English Writing Exercises for B1 – Article: a film review

Preparation

Your teacher has asked you to write a film review for the school magazine. Write your review describing the film and say what you liked and didn’t like about it.

1. Read the task above. Then read Writing Strategy 1 and the review below. Answer the questions.

a  

Where does each paragraph end?

Paragraph 1: A  or B

Paragraph 2: C or D

Paragraph 3: E or F

b  

Has the writer followed the second piece of advice in the Strategy? Yes No

Writing Strategy 1

Give your review a logical structure. Divide it into paragraphs, each with its own topic or focus.

The conclusion should restate the main idea given in the introduction, but using different words. It should also include the writer’s opinion and, if appropriate, a recommendation.

An extraordinary film about an extraordinary man!

If you’re looking for a film that has romance and drama and makes you think, this is the one for you! I loved The Theory of Everything, from start to finish. [A ] And I have no doubt that it’ll remain one of favourite films for many years to come! I’d definitely recommend it. [B ] It is mostly set in Cambridge, England, and it tells the story of Stephen Hawking, a physicist at Cambridge University, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease while still in his early twenties. We see how, with the help of Jane – his girlfriend and then wife – he overcame great physical disabilities to become probably the world’s most famous scientists. [C ] What I really loved about the film is the way it involves you in the characters. I felt that I really got to know them, and found their story incredibly moving. [D ] I thought the acting was first-class, with superb performances from Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. The film was also beautifully filmed, with lots of atmospheric shots of Cambridge. [E ] I have only one small criticism. We learn a lot about Jane and Stephen’s relationship, but we learn nothing about Stephen Hawking the scientist, and what motivates him. [F ] Overall, however, this is a fantastic film. If you haven’t seen it yet, get the DVD. You won’t be disappointed! I guarantee it.

Show answers

1a Paragraph 1: B, Paragraph 2: C, Paragraph 3: F   b Yes

Writing Strategy 2

Choose a good title for your article.

In the first paragraph, attract the reader’s attention. You can do this by addressing him / her directly, especially with questions.

3 Use an appropriate style and register for the target audience.

2. Read Writing Strategy 2 and answer questions 1-3 below.

1 Underline the sentence that attracts the reader’s attention in the first paragraph.

2 Is the overall style formal  or informal  ?

3 Has the writer addressed both elements of the task?

      Yes No

Show answers

1 If you’re looking for a film that has romance and drama and makes you think, this one is for you!

2 informal   3 Yes

3. Tick the phrases for describing stories that the writer uses in the article. Which phrase cannot be used to describe a film?

It’s set in (place and / or time).

There are lots of twists and turns.

It tells the story of (character).

I would definitely recommend it.

It’s a real page-turner.

Phrase  can’t be used for films.

Show answers

1, 3, 4 . Phrase 5 can’t be used for films.

Writing Guide

4. You are going to do the task in exercise 1. Make notes about a film of your choice.

What I liked: __________________

What I didn’t like: _________

Overall opinion: _________

Show answers

your own answers

5. Write your review. Follow the structure of the model review in exercise 1, and use your notes from exercise 4. Use some phrases from exercise 3.