How to Determine a Film's Genre

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:09
Have you ever started watching a good movie and absentmindedly wondered what genre (or category) it belonged to? Or you're trying to figure out your favorite genre of movie and realized you don't even know the genre of your favorite film?...
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Have you ever started watching a good movie and absentmindedly wondered what genre (or category) it belonged to? Or you're trying to figure out your favorite genre of movie and realized you don't even know the genre of your favorite film? This article will guide you through the steps of determining a film's genre.

Method 1
Method 1 of 13:

Types of Drama Movies

  1. Step 1 Identify drama.
    Drama movies are usually about characters that face realistic struggles in life, and tend to not include lots of violence.
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Method 2
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Types of Action Movies

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Types of Crime Movies

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Types of Detective/Police Fiction Movies

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Types of Adventure Movies

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Types of Western Movies

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    Look for neo-westerns. These are modern movies that have been inspired by works of the past, and feature many of the elements that make up a classic western. These are films like No Country for Old Men, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, and the Coen brothers' True Grit.
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    Look for comedy westerns. These are self explanatory---westerns with comedic elements in them, or even satires of typical westerns. Look to films such as Mel Brook's hilarious Blazing Saddles, McLintock!, or Back to the Future Part 3.
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Method 7
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Types of War Movies

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    Identify war movies. They deal with, obviously, war, and highlight certain aspects of it, such as the horrors of combat or the perseverance of soldiers.
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    Recognize documentary/biographical war movies. These are very popular, as war often brings to light very interesting characters. Famous movies like Schindler's List, Patton, Glory, and American Sniper are all categorized as such.
  3. 3
    Identify propaganda films. Propaganda films present subjective biases and attempt to convince the viewer to feel a certain way about a specific war, or war in general. Look to 1915's The Birth of a Nation, Casablanca, and Battleship Potemkin.
  4. 4
    Identify submarine war films. While lots of movies, such as the cult classic Yellow Submarine and Wes Anderson's polarizing The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, feature submarines, movies like Dass Boot, The Hunt for Red October, and Crimson Tide all feature war from an underwater perspective.
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    Look out for prisoner of war movies. These focus on POWs and their plight. Look to movies like Bridge on River Kwai and The Deer Hunter.
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    Look for war comedies. Since war is such a controversial and heavy subject, many directors attempt to make light of it, like in the films War Dogs, Dr. Strangelove, Good Morning, Vietnam, and Charlie Chaplin's beloved classic, The Great Dictator.
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    Look out for animated war films. These aren't as common, but still exist. Persepolis and Waltz with Bashir fall into this underrated genre.
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    Learn to recognize anti war movies. Most everyone will agree that war is a terrible thing, and as a consequence, most films portray war in a negative light. However, some films go out of their way to show the disturbing effects of war. Some could even be considered psychological horrors because of their disturbing themes. Movies like All Quiet On The Western Front, Platoon, and, most of all, Francis Ford Coppola's disturbing Apocalypse Now all fall into this category.
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    Evaluate  what war the movie depicts. After you have found the subgenre of the film, try to notice the war the movies takes place during. Most of the time, it will be obvious, but some films are set during a war, but the war is only a backdrop.
    • World War I: Wonder Woman (2017), Paths of Glory, All Quiet On the Western Front
    • World War II: Dunkirk, Saving Private Ryan, Inglorious Basterds
    • Civil War: Glory, Shenandoah
    • Revolutionary War: The Patriot, Revolution
    • Iraq War: The Hurt Locker, Thank You For Your Service, Jarhead 
    • Vietnam War: M*A*S*H, The Deer Hunter, Platoon, First Blood
    • Afghanistan War: Charlie Wilson's War, Lone Survivor
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Method 8
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Types of Fantasy Movies

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Types of Horror Movies

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Types of Science Fiction Movies

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Method 11
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Types of Comedy Movies

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    Identify whether the movie is a comedy-drama, or dramedy. Dramedies are comedies films that can also tell a dramatic story. Refer to movies such as Last Flag Flying, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Birdman.
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Types of Thriller Movies

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Method 13
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Other Genres

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    Determine whether the film is a classic. Classic movies have a wide appeal, and are extremely popular, despite having been made as early as the twenties. Movies like Citizen Kane, Psycho, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Singin' In the Rain, Metropolis, North By Northwest, The Birds, Fantasia, and The Maltese Falcon, are considered classic movies, and are still widely enjoyed today. Classic movies come from all sorts of genres,
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and to truly appreciate film, try to watch a few classics from each category. Here are a few examples.

