How to Critique a Film

How to critique a film correctly? A critical analysis of the film belongs to the genre of journalism and literary criticism. The difference between such a genre and other journalistic genres lies primarily in the fact that the subject of the review is not the immediate facts of the reality, but informational phenomena, such as films and television series.

A critical essay, as a rule, considers one or two works and gives them an appropriate assessment. A writer must show socially significant problems and his or her opinion regarding the film being analyzed. To understand the definition of a critical essay and its logical nature, it is necessary to know that this paper usually includes the following aspects:

  • minimal information about the content of the work;
  • direct or indirect correlation of the film with other works of similar themes and issues;
  • the characteristics of the picture in terms of its perspective and place in the work of an individual author, in the creative process of the era, in the life of society;
  • the author's own assessment.

The main task of film critics is an appeal to the works of cinema, but in the postmodern conditions, also to any phenomena and objects of the surrounding world, about which no one has yet written (if possible), about which no definite opinion has been formed. When talking about such a work, the writer needs to consider it in the context of modern life, to evaluate it as a new phenomenon. Such topicality is an indispensable feature of any critical analysis of the film.

How to Analyze Movies

In order to learn how to analyze movies correctly, it is necessary to understand that an adequate and well-established system of artistic communications allows people to orient themselves in the spiritual sphere, particularly in the cinematic process. If one of the main tasks of the cinematic genre is to recognize the need to influence art production in order to obtain optimally functional artistic values, then in accordance with it, the film creating process should be viewed through the prism of developmental contradictions and ways to overcome them. Art influences the psyche of the individual, developing its internal potencies; it also socializes the personality, coordinating the interests of the person and society. Therefore, you, as an author, should focus your attention on highlighting the social and moral problems shown in the film.

Movie Critique Essay Writing Principles

Work on the movie critique essay should begin with viewing the film. Pay your attention to the most important details you want to write about. Remember about the important principles on which the essence of film critics is based. Cinema is a visual process, and it is always filled with hidden content that speaks to us in the language of forms, sounds, and colors. Making films is a tough workflow, where every scene takes place, every pose plays a role, and each angle has a different meaning. Distinguish an idea from improvisation, randomness from regularity.

Learn to think properly. Cinema rewards those people who are able to analyze fragments, draw conclusions and build theories. Even the most terrible film has its goal and the main idea. The whole shooting process is similar to real life, with its ups and downs, sharp turns and unexpected encounters. Separate the idea showed by the author from your own insinuations.

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Learn how to empathize. Actors play for you and only for you. To understand the degree of their sacrifice, one must learn to put oneself in their place, to feel every dialogue and emotion, to establish a mental connection between reality and imagination. The better an actor or an actress plays the role, the stronger the configured contact and the more chances to find a response in the soul of the viewer are. Cinema is the door to another world, which is living by our rules.

Understanding of the meaning and hidden hints gives nothing if you cannot convey your opinion to other people. Your task is not to convince others, but to give them a balanced review of what you saw in a particular film. Mastery of the word in critical analysis is as important as knowledge of the facts and subtleties of the production of pictures. You cannot hide ignorance behind beautiful words. Respect the readers like yourself.

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Useful Tips

Remember that during the creation of a critical essay you need to pay attention to the facts and arguments and evaluate them from various aspects. Prove that the film has (or does not have) a social and cultural value. Demonstrate that the plot of this picture is relevant today. Remember that you should not be guided by your emotions and impressions. Be as objective as possible. You should not offend anyone with your essay.

Evaluate not only the storylines of the film but the scenery, music, costumes and the work of the director too. All these elements create a special atmosphere on a movie set. Write about whether the costumes of the main characters are properly selected, whether they correspond to the era of current events and the general concept of the film. Remember that the purpose of writing an essay should be a professional assessment of the movie, so you should make your work as clear and informative as possible. Now you know the basic information about film criticism and essay writing, which will help you create good papers and get high grades in college.