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IELTS Speaking Vocabulary - Movies and TV shows

James Liu May 19th, 2020

In the IELTS test, they might ask you to talk about movies and TV shows in the speaking section. This post will introduce you to lot of higher-level vocabulary related to the topic of movies and TV shows. One of the four scoring categories that IELTS examiners use to acesss your speaking skills is lexical Resource, which means you will be assessed on your ability to use a wide range of vocabulary in the right context and with the correct meaning. So, if you can show the examiner that you are confident using this unique and interesting vocabulary, you will be more likely to get a 7 or higher band score.

Now, let's watch the video below to learn all interesting vocabulary and idioms about movies and TV shows. You can find IELTS speaking questions and samples answers below the video.

 
Part 1-Style questions about movies

Do you like watching movies?

Yes! I love movies. I enjoy very good and original plots, and I like certain directors. I would not call myself a film buff, but I can certainly appreciate a decent movie.

How often do you go to the cinema?

I am an active filmgoer, so I go to the cinema quite often. Whenever a new movie is released, I always go to the cinema to check it out.

What kind of movies do you like to watch?

Indie movies delight me. I don’t really like big blockbuster films because sometimes they are not that unique for me.

I enjoy watching blockbusters because they are often good films, and there are sometimes celebrities playing cameo roles in them. I find it quite interesting.

I love watching films with A-list celebrities because I adore famous actors and savour their acting.

Well! I believe all types of films could be worthwhile as long as they have good screenplays and their plots are riveting.

Box-office hit: A successful film; a film that makes a lot of money.

Crowd-pleaser: A film that a lot of people like.

Blockbuster: A successful film; a film that makes a lot of money.

Indie film: An independent film, indie film, or indie movie is a feature film or short film made outside the mainstream film production.

Bomb: A film that loses a lot of money and viewers.

A-list: One of the most famous of all famous people; a celebrity who is extremely famous.

Cameo: A small but noticeable part in a film or play, performed by a famous actor.

Plot: The story of a book, film, etc.

Plotline: The story of a book, film, etc.

Screenplay: The script for a film, including the words to be spoken by the actors and instructions for the cameras.

Line: The words that an actor speaks when performing in a film or play.

Filmgoer (UK)/moviegoer: A person who goes to the cinema, especially on a regular basis.

Film buff (UK)/Movie buff: A person who loves films/movies and knows a lot about films/movies.

Part 1-Style questions about movies

Do you like sequels?

No! I dislike sequels because they are usually not as good as the original films.

I would say yes because I’m a fan of the Star Wars franchise. I’ve seen all of the sequels and prequels.

What kind of films do you try to avoid?

I detest horror films because they give me the creeps. It is my belief that films are there to make you feel relaxed. Whenever I watch horror films, I have an adrenaline rush, and the scary scenes make my blood run cold. I don’t like that.

I try to avoid films that are crowd-pleasers because these kinds of films are so predictable. They are popular only because the viewers relate to their themes, but these films are somewhat superficial, if you ask me.

What film genre is your favourite?

It has to be comedy films. They are hilarious and make me feel happy. My favorite comedy film is Mr. Beans. It is a total laugh riot.

I don’t mind rom-coms as well. The beautiful thing about the rom-com genre is that no matter what circumstances play out in those films, you still know that those two people are going to be together before the credits roll. And you get to smile at the end. These films are very heart-warming indeed.

I’ve also been a fan of science fiction films. In sci-fi films, you can see all those spectacular CGI scenes and special effects, or you might see what living in a high-tech future world could be like.

I could watch a good documentary as well. These films are thought-provoking and give you food for thought. For example, the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” talks about climate change and touches on the present and future effects of global warming. This documentary makes us rethink our roles as human beings in saving our Earth. 

I would say that action films are also my favorite. I relish films that are fast-moving. Action films have exciting turns of events, like car chasing scenes and gun battles. When I watch an action film, it always keeps me on the edge of my seat. I just don’t know what is going to happen next. It is quite intense and highly charged.

Premiere: A premiere or première is the debut (first public presentation) of a play, film, dance, or musical composition.

Sequel: A film that comes after the original film and depicts the actions that come AFTER the events shown in the original film. 

