Talking about Movies in English

Talking about movies is a very popular topic in English.

After all, everyone loves to watch movies and it is a very common subject to talk about in any language.

This is something that may come up in the IELTS test but also in life itself. There are very few people in the world that do not like to watch movies, so if you find yourself in a conversation with a native English speaker about movies, you should try to be best prepared.

In this guide, I have covered all the things that you may want to talk about when talking about movies. The types of movies that people like to watch, how we watch movies and the people that work in movies. I also cover the language used for going to the cinema and talking about movies. We all have opinions about the movies we watch so we need to be able to express these opinions clearly.

Finally, I have included a list of questions and a role play.

In most of the sections, I have made comprehensive lists of vocabulary and provide examples for each part. I then offer some sample dialogues that you can practice with your friends.

If you are a teacher, this may help you in preparing your English class if you are talking about movies.

And if you are a student, you will find this information very useful for your daily life.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

 

Types of Movies

 

When we talk about the types of movies we can see, we should use the word genre. This is a French word that means a category or type of movie.

We use this word in English all the time when we talk about movies.

So what are the main genres of movies?

They are as follows:

comedy

horror

action

romance

science-fiction

documentary

animation/cartoon

adventure

drama

western

crime

thriller

war

noir

period drama

fantasy

indie

biographical

superhero

disaster

art-house

mystery

romantic-comedy

But what are these kind of movies? And what are they about?

Let’s take a closer look.

 

Comedy

This is a funny movie. The story is funny and the actors often appear in many other comedy movies.

Examples of comedy movies include Anchorman and The Hangover.

 

Horror

A horror is a scary movie. There might be strange creatures, monsters or ghosts in the story. Or it could be a psychopathic killer on the loose.

But the main intention is to scare the audience.

Examples include Pet Sematary and Chainsaw Massacre.

 

Action

People usually love action movies because as the name implies, they are full of action. There are often car chases and explosions and plenty of fight scenes.

Check out Mission Impossible and the Fast and Furious movies.

 

Romance

These movies are love stories. The story is often very similar in romance movies. I suppose you could sum up the story as:

Boy meets girl

Girl doesn’t like boy

Boy perseveres

Girl likes boy and happy ever after

Most of these stories are based around very old stories like Romeo and Juliet. But these movies are very popular.

Take a look at Casablanca and When Harry Met Sally.

 

Science-Fiction

Science-Fiction movies — or Sci-fi — have never lost their appeal. They have been popular since the 1950s.

Early sci-fi movies were about aliens coming from Mars and having a huge battle with the people on earth. But there were other sci-fi movies about time travel and going to space or into the future.

Now sci-fi movies can be about anything that involves science.

These movies are often very exciting and have a lot of action.

Good examples of sci-fi include: Bladerunner, The Matrix and The Day The Earth Stood Still.

 

Documentary

These are usually serious investigation movies about a real-life subject. Popular documentaries are often about nature and animals. But they can be about history or society or any other topic.

People don’t really watch these in a cinema — they may prefer to watch at home.

Examples include March of The Penguins and Fahrenheit 9/11.

 

Animation/Cartoon

These kinds of movies have been popular since the 1930s. Walt Disney was a real pioneer in the genre of animation movies.

Popular with adults and children, they have never gone out of fashion.

Pixar is a company that has taken the animation genre to a whole new level. They use very advanced computer-animation and the stories are appealing to both children and adults.

Good examples of animation movies are Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, Toy Story and The Lion King.

 

Adventure

This is a very old and established movie genre. The story is quite often very similar — a man goes on a quest to find something that is very important and can save lives. The hero usually has to have a battle with a great and powerful enemy.

Good examples are Indiana Jones, Pirates of The Caribbean and Gladiator.

 

Drama

Drama movies are often movies about real-life people or situations. Or they have a very realistic story and the characters could be real people.

People like these movies because we can get to know the character of the movie very well and we can often relate to them.

Check out the following movies: Citizen Kane, The Godfather and Taxi Driver.

