Going Down the List: Genres of Film

The industry has saturated us with a lot of films since its conception. It’s not uncommon that you find one movie mixing two genres together. But to get a quick rundown, here are the major film genres to date.


Action films are characterized by big-budget stunts and chases with the protagonists embarking on rescues, getting into fights, performing high-risk escapes, and combating natural disasters like fires, floods, earthquakes, and explosions. Action films often play on the trope of good guy vs. bad guy plot to engineer an escapist experience for its audience. This includes James Bond, Bourne Legacy, and some superhero movies.


The original genre, comedy has been present in the life of the entertainment industry all the way from the very first play. Comedies are written with a light-hearted plot that is made to amuse the audience and invoke laughter with jokes and one-liners, as well as exaggerating the situations and movements of the characters. It always has a happy ending for the characters.


As the name suggests, crime films revolve around the lives and actions of criminals like mobsters, bank robbers, and hoodlums who operate in illegal ways like theft and murder to accomplish their goals.


Dramas are more serious movies, the total opposite of comedies. It is a plot-driven production that shows realistic characters, settings, and stories that all display character development and interaction throughout the film.


Historical films are movies that cover a point in time, often depicting events that draw from reality and set in a fictional world, or at least an inaccurate portrayal of the reality it is inspired by. It focuses on a legendary and heroic protagonist whose experiences you follow throughout the film. It depends highly on the lavish costumes and settings to recreate the “experience” of the time.


Horror movies are made to frighten its audiences, banking on humanity’s worst fears and the shock value of the actors’ performances.


Musicals are characterized by musical scores that include extravagant song-and-dance numbers that move the plot along. Characters break into song to express their emotions and thoughts during the scene. Musical scores are very important in the progress of the plot and narration of the character’s development.

Science Fiction

Sci-fi films are cemented on scientific developments, both near realistic and imaginative concepts, with heroes, aliens, other planets, and impossible settings being displayed in every film. It is founded on human curiosity, and the unknown, undiscovered territories in space. The main questions that sprouts a plot is “what can science and technology do in the future?” and “how will it affect the human race?”


War films depict the horrifying reality of war and the heartbreak that people undergo during these trying times. It would show actual combat done on land, sea, or in the air as the main plot or serve as the background to the character development of the soldiers and their loved ones.


Western movies are inherently American, inspired the experience of the American frontier. Staple elements of Western films are guns, cowboys, Indians, horses, and dusty towns that cannot be absent in a Western film.