional writers to, when you pay for essay to save your time. Quote the director’s and producer’s views on the film, or cite professional movie critics.
  • Use active sentences. It is fine to write several sentences using passive voice, but don’t overuse it.
  • Provide evidence to prove your point of view. For example, you can add descriptions of scenes or character descriptions.
  • Use phrases from our phrase list that you can read below.

Phrases to use in your movie review

Introduction:

It is a typical representative of the drama/ comedy/ action film/ thriller genre … The movie was directed/ produced by … The script was written by/ was take from … The story is about… The movie has a classical/ multiple timeline/ hyperlink/ circular structure …

The film contains/ is full/ gets … The music underlines/ conveys/ supports … The story unfolds/ takes place/ creates an atmosphere … The story arises curiosity/ keeps tension/ entertains/ touches/ thrills/ has unexpected twists … Dialogues are melodramatic/ convincing/ realistic … The actors’ performances are exceptional/ personal/ touching/ realistic/ appealing/ convincing … The film contains a few funny/ scary/ strange scenes … The film gets extremely funny/ dramatic/ thrilling in places … The most powerful scene is …

If you enjoy …, you will like this film … The film literally … If you find films/ works of director X compelling, you will enjoy this film too … This film will change the way you think … I certainly/ definitely recommend this film to … On a scale from ten to zero … Summing up, the film is must-see/ worth seeing/ shouldn’t be missed/ box office success …

Additional description table for movie review writing

Mistakes to avoid while writing a movie review.

  • Losing focus on the movie. It’s a good idea to mention the history of creating the film or touch on the historical background of the documentary film. But try to add only a bit of related information. Ensure you have included only the necessary details, and stay tuned for the review of the movie itself.
  • Talking too much about yourself. While the review is more about presenting a personal point of view, you are still writing an academic paper which means you must avoid “I” statements and write in the third person.
  • Forgetting to add factual information about the film. It’s crucial to add a summary and general information about the movie.
  • Stating your point of view without factual support. Always accompany your thoughts with short descriptions of movie episodes.
  • Writing general phrases like “the actors’ play was awful” or “the end of the movie was predictable.” Think of using more specific terms that you can find in this article or use your imagination.
  • Creating a text without any analytical component. A good movie review is only possible by critically evaluating the plot, actors’ play, and creative elements.

Movie review writing assistance from the experts

We hope that our article will help you create an astonishing review. You can find additional information about how to write a movie review from our team of paper writers . We hope you will enjoy your writing! In any case, remember that our service is always online to help you take care of your homework assignments. Just let us know that you need help by completing the order form on this page. Good luck!

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How to write a film review

Writing a review is an option in many different English language exams, and films are such an obvious choice for reviews, so knowing how to write a film review is pretty important. It’s a great topic for the classroom too. Everyone watches films and there is a lot of opportunity to teach vocabulary, either film-related vocabulary or film review adjectives. I like to start off a class about films with some chat, or my personal favourite, the Movie Music Quiz , which also now has an excellent Movie Picture Quiz version too.

awesome review

The structure of a film review

Like any writing task, it’s essential to know the structure of a film review before you start writing. A basic film review template shows you how to write a film review using a simple structure. Film reviews for First (FCE) and Advanced (CAE) Cambridge exams, as well as Trinity ISE exams, should all use a 4 paragraph structure. Another thing to remember is that your review should always have a title, and that title should include the name of the film.

  • Introduction – Essential details and mini-summary
  • Summary – A description of the film and some important details
  • Analysis – An evaluation of different elements
  • Conclusion – Your opinion and a recommendation

Introduction

In the introduction of a film review, it is crucial to mention the film title and the names of the director and the main actors. A brief summary of the film’s plot and background information can also be included, but it should not give away too much detail. The introduction should engage the reader and entice them to continue reading the review. Additionally, it is important to mention the genre and target audience of the film, which will give the reader an idea of what to expect.

In the summary section, the film review should give a comprehensive but concise description of the film, focusing on the plot, characters, and any significant events. The summary should be written in a way that does not give away the ending or spoil the film for the reader. It is important to maintain objectivity and not include personal opinions in this section. This section should provide enough detail for the reader to have a clear understanding of the film without giving too much away.

The analysis section is where the reviewer can showcase their critical skills and provide an in-depth evaluation of the film. The review should examine various elements of the film such as the script, direction, cinematography, acting, and special effects. You could also make a comparison to similar films in the same genre. The analysis should be written in an objective style with the opinion only showing through the language used.

In the conclusion, the reviewer should give their personal opinion of the film, summarising their thoughts on its strengths and weaknesses. They should also consider the target audience and whether they believe the film will appeal to them. Finally, the reviewer should provide a clear recommendation. The conclusion should be concise, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of the reviewer’s overall opinion of the film.

Using adjectives in reviews

Reviews are a great way to show off your language with impressive adjectives. If you read a film review in a newspaper or magazine, you’ll notice that the reviewer rarely, if ever, gives an explicit direct opinion. However, their opinion of the film is always crystal clear. This is through the use of adjectives.

Many adjectives have a clear connotation. They are either perceived as positive or negative. Compare these two examples. Which one is a positive description and which is negative?

  • It’s a first-rate experience with an imaginative plot and a star-studded cast.
  • The second-rate writing combined with weak performances is typical of this director’s work.

When using adjectives in a film review, it is important to choose words that accurately convey the reviewer’s opinion. Adjectives with strong connotations, either positive or negative, can be very effective in expressing the reviewer’s thoughts about the film. However, it is also important to use a variety of adjectives to avoid repetition and keep the review interesting. The use of adjectives can also help to paint a picture of the film, allowing the reader to get a sense of its atmosphere and tone.

The materials

Many exams, such as the Cambridge First (FCE) and Advanced (CAE) exams, as well as Trinity ISE exams, require students to write a film review as part of their writing task. These materials will provide students with a solid understanding of the structure of a film review and help them to develop their writing skills. This will give them the confidence they need to write a review that meets the requirements of the exam and impresses the examiner.

The materials will help you learn how to write an introduction, summary, analysis, and conclusion of a film review. You will also see a range of useful adjectives that you can use to express your opinions in their reviews. Finally, you will get an opportunity to practise writing film reviews, which will help you to develop your skills. Then you can check your answers with the samples provided in the answer key. Whether you’re preparing for an exam or just looking to improve your writing skills, these materials will provide you with everything you need to write a great film review.

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How to Write a Movie Review: 10 Essential Tips

As long as there have been films, there have been film critics. Starting with the early days of cinema, where reviews appeared in newspapers and magazines as brief, descriptive pieces, as filmmaking evolved as an art form, so did the role of the critic. James Agee, André Bazin, and Pauline Kael shaped the discourse around cinema, and today, famous film critics like the iconic Roger Ebert , The New York Times’s A.O. Scott , and The New York Times’s Manohla Dargis continue to leave an indelible mark on the world of cinema.

With the rise of the internet, film criticism now encompasses a wide range of voices and perspectives from around the globe. Sites like Letterboxd make it possible for anyone to write short-form reviews on film. Even stars like The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri have accounts and share opinions on the latest box-office hits.

How to Write a Movie Review

Today, contemporary YouTube and TikTok critics such as Red Letter Media , deepfocuslens , and DoMo Draper don’t just write film reviews, they shoot videos and skits. Through their creative formats, they offer refreshing and unique perspectives while building communities of diehard film and television enthusiasts. Whether you choose to write reviews for your own blog, other websites, or social media channels, by learning how to write a movie review, any aspiring filmmaker can start to watch films intentionally. 

@domodraperr Replying to @xsindeviltriggerx I’ll get right on that, Sir!🫡 #comments #movies #film #satire #fyp #mulan #disney ♬ I’ll Make a Man Out of You (feat. Black Gryph0n) – Cover – Samuel Kim

TikTok film critic “DoMo Draper” provides commentary on new and old films, often calling out racism, social injustice, misogyny, and prejudice.

While there’s no perfect approach to writing a review, there are best practices that every aspiring reviewer should consider.

Here are ten tips on writing a compelling piece.

1. Watch the film at least once.

For new reviewers, it’s impossible to capture everything after one viewing. Watching the film first, then watching to take notes, is an easy way to improve the quality of your final review. This will also make it easy to recall in-the-moment thoughts and reactions.

how to write a movie review

Take a review by Christian Blauvelt of Charlie Chaplin’s silent film The Circus , for example. Since the film does not have sound, properly critiquing the film requires close attention. Viewers have to pay attention to the various nuances in Chaplin’s performance, follow the story, and take in the cinematography. Regarding The Circus , Blauvelt writes, “The film lacks a conventional plot, but is rather a pearl necklace of strung-together episodes. ” The statement isn’t a criticism, but a keen observation likely gleaned from more than one viewing. 

So while every film reviewer has their own approach, many choose to watch a film more than once to deliver the best possible review. Image The Criterion Collection.

2. Express your opinions and support your criticism.

Professional reviewers do not shy away from sharing whether they thought a movie was good, bad, or indifferent. In a review for the film Mother!, reviewer Candice Frederick describes the film as “uncomfortable,” and “controversial,” helping viewers understand the tone of the movie. While Frederick seemed to enjoy the film, her honesty about how it would make audiences feel was vital in writing the review.

Be sure to back up these thoughts with specifics–a disappointing performance, beautiful cinematography, difficult material that leaves you thinking, and so on. Professional reviewers should express why and how they came to their criticism.

3. Consider your audience.

Are you writing for a fan site or a news outlet? Who will read your pieces, and what are their interests? Knowing who your readers are and where the review will be published can help you decide what elements of the movie to highlight. For example, take these two very different reviews for the film ‘Synecdoche, New York’.  

how to write a movie review

The first review was written by Alonso Duralde for The Today Show , and clocks in at around 500 words. The film focuses on the bullet points: characters, plot, and a concise review. The second review is over 3,000 words and published on the Critical Critics blog . This review goes into massive depth (and yes, includes spoilers) about the film, providing an incredible amount of analysis. The first review is tailored for the casual filmgoer, while the second is for cinephiles. Each review serves a different purpose.

It’s also a good idea to adjust your writing style to fit the target audience. For example, Alonso Duralde is a talented film reviewer and likely wrote the review to fit the tone of The Today Show site. Image via Director’s Library.

4. Talk about the acting.

When reviewing a film, it’s important to take space to discuss the performances. Does the film feature a seasoned actor in a new kind of role or a brilliant performance from a rising star? How was the acting? In a review by Brett Milam for the award-winning film Whiplash , he goes into rich detail about performances by both breakthrough actor Miles Teller and seasoned professional JK Simmons.

Regarding Teller, Milam writes, “This is a performance. This is art,” and about Simmons, “I found him fascinating to just look at.” Those are just small examples of the analysis he provides regarding their acting. As the film mostly focuses on the relationship between their two characters, Miles as the protagonist and JK as the antagonist, the review of the performances lends well to the plot of the film: student and teacher going head to head in an intense and determined showdown. 

Feedback about how well the actors handled the script, the dynamics in an ensemble, and so much more can help describe how the actors did in any given film.

5. Call out directors, cinematographers, and special effects.

Reviews that include highlights or missteps of directors, cinematographers, and costume designers can help provide support to your critiques. By providing specific examples of what worked, what surprised you, and what fell short of expectations, reviewers can write a well-thought-out review that goes beyond whether or not you liked it.

how to write a movie review

In a review for A Wrinkle in Time , Monique Jones artfully crafts a piece that diplomatically cites the missteps of the film. From analyzing the quality of the CGI to the camera techniques to inconsistencies in the rules of the fantasy universe, Jones fairly offers a critique that guides the filmmakers and crew on future endeavors. To write this type of review, it helps to have some knowledge of the filmmaking process so you can properly assess the screenwriting, cinematography, special effects, acting, and more. Image via Disney.

6. No spoilers!

The point of writing a movie review is to get people interested in seeing a movie. That’s why it’s absolutely best practice to not reveal spoilers in a film review. Film reviewer Robert Daniels approaches this creatively. In his review of Annihilation , he provides commentary on what would be considered spoilers. However, he places that part of the review at the bottom of the article under a bold header/image that warns the reader he’s about to spoil the film. For reviewers who want to dissect the entire film, this is a good way to both tease the film for anyone who hasn’t seen it and cater to people who want to know what the ending is.

Remember: the goal of any film review is to discuss the plot without revealing any twists or the ending of the film. 

7. Study the professionals.

As with all writing endeavors, the more you read, the better. However, with the modern landscape of film reviewing, which can go beyond writing and extend to content creation for social media platforms, there are a ton of reviewers to take notes from. First, determine what kind of reviewer you want to be, and what kind of medium you plan to deliver your reviews on. If you plan to post to Medium, for example, studying the reviewers already established on the site can be a great starting point.

Then, read film reviews for some of your favorite films. Determine which style of review you like and don’t like. Question why, and use your critical eye to consider why one reviewer has a hundred thousand followers and another only has two. If you’re looking to be featured on a website or a magazine, read the publications where you’d like your writing to appear as a template for your reviews, and don’t forget to read the submission guidelines. A few examples of film review professionals include Rotten Tomatoes , Roger Ebert , and Film Comment. 

8. Reread, rewrite, and edit.

While writing film critique is based on opinion, and follows the style of the reviewer, it’s still important to edit work. Writers should check for spelling, grammar, and readability. No matter how good a writer’s opinions are, they will not be taken seriously if the director’s name isn’t spelled correctly. Tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway Editor can be great for correcting and finding areas that need improvement. 

9. Find your voice.

The best reviewers have a distinct personality that comes across in their writing. Los Angeles Times film reviewer Carlos Aguilar wrote an impassioned piece about the film Beatriz at Dinner , going into a lot of detail about his experiences working in the film industry and his Mexican heritage. By sharing anecdotes about casual racism he’s experienced and connecting it to the film’s protagonist, and what she goes through, the review feels personal and relatable.

how to write a movie review

“If at a film festival – to which I’ve gotten access to because I’m a published writer – in a progressive city like Los Angeles, I must keep my guard up when people question my right to be there, then how are the voiceless supposed to feel safe, respected, or hopeful?” Aguilar writes. 

For new reviewers, developing this type of unique voice does not happen overnight, so take every opportunity to write as an opportunity to develop your style. Image via BBC.

10. Know your taste.

As a film reviewer, it can be helpful to identify your taste in film. By knowing specific preferences, strengths, and biases, reviewers can offer nuanced critiques that resonate with audiences and provide valuable guidance on which films they might enjoy. Additionally, it helps to maintain credibility and integrity as a reviewer by ensuring that assessments are authentic and reflective of personal cinematic sensibilities.

Try to explore various genres, directors, and themes to understand what resonates emotionally, intellectually, and aesthetically. Pay attention to the types of stories that engage you, which can help define your preferences.

Film&Movie Review Examples and Samples

Reviewing films can seem fun, but it actually takes discipline to explain all the elements of a film and to express your opinion succinctly. Check out our film review samples to gain a better understanding of how to write one yourself.

How to Write a Movie Review: A Comprehensive Guide

Writing a movie review is an engaging process that combines film criticism, analysis, and personal opinion to create an informative and thought-provoking piece. A well-crafted review not only serves as a helpful guide for potential viewers but also deepens our understanding of the cinematic experience. In this article, we will explore the essentials of review writing, focusing on crucial elements such as plot summary, thesis, opinion, characters, cinematography, and more.

Start with a Plot Summary

Begin your movie review with a brief synopsis, offering an overview of the film’s storyline. This recap should be concise and engaging, giving readers a general idea of the movie’s premise without revealing too much. For a more structured approach, consider using an AI literature review generator to help you summarize key points efficiently. Remember that your summary sets the stage for the critique and analysis that follow.

Develop a Thesis

Your thesis is the central idea or argument that you will explore in your movie review. This main point should be clear and focused, serving as the backbone of your critique. Consider what themes or aspects of the film stood out to you, and build your thesis around these observations.

Express Your Opinion

A significant aspect of writing a movie review is sharing your personal viewpoint or perspective. Offer your judgment on the film’s strengths and weaknesses, providing specific examples from the movie to support your appraisal. Be honest and thoughtful in your assessment, considering both your own preferences and the film’s intended audience.

Analyze the Characters

Discuss the film’s characters, examining their roles, personas, and the actors’ performances. Consider how the cast contributes to the overall narrative and whether their portrayals are convincing and memorable. Analyze the characters’ development throughout the movie, as well as the relationships between them.

Examine the Cinematography

Cinematography plays a crucial role in a film’s visual style and storytelling. Delve into the camera work, lighting, photography, and framing, evaluating how these elements enhance or detract from the movie’s overall impact. Consider how the cinematography supports the film’s themes and emotions.

Conduct a Thorough Analysis

A comprehensive movie review requires a detailed examination of various aspects of the film. Study the director’s choices, the music and sound design, and the technical elements such as craftsmanship and artistry. This thorough scrutiny will help you provide a well-rounded critique that captures the essence of the movie.

Discuss the Director’s Role

The director is the creative force behind a film, responsible for shaping its vision and execution. Analyze the director’s choices, considering their impact on the film’s storytelling, pacing, and overall atmosphere. Reflect on the director’s previous work, if applicable, and how this film fits into their oeuvre.

Evaluate Music and Sound

Music and sound play an essential role in creating a film’s mood and atmosphere. Examine the soundtrack, score, and audio design, considering how these elements contribute to the movie’s overall experience. Discuss the effectiveness of the composition, melody, and soundscapes in enhancing the narrative.

