What Is a Movie?

A movie is a visual work of art that communicates ideas, stories, perceptions, emotions, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images accompanied by sound. It’s also known as a film (American English) or a motion picture, photoplay, pic, photoplay, or flick (slang). Great movies entertain, enlighten, and endure, whether they are box office blockbusters or critically acclaimed works of high art.

A good movie has a compelling story with well-developed characters, internal and external conflict, a plot that grabs the audience and keeps them captivated from start to finish, a fairly brisk pace without becoming exhausting, brilliant cinematography, excellent acting or animation, and a spot on soundtrack. But the key to a great movie is its skillful crafting of all these elements to create something that is more than just entertainment, something that moves us on a deeper level. These are the films that become seminal, iconic, celebrated and remembered for all time.

All movies are influenced by the worldview of their creators and some have a political or religious agenda but this doesn’t mean they’re propaganda. A worldview is a set of beliefs or ideas that influences how a person views the world and what they think is important in it. For example, a classic movie from the 1950s may display an idealistic, romanticized optimism that was prevalent in those times, while a film noir like Taxi Driver visually shows the bleak, realist state New York City was in during the 1970s.