So, you wanna watch movies and TV shows in English that are both fun and helpful? We’ve got you covered with this rad compilation categorized by skill levels and some awesome resources to make it happen. No more wasting time on sketchy websites – just pick something from our list and level up your language game.

Compilation of movies and TV shows by skill levels

When it comes to picking what to watch, you gotta be smart about it and choose something to watch pursuing your goal. Need to learn some fancy legal words? Skip “Pride and Prejudice” and go for “Better Call Saul,” where you’ll dive into the life of a small-town American lawyer. If you’re aiming to level up your conversational English, stick to series with realistic stories, modern language, and neutral speaking styles. And remember, always choose something that matches your level or pushes you just a little bit further. Get ready to crush it!

Movies and TV shows for the Elementary level

If your English skills are on the lower side, you can start with some educational shows. They’re made specifically for folks learning the language and even come with workbooks to check your understanding.

Lifetime Level 1 (1999): This show revolves around working in an office in the news industry. Each episode is on a specific topic like professions, food, or clothing. They’re short, no longer than 8 minutes, and the characters speak in simple, easy-to-understand dialogue.

Extr@ English (2002-2004): It’s a British series about two girls sharing an apartment in a big city. They have a pen pal from abroad who pays them a visit. He’s not the best at English, so they help him learn while he’s there.

English File, Elementary, Practical English (2012): These are quick episodes that showcase everyday work life and leisure activities in London.

If you want to watch something that hasn’t been adapted for learners, try picking something you’re already familiar with. That way, you can focus more on the language itself rather than trying to figure out the plot.

Futurama: This hilarious series takes place in the future and is packed with phrases you’d use in everyday conversations. You’ll learn how to dish out sarcasm like Bender:

“Oh wait, you’re serious. Let me laugh even harder.”

Or tell jokes like Fry:

Valentine’s day is coming? Oh crap―I forgot to get a girlfriend again. 

Russian Doll: It’s an American comedy-drama series about a woman caught in a time loop. She keeps reliving the same day, and you’ll catch on to the repeated phrases in no time!

Umbrella Academy: This American series is all about preventing an apocalypse in an alternate reality. The dialogues are short, with no fancy words or grammar complications.

Up: It’s an animated flick about a grumpy old man and an adventurous kid who float away to South America using a house attached to balloons. You’ll pick up useful short phrases for everyday chitchat.

Finding Nemo: This film follows a clownfish on a mission to find his lost son, with a forgetful fish named Dory by his side. It may be a kids’ movie, but it’s packed with motivation even for adults, like this quote:

“When something is too hard… There is always another way.”

The Holiday: This American romantic comedy revolves around a British and an American woman swapping homes for their vacations. You’ll learn how to talk about relationships and flirt a little.

Movies and TV shows for the Intermediate level

This is the level where you can enjoy a movie without stressing about every single word.

Dead To Me: It’s a dramatic series with a splash of humor about a woman who loses her husband in a car crash. Her new BFF helps her keep it together. You’ll learn how to be a pro at hiding secrets and keeping the conversation flowing.

Emily in Paris: This series follows a young American girl who jets off to Paris for work. You’ll soak up the Parisian lifestyle and pick up phrases like: “You live to work. We work to live.” And learn a thing or two about promoting stuff on social media in English: “To build a brand, you gotta create engaging social media buzz.

Stranger Things: This sci-fi horror series is all about a bunch of rad teens battling supernatural forces. It’s a total throwback to the good old days of board games, arcades, and no smartphones. Plus, you’ll get a handle on some cool slang.

The Hunger Games: This American sci-fi flick is all about deadly games that people play for entertainment in the future. It’s perfect for brushing up on English verb tenses. Remember, “The World Will Be Watching...”

The Little Things: It’s a gritty story about two cops solving brutal murders. With a killer cast, laid-back dialogue, and just the right lingo, it’ll take your Intermediate level to the next level.

Soul: This flick is an inspiring journey of souls breaking free from their misconceptions and starting fresh. You’ll come across words like quirks, disaster, universe, unconscious mind, and possibility. Don’t know them yet? Then go watch this animated gem!

Movies and TV shows for the Upper-Intermediate level

The perfect level to beef up your vocab with some specific jargon and slang. We’re talking sitcoms, classic American flicks, and intense dramas.

Big Little Lies is set in a small-town Cali. Things take a twist when a mysterious murder goes down at the local school. Watch this series, and you’ll be breezing through discussions about raising kids, dealing with school bullies, fading love, and the struggles of being a working mom and homemaker.

Wednesday: an American series about 15-year-old Wednesday, the daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams. She gets shipped off to Nevermore Academy for all weird kids. You’ll learn to be persistent, stand your ground, and throw out some next-level expressions.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being proven right.  

