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10 Movies with Sociological issues: Analyze Movies Sociologically

Movies have played a vital role in our lives ever since they were introduced as a form of artistic expression. They play a huge part in entertainment, representation, raising of awareness, and exploring aspects of society that were previously unventured. Sociological analysis of movies helps to discover and examine various aspects of movies that cater to societal issues and areas.  Through this essay, I will be tracing the importance of examining sociologically and how to examine movies sociologically by exploring a series of ten movies that are important for sociology students to watch and their importance.

10 movies for sociology students and learn movies sociologically


Film and sociology have a link that is similar to the relationship between “culture” and “structure” in society. Similarly, irregularities also between cinema and sociology, are analogous to those between culture and sociology . It is important to analyze films sociologically because the stories, characters, sets etc are all in one way or another a depiction of society and these depictions are important to the spectator’s relationship and this relationship contributes to everyday life. Movies have come to be major socializing agents, through which people idolize the characters or fictitious universes portrayed through films. Analyzing films sociologically helps us identify the various ways in which different movies contribute to various narratives about gender, religion, families, education, nationalism , etc. in our society. It also helps in understanding the extent to which its influence reaches for good and bad outcomes in society.

How to analyze movies sociologically?

An author or researcher might acquire insight into not only a particular director or writer’s concept, but also how modern society understands itself and its society by reviewing the film from a sociological standpoint. There are a few steps involved in successfully analyzing a movie sociologically. Firstly, Identify the various sociological themes and terminologies in a movie – This can be done by trying to pick out and examine the various institutions and social actors that play parts during the course of the movie. These can include the government, family, educational institutions, religion, marriage, kinship etc. Try to recognize the relationship the protagonist and the people associated with them have with the respective social institutions they come in contact with. Pick out different observations – By doing so one can pick out the key events and players in the movie that contributed to the kind of message it sought to portray. These observations can be in the form of behaviours, reactions to certain events, dialogues, negative/ positive ones etc. Ask yourself whether the movie seeks to reflect a connection with real-world problems– Try to establish a connection with the events of the real world and the ways in which the events in the movie contribute to the creation of viewpoints and perspectives about societies at large today. Also, seek to assess the ways in which it fits the social narrative of the time it represents and the time it came out. Establish a sociological argument – Using the various evidence and observations from the movie, one must now focus on one or more key elements to focus on to create a viable sociological argument. In order to further develop this argument, make sure to utilize direct quotes from the movie, or scenes, or plotlines, or dialogues etc. to make your point.

10 Movies for Sociology Students

  • The Great Indian Kitchen (2021)

There are so many aspects in this film that come into play, namely the institutions of family, marriage, and kinship, the perpetuation of patriarchy and sexism, and the blatant disregard for anyone that is not a heterosexual male. It is quite the universal story of a newly married woman being driven straight into a lifetime of enforced and unacknowledged household labor, day in and day out, while her husband has the opportunity to go about his day as he wishes. Like a vast majority of Indian marriages, this was also an arranged marriage where the couple barely knew anything about each other. From the first day she steps into her husband’s house she is subjected to a life only meant to serve her husband, the same trend of life going on with her father and mother in-laws. Be it the constant disregard for any of her opinions, barring her from going to work in the name of family, being asked to ‘adjust’ to the uncomfortable conditions in the house, being shamed for her menstruation, asked to partake in sexual activities everyday regardless of her choice in the matter etc., all sum up to the unhealthy and discriminative trends that are very much prominent in patriarchal systems around the world, especially in regions like India. “In India, like in many other parts of the world, the burden of unpaid care work normally falls on women. According to an International Labour Organization report, in 2018 women in Indian cities spent 312 minutes a day on unpaid care work. Men did 29 minutes” (Pandey, 2021). Throughout this movie, we can see her utmost discomfort in the way of life she was made to live and the movie takes a positive turn into her fighting for her own liberation and using her voice to fend for herself. Exhausted and absolutely having reached a highly saturated point, she takes of from her sexist, discriminative marital home and divorces her husband. But in the very same ending there is a depiction of the remarriage of this ex-husband to a new woman who will now be subjected to the same torturous treatment. This movie goes to show in a very raw form the monotony and exhaustiveness of continues unpaid labor married women are expected of, them being shamed for the natural processes of menstruation, and no matter how educated, the responsibility of maintaining a household being solely theirs while the husband takes little to no responsibility. This is a very true reality of societies in India and this movie does a great job in planting thoughts against these regressive practices in the minds of the people who watch the film.

2. Super Deluxe (2019)

The movie starts off with the portrayal of adultery committed by a woman with her ex-boyfriend, in the absence of her husband at home. Everything goes topsy-turvy upon the ex-boyfriend’s sudden demise mid intercourse; from then on having the unhappy married couple struggle to dispose off the body discretely. Then we’re taken to Raasukutti, a young boy awaiting his estranged father’s return, after years of having abandoned him and his mother. The father does return after all, only now, as a woman. Throughout the movie, we see how Shilpa [prev. Manickam], struggles in the face of prejudice, and backlash from society upon her newfound courage to embrace her true identity. Along with that, the story of four friends on the quest of buying and watching a vulgarity, film is shown to us where, upon watching the movie, one of the boys realize that the actress in the movie is his own mother. In a fit of rage, he breaks his friends’ TV and ends up hurting himself accidentally later on. From there we see this story splitting into two. One, the injured boy’s mother’s struggle to get him treated at the soonest as his father relies wholly on the power of the divine; and two, the rest of the boys are on a mission to gather up enough money to buy a new TV before they get in trouble, upon which they find themselves drowning in more. Clearly, we can see the interplays of social concepts like Family, Marriage, Gender, Sexuality, Sexism and Religion. It is quite appalling to note how the boy resorted to calling his mother derogatory terms as the discovery of her in the vulgarity film came to be seen as a huge dishonour to him. Later on in the movie, the mother goes on to say that what she does is not a big crime, that it’s just a job like any other. She talks about how if there is a vast audience to view such films, there need to be actors to execute that, and how it is ironic that although it is considered normal to watch p@&n worldwide, the actors are shamed for it. The idea of ‘righteousness’ is constantly manipulated and redefined to fit one’s own needs and concepts of self and the other. Within this prejudiced behavior of society, it is the women that suffer the larger chunk of criticism. As if women aren’t objectified enough, society uses sex workers and what they do as a justification to objectify them even more and use that as a license to see them as less than ordinary people. Even in the case of Shilpa, the trans woman, it is clear how anyone who isn’t the typical heterosexual, and more importantly male, faces sexism in some form or the other. We can see its portrayal in the movie beyond the gender binary in Shilpa’s case as a trans woman. She is automatically seen as less of a parent upon her return as a woman, although her own child does not feel any sort of difference in seeing her as a mother now instead of a father. She is constantly perceived through the lens of perversion and treated no less than an object or something unnatural. The movie also highlights beautifully how our social constructions of gender, cultures, traditions etc, in their entirety, are just tools used to give our lives instruction and fill the innumerable gaps that we come across in our conquest of life. They are all mechanisms that humans utilize in the process s of meaning-making. They involve an alien in the film, who’s there to observe the world, and watch till when human beings will stop the whole act of playing pretend and finally be ready to see and accept the world in its rawest sense.