 

Western

This is an old movie genre that was hugely popular in the 1940s and 1950s in America. The genre often reappears in new films.

Good examples are High Noon, A Fistful of Dollars and True Grit.

 

Crime

This is a film genre that never goes out of date. Crime movies have been popular since Hollywood first started making movies.

The story always involves some bad guys or gangsters, planning to do something illegal. The story could also involve other crime elements such as murder or kidnap.

Crime movies are always popular and people still enjoy watching these movies today.

Good examples to check out are GoodFellas, Dirty Harry and The Big Sleep.

 

Thriller

This is another very popular genre that has been around for a long time. Thriller movies are often combined with crime stories or have a strong psychological theme.

They are called thrillers for a good reason — the story is thrilling and keeps us on the edge of our seats.

Examples include Gone Girl, The Usual Suspects and Silence of The Lambs.

 

War

War movies have also been around a long time.

The stories are very clear and very simple — these movies are about war. We follow the characters and see the tragedy of their lives torn apart by war and how war can tear families into pieces.

The stories may be fictitious but usually the movies are based on real wars that happened in the world.

Check out these movies: Apocalypse Now, Saving Private Ryan and All Quiet On The Western Front.

 

Noir

This was originally a movie genre made in Hollywood in the 30s and 40s. The movies were made very quickly and very cheaply and often in black-and-white. A French film critic referred to them as noir — French for ‘black’ — to describe the look and feel of the movies but also the characters.

These movies are very stylish and have made a big comeback in recent years.

Good examples are Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard and Chinatown.

 

Period Drama

These movies are very similar to drama movies above but set in a particular period in history. They often follow real-life people and tell the story of their lives or they are based on a novel from the long ago.

Look at these movies: Barry Lyndon, Sense and Sensibility and A Room with a View.

 

Fantasy

This genre has become extremely popular in recent years. Fantasy movies may be based on very popular fantasy novels such as Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings. Or they may be an entirely new story of their own.

The themes often include magical worlds filled with all kinds of mythical and magical characters. There is often a strong element of adventure in these movies — a quest for something that can save the world or many people’s lives.

Good examples are Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings and The Wizard of Oz.

 

Indie

Indie stands for independent. These are often low-budget movies with a very artistic feel.

The director and actors may not be so famous but these films are highly regarded by film critics and fans.

Check out: Pulp Fiction, Eraserhead and Pi.

 

Biographical

These are movies based on real living person’s life. They make an entire movie about a person’s life. This could be done in a very positive way — but sometimes very critical and negative.

Famous movies include Chaplin, My Left Foot and Patton.

 

Superhero

Superhero movies in recent years have become very popular. There have been many TV cartoons based on superhero comics but now this genre in movies is well-loved around the world.

Superhero movies are based on characters from the Marvel or DC comics from the 1930s and onward. We all know the characters — Batman, Superman and Spiderman — to name only a few.

Great examples are any movie featuring Batman, Superman and Spiderman along with Avengers, X-Men and The Fantastic Four.

 

Disaster

Disaster movies are about man-made or natural disasters. These movies are usually action-packed and feature a strong hero to save the world and the people.

Great examples include Titanic, The Towering Inferno and Armageddon.

 

Art-House

These movies are considered to be more like art than entertainment. Film critics and art fans love these movies.

They may often be seen in a smaller art cinema — or you can watch online.

The stories may be very strange or surreal and the style of the movie is often very different from other movies.

Examples are Wild Strawberries, Chungking Express and The Bicycle Thieves.

 

Mystery

These movies fall into a combination of other genres from above. There is often a very strong crime element in these movies — hence the mystery — along with strong psychological themes. There could also be a style similar to noir movies.

Examples include Rear Window, Murder on the Orient Express and The Third Man.

 

Romantic-Comedy

These movies have been very popular for a long time. They combine comedy with a romantic story.

Examples include Annie Hall, There’s Something About Mary and Four Wedding and a Funeral.

 

Exercise

 

Take one of the genres above — it is best to choose a genre that you like — and watch a movie in this style. Then try to describe the style of the movie and the story.

