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Your Movie Recommendations for Other Listeners

Many of our listeners like to watch English-language movies for enjoimages.jpegyment, but also to improve their English. We sometimes get emails asking for our recommendations. We don’t have specific films to recommend, but what is important is that any movie (or TV show) you watch is comprehensible, easy to understand. As another listener recently reminded us, using the caption function on your television so that the words appear on the TV screen can help to improve comprehension, and we highly recommend doing that. Keep in mind (remember), however, that reading the caption should not interfere (prevent; get in the way) too much with your enjoyment of the movie. If you find that you’re spending all of your time reading and can’t follow the story, then this movie is too hard for you right now. Try to find something simpler.

In general, dramas are easier to understand than action movies or comedies, but of course, many things can make movies more or less comprehensible. Stay away from movies with too much slang, of course, and period movies (a movie set in the past) that have old-fashioned (not modern) speech. How much you know about the topic of the movie–your background knowledge–also helps to make a movie more or less comprehensible.

You are the best people to ask for movie recommendations: our terrific listeners! If you have seen a movie in English that is enjoyable and easy to understand, please post a comment and let us and our other listeners know about it.

~ Lucy

78 Responses to “Your Movie Recommendations for Other Listeners”

  1. Lola Says:

    If we raise the question of seeing movies in the original version, I will say that I don’t always do the same.
    Indeed there are some films that I watch first in English with english subtitles; so did I with “Girl with a pearl earring” directed by Peter Webber and staring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth. Then I watch them in French in order to understand more details.
    Sometimes I have to watch films in English with french subtitles: in this case, I often don’t pay enough attention to the images of the film. If I don’t know the film before, I just read the french subtitles to be sure that I will understand the entire story; I know that I focus on the subtitles and this is why I am convinced that it isn’t a good way. On the contrary, when I watch films in French with english subtitles, I noticed that I don’t focus (or just a little) on the subtitles; but to my mind, it’s difficult to improve your English just with english subtitles.
    Finally what I do is watching films several times in French and then, when I know them well, I watch them in English with english subtitles; more often than not it works well! And I agree with people saying that TV series, like Friends are easy to understand in English, even if you don’t know them before.
    To conclude I can assert that I prefer to watch movies in their original version as the feelings seem really more persuasive and acting is more convincing, even if I can’t understand all what is said.

  2. mehdi Says:

    In the film “before sunset”, there are two languages, french and english, because the story take place in Paris with a french character and an american. The word is very imortant in this film because it’s a very long dialogue. The two characters are always talking each other. The french woman talk english to the american man. So the original version is better to appreciate the film because sometimes there is a little of french and it’s funny to heard this language in an american mouth. In the french version, everything is in french so it’s less agreeable.
    It is the mixture of both languages that I liked and the fact the film si only one dialogue.

  3. Noémie Says:

    I would like to speak about an amazing movie that I saw five days ago: Requiem For A Dream (Hey, It’s never too late!). Even though this full-length-film were made in 2000, I found that the main subjects -the addiction, the loneliness- are still topical on the one hand, and on the other hand the way of shooting is absolutely unique. Watching their descent into hell you feel more and more ill at ease but undoubtedly very close to the characters at the same time. I watched it in original version which was not very easy because people are most of the time under addiction so they usually whisper when they talk to each other. However this way of speaking obliged you to pay very attention at each words trying to catch every feelings, every despair notes which could help you to belong to their worlds. In French version you may have a gap between the words pronounced by the actors and their play, the original version stressed the atmosphere of the movie which is a crucial character of Requiem; with the succession of tortured footages and the great music of Clint Mansell which stay grabbed in our mind.

  4. Camille A. Says:

    I would like to speak about Tenacious d The pick of destiny.It ‘s an American picture about 2 losers who want to become the ultimate rockstar. After a concert with no successthey discovered that all the great rock guitarist have the same pick. This pick is a tooth of the devil. Our two heroes will hav to enter to the Rock museum to take this magic pick. In ththeir quest will have to fight the devil (who is the ultimate rocker) himself. THis is a awesome movie about the power of the rock. He is very fun and there’s a lot of cult scene (Just tape “master exploder” on you tube and enjoy

  5. Astryde or Astrid Says:

    Hey, hey, hey!