3. Malik (2021)

The movie Malik is composed of class conflicts, religious conflicts, resultant communal violence and unlawful political agendas by government systems. The movie depicts politicians as they use the system and people to develop projects that devastate communities and the environment while padding their pockets. While we wait to see how the police apprehend Sulaiman before he travels for Haj, the film focuses on the young Sulaiman, who begins his career as a smuggler and a daring risk-taker who also wants to help the Muslim and Christian populations in his backward coastal location. However, crime is a dangerous path, and while the community looks up to him, the bureaucracy is obligated to intervene in his illicit actions. And then when things go tough, we see how the system of government pits brother against brother with ruthlessness. These are the kinds of stories that need to be told. The movie does a fabulous job of highlighting the atrocities that marginalized communities have to go through due to the actions of those in power and how no authoritative figure can be fully trusted as the people are always prone to be subject to manipulation. It also shows us how communal and religious conflicts to are often sparked as a result of some inherent government propaganda. Politicians influencing people – owing to our system, a theme that may be addressed in various different ways such as minority communities experiencing a difficult time getting forward, and individuals set against each other. Malik highlights key concerns of our day in a captivating way.

4. Ennu Ninte Moidin (2015)

‘Ennu Ninte Moideen’ is based on a true story about love, hope, anguish, sorrow and loss in the lives of two people from conservative families – Moideen – a Muslim teenager, and Kanchanamala – a Hindu girl – set in 1960s Calicut. Despite the families’ long-standing secular beliefs in society, the families are shocked and outraged when they learn of their children’s love. Interfaith marriage was frowned upon at the time, and the mayhem began with the families severing all ties. Kanchana was forced to stop her studies and placed under “home arrest.” Moideen was banished from his house after refusing to marry a woman chosen by his family. His father cut him out of his will and refused him a portion of the family property under pressure from town elders, even attempting to kill him by violently barging into the house with a country gun, and shooting Moideen. Despite many major injuries, Moideen managed to make a miraculous escape. His father stabbed him twenty-two times for giving a critical remark in public on another occasion, but Moideen survived. His father violently barged into the house with a country gun and shot Moideen. Despite many major injuries, Moideen managed to make a miraculous escape. His father stabbed him twenty-two times for giving a critical remark in public on another occasion, but Moideen survived. They try to run away in their 40s, after Kanchanamala’s siblings had settled down upon marriage, but each and every time they failed owing to unexpected circumstances. For more than two decades, the pair, on the other hand, clung to weak strands of hope. Through the course of the whole movie, we can trace how the institutions of family, marriage, religion and kinship come into play in the two protagonists’ lives. The unreasonable restrictions and control that family and religion have over an individual’s life is concerning and remains to be a reality in the world constantly. There have been multiple cases of ‘honor killings’ in India in the name of inter-caste marriages clearly showing the negative influence oppressive family systems and religious beliefs have on people.

5. PK (2014)

Throughout the movie we see PK employ many trial-and-error approaches to understand society’s basic rules, conventions, and practices throughout the film. He navigates life without being criticized or ridiculed by using the social psychology concepts of compliance and informational influence (watching others around him to examine and assess behaviors that are deemed proper and improper).  The movie also focuses on latent unconscious prejudices and biases that people have while evaluating others or events in general. More particularly, he targets unconscious prejudices in the film by addressing religion, which is a taboo subject in popular society. Although discussing religion in just about any media form can be challenging, the film’s multiplicity of religious portrayal is laudable and demonstrates the producers’ genuine desire to appeal to a broad audience without portraying any faith in a poor way. There are quite a few moments in the movie where PK is trying to learn about the human mind and their ways of life. The ways we label each other by means of our religion, cultures, and physical appearances; all that we learn through various firms of socialization and relationships we form in our lives. For example, in one scenario, PK mentions how people think someone wearing a turban is Sikh; but, if he removes the turban, people may mistake him for a Hindu. Likewise, in one society, wearing white represents death, but in another, brides wear white for weddings. PK repeatedly questions the social systems of spirituality, deity, religion and ritualistic behaviors throughout the film as he tries to understand and apply them to his issues.

6. Kaala (2018)

This superhit film was known to trace very important concepts of caste conflicts, caste-based violence, class struggles, land disputes, state-sponsored violence, etc. Whenever the hero meets, fights, and becomes a savior, colony dwellings are razed with bulldozers, as depicted in Kaala. However, the site is reduced to ‘housing’ in all of these renderings, with the land remaining a passive ground. Kaala stresses on the underlying importance of land and how it is fought. Kaala takes the viewers through various elements that portray land to be a living space:  as a whole life form built through the labor of its Dalit-Bahujan (beyond individual identities, the majority of downtrodden castes and classes who are robbed of their title to land by the current caste and class hierarchy) residents. It then goes on to highlight the complexities of evictions—legal attempts at forcible eviction, the complexities of talks involving various actors and their internal conflicts and ambitions, and, most crucially, organized mass opposition. Furthermore, it promotes the Dalit-Bahujan concept of land as something more than just real estate worth, as opposed to framings that reduce it to a business transaction for “better housing.” Kaala is fascinating in the way it brings our attention to a lot of what’s going on around us, although unwittingly. It is deeply anchored in our times and in our reality, and there are not many films in the industry that can depict it to such a level. It discusses, things like, riots, protests, slum clearance, and police killings. Kaala’s villain also reflects a form of contentious politics that is all too familiar to us as well. The film examines the relationship between oppressed people and oppressors. Whilst evictions and relocation on the outskirts of cities are frequently justified on the basis of housing needs, one must be wary of reducing the intricacies of Dalit-Bhahujan lives entwined with the land to mere “needs,” which is nothing more than a reduction of the complexities of Dalit-Bhahujan lives intertwined with the land itself. The finale works so well because the downtrodden can only find true redemption via unity, education, and knowledge, not through the informed voice of a single leader.  Although individuals can be are fallible, ideologies cannot.

Also Read: Dalit Capitalism

7. Sancharram – The Journey (2019)

Sancharram is a refreshing change of pace in Indian cinema, illustrating the story of two Malayalee women in high school, Kiran and Delilah, who fall in love. Delilah, the outgoing, popular, and mischievous girl, and Kiran, the quiet, contemplative, and aspiring writer, have been close friends since childhood and are deeply attracted to each other. The movie goes over important topics like the lack of freedom of female sexuality, homophobia, the influence of families in the lives of queer individuals etc. For the most part, the plot is around how the characters cope with their desires and how their families react to it. The film is set in Kerala, with its lush greenery, ponds and rivers as well as all of its romanticism. For the most part, the plot is around how the protagonists cope with their desires and how their families react to it. Through the role of another girl in their class who appears to have been “betrayed” by her boyfriend, Sancharram also examines topics relating to sexuality as a whole in our culture. While they are being shunned by their peers, it is this girl who displays a glimmer of support for Kiran. The subtle comedic critique of heterosexual standards portrayed in numerous ways, but personified in the decent Malayali boy – Rajan who is in love with Delilah – provides comic relief in the film. The parents of the two women learn about their relationship, partly via Rajan, and all hell breaks loose. There is quite often a question on how ‘queer’ representations in movies especially one from the early 2000s, filled with heterosexual representation only would look. Sancharram is a good example. It is a narrative about two women told in a way that will appeal to everyone who is involved in a romantic-relationships that do not precisely follow sexuality and gender norms.