You could make a presentation in your class in front of all your classmates.

 

How We Watch Movies

 

Years ago there was only one way that we could watch movies — at the cinema.

Then TV arrived and people could watch movies on the smaller screen. After that came video, then VCD and DVD and finally the Internet and Netflix.

Let’s take a look at all these ways to see movies and the vocabulary involved.

 

The Cinema

Cinemas have been around as long as movies have been mass-produced. In the 1950s they really became very popular and despite the advent of other technology such as video, DVD and online movies, cinemas have evolved and remained just as popular as ever.

 

Vocabulary

Box-office — you buy the cinema tickets at the box-office, or sometimes called the ticket-office. But this term is also used to talk about ticket sales for a movie. If a movie has a good box-office rating then it means ticket sales have been high. It means it is a successful movie.

Tickets — these are the little cards you buy in order to enter the cinema where our movie is showing. You can buy them at the cinema or online.

Aisle — this is a small, narrow walkway in between the seats. It allows us to walk to our row of seats.

Row — rows are the lines of seats facing the cinema screen.

Usher — this is someone who works in the cinema. They help us to find our seat.

The screen — this is the big flat white surface where we can see the movie.

Advertising — when we get into the cinema, just before the movie begins they show some advertising. The advertising introduces products or services we might want to buy.

Trailer — these are the small clips of new movies that movie studios advertise to the audience.

Credits — at the end of the movie, we can see all the names of the people that worked on the movie. The movie studio must name every person that worked on it.

Multiplex — these are the new cinema places of today. Often located in or near a big shopping mall. They often have several screens to show five or six movies at the same time.

Snack shop/concession stand — when people go to the cinema there is a small shop where people can buy snacks to eat while watching the movie.

Popcorn — this is a very popular snack found in every cinema snack shop/concession stand.

The audience — all the people watching the movie.

Subtitles — in a foreign-language movie, these are the words the actors say to each other, shown at the bottom of the screen.

Premiere — the first time the movie is shown to the general public.

 

Below is an extract of someone talking about going to the cinema

We found out that the new Batman movie was showing at our local multiplex so we went online and booked the tickets. We were lucky because not many people had booked tickets yet so we got great seats in the middle.

We arrived and picked up our tickets then went to buy some snacks and something to drink. I never eat popcorn unless I am in the cinema, so we bought a box of that. I prefer the salted kind. Then we bought some drinks. My girlfriend had an iced tea and I had a cola.

We also got some chocolate candy.

Then we went to the right screen and showed our tickets to the usher. She took our tickets and then showed us where our seats were.

We were a little early so we had to watch all the advertising. But I like to see the new movies that are coming out so I was glad to see the trailers.

Then the lights went out and the movie started. There was a guy at the front who kept on using his phone and the light from it was disturbing people so the usher came down and told him to put his phone away.

The film was pretty good and we both enjoyed it. Afterwards, the film ended we went to the coffee shop to drink something and talk about the movie.

 

Exercise

Take any new vocabulary and phrases that you don’t know and find out the meanings in your dictionary.

Then make notes in your vocabulary notebook.

 

Writing

Try to write an account, similar to above, of your last time to go to the cinema. If you are in a class, take turns to read out loud. Or you can show your writing to your teacher and let them see.

 

Video

Video appeared as a popular form of technology in the late seventies and early eighties.

Very soon almost every household had a video machine to record movies and TV shows directly from the TV. Or to watch movies distributed by film companies.

It soon became very common to see video shops in every neighbourhood. People could rent videos for the night and watch their favourite movies with their family or friends at home.

 

Vocabulary

Rent — this is the act of paying money to borrow the video for one night.

Video shop/store — the place from where we rent the video.

Videocassette — this is the thing that we watch the movie on. A big, black cassette that we put into the …

Video player — a machine used to play videocassettes. Very bulky and heavy.

Pause — the act of stopping the movie for a short period of time. Often while people go to the bathroom or get a drink of something.

Play — the act of playing the videocassette so we can watch the movie we rented from the video store.

