Writing a book/film review

Do you know how to write a book or a film review? Follow these steps.

Pre writing

Remember and take notes of the plot of the story. What impression did it produce on you?



Give the title and author of the book, mention the type of the book. If you’re reviewing a film mention the type of film, the director and the actors.


Summarize the plot in a few sentences.

Mention the setting: the place and time of the plot.

Say something about the main characters.

Say something about the content.


Comment on the book or film.

Let others know whether or not you liked the book/film.

Give your opinion about the acting of the actors, sound  track, special effects.

Is the author’s style good or bad, is the book / film interesting or boring etc.

Do you want to recommend the book/film?

Post writing

Edit your writing.

Useful Expressions

Title, Author / Director, Actors

The film is directed by
The film is produced by..
It is starred by…
The book is written by …


The action takes place in … (setting)
The action of the film is set in …
The story takes place in…

Characters and Plot

The main characters are …
The story is about ….
The novel tells the story of …
In the course of the novel the action develops dramatically.
The novel / film begins with…
The novel has an unexpected ending.
The end of … is …


I am impressed by
I think ….
The book is terribly / beautifully written
The film is terrible / exciting.
What surprised me is …
What I liked is…
What I didn’t like is…
I liked/didn’t like the film / novel because …

Kinds of films / movies

  • Action movies have a lot of exciting effects like car chases and gun fight. They usually involve ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’, so war and crime are common subjects. Action movies usually need very little effort to watch, since the plot is normally simple.
  • Adventure movies usually involve a hero who sets out on a quest to save the world or loved ones.
  • Animated movies
  • Comedies are funny movies about people being silly or doing unusual things that make the audience laugh.
  • Documentaries are movies that are about real people and real events. They are nearly always serious and may involve strongly emotional subjects, for example cruelty.
  • Dramas are serious, and often about people falling in love or needing to make a big decision in their life. They tell stories about relationships between people.
  • Tragedies are always dramas, and are about people in trouble. For example, a husband and wife who are divorcing must each try to prove to a court of law that they are the best person to take care of their child. Emotion (feelings) are a big part of the movie and the audience (people watching the movie) may get upset and even cry.
  • Family movies are made to be good for the entire family. They are mainly made for children but often entertaining for adults as well. Disney is famous for their family movies.
  • Horror movies use fear to excite the audience. Music, lighting and sets (man-made places in movie studios where the movie is made) are all designed to add to the feeling.
  • Romantic Comedies (Rom-Coms) are usually love stories about 2 people from different worlds, who must overcome obstacles to be together. Rom-Coms are always light-hearted, but may include some emotion.
  • Science fiction (sci-fi) movies are set in the future or in outer space. Some use their future or alien settings to ask questions about the meaning of life or how we should think about life. Science fiction movies often use special effects to create images of alien worlds, outer space, alien creatures, and spaceships.
  • Thrillersare usually about a mystery, strange event, or crime that needs to be solved. The audience is kept guessing until the final minutes, when there are usually ‘twists’ in the plot (surprises).
  • Western movies tell stories about cowboys in the western United States in the 1800s. They are usually really action movies, but with historical costume. They may or may not involve Indians (Native Americans).
  • Fantasy movies include magical and impossible things that any real human being cannot do.

Review Sample

Star Wars


One of my favourite films is one of the Star Wars series. I’ve got the video. It’s an exciting science fiction film and it’s called The Phantom Menace. It’s the first part of a trilogy about a boy called Anakin Skywalker.

In this film Anakin is nine years old and he lives with his mother on planet Tatsin. Strange-looking creatures rule this planet and Anakin and all the other human beings are slaves. Anakin’s dream is to become one of the Jedi knights, the brave guardians of the galaxy, and free his people. One day two Jedi knights land on Tatsin and Anakin thinks his dream might finally come true.

I enjoy watching this film because it’s never boring. The story is full of surprises and suspense. And the action never stops. There are spaceship races, battles with robots and really exciting fight scenes with the Jedi knights. I like those the best. Also, the space scenes and the different creatures on the planets are amazing and they look so real.

You must go and see this film or get the video. You may not like science fiction but this film is special. The story is exciting and the scenery and acting is brilliant. And it’s not just a film for children. All the family should see it. I can’t wait to see the next two films in the trilogy.