8. The Hate You Give (2018)

On the surface, The Hate U Give appears to be one of the very few films to openly address the huge wave of police killings of African-Americans, evoking the fatalities of Philando Castile and Sandra Bland. The film covers effectively the existence of racial divisions in America, systemic racism experienced by back people of all ages, police brutality etc. The film depicts the numerous and complex ways in which institutional racism makes life in general difficult for many African-American families. It’s also a compelling portrayal of a young lady finding her own political agency at a point of time when several societal forces are conspiring to take it away from her. Furthermore, the characterization of Maverick, the devoted father of this young woman, serves as a crucial counterpoint to the overused cliche of the absent African-American father. Upon the violent killing of her African-American friend by a cop, she fears for her life and limits the use of her voice to speak up about these issues, but as the movie progresses she regains her voice to speak for herself and her community. Rather than vilifying individual cops, “The Hate U Give” focuses on the downfalls of the system as a whole. Teenagers frequently feel weak and useless, believing they lack the freedom and agency to make choices, but people like Starr empower them. The youth’s eyes light up with hope as they notice the improvement in her voice and confidence. Racism, bigotry and discrimination are all too common among teenagers and children and become lives they are conditioned to get used to. The youth will keep suffering from the hatred directed at them until the world breaks free from this spiral.

9. Moothon (2019)

Moothon covers areas of gender identity, queer relationships, the effect family as an institution has on an individual and the dangers faced by vulnerable sections of society. It narrates the tale of a Lakshadweep orphan named Mulla who sets out to find his long-lost brother Akbar. When he arrives in Mumbai, he discovers that his brother has become a Kamathipura gang lord. Akbar’s rage for retaliation for previous tragedies clashes with Mulla’s search for acceptance and love. The movie shows us how men, too, are victims of the patriarchal societal order that harms women, as this film demonstrates. Two guys suffer in silence, kill their ambitions, and wreck their lives due to societal pressure in a flashback sequence. Mulla leaves Lakshadweep in search dressed as a boy to conceal her true gender identification for obvious reasons that is expressed through her conflicts with her gender identity. Not only are young girls at risk, but so are vulnerable young boys. And it is via traumatic situations that she learns this. The male gender’s sense and the notion of security and security has been broken. The film also seeks to portray queer love between Akbar and a man named Ameer. The fervor and anxiety that Akbar experienced on his journey to Ameer’s house when he was alone is not just something that LGBTQIA+ persons alone have experienced or understood. It was a more commonly understood concern. Akbar and Ameer do not kiss on TV, but their on-screen affection is much more genuine and purer than a forced kiss. Moothon has struck up a conversation about queer representation in the public eye and mainstream media.

10. The Truman Show (1998)

Finally, The Truman Show was a masterpiece that was lauded by most of its viewers for its incredible ability to cover so many facets integrated into society such as religion and God, the entertainment industry, media, fake vs. true reality etc. The story revolves around Truman Burbank’s life. Truman was officially adopted by a big television network company at birth to be the unwitting star of a television series in which his entire existence was broadcasted to millions of people via a complex system of hidden cameras. With the exception of Truman, everyone in this imagined universe is an actor. Truman is the only “real” person in this fabricated, artificial universe; his mother, father, and wife are all paid extra actors. The television network had been on a never-ending effort to keep Truman unaware of his condition by manipulating his environment throughout his life. Truman’s eventual revelation of the true state of his reality and epic escape from the manufactured world are shown in the film. It is a satirical movie with a religious symbolism that is carefully crafted. Christof is a shadowy personality with a God complex who, just for sake of ratings, utilizes his omnipresence to command Truman – both physically and mentally. He tries to convince Truman that Seahaven is better than what is on the outside, but Truman had not seen enough to make his own conclusion. Truman spends the entire time searching for the truth about what lies over his world’s borders. All of this is, in the end, a reflection on society and how we view religion. In fact, the film is a scathing critique of Christianity. It claims that even if there is a real God, our existence is ultimately fictitious. Nothing can be random; nothing is our decision; everything is under the power of something we aren’t even aware of. Finally, ‘The Truman Show’ is a statement on the power that the media wields over people and society. This beautifully foretells the present political status of the world. The movie shines light into the evils of commercialism by depicting how Truman himself is a victim of commercialization and is merely a product to the ones who own him. The Truman Show isn’t just a parody of any fictitious civilization depicted in the tale. We are the focus of the film. About how God is in charge of our life and. How we don’t have any control over our actions. Because our lives are ultimately fictitious, we all desire a sense of reality. We all watch pointless entertainment in order to feel something meaningful, but it has no lasting effect on us. The movie does a fine job in describing how media, the government, religion etc., are able to exercise so much power over us and how most of our free will is ultimately or partly an illusion.

Pupils and society understand themselves in the same manner that we interpret films. After all, sociology has a fictitious quality in the public’s mind. Even when we’re at our worst, despite the fact that many of us are rigorously empirical, we are nonetheless seen as offering more fiction than reality. The fact is that a common culture of human society in itself influences both movies and sociology. While it would be unwise to exaggerate their parallels, denying them would be equally wrong. In sociology, there is art at its finest and worst, but it is vital that we recognize the differences (Demerath, N, 1981, p. 81). Since we are constantly being exposed to the world of cinema and its various genres, it has come to become a vital player in our socialization process and directly or indirectly influences various perspectives we create about our societies. They also help students of sociology especially, to have access to various interpretations of the world at large through the lens of depictions of worlds within each and every movie of social importance.

Demerath, N. (1981). Through a Double-Crossed Eye: Sociology and the Movies.  Teaching   Sociology,   9 (1), 69-82. doi:10.2307/1317013

Pandey, G. (2021, February 11). The Great Indian Kitchen: Serving an unsavoury tale of sexism in home . BBC News.

sociology film analysis assignment

Angela Roy is currently pursuing her majors in Sociology and minors in International Relations and History, as a part of her BA Liberal Arts Honors degree in SSLA, Pune. She has always been driven to play a part in changing and correcting the social evils that exist in society. With a driving passion for breaking down harmful societal norms and social injustices, she seeks to learn and understand the different social institutions that exist in society like family, marriage, religion and kinship, and how they influence the workings and functioning of various concepts like gender, sexuality and various types of socializations in an individual’s life. She envisions herself to play a vital role in building safe places for today’s marginalized communities and creating a world that is characterized by equity and inclusiveness, free of discrimination and exploitative behaviors.

sociology film analysis assignment

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Film Analysis

What this handout is about.

This handout introduces film analysis and and offers strategies and resources for approaching film analysis assignments.

Writing the film analysis essay

Writing a film analysis requires you to consider the composition of the film—the individual parts and choices made that come together to create the finished piece. Film analysis goes beyond the analysis of the film as literature to include camera angles, lighting, set design, sound elements, costume choices, editing, etc. in making an argument. The first step to analyzing the film is to watch it with a plan.

