Ranking Movie Genres – What are YOUR Favorite Genres?

Most popular genre movies by adults in USA as of December 2018 (via statista.com)

We all have movie genre likes and dislikes. The above chart breaks out by adults in the United States favorite genre since December 2018., separated by women (dark blue) and men (light blue).

Other than #1, my favorite genres don’t match up to the graph above. How do yours? If you’re taking someone on a date, without any advance knowledge, you want to suggest a comedy, adventure or action movie.

Since I provide ratings and reviews, it seems fair game to discuss and disclose the specifics for both historical reference and a guide to understanding somewhat how movies are chosen to watch every day. At the end, I also explain why for me this does not apply to brand new movies.

My top favorite movie genres haven’t changed too much, but I’ve become more interested in some genres and subgenres that I used to rarely watch as I’ve gotten older. Below is how I would currently rank my interest in each genre from most interested to least interested.

  1. Comedy
  2. Horror
  3. Action
  4. Thriller
  5. Science Fiction
  6. Mystery
  7. Historical / Biographical / Alternative Time
  8. Documentary
  9. Romance
  10. Adventure
  11. Drama
  12. Crime
  13. Animated / Children’s Movies
  14. Fantasy
  15. Western
  16. Political


Movies that make me laugh out loud will always be my most favorite go-to film experience. These movies make me feel good. Laughing is good.


Following laughter, #2 is fear, movies that scare me, and (good) horror movies provide that nervous anxiety. I do have to moderate the volume of horror films watched (the 74 horror movies I watched in October 2019 was enjoyable, and yet not something I could mentally sustain with my watching habits every single month — and yet fits in perfectly with Halloween time of year).


This probably should be further down the list than #3, but I tend to enjoy movies that maintain my interest and excitement. I’d put martial arts as a subgenre of action. It is this high on the list because if you add action to pretty much any other genre, my interest goes up. For example, a drama with a lot of action is more desirable than a drama by itself (would probably label that as a thriller). I don’t like movies that are all action with no other plot or substance, however. I think too many action sequences keeps the viewer on a breathless note and begins to feel like, who should I care about?


Historically my watching habits have included a lot of thrillers. Plenty of subgenres here, too, particularly legal thrillers. I really like courtroom drama. The legal-thriller-mystery is one of my favorite hybrids. Movies like Presumed Innocent, The Firm (and pretty much every film based on the books by John Grisham).

Science Fiction

Robot stories fascinate me. Space is interesting, but it needs to have a moving plat (this was what my problem was with Ad Astra). I am not as into hard science fiction as more lighter sci-fi. Movies like Terminator, which I would classify originally as sci-fi horror, but the second movie and beyond as action-science-fiction.


A good whodunit is very attractive to me. All things Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and so on. Courtroom mysteries like the TV show Perry Mason are really interesting. Love it when the dramatic twist ending happens inside a courtroom.

Historical / Biography / Alternative Timeline

Generally speaking, the further back in time we go, the less interested I am in the film. Anything prior to the 1900s is going to be a tough sell to maintain my interest unless it involves some other subgenre, a really fascinating (aka famous) historical figure, for example I enjoy most biopics, especially those that involve music, artists, bands and the like. In 2018 and 2019 we’ve seen a growth in this sector based on successful box office movies like Bohemian Rhapsody. Am excited to see more of these.


Conspiracy theories like documentaries on who really killed JFK, aliens & UFOs (do they really exist?), bands with turbulent histories (like Lynyrd Skynyrd and their tragic plane crash) or bands that are super popular but quiet in the media (Van Halen comes immediately to mind — Eddie, what’s going on?)


Straight romance would go even further down the list. I’m not much of a romance fan as the primary topic, however, I tend to enjoy many romcoms. Also, adding a love story subplot to pretty much any other genre film will often improve my enjoyment. I just don’t like watching movies that are entirely focused on romance. Add in a murder or thriller component, for example? Yeah, I’m there.


This is almost a subgenre to me and depending on what it’s grouped with, I’m probably interested in watching it. Action-adventure, definitely. Adventure-comedy, yes. Science fiction-adventure? Hmm, maybe.


This one probably should be further up the list, because I do enjoy a good drama. The problem I have with many dramas is they are slow-paced. I like movies to move at least a little bit and some dramas by their very nature are slow to unfold. Some just never pick up the pace, which is going to be difficult for me to enjoy watching. And forget about rewatching. Most dramas I’ll watch once — maybe — and then never want to watch again.


This is another one I feel more like it’s a subcategory of mystery. I realize it’s standalone, technically, but when put with mystery I’m more interested in it.

Animated / Children’s Movies

Except for the classics and adult animated films like Heavy Metal, watching with my grandchildren is pretty much the only way I enjoy watching animated children movies. This is also a genre I am surprised that I end up enjoying, because some of these animated films are very action-oriented, which I appreciate. I’d be interested in watching more animated horror movies, so there is a subgenre I haven’t explored. Anime is another area of interest. There are some truly awesome animated films, so while I’m not as interested in watching an animated film because it’s animated, I’m still open-minded to watching pretty much any animated film. And if it’s adult-oriented like The Simpsons and Beavis & Butthead, I’m so there.


This one is usually mixed with science fiction, which is a subgenre that I enjoy. By itself, pure fantasy is much less desirable. A pure fantasy world is hard for me to relate to and warm up to. It might work, if it’s really creative, but it’s going to be difficult for me to stay engaged. I’ve never read or seen any Harry Potter.


Some types of westerns I find appealing. It’s not a broad brush, but in general the whole west of the mid-1800s isn’t very interesting to me. Cowboys vs. indians stories? Not really. With that said, if westerns are mixed with other genres, my interest level increases exponentially: Give me more films likeWestworld.


The hardest movie for me to watch is often a straight political movie. I don’t care for politics in movies. Political figures? Different story, but when movies become or are by their very nature too political? My interest level wanes considerably. Caveat is, of course, as a subgenre. A political thriller could be very interesting. The HBO political drama Game Change⭐️⭐️⭐️ and based on the 2008 John McCain Presidential campaign VP pick: Sarah Palin was entertaining.

Subgenres of Interest

Adaptations. Even though the old adage applies: the book is almost always better than the movie, it’s always at the very least interesting to see how a director and screenwriters distill down the words from a great novel.

Sports is another subgenre I enjoy watching, but it depends (often greatly) on the type of sport. I’m more interested typically in boxing, baseball and football movies than say more obscure sports like running, archery, rowing, etc. However, if you throw in some other type of drama like say biographical sports and the historical sports figure has a very interesting past, than that ups the interest factor.

All Movie Genres Can Be Interesting – Give EVERYTHING a Chance

Since becoming Regal Unlimited members, which means we can see any new movie in standard 2D format, I vowed to see everything new, regardless of genre, as long as it is screened in a Regal Cinema. New movies that don’t have theatrical screenings and/or are very limited screenings like The Irishman, I’ll still try to watch on Netflix or whatever other streaming channels these movies show up on, but I’m going to go by my genre interest if I have to hunt them down and/or subscribe to a streaming channel we don’t have. This is more a question of convenience than genre interest, however.

What are YOUR most and least liked movie genres?

Your turn. What movie genres do you like most? Use the comments section and tell me about it. If you already have written something or made a vlog about it, feel free to drop me a link in the comments to read, but be a good netizen and explain the link too. Don’t drop a link and provide no other context (in that case, just trackback/ping from your blog post).


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