Film Review Guidelines

Thank you for contributing your time, thoughts, and energy to Film & History! Your film review will be read by a broad-reaching community of scholars, practitioners, and students across a number of disciplines, all sharing a common interest in the ways the film and television intersect with, shape, and reflect, society.

With that in mind, these brief guidelines are designed to be of assistance as you begin to craft your submission.


1. Please keep your audience, and their interests, in mind. Our primary concern is to examine and analyze films in their various relationships with society and history. How is a given film an artifact of the historical moment in which it was conceived and produced? How does the film reflect the attitudes, values, events, opportunities, and pressures of that era – or of the era on which it’s focused? What role does this film play in shaping or reflecting the attitudes and perceptions of audiences at the time of its release? How does this film relate to the body of cinematic (or televisual) texts on its subject? Is the filmmaker’s agenda (political, intellectual, or otherwise) apparent, either as text or subtext in the film? Is the film significant in that it presents a unique, previously unheard, or marginalized perspective not present in the body of available films?

The above is not intended as a template to follow – as the reviewer, the overall content of the review is up to you. Thoughts and analyses related to these questions, however, or others like them, will help to make your review informative and engaging for our readers, and will move your review well beyond a simple “good/bad” dichotomy, which is of limited usefulness. The deeper and more probing your analysis of the film, the more valuable your review will be to our readers.

2. To whom would this film be of use? Scholars? General audiences? Would it be of use in the classroom? Are you aware of similar films which would be more useful, or useful in tandem (adding an opposing perspective, additional background, missing information)?

3. Please avoid the gratuitous use of jargon. Professionalism and the appropriate use of specialized language is always valued and appreciated, but strive to make your review accessible.

4. Avoid advocating for a particular political or social position in your review. Film & History endeavors to be an unbiased scholarly publication without political or social agenda. Always address ethical issues in your review, but please do so in ways that maintain balance and fairness.


1. Unless previously agreed upon, reviews should be 1000-1500 words. Please use Times New Roman (12 point), with no additional boldface or titles.

2. Film titles should be in upper and lower-case italics (not all caps). Use single or double quotes for quotations or episode titles only.

3. Please include a header that indicates:

Title (year)
Distributor website (if available)
Run time

4. Please include a by-line with your name, affiliation, and email address

Please feel free to contact me with additional questions at any time. If you are unable to submit your review by the deadline, please let me know, so that I can plan for the following issue. Regretfully, reviewers who fail to submit a review will not be considered for additional publications in Film & History.


Cynthia J. Miller, Film Review Editor, Film & History


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