Eject — the button we press to release the videocassette from the machine.

Rewind — the act of rewinding the videocassette to the beginning of the movie. During the 90s this was considered polite and gave rise the phrasebe kind, rewind.

Late Fee — the money you must pay if you return the video to the store too late.

 

Below is an extract of someone talking about renting a video for the evening

There was nothing on TV so me and my brother decided to go to the video shop and rent a video. There was a store very near to us so we went there. It was a small place — not as big as the American video place in town — but it had new movies and they had a great selection of older movies.

We went in and the first thing we did was look at their new movies.

All the really popular movies were already out and we were not really interested in the other ones so we decided to get an older movie instead.

We have similar tastes so we both like the same kind of movies.

We found an old Al Pacino movie and decided to take that out.

We showed our card to the shop assistant and he took the video off the shelf in the back and put it in the case. Then we paid and left.

Back at home, we watched the movie just after we had dinner. We really enjoyed the movie as we are both big Al Pacino fans.

 

Exercise

Take any new vocabulary and phrases that you don’t know and find out the meanings in your dictionary.

Then make notes in your vocabulary notebook.

 

Role Play

Create a role play about going to a video store and trying to find a movie you want to rent out. You could have three people in the role play; you and your friend, and the video store assistant.

 

DVD

As computers became more popular, so did compact disks. This led to the development of using disks to store movies.

First, there was VCDs then later DVDs. People could watch a DVD on their computer. Or they could use a DVD player — similar to a video player — and watch the movie on their TV.

DVDs were very popular in the early 2000s. But technology had reached such a rapid rate of development that their use was very short-lived.

Nowadays, no one uses them.

 

Vocabulary

Disk — a round, flat plastic object. This is where the movie is stored.

DVD machine — a machine for playing DVDs. Less bulky than a video machine but still kind of cumbersome.

DVD shop/store — a place to buy DVDs.

Scratched — if a DVD disk had a scratch on it, it made the movie unwatchable.

Bad Copy — maybe a pirate copy. Often badly recorded and unwatchable. But cheap!

 

Below is an extract of someone talking about buying a DVD

There is a DVD store near my house. I go there every now and then to stock up on new movies. The owner of the store has a big selection of movies and his DVDs are pretty cheap.

Sometimes I might have trouble playing one of the discs but if I do I just take it back to the store and they change it for me.

The owner has some pirate DVDs in the back of his store. These are illegal to sell or buy but they are always very cheap. The only problem is that sometimes the quality of the DVDs are very bad. You can see that the DVD was made by a guy in a cinema with a video camera pointed at the screen!

 

Exercise

Take any new vocabulary and phrases that you don’t know and find out the meanings in your dictionary.

Then make notes in your vocabulary notebook.

 

Role Play

There are two people in this role play:

1. A DVD store owner

2. A customer

You are a regular customer at the DVD store. One day you go in to buy some movies and the owner takes you to one side to try and sell you pirate DVDs. He says the movies are all the latest releases and very cheap.

But you are very concerned about the legality of buying pirate DVDs. You don’t want to buy any from him but he is quite persistent.

Take some time to prepare your role play then show the class and your teacher.

 

Netflix

Netflix is a hugely popular way for people to watch movies in the comfort of their home or wherever they want to watch them.

The company provides a streaming service so that people can watch thousands of TV show and movies whenever they want. People pay a monthly fee and can then enjoy all the TV shows and movies that they want to see.

Netflix was the death of other formats of watching movies such as DVD. Once people started watching movies online — either on their computer, on their smartphone or via their TV — no one wanted to pay for discs any more.

There are other companies that offer similar services but Netflix remains the number one provider.

 

Vocabulary

Streaming — the process of instantly watching a movie online without having to wait.

Binge-watch — due to the immediate availability of TV shows and new movies, people tend to watch an entire TV series/season all at once. Sometimes people might watch all ten episodes of a new TV show in one day. Obviously, this is not healthy!

 

Below is an extract of someone talking about Netflix

I have been a member of Netflix for two years. I think it is a great way to watch all the TV shows and movies that I like.

