Movies are a central part of the American entertainment landscape. The movie industry is undergoing radical changes, with theater visits falling, while film viewing online, at home, or even on one's cellphone is increasing.
American families spend a lot of their spare time watching movies. You can find a movie on TV at any time throughout the day. If you prefer to go out to watch a movie, there are plenty of movie theatres out there. Maybe you prefer to go to a drive-in movie. Although they are getting harder to find, the drive in movie theatre is still an option. Grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy your movie.
There are many different genres of movies. They include:
Action: Action films usually include lots of high energy, big budget physical stunts and chases, some with rescues, battles, fights, escapes, destruction (floods, natural disasters, fires, etc.) along with non-stop motion. A lot of times there are "good guys" versus "bad guys" battling it out.
Adventure: Adventure films are usually exciting stories, with new experiences or exotic locales. The adventure movie is very similar to the action movie.
Biography, sometimes called 'biopics.' These are movies that tell the life story of a famous person, often one the audience knows something about already.
Comedy: Comedies are light hearted plots that are deliberately designed to amuse and provoke laughter from the audience by exaggerating the situation, the language, the action, the relationships and the characters.
Crime and Gangster: Crime and gangster movies are developed around the sinister actions of criminals or mobsters, bank robbers, or ruthless hoodlums who operate outside the law by stealing and murdering their way through life.
Drama: Dramas are serious, plot driven presentations, portraying realistic characters, settings, life situations, and stories involving lots of intense character development and interaction. They are usually not focused on special-effects, comedy, or action. Most movies we see today are dramatic movies.
Epics/Historical: Epics include costume dramas, history films, war films, or 'period pictures' that often cover a large expanse of time set against a vast, panoramic backdrop. They often share elements of the adventure films genre. Epics take a historical or imagined event, mythic, legendary, or heroic figure and add an extravagant setting and costuming. They are usually accompanied by lots of drama and high production costs.
Horror: Horror films are designed to scare the audience and to invoke our hidden worst fears, often in a terrifying, shocking finale.
Musicals/Dance: Musical/dance films are a cinematic form of movie that is centered on the combinations of music, dance, song or choreography.
Science Fiction: Sci-fi films are often scientific, visionary and imaginative. These types of movies are complete with heroes, aliens, distant planets, and great dark and shadowy villains, futuristic technology and out of this world monsters. They are sometimes an offshoot of fantasy and/or adventure movies. Depending on the circumstances these types of movies can also be considered horror movies.
War: War (and anti-war) films acknowledge the horror and heartbreak of war, letting the actual combat fighting on land, sea, or in the air provide the primary plot or background for the action of the film. War films are often paired with other genres. They often take a critical approach toward warfare, or take the side of the soldier struggling to survive.
Westerns: Westerns were once the major defining genre of the American film industry. They usually show the early days of the expansive American frontier. They are one of the oldest, most enduring genres with very recognizable plots, elements, and characters. Recently the Western has been reinvigorated, with the once-romantic view being replaced with a violent, more realistic view of the 'Old West.'