Watching the film

First it’s important to watch the film carefully with a critical eye. Consider why you’ve been assigned to watch a film and write an analysis. How does this activity fit into the course? Why have you been assigned this particular film? What are you looking for in connection to the course content? Let’s practice with this clip from Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958). Here are some tips on how to watch the clip critically, just as you would an entire film:

  • Give the clip your undivided attention at least once. Pay close attention to details and make observations that might start leading to bigger questions.
  • Watch the clip a second time. For this viewing, you will want to focus specifically on those elements of film analysis that your class has focused on, so review your course notes. For example, from whose perspective is this clip shot? What choices help convey that perspective? What is the overall tone, theme, or effect of this clip?
  • Take notes while you watch for the second time. Notes will help you keep track of what you noticed and when, if you include timestamps in your notes. Timestamps are vital for citing scenes from a film!

For more information on watching a film, check out the Learning Center’s handout on watching film analytically . For more resources on researching film, including glossaries of film terms, see UNC Library’s research guide on film & cinema .

Brainstorming ideas

Once you’ve watched the film twice, it’s time to brainstorm some ideas based on your notes. Brainstorming is a major step that helps develop and explore ideas. As you brainstorm, you may want to cluster your ideas around central topics or themes that emerge as you review your notes. Did you ask several questions about color? Were you curious about repeated images? Perhaps these are directions you can pursue.

If you’re writing an argumentative essay, you can use the connections that you develop while brainstorming to draft a thesis statement . Consider the assignment and prompt when formulating a thesis, as well as what kind of evidence you will present to support your claims. Your evidence could be dialogue, sound edits, cinematography decisions, etc. Much of how you make these decisions will depend on the type of film analysis you are conducting, an important decision covered in the next section.

After brainstorming, you can draft an outline of your film analysis using the same strategies that you would for other writing assignments. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind as you prepare for this stage of the assignment:

  • Make sure you understand the prompt and what you are being asked to do. Remember that this is ultimately an assignment, so your thesis should answer what the prompt asks. Check with your professor if you are unsure.
  • In most cases, the director’s name is used to talk about the film as a whole, for instance, “Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo .” However, some writers may want to include the names of other persons who helped to create the film, including the actors, the cinematographer, and the sound editor, among others.
  • When describing a sequence in a film, use the literary present. An example could be, “In Vertigo , Hitchcock employs techniques of observation to dramatize the act of detection.”
  • Finding a screenplay/script of the movie may be helpful and save you time when compiling citations. But keep in mind that there may be differences between the screenplay and the actual product (and these differences might be a topic of discussion!).
  • Go beyond describing basic film elements by articulating the significance of these elements in support of your particular position. For example, you may have an interpretation of the striking color green in Vertigo , but you would only mention this if it was relevant to your argument. For more help on using evidence effectively, see the section on “using evidence” in our evidence handout .

Also be sure to avoid confusing the terms shot, scene, and sequence. Remember, a shot ends every time the camera cuts; a scene can be composed of several related shots; and a sequence is a set of related scenes.

Different types of film analysis

As you consider your notes, outline, and general thesis about a film, the majority of your assignment will depend on what type of film analysis you are conducting. This section explores some of the different types of film analyses you may have been assigned to write.

Semiotic analysis

Semiotic analysis is the interpretation of signs and symbols, typically involving metaphors and analogies to both inanimate objects and characters within a film. Because symbols have several meanings, writers often need to determine what a particular symbol means in the film and in a broader cultural or historical context.

For instance, a writer could explore the symbolism of the flowers in Vertigo by connecting the images of them falling apart to the vulnerability of the heroine.

Here are a few other questions to consider for this type of analysis:

  • What objects or images are repeated throughout the film?
  • How does the director associate a character with small signs, such as certain colors, clothing, food, or language use?
  • How does a symbol or object relate to other symbols and objects, that is, what is the relationship between the film’s signs?

Many films are rich with symbolism, and it can be easy to get lost in the details. Remember to bring a semiotic analysis back around to answering the question “So what?” in your thesis.

Narrative analysis

Narrative analysis is an examination of the story elements, including narrative structure, character, and plot. This type of analysis considers the entirety of the film and the story it seeks to tell.

For example, you could take the same object from the previous example—the flowers—which meant one thing in a semiotic analysis, and ask instead about their narrative role. That is, you might analyze how Hitchcock introduces the flowers at the beginning of the film in order to return to them later to draw out the completion of the heroine’s character arc.

To create this type of analysis, you could consider questions like:

  • How does the film correspond to the Three-Act Structure: Act One: Setup; Act Two: Confrontation; and Act Three: Resolution?
  • What is the plot of the film? How does this plot differ from the narrative, that is, how the story is told? For example, are events presented out of order and to what effect?
  • Does the plot revolve around one character? Does the plot revolve around multiple characters? How do these characters develop across the film?

When writing a narrative analysis, take care not to spend too time on summarizing at the expense of your argument. See our handout on summarizing for more tips on making summary serve analysis.

Cultural/historical analysis

One of the most common types of analysis is the examination of a film’s relationship to its broader cultural, historical, or theoretical contexts. Whether films intentionally comment on their context or not, they are always a product of the culture or period in which they were created. By placing the film in a particular context, this type of analysis asks how the film models, challenges, or subverts different types of relations, whether historical, social, or even theoretical.

For example, the clip from Vertigo depicts a man observing a woman without her knowing it. You could examine how this aspect of the film addresses a midcentury social concern about observation, such as the sexual policing of women, or a political one, such as Cold War-era McCarthyism.

A few of the many questions you could ask in this vein include:

  • How does the film comment on, reinforce, or even critique social and political issues at the time it was released, including questions of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality?
  • How might a biographical understanding of the film’s creators and their historical moment affect the way you view the film?
  • How might a specific film theory, such as Queer Theory, Structuralist Theory, or Marxist Film Theory, provide a language or set of terms for articulating the attributes of the film?

Take advantage of class resources to explore possible approaches to cultural/historical film analyses, and find out whether you will be expected to do additional research into the film’s context.

Mise-en-scène analysis

A mise-en-scène analysis attends to how the filmmakers have arranged compositional elements in a film and specifically within a scene or even a single shot. This type of analysis organizes the individual elements of a scene to explore how they come together to produce meaning. You may focus on anything that adds meaning to the formal effect produced by a given scene, including: blocking, lighting, design, color, costume, as well as how these attributes work in conjunction with decisions related to sound, cinematography, and editing. For example, in the clip from Vertigo , a mise-en-scène analysis might ask how numerous elements, from lighting to camera angles, work together to present the viewer with the perspective of Jimmy Stewart’s character.

To conduct this type of analysis, you could ask:

  • What effects are created in a scene, and what is their purpose?
  • How does this scene represent the theme of the movie?
  • How does a scene work to express a broader point to the film’s plot?

This detailed approach to analyzing the formal elements of film can help you come up with concrete evidence for more general film analysis assignments.

Reviewing your draft

Once you have a draft, it’s helpful to get feedback on what you’ve written to see if your analysis holds together and you’ve conveyed your point. You may not necessarily need to find someone who has seen the film! Ask a writing coach, roommate, or family member to read over your draft and share key takeaways from what you have written so far.

Works consulted

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Aumont, Jacques, and Michel Marie. 1988. L’analyse Des Films . Paris: Nathan.

