How to Learn English Through Movies and Films: The Complete Guide!

The second edition of Learn English Using Movies is a great resource for any beginner looking to learn the basics of the English language, from food and animals to simple everyday situations. It’s packed with useful vocabulary, perfect for making conversations easy and fun. The book has been updated to include new content on topics such as holidays, summer camps, and pets. This version also includes a new section on speaking English with friends.

Learn English with movies and films

Movies and films give more than just entertainment. Watching foreign language movies is a fun, motivating way to improve language skills. While enjoying a movie, you can be immersed in authentic and varied language, the visual context, and new expressions that you may not find in a textbook.

Here are 15 movies to learn English

1. The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather movie is considered a masterpiece in cinema, this movie, based on Mario Puzo’s book of the same title, revolves around the influential Italian-American criminal empire of Don Vito Corleone, portrayed by Marlon Brando. The storyline follows the youngest son of the don, Michael, played by Al Pacino, who unwillingly becomes a part of the Mafia and becomes entangled in a vicious cycle of treachery and brutality. Despite trying to keep a normal relationship with his wife, Kay, played by Diane Keaton, Michael finds himself increasingly involved in the family’s illegal activities.

2. Braveheart (1995)

Braveheart” depicts the story of William Wallace, a Scottish hero who is moved to lead a rebellion against the English after his beloved is killed. With his army, he engages in battles that escalate into a war and threatens King Edward I’s rule over Scotland. Although he is eventually captured and executed, Wallace becomes a symbol of Scotland’s desire for independence.

3. Harry Potter (2002)

The second part of Harry Potter‘s journey at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which is based on JK Rowling’s novel, follows the young wizard as he faces unexpected challenges. Harry is warned by a secretive elf to be wary of danger in his second year at Hogwarts, but he is not prepared for the strange occurrences that ensue, including trees that come to life, flying cars, talking spiders, and ominous messages written in blood on the school’s walls.

4. Star Wars (1977)

In “Star Wars,” the Imperial Forces, led by the merciless Darth Vader, have captured Princess Leia and are using her as leverage to suppress the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, who commands the Millennium Falcon, team up with two friendly droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, to rescue the princess, aid the Rebel Alliance, and bring liberty and fairness back to the Galaxy.

5. Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)

In the movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean,” Captain Jack Sparrow, portrayed by Johnny Depp, arrives in Port Royal in the Caribbean without a ship or crew. Unfortunately, his arrival coincides with an attack on the town by a pirate ship. The pirates abduct Elizabeth, the governor’s daughter, who possesses a valuable coin that is connected to a curse that has turned the pirates into undead creatures. A brave blacksmith, played by Orlando Bloom, who is in love with Elizabeth, joins forces with Sparrow to pursue the pirates and rescue Elizabeth.

6. Finding Nemo (2003)

Finding Nemo is one of the most entertaining movies ever. Marlin is a cautious clown fish who is very protective of his son, Nemo, who has a shortened fin. Despite his father’s warnings, Nemo swims close to the surface and gets captured by a diver. Marlin is devastated and sets out to find his son. Along the way, he is joined by a blue reef fish named Dory, who has a very short memory, which causes complications during their encounters with sharks, jellyfish, and other dangers in the ocean. Meanwhile, Nemo is trying to escape from a fish tank in a dentist’s office.

7. Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park; The luxurious Jurassic World resort, situated near Costa Rica, serves as a sanctuary for various genetically modified dinosaurs, including the dangerous and cunning Indominus rex. However, when this gigantic creature breaks out of its captivity, chaos ensues, leading to the other dinosaurs running loose. A former soldier and animal expert, played by Chris Pratt, must utilize his unique abilities to protect two young boys and the other visitors from a full-scale attack by these prehistoric creatures.

8. The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

The movie “The Secret Life of Pets” centers around Max, a pampered terrier who lives a comfortable life in a New York City building. His world is turned upside down when his owner brings home Duke, a large and chaotic dog. During a walk outside, the two dogs cross paths with a group of vicious alley cats and accidentally end up in a truck headed for the pound. Fortunately, a rebellious rabbit named Snowball rescues them from captivity, but in return, he demands that Max and Duke join his group of abandoned pets in seeking revenge against humans who have mistreated them.

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9. The Terminator (1984)

In the movie, a cyborg assassin called the Terminator, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, travels back in time from 2029 to 1984, disguised as a human. His mission is to kill Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton. However, Kyle Reese, played by Michael Biehn, is sent back in time to protect Sarah. Kyle informs Sarah of Skynet, an artificial intelligence system that will cause a nuclear holocaust, and that her unborn son will lead the fight against them. Skynet targets Sarah because of this. With the Terminator relentlessly chasing them, Sarah and Kyle attempt to escape.

10. The King’s Speech (2010)

The movie “The King’s Speech” portrays Prince Albert of England, played by Colin Firth, who is set to become King George VI but is hindered by a speech impediment. His wife, Elizabeth, portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter, recognizes the need for him to communicate effectively, and hires Lionel Logue, an Australian actor and speech therapist, to assist him in overcoming his stammer. The movie depicts the extraordinary bond that forms between the two men as Logue uses unorthodox techniques to teach the prince how to speak with poise and authority.