    And what about “Phantom of the Paradise” ?…

    Inspired by the well-known novel “Phantom of the Opera” of Gaston Leroux, this masterpiece from Brian de Palma, heralding mastery of its sucessors
    (Scarface, The Incorruptibles), is a turning point in Brian’s career as director. This movie brilliantly alternates fantasy with rock-opera, thanks to a convincible
    interpretation and an uncredible soundtrack (composed by Paul Williams) that gives you a lump in the throat. To my mind, it’s the kind of movie that invits
    you to enjoy cinema, moreover if you’re keen on “UFO” films that trigger off new cinematographic scenes.
    You haven’t already seen it???
    Well, you’d better run as fast as you can to the closest videoclub you can find and then, enjoy it with some buddies, wearing your old tee-shirt
    of “Kiss” your father gave you. Add a good irish beer and let’s rock’n’roll !!!

    Englishely yours 😉

  6. Guillaume Says:

    ” The nightmare before christmas ” is a very great animation film directed by Tim Burton in 1994 which speaking about a strange univers where many eerie’s characters take life and make crazy’s things. Charaters of this movie, are poppets animated frame to frame for built real mouvements and return more fluid action. decors, figures, intrigue which constitute the film make a masterpiece and the originality of this univer us yours on the alert till the end of history.

  7. Thomas Says:

    When I was to the school, in an english lesson, with the class, we saw ” The Full Monty “.
    It was difficult for me to understand the film: the actors spoke very quickly and my level is not very good.
    Fortunately for me I saw this film before in french also I could to understand the story.
    I think that it is a good and funny film and to see in the original version was very informative.

  8. caradec Says:

    hello people,
    If you want to see a good movie in English I advice “wassup rockers” by Larry Clark. It’s a great movie where friends’skater who like rock and who live in a Amercican ghetto where the rap prevails.A day they decides to go to Beverly hills…
    I saw this movie without subtitles and I understood most of dialogues although the actors have an hyspanique accent because they are south american. The actors are very convincing, and for those who like punk-rock music they are a good soundtrack.
    This movie is a good criticism of American society.

  9. Bastien F. Says:

    Hi everybody !

    When it’s possible, I watch exclusively motion pictures in their original language versions, with French or English subtitles, and sometimes without them. I don’t know exactly why I made this choice : my passion for the foreign languages ; the tone of the voices ; emotions not perverted by dubbing ;……

    But of course, there is a beginning for all things : in order to improve English language while watching a movie, I think it’s a great idea to start with “family’s films”, like Harry Potter, or the creations of Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks and Blue Sky studios. Indeed, these movies permit to be concentrated about what’s happening on the screen (actions, characters, sounds, musics …), because of the fact that their stories are conventional and so understandable for casual members of the audience and listeners. That’s why there is no matter with language border.

    Then, I advise you to watch films without subtitles (learn it progressively), because in my opinion, it’s really disturbing to look at the same time the words appearing on the screen and the images. However, if you want to do it, you take the risk to be distracted about what’s happening in the movie, and the enjoyment could be reduced.

  10. Kévin Says:

    Hi,
    Just some words on film ” Reservoir dogs ” ( 2006 ) of Quentin Tarantino saw in english without subtitle, a crazy film for me. It’s a very good film with very good actor.
    At the beginning of film, it’s very difficult to understand all the words because the film starts with a dialogue between several people with an hard American accent.
    It’s a good means to improve his English language but it’s most easy with subtitles.

  11. Slembrouck Lucas Says:

    The last movie i watched in english was the new batman “DARKKNIGHT” ( Christopher Nolan ).
    It ‘s not the best movie i have seen but there is something really catchy in how the actors act, especialy the joker.
    The thing i can say is that it would have been really different if i would have watched it in French language.
    I think it is better to watch the original movie rather than the dubbed one because sometimes the dubbers loose the emotions of the actresses or actors’ voice that will result in different voice expression that can mislead the comprehension of a storyline. An original movie will also educate the audiences to get use to the language, especially when they are trying to learn that certain language. In most case the character’s lip movements of the dubber does not go a long with the original that some people find it inconvenient ( it is my case ).
    So I think it’s better to disclose the original audio and equip subtitles as an option if needed.

  12. Marie Says:

    Hi,

    If you wanna watch a good serie, I recommend you “The L Word”. It talk about lesbians who living in Los Angeles, specially a group of friends as they navigate careers, families, friendships, inner struggles, and romantic entanglements. The L Word has played a pivotal role in changing cultural perceptions of lesbians and the transgender community on and off screen.
    The actresses speak a little bit fast but you can although understand things: it’s funny and it’s like real life so we identify us easily to the characters.

    For English understanding, I watch a lot of series in English subtitled in French. So I memorize English words with French words. By means the English comprehension is more easily.