In my house, we can all watch different things. My Dad likes to watch older movies while my mum likes to catch up with the latest romantic comedies.

Me, I just like to watch all my favourite TV shows.

The only problem with Netflix is that I end up binge-watching entire seasons of a TV show instead of just watching one show a day. I know this is a really bad habit but once I get into the show I feel like I can’t stop.

But it is still a great service to have.

 

Exercise

Take any new vocabulary and phrases that you don’t know and find out the meanings in your dictionary.

Then make notes in your vocabulary notebook.

 

Writing

Write about a recent time when you watched a movie online. Maybe not on Netflix but on some other streaming service.

Where were you and were you alone?

What movie did you watch and why did you choose this movie?

When you finish writing your article, you can present it to your class or show your teacher.

 

People in the Movies

 

There are many different people that work on the production of movies. It is not just movie stars and directors. Each movie needs a huge team of people in order to get the movie made.

Who are these people and what do they do?

Let’s take a look at all the different roles below.

 

Actor

These are the people we see on the screen. Any person that is talking in the movie is an actor. They have to train at drama school and then they have to compete with thousands of others to try to get a part in a movie. Good actors are very talented. Or very good looking. Sometimes both.

 

Director

This is the person that tells the actors what to do. They also give instructions to the cameraman and other crew members. The director is the creative force behind the movie. He or she has to try to convey the story written by the screenwriter into images on the screen.

 

Producer

This is the most powerful person in the whole movie. This is the person who can make or break the movie.

They are often very well-connected in the movie industry or Hollywood and know many other movie stars and directors in the film world.

The producer organises the financing of the movie and then he hires the relevant people to work together.

 

Star

The star is the most important actor we see in the movie. Usually, there can only be one star in any movie and this person has their name at the top.

Quite often, people will go to see a movie based on who the star of the movie is. People do not want to watch a movie with unknown actors — they like to see their favourite movie stars in the film.

 

Co-Star

The co-stars are all the other main actors. Maybe not as famous as the main star but we know them and like them.

 

Screenwriter

If there is no story, there is no movie.

The screenwriter — or screenwriters — are responsible for writing the story and all the lines the actors say in the movie. Sometimes the screenwriter might write an original story all from their own imagination. But other times, they might have to write a story from an idea that the producer had. They then have to write the entire script based on this idea.

 

Production Designer

Whenever you watch a movie, you will see rooms, offices, big halls, ships and many other places. Often these are not real rooms or halls but part of a set design in a big movie studio. It has all been designed by the production designer. They have to make sure everything looks as it should and they discuss the design in great detail with the director.

 

Art Director

The art director helps the production designer. The production designer designs the set, the art director builds it.

 

Costume Designer

All the actors need special clothing to wear in the movie. They can’t just wear their own clothes — it would look crazy. So the movie producer hires a costume designer to make or find the right clothes for all the actors. These clothes have to fit in with who the character is in the movie and also with the set design and general look of the movie.

 

Makeup Artist

This person applies makeup to the actors’ faces. They also do their hair. Sometimes the makeup artist might have to make an actor’s face look dirty. Or they might have to apply fake blood if the character has been in a fight scene.

 

Cinematographer

The cinematographer, also called the Director of Photography or cameraman, is responsible for how the scene is filmed. They work very closely with the director — if you see a movie being made, the director is often standing very close to the cameraman.

The director tells the cameraman what he wants the scene to look like and then they film it.

 

Sound Mixer

Every scene has to be recorded for sound. This is essential if they want the audience to hear all the words the actors say.

Therefore the movie needs the skills of a sound mixer. This is a professional person that records all the sounds the actors make and any other sounds that are needed in the final movie.

 

Stuntman

You see all those scenes where the hero jumps off a bridge? Or out of a speeding car? Or when the hero fights three of the bad guys all at once?

I’m sorry to tell you that this is not the actor or movie star that does this. This is another person called a stuntman. This person is highly skilled in doing dangerous things and is therefore required to do them for the stars of the movie.

