Children’s voices are under-represented when it comes to movie reviews. They see movies differently to adults, and parents and teachers may pick up different messages or see the film from a different perspective to general movie critics.
Writing a movie review is a fun activity for children and can extend their enjoyment of a film. It is also an interesting class activity (see Teacher’s Note) and a great way to occupy children during school holidays.
So how do you write a great movie review? The template below is a good place to start.
- Start with a “hook” – a strong statement about the film that makes people want to read your review
- What rating would you give it out of 5? Why?
- How did it make you feel? Did it make you happy, sad, scared?
- Did you care about the characters? Were they believable?
- What did you think about the music, sound and filming style?
- Did the movie have special effects? Were they well done?
- Did you enjoy the movie? Why or why not?
- Finish your review with your conclusion about the film. Should the people reading your review go and see it?
Note: Be careful not to give away the ending or what happens in the movie, so it will still be a surprise for people who want to watch it.
Share your film reviews
As part of our aim to grow a community of children, parents and teachers who have an interest in filmmaking, we would love to hear your reviews of movies you have seen.
Have you seen a movie lately that you want to share your thoughts about? We are accepting movie reviews from children, teachers and parents. Parents and teachers please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, stating whether you are a child, school student, teacher or parent. If the review is from a child, please state the child’s age when submitting your review. You can use your name, first name or a nickname. Why not accompany your review with a home made movie poster to promote the movie.
Teacher’s Note: One way to introduce children to filmmaking techniques and encourage them think about film is for them to write a review of a movie that they have seen. This introduces them to the language of film and encourages them to think critically about what they are seeing. This can support classwork on camera framing and choice of shot sizes, sound design and pace of editing, looking at why certain techniques are used to make us as the audience feel a certain way.
The example above can be adapted to stimulate discussion surrounding the performance of the actors, genre, the emotions conveyed, the choice of music and special effects, whether the audience feels empathy for the characters, the decisions made by the director and producers about what is shown and what is implied.
Looking critically at the choices made by other filmmakers can help them make their own creative decisions when making their own video productions in class.
For more tips on writing reviews go to: http://m.wikihow.com/Write-a-Movie-Review or http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english/creativewriting/movingimagesrev2.shtml
Lotti Kershaw is a former integration aide/education support officer who has a background in broadcast television and runs her own video production company. She started Rock Paper Video to teach filmmaking and animation skills to children, so they can tell their own stories and make their own movies.
She is passionate about bringing video, special effects and animation into schools, and linking her incursions and resources to required curriculum outcomes, enabling teachers to teach media arts and cross-curricular activities through filmmaking.
Lotti has worked in broadcast television in the UK, on programs for the BBC and major network television channels. She has credits on various TV programs, and has worked in many genres including documentary, drama, music, entertainment, live talk shows, reality TV, music programs and feature film, at different stages of the production process from pre-production to post production and even broadcast.
Rock Paper Video runs film making and animation workshops for children. See our latest workshops here