What makes a genre? I firmly believe it is more than just a marketing category. A genre is a common template for interpretation. A common language, not just in words, but in actions, characters, tropes, etc. A cop movie has tension between partners and a hard-nosed but caring boss. The protagonist is always pressing or breaking the rules. The hero has to resolve his relationship with his partner, redeem himself to his boss, impress his ex-wife, and maybe solve the central crime.
The main genres on this website are the ones with which I am most familiar, but also ones that I feel have dominated for so long because they each have a strong role in defining our culture.
Science Fiction is about us innovating, facing new challenges, addressing the future. It is part of how we see ourselves.
Westerns are about individual values and meaning in the face of an indifferent and hostile world. They could have become about expansion, colonization, or genocide, but the genre has always preferred to be about one against the world.
Horror movies allow us to work through our fears and our hostility in an abstract, unreal world where the stakes are fictional.
Martial Arts movies are probably less critical in defining us culturally, at least in the United States. Many of the themes are similar to Westerns. But I love them so here they are.
There are other genres we may explore as well, depending.