Things to Consider While Viewing a Movie

If you are watching the film for the first time, just watch it. Have the experience.

Then view it a second time with these questions in mind. Take notes. The more detailed they are, the more useful they will be towards your paper.


What are the most obvious positive features of this movie?

What are the most obvious negative features of this movie?

What attitude does the film seem to take towards its audience? (friendly, combative, preachy, threatening, fatherly, snobby?) Does this attitude seem to change at any point during the film?

Note shots or scenes that contain noticeable examples of:

  • strong or weak acting
  • fresh or formulaic plot developments
  • original or over-used approaches to dialogue
  • expressive or inexpressive camera movement (tracking, panning, tilting)
  • effective or ineffective lighting (high-key, low-key, back-, front-, side-lit)
  • creative or stale use of color/black and white
  • effective or bland sound (dialogue, music, effects, voice-over)
  • expressive editing/cutting (the way one shot is connected to another)

What do you see in this film that you have also seen in other films? Are you bothered by this repetition?

What can you notice about the structure of the film - the way the story is told? A strictly chronological order? Flashbacks? Dream sequences? Stories within stories?

When the film is over, what image, shot, or scene lingers most strongly in your memory?

Who could be offended by this movie (in part or in full)? Why?

What new things did you encounter in this film? Was experiencing this pleasant or uncomfortable for you?

Did you like or dislike this film because it was "different"?

When the film is over, what do you feel like doing?

The Wonder Closet