 

Extra

You have seen extras in many movies. Maybe in a restaurant scene with a few people sat at tables in the background. They don’t speak, they don’t really do anything.

These people are not professionals in the movie industry. Usually, they are paid just a small sum of money and they are not required to speak.

They are like scenery to make the movie look like real life.

But they are absolutely necessary for the movie.

 

Exercise

Imagine you are one of the people above. Try to do a small presentation where you talk about the job you do and what you have to do in a movie.

Use your imagination!

 

Going to the Cinema

 

There are certain words and phrases that we use when talking about going to the cinema. Let’s take a look at some of them now.

What’s on? — meaning: what kind of movies/what movies are playing at the cinema currently.

There’s the new Tom Cruise movie, a science-fiction movie and that new romantic-comedy.

 

What’s it about? — meaning: what is the story of the movie, the general theme or idea of the movie.

It’s about a man who is accused of murder but he’s innocent.

 

What time is it on? — meaning: what time does the movie start?

It’s on at 7:45.

 

The multiplex — meaning: a huge modern cinema complex that may be part of a shopping and dining complex.

 

Book tickets — meaning: to buy/reserve tickets for the movie online.

 

Aisle — meaning: the walkways to the seats inside the cinema.

 

Row — meaning: the seats in a line to view the movie.

 

Front row — the seats at the front of the cinema.

 

Back row — the seats at the back of the cinema.

 

The big screen — the screen on which to watch the movie. Also a term for movies in general.

 

The projector — the machine at the back of the cinema, in a small room, that someone uses to play the movie.

 

Going to the Cinema — Dialogue

Bob and Carol are at home and Bob wants to encourage Carol to go and see a movie with him at the cinema.

Bob: Why don’t we go and see a movie?

Carol: What’s on?

Bob: Well, let me see… There’s that new science-fiction movie. We saw a review of it on TV last week. About those huge alien pods that come to Earth.

Carol: I don’t really fancy that…

Bob: Okay. Then there’s the new Tom Hanks movie. You like him.

Carol: What’s his new movie about?

Bob: He plays the part of a captain on a ship that gets into trouble with some pirates. It looks pretty good.

Carol: Oh yes, I remember now. The reviews of that are very good. And it’s Tom Hanks so it’s got to be better than stupid science-fiction movies…

Bob: So, you want to go?

Carol: When is it on?

Bob: It says here that it starts at 7:50. It’s on at The New Odeon in town. If we get moving we can get there in time.

Carol: I better get my shoes on then.

 

Exercise

Practice the dialogue above with a classmate. Then show the class.

Try to make the dialogue sound as natural as possible.

 

Talking about Movies

 

Below is a list of phrases and expressions we might use when talking about movies. Let’s take a look at them.

I really liked this movie, but the ending was terrible.

 

I thought Chris Hemsworth was really great in Thor. He was just perfect for the part.

 

The ending to Sev7en with Brad Pitt has such a great ending. I was on the edge of my seat until the final scene.

 

We watched that new drama movie about the family caught up in the second world war. It was very emotional. We were all in floods of tears.

 

The new horror movie, Hell House, scared the living daylights out of me. What a shocker!

 

I love psychological thrillers. I just find them to be so cleverly written.

 

How Movies Advertise

 

Hollywood movie companies want us to see their movies. They spend millions of dollars making these movies so they also spend a lot of money on advertising and promotion.

We can see a lot of advertising on the internet, on social media and movie websites. Movie companies spend a large amount of money to get eyes on their new movies.

But there are two other key ways that movies let us know about a new film that is coming out.

Movie Trailers

Reviews

These can provide some more insight into the movie. People often check these two things when looking for a new movie to watch.

 

Movie Trailers

These are short promotional movies that show some key scenes from the new movie. If the film is an action movie then the trailer will show lots of action scenes and make it seem as exciting as possible.

The trailer always shows the movie star of the film. They are in every scene of the trailer.

We can see movie trailers online, on websites like YouTube, and other websites — especially movie websites.

