Writing Assignment: Review A Movie Without Detailing The Plot

by Randy Murray on August 30, 2013

It’s getting to be that I have to ignore movie and theater reviews. It would be very useful to know if a particular movie or play is interesting, well done, or important. That’s information I could use.

I do not, however, want a detailed recounting of the plot. That’s what I find in too many movie reviews.

I detest “spoilers.” I want the experience of seeing the movie or play for myself. I don’t need someone else to walk me through it.

Perhaps I feel this way because we have very few true critics and too many “reviewers.” Anyone can review something, rehash what they saw and say if they liked it or not, but few can look at something analytically, to critique the value of the art, to give perspective and thought about the thing.

Reviews shouldn’t be about the plot. A great review is about the quality of the art. A really useful review helps the reader make a choice about what to see and experience.

For today’s assignment, write a review of a movie or play that you’ve seen very recently. In this review you should avoid revealing any details of the plot. Your job is to write about the experience of seeing it, the quality of its presentation, and the strength of the performances. Critique the thing that you saw, don’t just tell the reader what happened next.

You can also explore what type of movie or play this is. Is it comedy or drama? How does it compare with other examples in this category? And why should others, your readers, see this (nor not)?

A review and critique is about your perspective. You have to show the reader that you are a thinker. It’s hard to write a good review. But with practice, it can become a valuable part of your writing process.

It boils down to this: don’t write about what you saw, write about what you thought and felt. That’s a review worth reading.



The Writing Assignment: Review A Movie Without Detailing The Plot by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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