short essay 2 film review preferably chicago 1

Length: 3-4 pages

Format: Typed, MLA format, 12 pt. font, double-spaced, proofread, essay, with proof of attendance included (scan or take a pic of your ticket stub).

Submission: Upload the electronic copy of your paper to the appropriate Turnitin submission point under Assignments of our course website on Blackboard. Review the originality report and revise/resubmit as you choose.

Step 1: Think about some of our course questions and themes as they relate to the films we’ve seen (Hollywood, American Society, spectatorship, industry politics, ideologies and genres, social norms, social justice, etc.) What has been the most interesting to you? What type of films are you finding yourself most drawn to? Any new surprises? What would you like to see more of? How do you think the current film industry is shaping our assumptions about the power of film on these topics – especially as they relate to our conceptions of American life?

Step 2: Go to the Movies!

Take a look at the films that are currently playing in Chicago theaters and select a film that will allow you to think more about our course questions and themes. (It’s important that you see something live, on the big screen, as all film critics do. Do NOT rent or “Netflix” a film – GO to one!) Though you may choose any theater and film you’d like, in case you are interested in expanding your film horizons, here are some suggestions for theaters that play films that are a little less mainstream.

Gene Siskel Film Center

Landmark Century

Doc Films

Music Box

Piper’s Alley

CineArts 6 in Evanston…

Chicago Filmmakers

River East (sometimes, on the “artsy side” of the theater)

OR you could go to something super Hollywood and investigate our course questions there! Check the showtimes in The Reader at or, well, Google.

Step 3 Then write a 3-4 page critical review of the film!

Before you start writing, read some examples of written film reviews (NOT of the one you are writing about!) – from the newspapers or online film critics – to get an idea of what a review accomplishes: brief summary, strengths and weaknesses, overall recommendation, and why. You should base your critique on a standard of evaluation that YOU establish – which might include things like aesthetic judgments or social responsibility, in addition to quality editing, acting, writing, etc. Be careful not to overwhelm your paper with plot summary! Use only what you need to pique the interest of your reader and support your evaluation. Avoid “spoilers”!

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