Lesson: Film Review 4: Deconstructing the film review

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The best way to learn about how to build something is to take it apart.  That’s what this lesson is about: taking apart a film review or two, to see how they’re built.  Once students decode the system reviewers use, they’ll be in a better position to write their own reviews using that system. 


1.     To help students discover form and conventions of film reviews



Students and the teacher may both submit their favorite reviews from the Film Review 2 lesson for review by the class.


  1. Read reviews aloud in class, pausing for students to identify the structures and conventions used by writers, with the teacher assisting as necessary until form and conventions are understood.  Students should take notes on this so they will have a guide when they sit down to write their own reviews later.



Assessment Questions:

  1. Based on their response in discussion, do students seem to have a good idea of how reviews are written?
  2. Could students pass a pop quiz on form and conventions of film reviews?


Connections to Standards:

Teacher Notes:

  1. There is no simple formula, but reviews tend to have a featurized opening that encompasses a statement of the thesis, or perhaps, at this point, just a theme.  The body follows, expanding on the theme, addressing plot, cinematography, music, directing and so forth and always including an evaluation of the acting.  The wrap-up can be accomplished in a variety of ways — one could say the same thing about the conclusion of an essay — but there are some common strategies, notably a return to the opening image or opening assessment of the film.


Time needed to teach:

1 Session


Evaluating credibility, bias
Reading Activity


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