Writing Book and Movie Review

Many students fail to do the correct thing when asked to review a book or movie instead of analyzing the work. Definition-wise, to review is to conduct a critical assessment or appraisal of a film, book, journal, or other publications to establish its quality, relevance, or suitability. What does this mean, then? Sara Wolfe emphasizes that a review is a blend of a movie/book summary or synopsis and brief analysis.

Writing Book and Movie Review

So, this is how you should go about the process: provide a concise but conclusive introduction to the movie or text by identifying its thesis and conclusions. Your introduction states the book’s or movie’s title, author’s name, and publication date. Your readers or tutors will be looking at the key points, suggesting why you should prioritize outlining the thesis or significant ideas captured in the text or film. Equally important, the introductory paragraph(s) should end with your thoughts about or reaction to the item under review. Examples of what to write here include “I liked the book or movie because…,” the movie is dull due to….” and “this text is practical, evidence-based, and relevant because….”

The summary section is essential since it presents a brief outline of its elements. Here your instructor expects you to state and briefly state who, why, what, how, when, and where. In this context, “who” includes characters, and “what” stands for dominant themes?  Examples of shortened sentences to include in the summary paragraph(s): “this movie portrays…,” “the main character is….” “The book is set in…,” and “the author integrates….”

The analysis section is all about stating or detailing whether or not you liked or disliked the book under review.   Most importantly, you do not necessarily express your opinion regarding the text but also use specific examples or instances from a book or movie to explain why you think so. The analysis should focus on language, message, character development, and your overall impression. It would help to tell the audience why the book incorporates unusual concepts, uses unrealistic language, and integrates exciting vocabulary.

Your conclusion should recapture what you have covered: thesis and a summary of ideas. Another critical aspect of this section is a “call to action,” in which you either recommend or negatively criticize the book or movie for discouraging others from reading or watching it.

Finally, the movie/book review structure enables you to inculcate a culture of intensive reading, careful note-taking, and critical thinking. This is because your readers are primarily interested in a summarized overview of the book or movie.

Sample Book Review

Book Review: Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory

The book a Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory offers a critical examination of crime and theories that link human beings with the crime. The book explores the various theories that attribute to behaviors or situations that make a man commit a crime. Bohm and Vogel explore numerous theories that put into a better perspective reason why man indulges in crime. The book has explored several theories including psychological, biological, sociological, economic, and other theories that possibly play a hand in criminal cases. The book helps to enlighten both students and criminal law stakeholders on the connection but crime and the theories that try to explain crime. The book aims to provide undergraduate and graduate students with a relatively brief but comprehensive exposition of crime and delinquency theories. The book can act as a primary or a secondary text to students and stakeholders pursuing knowledge in criminal and delinquency theories.

Bohm and Vogel offer a strong foundation on what theories are, he also explains concepts from scientific theories and the nominal and operational definitions of various theoretical concepts. Explanation of those concepts helps a student have a wider scope and better understand how various delinquency theories are connected with the crime. He also explores various propositions both linear and non-linear that help in the proliferation of crime. Explanation of those propositions helps a student relate how several concepts can affect a person into engaging in crime.

Bohm and Vogel also use testing of theories to expound on the strength of a theory to explain causes of crime or the relationship between a person and crime. Bohm and Vogel argue that more powerful theories should help explain crime at different levels of analysis. That means the theories should provide an in-depth analysis of how different variables are logically linked to form a meaningful relationship between the theory and the crime. Bohm and Vogel argue that the strongest theory provides a compelling explanation to answer situational, dispositional, systematic, psychological, or biological factors that link a person to a crime. On the other hand. Bohm explains that a weak theory is a theory that only offers one level of analysis to the connection between crime and a person. He asserts that the best way to test a theory to through falsification of the theory.   He argues that the strength of a theory should be gauged with its ability to stand the test of falsity. The more the theory tests falsity, the stronger it should be rated.

Bohm and Vogel look into the classical and neoclassical theory and their relationship to crime and delinquency acts. Bohm and Vogel give an account of how people used to behave before the age of reason or the enlightenment age. He purports that, people’s behavior was controlled by religious norms where people could be judged according to the revelation of the Holy Writ and the Holy Spirit. He condemns that trend as an illusion based on ignorance where the church inflicted fear among believers through the church doctrine and held them into subjugation. People used to associate crime with sins and act that was catalyzed by demonic forces. Bohm tries to bring to light how the enlightenment age helped people understand the world through science and reason. Through the classical theory, people could understand the world, and then the world could be changed. Bohm accuses the classical theory of failure to understand that the people in the world were divinely ordained. Bohm and Vogel bring to light how the classical theory helped prevent crime and liberate people to understand their rights as humankind. Those advocating the theory posited that people had their free will and they could weigh the potential of pleasure against its pain. Moreover, from the rational choice theory, people could consider the risk and the rewards before they commit a crime. Unlike the earlier religious belief, Bohm and Vogel explain how rationality brought by the classical theory helped people understand their situations better. Bohm and Vogel carefully scrutinize the classical and neoclassical theories’ ability to prevent crime. He argues that, despite those who commit crimes being treated as irrational, some things need to be considered. The fact Because rational people contract themselves to society, those with nothing to lose after being contracted to society can still commit a crime. He pokes holes into the classical theory by giving an instance where a person with no property in the society will not value being contracted into that society since they will have nothing lose and hence can commit crime any time.

Bohm and Vogel also check into the positivist theories and their contribution in explaining how people link themselves with the crime. Bohms and Vogel accuse these theories of over-prediction in accounting for various crimes and failure to explain exceptions.  For instance, he gives an instance where the theory relates crime to poverty and fails to account for so many poor people who do not engage in crime. He cites the generalization of characters in accounting for crime where individual differences are not taken care of when accounting for crime as a major problem. He concurs with the effort played by the theories but he states the normative of consensus posited by the theory as another problem. The theory assumes that most people agree most of the time about moral values.

Bohm and Vogel also look into details of biological theories and how they account for the crime. He explores different studies of human crime, body types theories, hereditary studies, and modern bio-criminology. Bohm and Vogel are at loggerheads with the distastefulness of the penalties imposed to stop crime such as sterilization, extermination, and isolation. He terms penalties as inhuman and inappropriate. He also cites the generalization of samples and failure by the theories to take care of all people with traits but has failed to expose them as some of the problems with the theories.

Other theories that Bohms and Vogel look into details include the psychological theories, where personality needs and emotions contribute to crime. He has explored how the different psychological theories such a Maslow’s theory, humanistic theory, macro psychological, micro psychological, and others.

Robert M. Bohm is a professor of criminal justice at the University of Florida. He is also the author of the book Introduction to criminal justice, Deathquest, demystifying crime and criminal justice, and other books. Brenda Vogel is a professor of criminology and justice at the California State University, Long Beach. She has also published books in several areas of criminological theories, public perception, public perception of crime, race, and crime, and perception of law enforcement and in other areas.