Desperate Housewives: This American series follows the lives of four housewives dealing with betrayal, mysterious disappearances, and downright savage murders. Get ready for some lively vocab, killer voices from the cast, and become a master at dishing out gossip.

You. The question is, “What would you do for love?” This show’s all about Joe Goldberg, the charming, bookish, and obsessed dude who’ll stop at nothing to win over his crush. And he’s got some seriously advanced words and metaphors up his sleeve.

Green Book is based on a true story. It’s a film that takes you on a journey with a famous jazz pianist and a regular driver through the American South. Along the way, a beautiful friendship forms. Keep an ear out for some top-notch grammar in this one:

The world’s full of lonely people afraid (relative clause) to make the first move .  

You know, my father used to (construction for repeating past actions) say, whatever you do, do it 100%. 

Ain’t they supposed (passive voice) to be following us ? 

The Social Network: It’s an American biographical drama that tells the story of how Facebook came to be. It’s a must-watch if you wanna brush up on your legal lingo.

In Time: a dystopian film where time is the main currency. And here’s a memorable quote for you: “For a few to remain immortal, many must die.”

Where to watch English movies and TV shows: 

If you don’t have a paid subscription to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, or Amediateka, don’t sweat it. We’ve got some free services specially designed for language learners.

You can totally use for free, but they limit it to 45 minutes per day. Sounds kinda short, right? But hey, that’s actually a good thing ’cause it keeps you coming back for more, little by little.

What’s cool about it:

  • They’ve got a massive selection of TV shows, movies, shows, and even TED talks. You can filter ’em by genre, popularity, and accents.
  • You can enjoy subtitles in different languages like Russian, English, Spanish, Italian, and more. You can even watch videos with multiple subtitles at once.
  • They even have a translator feature. When you hover over the subtitles, the video pauses, and you get a pop-up translation of the word. Sweet!
  • Plus, you can add new words to your personal dictionary and practice remembering ’em with their spaced repetition system.
  • With a paid subscription, you can even download videos with subtitles. Binge-watching, anyone?

Show-English is a free service (30 minutes per day) where you can watch movies, TV shows, and all that jazz in English.

Here’s the lowdown:

  • You can turn on subtitles, or else they’ll only pop up during pauses. And if there’s a word you don’t know, just click on it to see possible translations. Easy peasy.
  • They create a fresh dictionary for each episode, so you can add unfamiliar phrases and learn them through different exercises and tests. It’s like building your vocab muscle.
  • They even provide the full text of the video with translations. 

How should you watch movies and TV shows to improve your English? 

Every episode or movie can be transformed into a complete language learning course. You can work on developing your listening, speaking, and writing skills, learn new words, and practice grammar. Let’s take a look at how to get the most out of watching. First off, let’s focus on developing your listening skills.

Step 1: Watch the episode or movie once without any subtitles. The main goal of this stage is to grasp the main idea. Don’t turn on the subtitles. You’re here to practice your listening, not your reading. Don’t get caught up on words you’re unfamiliar with. If the plot is unfamiliar to you, don’t skip this step.

Step 2: Watch the episode or movie again a few more times with subtitles. The next step is to dive into the details. Listen to the sections with long dialogues again, still without subtitles. Try to catch what they’re saying. You can even jot down everything word for word. Afterwards, turn on the subtitles and check your understanding.

Step 3: Learn new vocabulary. Choose vocabulary from the series that will be useful in real life and be sure to write it down.  

Step 4: Practice your pronunciation. At this stage, you can learn to speak like your favorite characters. One of the most popular techniques for working on pronunciation is called shadowing. The technique was developed by American linguist and polyglot Alexander Arguelles. The main principle of the method is to repeat what you hear at the same time as the recording. Shadowing requires a lot of effort and time, but it really helps improve pronunciation, work on correct stress, intonation, rhythm, and connected speech.

How do you do shadowing? 

Choose a short excerpt that’s 1-2 minutes long. Then there are two ways to work on it:

Option 1. This works well for practicing pronunciation while doing chores around the house or commuting to work. Play the audio recording and repeat immediately after the speaker without pausing. You’ll repeat the words just a second after the speaker, creating something like simultaneous translation.

Option 2. This is suitable if you can sit at a table and make notes. Take the written text. Listen to the excerpt and mark stresses, word connections, weak forms, intonation, and pauses. Then play the recording, pause after each sentence, and repeat. Do this for all the sentences. Ideally, repeat the entire text several times. The next step is to play the recording and read the text simultaneously with the speaker, imitating the pronunciation as closely as possible. It’s also good to do this several times.

So, grab some popcorn, settle in, and enjoy these movies and shows in their original language. It’s the secret sauce to mastering English and having a blast while doing it. Remember to set aside a couple of hours each week to watch and soak it all in. And hey, don’t forget to work on those words. It’ll take your progress to a whole new level.