Book and Film Reviews


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Book and Film Reviews

Reviews are short descriptions of books, films, plays, TV programmes… They are written to give your opinion/recommendation about whether (or not) people should read a book or see a film/play…

A review should consist of:

  • An introduction in which you summarise all the background information of the book/film (i.e. title, name of author/director, type, setting…)

  • A main body consisting of two paragraphs: one about the main points of the plot, presented in chronological order, and another including general comments on the plot, the main characters, the acting, the directing… Important note: You should not reveal the end of the story to the reader

  • A conclusion in which you recommend or do not recommend the book/film/play…, giving reasons to support your recommendation.

Reviews can be formal or semi-formal, depending on the public it is aimed. You normally use present tenses and a variety of adjectives to describe the plot and make your comments more clear and to the point.

Useful Vocabulary

  • Background:

The film/book tells the story of…

The film/story is set in …

The book/novel was written by…

The film is directed by…

It is a comedy/horror film/love story

  • Main points of the plot:

The story concerns / is about / begins…

The plot is (rather) boring/thrilling…

The plot has an unexpected twist.

  • General comments:

It is rather long/boring/confusing/slow…

The cast is excellent/awful/unconvincing…

The script is dull/exciting…

It is beautifully/poorly/badly written.

It has a tragic/dramatic end

  • Recommendations:

Don’t miss it. It is well worth seeing.

I wouldn’t recommend it because…

I highly/thoroughly recommend it

It’s bound to be a box-office hit

Wait until it comes out on video/DVD

It is a highly entertaining read

It’s a bore to read

Read the book review and label each paragraph.

Recommendation – general comments – main points of the plot – background information

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is an excellent story that takes place in London and Dartmoor. This fascinating book is about the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, who with his trusted assistant, Watson, tries to solve the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville. 1. …………………….

The mystery begins when Dr. Mortimer, Sir Charles’ personal doctor, relates the circumstances surrounding his patient’s death to Holmes and Watson. The doctor believes that his death has something to do with the legend of the hound, which is an enormous, evil, hunting dog that terrorises the people of Baskerville. Soon, it becomes clear that Sir Henry, who is Sir Charles’ nephew, and the only surviving heir to the Baskerville fortune, is also in danger. 2.…………………………………….

The book is full of thrilling moments as the author creates tension with unexpected twists and vivid descriptions. What gives the book its dark atmosphere, however, is the silent, evil presence of the legendary hound which dominates the story throughout. 3………………………………..

I thoroughly recommend The Hound of the Baskervilles. Readers will have a difficult time putting this masterpiece down as they are kept in suspense until the very end of the book. 4………………………………..

Underline the correct word/phrase

  1. The starring role/character is played by Jack Nicholson.

  2. The reader/audience screamed when the murderer appeared.

  3. Angela’s Ashes is a well-written/acted book that tells the struggle of a poor Irish family.

  4. The plot has an unexpected twist/cast when little John finds out the truth.

  5. The story has a dull/tragic end when the helicopter crashes on a mountain.

  6. The script/cast of the film includes some of the hottest names in Hollywood

  7. The book is based on/set in the incredible life story of Charlie Chaplin

  8. The Matrix has the most spectacular special effects/premieres in film history

  9. Mad Park is a box office hit/dull read. You’ll fall asleep after the second page.

  10. Captain Correlli’s Mandolin plays the part/tells the story of a young Italian soldier who falls in love with a Greek girl.

Fill in the table below with adjectives from the list:
Dull – excellent – terrible – moving – superb – awful – fantastic – fascinating

Touching – dreadful – thrilling – hilarious – entertaining – amusing

  1. Good /interesting:

  2. Exciting:

  3. Funny:

  1. Sad:

  2. Boring:

  3. Bad:

Example of film review:


Armageddon is an action-packed adventure about an enormous asteroid and the desperate efforts of mankind to stop it from destroying the world. Directed by Jerry Bruckheimer, the cast includes Bruce Willis as Harry Stamper, an oil rig owner, Liv Tyler as his daughter, Grace, and Ben Affleck as Stamper’s employee, A.J., who is in love with Grace.

The story begins when NASA discovers that the gigantic asteroid is only eighteen days away from destroying the Earth. NASA asks Harry to prevent the deadly asteroid from reaching our planet. Harry and his oil rig crew are given intensive training by NASA astronauts before they travel to space.

The film is filled with suspense as the men race against time to save the planet. The special effects and computer graphics are so spectacular that the audience will be amazed. The actors give a brilliant performance and the directing is superb. What is more, the soundtrack, mostly by Aerosmith, is fantastic.

I thoroughly recommend this film. If you like excitement, it will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. Don’t miss it!


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