Essays About Movies: 7 Examples and 5 Writing Prompts

Check out our guide with essays about movies for budding videographers and artistic students. Learn from our helpful list of examples and prompts.

Watching movies is a part of almost everyone’s life. They entertain us, teach us lessons, and even help us socialize by giving us topics to talk about with others. As long as movies have been produced, everyone has patronized them. Essays about movies are a great way to learn all about the meaning behind the picture.

Cinema is an art form in itself. The lighting, camera work, and acting in the most widely acclaimed movies are worthy of praise. Furthermore, a movie can be used to send a message, often discussing issues in contemporary society. Movies are entertaining, but more importantly, they are works of art. If you’re interested in this topic, check out our round-up of screenwriters on Instagram.

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5 Helpful Essay Examples 

1. The positive effects of movies on human behaviour by Ajay Rathod

“​​Films encourage us to take action. Our favourite characters, superheroes, teach us life lessons. They give us ideas and inspiration to do everything for the better instead of just sitting around, waiting for things to go their way. Films about famous personalities are the perfect way to affect social behaviour positively. Films are a source of knowledge. They can help learn what’s in the trend, find out more about ancient times, or fill out some knowledge gaps.”

In this movie essay, Rathod gives readers three ways watching movies can positively affect us. Movie writers, producers, and directors use their platform to teach viewers life skills, the importance of education, and the contrast between good and evil. Watching movies can also help us improve critical thinking, according to Briggs. Not only do movies entertain us, but they also have many educational benefits. You might also be interested in these essays about consumerism.

2. Horror movies by Emanuel Briggs

“Many people involving children and adults can effect with their sleeping disturbance and anxiety. Myths, non-realistic, fairy tales could respond differently with being in the real world. Horror movies bring a lot of excitement and entertainment among you and your family. Horror movies can cause physical behavior changes in a person by watching the films. The results of watching horror movies shows that is has really effect people whether you’re an adult, teens, and most likely happens during your childhood.”

In his essay, Briggs acknowledges why people enjoy horror movies so much but warns of their adverse effects on viewers. Most commonly, they cause viewers nightmares, which may cause anxiety and sleep disorders. He focuses on the films’ effects on children, whose more sensitive, less developed brains may respond with worse symptoms, including major trauma. The films can affect all people negatively, but children are the most affected.

3. Casablanca – The Greatest Hollywood Movie Ever (Author Unknown)

“This was the message of Casablanca in late 1942. It was the ideal opportunity for America to utilize its muscles and enter the battle. America was to end up the hesitant gatekeeper of the entire world. The characters of Casablanca, similar to the youthful Americans of the 1960s who stick headed the challenge development, are ‘genuine Americans’ lost in a hostile region, battling to open up another reality.”

In this essay, the author discusses the 1942 film Casablanca, which is said to be the greatest movie ever made, and explains why it has gotten this reputation. To an extent, the film’s storyline, acting, and even relatability (it was set during World War II) allowed it to shine from its release until the present. It invokes feelings of bravery, passion, and nostalgia, which is why many love the movie. You can also check out these books about adaption

4.  Dune Review: An Old Story Reshaped For The New 2021 Audience by Oren Cohen

“Lady Jessica is a powerful woman in the original book, yet her interactions with Paul diminish her as he thinks of her as slow of thought. Something we don’t like to see in 2021 — and for a good reason.

Every book is a product of its time, and every great storyteller knows how to adapt an old story to a new audience. I believe Villeneuve received a lot of hate from diehard Dune fans for making these changes, but I fully support him.”

Like the previous essay, Cohen reviews a film, in this case, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, released in 2021. He praises the film, writing about its accurate portrayal of the epic’s vast, dramatic scale, music, and, interestingly, its ability to portray the characters in a way more palatable to contemporary audiences while staying somewhat faithful to the author’s original vision. Cohen enjoyed the movie thoroughly, saying that the movie did the book justice. 

5. Blockbuster movies create booms for tourism — and headaches for locals by Shubhangi Goel

“Those travelers added around 630 million New Zealand dollars ($437 million) to the country’s economy in 2019 alone, the tourism authority told CNBC.

A survey by the tourism board, however, showed that almost one in five Kiwis are worried that the country attracts too many tourists. Overcrowding at tourist spots, lack of infrastructure, road congestion and environmental damage are creating tension between locals and visitors, according to a 2019 report by Tourism New Zealand.”

