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B13 Movie review assignment instructions
Format: 6 pages, 12 Times New Roman, Double space,
As a reviewer, you bring together the two strands of accurate, analytical reading/viewing and strong, personal response when you indicate what the movie is about and what it might mean to its audience (by explaining what it meant to you). In other words, reviewers answer not only the WHAT, but the SO WHAT? question about a movie. Thus,in writing a review, you combine the skills of describingwhat is on the screen, analyzinghow the movie tried to achieve its purpose, and expressing your ownreactions. The main purpose of the review is NOT to say a lotaboutwhat happens in the movie. Rather, it is to gauge your ability to think critically about what you have seen.
Your job is to analyze and persuade others that your own view about the movie is worth supporting. The movie review is necessarily highly subjective, and opinion-driven – but supported by proof (quote from other authors!), evidence and examples. This memo is designed to offer you some parameters for the movie review.
Like most pieces of writing, the review itself usually begins withan introduction that lets your readers know what the review will say. The first paragraph usually includes the director and title again, so your readers don’t have to look up to find the title. You should also include a very brief overview of the contents of the documentary, the purpose or audience for the movie, and your reaction and evaluation. Reviews then generally move into a section of background information that helps place the movie in context and discusses criteria for judging the movie. Explore the main points of the documentary, quoting and paraphrasing key phrases from the movie. Finally, reviewers get to the heart of their writing–their evaluation of the movie. This is the most importantpart of the movie review. In this section, reviewers discuss a variety of issues:
• how well the movie has achieved its goal,
• what possibilities are suggested by the movie,
• what the movie has left out,
• how the movie compares to others on the subject,
• what specific points are not convincing, and
• what personal experiences you’ve had related to the sub
It is important to carefully distinguish your views from the director’s, so that you don’t confuse your reader. Like other essays, movie reviews usually end with aconclusion that ties togetherissuesraisedin the review and provides a concise comment on the movie. There is, of course, no set formula, but a general rule of thumb is that the first 1/3 should summarize the director’s main ideas and at least 2/3 should evaluate the movie. Make sure your review is well organized with a clear structure.
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