Tips on Writing Your Film Review

For our volunteer reviewers or those auditioning to join our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics team, please read the guidelines below before you write your first review.

A. Your review should be approximately 400 words long. (200 words for auditions)

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. The KIDS FIRST! style is to write in five paragraphs.

  • Paragraph #1. Begin with a short exclamatory sentence telling how much you liked or did not like the film. Remember that this is your opinion, don't say why you think others would like it. We want to know why you do or do not. Follow that with two or three reasons why.
  • Paragraph #2. Give a brief description of the film using no more than three or four sentences. Take a look at IMDB as an example, but don't copy what they write.
  • Paragraph #3. Expand on what you said in paragraph #1. Describe your favorite or least favorite parts of the film. Tell us what you liked or disliked about them. Tell us abuot the actors' performances, being sure to look up their name on IMDB so you spell it correctly. Tell us about your favorite characters, who plays them and what makes them memorable. Talk about the plot development. Does it make sense? Is it paced well? 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. Whenever you make a generalized statement, back it up with a specific example.
  • Paragraph #4. Tell us about the message of the film. Films are storytelling on the screen and their message is the "lesson" you learn from watching it. There is no right or wrong answer here - the message you take away may be completely different from someone else's. Include any warnings in this paragraph about things parents should be aware of such as bloody, gory violence; profanity; inappropriate sexual behavior; bias in terms of race, gender or religion; other unsafe behavior.
  • Paregraph #5. Give it a star rating (with 5 high); remember to name the scale. i.e. I give this 3 out of 5 stars. Give it an age recommendation using the KF groups of: ages 1-5, 5-8, 8-12 or 12-18. You can combine two groups if you need to and you can always add: plus adults if you think adults would enjoy it as well. End by letting your audience know when and where it will be released. i.e. "Releasing in theaters October 31, 2022.


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