Tips on Writing Your Film Review

For our volunteer reviewers, please read the guidelines below before you write your first review.

A. Your review should be approximately 400 words long.

B. Always put the title of the film at the top, your name, your age, and the date of your review.

C. Follow this format for your review:

  • Begin by writing a short sentence telling how well you liked or didn't like the film. Use your own words and make them interesting. i.e. This film is so funny, I found myself laughing so hard I thought I would cry.
  • Next, tell us why you did or did not like it. Whenever you make a generalized statement, you need to give specific examples of why you said that. If this film is hysterically funny, say what makes it so funny. i.e. Steve Martin's portrayal of the Dad reminds me of my own Dad in his sillier moments. The way he walked adds to the humor.
  • Talk about what happens in the film but don't give away the ending. Describe the film as if you are describing it to a friend who has never seen it. People who read your review have not seen the film yet and their decision to see it might be based on what you say. That's the role of a film critic.
  • Describe your favorite or least favorite parts of the film and say what you liked or disliked about them. Give specific examples.
  • Describe the talent and their performances. Use the internet movie database ( to get the correct spelling for the names of actors in the film. Describe your favorite characters and who plays them. Tell us what makes their performances memorable.
  • Tell us the message of the film. Is there a moral message? Something that makes you think a bit more deeply about life? What is it? If you can relate to it, tell us why.
  • Talk about things that stick out in your mind such as the music, sets, costumes, script, make-up or the animation. These are important aspects that make films stand out. Tell us about them.
  • Tell us if the film meets the baseline KIDS FIRST! criteria: No gratuitous violence or profanity; no inappropriate sexual behavior; no bias in terms of race, gender or religion; and no replicable unsafe behavior. Note that the tolerance of this criteria varies depending on the age recommendation.
  • Wrap it up at the end. Tell us who the audience is and why. What age would enjoy this. Would boys like it better than girls? Why? Always give both a lower and upper age rating with the upper no greater than age 18. i.e. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18.
  • Rank it. We use a 1 to 5 star ranking. How many stars would you give this?


Write your review in either a word document or a google document and send to [email protected] when complete.


Go to KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Criteria page