  13. Yoann Paugam Says:

    The last film I watched in english with subtitles was Paranoid Park of Gus Van Sant. This is the story of a young skateboarder, Alex, who kills a security agent by accident. The police come then in his highschool to obtain informations about the crime. I really loved this movie because it was shoted of intimistic way. I feel the feeling of guilty of Alex. The rythm very slow of the film is in opposition with the rythm of the film that show the conflict of Alex’s mind. I like watch this type of film in version original because french voices can change the personnality of caracters and the quality of the dialogue.
    This movie is my recommendation

  14. Guillaume H Says:

    At the begining of this week, i have seen the movie “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”, one of the best i have ever seen, and one of the longest title for a film too… I’v seen it in english, with english subtitles so that i can understand better. However, it was a bit hard. There isn’t a lot of action in this movie, but especially dialogues. So, following the story when we’re not a native english isn’t very easy. I loved the movie so the next day i watched it in english with french subtitles. I realized that the first time i understood something like 70% of the movie. In any case, I recommend this movie for everyone. The casting is incredible and the work on the photography is one of the best of the last year. Watch american movies to improve our english is my preferred method (because for now, i can’t go to United Kingdom or United States), you entertained and you learn the language.

  15. Romain Bonneau Says:

    I am going to talk about LOST.

    It’s not a movie, it’s a serie, I like this kind of production because the storie is really attractive.
    It’s the last “film” that i watched that was in an “original version.”
    I prefer to like to watch this movie in original version because of the fact that the british or american language
    let me the occasion to learn english. The french subtitles help me to understand the american expression.
    Because the french dubbers are so ridiculous. Im very happy when I can use it in a conversation with some friends.
    And i love LOST because there are actions, the actors are so good, and very specials, they are choosing very well, because all of them have the face the good voice etc…
    This is why i love this serie. …

  16. Isabelle Says:

    I wanna talk about the film “The night of the Hunter” starring Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters, inspired by the true story of Harry Powers.
    The film is a frightening running chase between two children and a preacher because of $ 100 00.
    The music and the good acting make a strange and dramatical atmosphere. It perhaps lacks a little of action and suspense but it’s a really good film, very aesthetic with engagning and realistic protagonists.
    This movie is full of imagery and easy to understand, surely more with subtitles in English. Enjoy !

  17. Maxime B Says:

    The last film witch i saw in original version it’s “Vicky Christina Barcelona” of Woody Allen. I had difficulty in understanding everything. It was the story of two girl in Barcelona in vacancy, that falls quite both lover of the same man. Dialogue of the film was simpler to understand that text of the narateur, thus to conclude, it is easier with sous title.

  18. Theo K Says:

    It won’t be highly original, but to those of you who haven’t seen it may I suggest you watch Casablanca, that great movie from 1942? It features a whole lot of famous lines that will haunt you forever, spoken by Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains (aka The Invisible Man), or Peter Lorre. These stars deliver a magnificent performance, serving a well-written plot that will make you hold your breath.
    The only problem is, you probably won’t be able to avoid reading the subtitles, for of course, the movie takes place in Casablanca, Morocco; this means there are lots of arab-speaking people, and being that during the Second World War the city was a relatively safe haven for all European wanting to leave for America, this leads to loads and loads of people speaking English with many different accents, some especially NOT understandable.
    In spite of this problem, if you manage to stay away from the temptation of subtitles, you may find Casablanca to be a really great way of improving your English-speaking skills, mostly due to those more than famous lines you’ll easily remember.
    And besides, where on Earth would you hear a more wonderful version for La Marseillaise?

    So come on, play it once Sam, for old time’s sake.

  19. max Says:

    Apocalypse now was made by Francis Ford Coppola in 1975 and it deals with the vietnam war.
    It’s one of the best movies made about this. It wasn’t hard to understand in OV because of the
    off voice which is very clear. Furthermore, the characters don’t speak so much in the movie.
    So it was easy to see it without subtitles. And the story always has your attention, it’s gripping your
    guts.

  20. Corentin Says:

    I want to speek about the film ” The Illusionist ” directed by Neil Burger with Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel like main characters.
    I saw it in english without undertitle. Ambicious but very interesting to learn the language. My comprehension was not so bad in general. I think it’s because the pictures are explicit enought and dialogues not too complecated.
    A few days later, I saw it again in french and it’s especially the detail that I did’nt assimilated.
    It’s not an easy script and production but the magic, witch is the film subjet, is letting ourself go.
    Congratulation Mr Burger, Have you got an other magic trick?

