How To Write Captivating Book And Movie Reviews

September 12, 2017 How To Write
How To Write Captivating Book And Movie Reviews

If you have been asked to write a book or movie critique, there are some standard sections to look at. We can guide you through the process of writing an analysis worthy of the best marks, or you can buy a custom book review from us to save time.


When writing a movie or book critique, it is important to reflect your opinions of the piece and evaluate it to certain criteria.

To review a book, it's needed to comment on what points made it great and enjoyable to read then compare it to similar books in its genre or prequels. Also, say why you would recommend it to someone and back this up with facts for every statement made.


To review a movie, you should critique the core elements in your own way and describe the significant details like twists in the plot, characters that you empathized with. Also, it is needed to recommend the movie and for what reasons that are backed up with facts and quotes from the film. Should also say how it compares to other movies like prequels, or ones in the same genre and then give a personal opinion to whether it should have a sequel?

How can I start a book or movie review essay?

To start a book or movie review paper, you should read or watch the piece as many times as possible and take notes of all your first impressions. You can even collect verdicts from fellow students or friends to have more opinions from more than one source. This can be a lengthy process to obtain the best information so it's perfectly reasonable if you think it would be easier for someone to do my book report.

Know the Background

If the chosen book or movie is well researched, this will enable you to write a critique that will be interesting but also detailed in the right places. Thorough research will help make the review process easier as you will gain in-depth knowledge behind the chosen piece to write about.

book/movie review main questions infographics

Here are some questions to help you write the critique faster and more detailed:

  • Where is the film or book set? - Knowing this will give the reader a clear picture and visual imagery into the piece and save you time having to describe it later.

  • Is it a sequel and what are the origins? - Such knowledge will benefit the reader if they do not already know the series or the history and will gain a better understanding of the piece.

  • Does the book or movie fall into any genre? - Establishing this will help you compare it to other books or movies later on.

  • Is it a famous author or director? - This will give out more background information which you can use to make comparisons in the review.

  • Interesting or significant facts about the movie or book? - Presenting these associations well will build more interest in the reader and also give you extra points to write about.

  • Is the plot riveting, any major twists? - Describing the most gripping elements without spoiling the piece for the reader will give you most interest and marks.

  • Are the characters well developed or believable? - If you can write about main characters or actors, this will give you more content to compare and create further interest with the reader.

  • Who is the target audience and does it have appeal to others? - This will help you analyze it faster and also gain more understanding to who will appreciate the piece.

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Key elements of the assignment

Some important sections to include are:

Introduction - This is important to make it catchy as possible as you want your audience to be informed yet interested. Make sure you mention the title and author in the first paragraph too as this can frustrate readers not knowing who they are reading about.

Main Body - This is where you should include the most descriptive details of the review like important points from the plot and thoughts and opinions on things like acting, cinematography, music, special effects, costumes, literary devices, main characters and author's style.

Conclusion - Now at this point you can give your recommendations on the piece and back this up with reasons why. Also look at whether it changed your perception on a given topic, and can something be learned from it?

What if my task requires me to combine the two?

So it is possible to review a book and movie at the same time, this usually happens where the motion picture is based on the book. Also, you can be asked to review two different stories entirely which have a more subtle connection like director/author, moral or purpose.

Let's look at the differences and similarities of a book review and a movie review:

Movie Review Vs Book Review


  • Both need mentioning important points about the plot or storyline.
  • Highlight the main characters and what makes them memorable.
  • Compare the original storyline to the latter
  • Any conventional styles from the director/author
  • Do they share the same purpose of informing the audience in some way?



  • Look at the literary devices used and what does the writing style say?
  • Organization and structure do they play a vital part?
  • The tone of the text or author have anything to add to the review?
  • Are there any illustrations in the book or additional art that can be commented upon?
  • There is less to see physically so it is important to look for subtle imagery within the text and review this.


  • Analyze the actors used and what they bring to the motion picture.
  • The on screen cinematography needs to be criticized, for example, the set and lighting.
  • Does the date of release have any significance to the movie and were there delays?
  • Does the use of costumes fit the genre and period the movie is set in?
  • Try to look for artistic visual references that a director might have put in, and not many people have spotted before.

So a book or movie review must contain your opinions and thoughts about the chosen piece and also any recommendations. To become a professional critic you need to have evaluated many different kinds of works and publish them in various media. It is worth noting if any professional critics have reviewed your chosen work and keep in mind what they have said.

Famous critics usually write shorter reviews and use less technical language for the general public to understand. With that in mind, one must draw inspiration from the things they do well and the experiences that can help out with your assignment and become a credible critic. Here are some more questions to help with your book or movie review:

  • Does the length have an impact on the piece?
  • What suggestions can be added to improve it?
  • The music is catchy and adds more depth or a wasted addition?
  • What was the professional critic’s verdict compared to yours?
  • Is the book or film counterpart better or worse and why?

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