Media & Design Center. n.d. “Film and Cinema Research.” UNC University Libraries. Last updated February 10, 2021. .

Oxford Royale Academy. n.d. “7 Ways to Watch Film.” Oxford Royale Academy. Accessed April 2021. .

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Sociological Film: A Medium to Promote Sociological Imagination

  • Published: 06 July 2023
  • Volume 54 , pages 466–484, ( 2023 )

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sociology film analysis assignment

  • Habib A. Moghimi   ORCID: 1  

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This paper examines the idea of sociological film that encourages sociological imagination, which refers to the capability to recognize the intersection of biography and history. The paper identifies six key dimensions of sociological film through a thematic analysis of different classic approaches to sociological imagination: sociological life, structure-actors relationship, critical perspective, academic awareness, fluidity of meaning, and promotion of sociological imagination. This paper provides concrete examples to demonstrate the distinctive features of sociological film and how it relates to, and differs from, other films that address social issues, including documentary films. The paper argues that sociological film is essential in fostering sociological imagination by offering a unique lens for analyzing and understanding social phenomena. Sociological film has the potential to inspire social change by increasing awareness about significant social issues and promoting critical thinking and reflection. The paper concludes by emphasizing the significance of collaboration between sociologists and filmmakers in advancing sociological imagination through the medium of sociological films. It highlights the importance of actively engaging with the public in visual research methods.

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This is like what Ehrenreich ( 2007 , p. 237) explains as the chain of questions that lead sociologists to different fields. I believe that by taking a Foucauldian approach, we can understand it as the process of problematization.

According to Bonnewitz ( 1998 ), the emergence of concepts and vocabularies is influenced by discourses that shape the intellectual and social environment. Common sense, which is an unscientific explanation of phenomena, is shaped by these discourses, particularly by the state, which is seen as the most important institution shaping social constructs and categories. These categories are taken for granted and often emerge insensibly in everyday language. Therefore, sociology must be sensitive to the creation and emergence of these concepts and vocabularies.

This is also recommended by Stacey ( 2019 ) and Ehrenreich ( 2007 )

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A level sociology revision – education, families, research methods, crime and deviance and more!

My Top Ten Fictional Films with Sociology Content

Last Updated on February 9, 2017 by

Films are a great way to teach sociological theories and concepts – and there’s lots of films out there which do just that.

In no particular order…. (And links to analysis to follow)

  • Fight Club – The most obvious reading is of this as a classic critique of the false consciousness and alienation the working classes suffer under consumer capitalism, but no doubt there are other interpretations out there.
  • A Bug’s Life –  Useful for illustrating basic Marxist concepts.
  • Black Mirror: The National Anthem – Charlie Brooker’s short film – The Prime Minister has to have sex with a pig live on T.V. to save the life of the nation’s princess whose been kidnapped. This is the best film, hands down, to convey the meaning of ‘hyperreality’.
  • Catfish – About a guy that meets a girl on Facebook, and on taking a trip across the States to meets her realises she’s not as good looking as her photos suggested. Most people who’ve gone on a date can relate to this, just maybe not to this extreme. (P.S. I’m calling it fiction, I simply don’t believe it wasn’t set up, just don’t tell the kids before you show it them.)
  • Lord of War – A nice introduction to the module on Global Development – Set over a ten year period from the mid ‘80s to the mid ‘90s Nicholas Cage plays an arms dealer who comes into own selling ex-Soviet military hard-ware to African Dictators and rebels. Quite a nice introduction to the history of international conflict post Cold-War
  • Hotel Rwanda – A bit slow, and a not so nice introduction to Global Development – set around the Rwandan Genocide – Especially useful if you are going to teach conflict as an aspect of development given the ongoing concerns in neighbouring DRC in 2012-13
  • The Freedom Writers – Based on a true story a teacher encourages her marginalised, mostly ethnic minority students to get into literature by telling their stories in diaries. It may be based in ‘90’s America, but you find another film that’s about education and research methods and I’ll eat my diary.
  • Visitor Q – O.K. It’s an 18, so I’m not recommending you show this to your teenage students in class – but let’s just say if you thought gay marriage was contentious or divorce-extended families somewhat unusual, by the standards of the family in this little gem, the rest of us are all pretty much singing from the same song sheet.
  • Threads – Really not that much to do with anything I teach, but this is simply the most harrowing movie I’ve ever seen. The fact that it’s set in the in Sheffield in the 1980s is scary enough for starters, and it gets worse as it imagines what a real life nuclear holocaust would actually be like. Unlike most other films there is no happy ending, so if you have a burning hatred for a particular class or have just had a stressful year and want to end the term by putting the students on a downer – this is the video to choose.
  • Kung fu Panda – Simply the best film ever made period. Richly layered with many levels of meaning, and deeply, deeply moving.

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sociology and film  

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Sociology, the study of societies, involves the observation and description of, and the application of coherent conceptual and theoretical schema to, social phenomena. Film and cinema are potential areas of inquiry in subdisciplines of sociology such as the sociology of art, the sociology of culture, and the sociology of leisure, as well as in urban sociology and sociological studies of modernity and of the public sphere. Most sociological studies of film and cinema have been conducted by sociologists rather than by film studies specialists, in part perhaps because many of these were undertaken before film studies had emerged as a separate discipline. From as early as the 1910s, for example, academic sociologists began to take an interest in the filmgoing public and its social makeup, with increasingly sophisticated investigations of the cinema audience carried out during the heyday of mass cinemagoing in the1930s and the 1940s. These sometimes took the form of policy-oriented studies on the effects of films on the behaviour and attitudes of certain categories of cinemagoer, children and young people especially. Some of this work involved innovative methods of inquiry, such as the ‘motion picture autobiography’, devised for the ... ...

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  • Social Sciences

Sociology in Heathers: The Movie Analysis

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Assignment

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Sociology is an organized scientific study of social conduct and human groups. Different from phycology, sociology focuses on groups of people more than individual. Also, it differs from social work because it is more of a study than practical. One can think that it is more of common sense, but it is more rooted in evidence than just assessment. It involves individual awareness of the impact of the social world on personal life noting that regardless of how much one believes in personal experience, they are all fixed by the society. Notably, the society defines the behaviors of individuals in it largely. Many films have been acted with a sociological notch in them to try to educate the society on different sociological concepts and theories that influence individual life. For example, Heathers 1988 is a film that educates on different aspects of societal behavior on youths. This paper seeks to analyze the film illustrating different sociological concepts and theories portrayed in the film. 

Heathers 1988 is a black American comedy film written and directed by Daniel Waters and Michael Lehmann respectively. The film features four school girls, three of them named Heather, who are in one clique at Westerberg high school, Ohio. The film portrays both macro-sociological and micro-sociological theories. The large social structure of the students' life is displayed and how it has affected them socially. The film illustrates that the three Heathers and Veronica were from wealthy families. The wealthy status made the four girls to be friends. On the other hand, the film portrays individual behavior and how it influenced and changed the social structure. Veronica is displayed as one of the most popular students in school. In her clique, she has other three friends Heather McNamara, Heather Chandler, and Heather Duke. Although they are famous, they are the most hated and feared in the school. They combine their behavior to make the most hated folks in the society. 