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    • Drama: Gone With the Wind, Ben-Hur, 12 Angry Men
    • Action: Goldfinger, Die Hard, Dirty Harry
    • Crime: The Godfather, Scarface (1932), The Big Sleep, Dog Day Afternoon
    • Adventure: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Ran, The Third Man
    • Western: Shane, Stagecoach, The Searchers, High Noon
    • War: Schindler's List, Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Longest Day, Paths of Glory
    • Fantasy: Fantasia, It's a Wonderful Life, The Thief of Bagdad
    • Horror: Frankenstein (1931), The Birds, Rosemary's Baby, Psycho
    • Science Fiction: Solaris (1972), 2001: A Space Odyssey, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
    • Comedy: Modern Times, City Lights, Ninotchka, Bringing Up Baby
    • Thriller: Notorious, Touch of Evil, Rear Window
Determine a Film's Genre Step 84
  1. 1
    Identify modern classics. Modern classics are generally movies released from the 2000s upward that were/are so successful they will most likely become classics in the future. The Marvel franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Dark Knight, Inception, and The Departed could be considered modern classics. Here are some examples from different genres.
    • Drama: There Will Be Blood, Boyhood, Warrior
    • Action Kill Bill, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Sin City
    • Crime: Zodiac, The Departed, City of God, Killing Them Softly
    • Adventure: Mad Max: Fury Road, Gladiator, Skyfall
    • Western: No Country for Old Men, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
    • War: Argo, Inglorious Basterds, The Hurt Locker
    • Fantasy: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Tree of Life, Pan's Labyrinth
    • Horror: Get Out, It Follows, The Babadook
    • Science Fiction: Primer, Gravity, Moon, Interstellar
    • Comedy: Superbad, Punch-Drunk Love, Hot Fuzz, Zoolander
    • Thriller: Donnie Darko, Drive (2011)
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Determine a Film's Genre Step 85
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    Determine whether the film is a cult classic. Cult classics are movies that initially received mediocre to negative feedback, but, over the years, have acquired a dedicated fanbase or cult following. Cult classics tend to be weird, sometimes controversial, and geared towards adults. Movies like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Pulp Fiction, Enter The Void, They Live, Dazed And Confused, the 1968 Planet of the Apes, This Is The End, and Friday the 13th are all considered cult classics. There are many types of cult classics, and you may want to check them all out:
    • Drama: Clerks, The Warriors, Fight Club
    • Action: Escape From New York, The Boondock Saints, Mad Max, The Road Warrior
    • Crime: Scarface, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs
    • Adventure: Labyrinth, The Princess Bride, Galaxy Quest
    • Western: El Topo, Blazing Saddles
    • War: Deathdream , Apocalypse Now, Starship Troopers
    • Fantasy: Repo Man, Edward Scissorhands, Spirited Away
    • Horror: The Exorcist, The Evil Dead, REC, The Room (2003)
    • Science Fiction: The Thing, Alien, Predator, Brazil, THX 1138
    • Comedy: Trainspotting, Fargo, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, The Big Lebowski
    • Thriller: Battle Royale, Oldboy, 12 Monkeys
Determine a Film's Genre Step 86
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    Evaluate whether the movie is a holiday movie. Some movies like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, It's a Wonderful Life, and the original Halloween are obviously set during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Halloween, respectively, and the holiday is a major plot point. Some movies, however, like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, L.A. Confidential, and Gremlins are disputed. These films all take place around Christmas, and feature Christmas themes, but it isn't a major plot point. It's up to you whether the movie is a holiday movie or not.
    • Some movies are even more debated about as to whether or not they should be considered holiday films or not, like The Godfather, Boogie Nights, and Rocky. These are all definitely a stretch.
    • Some movies are debated what holiday the film actually depicts. Tim Burton's animated classic The Nightmare Before Christmas is still being argued over. Is it a Halloween or Christmas movie?
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