The locations where successful movies are filmed often become tourist destinations for fans of those movies. Goel writes about how “film tourism” affects the residents of popular filming locations. The environment is sometimes damaged, and the locals are caught off guard. Though this is not always the case, film tourism is detrimental to the residents and ecosystem of these locations. You can also check out these essays about The Great Gatsby.

6. Moonage Daydream: “Who Is He? What Is He?” by Jonathan Romney

“Right from the start, Brett Morgen’s Moonage Daydream (2022) catches us off guard. It begins with an epigraph musing on Friedrich Nietzsche’s proclamation that “God is dead,” then takes us into deep space and onto the surface of the moon. It then unleashes an image storm of rockets, robots, and star-gazers, and rapid-fire fragments of early silent cinema, 1920s science fiction, fifties cartoons, and sixties and seventies newsreel footage, before lingering on a close-up of glittery varnish on fingernails.” 

Moonage Daydream is a feature film containing never-before-seen footage of David Bowie. In this essay, Romney delves into the process behind creating the movie and how the footage was captured. It also looks at the director’s approach to creating a structured and cohesive film, which took over two years to plan. This essay looks at how Bowie’s essence was captured and preserved in this movie while displaying the intricacies of his mind.

7. La Bamba: American Dreaming, Chicano Style by Yolanda Machado

“A traumatic memory, awash in hazy neutral tones, arising as a nightmare. Santo & Johnny’s mournful “Sleep Walk” playing. A sudden death, foreshadowing the passing of a star far too young. The opening sequence of Luis Valdez’s La Bamba (1987) feels like it could be from another film—what follows is largely a celebration of life and music.”

La Bamba is a well-known movie about a teenage Mexican migrant who became a rock ‘n’ roll star. His rise to fame is filled with difficult social dynamics, and the star tragically dies in a plane crash at a young age. In this essay, Machado looks at how the tragic death of the star is presented to the viewer, foreshadowing the passing of the young star before flashing back to the beginning of the star’s career. Machado analyses the storyline and directing style, commenting on the detailed depiction of the young star’s life. It’s an in-depth essay that covers everything from plot to writing style to direction.

5 Prompts for Essays About Movies

1. My Favorite Movie

Simple and straightforward, write about your favorite movie. Explain its premise, characters, and plot, and elaborate on some of the driving messages and themes behind the film. You should also explain why you enjoy the movie so much: what impact does it have on you? Finally, answer this question in your own words for an engaging piece of writing.

2. Movies Genres

From horror to romance, movies can fall into many categories. Choose one of the main genres in cinema and discuss the characteristics of movies under that category. Explain prevalent themes, symbols, and motifs, and give examples of movies belonging to your chosen genre. For example, horror movies often have underlying themes such as mental health issues, trauma, and relationships falling apart. 

3. Special Effects in Movies

Without a doubt, special effects in movies have improved drastically. Both practical and computer-generated effects produce outstanding, detailed effects to depict situations most would consider unfathomable, such as the vast space battles of the Star Wars movies. Write about the development of special effects over the years, citing evidence to support your writing. Be sure to detail key highlights in the history of special effects. 

4. What Do You Look For in a Movie?

Movies are always made to be appreciated by viewers, but whether or not they enjoy them varies, depending on their preferences. In your essay, write about what you look for in a “good” movie in terms of plot, characters, dialogue, or anything else. You need not go too in-depth but explain your answers adequately. In your opinion, you can use your favorite movie as an example by writing about the key characteristics that make it a great movie.

5. The Evolution of Movies

Essays About Movies: The evolution of movies
Write about how the film industry has improved over time

From the silent black-and-white movies of the early 1900s to the vivid, high-definition movies of today, times have changed concerning movies. Write about how the film industry has improved over time. If this topic seems too broad, feel free to focus on one aspect, such as cinematography, themes, or acting.

For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers.

If you’re looking for more ideas, check out our essays about music topic guide!

Author

  • Meet Rachael, the editor at Become a Writer Today. With years of experience in the field, she is passionate about language and dedicated to producing high-quality content that engages and informs readers. When she's not editing or writing, you can find her exploring the great outdoors, finding inspiration for her next project.

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