11. The Queen (2006)

In the movie “The Queen” after a national tragedy, the prime minister and the royal family are at odds with each other. The public sees Buckingham Palace’s initial hesitation to mourn Diana as a sign of indifference. Tony Blair, who is concerned that this could lead to negative public perception, takes it upon himself to convince Queen Elizabeth II to honor the deceased princess and avoid a potential public relations crisis.

12. Men in Black (1997)

Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith star as agents Kay and Jay in “Men in Black,” an unofficial government agency that operates in secrecy. They are responsible for monitoring all extraterrestrial activity on Earth and providing immigration services for aliens. When they start investigating unreported close encounters, they discover a dangerous plan by an intergalactic terrorist who aims to kill two ambassadors from different galaxies currently residing in New York City. The MIB agents must act fast to stop the assassination and protect Earth from an intergalactic threat.

13. Troy (2004)

This epic film “Troy” is inspired by Homer’s “Iliad” and depicts the legendary conflict between two ancient empires, Troy and Sparta. During a visit to the Spartan King Menelaus, the Trojan prince Paris, portrayed by Orlando Bloom, falls in love with Menelaus’ wife, Helen, played by Diane Kruger, and takes her with him to Troy. Menelaus’ brother, King Agamemnon, played by Brian Cox, who has already conquered every other Greek army, uses his brother’s anger as an excuse to wage war against Troy, the only remaining kingdom preventing his domination over the Aegean Sea.

14. Titanic (1997)

Titanic,” directed by James Cameron, is a sweeping and dramatic romance that takes place during the tragic maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic, the largest moving object ever built at the time and the pride of the White Star Line. The ship was considered the epitome of luxury, earning the nickname “ship of dreams,” and unfortunately, it sank in the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912, taking over 1,500 people with it to their icy demise. The film captures the grandeur of the Titanic and the tragedy of its untimely end.

15. The Green Mile (1999)

In “The Green Mile,” Paul Edgecomb, portrayed by Tom Hanks, has worked with various inmates as they walk the mile to their executions. However, he has never encountered anyone like John Coffey, played by Michael Clarke Duncan, a massive black man who was convicted of brutally murdering two young sisters. Despite his physical strength, Coffey appears to have a gentle nature, and he also possesses an extraordinary supernatural ability. Paul begins to wonder if Coffey is genuinely responsible for the murder of the two girls, as he begins to uncover the truth about the case.

How to learn English from movies?

This image talks about learn English with movies
A girl watching movie as a mean to learn English

Below are some ways that watching English movies can help you to learn English:

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1. Listening skills

Watching English movies to improve listening skills is a great way to practice English as a second language. Watching movies can help you to get familiar with the language, understand new words, and learn how to construct sentences. You will also be able to pick up the pronunciation of certain words and phrases by listening to native speakers.

2. Speaking skills

Improving speaking skills through watching English movies can help you learn the language faster. Watching movies in English can help you improve your listening and speaking skills, as well as become more familiar with the language. You will be exposed to different accents, pronunciation, and various grammar structures which can help you better understand spoken English.

3. Vocabulary and grammar

Learning new vocabulary can be hard, but watching movies gives you the visual cues that help your brain retain new words. You will hear phrases like ‘open sesame’ or ‘I was born in Mongolia’, which is a handy way to remember these specialized terms in context without feeling confused when trying to use them later on.

How to use movies to teach English?

Here are some tips on how to use movies as a tool to teach English:

1. Choose the right movie

Pick a movie that is appropriate for your students’ language level and age group. Consider the language difficulty, cultural relevance, and topics covered in the movie.

2. Set a goal

Before watching the movie, set a specific goal or objective for your students, such as improving listening skills, learning new vocabulary, or practicing speaking skills.

3. Use subtitles

Turn on the English subtitles to help your students follow along with the dialogue and better understand the meaning of unfamiliar words or phrases.

For example, a 2013 study by the Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning showed that subtitling plays an important role in a person’s language acquisition. The study further said that “foreign language proficiency is stressing the significance of successful learning strategies, which can apply to the optimal use of subtitles.1

4. Pause and discuss

Pause the movie at certain points to discuss the plot, characters, and language used in the scene. Encourage students to ask questions and share their thoughts and opinions.

5. Follow up activities

After watching the movie, engage students in follow-up activities such as writing a summary or a review of the movie, creating a vocabulary list, or discussing the themes and issues raised in the movie.

6. Repeat

Consider watching the same movie again with your students, but this time without subtitles. This will challenge their listening skills and help them build confidence in their language abilities.

Overall, movies can be a fun and engaging way to teach English, but it is important to use them in conjunction with other language learning activities to ensure that students are getting a well-rounded education.

