Key Outlining Tips for Movie Review Essays

Watching movies is one thing. But it takes a whole…

Watching movies is one thing. But it takes a whole other level of commitment and focus to write an evaluation essay about them.

You’ll need to map out your essay in a way that makes it easily understandable and compelling to readers. The good news is that you can make your writing process much more manageable with the help of a proper movie evaluation essay outline.

Essay outlines are like the blueprints of your essay. They direct what goes into your writing, how it flows and how you will build your argument. And we’re here to guide you in making that blueprint.

Check out the key tips we’ve got for you in this article!

A person holding up a clapperboard to signify the start of filming.
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

What’s a Movie Evaluation Essay?

Movie evaluations are critical pieces of writing that aim to provide a well-rounded assessment and analysis of a film. It requires you to look at the film from all angles, from writing and acting to direction and editing. Not only that, but you need to become intimately familiar with the film’s story, characters and themes.

These evaluations can be magnificent in and of themselves. They should entertain, educate, and persuade your readers. It’s essential that your writing should be original and compelling without spoiling the movie’s plot. A rule of thumb for such essays is to combine personal opinion with objective analysis.

Some of the things you should include in your essay are:

  • Title, release date, and important figures: Include the title and release date, as well as the names of the director, screenwriter, and major actors.
  • Context: There’s no need to trace the film’s entire history. But providing your audience with a little context about the film in question is important.
  • Hook: In your introduction, you should include a fact or quote to grab your reader’s attention.
  • Evaluation/Opinion: You should clarify your opinion of the film and then introduce the central thesis.

Main Parts of a Movie Evaluation Essay

Movie evaluation essays consist of four main parts: Introduction, Summary, Analysis, and Conclusion. All of these work together to reinforce the central idea of the movie’s plot and ultimately prove your original point.

Introduction

Your introduction needs to include the basic facts about the movie, including its title, director, and date of release. It may also mention aspects of the film that you especially liked so that the reader knows what to expect in the review. Consider adding the central theme or ideas of the movie to your thesis statement.

Summary

Here, you give an overview of the main concepts in the movie, including the five Ws (who, what, when, where, and why). Also, don’t forget to talk about the How of the movie. This pertains to the movie’s point of view, style, and structure.

Analysis

This is part of the body of your essay, which includes your critique of the movie. Talk about why you liked it and any supporting material from the film to support your views. Also, let your readers know your insights on whether the movie was able to achieve the goal it set out to achieve.

Conclusion

The conclusion of an essay should leave readers with a few key takeaways or a call to action that applies to the content. It can include the significance of the analysis, a summary of your discussion, or a response to the central claims made in the introduction. You can also state your thesis again and present evidence for your analysis to make it more convincing.

Key Tips for Writing a Movie Evaluation Essay Outline

Now that you know the main parts your essay should contain, it’s time to look at some key tips for making your outline. These will help you structure your thoughts and organize your material into a coherent essay.

Brainstorm

Write your review and all your ideas about the film on your rough draft. Think back to what you should include in your evaluation, like the context, title, important figures, and so on. You don’t have to worry if some don’t seem relevant; focus on getting everything down.

Decide on Your Thesis Statement.

Get some ideas for your thesis statement or central argument for your review if you haven’t yet. Effective movie reviews do not simply say, “this film is bad” or “this movie is good.” An effective review will make a wider argument about the film.

Do you have any pointers that would be helpful? If you don’t have a polished statement ready to go, it’s okay. But try to have at least a solid idea of your argument. This will make planning your essay much easier.

Filter Through the Information You’ve Gathered

Now that you have decided on a thesis statement, it is time to go back through your brainstorming notes. Remove anything that may not be relevant to your thesis.

To help you determine which data are relevant, ask yourself how it supports your thesis statement. If you can provide a clear answer, then you should include it.

Movie Evaluation Example

Try looking at the example below to help you better visualize what a movie evaluation should look like. This is a brief evaluation of the hit South Korean Movie, Parasite.

Parasite: a Gasp-Inducing Masterpiece

The movie Parasite is a South Korean dark comedy thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho. It is the first non-English script to win Best Picture at the Oscars in 2020. This motion picture retains a long-lasting and shocking effect with its overly simplistic plots and acting.

The premise of this movie serves as a backbone of social commentary within the South Korean comedy/thriller (Kench, 2020). Every element in the film, including the student’s stone and the contrasting architecture, contribute to the central theme of classism and wealth disparity.

Parasite (2019) is an Oscar-winning film that is a cinematic portrayal of capitalism’s long-established inequality and a critical message to society today.

Wrapping Up

A movie evaluation essay outline is an integral part of your work. It acts as a backbone for your assignment. This is where you will arrange and organize all your data to use later in your essay. It’s an essential part of the pre-writing phase, and once you pull off a good outline, half of your task is complete.

Key Outlining Tips for Movie Review Essays

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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