Assess Technical Aspects 

Review the technical aspects of the film, such as the expertise and proficiency of the crew, the quality of the special effects, and the overall production value. Analyze how these elements contribute to the film’s success or shortcomings, and whether they support the movie’s themes and narrative.

Evaluate the Acting 

Analyze the actors’ performances, considering their delivery, expression, and interpretation of their roles. Discuss whether the acting feels authentic and engaging, and how it contributes to the film’s overall impact. Pay attention to standout performances or any instances where the acting may have detracted from the movie’s overall quality.

In summary, writing a movie review involves a careful balance of plot summary, thesis development, opinion sharing, and thorough analysis of various aspects of the film, including characters, cinematography, directorial choices, music and sound, and technical elements. By considering all these factors and incorporating the appropriate keyword density and LSI keywords organically throughout your review, you can create an engaging, informative, and well-rounded critique that will appeal to readers and enhance their appreciation for the film. Remember to be honest and thoughtful in your assessment, and most importantly, enjoy the process of delving into the world of cinema.

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Writing a movie review: Small guide for college students

A good movie review is a well-balanced combination of personal opinion and objective analysis. One should pursue both creative and analytical approaches while working on it. Even though a review doesn’t have to be long, the preparatory work for technical and thematic interpretation of the movie may take a few days. This is a time-consuming process that consists of a few stages described in this guide. But before getting down to it, consider the main purpose of your review.

The goal of writing any film review is quite complex as it includes a few functions. First of all, your work must inform the readers about movie content so they can decide if the plot matches their interests. The next function of your review is informative, so you have to provide an analysis of its technical elements. Then, convince your readers that your interpretation is correct by using the power of persuasion. Finally, remember that people need to be entertained while reading your review, hence, make it catchy and exciting. Remember that nobody likes boring lists of pros and cons!

Film analysis based on free essay examples

After you’ve watched the movie at least twice, take notes of the most important points. Additionally, you can carry out research and jot down more details about the plot, locations, or even the events that inspired filmmakers to create the movie. Collecting more information is a way to add depth to your review. Judging from the examples of film analysis provided by https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/film-analysis/ , the picture must be evaluated from the very beginning to an end. In other words, you shouldn’t skip any parts of the plot even if they seem confusing to you. Instead, re-watch the film if necessary and make sure you understand everything that happened on the screen.

In order to create a high-quality movie review, use free essay examples offered for college students at GradesFixer. This website makes education much easier by providing samples of different writing works, including film analysis.

Writing step-by-step

Start with a magnetic introduction

Even though the introductory paragraph must include some basic information, such as the title, genre, release date, director’s name, etc., do your best to make it catchy. While writing about the movie budget, cast members, and awards in your introduction, bear in mind that it must sound exciting. This way, you will manage to keep the reader’s attention on your paper.

You can go beyond the general information and add a thought-provoking statement to the beginning. It may be about the connection between the movie’s central idea and the current issues or the interrelation between the film’s thematic content and technical elements.

Movie Review

Make a brief plot summary by describing a few major events. Remember that its main purpose is to tell what the film is about in general. Be careful and don’t reveal the ending as well as avoid spoilers by all means. Your readers won’t be happy if you destroy their anticipation, therefore, don’t provide too many details in your review. If you really want to mention a dramatic turn, always warn about it so it gets possible to skip this part of your writing.

Share your overall impression

The movie review must inform your readers not only about what you’ve seen but also how you’ve felt about it. Write about the emotions and thoughts awakened by particular movie scenes, tell what touched your heart, and mention the moments that stirred your feelings. If you want to make your review less formal and more personal, share your cinematic experience.

Focus on filmmaking aspects

Describe camera movement, angles , and distances if you believe that there is something special about the shooting. Don’t underestimate the influence of the sound on the movie atmosphere. It really affects visual elements, so explain how it was used in the movie. Also, think about the editing and whether it was made to create a smooth connection between all pieces of the movie. You can write about its role in composing the integral reality and in giving the viewer a sense of space.

Find the deep meaning

You shouldn’t make a superficial evaluation of the picture. Note that there might be some symbols, key phrases, or repeating elements that are crucial for a deep understanding. Try to figure out what the filmmaker really wanted to say by creating the movie and share your suggestions. The process of unlocking the secrets of filmmaking is really exciting, so you shouldn’t skip it. Your readers will also be amused if you manage to reveal the main message of the movie.

Provide examples

Your review won’t look trustworthy if you don’t give any examples to prove your words. Try to avoid using too many general phrases like ‘the acting is poor’ or ‘the sound is amazing’ as they tell your readers nothing definite about the movie. Instead, do your best to be more specific. Mention what exactly makes different elements of the movie good or bad.

Create a powerful conclusion

Think whether the filmmaker succeeded in reaching his/her goal and offer some evidence for that. Write about the film elements that impressed you most and share your understanding of the movie’s main purpose. You can also specify for whom it will be more interesting and explain why. Remember that a strong conclusion gives you the last opportunity to convince your readers!

Author’s BIO

Robert Everett is an academic writer and film critic. He analyses and evaluates movies for one of the most popular online magazines on the web. Robert also helps students studying Arts and Cinematography to write outstanding film reviews.

home movie review in english for college students

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How to Write a Movie Review

Last Updated: May 13, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Marissa Levis . Marissa Levis is an English Teacher in the Morris County Vocational School District. She previously worked as an English director at a tutoring center that caters to students in elementary and middle school. She is an expert in creating a curriculum that helps students advance their skills in secondary-level English, focusing on MLA formatting, reading comprehension, writing skills, editing and proofreading, literary analysis, standardized test preparation, and journalism topics. Marissa received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Fairleigh Dickinson University. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 5,629,248 times.

Whether a movie is a rotten tomato or a brilliant work of art, if people are watching it, it's worth critiquing. A decent movie review should entertain, persuade and inform, providing an original opinion without giving away too much of the plot. A great movie review can be a work of art in its own right. Read on to learn how to analyze a movie like a professional film critic, come up with an interesting thesis, and write a review as entertaining as your source material.

Sample Movie Reviews

home movie review in english for college students

Writing an Intro for a Movie Review

Step 1 Start with a compelling fact, quote, or opinion on the movie.

  • Comparison to Relevant Event or Movie: "Every day, our leaders, politicians, and pundits call for "revenge"– against terrorist groups, against international rivals, against other political parties. But few of them understand the cold, destructive, and ultimately hollow thrill of revenge as well as the characters of Blue Ruin. "
  • Review in a nutshell: "Despite a compelling lead performance by Tom Hanks and a great soundtrack, Forrest Gump never gets out of the shadow of its weak plot and questionable premise."
  • Context or Background Information: " Boyhood might be the first movie made where knowing how it was produced–slowly, over 12 years, with the same actors–is just as crucial as the movie itself."

Step 2 Give a clear, well-established opinion early on.

  • Using stars, a score out of 10 or 100, or the simple thumbs-up and thumbs-down is a quick way to give your thoughts. You then write about why you chose that rating.
  • Great Movie: ABC is the rare movie that succeeds on almost every level, where each character, scene, costume, and joke firing on all cylinders to make a film worth repeated viewings."
  • Bad Movie: "It doesn't matter how much you enjoy kung-fu and karate films: with 47 Ronin, you're better off saving your money, your popcorn, and time."
  • Okay Movie: "I loved the wildly uneven Interstellar far more than I should have, but that doesn't mean it is perfect. Ultimately, the utter awe and spectacle of space swept me through the admittedly heavy-handed plotting and dialogue."

Step 3 Support your opinions with evidence from specific scenes.

  • Great: "Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer's chemistry would carry Fruitvale Station even if the script wasn't as good. The mid-movie prison scene in particular, where the camera never leaves their faces, shows how much they can convey with nothing but their eyelids, the flashing tension of neck muscles, and a barely cracking voice."
  • Bad: " Jurassic World's biggest flaw, a complete lack of relatable female characters, is only further underscored by a laughably unrealistic shot of our heroine running away from a dinosaur – in heels."
  • Okay: "At the end of the day, Snowpiercer can't decide what kind of movie it wants to be. The attention to detail in fight scenes, where every weapon, lightbulb, and slick patch of ground is accounted for, doesn't translate to an ending that seems powerful but ultimately says little of substance."

Step 4 Create an original...

  • Does the film reflect on a current event or contemporary issue? It could be the director's way of engaging in a bigger conversation. Look for ways to relate the content of the film to the "real" world.
  • Does the film seem to have a message, or does it attempt to elicit a specific response or emotion from the audience? You could discuss whether or not it achieves its own goals.
  • Does the film connect with you on a personal level? You could write a review stemming from your own feelings and weave in some personal stories to make it interesting for your readers.

Composing Your Review

Step 1 Follow your thesis paragraph with a short plot summary.

  • When you name characters in your plot summary, list the actors' names directly afterward in parenthesis.
  • Find a place to mention the director's name and the full movie title.
  • If you feel you must discuss information that might "spoil" things for readers, warn them first.

Step 2 Start to talk about the film’s technical and artistic choices.

  • Cinematography: " Her is a world drenched in color, using bright, soft reds and oranges alongside calming whites and grays that both build, and slowly strip away, the feelings of love between the protagonists. Every frame feels like a painting worth sitting in."
  • Tone: "Despite the insane loneliness and high stakes of being stuck alone on Mars, The Martian's witty script keeps humor and excitement alive in every scene. Space may be dangerous and scary, but the joy of scientific discovery is intoxicating."
  • Music and Sound: " No Country For Old Men's bold decision to skip music entirely pays off in spades. The eerie silence of the desert, punctuated by the brief spells of violent, up-close-and-personal sound effects of hunter and hunted, keeps you constantly on the edge of your seat."
  • Acting: "While he's fantastic whenever he's on the move, using his cool stoicism to counteract the rampaging bus, Keanu Reeves can't quite match his costar in the quiet moments of Speed, which falter under his expressionless gaze."

Step 3 Move into your...

  • Keep your writing clear and easy to understand. Don't use too much technical filmmaking jargon, and make your language crisp and accessible.
  • Present both the facts and your opinion. For example, you might state something such as, "The Baroque background music was a jarring contrast to the 20th century setting." This is a lot more informative then simply saying, "The music was a strange choice for the movie."

Step 4 Use plenty of examples to back up your points.

  • Great: "In the end, even the characters of Blue Ruin know how pointless their feud is. But revenge, much like every taut minute of this thriller, is far too addictive to give up until the bitter end.""
  • Bad: "Much like the oft-mentioned "box of chocolates", Forest Gump has a couple of good little morsels. But most of the scenes, too sweet by half, should have been in the trash long before this movie was put out."
  • Okay: "Without the novel, even revolutionary concept, Boyhood may not be a great movie. It might not even be "good.” But the power the film finds in the beauty of passing time and little, inconsequential moments – moments that could only be captured over 12 years of shooting – make Linklater's latest an essential film for anyone interested in the art of film."

Polishing Your Piece

Step 1 Edit your review.

  • Ask yourself whether your review stayed true to your thesis. Did your conclusion tie back in with the initial ideas you proposed?
  • Decide whether your review contains enough details about the movie. You may need to go back and add more description here and there to give readers a better sense of what the movie's about.
  • Decide whether your review is interesting enough as a stand-alone piece of writing. Did you contribute something original to this discussion? What will readers gain from reading your review that they couldn't from simply watching the movie?

Step 2 Proofread your review.

Studying Your Source Material

Step 1 Gather basic facts about the movie.

  • The title of the film, and the year it came out.
  • The director's name.
  • The names of the lead actors.

Step 2 Take notes on the movie as you watch it.

  • Make a note every time something sticks out to you, whether it's good or bad. This could be costuming, makeup, set design, music, etc. Think about how this detail relates to the rest of the movie and what it means in the context of your review.
  • Take note of patterns you begin to notice as the movie unfolds.
  • Use the pause button frequently so you make sure not to miss anything, and rewind as necessary.

Step 3 Analyze the mechanics of the movie.

  • Direction: Consider the director and how he or she choose to portray/explain the events in the story. If the movie was slow, or didn't include things you thought were necessary, you can attribute this to the director. If you've seen other movies directed by the same person, compare them and determine which you like the most.
  • Cinematography: What techniques were used to film the movie? What setting and background elements helped to create a certain tone?
  • Writing: Evaluate the script, including dialogue and characterization. Did you feel like the plot was inventive and unpredictable or boring and weak? Did the characters' words seem credible to you?
  • Editing: Was the movie choppy or did it flow smoothly from scene to scene? Did they incorporate a montage to help build the story? And was this obstructive to the narrative or did it help it? Did they use long cuts to help accentuate an actor's acting ability or many reaction shots to show a group's reaction to an event or dialogue? If visual effects were used were the plates well-chosen and were the composited effects part of a seamless experience? (Whether the effects looked realistic or not is not the jurisdiction of an editor, however, they do choose the footage to be sent off to the compositors, so this could still affect the film.)
  • Costume design: Did the clothing choices fit the style of the movie? Did they contribute to the overall tone, rather than digressing from it?
  • Set design: Consider how the setting of the film influenced its other elements. Did it add or subtract from the experience for you? If the movie was filmed in a real place, was this location well-chosen?
  • Score or soundtrack: Did it work with the scenes? Was it over/under-used? Was it suspenseful? Amusing? Irritating? A soundtrack can make or break a movie, especially if the songs have a particular message or meaning to them.

Step 4 Watch it one more time.

Expert Q&A

Marissa Levis

  • If you don't like the movie, don't be abusive and mean. If possible, avoid watching the movies that you would surely hate. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Understand that just because the movie isn't to your taste, that doesn't mean you should give it a bad review. A good reviewer helps people find movie's they will like. Since you don't have the same taste in movies as everyone else, you need to be able to tell people if they will enjoy the movie, even if you didn't. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Structure is very important; try categorizing the different parts of the film and commenting on each of those individually. Deciding how good each thing is will help you come to a more accurate conclusion. For example, things like acting, special effects, cinematography, think about how good each of those are. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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Expert Interview

home movie review in english for college students

Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about writing, check out our in-depth interview with Marissa Levis .

  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/writing_in_literature/writing_about_film/terminology_and_starting_prompts.html
  • ↑ https://www.spiritofbaraka.com/how-write-a-movie-review
  • ↑ https://www.nyfa.edu/student-resources/9-tips-for-writing-a-film-review/
  • ↑ https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/writing-help/top-tips-for-writing-a-review
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/summary-using-it-wisely/
  • ↑ https://twp.duke.edu/sites/twp.duke.edu/files/file-attachments/film-review-1.original.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.dailywritingtips.com/7-tips-for-writing-a-film-review/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/writing_in_literature/writing_about_film/film_writing_sample_analysis.html
  • ↑ https://learning.hccs.edu/faculty/onnyx.bei/dual-credit/movie-review-writing-guide
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/conclusions/
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-write-a-movie-review/
  • ↑ https://gustavus.edu/writingcenter/handoutdocs/editing_proofreading.php
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/
  • ↑ https://edusson.com/blog/how-to-write-movie-review

About This Article

Marissa Levis

To write a movie review, start with a compelling fact or opinion to hook your readers, like "Despite a great performance by Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump never overcomes its weak plot." Then, elaborate on your opinion of the movie right off the bat so readers know where you stand. Once your opinion is clear, provide examples from the movie that prove your point, like specific scenes, dialogue, songs, or camera shots. To learn how to study a film closely before you write a review, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Writing A Perfect Movie Review

Essays that you usually write in college are not limited to only descriptive and argumentative ones. Other types of writings that are quite widespread in the world of academic studies. Some of them have to do with writing about various works of literature. Others are closer to historical studies. Writings about films are also very popular. They mainly include writing a film review, so if you are a diehard movie fan and fond of writing, this is an excellent opportunity to blend these talents into one activity. In spite of the fact that there are many movie enthusiasts around, most of the people feel struggled when it comes to creating a good film review as it involves considering a given film from different angles. In case you have such an assignment, don't be scared of it and read our tips below. They will surely help you with this task.

What is the main point of writing film reviews?

To those of you who question the importance of writing film reviews, there are several known facts. First of all, writing such types of essays stretches your imagination and helps you to use various skills that you got during your studies. Secondly, they have long become a very common task in the world of academic writings.

Writing a film review is not unlike writing the same paper about a book. In both cases, you have to consider the work from different angles, dwell upon stylistic devices, plot and characters described. Such types of works require general knowledge about cinema as well as knowing peculiar facts about a film itself and the genre to which it belongs. You have to be very attentive to each detail of the film even the ones that seem to have no meaning whatsoever.

As you analyze the film, you start to watch it more attentively. This helps you widen your perception of the film industry itself. You may notice that it is a hard task to shoot a good movie so that you can feel more respect to people involved in the creation of films. Moreover, you will have an excellent opportunity to discover a new genre or a great director whose works are quite worthy. This can turn you into a newbie fan of an entirely different genre that you weren't familiar with before.

Such types of essays are remarkably popular with many professors as they serve quite well to illustrate the abilities of a student to carry out a respectable piece of analytic work. A paper like this mainly stems from describing your own opinions and feelings about a movie watched. Also, one can appreciate your vocabulary and writing skills. Each review is unique, that is why it is hard to find two similar papers that concern the same film, as every person gets impressed differently. Finally, it is more interesting to write about a movie than about a boring book or a historical event, so some professors use these tasks as a means of motivation for those students who are not fond of writing.