Prequel: A film that comes after the original film and depicts the actions that came BEFORE the events in the original book or film.

Crowd-pleasers: Film that a lot of people like.

Laugh riot: A very amusing person or thing.

Adrenaline rush: A physical feeling of intense excitement and stimulation caused by the release of adrenaline from the adrenal glands.

Make one’s blood run cold: If you say that something makes your blood run cold or makes your blood freeze, you mean that it makes you feel very frightened. 

Rom-coms: Same as romantic comedies.

Keep (someone) on the edge of (someone's) seat: To make someone (especially a member of an audience) feel very excited, nervous, or filled with suspense while they are waiting to find out what happens next.

Give someone food for thought: To make someone think seriously about something.

Part 1-Style questions about TV shows

Do you watch TV a lot?

Not really. I’m quite a busy person. Most of the time, I just put something on in the background while I’m using my laptop. 

I go through phases. Sometimes I am really into a show, and I end up binge-watching it over a few days. At some point, however, I might feel guilty. After all, there are better things I could be doing with my time, so I take a break for a few weeks.

What kind of TV programmes do you watch?

It depends. Sometimes, if I’m tired at the end of the day, I’ll just put on a sitcom or a cookery programme or something. If I am in the mood for something more serious, I opt for drama series and some documentaries.

Binge-watch’ means that you watch a lot of episodes of a TV show in a very short time.

If you say ‘I go through phases’, and you’re talking about watching TV, you mean that there are times when you watch TV regularly, and times when you don’t.

If you put something on in the background, you aren’t really watching it. Maybe you’re half-watching, or you’re listening but not watching.

Part 2-Style questions about TV shows

Describe a TV programme that you often watch. You should say:

  • What kind of programme it is
  • Why you watch it
  • When and why you first started watching it

In addition, mention whether you think this programme is better than other TV programmes that are on at the same time, and explain why.

Today, I’d like to talk about the American TV series “Games of Thrones.”


Most people have heard of the “Games of Thrones” series, and many have even watched it before. The show has recently been among the most popular American TV series. However, I didn’t watch it when it was aired originally. Actually, it was not until my friend told me about how good it was that I decided to watch it.


I think the “Games of Thrones” has outdone some other TV series because the characters and the writing have been exceptional. The plot had so many great twists and there were no spoilers. Normally, I can guess where the story is going, but with this series, life was full of surprises. They also had a lot of plot threads to resolve. Overall, I think they have done a really good job with it.


I felt like it went downhill during the last season, though. Some storylines just made no sense, and there was a lot of padding. Another problem was that it became too melodramatic. Every episode finished with a huge cliffhanger, like a bad case of soap opera. I hate it when a TV series leaves the storyline hanging in the air and doesn’t explain things properly.


Overall, the “Game of Thrones” has something for everyone to enjoy, and people from all over the world can appreciate the series because its story is so interesting and unique. If you ask me, many viewers including myself will keep watching “Games of Thrones” for a long time to come.

Cliffhanger: A dramatic ending to an episode, when you really want to know what happens next.

Plot threads: Plot threads are like storylines. Many TV shows have many characters and plot threads, which go in parallel with each other. Generally, you want the series to resolve all of its plot threads, meaning that every storyline would have a logical ending. 

Spoiler: Information in a newspaper article, blog, etc. that gives you the latest highlights in a given television programme.

Padding: ‘Padding’ means something which is added just to fill time. If a TV show has a lot of padding, there’s a lot of empty content: 

Melodramatic: overly emotional

Vocabulary for describing types of movies

Action movies

Drama movies

Romcoms/Chick flick/Bromance

Fast-moving

Highly charged

Keep me on the edge of my seat/riveting

Stunt scenes

Plot

Plotlines

Screenplay

Feel-good

Heart-warning

Future-tech/sci-fi

Horror movies

Comedy movies

Documentaries 

Cinematography 

Special effects

Make one’s blood run cold

Suspenseful

Hilarious

Laugh riot

Thought-provoking

Give me food for thoughts

Do you want to see all of our IELTS speaking questions and topics? Check out Complete IELTS Speaking List of topics.

 
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