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The structural functionalism of the group does not impress Veronica, and she decides to deviate. However, that change has an antagonist effect among others in the clique. The manifest function of the idea turned to dysfunction. The conflict among them led to suicide and killings among them. Veronica is fascinated by a new student in the school called Jason when he pulls out a gun and fires blank to two old school boys who tried to bury him. The conflict increase after Veronica refused to have sex with frat brother in a frat party. Heather Chandler vows to destroy Veronica's reputation. On the other hand, Veronica is involved in an affair with the rebellious Jason. Veronica is knowing what Jason was capable requests him to help her make Heather Chandler puke her guts out. In this scenario, we see Veronica out of self-control and allows Jason to give heather drain cleaner killing her. Veronica later writes a suicide letter in Chandler's handwriting for the media. The school and the general public took Chandler's suicide as a false conscious one made by a presumably disturbed student. Not knowing she died of superiority quarrels. As a result, Duke steps into Chandler's role and starts wearing red scrunches as a group leader. 

It is sensible to argue that society is an organism. When one changes a thing in it, the others are affected. Veronica's change from the hated group led her to the worst of all. Her relationship with Jason has already claimed the death of Chandler, and the Jason behavior is evident that he will kill more. It has led Veronica to a state of anomie. She has broken down all the expectation to a point where she does not know her purpose or direction. Another scenario is when the two boys Kurt and Ram plotted false story that Veronica had given them oral sex. To maintain her dignity, she allows Jason to make another killing plot which he involved her in shooting and planted a suicide note like before. Veronica is portrayed to move from one bad company to the other. The suicide note stated that the suicide was altruistic one caused by their very strong gay ties. The plot and flaming of that death was never suspected. 

The other parts of the film show how macro-sociology can affect individual behavior. The three killings flamed to be suicide affected the society making many of the students who have no social control to try committing suicide. The first scenario is where Martha Dunn sticks false conscious tells her to walk in traffic with a suicide note pinned to her chest so that she can be hit by a car to death. She survived though with some injuries. On the other case, McNamara feels that her status is not worth only a mere note and calls a popular radio show for her confession that she will commit suicide because she was depressed. She took an overdose of pills but fortunately she was saved. Notably, Jason micro-sociological behavior had affected individuals in the society a lot. At the end of the film, Jason decides to make a fatalistic suicide that will claim the whole school. However, he is shot by Veronica and detached the explosive. In conclusion, micro and macro sociological behaviors affect the society widely. 

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How to Write a Film Analysis Essay: Examples, Outline, & Tips

A film analysis essay might be the most exciting assignment you have ever had! After all, who doesn’t love watching movies? You have your favorite movies, maybe something you watched years ago, perhaps a classic, or a documentary. Or your professor might assign a film for you to make a critical review. Regardless, you are totally up for watching a movie for a film analysis essay.

However, once you have watched the movie, facing the act of writing might knock the wind out of your sails because you might be wondering how to write a film analysis essay. In summary, writing movie analysis is not as difficult as it might seem, and experts will prove this. This guide will help you choose a topic for your movie analysis, make an outline, and write the text.️ Film analysis examples are added as a bonus! Just keep reading our advice on how to get started.

❓ What Is a Film Analysis Essay?

  • 🚦 Film Analysis Types

📽️ Movie Analysis Format

✍️ how to write a film analysis, 🎦 film analysis template, 🎬 film analysis essay topics.

  • 📄 Essay Examples

🔗 References

To put it simply, film analysis implies watching a movie and then considering its characteristics : genre, structure, contextual context, etc. Film analysis is usually considered to be a form of rhetorical analysis . The key to success here is to formulate a clear and logical argument, supporting it with examples.

🚦 Film Analysis Essay Types

Since a film analysis essay resembles literature analysis, it makes sense that there are several ways to do it. Its types are not limited to the ones described here. Moreover, you are free to combine the approaches in your essay as well. Since your writing reflects your own opinion, there is no universal way to do it.

Film analysis types.

  • Semiotic analysis . If you’re using this approach, you are expected to interpret the film’s symbolism. You should look for any signs that may have a hidden meaning. Often, they reveal some character’s features. To make the task more manageable, you can try to find the objects or concepts that appear on the screen multiple times. What is the context they appear in? It might lead you to the hidden meaning of the symbols.
  • Narrative structure analysis . This type is quite similar to a typical literature guide. It includes looking into the film’s themes, plot, and motives. The analysis aims to identify three main elements: setup, confrontation, and resolution. You should find out whether the film follows this structure and what effect it creates. It will make the narrative structure analysis essay if you write about the theme and characters’ motivations as well.
  • Contextual analysis . Here, you would need to expand your perspective. Instead of focusing on inner elements, the contextual analysis looks at the time and place of the film’s creation. Therefore, you should work on studying the cultural context a lot. It can also be a good idea to mention the main socio-political issues of the time. You can even relate the film’s success to the director or producer and their career.
  • Mise-en-scene analysis . This type of analysis works with the most distinctive feature of the movies, audiovisual elements. However, don’t forget that your task is not only to identify them but also to explain their importance. There are so many interconnected pieces of this puzzle: the light to create the mood, the props to show off characters’ personalities, messages hidden in the song lyrics.

To write an effective film analysis essay, it is important to follow specific format requirements that include the following:

  • Standard essay structure. Just as with any essay, your analysis should consist of an introduction with a strong thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The main body usually includes a summary and an analysis of the movie’s elements.
  • Present tense for events in the film. Use the present tense when describing everything that happens in the movie. This way, you can make smooth transitions between describing action and dialogue. It will also improve the overall narrative flow.
  • Proper formatting of the film’s title. Don’t enclose the movie’s title in quotation marks; instead, italicize it. In addition, use the title case : that is, capitalize all major words.
  • Proper use of the characters’ names. When you mention a film character for the first time, name the actor portraying them. After that, it is enough to write only the character’s name.
  • In-text citations. Use in-text citations when describing certain scenes or shots from the movie. Format them according to your chosen citation style. If you use direct quotes, include the time-stamp range instead of page numbers. Here’s how it looks in the MLA format: (Smith 0:11:24–0:12:35).

Even though film analysis is similar to the literary one, you might still feel confused with where to begin. No need to worry; there are only a few additional steps you need to consider during the writing process.

Need more information? It can be found in the video below.

Starting Your Film Analysis Essay

There are several things you need to do before you start writing your film analysis paper. First and foremost, you have to watch the movie. Even if you have seen it a hundred times, you need to watch it again to make a good film analysis essay.

Note that you might be given an essay topic or have to think of it by yourself. If you are free to choose a topic for your film analysis essay, reading some critical reviews before you watch the film might be a good idea. By doing this in advance, you will already know what to look for when watching the movie.

In the process of watching, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Consider your impression of the movie
  • Enumerate memorable details
  • Try to interpret the movie message in your way
  • Search for the proof of your ideas (quotes from the film)
  • Make comments on the plot, settings, and characters
  • Draw parallels between the movie you are reviewing and some other movies

Making a Film Analysis Essay Outline

Once you have watched and possibly re-watched your assigned or chosen movie from an analytical point of view, you will need to create a movie analysis essay outline . The task is pretty straightforward: the outline can look just as if you were working on a literary analysis or an article analysis.