English movies with subtitles to learn English examples

  1. “The Shawshank Redemption” – This classic film is a great choice for English learners as it has a compelling storyline and clear dialogue.
  2. “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” – The popular Harry Potter series is a fantastic way to improve your English skills while enjoying a magical adventure.
  3. “The Pursuit of Happyness” – This inspiring film starring Will Smith offers a great opportunity to learn English while following a heartwarming story.
  4. “The King’s Speech” – This historical drama about King George VI’s struggle with a speech impediment provides an excellent chance to practice listening and comprehension skills.

How to improve English by watching movies strategy

This question as always asked “How to improve English with movies?” so watching English movies improve English as the following:

  1. Choose movies with subtitles in your native language or English subtitles to help you understand the dialogue better.
  2. Watch movies with a variety of genres and themes to expose yourself to different vocabulary and speaking styles.
  3. Take notes of new words or phrases you come across while watching the movie, and look them up later to expand your vocabulary.
  4. Practice speaking by imitating the pronunciation and intonation of the actors in the movie, and try to have conversations in English about the movie with others.


1. How can I learn English with movies?

  1. Watch movies with English subtitles to improve your reading and listening skills.
  2. Pay attention to the pronunciation and intonation of the actors to enhance your speaking skills.
  3. Pause and repeat certain scenes or dialogues to practice vocabulary and sentence structure.
  4. Use movies as a source of cultural and idiomatic expressions to improve your understanding of English language and culture.
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2. What is the best app for learning English through movies?

One of the best apps for learning English through movies is Vilmo. Vilmo offers a unique experience for anyone interested in learning English in an easy, enjoyable, and effective way.

All you have to do is listen to the scene and try to identify the correct translation from the options that will appear on the screen.

After using the app for a while, you will notice a significant increase in your vocabulary in an impressive way. Don’t hesitate to download this free app now. It is available on Google Play and App Store.

3. How Watching Movies Can Improve English?

Watching movies can improve English in several ways

  1. Movies can expose language learners to a wide range of vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, and colloquialisms used in everyday conversation.
  2. Watching movies with English subtitles can help learners improve their listening and comprehension skills by matching the spoken words with the written text.
  3. Movies can also help learners understand the nuances of the language, such as intonation, stress, and rhythm, which can improve their pronunciation and fluency.
  4. Watching movies can be an enjoyable and engaging way to learn English, making the language learning experience more fun and motivating.

4. What is the impact of using movies on learning English language?

  1. Movies can improve listening skills and comprehension of spoken English.
  2. Movies provide exposure to natural and authentic language, including slang and idioms.
  3. Visual cues and context in movies can aid in understanding and remembering new vocabulary.
  4. Movies can help develop cultural awareness and understanding through exposure to different accents, settings, and perspectives.

5. Which English movie is best for improve English?

There are many English movies that can be helpful for improving your English language skills, depending on your interests and language level. Here are a few examples:

  1. Forrest Gump – This classic movie features simple and straightforward dialogue that is easy to understand, making it a great choice for beginners.
  2. The Social Network – This film is based on the creation of Facebook, and features fast-paced dialogue that can help intermediate and advanced learners improve their listening and comprehension skills.
  3. The King’s Speech – This movie centers around King George VI’s struggle with a speech impediment, making it an excellent choice for improving pronunciation and understanding speech therapy techniques.
  4. The Shawshank Redemption – This movie features a mix of complex and simple dialogue, making it an excellent choice for intermediate learners who want to challenge themselves.
  5. The Godfather – This classic movie features a lot of dialogue between characters, which can help learners improve their listening skills and become more comfortable with English slang and idiomatic expressions.

6. What are 3 best English movies to improve listening skills?

Below are the best movies to improve English:

  • “The Social Network” is a fast-paced movie with dialogue-heavy scenes, allowing learners to practice listening to natural conversational English.
  • “The King’s Speech” is a historical drama that focuses on speech and communication, providing learners with the opportunity to improve their listening skills and comprehension.
  • “The Devil Wears Prada” offers a mix of dialogue, fast-paced conversations, and different accents, making it beneficial for improving listening skills in various contexts.

7. Does watching movies improve English?

Yes, watching movies can improve English skills. Movies provide exposure to authentic spoken English, helping learners improve their listening and comprehension skills. Additionally, movies offer a wide range of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions, allowing learners to expand their vocabulary and understanding of colloquial language.

Moreover, watching movies with subtitles can aid in reading and understanding English text. Overall, regularly watching movies can be an enjoyable and effective way to enhance English language proficiency.

8. Can I learn English by watching movies?

Yes, watching movies can be a useful tool to help you learn English. As mentioned before, movies can help improve your listening skills, vocabulary, pronunciation, cultural knowledge, and motivation to learn English. However, it is important to keep in mind that watching movies alone may not be enough to become proficient in English.

It should be used in conjunction with other language learning activities such as reading, writing, and speaking practice. Additionally, it is important to choose movies that are appropriate for your language level and to use subtitles or transcripts to help you understand unfamiliar words or phrases.

Overall, watching movies can be an effective tool for improving English proficiency and enhancing language learning.


  1. EnglishProficiency Editorial Team. (2022). Should I Learn English By Watching Movies With or Without Subtitles? –