Hardly anyone can resist the attraction of the thrilling and mysterious cases and famous detectives’ mesmerizing deduction? Therefore, it is not difficult to understand why movies on Crime & Justice are so popular throughout time. Today in eJOY’s Learning English through movies series, let’s look at some movies on the topic of Crime and Justice to spice up our English study sessions. 


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“A To Z” Tips For Learning English with Movies


Learning English through movies – Reasons to choose

What is it with the hype of learning English through movies? Here is the answer: this method of learning is the full package! 

Expand vocabulary

In every movie, each line of dialogues is full of new words and useful expressions. In addition, vocabulary in movies is organized systematically in accordance with their topics. Therefore, many find it easier to memorize vocabulary when learning through movies. Moreover, acquiring new words in this way is proven to be more effective as we learn them in specific expressions and contexts.  

Enhance listening – speaking skills

Watching movies will help you practice listening to English at a standard speed equivalent to native people’s speed of speaking. At the same time, this method of studying allows you to approach different tones and accents of English such as American English, British English, Australian English, etc. By listening to and practicing the way movie characters combine their words, sentences, and body language, you can learn how to speak English more fluently and naturally.  

Develop logical English thinking

Many of us learners usually develop a habit of thinking in our first language, then trying to translate that into English, which will make our ideas sound unnatural. So how to get rid of that? A method you should try is to familiarize yourself with the English way of thinking through the world of movies. When you dive into the flow of thoughts and conversations of movie characters, you will find yourself getting used to logical English thinking gradually and naturally. 

Revive interest in learning English 

It is best to learn new things with an open and passionate heart. Learning English through movies is very likely to spark more interest in you rather than traditional ways of learning. As you are immersed in the exciting world of movies, exploring new cultures and lifestyles, you will find English less intimidating and more endearing. Then learning English will simply be doing something you like. 

A step-by-step guide to learning English through movies effectively 

Below is a summary of the steps to learn English through movies effectively. Read our complete guide to learning English with movies to learn more about the method.

Step 1 Watch the whole movie in dual subtitles

After choosing a suitable movie, you should first attempt to watch it with dual subtitles or in your mother tongue depending on your current level. This will make it easier for you to grasp the main contents of the movie as well as the meaning of new words. After watching and noting down new words, you can attempt to watch the movie again but this time with English subtitles to practice on your listening and speaking skills. 

Step 2 Extract a small part of the movie to focus on 

After watching the whole movie with the help of subtitles, you should choose a few particular scenes (under three minutes) of it to practice further. There are some activities that you can do such as: 

  • Watch the scene with English subtitles over and over again
  • Look up and save new words and expressions to your notebook 
  • Practice listening using dictation exercises 
  • Practice speaking using the shadowing method

Step 3 Rewatch the movie and play games to revise vocabulary 

In this step, you should watch the whole movie with English subtitles one more time to check how many percents of new words have you memorized and how much of the movie you can understand. After that, don’t forget to play fun vocabulary games to brush up on the words you have learned from the movie on eJOY eXtension or eJOY app. 

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Top 12 phenomenal movies about Crimes & Justice

Below is the list of carefully-selected movies on the topic of Crimes & Justice that are both fascinating to watch and amusing to learn from. These movies can all be found on Netflix. By downloading eJOY eXtension on Google Chrome, your learning experience on Netflix will be more pleasant as you can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate easily, for example, repeat a line, access auto-pause feature, and more. You can find more details about how to use eJOY eXtension on Netflix here

1 12 Angry Men (1957)

A young man is suspected of killing his own father. The jury of 12 members wanted to finish the case quickly because the evidence seemed too obvious, except for only one man. He did not want the fate of a human being to be decided in less than 10 minutes. He has his own doubts about this strange case. And he decided to try to convince other members of the jury. But what length is he willing to go to help that boy and convince the jury members?

2 The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather was adapted from the novel of the same name by writer Mario Puzo about Vito Corleone – the most famous tycoon in America at that time. However, his youngest son, Michael, after returning from World War II decided not to participate in any family affairs. But at Vito’s daughter’s wedding, a fierce battle broke out in the criminal world, Michael witnessed his father being assassinated by the mafia. The movie takes the audience to the violent, ruthless criminal world with false coverings through the story of an Italian-based mafia family in New York.

There are many interesting phrases and idioms in the movie for you to study and note down for future applications. These include structures like “buy something out”, “bankroll somebody”, “muscle somebody into something”, idioms like “smooth talk”, “come out of the woodwork “, etc.

3 A Few Good Men (1992)

Murders occur in marines units. Corporal Harold Dawson and Private Louden Downey tied and stuffed a rag in William T. Santiago’s mouth, who a few hours later died. Investigators think there is poison in the rag. Harold and Louden were arrested and charged with murder. Colonel Nathan R. Jessep, the highest commander at the base, appoints Lieutenant JoAnne Galloway, internal inspector, and Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee, naval justice inspector, as defense counsel for the two defendants before the military court.