  • Introduction : This includes the basics of the movie, including the title, director, and the date of release. You should also present the central theme or ideas in the movie and your thesis statement .
  • Summary : This is where you take the time to present an overview of the primary concepts in the movie, including the five Ws (who, what, when, where, and why)—don’t forget how!—as well as anything you wish to discuss that relates to the point of view, style, and structure.
  • Analysis : This is the body of the essay and includes your critical analysis of the movie, why you did or did not like it, and any supporting material from the film to support your views. It would help if you also discussed whether the director and writer of the movie achieved the goal they set out to achieve.
  • Conclusion: This is where you can state your thesis again and provide a summary of the primary concepts in a new and more convincing manner, making a case for your analysis. You can also include a call-to-action that will invite the reader to watch the movie or avoid it entirely.

You can find a great critical analysis template at Thompson Rivers University website. In case you need more guidance on how to write an analytical paper, check out our article .

Writing & Editing Your Film Analysis Essay

We have already mentioned that there are differences between literary analysis and film analysis. They become especially important when one starts writing their film analysis essay.

First of all, the evidence you include to support the arguments is not the same. Instead of quoting the text, you might need to describe the audiovisual elements.

However, the practice of describing the events is similar in both types. You should always introduce a particular sequence in the present tense. If you want to use a piece of a dialogue between more than two film characters, you can use block quotes. However, since there are different ways to do it, confirm with your supervisor.

For your convenience, you might as well use the format of the script, for which you don’t have to use quotation marks:

ELSA: But she won’t remember I have powers?

KING: It’s for the best.

Finally, to show off your proficiency in the subject, look at the big picture. Instead of just presenting the main elements in your analysis, point out their significance. Describe the effect they make on the overall impression form the film. Moreover, you can dig deeper and suggest the reasons why such elements were used in a particular scene to show your expertise.

Stuck writing a film analysis essay? Worry not! Use our template to structure your movie analysis properly.


  • The title of the film is… [title]
  • The director is… [director’s name] He/she is known for… [movies, style, etc.]
  • The movie was released on… [release date]
  • The themes of the movie are… [state the film’s central ideas]
  • The film was made because… [state the reasons]
  • The movie is… because… [your thesis statement].
  • The main characters are… [characters’ names]
  • The events take place in… [location]
  • The movie is set in… [time period]
  • The movie is about… [state what happens in the film and why]
  • The movie left a… [bad, unforgettable, lasting, etc.] impression in me.
  • The script has… [a logical sequence of events, interesting scenes, strong dialogues, character development, etc.]
  • The actors portray their characters… [convincingly, with intensity, with varying degree of success, in a manner that feels unnatural, etc.]
  • The soundtrack is [distracting, fitting, memorable, etc.]
  • Visual elements such as… [costumes, special effects, etc.] make the film [impressive, more authentic, atmospheric, etc.]
  • The film succeeds/doesn’t succeed in engaging the target audience because it… [tells a compelling story, features strong performances, is relevant, lacks focus, is unauthentic, etc.]
  • Cultural and societal aspects make the film… [thought-provoking, relevant, insightful, problematic, polarizing, etc.]
  • The director and writer achieved their goal because… [state the reasons]
  • Overall, the film is… [state your opinion]
  • I would/wouldn’t recommend watching the movie because… [state the reasons]
  • Analysis of the film Inception by Christopher Nolan .
  • Examine the rhetoric in the film The Red Balloon .
  • Analyze the visual effects of Zhang Yimou’s movie Hero .
  • Basic concepts of the film Interstellar by Christopher Nolan.
  • The characteristic features of Federico Fellini’s movies.
  • Analysis of the movie The Joker . 
  • The depiction of ethical issues in Damaged Care .
  • Analyze the plot of the film Moneyball .
  • Explore the persuasive techniques used in Henry V .
  • Analyze the movie Killing Kennedy . 
  • Discuss the themes of the film Secret Window .
  • Describe the role of audio and video effects in conveying the message of the documentary Life in Renaissance .
  • Compare and analyze the films Midnight Cowboy and McCabe and Mrs. Miller .
  • Analysis of the movie Rear Window .
  • The message behind the film Split .
  • Analyze the techniques used by Tim Burton in his movie Sleepy Hollow .
  • The topic of children’s abuse and importance of trust in Joseph Sargent’s Sybil .
  • Examine the themes and motives of the film Return to Paradise by Joseph Ruben. 
  • The issues of gender and traditions in the drama The Whale Rider.
  • Analysis of the film Not Easily Broken by Duke Bill.
  • The symbolism in R. Scott’s movie Thelma and Louise .  
  • The meaning of audiovisual effects in Citizen Kane .
  • Analyze the main characters of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo .
  • Discuss the historical accuracy of the documentary The Civil War .
  • Analysis of the movie Through a Glass Darkly .
  • Explore the core idea of the comedy Get Out .
  • The problem of artificial intelligence and human nature in Ex Machina .
  • Three principles of suspense used in the drama The Fugitive .
  • Examine the ideas Michael Bay promotes in Armageddon .
  • Analyze the visual techniques used in Tenet by Christopher Nolan.
  • Analysis of the movie The Green Mile .
  • Discrimination and exclusion in the film The Higher Learning .
  • The hidden meaning of the scenes in Blade Runner .
  • Compare the social messages of the films West Side Story and Romeo + Juliet .
  • Highlighting the problem of children’s mental health in the documentary Kids in Crisis .
  • Discuss the ways Paul Haggis establishes the issue of racial biases in his movie Crash .
  • Analyze the problem of moral choice in the film Gone Baby Gone .
  • Analysis of the historical film Hacksaw Ridge .
  • Explore the main themes of the film Mean Girls by Mark Walters .
  • The importance of communication in the movie Juno .
  • Describe the techniques the authors use to highlight the problems of society in Queen and Slim .
  • Examine the significance of visual scenes in My Family/ Mi Familia .
  • Analysis of the thriller Salt by Phillip Noyce.
  • Analyze the message of Greg Berlanti’s film Love, Simon .
  • Interpret the symbols of the film The Wizard of Oz (1939).
  • Discuss the modern issues depicted in the film The Corporation .
  • Moral lessons of Edward Zwick’s Blood Diamond .
  • Analysis of the documentary Solitary Nation .
  • Describe the audiovisual elements of the film Pride and Prejudice (2005) .
  • The problem of toxic relationships in Malcolm and Marie .

📄 Film Analysis Examples

Below you’ll find two film analysis essay examples. Note that the full versions are downloadable for free!

Film Analysis Example #1: The Intouchables

Raising acute social problems in modern cinema is a common approach to draw the public’s attention to the specific issues and challenges of people facing crucial obstacles. As a film for review, The Intouchables by Oliver Nakache and Éric Toledano will be analyzed, and one of the themes raised in this movie is the daily struggle of the person with severe disabilities. This movie is a biographical drama with comedy elements. The Intouchables describes the routine life of a French millionaire who is confined to a wheelchair and forced to receive help from his servants. The acquaintance of the disabled person with a young and daring man from Parisian slums changes the lives of both radically. The film shows that for a person with disabilities, recognition as a full member of society is more important than sympathy and compassion, and this message expressed comically raises an essential problem of human loneliness.

