SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE appears to be an emotional journey. Read More and Get Tickets

AFI's Top Ten Genres

Snow White Eating Apple


AFI defines “animated” as a genre in which the film’s images are primarily created by computer or hand and the characters are voiced by actors.

Charlie Chaplin in City Lights Movie

Romantic Comedy

AFI defines “romantic comedy” as a genre in which the development of a romance leads to comic situations.

John Wayne in The Searchers


AFI defines “western” as a genre of films set in the American West that embodies the spirit, the struggle and the demise of the new frontier.

Robert De Niro in Raging Bull


AFI defines “sports” as a genre of films with protagonists who play athletics or other games of competition.

Image from Vertigo Movie


AFI defines “mystery” as a genre that revolves around the solution of a crime.

Image from Wizard of Oz


AFI defines “fantasy” as a genre where live-action characters inhabit imagined settings and/or experience situations that transcend the rules of the natural world.

Image from 2001: A Space Odyssey


AFI defines “science fiction” as a genre that marries a scientific or technological premise with imaginative speculation.

Marlon Brando from The Godfather


AFI defines the “gangster film” as a genre that centers on organized crime or maverick criminals in a twentieth century setting.

Scene from To Kill a Mockingbird

Courtroom Drama

AFI defines “courtroom drama” as a genre of film in which a system of justice plays a critical role in the film’s narrative.

Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia


AFI defines “epic” as a genre of large-scale films set in a cinematic interpretation of the past.

Movie Theatre Screen with AFI Motto

The American Film Institute

The American Film Institute is America's promise to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers.

AFI Logo

More AFI Movie Lists

AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies documented AFI's ongoing celebration of cinema's centennial. Each special honors a different aspect of excellence in American film.