In Proceedings By Svetlana

Review How to write in English! Film and book review in English

Have you so that Movies and advertised the new prime minister next blockbuster did not bring you anything but a sense of bitter disappointment? It should soon swallow the unpleasant aftertaste of wasted time lost and forget mistakes of the director and the actors miserable game, like a bad dream. While there were and there are movies that could still affect the deepest depths of your soul and you want to tell everyone about these films. In Russian there is an amazing array of words and phrases that help us put down on paper all that hurricane of emotions that is gripping us after watching a movie or reading a book, but when it comes to the English language, the only interesting and, at best, exciting and wonderful arrive to mind. With this we must fight, my friends!

Content Review

When you are about to read a new book or go to the movies, how do you know that there are films and books the time spent on them? Of course, from the Review! In the narrow sense of the word «Review» — a review, your personal assessment of what you have seen, read or visited.

As with any kind of works at the Review has the structure:

  • Introduction (which will say).
  • The main part of (what liked / did not like).
  • Conclusion (to watch or not to watch, read or not read).

In the introduction, as a rule, they report that a product has been selected for the Review, why this work, which made write a review. Especially a lot of writing in early makes no sense, it should be 2-3 sentences that tell what will be discussed.

The most interesting is in the main part, you can give free rein to their imagination. In this part of the show, who is in the lead roles and play any character, and it would be good to combine it with the events of the film. But do not get carried away and to retell the whole story, do not forget that your Review can read a person who has not seen the movie or read the book do not, you run the risk of insulting nickname «spoiler» — from English to spoil — port. It’s such a nasty person who spoils all the fun of a movie or a book by retelling the story.

Speaking of the story (plot). Although you do not need to describe the whole story, though the component parts you need:

  • Exposition (tie) — the beginning of history, which is a conflict, the actors, the scene of action.
  • Rising action (plot development) — events before the climax, where the actors are trying to solve the conflict, but they can not.
  • Climax (culmination) — the highest point of tension action.
  • Falling action (action after the climax) — the events following the climax.
  • Resolution (intersection) — end of story, showing the solution to the problems and conflicts of the protagonists.

In conclusion, every self-respecting connoisseur of literature and cinema writing, whether the movie / book view / read and summarize the «why.»

Example Review

We will not shelve and immediately turn to the example of Review of the film, which I love very much, — «The Hunger Games» («The Hunger Games»). By the way, fans of the genre will appreciate the dystopian book Susan Collins «The Hunger Games», based on which the film was made.


↓ Download video transcript (* .pdf, 172 KB)

The author pointed out all the main points of Review, right? I started with that said, what movie to choose and why. The following describes the major twists and turns of the plot, the main characters, conflict and conflict resolution. And most importantly — have their attitude to the film, which he liked, and that was strange. After that concluded — is worth watching or not. It is a good example of Review with an excellent vocabulary, which we will present in the plate.

Trilogy Trilogy
Adaptation Adaptation (eg, a movie based on the book)
Dystopia Dystopia
Exposition The exposition, complication
Tribute Victims who choose to participate in the «Hunger Games»
Focal-point Focal point
Best-selling novel Best-selling novel
Backstory Background
Sense of scope Sense of integrity
To star Removed
To round out Rounding to improve
To place the bets Betting
To borrow heavily from Borrowing largely from
To be treated with some emotions It refers to something with some emotion
To be based on Build
To be amazingly impressive It is incredibly impressive
Couple that Add to it
Supporting cast The supporting cast, Actor
Scene-chewing role Replayed, simulated role
Yesteryear Last year
No-holds-barred No restriction
Star-crossed lovers Under an unlucky star (unlucky in love)
Accomplished Oscar-nominated actor Held (skilled), Oscar-nominated actor
Post-apocalyptic environment Post-apocalyptic Wednesday
Universally accepted entertainment Internationally recognized entertainment
Well-paced script Well-paced script
Meaningful characters Notable Characters
Motion-sickness-inducing camera The caller rocking operation of the operator
Critically acclaimed Recognized by critics
Inherently In essence, the nature of the
At times Sometimes
To exhibit something close to earlier performance Play approximately the same as in previous roles
The film feels like a watered-down edit of a much more ambitious film The film looks like a watered-down installation of a more ambitious film
To judge a picture solely on the merits contained within it To judge the film based solely on the merits of this film
Something that is sorely missing from the movie is (idea) What is missing in the film (the idea)
Something is haphazardly executed (concept, the main message) Something haphazardly implemented (the idea, the main message)
Something is a far-cry from masterpiece (the work of a cameraman, film) Something very far from a masterpiece (cinematography, film)

Useful phrases to write Review

Well, now we know what the structural elements to be mentioned in his book. However, this is not the most difficult, the big question arises from the choice of words! How beautiful to describe all that feeling into words? This question torments many. Let’s dwell on words and phrases that can be used in describing the movies or books. But first — the most popular genres of movies.