Movie Analysis Example #2: Parasite

Parasite is a 2019 South Korean black comedy thriller movie directed by Bong Joon-ho and is the first film with a non-English script to win Best Picture at the Oscars in 2020. With its overwhelming plot and acting, this motion picture retains a long-lasting effect and some kind of shock. The class serves as a backbone and a primary objective of social commentary within the South Korean comedy/thriller (Kench, 2020). Every single element and detail in the movie, including the student’s stone, the contrasting architecture, family names, and characters’ behavior, contribute to the central topic of the universal problem of classism and wealth disparity. The 2020 Oscar-winning movie Parasite (2019) is a phenomenal cinematic portrayal and a critical message to modern society regarding the severe outcomes of the long-established inequalities within capitalism.

Want more examples? Check out this bonus list of 10 film analysis samples. They will help you gain even more inspiration.

  • “Miss Representation” Documentary Film Analysis
  • “The Patriot”: Historical Film Analysis
  • “The Morning Guy” Film Analysis
  • 2012′ by Roland Emmerich Film Analysis
  • “The Crucible” (1996) Film Analysis
  • The Aviator’ by Martin Scorsese Film Analysis
  • The “Lions for Lambs” Film Analysis
  • Bill Monroe – Father of Bluegrass Music Film Analysis
  • Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Harry Potter’ Film Analysis
  • Red Tails by George Lucas Film Analysis

Film Analysis Essay FAQ

  • Watch the movie or read a detailed plot summary.
  • Read others’ film reviews paying attention to details like key characters, movie scenes, background facts.
  • Compose a list of ideas about what you’ve learned.
  • Organize the selected ideas to create a body of the essay.
  • Write an appropriate introduction and conclusion.

The benefits of analyzing a movie are numerous . You get a deeper understanding of the plot and its subtle aspects. You can also get emotional and aesthetic satisfaction. Film analysis enables one to feel like a movie connoisseur.

Here is a possible step by step scenario:

  • Think about the general idea that the author probably wanted to convey.
  • Consider how the idea was put across: what characters, movie scenes, and details helped in it.
  • Study the broader context: the author’s other works, genre essentials, etc.

The definition might be: the process of interpreting a movie’s aspects. The movie is reviewed in terms of details creating the artistic value. A film analysis essay is a paper presenting such a review in a logically structured way.

  • Film Analysis – UNC Writing Center
  • Film Writing: Sample Analysis // Purdue Writing Lab
  • Yale Film Analysis – Yale University
  • Film Terms And Topics For Film Analysis And Writing
  • Questions for Film Analysis (Washington University)
  • Resources on Film Analysis – Cinema Studies (University of Toronto)
  • Does Film Analysis Take the Magic out of Movies?
  • Film Analysis Research Papers –
  • What’s In a Film Analysis Essay? Medium
  • Analysis of Film – SAGE Research Methods
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Have you ever read a review and asked yourself how the critic arrived at a different interpretation for the film? You are sure that you saw the same movie, but you interpreted it differently. Most moviegoers go to the cinema for pleasure and entertainment. There’s a reason why blockbuster movies attract moviegoers – cinema is a form of escape, a way to momentarily walk away from life’s troubles.


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  10. Sociology of Film

    Abstract. This course will offer an in-depth look at film and filmic representations from a sociological point of view. The course is divided into three parts. In the first part, we will critically analyze the definition of Sociology of Film and explore how key tools (the sociological imagination and the film log) can help us look at films ...

  11. Using film analysis to apply and evaluate criminological theory

    While research papers have been an invaluable assignment in sociology and criminology courses, this assignment combines sociological research with film and television analysis to apply criminological theories and concepts. Pelton (2013) argued for using film analysis assignments in upper-level sociological theory courses to alleviate the anxiety students felt when learning theory, increase ...

  12. My Top Ten Fictional Films with Sociology Content

    A Bug's Life - Useful for illustrating basic Marxist concepts. Black Mirror: The National Anthem - Charlie Brooker's short film - The Prime Minister has to have sex with a pig live on T.V. to save the life of the nation's princess whose been kidnapped. This is the best film, hands down, to convey the meaning of 'hyperreality'.

  13. Sociology: Film Analysis: 13th

    A great place to find evidence to support argumentative essays. Browse by topic or keyword to find information covering a broad range of important issues in health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. Weekly reports dating back to 1923.

  14. Chapter 1 Film Analysis Paper Assignment

    Analysis papers are NOT a film summary. Examples from the film are used to provide evidence of specific sociological factors, NOT a film review. A brief. synopsis of the film may be included in the introductory paragraph. Analysis papers are assigned at the conclusion of a film. You may not use a homework pass to excuse.

  15. Using the Feature Film to Facilitate Sociological Thinking

    Before showing the film, we distribute the assignment and explain it in detail (see Appen-dices A and B for copies of the assignment). Students are asked to complete a sociological analysis of the film from either a conflict or a structural functional perspective. The handout contains questions that must be addressed in the analysis and ...

  16. Art, Cinema and Society: Sociological Perspectives

    sociologically sign ificant event as its experience a ffects us emotionall y, psychologically, and. pedagogically. Based on this, the paper aims to discuss some sociological perspectives on the ...

  17. Sociology Film Analysis Essay

    Sociology Film Analysis Essay Sociology is a science that studies how people of divergent backgrounds and genders respond to the set of cultures, norms, and groups that influence their interactions with the world. Part of what makes these interactions unique is the role of gender identity, the expression of cultural terms that interconnect with ...

  18. Sociology 1020

    The Assignment: DF #3 - Film Analysis Students will begin this assignment by choosing a film of their liking and analyze the contents for specific sociological Q&A Choose one type of biological evidence, CDS evidence, bloodstain pattern evidence, DNA evidence and document evidence and: describe the manner in which each type of evidence would be ...

  19. Sociology and film

    Sociology, the study of societies, involves the observation and description of, and the application of coherent conceptual and theoretical schema to, social phenomena. Film and cinema are potential areas of inquiry in subdisciplines of sociology such as the sociology of art, the sociology of culture, and the sociology of leisure, as well as in ...

  20. How to Write a Sociological Movie Review

    Movies can tell us a lot about society and culture. A movie may discuss social roles in a particular time and culture, history, views of sexual morality, cultural fears, and many other sociological facets. Through reviewing the movie from a sociological perspective, an author can gain insight into not just a ...

  21. Film Analysis Papers

    Films are used in this major course assignment in order to provide students with a vehicle for discussing the most relevant concepts, ideas, or theories covered throughout the course. Students are asked choose from seven paper options which link a particular theorist or theorists to popular or documentary films. These papers are not expected to be "film reviews" in the strictest sense, though ...

  22. Sociology in Heathers: The Movie Analysis

    The film portrays both macro-sociological and micro-sociological theories. The large social structure of the students' life is displayed and how it has affected them socially. The film illustrates that the three Heathers and Veronica were from wealthy families. The wealthy status made the four girls to be friends.

  23. How to Write a Film Analysis Essay: Examples, Outline, & Tips

    In addition, use the title case: that is, capitalize all major words. Proper use of the characters' names. When you mention a film character for the first time, name the actor portraying them. After that, it is enough to write only the character's name. In-text citations.