4 The Shawshank redemption (1994)

Andrew, a bank employee, was sentenced to life after being charged with murdering his wife and her mistress. He insisted that he was innocent but no one believed. Andy was taken to Shawshank prison. Here, he witnessed the underworld of prisoners and the harshness of the prison administration system. Making friends with the ‘black market manager’ Redding, Andy gradually adapted to life at Shawshank. However, he had in mind bigger plans for survival and freedom.

5 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000)

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is a popular TV series in the criminal genre, winning the Emmy Award from CBS Studios. CSI has become the most popular TV series in the US and many countries in the world. Each episode looks at a suspenseful and stressful criminal case that is dealt with by passionate people of different personalities making up one perfect and unified investigation team.

6 Sherlock (2010 – 2017)

Sherlock is a TV adaptation of the famous detective character Sherlock Holmes by writer Conan Doyle from BBC. Unlike previous works, Sherlock brings familiar characters of the original series to the modern world today, resolving cases of modern times while retaining the spirit of the original. Sherlock Holmes in this version lives in London in the early 21st century and tends to be more arrogant. Dr. Watson is now a fairly young veteran who fought to keep peace in Afghanistan. How will the duo solve cases of no escape today?

Sherlock is a featured series with British – English accent and extremely attractive voices. Those who want to practice speaking English should watch this series. However, the series follows Sherlock Holmes’s fast-paced thinking circuit with lots of quick dialogue that will make it difficult for many people to catch up with for the first few times watching. Don’t be afraid to rewind the movie or pause it to look up vocabularies, gradually we will get used to the speed of the movie!

7 Suits (2011 – 2019)

Suits is a USA Network’s popular TV series. Suits follows the story of two guys – Mike Ross and Harvey Specter, two people in two different positions, but share the same level of intelligence and sharpness. Harvey Specter is one of the best lawyers in New York. When he gets a promotion, he needs to find a partner to work with. Mike Ross is a guy who always cherished the dream of becoming a good lawyer. He is expelled from the University of Law by taking Maths exam questions and selling them to the principal’s children. Harvey and Mike meet by chance, become partners, and work together to resolve cases, and reclaim justice for their clients.

8 Orange is the new black (2013 – 2019)

Adapted from the memoir “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison” by Piper Kerman, this series is about Piper Chapman, a woman who has everything: home, work, and a fiancé. Suddenly one day she had to go to jail for being involved in drug trafficking from 10 years ago with her former lesbian lover. What will Piper have to do to survive in prison, as well as keep her love?

The series has a relatively fast speaking speed, using many common slang words in the everyday language of native speakers that will help you learn how to use English naturally and understand more about how to use it in real life.

9 Peaky blinders (2013 – now)

Set in the context of England in the early 19th century, Peaky Blinders talks about the Shelby family, the leaders of the Peaky Blinders gang notorious in the underworld. The brain of the gang is Tommy Shelby, the second son. The series is a journey of Tommy’s promotion in the underworld of ruthless maneuvers. In addition, the audience will also be able to meet many real historical people and events such as Winston Churchill, Ireland’s resistance war for independence from the United Kingdom, etc. 

10 How to get away with murder (2014)

This TV series is about a group of ambitious law students and their excellent criminal defense professor who is involved in a murder plot that promises to completely change each person’s life.

The series consists of many technical vocabularies about the field of crime and law, but generally, the speaking speed of the characters is not too fast, also the pronunciation is clear, especially that of the main character, so it is very suitable for those who are practicing English at Pre-intermediate or Intermediate level.

11 The Irishman (2019)

The Irishman tells the story of murderer Frank Sheeran and his looking back on the secrets he held as a loyal member of the Bufalino criminal family during the peak of the Italian – American Mafia gangs. Frank Sheeran, a truck driver, suddenly becomes a “painter” – slang for murderers in the mafia world. He worked for Russell Buffalino – a top-notch mafia and later got a true job in the Teamsters Union thanks to his work for the Union’s president Jimmy Hoffa.

12 Joker (2019)

Joker has long been a legendary supervillain of the cinema world. But have you ever wondered where the Joker came from and what made the Joker a crime symbol of Gotham City? This movie provides a unique insight into the notorious villain of the DC Cinema Universe – an original story instilled, but clearly separated from the familiar legends surrounding this iconic character.

Certainly, the movies that eJOY just listed above will give you an exciting and thrilling English learning experience. With fascinating and engaging movies, mysterious cases, learning English will be more interesting than ever. Hesitate no more, let’s download eJOY eXtension on Google Chrome browser and learn English like a famous detective today!

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