  21. solene Says:

    I speak about “Hannibal” by Ridley Scott . It’s a thriller moovie. The last time that I watched it, it was in french subtitled in english . At the beginning I read all the subtitles, and I learned some expressions, but I don’t remember of all. And at the middle of the moovie I stopped to read, because I understood well good in french. That’s why I think is better to watch a moovie in english subtitled in french or without subtitles. Furthermore, VO moovie avoid sometimes bads dubbing which remove all the credibility of the caracters . The advantage of subtitles in english is that there isn’t the problem of comprehension because of the accent or a speed.

  22. Antoine Says:

    I’ve seen some some “scrubs” season 7 in English. That’s an American TV show who speak about a medicine student, who worked in an hospital. It’s turned to a comic style and I feel it very funny. I found the English version less funny because they speak very fast, and I don’t understood the comic of the story. So you can test the English version or prefers the French version all depend of your English level.

  23. Clémon Laffent Says:

    gipsy hi!

    If you’re a adult person, who’ve takes necessary time to develop his eye, maybe you can try to launch yourself in the large-visual odissey that “funky forest” can be. I explain myself : this is probably the freest movie i’ve ever seen. Here i’ve never encouter the smallest possible part, shorter that he could be, of a script beginning’s! So you can start swimming if you’re not open to digressions, poetical improvisation, photography’s esthetic desire or, simply, if you don’t like “cadavres exquis”. Just let’s keep the “it”! If you enjoy, maybe are you a freeman, or better, a open seeker…

    Just some precisions… Don’t be afraid, this is not the last ellitist movie-eater report’s, it’s a gratuitous invitation for a progressive innovation…poetic, so maybe taking some informations could be comfortably. The movie is directed by Ishii Katsuhito / Miki Shunichiro / Ishimine Hajime, in Japan, diffused in 2005. Good searching for all!!!

    Goodbye noodguys!

  24. julien M Says:

    For the people who like the English humour, I advice their to watch the Monty Python movies and more particullary the Holy Grail. The director Terry Gilliam have producing a remake of the glorious history of the Knight of the Round Table. The story is very laughting and playing with paradoxe or improbable things. However the actors use more expressions and have an accent very pronounced which express the meaning more difficult for a stranger whereas it is the comic elements principal. The subtitles is the unique solution for understand but I think that is more important to watch it a second time for more apprecied the humour.

  25. Sébastien Says:

    Hi,

    What I like in VO’s films is the fact that we can heard the real voices of characters… English, Spanish, Chinese… And I love that! All the world sonority are very interesting, because their melody are different, different from French. Furthermore, the advantages are real, listening films or some music in english it’s possible to lear inconsciously the language.
    Otherwise i prefer see series in vost fr, because I’m sure of the traduction. Heroes, Lost and The Big Bang Theorie for example are good series. I like especially their pronounciation.
    I’ll always remember english class in “quatrième” and “troisième” because there was a teacher who put Chaplin’s films, Hitchcock and so many… Today, I know I can say thank you and maybe it’s him (with other people) who give me my passion for the cinema.

  26. Sylvain Dupont Says:

    Tropic Thunder.
    The last movie i watched isTropic thunder, an parody of many movies. This movie laugh at “Apocalypse now”, it’s the story of five actors who turned a war-movie in asia. The protagonists are very carricatural (Ben Stiller). I have seen this film in english by DivX and in french to the cinema. I prefer saw the movies in the french language because i can’t succeed to watch the subtiles at the same time of the pictures. In english, Tropic Thunder wasn’t as fun than the french version. It’s my own opinion.

  27. Denis Says:

    A movie in english-speaking is really interesting,an intensive particular session.I’ve seen “trainspotting” and originals dialogues give a good attraction in the story. For a better comprehension, I tried to understand the main ideas contained on the sentences. I prefered watch a film in his original laguage because the intentions of protagonists are more identificable.

  28. amancoolguy28 Says:

    hi guys .i am a movie expert…..i have seen hell lot of movie…i am a big movie collector…must be having 2000 movies…wit me
    my favourates are
    forrest gump,the pianist,a beautiful mind,trainspotting,the great debators,shwasank redemption,pursuit of happyness,the godfather 1 and 2,brokeback mountain,life is beautiful,city of god,saving private ryan,life is beautiful,the pasion of the christ,motorcycle diaries,memento,there will be blood,the illusionist,notting hill..if
    any body wants to know more please..contact me on orkut…my orkut profile name is……$$THE TIMING IS THE ESSENCE OF MY LIFE$$