Necessary parts of a film review

In most cases, professors give their students a task to analyze a film chosen beforehand. There are cases when tutors give their students an opportunity to pick a movie themselves, but such cases are not too often. In any way, the movie that you end up reviewing should be significant and have a value in the world of cinematography.

In your paper, you should note what value has the movie for your studies, how it may influence your progress in learning, and also present your own opinion about the film under your consideration. Don’t forget that you are to be very careful with expressing your personal views about the film. Try to avoid such phrases as "I think that" or "I expected this film to be," etc. Your review has to be objective and biased.

The form and shape of your review may be defined by the program of your course and professors demands. Despite this, several essentials are necessary within your paper. Among them are:

What is the title of the film? -Even if you mentioned the name of the movie in the title of your analysis, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t repeat it once again within your text. The best place to do it is the introduction part of your paper. Many students do not pay attention to such moments, thinking that it is not too important. Though, some professors may perceive it as a mistake.

The plot - no doubt, that one of the primary things to be done is to give a summary of the movie for those people who are not familiar with it. To do it the best way, keep in mind that the professor who will read your essay is one of those people too. Be very careful with all the details, try to present them with all the possible attention. Your primary goal is to present the events that happened in the movie and to write if the director managed to deliver a film worthy of the viewer's attention or not. However, be careful with expressing your personal opinion about the film if you feel tempted to write things like "I like it" or "I hated it" as they may sound completely unviable. Support every statement with evidence.

The director – an essential part of your analysis is the one connected to the creator of the film. Dwell upon the style of a filmmaker, His/her political agenda and any controversy about the director's persona. What are his/her most important influences? Is the film connected to any earlier works done by the same director? Don’t forget that each film bears a significant mark of a filmmaker who created it.

The importance of the film within your course – Think over what significance the film has for your studying. Is it based on some historical events that you may study during your history classes? Or maybe it is connected with some works of literature that you've read while doing some other essay ? If yes, how does the script of the film correspond with the story written in the book? The more connections you will find, the more significant your work will be.

Creativity – good directors are always very attentive to the smallest details that can trigger viewer's imagination and create the feeling of a total submerging into the atmosphere of the film. Did the director succeed? What can you say about the locations where the film was shot? Were the costumes well crafted? Did the whole interior correspond with the historical setting of the plot? Write about the score of the film. Was the choice of a composer good? What style of music did he/she prefer to make for the film? How do you estimate the work of the cameracrew? Does the movie have any hidden meaning? Don't miss writing about these moments.

The cast - it is imperative to write about the actors. Was the choice of actors successful? Do they succeed in playing this or that part? Is there something outstanding about their acting? Were any of them perfect to perform their parts?

What is essential : There is no absolute way you should put these items in your work. Everything you will write will be dependent on the demands of your professor, the type of the film you will write about, the course, and your own personal views on what your paper should be like. The perfect way to create an excellent and relevant paper is to do it carefully and naturally. Try to provide it with all the necessary information, include all the significant facts in your work, and try to write it with a sense of joy.

Form of your review

In case your review is destined to become a part of your work in literary studies, there are specific MLA rules that you are to keep to. Here are some of them:

  • Introductory part (the title of the film, the date of its release, the essential information about the film)
  • The part that summarizes the plot
  • The plot elements analysis (action, climax, etc.)
  • Describing the creative part of the film (script, actors, special effects, work of the camera crew, locations, hidden meanings, the mood, the atmosphere)
  • Expressing an opinion about the film (you should substantiate it with vivid examples from the film)
  • Summing all up (dwelling upon the success or failure of a director, the importance of the film within the world of cinematography, the reception of the movie by the viewers, the value of the
  • film for the educational course)

In case you have a documentary under your consideration, try to keep the scheme below:

  • Historical accuracy
  • Reliability of the sources used
  • The usage of creative elements
  • Your own opinion of the film
  • Summarizing the whole analysis

Don't forget to create a distinct outline for your film review. This will help you with organizing your work and keeping it logical and relevant. This is very important if you want to create a good and well-written film review.

how to write a movie review

The process of writing a film review

It is very entertaining to watch a film and to discuss it, so even such a task can turn into a great experience. To make it as much fun as possible, follow these tips:

  • Give the film more than one watch. This should help you to memorize as many details of it as possible. The more information you will put in your work – the better.
  • Surf through the Internet to gather as much information about the film as possible. Pay attention to the personality of the director, the cast, the locations and the background of the film.
  • Think about the film as a whole. It is instrumental, as such technique will help you to get the full understanding of the film under your consideration. If it is based on the book, try to analyze it too.
  • Write a distinct outline
  • Write your own opinions about the film, its cast, locations, script, dialogues, etc. Don’t forget to support your statements with evidence from the film. This is the best way to show the professor that you are capable of thinking critically.

The most widespread mistakes

  • Lack of concentration on the film itself – avoid writing about cinematography in general, the traditions of the genre, the personal life of director or actors, etc. Concentrate on the given piece
  • Try not to make your text too personal. Don't write things like "I think"? "It seems to me," "I hated things like…" as they can interfere the objectiveness of your paper with biased and too personal information.
  • Do not use unreliable sources of information about the film
  • Don’t express your personal opinion without saying why you think like that
  • Write only about relevancies
  • Do not produce an unstructured review

Summing all up

Writing a film review is a great chance to demonstrate your ability to think critically and to analyze a work of cinematography which is by far not the easiest thing to do properly unless you do it carefully. Pay attention to the smallest details, do not overload your paper with the unnecessary information, try to provide your work with vivid examples and don’t be too personal when you analyze the film. Check all the background information, the history of creating the film and the original source of its idea if there is any. In case the film is based on a book, try to analyze it too. It may take some time, but if you do this, your film review has all the chances to be relevant and successful.

Dwell upon the importance of the film for the educational process and how useful it may be to your studies. Such papers are remarkably illustrative and show your ability to think critically. That is why try to write with as attentive as possible, and you will surely succeed with your essay.

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home movie review in english for college students

How To Write A College Movie Review

J²

In high school and college, students handle assignments that cover various aspects of their coursework. One such assignment is writing a movie review.

Though it might sound simple, movie reviews go beyond watching a movie and writing a few words. It’s more about analyzing the various elements of the film and identify details not visible to the ordinary viewer.

Students must use their research skills, critical thinking, and creative writing to create compelling content. However, if you don’t have confidence in your skills to produce high-quality content, you can always take help from an  essay writer helper.

If you’re having a hard time creating a powerful movie review, don’t worry. We got you covered. Here, we’ve provided you with a few tips on how to write a movie review for college.

What Is a Good Movie Review?

What makes a good sample review for students?

When you read most movie, review examples for college students, you will notice they have a well-balanced overview of the key points that form the movie. Students should express their opinion about the film in an unbiased and objective approach in a good movie review.

Students should make their reviews detailed enough to help the readers make an informed decision about watching or not watching the movie.

That said, at its core, a movie review is just like an argumentive essay, only about the movie instead of the book. So, students should not have a problem crafting it. If you still have a hard time writing a movie essay, it’s wise to  hire essay helper with relevant background  knowledge about writing a killer film review. Most essay help services in Canada have movie review examples and templates for college students, which can help them understand the basis of film review writing.

As a result, students can learn how to craft something unique, original, and attractive to the readers. But what if you don’t have enough time on your hand to work on the review? Then, professional writers from Canadian essay writing services can create high quality, plagiarism-free movie reviews for you at the best prices.

Tips on How to Write A Movie Review for College Students

Watch the movie several times.

Watch the film more than once so you can analyze it from every angle. Note every major and minor character and events. Try to identify what emotions the camera operator is trying to convey. And attempt to identify the elements involved in the movie creation. If you rely only on your memory, there are some things you might miss or overlook.

Always have a pen and a paper to write everything you notice about the movie or documentary. Also, note your ideas while watching the film or after it. Write the idea as soon as it comes to your mind.

Adopt a good structure for your text

While writing a movie review, it’s wise to use a structure that allows your content to flow with ease. Just like in  business writing , your content requires an introduction that can hook the reader and make a clear statement of your option on the movie. Make the body brief but logical and informative. Always give evidence of the ideas you list down. Did you love the film or hate it? Whether your answer is “yes” or “no”, provide specific facts and details to support your opinions.

Every review requires a conclusion. End your film or documentary review with a conclusion that supports the thesis from the introduction part. Remember to give the reader an answer to the question–should I watch the film or not.

Analyze the film

Take your time to analyze significant scenes in the film like camera work, location, and story development. Think through everything the movie covered from the beginning to the end. And if some sections are confusing, re-watch the film.

Pay attention to the film’s original idea and figure out if the directors and producers fulfilled it. Also, determine the techniques used to film the movie.

Once you’ve understood what the film is all about, you can write your review.

Create an outline

Draft an outline  before crafting the actual movie review. Outlining your work is always a great idea and could lead to half of your success. While writing your outline, include your concepts and arguments. Always use examples to back up your thoughts, especially if you want the reader to agree with you.

As we said earlier, writing a film review is no straightforward task. But with the help of these few tips, you will submit a winning paper.

Remember to structure your text appropriately to make it flow with ease and capture the reader’s attention. Don’t forget to analyze the movie and carry out additional research to identify every detail.

With that said, we hope our brief piece will help you craft an interesting review.

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Quick Guide on How to Write a Movie Review Essay

home movie review in english for college students

What Is a Movie Review

The internet has revolutionized the realm of film criticism. No matter a movie's level of quality, it is always worth analyzing. Despite the growing number of individuals attempting to write about movies, few are successful. Most people do not provide insightful analysis, instead simply state how much they liked or disliked the film.

A movie criticism, usually composed by a professional in film studies, takes a comprehensive look at the film from a historical, social, political, or theoretical standpoint. This is unlike the opinion or suggestion given in a movie review, which is shorter and more concise.

A remarkable aspect of a good film review is that it doesn't just rate the movie but provides explicit views that form the critique's basis. This form of writing, like crafting essays, research papers, and term papers, should be insightful and draw the reader in quickly. It's important to discuss the reputation of the lead actors and directors and to write about what you expected and if they were met. The reviewer must explain a story's development without recalling major plot points and endings. The review must be concise, engaging, and should involve metaphors, specific words, analogies, etc.

Movie Review Purpose

Most film reviews are intended to guide readers in deciding whether to view, rent, or purchase the film. They should provide the necessary information to aid readers in deciding without divulging any fundamental details, such as the storyline or any surprises. This paper is common in schools because the lecturer wants to evaluate the student's ability to think critically and report the event easily for others to understand.

Movie reviews typically present a brief summary of the film's storyline. They provide readers with an overview of the characters, relationships, and scenarios but do not convey the complete narrative. Perusing the review should be different from seeing the movie. Nonetheless, feel free to highlight the essential moments or pivotal points that make the film worthwhile viewing.

Our college essay writing service has put together some advice on composing a movie review essay like a real critic, so let's explore the article further!

How to Write a Movie Review: Movie Review Outline

The structure is key when it comes to the quality of your paper. Don't neglect the power of a good outline, no matter what paper you're writing. Outlines help you stay on track and make sure your paper flows well.

Taking the time to arrange your ideas before starting to write is an effective way to save time further down the line. With a well-structured plan already in place, you won't have to worry about other elements. This will also make the writing process less stressful. Here is a guide on how to organize your movie review outline:

Writing a Movie Review_ Step-by-Step Guide

How Do You Start a Movie Review Essay: Introduction

The introductory paragraph is the first obvious step in crafting a movie review essay outline. Here, you want to quickly captivate the reader. Deliver your viewpoint instantly and make it unambiguous. Don't leave the audience wondering whether you enjoyed the film. Tell them right off the bat so you have time to justify your assessment throughout the remainder of the process.

In the introduction movie review should also describe your thesis. Develop the main concept for your essay that you can support using your perceptions of the movie's various aspects. The reader should be able to tell from this statement if you thought the film was fantastic, awful, or simply alright. By including a thesis statement, you may move your analysis beyond the plot synopsis phase into the movie critique category, which is considered a separate creative process.

Crafting Your Essay Movie Review Analysis

According to our research paper service , film analysis is similar to building a case. You're attempting to influence the reader to follow your recommendation to watch or disregard the film. So, you must ensure your essay movie review will be convincing. Giving instances that demonstrate the validity of your personal opinion is the only method to do this. If you find any dialogue in the movie that you think best exemplifies whether the work is strong or not, utilize quotes. This also applies to all of the movie's artistic decisions. But, just because a movie's narrative isn't strong or engaging doesn't indicate the rest of the film is worthless. Carefully highlight how some factors might undermine the movie in your explanation.

The movie's plot is only one component and shouldn't dominate the overall piece. The following are the important aspects to include in your movie review structure:

Cinematography - Cinematography covers much more than simply camera angles. It includes how the picture is lit, how it moves, appears, and what lenses are used. Here you can try the following analysis: 'Warm, gentle colors are used throughout the film, combined with soothing whites and grays, to simultaneously create and gradually tear away the characters' romantic sentiments for one another. There is a painting-like quality to each image.'

Editing - The editing is arguably the absolute star of what creates a good movie review example. It affects both the duration and the flow of a movie. Without effective editing, there would be uncomfortable gaps between pictures and many errors.

Costuming - The clothing the characters wear is called a costume, but there are a number of things to consider while evaluating movie costumes. You should be able to decide if the outfits suit the characters and the movie's atmosphere.

Casting and Acting - Finding the ideal performers to bring characters to life is the goal of casting. This sometimes entails seeing performers portray both familiar personas and figures who are entirely at odds with who they are. Casting, therefore, involves more than just finding talented performers. You can assess the acting in the following way: 'Even though he excels while on the go, his stoic behaviorism causes him to fall short of his co-star during calm scenes where he keeps a blank look on his face.'

Once you have finished analyzing the acting, directing, cinematography, setting, etc., wrap up with concise, stimulating wording to sustain readers' attention. Don't forget to provide a few examples to support your statements about the film.

Concluding Your Essay Movie Review

Finalize your review by coming full circle. Close the review by returning to your introductory fact or thesis. Give your readers a refresher on the movie's most intriguing aspects. It's important to remember that before choosing a movie, viewers check reviews. Finish with a statement indicating whether it is worthwhile for them to view. Be specific about who this movie will be more fascinating to and why in your suggestions. Remember that your ending is your last shot at influencing your audience, so use it wisely.

No matter the kind of movie review you have to complete, our professional specialists are willing to help you. Directly forward your needs to our research paper service and get it done quickly.

Need Help With MOVIE REVIEW WRITING?

No matter what type of movie review you want, our qualified specialists are ready to assist you.

Short Movie Review Form

If you are currently working on a new or old movie review, reading our suggestions should be sufficient to help you earn an A. So what if you'll be writing many reviews in the future? In this situation, we advise you to develop a uniform movie review template, which will enable you to save time and complete your upcoming projects successfully.

So, how to write a movie review template, you may ask? Well, our essay helper prepared a simple yet great movie review template you may use as a foundation for your own writing if you need some help getting started:

movie review form

Example Papers

Once you know how to review a movie and learn the most valuable tips to handle this assignment, it is time to look at some movie review examples to get you on the right track.

Check out the following pieces to see which of these movie review essay examples you might want to keep at hand when working on your own assignment:

Helpful Tips on Writing Movie Reviews

Here are some extra helpful tips to keep in mind when unsure how to write a movie review essay:

Mistakes to Avoid While Making a Movie Review

  • Add Your Own Personal Feel to Your Movie Critique - You might not have much spare time for your pastime of reviewing. You won't be able to write a movie review, though, if you just wing it without reading what others have said. Make a note of the things that intrigued you, alarmed you, made you uncomfortable, or caused you to pause and consider something, and then use that list as the basis for your research.
  • Develop a Distinctive Writing Style - Have an idol—it's good for you. You must be careful not to just paraphrase and duplicate what they say without adding your own original viewpoint. Instead, in order to stand out from the throng, you must discover your own voice. When writing movie reviews, you should also have a distinct writing style.
  • Include Extensive Information -Mention the film's photographer, special effects designer, and director. Your review might be significantly impacted by this. Then you may list all the memorable movie moments that also stuck with you.
  • Voice Your Views and Back Up Your Criticism - Give your own assessment of the film. Make sure you have evidence to support your criticisms. Use the movie's details that most shocked or humiliated you. Review genuine information rather than merely expressing your opinions without supporting details.

Final Thoughts

Composing a good movie review essay sample is easy if you follow this article's main steps and techniques. Furthermore, we strongly believe that this guide will assist you in achieving remarkable outcomes and ease your writing process. The staff at EssayPro is always available to provide a helping hand if you need a little additional push with movie review examples or even if it's simply coming up with a catchy essay title .

Order an essay and await excellent results! Contact our expert writers and ask them to ' write my essay for me ' – and they will ensure your academic success!

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FAQs on Writing an Essay Movie Review

Here are the most frequently asked questions on how to write a movie review. We provided extra details on movie analysis to simplify writing film reviews.

What are the 6 Important Things to Include in a Film Review?

How long should a movie review be, what are the 5 c's in film.

Adam Jason

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

home movie review in english for college students

How To Write A Movie Review: Guide For College Students

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Jetset Times

Why is it important to learn how to write a movie review?

