Movie Analysis

This week your signature assignment takes you to the movies. For this assignment you will watch one of the movies listed below. Then you will write an analysis paper drawing on everything that you have learned in the course. You will analyze the movie and complete a cohesive and comprehensive paper responding to the prompts below. Ensure the paper is organized in a way that shows each of the prompts are addressed.

  1. Identify the movie by title and year. Provide a 2-3 sentence overview of the movie plot. Identify the main characters and provide a 1-sentence description for each.
  2. Extrapolate from the movie the individuals that are influenced by the study of or practice of psychology, provide an explanation for the disciplines or sub-disciplines that are involved in the movie. Utilize appropriate vocabulary and terminology in the extrapolation.
  3. Identify the psychological disorder of the character(s) in the movie. Does the diagnosis explained in the movie align to the DSM? Once a diagnosis is made, does the label attached impact the character personally? Professionally? Socially?
  4. Explain the main theoretical approach, strategies, and practices that are used in the study of psychology in the movie. Provide a background explaining the strategies, historical and modern practices, and historical scientists related to the identified discipline or subdiscipline of psychology. Utilize appropriate vocabulary and terminology in the explanation.
  5. Considering the brain and lifespan development, how do the characters in the movie portray cognitive, social, and moral development?
  6. Associate the movie characters, plot, and setting with seminal investigations and major findings in psychology. Explain the seminal investigation and the major psychological finding referred to and explain whether or not it is accurately portrayed in the movie. Explain the points that make it either accurate or inaccurate.
  7. What are the stereotypes presented in the movie? How are they related to the study of psychology? Are there examples throughout the movie of gender roles? How are sensations and perceptions shown in the movie?
  8. Evaluate the role of learning and memory in the movie. How does the movie relate to and demonstrate classical conditioning, operant conditioning, or observational learning? Is there an impact on memory construction or retention in the movie? If yes, how is it portrayed? How is it (or is it not) accurate with what you have learned about what triggers memory construction, retrieval and memory loss?
  9. Where within the movie, and how, are thinking, language, and intelligence explained and portrayed?
  10. Evaluate how gestures ad expressions of emotion are portrayed in the movie. Analyze their relation to the experiences and culture of the characters.
  11. What motivates the main character(s) throughout the movie? How does this relate to learning regarding motivation, emotion, stress, health and human flourishing?
  12. If the character in the movie receives treatment explain the treatment? Explain how the treatment does or does not align with a typical treatment for this disorder.
  13. Finally, conclude your paper with a review of how the movie portrayed the disorder. Apply course learning to explain why it was or was not a realistic portrayal of the disorder. Include in the conclusion your personal reaction to the movie and how mental illness was portrayed.

Movie Options

  • A Beautiful Mind (Psychosis)
  • As Good as It Gets (Anxiety Disorder)
  • Benny and Joon (Psychosis)
  • Black Swan (Variety of Disorders)
  • Call me Crazy: A Five Film (Schizophrenia)
  • Clean and Sober (Substance Related Disorder)
  • The Deer Hunter (Stress Disorder)
  • The Fisher King (Variety of Disorders)
  • Gia (Substance Related / Mood Disorder)
  • Girl Interrupted (Variety of Disorders)
  • High Anxiety (Acrophobia Disorder)
  • Infinitely Polar Bear (Bipolar disorder)
  • I Smile Back (Variety of Disorders)
  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story (Depression and Suicidal ideation)
  • Matchstick Man (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
  • Off the Map (Mood Disorder)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Variety of Disorders)
  • Ordinary People (Mood Disorder)
  • Pawn Sacrifice (Paranoid Delusions)
  • Rachel at the Wedding (Substance Related Disorders)
  • Silver Linings Playbook (Bipolar Disorder)
  • Sybil (Stress Disorder)
  • The Skeleton Twins (Depression)
  • Three Faces of Eve (Stress Disorder)
  • Transamerica (Gender Identity Disorder)
  • Twenty-eight Days w/ Sandra Bullock (Substance Related Disorders)
  • Welcome to Me (Bipolar Personality Disorder)
  • What about Bob? (Anxiety Disorder)
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Depression/Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Assignment Expectations:

Length: 1500-2000 words; answers must thoroughly respond to the writing prompts in a clear, concise manner. All responses should be supported with an in-text citation and reference.

Structure: Include a title page and reference page in APA format. These do not count towards the minimal word course for the assignment.

References: Use the appropriate APA style for formatting the essay. All in-text citations and references should be in APA format.  Include at least (5) different scholarly citations to support your responses, in addition to the textbook. (scholarly citations do not include blogs and student help websites).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *