IELTS favourite movie cue card

Everyone thinks they know how to describe a movie, but could you do it while showing off your English vocabulary? If you're preparing for the IELTS exam, you might have to. That's why I put together this IELTS cue card where I describe my favourite movie. Keep scrolling for a list of all the interesting…

IELTS Speaking Part Two: Your favourite film

Describe your favorite movie.
You should say
When and where you saw it?
What type of film it was?
What the film was about?
And explain why it is your favourite film

I want to tell you about a movie called Uncut Gems. I have seen it several times, but the first time I saw it was at home. It’s a bit of a blend of genres. It’s somewhere between a thriller and a drama. It’s also a bit of an arthouse film. It’s about a jeweler living in New York City in the late noughties. He is a compulsive gambler and is swimming in debt. He has a big plan to get out by placing a big bet while avoiding the gangsters he owes money. 

There are a bunch of reasons I loved this film. First, even though I haven’t thought of Adam Sandler as a great actor, he’s fantastic as the protagonist. He’s cast against type as a horrible guy. Because he is famous for nice guy roles, you’re rooting for him even though you disapprove of what he’s doing, just because it’s Adam Sandler. Second, the pacing of the film is incredible. Things keep happening one after another and you can barely keep up. It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the movie. Finally, the movie is very well made. The cinematography is like a documentary, which makes it feel like you are watching something real. The costume and set design also do a great job recreating the year 2007.

IELTS Movies vocabulary

As always, I’ve underlined some interesting and useful vocabulary above. You can find a list of those words below in the same order they appear in the answer.


A genre is a type of film like comedy, romance, drama, sci-fi and so on. 


A thriller is a movie (or book or TV show) which is made to be exciting. 


Drama is a hard genre to define. It’s usually more serious than other films and focused on characters who have to deal with some sort of conflict. 

Arthouse film

An arthouse film is usually made for less money and tries to be more artistic than a mainstream film. The opposite would be a ‘blockbuster’. 

Compulsive gambler

If someone is compulsive, it means they can’t stop themselves from doing something. A compulsive gambler can’t stop themselves from betting. Other common uses are ‘compulsive shopper’, ‘compulsive eater’ and ‘compuslive liar’. 


The protagonist is the main character of a story. I could have said ‘hero’ here, but the character is a pretty bad guy. If a story has a main villain, you can also call them the ‘antagonist’. 

Cast against type

If someone is ‘typecast’ they are always given the same type of role. Adam Sandler in this example is usually cast as a nice guy hero of in lighthearted comedy movies. If someone is cast against type, they have been given a character who goes against who they usually play. It can create an interesting effect for audiences like making them side with a bad character  There is a list of people who have been cast against type here.

Root for

If you root for a person, you want them to succeed. You can also use this to describe a sports team, especially when you’re not a full-time supporter of that team.


Pacing is how fast if feels things are happening. A fast-paced film is very exciting with lots of things happening. A slow-paced film isn’t necessarily bad, but it will feel slower. 

On the edge of your seat

If a play, movie or tv show keeps you on the edge of your seat, it is so exciting. We say this as people might sit forward on their chair if they are excited. 


Cinematography is how the camera is used in making a movie. You might not realise it when you’re watching, but it can have a big impact on how enjoyable a film is. 

Set design and costume design

The set of a movie is where it is filmed. Costume refers to the things the actors wear in the film. 

Next steps

If you enjoyed this cue card and want another, check out this one on crowded spaces. I would also recommend this useful guide to avoiding exam day nerves.

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