For your English composition or art class, you may have to prepare a movie review one day. When you are a student, it is important to know how to write any kind of essay. But if we talk about a movie analysis, things can get a bit tricky. According to expert essay writers from a professional paper writing service, to write my essay about a movie, you should consider many additional factors, starting with the type of the movie. Feature films and documentaries may serve as primary resources for your research. As for the fiction movies, a student may use them for inspiration while writing, for instance, a compare and contrast essay on similarities and differences of a book and film based on that piece of literature. In any case, films can be used as great supplemental learning tools.

Movie Review

As a result, a type of academic assignment called movie review was offered by tutors around the world. Some students do not succeed in such assignments, so they usually use the services of a professional essay writer in such cases. While reviewing a movie only may seem easy, we would like to describe the writing process in detail.

How to Start a Film Review With a Bang

When it comes to writing an academic paper, the first question to pop up in mind is the topic—deciding on the topic is how to start a film review. In most cases, tutors provide you with a specific movie to analyze. It should be related to the subject you study and particular topics. study and particular topics. Students, being essay writers , get an opportunity to pick movies on their own in rare situations. Thus, you have to be ready to face any challenges associated with a movie review essay.

If you have a chance to choose the film on your own, make sure it has something to do with the topics you cover in class and is acceptable for the general audience. You should not pick adult movies or films with filthy language.

Introduce the general facts about the film briefly and mention its main idea. Your thesis statement is the closing part of an introduction, and it should claim whether you like the film or not and why in a sentence or few. Move smoothly to the body paragraphs after that. The next section describes the structure in detail.

The Best Way to Structure a Movie Review

Movie Review

So, in any film critique example, you can notice the following structure:

Title of the analyzed work. A writer has to specify the movie’s title in the opening part and put down the release date.

An abstract usually refers to the summary of the main points. In the case of the samples of movie reviews, that is a summary of the plot. Discuss what happened in the video and share your thoughts: was it a success or failure?

You may say that you hated the movie, or, vice versa, believe it’s the best motion picture in the world, but make sure to provide specific reasons. That is why you need to watch the full movie and pick various details like character quotes to prove your point of view.

To answer various questions that the audience may have, an author should provide replies to the meaningful questions about the movie make/director. Decide whether this person can be considered a controversial figure. Is there any sort of political stance? Finally, think about a significant background a movie creator may have (if any). Depending on the answers to these questions, the length of your paper may vary.

  • Relevance to your subject

Was it a good idea to assign this movie to your class? Think about whether the video content matches the topics that you study currently or have recently covered.

Perhaps, the movie has to do with historical accuracy. Include a note of embellishments or over-dramatization if you write for your history lesson. Comments and citations from credible sources can be useful.

  • Creative elements

You can see from any movie critique example that a list of creative tools is listed. Those could be costumes, decorations, colors, sound effects, music, and other visual and audio elements. A paper writer should discuss which of the elements add drama and which of them have comedian purposes.

How to Critique a Movie: Recommended Format

Movie Review

  • Into (title, topic, and release date)
  • Accuracy of depiction
  • Implementation of sources
  • Creativity tools
  • Writer’s opinion

Now that if you write in MLA , follow these guidelines:

  • Indoor with the title and release date only
  • Summary of the plot
  • Evaluation of plot elements (rising action, culmination, etc.)
  • Use of color, emotions, voice, etc.
  • Personal opinion

Writing a conclusion for a film review is easy. Start with the paraphrased thesis statement. Sum up whether the movie creator managed to achieve the initial goals. Re-state the evidence used to support your points. Was the film useful, and in what way? Would you recommend it to anyone else?

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Best Motivational Movies for Students

Sharman Joshi, Aamir Khan, and Madhavan in 3 Idiots (2009)

1. 3 Idiots

Robin Williams and Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting (1997)

2. Good Will Hunting

Swara Bhasker and Riya Shukla in Nil Battey Sannata (2015)

3. Nil Battey Sannata

Gulshan Grover and Harsh Mayar in I Am Kalam (2010)

4. I Am Kalam

Chadwick Boseman in 42 (2013)

6. Freedom Writers

Denzel Washington in The Great Debaters (2007)

7. The Great Debaters

Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything (2014)

8. The Theory of Everything

Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network (2010)

9. The Social Network

Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society (1989)

10. Dead Poets Society

More to explore, recently viewed.

home movie review in english for college students

17 Best College Movies That Capture the Drama of Campus Life

home movie review in english for college students

By Skyli Alvarez

Selena Gomez in Spring Breakers smiling

Though the best college movies are less ridden with teenage angst, detentions, and school dances than their high school counterparts , they’re equally compelling and full of adversity. Coming of age does not, in fact, magically end the day one graduates from 12th grade. It continues well into college, as young people leave the familiarity of lunch-break cliques and football Friday night lights for real life.

Films set in uni reveal to us what exactly happens to our beloved high school protagonists as they prepare for adulthood and the working world. From the cult classic Legally Blonde to the more recent Shiva Baby , we’ve compiled 17 of our favorite films that encapsulate the joys, tears, and theatrics of life in college.

Below, check out the best college movies to get you settled into campus life.

Legally Blonde (2001)

In our books, this early-aughts rom-com is the quintessential college movie, and it needs little introduction. But as a refresher, after being broken up with, Elle Woods trades in her title of sorority sister for Ivy League-er, determined to win her boyfriend back by studying at Harvard Law School. Woods, portrayed by Reese Witherspoon, brings couture to the courtroom, and her pink wardrobe inspires endless Halloween costumes and celebrity looks to this day.

Where to stream: Netflix

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

The unofficial sequel to Dazed and Confused , this spirited film embraces ‘80s nostalgia. As the beginning of the semester looms ahead, members of a college baseball team move into an off-campus house together and disregard their coach’s rules from the start. From hosting parties to costumed bar-hopping, the gang of college boys relish in their last few carefree moments of summer.

Where to stream: Amazon Prime Video

Kill Your Darlings (2013)

A somewhat-mythologized retelling of the Beat Generation’s beginnings in New York, Kill Your Darlings is as restless as its characters’ artistic output. It follows a young Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), after he arrives at Columbia University as a freshman and is quickly drawn into the creative circle of Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan). From here, they descend into nitrous oxide-induced debauchery and feverish poetry sessions. The film offers complex queer overtones and a look into a group of young people dissatisfied with tradition, in search of new modes of expression.

Where to stream: Amazon Prime Video, YouTube

Dear White People (2014)

By means of radio show, media arts major Samantha White (Tessa Thompson) directly confronts the racial tensions at her predominantly-white Ivy League school. Throughout the film, such strains are explored through the perspectives of various Black students, including queer journalist Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams) and White’s ex, Troy Fairbanks (Brandon P. Bell), offering a multifaceted look at the very real issue of diversity on campus.

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Where to stream: Peacock

Spring Breakers (2012)

Directed by Harmony Korine, the fever dream of a film navigates a quad of college freshman-girls-gone-Florida after they rob a restaurant to fund their spring break. Set against a near-exclusive soundtrack of Skrillex, Disney veterans Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez star as Candy and Faith, alongside Ashley Benson as Brit and Rachel Korine as Cotty. The comedy crime film is not all pink ski masks and neon bikinis in the Sunshine State, however, as the consequences of their actions catch up to them (as does Alien, a culture vulture rapper-wannabe, portrayed by James Franco).

Where to stream: Max, Hulu

Whiplash (2014)

Welcome to the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory Studio Band: what any incoming college student’s nightmares are made of. Whiplash takes its turn with the trope of the obsessed artist, in the form of freshman and jazz drummer Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller). The deeply-ambitious musician is admitted into the band and subject to conductor Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), whose teaching style relies more heavily on verbal abuse than it does on constructive critique. As viewers are trapped by a sense of perpetual anticipation for the moment Neiman breaks, the film’s tight editing and pacing leave them with the very feeling captured in its title.

Scream 2 (1997)

When college assignments pile up and deadlines quickly approach, just be thankful you do not have a killer on the loose to add to your list of things to deal with. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and Ghostface return in this sequel, as college students begin showing up dead and a sorority house party that Prescott attends turns into a crime scene.

Where to stream: Paramount+

Mistress America (2015)

When Tracy (Lola Kirke), a lonesome freshman at Barnard, meets her polar-opposite step-sister-to-be Brooke (Greta Gerwig), the former is instantly fascinated by the latter’s carefree, drifter lifestyle. Tracy aspires to be a writer, Brooke schemes up a restaurant-hair-salon concept, and although their relationship begins to unravel, the pair are able to learn from one another’s shortcomings in this openly candid dramedy.

The Social Network (2010)

From documenting the college acceptance process via TikTok to discreetly curating Instagram stories to entice a crush, social media plays a pivotal role in the lives of college-age people more than ever, and this biographical drama illustrates the messy beginnings of the platform that changed the game: Facebook. It depicts Mark Zuckerberg’s undergrad studies at – and probation from – Harvard, the various social websites he collaborates on, and the legal troubles they spurred.

Mary and the Witch's Flower (2017)

Nestled deep within the clouds is Endor College, a school for witches that’s accessible exclusively via broomstick. Bored with her new life after moving, protagonist Mary Smith wanders off her great aunt’s estate and finds herself whisked away to the campus, only to become aware of the sinister experiments it has secretly kept underway. Though very far from your typical university and college experience, this animated fantasy centers on self-discovery as its driving theme.

Shiva Baby (2020)

As college students near graduation, the onslaught of unwarranted questions surrounding career paths, academic performance, and long-term goals thrown at them only increases. Senior Danielle, portrayed by Rachel Sennott, finds herself amidst such conversations at a chaotic post-funeral service. Here, she has accidental run-ins with her ex-girlfriend, her sugar daddy, and his family. Absurdly discomforting and humorous, Shiva Baby paints a picture of a woman in between college, real life, and adulthood.

Maurice (1987)

Based on the E.M. Forster book, this film follows Maurice Hall (James Wilby) as he navigates his sexual identity in Edwardian England. While attending the University of Cambridge in 1909, Hall befriends fellow classmate Clive Durham (Hugh Grant), and as their relationship deepens, they’re subject to choose whether or not to risk class standings for the sake of their sexualities. The period piece was released amidst the AIDS crisis in the ‘80s and is among queer movie staples .

Despite drawing in criticism and investigations , college hazing continues to play a substantial role in college and Greek life, and Raw depicts the effects of such initiations at a nightmarish extreme. While lifelong vegetarian Justine (Garance Marillier) takes on vet school, the rituals she and other freshmen undergo during their first week at college leaves her thirsting for raw meat. Hallucinatory and full of tension, the woman-directed horror film utilizes this overwhelming craving of hers to drive the plot and its exploration of the anxieties faced when trying to fit in.

Sh*thouse (2020)

Despite its title, Cooper Raiff’s directorial debut is anything but. Alex, played by Raiff himself, grapples with homesickness and solitude as he enters college, going so far as to lie about his social and romantic life to his family back at home. His outlooks eventually begin to change after he leaves his shell, falls in and out of love, and this tender movie can resonate with any college student who’s felt misplaced after moving far away from familiarity.

Pitch Perfect (2012)

Love it or hate it, Pitch Perfect passes the Bechdel Test and offers a musical spin on the underdog tale. When Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick) arrives at college, she aspires to become a DJ and reluctantly winds up in her university’s womens a cappella group, helping it rise to success and redeem itself in an annual musical competition. Whether you’re an a cappella enthusiast or not, you can’t deny that " Cups " was a mid-2010s cultural reset.

Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)

In this Gen Z take on the whodunit genre, a group of wealthy college-age (for the most part) people seek refuge in a mansion party amidst a hurricane. Sophie (Amandla Stenberg), David (Pete Davidson), and others fill the estate with drinking, dancing, and a party game gone deeply foul. This ironic dark comedy examines privilege in an age of social media buzzwords, performativity, and woke-washing .

Where to stream: Hulu

Good Will Hunting (1997)

What would a roundup of college movies be without mentioning this critically-acclaimed drama? 20-year-old Will Hunting (Matt Damon) lacks drive but possesses great potential and intellect, encouraged by four friends who try to get him on track. Only when Hunting at last acknowledges and begins to unpack his deeply-rooted pains is he able to move on and pursue his life.

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228 Movie Review examples are found

The globalized world, Quiz Example

Multiple choice, true/False, and fill in the blanks: (10×3= 30) Mark the correct answers or simply type the right answer Global politics includes issues affecting: Financial Health, Physical Environment, and [...]

Pages: 11

Words: 2954

Economic Sanctions, Research Paper Example

Description of the Foreign policy issues The foreign policy issue explored in this research paper is the economic Sanctions by the United States on China over the Uyghur abuses. Economic [...]

Pages: 10

Words: 2872

The Descendants, Movie Review Example

The element of the Hawaiian culture was a strong factor in the development of Matt King, played by George Clooney. Although the movie portrays his character as mostly a lawyer [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 416

Catheter- Associated Urinary Tract Infection Prevention, Term Paper Example

Introduction In this research catheter associated urinary tract infection prevention will be explored. There are recent studies revealing that catheter induced urinary tract infections are increasing. As such, healthcare professionals [...]

Pages: 7

Words: 1819

Children of Men, Movie Review Example

Introduction: Children of Men science fiction  movie made popular in 2006. Alfonso Cuarón is the co-writer director of the film. The screenplay was adopted from Mr. P.D James novel carrying [...]

Words: 558

Deviance and Social Control in Stand and Deliver, Movie Review Example

In Stand and Deliver, high school math teacher Jaime Escalante begins a new job at a high school, where he is hopeful that he will be able to create meaningful [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1351

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50 Best Movies For College Students

By: Author Michelle Ioannou

Posted on Last updated: March 23, 2023

Categories College

Looking for the best movies for college students? Here are 50 titles that will make you laugh as well as explore serious issues. Enjoy!

College is one of the best times of your life. For many, it’s the first time you’re on your own, trying out this whole “adulting” things without the huge stress of a full-time job or (too many) bills. It’s exciting, overwhelming, fun, and hard work all in one.

Even though the mainstream media has lots of ideas of what “real” college life looks like, college looks different for everyone. It really is one of those things that’s what you make it.

If you commute, it looks different than if you dorm. If you join a fraternity or sorority, it looks different than if you don’t. If you go to school close to home, it looks different than if you went to a school far away, and so on and so forth.

But whatever college looks like for you, there are so many college movies that you can enjoy, even if you don’t exactly relate to it. Watching a college movie is a good way to break up the monotony of college life. To save yourself some time, you can enlist the help of essay writing services legit to help you with time management.

So whether you’re getting ready for college and want to “study” by watching some college themed movies or if you’re in college and want to watch something relatable (or something you just want to laugh at), here’s the list you need of best movies for college students, both to get a look into “college” but also to learn a great life lesson or two from.

“Legally Blonde” (2001)

You’ve most definitely seen this one, but even if you’re not planning on ever going to law school , re-watch it as you’re sure to learn a thing or two from Elle Woods played by Reese Witherspoon.

“The Social Network” (2010)

A star-studded cast of Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake show us how Facebook was created by Mark Zuckerberg and a small group of students all while they were in college.

“Animal House” (1978)

The classic college comedy about a frat that throws crazy parties and challenges authority of the dean. “Neighbors,” “Accepted” and “Old School” are just some of the movies that have used “Animal House’s” portrayal of Greek life in their movies.

“Pitch Perfect” (2012)

A college freshman isn’t sure she fits in, until she joins an all-girl acappella group and becomes consumed by crushing their competition .

“House Bunny” (2008)

A Playboy bunny who’s kicked out of the mansion gets a job managing an unpopular sorority.

“Accepted” (2006)

After getting rejected by every school he applies to, a high school senior fools everyone into thinking he’s college bound and creates his own university.

“The Internship” (2013)

Two men who have been graduated from college for a while enroll in an internship program where they’re competing with recent college grads.

home movie review in english for college students

“EuroTrip” (2004)

A high school grad goes on an epic trip to Europe after he was dumped by his GF.

Eurotrip follows the misadventures of Scott (played by Scott Mechlowicz) and his friends as they travel around Europe trying to reunite him with his long-distance German love interest.

Along the way, they meet a variety of characters, all while learning about themselves and each other. This movie is a great example of how college students can go on crazy adventures and make lifelong memories.

It’s a coming of age comedy that will make you laugh, cry, and have you ready to plan your own trip across Europe! The movie is full of hilarious moments, surprises, and lessons about friendship , love and growing up.

“Old School” (2003)

After a bad breakup, an attorney, played by Luke Wilson, moves into a new house near a college campus. With his two best friends , played by Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn, they open a new fraternity to relive their glory days.

“Monsters University” (2013)

Beloved animated character Mike Wazowski enrolls in Monsters University to become a Scarer and quickly gets into a rivalry with Sulley.

“The Great Debaters” (2007)

Based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, Denzel Washington plays a professor at a college in Texas that’s historically black.

He forms the first debate team at the school and goes on to the national championship, where they face Harvard.

“American Graffiti” (1973)

A nostalgic looks at teens from the 1960s, it follows high school grads as they enjoy their last days of summer vacation before college.

“22 Jump Street” (2014)

The sequel to “21 Jump Street,” police offices go undercover at a local college.

In 22 Jump Street, undercover police officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) try to find the dealer of a new synthetic drug that has been circulating around a local college campus.

However, as they investigate further, they quickly realize that their lives in college are more complicated than expected – from unwelcome roommates to a kinky professor, these two police officers must find a way to survive college while still doing their job.

