How to Categorize a Movie


There’s a great deal of science behind the art of making a movie. Unlike television or other forms of media, a movie is a series of consecutive still images intended to give the illusion of movement. While the image-making process of a motion picture is nonhuman, it gives the viewer an intense sense of presence and realism. To give the viewer an even better experience, there’s also a hypnotic quality to it.

Whether a movie is rated R, PG-13, or X, it can be categorized according to its plot, characters, and setting. Comedy, for instance, has sub-genres, each varying based on the storyline and characters. Other genres include war and crime, Westerns, spy, adventure, and fantasy. Whether it’s a science fiction film or a thriller, there’s usually a category for it.

Many critics believe that drama is a genre, while others believe it’s merely a way to put movies in groups and make them more accessible. While genres aren’t a necessity, they can help the film industry identify which genres appeal to viewers. By categorizing a movie, viewers can learn more about the types of movies available and choose the most appropriate setting for the story. There’s no one right or wrong way to categorize a movie, and there’s usually overlap between genres.

The definition of a movie has changed throughout history. For example, the term “feature” originally referred to any film advertised in a movie poster. Thus, a film like “The Great Train Robbery” would have been a feature. However, the word “first feature” refers to the first movie whose title appeared on an outside theater poster. Therefore, there’s no universally accepted definition of what a feature film is.