Planning an Analytical Film Review
Ten steps for planning and writing the review

  1. The first time you watch the film, just enjoy it. Note your impressions and reactions; how did you feel? What did the film make you think about?
  2. Watch the film critically, by being more than just a passive viewer. Rather than thinking “I’m enjoying this film”, think about questions like: What is the theme or message of the film? What makes this scene so powerful? Is the film realistic, romantic or sad, and how is that effect achieved?
  3. Review your class notes to see which theories, ideas and information learned in lectures and tutorials relate to the film. Think about how you can discuss them in your review.
  4. Do research to see what other film reviewers and experts have written about the film. Do they support or contradict with your ideas? Do they offer new insights? Think about how these views can be included in your review.
  5. Chose the focus of your review, something which is important or significant about the film. – Is it an important scene, the overall theme, or the mise-en-scene?
  6. Rewatch the relevant scenes to improve your notes and generate more ideas. Find or create screenshot images that will help illustrate your discussions. If you are focusing on a particular scene, you might watch it dozens of times to note the use of camera shots, editing, setting, cinematography, costume, color, etc. 
  7. Now, synthesize all of these ideas by putting them together. You may ask questions like: How do these parts relate to each other and work together to create the film? How do the film elements of a scene combine to impact the viewer?  How do these film elements deliver a message, the theme of the film, or set a particular mood?
  8. Write an outline for your review, planning your main point and the evidence and ideas you will discuss.
  9. Write the first draft of the review with your main points. If possible, get feedback from a teacher, tutor or other reader, then revise and extend your draft. Edit and revise as needed.
  10. Polish the formatting and proofread the language before you submit the final review.

Brainstorming and Planning Guide
As you watch the film and plan the Analytical Film Review, make notes in these areas:


About this website

EWRite is an open access online literacy platform for PolyU community that has two major objectives:

  • to support PolyU students’ literacy development within and across the disciplines
  • to support subject and language teachers to implement system-level measures for integrating literacy-sensitive pedagogies across the university

This platform provides access to generic genre guides representing typical university assignments as well as links to subjects offered by faculties with specific disciplinary genres and relevant support materials.

The materials can be retrieved by students by choosing the genres that interest them on the landing page. Each set of materials includes a genre guide, genre video, and a genre checklist. The genre guide and video are to summarize the genres in two different ways (i.e. textual and dynamic) to fit different learning styles. The genre checklist is for students to self-regulate their writing process. The genre guide and checklist include links to various ELC resources that can provide further explanation to language items (e.g. hedging and academic vocabulary).

The platform also acts as a one-stop-shop for writing resources for students, language teachers and subject leaders. Information about the English Writing Requirement policy can also be found on this platform. There are training materials for new colleagues joining the EWR Liaison Team.