Types Of Movie Genres You Should Know

Genreis a word used to categorize any form of art, literature, music, books, and films. We see genres while scrolling through Netflix/ Amazon or any other online website to binge or maybe a library as well and that gives us a basic idea about what we want to watch. Some basic genres that exist are Asian, Thriller, Romantic, Comedy, Drama, etc. At times, we fit these genres into multiple subgenres by borrowing and recombining these conventions. Let’s have a look at some of these.

1. Action

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
source: London Film Awards

As the term suggests, it has ‘adventure’ and ‘risk’ associated with it which is shown in the form of explosions, fight scenes, daring escapes. The action genre is one of the oldest genres in cinema and the most loved too.

Sub-genres of Action genre include:


It shows brotherhood, jingoism, duty, honor, redemption and violence. Examples include Star Wars, Hidden Dragon, Wonder Woman, Pirates of the Caribbean.

• Military Fiction

It can be historical or fictional, involving the story of a patriot/ warrior in a series of battle events. Some of the examples are Starship Troopers, Full Metal Jacket, Das Boot, The Dirty Dozen, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Dr. Strangelove.

• Spy Fiction

It revolves around a secret agent who is on an espionage mission. They are equipped with special gadgets or natural skills. Red Sparrow, The November Man, Goldfinger, Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Licence to Kill can be watched to know more of Spy fiction.

• Wuxia

It is a martial arts genre. Its examples are The Assassin, Hero, Dragon, House of Flying Daggers.

• Asian films/ Anime

It is a new sub-genre of Action that portrays a strong female protagonist who makes use of arms and ammunition. Howl’s Moving Castle, Resident Evil: Vendetta, Batman Ninja, Tales from Earthsea are good movies to watch under this.

2. Adventure

source: screenrant

It is a very open genre which can explore other genres with it. The protagonist journeys to epic distant places to accomplish something and faces various obstacles during the mission. The setting of the characters is super humanly with prized features.

Its sub-types are:

• Shōnen Manga

A ‘manga’ is typically characterized by high-action, humor plots featuring male protagonists. Attractive female characters with exaggerated features are also common. Dragon Ball, Naruto, and One piece are a few examples of Shōnen Manga.

• Super hero fiction

It features fighters, known as superheroes, who possess superpowers and battle ‘supervillains’. Spiderman, Iron, Avengers, Jumanji are a good watch in this genre.

3. Comedy

Wine Country
source: den of geek

Comedy is again a very open genre that crosses over many other genres on a frequent basis. It is humor, fun, fancy, and made to entertain people and to eventually make them laugh.

Some of the basic sub-genres of Comedy are listed below:

• Comedy of Manners

It presents the satire and affectations of a social class. The plot of the comedy is concerned with scandals and witty dialogues. It is one of the oldest genres which dates back to Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

• Parody

A story is shown that mocks or satirizes other genres, people, fictional characters, or works. It usually involves sarcasm. Vampires Suck, Johnny English Reborn, Epic Movie are some of the examples of movies to watch in this genre.

• Romantic Comedy aka Romcom

This is a subgenre that combines romance with comedy. Romantic love, attraction, light-hearted comedy, and sexual tension between the characters are its key features. Pretty Woman, La La Land, Blue Lagoon are a few examples.

• Comic fantasy

A subgenre of fantasy that is primarily humorous in intent and tone. It is usually set in an imaginary world. The concession usually dilutes the seriousness of fantasy. Batman Begins, Spider-Man, Deadpool are a good watch in this genre.

• Comedy horror

Some of the examples of comedy horror include Dark Shadows, Jennifer’s Body, Stree, Bhool Bhulaiyaa.

• Black Comedy

It is also known as Dark Comedy which is a satire based on tragic or taboo subjects including death, murder, suicide, and war.

• Zombie Comedy

This is often called ZomCom that blends zombie horror motifs with slapstick comedy and dark comedy as well. Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, Braindead, The Return of the Living Dead are some examples of ZomComs.

• Comic Science Fiction

Men in Black, Honey, I Shrunk The kids, Innerspace, Idiocracy are good examples to watch of this category.

• Satire

Some must-watch movies under satire would be The Dictator, Idiocracy, Jolly LLB, PK, Toilet: Ek Pretty Katha, Shubh Mangal Savdhaan.

4. Crime

Catch me if you can
source: netflix

The crime genre can be clubbed with adventure or action. It is either based on someone’s criminal life or on a crime that has happened or is about to happen.

Bollywood movies in this genre are Gangs of Wasseypur, Don, Udta Punjab. Some of the Hindi shows in the same genre include Savdhaan India and Crime Patrol. Some Hollywood movies revolving around crime are Ocean’s 8, Catch Me If You Can.

Its sub-genres are as follows:

• Courtroom Drama

As the term suggests, it includes a fictional drama about law, law enforcement, crime, detective-based mystery-solving, lawyer work, and civil litigation. The Judge, My sister’s Keeper, Gifted, Erin Brockovich, The Lincoln Lawyer are good examples of this genre.

• Detective Story

Sherlock Holmes is the best example of a detective story. It can be a professional or amateur dealing and solving the mystery of a criminal case. The whodunit is the most common form of detective story genre presented to the audience which leaves them in suspense or they themselves introspect as to what will happen in the climax. Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, Holmes & Watson, 21 Jump Street, Murder on the Orient Express.

