CRITICAL MOVIE REVIEW PROMPT
Write a 3-4pp, double-spaced critical review (Thoughtful titles, font size no larger than #12, uniform 1”
margins around all four sides of the page please) of one of the classic film noirs – either Gun Crazy
(1949), Pick-up on South Street (1953), or Kiss Me Deadly (1955) — we have seen this semester. A
critical movie review differs considerably from a typical popular movie review like we see on TV, read
online, or in newspapers/magazines where reviews talk about how great/sucky a particular movie might
be and determine its overall worth by how “hot” currently popular actors like Zac Efron or Jennifer
Lawrence might, or might not be. As though perceived hotness is somehow a legitimate criterion for
determining the merit of a particular film! Critical movie reviews, on the other hand, are more insightful
and examine a particular thought-provoking feature of a film. They do not talk about how good or bad a
film is, or merely summarize the plot, but rather attempt to present what makes a movie interesting and
worth our further examination, review, and discussion as serious students of film. For your critical
review, then, you might discuss your chosen movie’s cinematography, its screenplay, artistic direction,
reflection of a particular socio-historical issue, etc. The possibilities are endless. Begin by asking
yourself these questions: What strikes you as interesting, thought-provoking, or troubling about one of the
three films mentioned above? How might you develop that idea into a more complete and coherent
essay? What related main and supporting points do you want to make? Discuss!
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