Writing: Reviews

  • Reviews can be about films/movies, books, places…
  • We expect you use descriptive vocabulary: adjectives, noun modifiers, relative clauses, participle clauses (past participles and present participles)…
  • The plot/story is usually told in the present (“dramatic present”).
  • Structure: you begin with objective info, move on to plot (story), analysis/opinion and finally make a recommendation (targetted audience).

Avanzados: Try to create complex sentences to replace lots of simple sentences like “It is”

  • Simple: The film … is (genre). It is based on a novel / a real life story… It is directed…
  • More complex: The film … is (genre) based on (whatever).
  • Simple: The story is about … It stars… It is set in …
  • More complex: Set in … (past participle clause), the story focuses on…

Improve your language range:

This fascinating film…
The film, which won the Oscar award for…, is…

Complex sentences: (name of movie), a thriller set in … is based on (name of novel). *Directed by … and starred by … (name of movie) tells the story of a …
(name of film/movie) is a (genre) directed by … starring …
(name of film/movie) is a (genre) directed by … It stars … / It is starred by … as …
Starring …, (name of movie) is …
*Starred by …, (name of movie) is…
*Located in …, the film tells the story of a …

*This is a good chance to use past participle clauses

More participle clauses:

Realizing/Seeing that she couldn’t find her son, …
Having realized she would never find her son, …
Opening the door, they find…
Having found the letter, she decided to…
After bumping into her friend one day, she learns that …

Vocabulary for reviews

Intermedios: Jot down the ways to recommend the film/movie at the end of your review!

Producer – a moving production,
Director – well-directed – develops the story masterfully – a skilful / skillful piece of filmmaking
Screenplay/script – Written by …, … The screenplay was written by …
Story/Plot – reaches the climax, develops, begins, ends, interlocking stories – unexpected turn – depicts life in … – far-fetched – powerful – provides information about – shows/presents/mirrors/reveals
Setting/atmosphere – provides the setting for … – creates a certain atmosphere – captures the atmosphere
Actors/characters – well acted – exceptional/excellent/outstanding performance – a masterful direction gives the actors the opportunity to express – a newcomer – wonderful characters – an impressive debut – a very moving portrayal – manipulative
Music / Score – conveys a … atmosphere, underlines the characters’ feelings, supports the plot – the music provides an extra feeling / tension

Positive: astonishing, plausible, witty/clever, remarkable, memorable performances, warm-hearted, amusing, entertaining, exciting, thrilling, full of tension, realistic, credible, action-packed, compelling, captivating, contrived (forzado), inspiring, first-rate performances, insightful story, clever, charming star, thought-provoking, enjoyable, charismatic characters, tender, original, dazzling performances, hilarious, absorbing, sensitive, riveting (fascinating, gripping), intriguing plot, powerful scenes, fascinating, pleasant, surprising events, comical, gripping storyline, imaginative, legendary, unpretentious

Negative: less convincing, stereotypical characterization,
second-rate, violent, dreadful, third-rate, juvenile, boring, distasteful, ordinary/dull, disgusting, senseless, disappointing, brutal, pointless, uneven, bloody, incredibly tiresome, predictable, cliché ridden, uninteresting, weak, outdated, trite (trillado)

Neutral: big-budget, low-budget, dramatic, fast-moving, sentimental, fantasy, slow, romantic, satirical

Evaluating:
The film is full of humourous moments
One of the most poignant scenes of the movie is when …
A must-see.
A box-office success/failure, …
I definitely recommend this film to everybody who loves …
The movie is a worth-while watch
The movie is well worth watching
On a scale from zero to five I give this film a five.
The film literally brought tears to my eyes.
If you like …, this is the film for you.
It’s a film that will change the way you think about …
I was impressed by

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3 Responses to Writing: Reviews

  1. Pingback: Y5′s. Participle clauses & related issues | Plans & What We Did In Class

  2. Pingback: Oct 2 Lesson (Diary) | C1 Course by michelle

  3. Pingback: Diary for Nov 30 | C1 Course by MF 2015-16

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