How to Write a Sociological Movie Review

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Movies can tell us a lot about society and culture. A movie may discuss social roles in a particular time and culture, history, views of sexual morality, cultural fears, and many other sociological facets. Through reviewing the movie from a sociological perspective, an author can gain insight into not just a particular director or writer's vision, but how contemporary society views itself and its world.

  • Movie
  • Computer

1 Identify sociological themes in the movie

Identify sociological themes in the movie. Ask yourself in what ways the movie reflects the events and social reality of its time and in what ways it distorts them. Ask if the movie reflects on universal human concerns and problems and, if so, how. Ask how well the movie fits into sociological ideas and research, or if it contradicts them. Decide what it has to say, if anything, on the relationship between the individual, his society, and the flow of history. Jot down some notes.

2 Select observations

Select observations that are surprising or startling. A sociological movie review that makes unexpected observations will be much more interesting than one that focuses on obvious things.

3 Develop a sociological argument

Develop a sociological argument. State what you believe the movie has to say sociologically, using evidence from the movie. Include events from the plot, descriptions of important scenes, and direct quotes from character dialogue to make your point. Don't summarize the whole movie; rather, focus on the parts of it that are most important to your argument.

4 Write a conclusion

Write a conclusion, restating your main point and showing how it relates to a broader sociological perspective. You may wish to reflect on the movie's continued relevance to current events, for example or, if it is no longer relevant to our culture, discuss what has changed.

5 Write an introduction

Write an introduction. The introduction should provide a hook to bring the reader in and address the main point of the essay. Start by asking a question, discussing an important event in history, sharing a quote from the movie, or using another technique to get the reader to think about what issue your essay is addressing. Then, narrow down your introduction in a few sentences until you present your thesis: the main point your essay is making.

6 Reread your essay

Reread your essay to make sure it has good grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and is well organized. Include a title, your name and the date you completed the review on a title page. If you are writing your review for a class, check it against the class rubric to make sure it fulfills all the requirements.

7 Add a works-cited page

Add a works-cited page. Write down relevant information including title, director, studio and year of production of the version of the movie you watched, and citations for any books or articles you consulted.

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.