We may see them on Netflix too as movie studios spend a lot of money to advertise there.

Also in the cinema, just before the main movie starts.

 

Reviews

A good review can make or break a new movie.

Some movie critics are famous in their own right as a result of reviewing movies.

There are now many movie review websites such as rotten tomatoes.

Before the internet, the studios had to rely on TV and newspaper reviews. These were not as immediate at the internet and could not target the desired audience.

 

Writing

Write a review of a movie you have seen recently. Tell the reader what you liked and disliked about this movie and what was special about it.

 

Questions about Movies

 

How often do you go to movies?

What is your all-time favourite movie?

What is the best movie you have ever seen? Who was in it? Why did you like it?

What is the worst movie you’ve ever seen?

If a book you have read has been made into a movie, do you go to see the movie? Why?

Are there any kinds of movies you dislike?

What are the kind of movies you prefer to watch?

Do you usually watch movies at home or at the cinema?

What are the scariest movies you have ever seen? What about the funniest movie?

Have you ever seen the same movie more than once? What was the movie? Why did you watch it more than once?

What was the last movie you saw? Who was in it? What was it about?

Who is your favourite actor?

Who’s your favourite director?

Is the cinema expensive in your country? How much for a ticket?

What kind of movies should children not watch? Why not?

What is better? Movies or books? Why?

Do you like movie soundtracks? Why/why not?

What annoys you about watching a movie at the cinema?

Are movie trailers common in your country?

What kind of movies does your country make? Do you like them? Why/why not?

Do you think your country should make more movies?

What movie heroes do you like?

What movie bad guys or villains do you like?

Would you like to be a movie extra?

Do you think there is too much violence in movies?

 

Role Play

 

Let’s Go to Watch a Movie!

 

Introduction

What kind of movies do you like to watch?

How often do you go to the cinema?

If you are going with family or friends, how do you decide what movie to watch?

 

What movies are playing right now?

Go to a local website and find out what movies are playing in local multiplex cinemas right now.

You need to find out about FOUR movies that are currently playing — they can be new or old movies, it doesn’t matter. Plus you need to find out at which cinema they are playing and what time. Plus the ticket prices for each movie at each cinema.

You can do all of this as a class.

 

Set-Up

Divide the class into groups of three or four students.

Each student needs to choose one movie from the list you looked at earlier. They need to try to convince the other students in their group why this movie is the best movie to go and see.

Think about the stars and actors in the movie, the kind of movie it is and the story.

Also, think about where the cinema is that the movie is playing — is it convenient to get to? Are the ticket prices affordable?

 

Role Play

Once all the students are ready, each group performs their role play in front of the class for the others to see.

The teacher and all the other students can judge which role play is the best based on each performance and the key vocabulary used.

 

How to Study English by Watching Movies

I wrote a complete guide on how to practice and study English by watching movies.

This covers everything you can do to help you study English or practice with your friends.

You can find the link here.

 

Conclusion

I hope this was of some use to you.

This is by no means a complete guide to talking about movies in English but hopefully, it has given you some useful language and ideas about how to talk about movies in English.

Try to do as many of the exercises as you can. And take note of all the vocabulary too — this is very helpful for you.

If you go over these new words and do as many of the activities I outlined above then you should be able to talk about movies in English to a high level.

2 thoughts on “Talking about Movies in English”

  1. Wow, I never realized how many genres of movies there are! This article is so comprehensive in all that it cover and all related vocabulary that at least 10 articles could come for it.

    As for teaching with movies I think it is an amazing method. I like to hand pick and watch the movie myself first, for interest, student level and I also to pick those with good clear pronunciation (not all movies are clear for speakers of other languages).

    Then I extract pertinent vocabulary and make a study list for students and practice this list before they watch the movie. After that we watch the movie together and comment afterwards. I don’t know if it matches your link which I will check on another occasion but that is my advice to ESL/EFL teachers!

    1. Hi Leona, I think your method is spot on. It’s what I would do in class. I think using movies in the English class is a great way to help students. And good for the teacher too. Many thanks for your comment!

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