It’s a hilarious film that will have you laughing through the entire movie! It’s one of the funniest movies for college students .

“American Pie 2” (2001)

The sequel to “American Pie” where the group reunites at the beach the summer after their first year of college.

“Sydney White” (2007)

A college remake of classic Snow White, a freshman played by Amanda Bynes pledges her mother’s sorority, only to find out sorority life isn’t what she expected.

“The Graduate” (1967)

Dustin Hoffman plays a recent college grade who’s seduced by a bored housewife while he’s back home for the summer . It shows his struggle on what he should do next, post-grad.

“The Dead Poets Society” (1989)

Robin Williams played a professor at an all-boys school, where the students are a bit sheltered. He teaches them how to live life to the fullest and to think for themselves.

This is highly regarded as one of the best movies for college students.

“The Waterboy” (1998)

Adam Sandler stars as The Waterboy, who starts out as a college football waterboy but learns he has talent for football.

“Good Will Hunting” (1997)

Matt Damon plays a math genius who works as a janitor but must confront his past when he meets a psychologist, played by Robin Williams .

home movie review in english for college students

“Van Wilder” (2002)

Ryan Reynolds plays Van Wilder who is living his best life in college and doesn’t graduate , instead becoming a professional student partier… until his dad finds out.

“Neighbors” (2004)

A young couple moves next door to a frat house. At first they try and get along with frat president, played by Zac Efron, but then a war erupts between the two.

“Forrest Gump” (1994)

You may not think of this as a “college” movie but the film includes Forrest Gump’s, played by Tom Hanks, time playing college football.

“Drumline” (2002)

Nick Cannon plays a marching band drummer who’s struggling to confirm to the rules of the band, which puts him in hot water at a Georgia University.

“The Blind Side” (2009)

A true story of Michael Oher, focusing on his prep for college life and shows his path to playing college ball.

“The Blind Side” is a 2009 biographical sports drama focusing on Michael Oher, an American football offensive tackle. The film follows his journey from being a homeless teen to becoming a successful college athlete. It documents his transition into college life and shows the obstacles he faced such as adapting to new coaches, teammates and academics. Starring Sandra

“We Are Marshall” (2006)

A new coach brings a college football team in West Virginia back together after tragedy strikes.

“A Beautiful Mind” (2001)

Russel Crowe plays an egotistical genius who has to face new mental limits as he ages.

A Beautiful Mind tells the story of John Nash, a mathematical genius who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

After making groundbreaking advancements in economics, Nash’s mental illness spirals out of control as he struggles to keep up with his studies at Princeton University.

Despite the challenges posed by his illness, Nash is determined to make something of himself and ultimately discovers a way to use his unique gifts and live a fulfilling life . The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Because of this, it’s one of the best movies for college students.

“The Theory of Everything” (2014)

Based on Stephen Hawking’s full story, Eddie Redmayne plays him in the film, which shows his time at Cambridge University, including his ALS diagnosis.

“The Program” (1993)

Halle Berry and Omar Epps stars in this film that follows college football players who are trying to cope with the pressures of playing at a top university.

“St. Elmo’s Fire” (1985)

The classic 1985 “Brat Pack” coming of age film about a group of recent Georgetown graduates as they struggle with adulthood. The star-studded cast includes Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, and Andrew McCarthy.

“The Paper Chase” (1973)

A first-year Harvard law student tries to keep up with the demands of a tough professor… and then makes things worse by dating his daughter.

“21” (2008)

Based on the bestselling nonfiction book “Bringing Down The House,” it tells the story of a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who card-count to earn money to pay for med school.

“Mona Lisa Smile” (2003)

“Mona Lisa Smile” follows Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) as she takes a teaching job at Wellesley College, a conservative all-women’s college in the 1950s.

Katherine challenges the status quo with her progressive ways and encourages her students to think for themselves and pursue their dreams.

Despite facing opposition from the administration and parents, Katherine continues to inspire her students and encourage them to pursue their own paths.

As the movie progresses, Katherine’s lessons become more meaningful and resonate with each of the young women she teaches.

In the end, it is clear that Katherine has had a profound impact on her students and changed their lives for the better.

In fewer words, an art history teacher who has a unique lesson plan to inspire her students.

home movie review in english for college students

“Glory Road” (2006)

Loosely based on the true story of the 1966 Texas Western Miners, a new basketball coach at Texas Western College leads the first all-Black starting lineup to the NCAA national championship.

“Stand and Deliver” (1988)

Based on a true story of high school math teacher Jaime Escalante, a very strong willed teacher encourages his disgruntled students to do well.

“Love & Basketball” (2000)

Two childhood friends , who fall in love as they grow older, have the same dream of playing professional basketball.

“Life of the Party” (2018)

Melissa McCarthy plays a middle-aged mother who goes back to school after she gets divorced , and ends up at the same school as her daughter.

“Revenge of the Nerds” (1984)

Geeky college students are thrown out of their dorm by fraternity bros after their frat house burns down.. and the geeky college students plot their revenge.

“Rudy” (1993)

High school students dream of playing football at University of Notre Dame but they don’t have the grades or the money to attend. Rudy overcomes the obstacles to attend and works his way to the football team .

“Whiplash” (2014)

Miles Teller plays a talented younger drummer studying at a competitive music conservatory… where a respected professor both mentally and physically abuses him.

“The Rules of Attraction” (2002)

Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, it focuses on the empty lives of privileged students of fictional Camden College.

“Kill Your Darlings” (2013)

Daniel Radcliffe plays Allen Ginsberg, a freshman at Columbia University. The biographical drama centers around young poets during their college years.

“Road Trip” (2000)

To help save their friend’s relationship, a group of college students go on a wild road trip from New York to Austin, TX.

“With Honors” (1994)

Joe Pesci plays a homeless man who steals a Harvard student’s thesis.

“Higher Learning” (1995)

A diverse group of freshman at Columbus University explore life while coping with racism, sexual assault, and other violence on campus. Stars include Omar Epps, Ice Cube, Jennifer Connelly, and Laurence Fishburne.

“Back To School” (1986)

A concerned father, played by Rodney Dangerfield, enrolls in college to help encourage his son to attend… but soon faces troubles of his own as he learns how to manipulate the system.

“Smart People” (2008)

Dennis Quaid plays a depressed Carnegie Mellon lit professor ho starts a relationship with a former student, played by Sarah Jessica Parker. But when his adopted brother shows up, he realizes he needs to make some life changes .

“Orange County (2002)

A smart high schooler, played by Colin Hanks get into Stanford University, but his acceptance is jeopardized when his guidance counselor sent the wrong transcript to them.

“The Freshman” (1990)

Matthew Broderick is an NYU film student who accepts a job with a local mobster. It’s one of the best movies for college students because it’s fun to watch.

“PCU” – 1994

A high school senior visits the fictional school of Port Chester University. While there, he gets a taste for the politically correct campus life while he stays at the most wild house on campus.

“The Sure Thing” (1985)

John Cusack plays a college freshman who roadtrips to California to meet a girl after he struck out with women at his own college. 

In Summary: 50 Best Movies For College Students

Movies about college students can be a great source of entertainment, and they often provide insight into the lives of young adults.

They capture the excitement, drama, comedy and romance that come with college life while also exploring important issues like racism, sexual assault and mental health .

For those who have already experienced college life or are currently in school, movies about college students can be a fun way to reminisce or see familiar scenarios and situations played out on the big screen.

For those who have yet to experience college life, these films can provide an entertaining glimpse into what student life may be like.

Whether it’s watching intense drama in “Whiplash” or laughing along with Rodney Dangerfield’s antics in “Back to School,” these films can provide an entertaining escape from reality.

No matter what stage of life you’re at, watching movies about college students can be a great way to relax and enjoy an evening.

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About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts '13 and a Master of Arts '14. She's currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she's not working, she's likely planning her escape to a tropical island.

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High On Films

20 Great Movies That Students Should Watch

20 Great Movies For College Students To Watch: Everybody needs a dose of motivation, hope, and positivity from time to time, and in the words of John Keating, one of the most famous characters played by the great late Robin Williams, “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” The profound impact a piece of art can have on us humans is beyond explanation. Sometimes watching a film can feel you with a plethora of emotions that can’t even be explained logically, or looking at a painting transports us to a different time period. Juggling between school, assignments, exams, and life; art can be both a symbol of comfort and hope for the ones searching for them.

Here we have compiled a list of 20 movies that college students must watch to get that little dose of motivation, hope, and above all, much-needed relaxation from their stressful and hectic lifestyle.

1. Dead Poets Society (1989)

movies for students 01 Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society is the most cliched film to appear on a list like this, but it is a cliche for a reason. It is a holy grail for teachers and students alike. In one of his most iconic characters, Robin Williams plays the role of John Keating, a progressive English teacher at the strict all-boys Welton Academy. He is not an ordinary teacher, and he makes it very clear right from his first interaction with his class. Not only does he understand his students, but he also encourages them to transcend the boundaries of normalcy decided by society.

He inspires them to be free thinkers and to choose their own paths in life, regardless of what society wants for them. The liberation of his students from the orthodox way of learning and leading lives is truly heartwarming to watch. Mr. Keating uses poetry as a medium to teach his students to seize the day, celebrate their youth, and live their lives to the fullest.

Also Read: 10 Movies To Watch If You Love Dead Poets Society

2. whisper of the heart (1995).

movies for students 02 Whisper of the heart

Ghibli studio films are known to take a deep dive into the realms of mysticism and magical realism, but this 1995 masterpiece is a coming-of-age film that tries to make sense of growing up, understanding one’s aspirations and dreams while also going through the teenage phase of having crushes and falling in love with someone. Feelings of love and affection are universal for anyone, but what the film does brilliantly is that it never forces the protagonist, Shizuku, or Seiji, the boy she likes to lose their identity.

Their love for each other transcends any negative feelings that may exist between two people and strives to be something that pushes both of them to achieve excellence in their respective fields of interest. Teenage romances often suffer from a sense of personal identity and overbearing emotional weight, but this film showcases how two young people can be in love and work towards their goals, something missing from numerous coming-of-age romance films.

Also Read: All Studio Ghibli Movies Ranked

3. the social network (2010).

movies for students 03 the social network

David Fincher’s fast-paced drama might be an odd choice for the list, but it makes perfect sense to be included here. Based on the founder of ‘Facebook’ Mark Zuckerberg, and how he created a multi-million dollar organization from his dorm room; the company has grown to become one of the biggest technology conglomerates active in the market.

The sheer determination to create something unique and necessary fueled Zuckerberg to work on ‘Facebook’, and that is just one of the things that college students can gain from this Fincher-fueled movie which feels like psychological warfare at times. Zuckerberg is a true genius, and he offers so much hope and belief that turning your dreams into reality isn’t as difficult as many people make it out to be. If a student has the power to imagine and dream, they have the power to turn it into reality.

Also Read: All David Fincher Movies Ranked

4. lakshya (2004).

Hritik Roshan in Lakshya (2004)

Farhan Akhtar’s sophomore effort Lakshya wasn’t exactly a game changer in Indian cinema when compared to his debut Dil Chahta Hai, but the manner in which it explored the lackadaisical youngsters of a generation who are indecisive and struggle to find their goals is a worthy watch. Karan Shergill’s (Hrithik Roshan) journey from a lost young man to a confident army officer is one of the best coming-of-age films made in Indian cinema that reaffirms the fact that the journey of self-discovery is an arduous yet important one.

It is a film that surely encourages one to find their target ‘Lakshya’ in life and work towards achieving those. Another fact that should not go unnoticed is that despite being a war film, it always tries to focus on the emotional relationships and personal growth of an individual instead of chest-thumping jingoism while constantly reaffirming its anti-war ideology.

5. Where is the Friend’s House? (1987)

movies for students 05 Where is the friends house

Abbas Kiarostami’s first installment of the Koker trilogy gives us a glimpse into the psyche of a child. It raises questions about one’s inherent kindness, irrespective of the environment they are brought up in. This simple film focuses on Ahmed, who is determined to find his friend Nematzadeh’s house and return his notebook to ensure he isn’t expelled from school.

Ahmed’s literal and symbolic journey is reminiscent of the innocence of a child, a rollercoaster of emotions and compassion one feels towards others while on this journey of life. This might be an odd choice for the list, but at times it becomes important to empathize with others and learn necessary lessons about human emotions and life in general. A student might not gain much motivation from this film to achieve their goals or realize their dreams, however, a lesson in humanity and friendship is equally important in life.

6. Good Will Hunting (1997)

movies for students 06 Good Will Hunting

This Gus Van Sant drama is a poignant and tender story about mental health, building relationships, and realizing one’s endless potential. The film focuses on Will Hunting, a janitor working at MIT who has a genius-level IQ but is misguided and troubled by his past and emotions. Good Will Hunting is less about a student realizing his potential and more about a young boy understanding his own self, learning to fight his inner demons, and standing up for what he wants in life. Robin Williams as Sean Maguire is the driving force for the film and also a mentor that every student could dream of getting. The love, charm, and warmth he exudes in each and every scene can comfort you, and his laugh can reassure you that all is not lost during testing times. Another film that just doesn’t focus on the teacher-student classroom relationship but inspires us to be much more and succeed.

Good Will Hunting is featured in our list of the 10 Best Inspirational Movies .

7. a brighter summer day (1991).

movies for students 07 A Brighter Summer Day 1991

Edward Yang’s 237-minute long coming-of-age film explores so much about the life of teenagers and the plethora of emotions they go through at a tender age. Even though the film takes place in a different time and place, its universality is seeded in the way it looks at the pressure of dealing with familial expectations, bullying, and loss of identity. Teenage angst is one of the most important topics that is rarely covered with conviction, but A Brighter Summer Day delves deep into the search for one’s identity and the existence of angst while growing up amid external troubles.

Students and teenagers are the ones who struggle with understanding themselves and making sense of their actions and emotions, but the way Yang showcases the journey of Xiao Si’r’s loss of innocence in search of a false sense of identity makes it a must-watch for students and teenagers. The film never tries too hard to force what the character feels but slowly brings about the emotions through his journey from being a studious and ambitious young boy to one plagued with insecurity and jealousy amid a struggle to come to terms with one’s emotions.

8. Udaan (2010)

movies for students 08 Udaan

Student life is often associated with dreaming big and aspiring to change the world and make a name in some way. Some might succeed at achieving their dreams, while others never get a chance to even try to do something they want. Udaan is the story of Rohan; expelled from boarding school, and aspires to be a writer but his stern and abusive father has other plans for him. Vikramaditya Motwane’s film gives a voice to each teenager who faces trauma and abuse at home and never gets a chance to fulfill their dreams. Rohan is every teenager who wants to break the shackles, fly high and realize their aspirations. The film celebrates being rebellious, to be a maverick, but not for the sake of it. Everyone might not be able to relate to the abusive and controlling nature of the relationship, but those who do know how much strength is required to take that first flight.

Also Read: 25 Finest Hindi Movies of the 2010s Decade

9. the breakfast club (1985).

movies for students 09 breakfast club

The Breakfast Club is a perfect coming-of-age film, whose clarity in its themes is quite impressive. Five students are given detention, each of whom represents a common high school stereotype- a criminal, a popular princess, a weirdo, a nerd, and a jock. What starts with hostile comments towards each other turns into a heartfelt confrontation, where the students see each other as more than the restrictive labels they’re boxed into. It portrays teenage angst in a way many movies fail to achieve and focuses on the troubled minds of the kids. Each character is prey to their own insecurity, which is largely subjected to either their own family or society. And the best part about the film is the way all of these themes are depicted; full of iconic lines, iconic scenes, and the iconic dance sequence, in the end, the film is a treat to watch.

Recommended Read: Why do Modern School-Age Children Like to Watch Old Movies?

10. Inside Out (2015)

movies for students 10 Inside Out

Inside Out is one of the most beautifully honest Pixar films that cater to both young and old minds alike and encourage them to introspect their feelings. The film is about the feelings of a young girl Riley (quite literally), whose life is in a transition after her family moves to another city. Her emotions- Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness are trying their best to handle this situation. No matter how much Joy tries to make Riley happy, it was sadness that played a role in her true happiness. Both positive and negative emotions are crucial for our mental well-being. Even when Joy tries to bind sadness within a circle, she can’t achieve what she wants. Emotional suppression can never be the answer to a healthy mind. Instead, mindful embracing of all your emotions leads to true catharsis and a happy mind, which was just what happened with Riley.

11. Dazed & Confused (1993)

movies for students 11 dazed and confused

Alright! Alright! Alright! This list was never going to be complete without this Richard Linklater masterpiece who finds so much beauty in the simplicity of life and the mundane of everyday life. His 70’s high school coming-of-age film never tries too hard to force an issue or a conflict but instead puts forth a visceral experience whose honesty and feelings linger with you long after the film is over. A nostalgic piece of cinema for those who have lived through high school to revisit in order to feel young, free, and wild. Student life is often filled with pressures from parents, teachers, peers, and even oneself. So blowing off some steam and enjoying the experiences that life has to offer becomes much more important and relevant. A film that shows human connections and friendships before we started to spend more time with our cell phones than we spent with our own thoughts. The film is not about being irresponsible but about living life with spontaneity and zeal.

