Movie Evaluation Essay

Had to do an evaluation essay last semester at school and I chose a tough movie and I beat myself over it. This semester I have to do a similar essay and it’s easy because I’ve pretty much already done it.

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Is the phrase “I'm supposed to write an evaluation essay on a movie and pretty much explain and review it” continually echoing and it reverbs back and forth inside your head?

Feature movies and sometimes documentaries are instrumental when it comes to research sources. They are frequently used as supplementary learning tools in institutions of higher learning. Analysis of film is a common assignment in college and trust me “you don’t need to be an English Professor to be a good film reviewer.”

Your professor will select a specific film or maybe a documentary for a reason because it probably relates to the current material at hand. A perfect movie evaluation essay will explain how the movie or film has enhanced the learning experience and also should provide an account of your thoughts and ideas regarding the movie.

movie for my film evaluation essay

What is a movie evaluation essay?

A movie evaluation essay is a process of analyzing a movie in terms of semiotics, narrative structure, cultural context, and mise-en-scene, among other approached that are open for anyone to use as long as the proper structure is followed. A movie evaluation essay is a form of rhetorical analysis, and it critically analyzes and evaluates discourses, which in this case are phrases and also images that bring out different meanings and emotions to different viewers of the movie and should be subject to review. Like other forms of writing in college or university, movie evaluation essays need to have the support of evidence and clear arguments, just like a research paper thesis statement or an argumentative essay.


There are different types of movie analysis

Here I will list the most common approaches to movie evaluation essays, and this does not mean that I have listed all of them, but there are, of course, others that you will learn from the class or when having group discussions. The most critical thing is to understand what your professor expects, with this guide you are guaranteed to understand you're prompt better and also you can be able to understand any questions regarding movie evaluation essays and know which method to use appropriately. The approaches I am going to discuss can sometimes be used to discuss aspects in one movie analysis since most films try to capture many aspects ranging from cultural to narrative aspects of film-making.



Semiotic analysis is the meaning behind symbols, and it involves analogies and symbolism and to add similarities as well. I will try and explain this using the simplest way possible. If you were to describe a person who you do not know and you’ve never met, then you’d use probably signs from the person, for example, unkempt hair, torn shirt, unzipped trouser to relay specific information to your brain based on the characteristics of this person and you’d think the person is careless: but if you meet a person with a briefcase, well-polished shoes, tucked in shirt and proper kempt hair then the information that will be relayed to your brain is that this person is responsible and you can even manage to hold a decent conversation with. A soldier is typically associated with cultural ideas of a country’s security, border security, and also toughness.


The semiotic analysis explains to the audience how to understand codes used in movies and their meaning. No object or symbol in a film lacks significance in the form of ideas they bring forward to the viewer. An example of a sign is a person dressed in a black t-shirt with a big sign on the front side with a rock band singer, she is holding a guitar, and she has black nail polish and black makeup plus dyed hair you can easily conclude that she is a goth or maybe a rebel in some way. Color red brings an emotion of anger and resentment and perhaps violence, but in some other form, it has a meaning of love same as diamond is a symbol of love and commitment among spouses. 


The narrative structure can be defined as the analysis of story elements, which include the plot structure and the theme.  The narrative structure can be analyzed by using questions like “who,” “what,” “and “where,” and specifically, “How” and “when” are used to examine plot structure.

To adequately describe a story in a movie, we need to answer some questions:

• Which location is the story set?

• Which events lead to the start of the story?

• Who are the top characters?

• Any conflicts they face?

• What happens when they face conflict?

• What is the outcome?

• What is the impact of the conflict on the characters?


To accurately describe the plot structure of the movie, we need to answer some questions:

• How was the conflict that arose in the movie set up, and how did it happen?

• How are the top characters introduced, and when?

• How is the story pushed along to the point of the characters facing conflict?

• When is the central conflict set up, (how) to thrust the film to the conclusion?

• When and how does the conflict gets resolved and its effects on the whole story set-up?


How to write an evaluation essay on a movie

• Make it a habit to review every movie you come across since it will always get easy once you’re into the habit of reviewing movies.

• Make sure you have read and well-understood the prompt and also grasped what your professor expects you to do. Select a specific issue and go ahead to focus on it by making proper arguments. Selecting multiple arguments will only lead to a downward pull since you won’t manage to analyze all issues perfectly.

• Since there is not that much strictness when grading movie evaluation essays in terms of the format. I would advise you to write in any style you prefer if at all your professor has not instructed any special style to be used. Most professors won’t specify any particular writing style, so use the style you’re most comfortable with.

• Always try to match the tone of each review with the style of the film. For example, a serious tone can match up with a crime film whereas a scary tone would match a thriller or horror movie

• Make sure to watch the movie while noting down different aspects of what you will write at a later stage. Make sure to review your materials and to watch over and over again the movie to make sure you do not miss any part of the film or documentary. 

• Come up with a thesis and an outline and make sure you have your evidence ready to vase your argument on. Your thesis should answer what your prompt dictates because this is an academic assignment, and it’s purely based on a set of instructions.

• Use your evidence effectively and by this I mean, you should go ahead and make sure you do not state the evidence and describe it, but you should adequately explain what the evidence is used for, why it’s being used and for what purpose it’s being used and in what context it’s being used in your argument.

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