• Gangster

Movies that focus on gangs and criminal organizations and how they function in society typically come under the ‘Gangster’ subgenre of the Crime genre. Snatch, The Godfather, Public Enemies, The Kitchen are a few examples of movies that fall in this genre.

• Gentleman Thief

A charismatic, well-mannered, attractive thief or you can say, a thief who is also a gentleman who steals things for his own support and does the thrill of the act itself.

Other sub-genres of crime include Gong’an fiction, Hardcore, Heist, Legal Thriller, Murder Mystery. Game, Murder Mystery, The Lovely Bones, Holmes & Watson are a good watch in this genre.

5. Drama

Little Women
source: thejakartapost

Drama is a genre of narrative fiction within films, television and radio which is serious, intense, and natural with strong and realistic characters who have their own struggles. It is a very broad genre and can be explored in multiple manners.

Some of the sub-genres of Drama include:

• Comedy Drama

Forrest Gump, Don Jon. Bollywood- Barfi, Angrezi Medium, Delhi-6, Fukrey Returns, Golmaal come under Comedy Drama.

• Crime drama

for this you can watch movies such as Catch Me If You Can, Ocean’s 8. Bollywood- Gangs of Wassyepur, Don, Udta Punjab, etc.

• Docudrama

Saving Mr. Banks, Black Friday, My Dinner with Herbs, You don’t know Jack are good examples of a docudrama.

• Historical Drama

This includes movies like Little Women, The Favorite, Mary Queen of Scots, Downton Abbey, etc.

• Horror Drama

Hereditary, Midsommar, A Quiet Place, The Lodge, The Witch are a few examples of a Horror Drama

• Legal Drama

The Lincoln Lawyer, Gifted, etc can be watched under this subgenre.

• Melodrama

Some of the examples of Melodrama are Destination Wedding, The Great Gatsby, The Theory of Everything.

• Military drama

American Sniper, Lone Survivor, The Hurt Locker, 12 Strong, Fury are popular examples under this category.

• Romantic Drama

The examples include movies like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, A Star is Born, Crazy Rich Asians, Me Before You, etc.

• Teen Drama

The Fault in our Stars, Step Up, The Sun is also a Start, Dead Poets Society are popular Teen Dramas

6. Fantasy

source: empire

A magical, supernatural imaginary world where things go beyond science is shown in a very elegant manner. The best example of the Fantasy genre is the Harry Potter Series.

Its subgenres include:

• Bangsian

This is a fantasy genre that usually revolves around the interactions in the afterlife which is quite fascinating. John Kendrick Bangs often wrote under this genre hence, it is named after him.

• Contemporary fantasy/ Urban Fantasy

Some of the movies that come under this category are The Seventh Seal, She, The Devil Rides Out, The Omen.

• Dark Fantasy

Fantasy clubbed with elements of horror with a dark, gloomy atmosphere and a sense of horror and dread are features of a dark fantasy. Coraline, The Head Hunter, HellBoy are some examples.

• Science Fantasy

Artemis Fowl, Captain Marvel, A Wrinkle in Time are good movies to watch.

7. Historical

The First Man
source: vox

Its sub-types are stated as follows:

• Biography

This basically shows the details of the life story of a real person told by someone else. First Man, Hidden Figures, Chhapaak, The Irishman are popular examples.

• Autobiography

It is the same as biography except for the fact that it is written by the person who is the subject of the story.

• Memoir

The Pianist, The Glass Castle, Eat Pray Love, Memoir of War are some of the good movies under this category.

• Historical fiction

You can watch movies such as Dunkirk, Spotlight, Mary Queen of Scots, Mudbound to get an idea of this.

8. Horror

The howling
source: horror channel

A horror story is told to definitely scare or frighten the audience through suspense, violence or shock.

Its sub-types are as follows:

• Ghost Story

It presents to the audience intrusion of the spirits of the dead into the realm of the living. Sleepy Hollow, Black Swan, Goosebumps are some of the examples.

• Monster

A story about a giant monster, big enough to destroy buildings and people. Sometimes, it’s two giants fighting against each other. A monster calls, Clash of the Titans, A Quiet Place are good movies under this subgenre.

• Werewolf Fiction

Under this category you can watch The Howling, Van Helsing, The Wolfman, Silver Bullet.

• Jiangshi Fiction

Mr. Vampire, Rigor Mortis, Vampire vs Vampire are good examples of this subgenre.

• Survival horror

Green Room, The Shallows, Crawl, BackCountry, 47 Meters Down are a few examples of movies to watch in this genre.

9. Romance

Set it Up
source: Washington post

Love stories and emotion-driven stories that are primarily focused on the relationship between the main characters of the story fall under the genre of romance. Usually, a happy ending or a “happily ever after is guaranteed in this genre.

The Big Sick, Set It Up, Someone Great, Isn’t It Romantic, Always be my Maybe are good romantic movies to watch.

10. Saga

The Nightingale
source: projected figures

Stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, early Viking Voyages, migration to Iceland are all Sagas. A saga portrait a particular historical event that changes the social circumstances, or the ebb, and flow of fortunes from multiple perspectives.

Wolf Hall, The Pillars of The earth, The Nightingale, Before We Were Yours, The Alice Network, War, and Peace are great examples of Sagas.

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