Also Read: 10 Films To Watch If You Like The Cinema of Richard Linklater

12. wake up sid (2009).

home movie review in english for college students

Ayan Mukherjee’s eloquent debut, Wake Up Sid, was a game changer in the type of coming-of-age film where Mumbai feels like a character in itself. The relatable duo of the laid-back and irresponsible Sid, along with the responsible and mature Ayesha, acted as the perfect foil to tell the story about learning the importance of responsibilities and independence. Student life is a phase in everybody’s life that we might hate or love but never fully understand. When teachers speak of the protective bubble that one experiences as a student, this is the perfect film to understand what they meant as life suddenly hits you in the face with bills and responsibilities even before you might be ready. But the beauty in Wake Up Sid lies in the way it reassures that it’s never late to start working hard and finding your true calling on the path of self-discovery.

13. Lady Bird (2017)

home movie review in english for college students

One of the most popular coming-of-age dramas in recent times, Lady Bird beautifully captures the essence of growing up . Through fights, fears, insecurities, betrayals, and misunderstandings, Greta Gerwig beautifully sums up the meaning of average high school life. Yet she doesn’t shy away from showing the hardships of the parents, something which is not often portrayed in coming-of-age dramas. Christine (Lady Bird) is at a cross with her strong-willed mother and has plans to escape her small-town life by going off to study in New York, which her mother disapproves of.

There are too many things that teenagers, young adults, and even adults will relate to in this film, the foremost being differences with their parents. Lady Bird beautifully depicts how both children and parents fail to understand each other and end up regretting their rash choices. The rebellious spirit of Saoirse Ronan is unmatched, and the energy she brings into this savage role is truly worth watching.

14. Whiplash (2014)

home movie review in english for college students

There are no two words in the English language more harmful than “good job.” Damien Chazelle’s breakout film about a promising drummer who enrolls in a cut-throat conservatory under a mentor who would go to any lengths to realize the potential of a student is a scary and mind-boggling tale. As a student, you come across teachers who want to help you more than anything to nurture and support you, but what J.K Simmons’ Fletcher does in Whiplash is something that is unforgettable and unforgivable. Whiplash leaves a lot to be figured out about the ending and whether Neiman achieved the greatness he was after, but what was clear as day was the fact that as a student achieving greatness should never come at the cost of physical, emotional, or mental damage. Because what will the greatness be for if you can’t even be there to witness it unfold in front of you?

15. Brooklyn (2015)

home movie review in english for college students

Brooklyn is an unusual pick for the list, but it’s relevant here nonetheless. Brooklyn isn’t just about romance, it is about homesickness, the courage to enter the unfamiliar, and sticking to the difficult choices you make. Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) decides to leave her Ireland and move to Brooklyn in search of better job opportunities and quality of life, but her journey is not easy. Plagued by the longing for her hometown and her family, she discovers her new self and builds new relations on the way.

The gut-wrenching feeling of considering yourself insignificant in a new world yet trying your best to enshroud those feelings is what Brooklyn portrays in the most beautiful way possible. Eilis’s family sacrificed a lot for her to move to New York, and that guilt creates a lot of pressure for her to not only survive in the new city but also succeed. In every student’s life, there comes a time when they have to leave their home behind or make a tough decision for better opportunities. This film makes your heart ache but makes you feel hopeful at the same time.

16. The Blue Umbrella (2005)

home movie review in english for college students

Ruskin Bond is a writer whose stories we all must have read during our childhood or school days, filled with simplicity, moral values, and above all, profound beauty that explores the magic of growing up. The Blue Umbrella is also one such story that looks at the morality of adults and the purity in the heart of children. The story revolves around a young Biniya who comes across a Blue umbrella which somehow becomes the symbol of respect, admiration, and power amongst the villagers as we see adults plotting to steal it.

Nandu, the local shopkeeper, goes one step ahead and actually steals the umbrella and poses it as his own. This was a film that I saw on one of my school trips but could never understand till I saw it again years later and grasp what the film actually tries to critique and tell. Success or respect can never be bought but can only be earned through one’s actions and hard work, which is true in every walk of life.

17. The Breadwinner (2017)

home movie review in english for college students

This brilliant animated film is about a strong-willed girl Parvana, who, despite the atrocities towards her gender, manages to do what she sets her mind to. Parvana’s father is ambitious for his bright daughter and instills the importance of stories in her mind, both as a way to distract her from the horrors of their worlds and to prepare her to bring about a change. When the Taliban arrest Parvana’s father, she shoulders the household by pretending to be a boy and kick-starts her mission to find her father. Despite catering to such a serious topic, the film avoids a rasping approach and instead embraces an inventive one- full of visually splendid images and fable storytelling. There are two things that the film manages to put forth, the perseverance of a daughter and the courage of a girl under the oppression of the Taliban. It is necessary watch for everyone, especially students, to be aware of the kind of hardships faced by their peers in countries like Afghanistan.

18. Apollo 10 1⁄2: A Space Age Childhood (2022)

home movie review in english for college students

Experiencing someone else’s nostalgia does not fall in the same category as learning from someone else’s experience, but it’s still rewarding. One of the best Netflix originals , Apollo 10 1⁄2, takes place around the time of the Apollo 11 mission, and that is something which we might not be familiar with, but the manner in which the film talks about dreams and imagination makes it one that can be appreciated universally. It focuses on the concept of being close to your roots and how one’s experiences shape their outlook on life and how one perceives the outside world. The way in which the film also encapsulates the fun of growing up without worrying too much about trivial things makes it a ride that you can enjoy throughout without feeling out of place at any point. Richard Linklater knows how to talk about the most simple and mundane things and find something extraordinary and interesting in them, and it’s on full display in this nostalgia-driven film from the maestro.

19. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

home movie review in english for college students

One of the most loved diaspora films by Gurinder Chaddha, Bend it Like Beckham, centers around Jess, an aspiring footballer who has a hard time following her passion because of her orthodox Indian family. With a family who believes playing football is just a means of “showing off bare legs”, Jess fuels her dream of playing for the national team of England. It is a feel-good coming-of-age film that has sports, romance, weddings, drama, and everything in between. However stereotypical it might feel, it is an honest portrayal of an Indian immigrant family for whom being able to cook Aloo Gobi is much more prestigious than being an athlete. But the spirit Jess shows in order to accomplish her goals is truly inspiring. Making mistakes along the way, Jess shows the spirit of a dreamer who will overcome anything to Bend it like Beckham.

Also Read: 25 Best Sports Movies of All Time

20. coda (2021).

home movie review in english for college students

The 2022 Oscar winner isn’t just your simple coming-of-age story, it’s about empowerment and giving a platform to the marginalized. The simple yet beautiful story focuses on Ruby, CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), who aspires to be a singer. Singing is something her parents and brother can never experience or fully appreciate, yet her will to fulfill her dreams and take care of the family business and help her parents through thick and thin stands out.

A strong determination to work towards one’s passion is something that can be hard to muster, yet the way in which Ruby balances her life and passion is what one can learn from. Follow your passion; give your best, and don’t lose hope or put too much stress on attaining a result because if you give your everything, you are bound to reap the rewards for all you have put in.

Follow Essayservice.com , as their essay writers are skilled at creating custom essays, addressing complex topics, and completing homework within tight deadlines.

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Movie Nights at Home

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Inspirational Movies for College Students & High School Kids

These inspirational movies for college students can motivate, entertainment, and educate the viewer. Since so many kids are raised around screens, a movie can be a great medium to share stories and create a sense of unity within the class.

4 college kids sitting together outside - text overlay - 25+ inspirational movies for college students

If you’re currently in high school or college — you know life isn’t always easy. From dealing with the anxiety that comes with living on your own for the first time to the stress of exams and papers, there’s a lot to deal with!

That’s why having a few inspirational movies for college students on hand is always a good idea! Each of these classic stories will inspire you to overcome and succeed.

Inspirational Movies for College Students

When it comes to college movies, parties and mayhem often come to mind. And while films like Animal House and Old School are fun to watch, sometimes you need a little more substance in your entertainment!

Many of these inspirational Hollywood movies feature real-life stories from different backgrounds, as well as, second chances and examples of overcoming hardships.

1. The Great Debaters 

Rated PG-13

A professor at a historically black college in Texas, played by Denzel Washington, forms the school’s first debate team and goes on to challenge the Harvard team at the national championship.

The film is based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, and it was also directed by Denzel and produced by Oprah Winfrey.

2. Good Will Hunting

A math genius, played by Matt Damon, working as a janitor is forced to confront his past when he meets a quirky psychologist played by Robin Williams. The inspiring story also features Ben Affleck.

3. The Theory of Everything 

Based on the true story of Stephen Hawking, the movie follows the astrophysicist through his time at Cambridge University and his ambitious scientific work even after getting a devastating diagnosis. Eddie Redmayne won an academy award for his lead role in the movie as well.

4. Legally Blonde

A sorority girl, Elle Woods, played by Reese Witherspoon, follows her ex to Harvard Law School and discovers that maybe there is more to herself than just her blond hair and good looks.

5. A Beautiful Mind 

After making an astonishing discovery early in his career, an egotistical genius played by Russel Crowe must face his mental limits as he ages.

6. The Dead Poets Society

A professor played by Robin Williams forces the sheltered students of an all-boys academy to think for themselves and live life to the fullest.

7. The Social Network

The movie focuses on how Mark Zuckerberg and a small group of college students came together to create the biggest social network of all time, Facebook.

The movie also has a star-studded cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake.

8. Stand and Deliver

A strong willed teacher inspires his disgruntled students to excel in this Oscar nominated film.

9. The Pursuit of Happyness

A young father, played by Will Smith, struggles to avoid homelessness while never giving up on his own dreams for a better life.

This inspirational movie was also based on true events.

10. The Paper Chase

An MIT math wiz is recruit by a teacher to join an elite team of card counters who break away from their mentor before they finally get caught by casino security.

12. Forrest Gump

A simple man from Alabama embarks on a journey through history, including his time playing college football and serving in the Vietnam war.

13. The Blind Side

Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw star  in this movie adaptation of the true story of Michael Oher. The movie focuses on the football prodigy’s prep for college life.

14. Higher Learning

A group of college students, including Ice Tea, Omar Epps, and Kristy Swanson, confront issues of diversity, identity, and escalating racial tensions on their campus.

After being told he was too small and too slow to play Notre Dame football, a college student never gives up on his dream.

16. Mona Lisa Smile

An art history teacher played by Julia Roberts puts together a unique lesson plan to inspire her students.

17. Monsters University 

Monster friends Mike and Sully put together a group of misfit monsters to compete in the annual Scare Games in this animated Pixar movie.

18. Glory Road

This movie tells the inspiring true story of the first all-black college basketball team.

19. We Are Marshall

After tragedy strikes a college football team in West Virginia, a new coach brings the program back together against all odds.

20. Whiplash

With the help of a ruthless teacher, an ambitious drummer played by Miles Teller stops at nothing to achieve his dreams.

21. Lean on Me

After taking the job of high school principal, a man (Morgan Freeman) is forced to confront gang violence and a decaying infrastructure.

22. Remember the Titans

Players clash when they come together to form the first integrated high school football team.

23. Drumline

A talented marching band drummer played by Nick Cannon struggles to conform to the band’s rules, putting him in hot water at a Georgia University.

24. Hoosiers

A tough basketball coach played by Gene Hackman leads his small-town Indiana team to the state championships.

Love these sports movies? Check out these 21 Inspirational Sports Movies & Recipes!!

25. With Honors

After stealing a Harvard student’s thesis, a homeless man played by Joe Pesci bribes his way into free food and a roof over his head.

26. Freedom Writers

Hilary Swank portrays an inspiring English teacher who helps her at-risk students find their voice despite hardships. It’s one of our favorite movies that is focused on student life, and it’s a great one to watch as a young teacher.

27. The Breakfast Club

Five very different high school students all have detention on Saturday, and they must work together for one common purpose. 

This 80’s classic movie may not appear to be an inspirational movie at first, but it is one of the most motivational movies when it comes to opening up and collaborating with others.

Each of these moving films is perfect for college aged students hoping to gain some inspiration for their own life. 

If you’re a teacher, check out our guide to host a school movie night every week.

Love these ideas? Why not make it a special night with dinner and dessert?

  • 25 Easy & Fun Family Movie Night Dinner Ideas
  • 33 Last-Minute Healthy Movie Snacks
  • 42+ Delicious Movie Night Desserts

Whether you were looking for inspiring stories based on college life or movies based on real-life stories, we hope you found a great film to add to your list of movies to watch! 

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Writing a Movie Review: Teaching Tips and Lesson Ideas

To me, there’s nothing more enjoyable as a middle school teacher than blending films into English language arts classes. I’m a real movie lover, and I find that a good film-based activity is the perfect way to engage students in work on essential ELA skills in the last few weeks of school.

Thanks to Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming services, our students have more access to films than people at any other time in history! But I’ve noticed that even with so much exposure to movies, students need quite a lot of guidance to view films critically and with intention. 

This is why I find an end-of-year film review project to be so useful in the ELA classroom. Most students are natural movie reviewers already. They always come in on Monday mornings buzzing about the movies they saw over the weekend!

With this in mind, I like to tap into their natural instincts to share what they love, and help them learn the step-by-step organizational skills for writing a film review in the process. Here’s how this looks in the classroom:

1. Show Students Film Review Examples

To begin, I like to lead a brief whole-class discussion where we chat about the difference between getting a recommendation from a friend and reading a professional movie review . During this discussion, I point out that there are some specific things that a movie reviewer considers, including cinematography, actors, lighting, and sound.

Once students have the basic idea, I like to show them several examples of film reviews in different formats. If your school receives a newspaper subscription, you could collect and save film reviews to share with your class. Or, you may prefer a more modern approach and search online! Written film reviews tend to follow a similar structure and provide students with a good understanding of what they need to include.

Because most students also enjoy video content, we spend time looking at YouTube reviews as well. I might be dating myself, but I like to show old clips of Siskel and Ebert, the famous “two thumbs up” reviewers from the ‘80s and ‘90s! What I especially enjoy about their style is that they don’t always agree, but their reviews are still effective and engaging.

2. Know Your Audience

As we wrap up this lesson, I ask students to consider the audience of each review. For example, is the review aimed at children, adults, or even a teen magazine? The target audience affects not only tone and style, but also impacts the focus of the review. For example, a teen magazine review might focus on the famous actors of the film. By contrast, a special effects magazine might provide insight into a particular element of the filmmaking process.

3. Teach How to Watch the Film

The next step is to teach students how to watch a film with purpose, rather than simply for pleasure! In an ideal situation, I recommend watching a film twice. The first time is to get an overall understanding of the plot, and then to consider the choices the director and actors made in creating the film.

In the classroom, I like to pause the film frequently and let my students jot down notes. While they are watching, I remind them to consider each scene with an observant eye. I ask:

  • What does the director choose to show (or not show)?
  • How do the actors convey emotion, depth, and intention through their movements, as well as their words? 

home movie review in english for college students

4. Provide Common Vocabulary

As part of a film study, it’s important for students to be able to speak the “language” of movie making. After viewing the movie, I like to take some time to outline some key terms to help students write their reviews.

Words like blockbuster, avant-garde, disjointed, or uninspired can help elevate movie reviews in ELA from “friendly recommendations” to “review quality.” I find a printable list of useful writing terms is especially helpful. This is especially true if you want to avoid the “It was a good movie,” trap! 

Writing a Movie Review in ELA Activity Useful Writing Terms

5. Provide An Organizational Framework

When it comes to actually writing the review, I like to be quite specific in my instructions, breaking down the review into specific paragraphs .

For example, introductory paragraphs should start by engaging the reader with a strong opinion, thought-provoking statement, or even a quote to act as a “hook.” I like to remind students that the purpose of this paragraph is also to share some basic information about the film. This should include title, director, genre, and setting, as well as a brief plot overview. No spoilers, please!

Next, I have students plot out their paragraph about the main characters of the movie. I like to begin this process by having them reflect on the portrayal of the characters, and whether the actors are well-suited for their roles. As they evaluate the performances, middle school ELA students can support their opinions using evidence and examples from the film.

Writing a Movie Review in ELA Activity

Because film techniques can vary so much from movie to movie, I like to give quite a lot of freedom in the next paragraph. I ask students to consider the following film techniques and choose one to focus on in detail:

  • Camera work
  • Sound effects

After they have evaluated film techniques, it’s time for students to flex their ELA muscles and reflect on the overall theme of the movie. In their fourth paragraph, I ask them to consider how the director uses filming techniques, set design, characters, conflict, or other elements to express or develop this theme. I like to guide this paragraph by asking questions like:

  • Has the theme been developed effectively?
  • Does it have an impact on the viewer, a specific community, or the world?

Finally, it’s time to wrap up the review! In this final paragraph, students need to give the film a rating in whatever “system” they choose. Popular choices in my classroom include thumbs up, stars, or even popcorn kernels on a scale of one to five! As they justify their rating and provide their personal opinions, I also encourage the class to consider what type of person would enjoy the movie.

6. Give Prompting Questions

In my experience, prompting questions help students focus on key things to include in their ELA movie review. I like to remind my students that graphic organizers are a tool for working through their ideas. They don’t need to be filled out in complete sentences, but they provide a useful framework for structuring their review. 

Pre-Writing Planning for Writing a Movie Review

7. Make time For Peer Feedback & Editing

While students always resist the peer feedback and editing stage of the writing process, it really makes a difference in their overall quality of work.

