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Words and phrases to discuss movies in English

Learn English words and phrases that will help you discuss movies in English: plot, characters, gripping, etc.

If you like to discuss movies in English, this post will help you learn the words and phrases you’ll need to discuss them – or write a short review of a movie.

I have already written about the benefits of using movies and TV shows to create an English-speaking environment. Watching interesting or favorite movies in English will not only make a few new selected phrases “stick” in your memory but will also help you associate learning English with positive emotions, which is very important if you want to stay motivated in the long run.

Vocabulary related to movies will also come in handy if you want to talk about a movie in our movie club for English learners.

You might be into funny romantic comedies.

Or dynamic action movies.

Or thrillers that take your breath away.

It doesn’t matter what kind of movies you like – you can discuss any of them in our movie club (except for horror movies).

Movies we have discussed in our movie club - part 2
Movies we've watched and discussed - part 1

Think of our movie discussion community as a book club, but for movies. You watch a selected movie for a month at a time convenient, in your native language or in English. Using the workbook for the movie, you expand your vocabulary and, if you want, prepare answers to the questions we will discuss. And then we get together (online) and talk about the movie.

Discussions at our movie club are in English – it’s easier when you have already thought over the discussion questions I sent you in advance.

If your level of English is not good enough to spontaneously talk about your impressions and share ideas about the film, you can prepare your answers in writing, having looked up the necessary words.

But even if you have an Upper-Intermediate level, at first you may get stuck when you need to use the word for movie story, or people who are described in the movie (or actors, who play them).

If you want to have an enjoyable and thought-provoking conversation but lack the vocabulary on the topic, I have prepared a small set of cards and a mind map with essential vocabulary that will help you discuss movies in English.

a movie / a film / a flickThese terms are used interchangeably to refer to a motion picture that tells a story through visual and auditory elements.
directorThe person responsible for guiding and overseeing the creative aspects of a film, including guiding the actors, making artistic decisions, and ensuring the overall vision is realized.
charactersThe individuals in a story who drive the plot and interact with each other, each having their own personalities, motivations, and roles in the narrative.
a stuntman / a stuntwomanA performer who specializes in performing dangerous or challenging actions on behalf of the actors, often involving physical feats, for scenes that require heightened excitement or danger.
a plot / a storyThe sequence of events that make up the narrative of a film, including the main events, conflicts, and resolutions that drive the storyline.
the settingThe time and place in which the events of a film occur, providing context for the story and influencing the mood and atmosphere.
a sceneA single, continuous sequence of events within a film that takes place in one location, advancing the plot or revealing character development.
the climaxThe highest point of tension and drama in a film, often the turning point where the main conflict reaches its most intense moment.
scaryEliciting fear or unease in the audience; intended to create a sense of dread or suspense.
cheesyHaving qualities that are exaggerated, clichéd, or inauthentic, often leading to a lighthearted or cringe-worthy effect.
grittyDepicting a realistic and unpolished portrayal of events, often involving harsh or challenging circumstances.
heart-warmingEvoking feelings of warmth, compassion, and positivity, often centered around sentimental or touching moments.
upliftingInspiring a positive emotional response, often by showcasing themes of hope, triumph, or personal growth.
touchingStirring strong emotions of empathy, sympathy, or tenderness in the audience.
genreA category or classification that defines the type and style of a film based on its themes, subject matter, and overall tone.
a thrillerA genre characterized by suspenseful and exciting plots, often involving danger, intrigue, and unexpected twists.
an action movieA genre featuring intense physical activity, such as fights, chases, and daring feats, often combined with adventure and excitement.
a westernA genre set in the American Old West, often featuring cowboys, outlaws, and frontier life.
a horror filmA genre designed to elicit fear and fright from the audience, typically involving supernatural elements, monsters, or psychological terrors.
a comedyA genre focused on humor and laughter, aiming to amuse and entertain the audience.
a dramaA genre centered around realistic portrayals of emotional and personal conflicts, often delving into profound themes.
a historical movieA genre that explores past events and time periods, aiming to depict history with accuracy and authenticity.
a romcom (romantic comedy)A genre blending romance and humor, often involving relationships, love, and comedic situations.
a sci-fi movieA genre that explores imaginative and futuristic concepts, often involving advanced technology, space exploration, and speculative ideas.
a mysteryA genre centered around solving a puzzle or uncovering secrets, often involving suspense and intrigue.
a good mixture of drama and comedyA balance between serious and humorous elements within a film, providing both emotional depth and lighthearted moments.
actorA male performer who portrays characters in films, plays, or other forms of entertainment.
actressA female performer who portrays characters in films, plays, or other forms of entertainment.
… stars as (Snowhite)… portrays the role of (Snowhite).
… plays the lead… has the main role in the film.
the film features … as ZorroThe movie includes (Zorro) as a character.
give an excellent performanceDisplay exceptional acting skills during a scene or throughout the film.
his acting was superbHis portrayal of a character was exceptionally well done and convincing.
Download the document with the vocabulary list as a PDF or as a doc file
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You can use these words and phrases at our movie discussions, when leaving a comment about a movie, or when sharing your impressions with an English-speaking friend.

Download the mind map with words and phrases on the topic “Movie” , which you can download to your phone or computer for further study. And here is a link to Quizlet flashcards to learn and memorize the vocabulary.

Online movie discussions for English learners
Want to practice speaking?
Join our movie club for English learners

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