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Film Review Writing Guide, Dead Poets Society Example

Carpe Diem

Writing a Film Review requires good concentration, understanding of the main concept and structure of your essay. First of all, you must clearly understand that film review is not just a “like it” or “didn’t like it” statement. It is a detailed explanation of the name, place, year of release, and people involved in its creation. It is special credits to the script, actors’ play, director’s view and lots of different minor details that create the whole image together. Divide your review in a few sections where you will consequently tell the reader about the film of your choice.

Here is an example of a film review for your needs. Enjoy reading it and write your own one with our professional writing service!


The legendary film was released in 1989, but the story is set in 1959 in Welton Academy – an elite conservative boarding school in the USA (fictional school). The type of the film is drama, the script is written by Tom Schulman (based on his own experience). Kleinbaum's same named novel, published in 1989, is based on the movie.

Filming took place at St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware, and at locations in New Castle, Delaware and in nearby Wilmington, Delaware. Music was written by Maurice Jarre.

The main actor is Robin Williams. The other stars are Robert Sean Leonard, Gale Hansen, Ethan Hawke, Norman Lloyd, Josh Charles etc.

Directed by Peter Weir. Producers are: Steven Haft, Tony Thomas, Paul Junger Witt. Edited by William Anderson. Cinematography by John Seale.

Main Body

The story is all about the relationship between English teacher John Keating who recently came to the class of “the best prep in America” and his students. He has come with his own methods of teaching that are not very conservative at the first sight but quickly capture boys’ attention. The lessons turn into a theatre as Keating literally makes them read and love poetry again. His main phrase is “Carme diem”, he explains the students to "make your lives extraordinary" and realize their individuality.

One of the students, Neil Perry, is inspired by the teacher’s encouragement and decides to revive the secret society which is known to have been called “Dead Poets”, gathering at night in a cave and reciting their own poetry. Later, Neil discovers his love of acting and gets the lead in a local production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. His father is a strict man and he sees his son rather in a medical school than on the stage. Neil argues with his father after the success in a play and commits suicide by shooting himself. Keating is fired, when he is about to leave. The major part of the students salute him with the words “O Captain, my Captain!” standing on the desk.

The main characters here are: the teacher John Keating; students: Steven Meeks, Todd Anderson, Richard Cameron, Neil Perry, Gerard Pitts, Knox Overstreet and Charlie Dalton; headmaster of the school Nolan. Their acting was worth watching the film. I was intrigued to the last scene as the plot is very unexpected. The teacher is very unpredictable, Williams has played his role brilliantly, these sparkling in his eyes showed how much he was dedicated to his passion.

Only the character Todd Anderson remained uncertain for me as the film started with his play but he went aside to give the leading role to Neil. The teacher has made a contribution to the boys’ development. They felt invincible and full of hormones. “Carpe diem” – seize the day, was a leitmotiv of this film, it made me look at poetry from a different angle. Keating has shown them that pursuing your dreams is exactly what you are looking for to feel a complete person.

To be honest, when I started watching the film, I was very skeptical. The plot was not described so brightly as some Hollywood movies and the characters looked quite boring. However, I needed it for an interview so I have watched it and I do not regret it at all.

Naturally, similar ideas about young generation willing to express themselves and strict parents convinced in their conservative way of thinking are not a rare script to the films, however this one has captured my attention by the atmosphere of something that was going to happen since the very first scene to the act of suicide.


This film was later adapted to a musical called Fame and was very successful. The “Dead Poets Society” has received various awards but had mostly negative comments as was claimed to be very boring and unreal. The director’s work was also evaluated as a try to tart it up with fancy effects and decorations. I would recommend it for people who think they own everything in life, for boys and girls living a posh life and having no dreams to pursue. Sometimes we really are too dreamy. I would recommend this film the young boys and girls, who desperately want to pursue their dreams even if this desire contradicts their parents’ demands.

Keating’s image has already become a symbol of eternal inspiration, inner power and enduring personality. He does not only teach life but evokes love in the boys’ hearts.

All in all, the film had a main idea to live exactly this day, cease this moment and enjoy being alive and it has carried this message to me. The rest is not so important.

Rated 4.5 | 593 votes.

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