Before they finalize their review, I have students work with a peer for a closer look at the grammatical and structural elements of their movie review. One way to do this is to follow the “three stars and a wish” format. In this activity, each student has to identify three positive things about the writing and one “wish” – an area of improvement.

Alternatively, if you have an established peer editing process in your classroom, this is a great opportunity to use it!

8. Provide Options for Presentation

Now for the fun part – the presentation of the movie review! I believe that students do their best work when they can express choice and voice in their finished product. 

Movie reviews can be shared in a lot of different ways (in the ELA classroom and in real life!). First, I have students select whether they want to share their completed review as a newspaper article, blog post, podcast, pre-recorded video, or even a live presentation in class.

If you’re tight on time, one trick I love is to put students in small groups (I find four works well) and present their reviews to each other. This alternative to whole-class presentations frees me up to circulate among the different groups. You’d be surprised at how much you can see and hear while doing this! At the end of each presentation, I like to have students grade each other using a common rubric. The presenters can self-assess their work as well!

There you have it! I hope you have a blast bringing a movie review assignment into your middle school ELA classroom. Three cheers to the end of the year!

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Looking to integrate more videos into your ELA classroom? Check out my suggestions for 7 Ways to Bring Videos Into Secondary ELA .

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR USE WITH

Select the questions that will work best with your students and promote your educational goals.

Table of Contents

Simulating Student Interest Focusing on Empathic Reactions Characterization

Plot Themes, Messages & Ideas Other Literary Elements

Theatrical Devices and Effects Cinematic Devices and Effects Foreign Films

Questions to Stimulate Student Interest -- Get them Talking and Thinking

  • Did you learn anything from this movie? If you did, what was it?
  • What is the message of this movie? Do you agree or disagree with it?
  • Was there something you didn’t understand about the film? What was that?
  • What did you like best about the movie? Why?
  • What did you like least about the film? Why?
  • Who was your favorite character in the movie? Why?
  • Who was your least favorite character in the film? Why?
  • Did anything that happened in this movie remind you of something that has occurred in your own life or that you have seen occur to others?
  • What were you thinking as you finished watching the film?
  • Would you recommend this movie to a friend? Explain your reasons.
  • What part of the story told by the movie was the most powerful? Why?
  • If you had a chance to ask a character in this movie a question, what would it be?
  • If you had a chance to ask the screenwriter a question, what would it be?
  • If you were writing the screenplay for this movie, would you have changed the ending? Explain your answer.
  • What feelings did you share with any of the characters in the movie?
  • Did any of the characters in this movie make you angry? Tell us why.
  • Did you come to respect any of the characters in this movie? Who was it and why did you come to respect that character?
  • If a psychologist were to look at the actions of [select a character] what do you think the psychologist would say about that character? Describe specific statements or actions that you think the psychologist would be interested in and the conclusions that you think the psychologist would draw from those statements or actions.
  • If a priest, minister, or rabbi were to look at the actions of [select a character] what do you think the priest, minister, or rabbi would say about them? Describe specific statements or actions that you think the priest, minister or rabbi would be interested in and the conclusions that you think he or she would draw from those statements or actions.
  • What comment is the author trying to make about the culture of the characters in this story?

Empathetic Reaction Discussion Questions:

1. In what ways are the characteristics of the protagonist like your own or those of someone you know?

2. In what ways are the characteristics of the antagonist like your own or those of someone you know?

3. Is the problem to be solved in the film that can be seen in the struggle of the protagonist against the antagonist familiar to you in any way? If so, describe the similarities and differences.

4. What details in the setting of the film are similar to the setting in which you live or in various places you have been? What are those similarities and what are the differences?

5. The problems faced by the protagonist sometimes stray from the central conflict in the film. Describe these problems and show how they are familiar to the problems you or someone you know must face.

6. The personal qualities that help the protagonist solve his or her problem are often a part of the lesson to be learned in the film. What are these qualities and where have you seen them in your own experience, either in your own behavior or in behavior of someone you know?

7. Complications come along and make problem solving more difficult. What complications does the film’s protagonist face that are similar to those you may have faced in your various struggles? What are they, and what are their similarities and differences?

8. Depth of feeling is what makes a film worth watching. Of the many feelings expressed in the film, with which are you most familiar?

9. The resolution to the problem in the film can be satisfying or disheartening. Think about how some of your own problems have been resolved; write about a time when the solution was satisfying and write about a time when the solution was disheartening.

10. The resolution of the film teaches a lesson. How can you apply the lesson in the film to your own life?

11. What was the strongest emotion that you felt when watching the film?

12. Which character did you [admire, hate, love, pity] the most? What was it about that character that caused you to have that reaction?

Questions Concerning Characterization

Note: In some of the questions we have used the term “major characters.” Before asking the questions, have the class identify the major characters. In addition, these questions can also be limited to one or more characters.

Characterization is delineated through (1) the character’s thoughts, words, speech patterns, and actions; (2) the narrator’s description; and (3) the thoughts, words, and actions of other characters. When students analyze character, they should be reminded to have these three sources in mind. Adapted from California English-Language Arts Content Standards – Grade 7, Reading 3.3

1. How are the major characters introduced? What does this tell us about what will happen in the story?

2. [Select an action performed by one of the characters. Then ask.] Explain why [name of character] took [describe the action] . What motivated him or her? [You can then ask:] What did this motivation have to do with the theme of the film?

3. The characters must be credible; how they act and what they say must make sense. What aspects of the personalities of the major characters in this story affect their credibility?

4. Is there consistency in the characters throughout the story? Do their actions follow their natures and ring true?

5. What motivates the major characters? Are their motivations or wants explained outright or revealed over time?

6. Subconscious motives are often the most powerful causes of human behavior. Are there any major characters who act on motives of which they are not aware? Describe any unconscious motives of the major characters and explain how these motives affect the actions of those characters.

7. Are there any relationships between various characters, be they friends, lovers, co-workers, or family members, that are important to the story? If so, describe the relationships that you believe contribute to the story and how those relationships advance the action of the story.

8. What motivates the protagonist in his or her struggle against the antagonist?

9. How does the protagonist work against the antagonist? Recount one specific episode in this struggle.

10. What motivates the antagonist to resist or struggle against the protagonist?

11. How does the antagonist resist or struggle against the protagonist? Recount one specific episode in this struggle.

12. In what ways are the characters’ actions driven by the values endorsed or criticized in the story or by ideas presented by the story?

13. What role does the back-story play in explaining the actions of the major characters? Explain your reasoning.

14. Is there any information known to the audience that is being held back from any of the characters? If there is a hesitation in revealing information to characters, describe it and explain how things change once this information becomes known to those characters.

15. Are there any transformations or changes that occur over the course of the story in any of the major characters? For each transformation or change, describe how it comes about and how it relates to the story’s themes or ideas.

16. When you compare and contrast the protagonist and the antagonist, do you find any similarities between them? Describe these similarities and how they relate to the plot and to the values and ideas presented in the story.

17. When you compare and contrast the protagonist and the antagonist, do you find any important differences between them? Describe these differences and how they relate to the plot and to the values and ideas presented in the story.

18. Are there any reversals of roles played by characters or sudden important changes of circumstances through the course of the story? If there are, how do these reversals illuminate character or lead to changes in character?

19. Which aspects of the protagonist’s personality lead to the resolution of the conflict in the story? Describe them and their effect on the resolution.

20. As the story progresses toward a conclusion, internal as well as external conflicts suffered by the major characters are resolved. Select one of the major characters and describe his or her internal and external conflicts. In addition, tell us how the character’s choices lead to a resolution of these conflicts.

This question can be modified by naming the character which is the subject of the question.

21. Some of the names used in this story tell us something about the characters. What do they tell us?

Questions Focusing on Plot

1. The middle of the story presents ascending difficulties, referred to as complications, which increase the tension and the need for a resolution. Describe one of the story’s complications and show how it serves to push the characters toward more intense action.

2. One way to examine plot is to determine what type of conflict it entails. The classic divisions are: (1) person vs. person; (2) person vs. society, (3) person vs. nature, and (4) person vs. self. Often, more than one of these types of conflict occurs in a story. Using this analysis, briefly describe the conflicts in this story and classify it according to the categories set out above.

3. In terms of rising action, climax, and falling action, describe the structure of the plot, stating when the action stops rising and reaches a climax and begins to fall.

4. Often the central problem in a story transcends the characters; these persons are simply the tools used to resolve the problem. In this story, is there a problem that transcends character and how is it manifested?

5. What instability is there early in the story that is resolved and becomes stable by the end?

6. The action in the story must be believable. Detail a particular event or action that causes another event or has an important effect on a character or a relationship between characters. Describe how this event or action moves the story forward.

7. Is there a back-story, and if there is, how does it advance the main plot?

8. What is the key moment in the story, the scene which brings illumination or an “ah-ha” moment?

9. Although incidents in the story usually return to the main conflict, they often reveal a pattern related to the ideas in the story. This pattern causes the viewers to focus sharply on the story itself. What pattern can be seen in the story?

10. How does the progress of the pattern identified in the story reveal change or growth in the characters?

11. What is the moment of climax, the moment of highest tension, when the solution to the problem is now in sight?

12. The film’s denouement establishes a sense of stability. What happens in this section of the story?

Questions About Themes, Messages, and Ideas

1. The significance of the story is determined by the power of its comment on the human condition. What comment is being made in this movie about what it is to be human?

2. The theme of a story is the general idea or insight about life expressed by the author. Theme is a universal and meaningful concept that emerges from the characters’ actions and from the outcomes of conflicts described in the story. Theme is often thought of as the lesson that the author is trying to teach the reader or audience. More than one theme can be included in a work of fiction; however, there is usually one primary theme that ties together all of the elements of a story. Usually, a theme can be expressed in one sentence. What is the primary or central theme of this story? Use one sentence to describe it.

3. Describe any other themes that you see in this story.

[This question is designed to be asked after question #2.]

4. What themes emerge from the back-story and how do they relate to the theme of the main story?

5. Many stories explore important social or political issues. Describe any specific social or political issues that affect the story. How do these issues impact characters and influence theme?

6. What life lessons can be learned from the choices made by the characters in this story?

[This question can be limited to one particular character.]

7. The conclusion of the story suggests a solution to the conflict that can be applied to the human condition in general. What values or principles that inform the actions of the characters can help people resolve their own life’s conflicts?

8. How does the changing consciousness, the developing awareness of the major characters, affect the story and help the audience discover theme? Explain these shifts in thinking.

[Try modifying the question by naming the character or a group of characters.]

9. Although often considered an artistic flaw, a story can be didactic in that it teaches the viewers how to achieve an end presented as worthy. Explain the use of didacticism in this story and evaluate its success in illuminating an important idea.

10. What are the most dramatic issues relevant to our time that have been presented in this story? Describe the presentation of one such issue and show how it relates to the times in which we now live.

11. Stories can be persuasive. Show how the movie attempts to persuade viewers to accept the particular values or principles that the writers intended to promote.

Questions About Other Literary Elements

1. What is the tone or mood of the story?

2. How does the tone help guide the viewers into an empathic reaction to the story? Explain and give examples of both the tone and the empathy felt by the audience.

3. Evaluate the pacing in the story and how it affects other elements of the story such as theme.

4. What elements of irony exist in the story? How do they serve to move the story forward and how do they assist in illuminating the story’s theme?

5. Stories can be told from the following points of view: first person, third person objective, third person limited, and third person omniscient. From whose point of view is the story told? Explain how the chosen point of view affects the way the story is told.

6. Is the point of view from which the story is told the best choice that the storyteller could have made? Argue your point.

7. A symbol in a story is an object, an animal, a person, an action, or an event that stands not only for itself, but also for something else. Symbols are of two types. Conventional symbols have a widely accepted meaning outside of the story. Examples are a nation’s flag, a crucifix, a Star of David, or a nation’s flag. Other conventional symbols reinforce meaning by reference to a culturally shared conception of the object, animal, action, or event. For example, rain is often a symbol of life or fertility. The fact that a story is set in the spring can serve as a symbol for renewed life or purpose. Other symbols have meaning only within the story. These are called contextual symbols. They usually have no special meaning except within the context of the story. Symbols keep their meaning as an object, animal, person or event, but within the story, they also suggest something else. Describe the symbols used in this story, both those that have meaning outside of the story and those which have meaning only within the story. What does each stand for?

[This question can be modified by naming one or several symbols as the subject for analysis.]

8. Evaluate the story’s use of coincidence, if any. Was the audience prepared for the coincidence or was it off the wall and therefore considered a flaw in the story?

9. The conflict in this film is resolved when one of the characters unexpectedly gets very lucky. Did this sudden event ring true or did it make the story seem less credible?

10. The conflict in this film is resolved when one of the characters unexpectedly suffers some very bad luck. Did this sudden event ring true or did it make the story seem less credible?

11. Explain how the use of flashback in the story provides significant information and served to move the action forward.

12. Find examples of both foreshadowing and echoing in the story and indicate how the use of these devices lead to increased coherence.

13. Does the story include elements of allegory? Explain why you think it is an allegory.

14. Is this story a parable? If so, explain why you think it is a parable.

15. The setting of a story includes the time at which the action of the story occurs and the physical location or locations where it occurs. Settings must be recognizable and have a relationship to the meaning of the story. What is the setting of this story and what are the ways in which the setting contributes to the story being told? Could this story be told in any other time or place?

16. When does the expository phase in this story end? By the end of the expository phase, what have we learned about the characters and the conflict?

17. An allusion is a reference to something outside of the story about which the audience will be familiar. Stories often include allusions to historical, scientific or cultural points of interest. Describe an allusion that you noticed in the story and explain its relationship to the story as a whole.

If the story is rich in allusions, increase the number of allusions that the student must discuss. An alternative question would be to briefly describe an allusion from the story and ask students to explain its meaning and relationship to the story as a whole.

18. Did the film resort to the use of gratuitous violence, explicit portrayals of sexual encounters, or excessive profanity? If it did, how did these scenes affect the story told by the movie?

19. Did the film strain to achieve an emotional pitch? Did it exhibit sentimentality for which there was little or no justification? Which scenes? How could this flaw have been remedied?

20. The action in some movies disturbs the unity of the story or confuses the viewers as to the intentions of the filmmakers. Very often these scenes are left on the cutting room floor but sometimes they remain in the film. Have you noticed such a scene in this movie? Is so, describe the scene and explain why you think it disturbs the unity of the story or confuses the viewers.

21. What does the title of the film refer to and how does it relate to the [insert the name of any literary element] of the film?

Questions Concerning Theatrical Devices and Effects

See Introducing Theatrical and Cinematic Technique . Questions 1, 3 and 4 can be asked with respect to an entire movie or limited to an appropriate scene. Question 2 can be asked of a specific character or a specific costume.

1. How do the sets contribute to the mood the filmmakers are trying to establish?

2. How do the costumes contribute to the image the filmmakers are trying to convey?

3. How does acting choice contribute to the story the filmmakers are trying to tell?

4. How do the props contribute to the image the filmmakers are trying to convey?

Questions on Cinematic Devices and Effects

See Introducing Theatrical and Cinematic Technique . Questions 1 – 3 can be asked with respect to an entire movie or an appropriate scene in a movie.

1. Identify one example of each of the following shots and describe how the shot affected the presentation of the story told by the film: close-up, medium shot, and long shot.

2. Identify one instance of each of the following types of shot angles that were used in this film and, for each, describe how the angle affected the presentation of the shot in which it occurs: low-angle, high-angle, eye-level.

3. Identify one instance of each of the following types of transitions from one shot to another that were used by the editors of this film and, for each, describe how the transition affected the presentation of the film: cut, fade, dissolve.

4. What is parallel editing, also called crosscutting, and what is it used for?

5. How did the editing of the film advance the story that the filmmakers were trying to tell? Explain how the editors achieved this effect.

6. What is point of view editing?

7. Describe the difference between long takes and short takes.

[Another way to ask this question is to show the class a short scene and ask the students to identify the short and long takes and discuss their use in the film.]

8. Analyze the use of music in the movie. Did it enhance the story that the filmmakers were trying to tell? How would you have used music in this movie?

9. Analyze the use of sound other than music in the movie. Did it enhance the story that the filmmakers were trying to tell? What sounds, other than music, would you have used to tell the story told by this movie?

10. Give examples from movies you have recently seen of diegetic sound, non-diegetic sound and internal diegetic sound. For each, describe why the scene qualifies as the particular type of movie sound.

11. What is the difference between “low-key lighting” and “high-key lighting” and what are their different uses in film?

12. What is the difference between “side lighting” and “front lighting” and what are their different uses in film?

13. Film is a composition of pictures rather than words, as one would find in a novel. Which specifically framed shots reveal something important to the story line? Describe the shot and explain its contribution to the story.

14. Describe the use of color in the film. Did it advance the emotions the filmmakers were trying to evoke? How would you have used color in the movie?

Additional Questions for Foreign Movies

Questions 1 – 3 may be expanded to more than one thing or aspect depending upon the film and the abilities of the class.

1. Describe one thing that was universal that you learned from the film.

2. Describe one thing that you learned about the culture of the country in which the film was set.

3. Describe one aspect of the artistry of the film.

4. How might a director from [name the country in which the class is held or a country that the class has studied] have approached the subject of the film?

5. How might a director from [name the country in which the class is held or a country that the class has studied] have approached [name one or more aspects of the film] differently? — In the alternatve: How would this story have been told from the point of view of another culture?