Genres of films
Genre of film Film genre Example
Action Action
Drama Drama
Comedy Comedy
Romantic comedy Romantic comedy
Horror Horror
Science fiction Fantastic
Western Western
Musical Musical

After following types of movie genres of films, and here we highlight the following:

Kinds of films
Low-budget Low-budget
Box-office hit Box office hit
A flop Film failure
Black-and-white Black-and-white film
Silent Silent movie
Well-dubbed Well duplicated
With subtitles With subtitles
Flashback story History in the memories (for example, «The Green Mile»)

But the adjectives we can use when describing films and books:

Adjectives about films
Jaw-dropping Excellent (literally — so that the jaw falls off)
Breathtaking Breathtaking
Action packed Filled with action
Hair-raising Terrible (literally — so that the hair stand on end)
Tearjerker Tearjerker (literally — tear)
Spine-tingling Taking the raw (literally — so that the tingling in the spine)
Eye-opening INSTRUCTIONAL (literally — opens your eyes to something)
Thought-provoking Thought-provoking
Awe-inspiring Awe-inspiring

I also want to give a summary table, listing adjectives describing positive and negative aspects of the film:

Additional description
About … Positive Negative
(Main characters)
Believable (plausible)
Likeable (cute)
Shallow (superficial)
Unconvincing (inconclusive)
Special effects
(special effects)
Stunning (stunning)
Impressive (impressive)
Cheap (cheap)
Laughable (ridiculous)
Poor (miserable)
Amateurish (amateurish)
Outstanding (outstanding)
Remarkable (wonderful)
Meaningless (meaningless)
Profound (penetration) Unimaginative (unimaginative)
Clichéd (cliché)
Has a surprising twist (an unexpected plot twist) Weak (weak)
Appalling (awful)
Incoherent (incoherent)
Mediocre (mediocre)
Moving (inspirational)
Entertaining (entertainment)
Hilarious (Funny)
Amusing (funny)
Exciting (exciting)
Informative (informative)
Realistic (Realistic)
Gripping (exciting)
Absorbing (fascinating)
Believable (believable)
Overcomplicated (too complicated)
Predictable (predictable)
Confusing (confusing)
Depressing (depressive)
Humorless (without humor)
Slow-moving (sluggish)
Far-fetched (contrived)

Common phrases to describe the film. A film can …

  • boast a star-studded cast — boasts a stellar team;
  • explore (dare to tackle) many issues — explore (dare to solve) many of the problems;
  • do a commendable job translating the book to the screen — to do a commendable job of adaptation (translation) of the book to the screen;
  • It deals with controversial issues — to deal with controversial issues;
  • be a true classic of the silver screen — to be a real classic of the silver screen;
  • eclipse all preceding — overshadow all previous;
  • trigger a great deal of heated debates — cause a lot of heated debate;
  • We win universal approval — to win universal approval;
  • bombard the viewer with scenes of suffering, upsetting or misleading information — «throw» the viewer with scenes of suffering, frustrating or incorrect information.

Do you want to recommend a movie for viewing or book reading for? Let’s do it this way:

  • The interesting facts offered in this book / film make it stand out — interesting facts presented in the film / book allocate it among others.
  • Do not miss it — do not miss.
  • It will change the way you think — it will change the way you think.
  • It is well worth seeing / reading — worth it look / read.
  • It is a masterpiece of its kind — is a classic masterpiece of its kind.
  • It succeeds in … — has succeeded in …
  • It is highly entertaining read — very entertaining reading.

As you can see, the options to describe books and movies, there are many incredible and interesting word can now be safely forgotten. This language can be used not only during the writing of the Review, but just in conversation, describing his impressions of the work of art. In addition, many international exams in English language has a writing assignment — write a Review (FCE, CAE, CPE). To successfully write Review written part of the exam, you can safely take and memorize a phrase from the article.

  • The fact that the international exams are mentioned above, please refer to my article «Cambridge exams FCE, CAE, CPE. Useful tips ».

And finally, we offer you to take the test to secure the material on which we focused in this article:



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