Sample Critical Film Essay Ideas

12.Examine two (or more) movies based on the same comic book character. Analyze the change in the character over the series, or examine the way two different actors and directors interpreted the character, motivations and plot (examples: Spiderman, X-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Justice League, Superman).

13. Look at a romantic comedy. Analyze how this genre draws the audience into the story. What makes a romantic comedy effective? (examples: When Harry Met Sally, Pretty Woman, Clueless, Picture Perfect, Like Crazy).

14. Choose your favorite horror movie to examine. What makes this such a good horror film? Analyze what elements this movie has that creates the experience of horror in the audience (examples: The Exorcist, Sleepy Hollow, The Silence of the Lambs, The Shining, Halloween).

15. What makes a good summer movie? Examine one of your favorite summer movies, a classic, or a hit from last summer. Analyze what makes a movie good for a summer release? What are the audience expectations. How well does this movie match what the audience has come to expect? (examples: Do the Right Thing, Caddyshack, Jaws, (500) Days of Summer).

16. Pick a "dumb" comedy. While these sorts of movies don't generally hold up as classic literature, they can make us laugh and be fun to watch with a group of friends. However, there is a fine line between funny dumb and stupid dumb. Analyze how well your movie presents comedy that is funny for the audience. What makes a movie like this work? (examples: Ted, Bad Santa, The Cable Guy, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America, The Hangover).

17. Choose a movie that one The Best Picture award. Analyze what makes a movie the best of that year and one of the best of all time. Does your movie have features that most best pictures do? What makes it unique? If it was produced this year, would it win again? (examples: Wings (1927/29-the first Best picture award), Gone With The Wind (1939), Ben Hur (1959), The Sound of Music (1965), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), The King's Speech (2001).

18. Choose a reality T.V. series: Analyze why people like these shows. Why are they so popular and what makes a reality T.V. show good or bad? Do these shows exploit the people who appear on them? Where should we draw the line? (examples: Toddlers and Tiaras, Biggest Loser, Survivor).

19. Choose a popular older T.V. sitcom. Research the current events happening at the time the show was produced. Analyze why the show was popular at that time. Did that shows humor last? Can audiences who watch it now still appreciate the humor? (examples: I Love Lucy, Cheers, M.A.S.H).

20. Examine a popular game show. Explain the history of the show. Analyze how the show works to make the game interesting not only for the contestants but also for the viewing audience. Was the key ingredient the set-up of the game show, the contestants, the host, the audience, viewer participation or some other factor? (examples: Let's Make Deal, Minute to Win it, Jeopardy).

Part of becoming a successful critical reader is being able to translate the thoughts you had whilst reading into your writing.  Below are some written examples of the observations a critical reader may make whilst commenting on various issues in text.

NOTE:  The critical analysis component of each example below is highlighted in blue.

Further examples of critical writing can be found on the UniLearning Website.

Overgeneralisations and assumptions

Researchers often make simplifying assumptions when tackling a complex problem. While the results might provide some insight, these answers will also likely have some limitations.

Example:

Methodological limitations

Researchers may simplify the conditions under which an experiment occurs, compared to the real world, in order to be able to more easily investigate what is going on.

Example:

Objectivity of research

Some research may be biased in its structure.

Example:

Limitations due to sample group

Limitations can arise due to participant numbers. Example:

Limitations can also arise if there is a limited range of participants.

Example:

Limits to applicability

There can be concerns with studies’ applicability, for a number of reasons.

Results not replicated

One such reason could be that the study results have not been replicated in any other study.  If results have not been replicated, it indicates that the results are suggestive, rather than conclusive.

Example:

Long term effects unknown

There would be limits to applicability if long term effects have not been tested.

Example:

Omissions

It is important to look for things that have not been discussed within studies to ascertain whether this would limit the applicability of the results.

Example:

 

Correlation vs. causation

It is important to be aware that just because one variable is correlated with another, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one variable is the cause of another.

Example:

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