6. Is the story of this film unique to [name the culture of the story shown in the film], or could the story of this film have taken place in another country or setting?

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Written by Mary RedClay and James Frieden .

15 Great Movies For College Students

College is a time of self-discovery, exploration, and learning. It’s also a time for having fun and making memories. What better way to do that than watching some of the best movies ever? This article is about 15 great movies for college students – from classic comedies to modern blockbusters – that will make you laugh, cry, and think. Whether watching with friends or flying solo, you will have a fantastic time with these great films. So grab some popcorn, relax, and get ready to check out these 15 great movies for college students!

The Princess Bride

The classic ’80s fantasy-comedy, The Princess Bride, is a must-watch for anyone looking for a fun and entertaining movie night! This timeless classic features a hero’s journey, packed with fairy tale complexity and family dynamics. The Princess’s values of courage, resilience, and loyalty are highlighted throughout the film, giving the audience a powerful feminist perspective. This film also offers a unique blend of comedy, adventure, and romance, making it a perfect choice for a night in with friends. Whether you’re a college student or not, this movie will surely provide an enjoyable and thrilling night.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is an iconic classic that has captivated audiences for decades with its humor, heart, and timeless message. The film follows high school student Ferris Bueller as he skips school for a day and embarks on an unforgettable adventure with his best friend and girlfriend. The movie is filled with hilarious hijinks, and life lessons learned about having fun responsibly, adulting issues, and navigating peer pressure. Through it all, Ferris teaches viewers that life should be enjoyed and not taken for granted. College students will be able to relate to the struggles of trying to balance school, work, and social life and can take away meaningful lessons about how to make the most of life’s opportunities.

Animal House

Animal House is a classic comedy that offers a raucous peek into the wild college life of the 1960s, showcasing the immaturity and hijinks of its lovable protagonists. Directed by John Landis and released in 1978, Animal House has become a cult classic with its irreverent takes on campus humor. Its casting choices, including John Belushi, Tim Matheson, and Karen Allen, were perfect for the iconic roles they embodied. The film’s cultural impact was immense, as it pushed the boundaries of comedy and helped define the era.

The film has endured for over 40 years, and its sequel potential has been discussed for decades. While a sequel has yet to be made, Animal House continues to inspire reimagining, with a Broadway musical adaptation released in 2006 and plans for a remake in the works. The film has been held up as a timeless classic and remains an iconic symbol of college life and campus humor.

The Hangover

Feel your stomach drop with laughter as you follow the misadventures of three friends on a wild Vegas night in the classic comedy, The Hangover. This movie is a classic for college students, as it explores themes like friendship, partying, and growing up, all in a hilarious yet meaningful way. While some may criticize the movie’s reliance on crass humor, there is no denying its comedic genius and its ability to tug at the heartstrings.

The Hangover is filled with memorable characters to which the audience can easily relate. From the hapless Doug to the wild Alan, the movie has relatable characters to make you laugh. The cinematography is also noteworthy, as it captures the wildness of Vegas through its camera angles and shots. The Hangover offers a lesson many college students can learn from, and compared to its sequels, it stands out as a more meaningful and heartfelt story.

Clerks is a cult classic that follows the antics of two convenience store clerks and their wacky customers, providing plenty of laughs and a glimpse into the lives of everyday people. Written and directed by Kevin Smith, this indie film is a masterclass in working-class humor, low-budget production, and visual storytelling. A pop culture reference powerhouse, Clerks has become a cornerstone of indie film influence and has been cited as an inspiration by filmmakers and critics alike. The dialogue is sharp and snappy, and the characters are memorable and relatable. Despite its low-budget production, the film is full of clever cinematography and great use of limited locations, making it an essential watch for college students looking for a good laugh.

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters is an iconic sci-fi comedy classic that follows a group of parapsychologists as they take on a variety of supernatural foes. Featuring an all-star cast of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver, it’s an incredibly entertaining ride that’s sure to delight audiences of all ages. It spawned two sequels, the first saw the original cast return, and the second featured different casting choices. Fans of the franchise have created countless fan theories over the years, and the costumes and special effects have become iconic. Even today, the special effects still hold up, making it a great movie for college students.

Superbad is an irreverent teen comedy that follows two best friends, Seth and Evan, as they try to purchase alcohol for a big party, leading to a night of hilarious hijinks. It was a box office success and has since become a cult classic. Debating Superbad’s legacy, fans often recall the iconic characters, witty dialogue, and unforgettable moments. Superbad’s ending has become a subject of much debate, with some fans arguing that it should have ended differently. Others defend the original ending, citing the importance of the satisfying conclusion.

Analyzing Superbad’s humor, one can appreciate the film’s clever satire and unique sense of humor. Examining Superbad’s soundtrack, it’s clear that the filmmakers crafted a perfect soundtrack for the movie, with songs that perfectly capture the awkwardness of teenage life. Finally, exploring Superbad’s impact, it’s clear how the film has shaped the comedy genre and many of today’s teen-focused films.

The Breakfast Club

You’ll feel like you’re right there with five high schoolers spending a Saturday in detention as The Breakfast Club takes you on a wild and unforgettable journey. This iconic film from the 80s is a must-see for college students looking to explore themes like examining stereotypes, breaking gender norms, and evaluating morality. With its witty dialogue and memorable characters, The Breakfast Club is an honest and humorous exploration of teenage life.

The movie follows the story of five high school students from different social groups; all stuck in the same Saturday detention together. Throughout the day, each student learns about the other’s lives, and their friendship helps them explore rebellion, examine the company, and challenge traditional views of gender and morality. With its timeless themes and messages, The Breakfast Club is an excellent movie for college students.

Waynes World

Experience the wild ride of ‘Wayne’s World’ as you join two slacker friends on their hilarious adventures. Wayne’s World is a classic comedy that has become a cult classic, beloved by college students. Featuring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, the film is a satirical look at heavy metal culture in the early 90s. It’s also a feminist critique of gender roles, as the male characters struggle to accept the influence of women in their lives.

The film’s impact on popular culture is undeniable, as it introduced catchphrases that quickly became part of the lexicon. Its cultural significance lies in its ability to parody the mainstream media while celebrating the spirit of rebellion and counterculture. In addition, its satire of consumer culture and pop music has kept it relevant throughout the years. As a result, Wayne’s World has achieved a lasting legacy that has made it a favorite among college students.

The Godfather

Leaving Wayne’s World behind, let’s discuss one of the greatest movies of all time: The Godfather. This classic crime drama, released in 1972 and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, has earned its place in the annals of cinematic history and is often considered one of the greatest films of all time. It tells the story of the Corleone crime family and its patriarch, Vito Corleone, played by the legendary Marlon Brando.

The movie follows the journey of his son, Michael Corleone, as he navigates the treacherous waters of the organized crime world. Throughout the film, Michael grapples with the weighty decisions that come with loyalty to his family and their legacy. His choices, and the consequences that follow, have become iconic and cemented The Godfather’s legacy as one of the most influential films ever.

The Dark Knight

You’ll be mesmerized by Christopher Nolan’s 2008 masterpiece, The Dark Knight, a thrilling story of Batman’s struggle against the Joker and his criminal empire. The movie offers many themes of justice, morality, law, power, and loyalty that enthrall college students. It follows the story of Batman, a vigilante determined to protect Gotham City from the chaos caused by the Joker. The Dark Knight explores themes of justice, morality, law, power, and loyalty from both sides of the law.

The Joker’s actions question the true meaning of justice and morality, while Batman’s unwavering commitment to the law and his sense of justice and loyalty bring him into conflict with the Joker. The Dark Knight is a movie that college students will find thought-provoking and entertaining. The movie will challenge viewers to examine their views of justice and morality while providing an exciting story of Batman’s struggle against the Joker.

Inception, the 2010 sci-fi thriller by Christopher Nolan, is a mind-bending exploration of the power of the subconscious, blurring the lines between reality and dream. The film follows Dom Cobb, an expert thief who can access his targets’ dreams, as he is tasked to enter the goals of a corporate heir and plant an idea in his mind. The creative world-building in this film is like nothing else, creating a unique and immersive experience for viewers.

Dreams and reality become indistinguishable as Nolan gradually reveals the layers of the plot. Cinematic symbolism and psychological themes abound, making Inception a complex and thought-provoking experience. With a mind-bending plot and creative world-building, Inception is an excellent movie for college students seeking a unique and challenging viewing experience.

Fight Club is a thrilling, thought-provoking film that will leave you questioning what’s real and what’s not. Centered around the unnamed narrator, played by Edward Norton, Fight Club follows his journey. He meets Tyler Durden, a mysterious and charismatic soap salesman played by Brad Pitt. He finds himself in a world of underground fight clubs, anarchist ideologies, and a secret project called Project Mayhem. Directed by David Fincher, Fight Club has greatly influenced pop culture and is a beloved cult classic among college students.

The movie explores many themes, from the critique of consumer culture and capitalism to the distortion of gender roles and mental health issues. It also contains elements of postmodernism, making it a great fit for college students looking to explore the complexities of our society. With its thrilling plot, memorable characters, and provocative themes, Fight Club is a must-see movie for any college student looking for a thought-provoking experience.

Pulp Fiction

Following the cult classic Fight Club, another movie that has been well-received by college students is Pulp Fiction. Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction is a crime film praised for its comedic influence, cultural significance, editing techniques, soundtrack choices, and acting performances. All of these elements come together to create a movie that is as exhilarating as it is entertaining.

The movie follows the lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits who intertwine in an epic story arc. Each character is masterfully acted by renowned actors such as John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, and Samuel L. Jackson, who bring Tarantino’s characters to life. The soundtrack is composed of oldies and soul, adding to the overall atmosphere of the movie. Furthermore, the editing techniques used by Tarantino help create a non-linear story that captures the viewers’ attention. At the same time, the movie’s comedic influence will surely make you chuckle. Overall, Pulp Fiction is a classic that will surely be a favorite among college students.

The Shawshank Redemption

You won’t want to miss The Shawshank Redemption, a gripping drama that will captivate you. Starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, the movie follows the story of Andy Dufresne, a man wrongfully convicted of murder. As he serves his life sentence in Shawshank Prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Red, and they endure the harsh realities of prison life. Themes of redemption, hope, friendship, and self-discovery are explored throughout the movie as Andy and Red face adversity and find ways to stay optimistic. The Shawshank Redemption is a touching story of friendship, resilience, and the power of the human spirit. It’s a must-watch for college students looking for a meaningful film that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit over any obstacle.

College students have a lot of great movies to choose from. Whether it’s the classic comedy of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the classic drama of The Shawshank Redemption, or the modern mind-bender of Inception, there’s something for everyone. And that’s not even mentioning The Hangover, Fight Club, and Pulp Fiction. There’s no denying that these 15 great movies are the perfect way to relax, have a few laughs, and enjoy life. So grab some snacks, pop in a movie, and let the good times roll!

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  1. How to Write a Movie Review for College

    Name of the director. Title of the book (if based on a book) Draft the review outline: Draft an outline with which you will write the review. The overview will help you organize your review concisely and logically. The outline is more like the skeletal frame on which the whole study will stand.

  2. 10 Movie Review Examples That Will Help You Write Better Reviews

    Roger Ebert's review of North is the perfect example of that. 1. "North" by Roger Ebert. This review starts with a catchy hook, making readers curious for Ebert to elaborate on his statements. "I have no idea why Rob Reiner, or anyone else, wanted to make this story into a movie, and close examination of the film itself is no help.".

  3. How to Write a Good Movie Review for College

    Typically, you will need an introduction, body (review of story, technical characteristics, cast, directing), and conclusion. 8. Edit and proofread the text of your movie review. It's essential to ensure you have no grammatical errors or other mistakes in the text, as you usually do when you write my college essay.

  4. How to write a film review

    Another thing to remember is that your review should always have a title, and that title should include the name of the film. Introduction - Essential details and mini-summary. Summary - A description of the film and some important details. Analysis - An evaluation of different elements. Conclusion - Your opinion and a recommendation.

  5. How to Write a Movie Review: 10 Essential Tips

    Here are ten tips on writing a compelling piece. 1. Watch the film at least once. For new reviewers, it's impossible to capture everything after one viewing. Watching the film first, then watching to take notes, is an easy way to improve the quality of your final review.

  6. Film&Movie Review Examples and Samples

    A significant aspect of writing a movie review is sharing your personal viewpoint or perspective. Offer your judgment on the film's strengths and weaknesses, providing specific examples from the movie to support your appraisal. Be honest and thoughtful in your assessment, considering both your own preferences and the film's intended audience.

  7. Writing a movie review: Small guide for college students

    Writing a movie review: Small guide for college students. A good movie review is a well-balanced combination of personal opinion and objective analysis. One should pursue both creative and analytical approaches while working on it. Even though a review doesn't have to be long, the preparatory work for technical and thematic interpretation of ...

  8. How to Write a Movie Review (with Sample Reviews)

    Find a place to mention the director's name and the full movie title. If you feel you must discuss information that might "spoil" things for readers, warn them first. 2. Start to talk about the film's technical and artistic choices. Plot is just one piece of a movie, and shouldn't dictate your entire review.

  9. How To Write A Good Movie Review Guide (with Example) For College

    Pay attention to the personality of the director, the cast, the locations and the background of the film. Think about the film as a whole. It is instrumental, as such technique will help you to get the full understanding of the film under your consideration. If it is based on the book, try to analyze it too.

  10. How To Write A College Movie Review

    Adopt a good structure for your text. While writing a movie review, it's wise to use a structure that allows your content to flow with ease. Just like in business writing, your content requires an introduction that can hook the reader and make a clear statement of your option on the movie. Make the body brief but logical and informative.

  11. 50 Inspiring Films You Should Show Your Students

    West Side Story. The Jets and the Sharks are gangs at odds, but when a member of the Jets falls for the sister of the leader of the Sharks, the story really takes off. The Phantom of the Opera. Share this beloved story of a disfigured musician who lives hidden in the Paris opera house and his desire for a young woman.

  12. Guide on Movie Review with Free Samples and Tips

    A remarkable aspect of a good film review is that it doesn't just rate the movie but provides explicit views that form the critique's basis. This form of writing, like crafting essays, research papers, and term papers, should be insightful and draw the reader in quickly. It's important to discuss the reputation of the lead actors and directors ...

  13. How To Write A Movie Review: Guide For College Students

    Summary of the plot. Evaluation of plot elements (rising action, culmination, etc.) Use of color, emotions, voice, etc. Personal opinion. Writing a conclusion for a film review is easy. Start with the paraphrased thesis statement. Sum up whether the movie creator managed to achieve the initial goals.

  14. Best Motivational Movies for Students

    1. 3 Idiots. 2009 2h 50m PG-13. 8.4 (438K) Rate. 67 Metascore. Two friends are searching for their long lost companion. They revisit their college days and recall the memories of their friend who inspired them to think differently, even as the rest of the world called them "idiots". Director Rajkumar Hirani Stars Aamir Khan Madhavan Mona Singh.

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  16. Movie Review Examples for College Students

    The Descendants, Movie Review Example. The element of the Hawaiian culture was a strong factor in the development of Matt King, played by George Clooney. Although the movie portrays his character as mostly a lawyer [...] Pages: 2. Words: 416. Movie Review. View full sample.

  17. 50 Best Movies For College Students

    In Summary: 50 Best Movies For College Students. Movies about college students can be a great source of entertainment, and they often provide insight into the lives of young adults. They capture the excitement, drama, comedy and romance that come with college life while also exploring important issues like racism, sexual assault and mental health.

  18. 20 Great Movies For College Students To Watch

    1. Dead Poets Society (1989) Dead Poets Society is the most cliched film to appear on a list like this, but it is a cliche for a reason. It is a holy grail for teachers and students alike. In one of his most iconic characters, Robin Williams plays the role of John Keating, a progressive English teacher at the strict all-boys Welton Academy.

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    7. The Social Network. Rated PG-13. The movie focuses on how Mark Zuckerberg and a small group of college students came together to create the biggest social network of all time, Facebook. The movie also has a star-studded cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake. 8.

  20. Writing a Movie Review: Teaching Tips and Lesson Ideas

    4. Provide Common Vocabulary. As part of a film study, it's important for students to be able to speak the "language" of movie making. After viewing the movie, I like to take some time to outline some key terms to help students write their reviews. Words like blockbuster, avant-garde, disjointed, or uninspired can help elevate movie ...

  21. PDF Student-Friendly Movie Reviews Handout (duplicate)

    Director:AndrewStanton. •. Genre:Sci-Fi. •. RunningTime:97minutes. RatedG:Big-heartedandfullofwonder,buttoosm. arttobesaccharine. "The first hour of Wall-E is a crazily inventive, deliriously engaging and almost wordless silent comedy of the sort that. Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton used to make.".

  22. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR USE WITH

    Questions 1 - 3 may be expanded to more than one thing or aspect depending upon the film and the abilities of the class. 1. Describe one thing that was universal that you learned from the film. 2. Describe one thing that you learned about the culture of the country in which the film was set. 3.

  23. 15 Great Movies For College Students

    The Shawshank Redemption is a touching story of friendship, resilience, and the power of the human spirit. It's a must-watch for college students looking for a meaningful film that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit over any obstacle. Conclusion. College students have a lot of great movies to choose from.

  24. Weekend Edition Sunday for June, 23 2024 : NPR

    Hear the Weekend Edition Sunday program for Jun 23, 2024