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  • : Creativity comes from life, from the chaos around you, from your past, your present, your fantasies, your desires, your mistakes and your guilt. There's no perfect ideal state and set of circumstances, you will have to deal with the life around you every time you create something.
  • 8mm: Sometimes, people do horrible things for no reason other than they can.
  • It seems unlikely at first, but the single most consistent message coming from the Addams Family films is that blood is thicker than water.
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  • The Adjustment Bureau: Do we really make our own destinies, or are there some unseen forces controlling everything we see and do?
  • Air Force One: Caring for The Needs of the Many.
  • Alien: The folly of trying to use something inherently evil for profit.
    • Aliens: The anxieties of childbirth and motherhood, and the lengths to which a mother will go to protect her child—seen both through the Alien Queen's protective instinct towards her hive, and Ripley's protective instinct towards her surrogate daughter Newt.
    • Prometheus: The agony of living in the shadow of a distant parental figure, and the natural conflict between parent and child—seen through humanity's relationship with the Engineers, David's relationship with the humans who built him, and Meredith Vickers' relationship with her father Charles Weyland.
  • Alpha Dog: Be wary of your actions or you may suffer the consequences.
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  • American Beauty: Changing your life, for better or worse.
  • American Pie: Searching for things that are actually under your nose.
  • American Psycho: How the pursuit of success can blind one to obvious dangers.
  • Angels with Dirty Faces: Suffering for the good of others.
  • Animal House: Anarchy vs. fascism.
  • Annihilation: How do we confront and deal with life-changing events, particularly pain and trauma?
  • Apocalypse Now: The effects of war on a man's psyche, and what kind of monsters can be found lurking within as a result.
  • Arrival: Language and how it shapes our reality.
  • As Good as It Gets: The small, unexpected or even unwanted changes in life.
  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: The effects that legend and reality have on each other.
  • Assassin's Creed (2016): Fitting the concept of the Animus - described In-Universe as "a means of learning about who made us what we are" - nobody in the film has a healthy relationship with anyone they're descended from, their parents least of all.
    • Callum despises his father for killing his mother, and only after fully synchronizing with Aguilar does he realize that his father only wished to spare his family from Abstergo's experiments.
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    • In reverse, Sophia would do anything for her father, who only sees the Animus project as a means to glorify himself, without a single thought for her amazing accomplishments: specifically, she's responsible for Animus technology from concept to final product, for which he ultimately takes full credit. She thus permits Callum to assassinate him and reclaim the Apple in the closing of the film.
    • Then there's all the other Animus subjects who have suffered severe psychological damage from being subjected to their ancestors' memories.
  • Await Further Instructions: How people consume news and the dangers of consuming mass information without questioning it, or the possible agenda behind it.
  • The Babadook: Grief, and how it affects someone, their health, their relationships, etc.
  • Back to the Future:
    • If you had the knowledge to change your life, would you?
    • No matter what time you're in - past, present, future - people are always going to be people.
  • Batman Forever: Identity.
  • Battle Royale: The breakdown of family and friendship.
  • The Big Country: The nature of bravery, particularly in the face of futile conflict.
  • Big Fish: The nature of stories, and whether the emotional meaning and impact they have on someone outweighs whether or not it's true.
  • The Big Lebowski:
    • The things the rich (money, trophy wives) and the not so rich (bowling, the rug) find important.
    • Life doesn't always make sense, but we grin and bear it because it's still the best thing we've got.
  • The Big Red One: Survival is the only glory of war.
  • Birdman: Ambition and how it can screw us over.
  • BlacKkKlansman: White supremacy is still alive and well.
  • Blade Runner / Blade Runner 2049: Empathy is what makes us human.
  • Brazil: Do our dreams and fantasies make us brave and free ourselves from our surroundings, or do they serve as a means to condition us to accept our surroundings as "normal" and prevent us from truly changing it?
  • The Breakfast Club: Is there anything beneath the face one shows to the world?
  • Brightburn: What if Superman chose to use his powers for evil instead of good?
    • To a lesser extent, some creatures cannot be anything other than what nature intended they be and it is foolish to believe otherwise.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: How two people can spend their whole lives together and never really know each other.
  • Call Me by Your Name: The intensity of First Love.
  • Calvary: Guilt and forgiveness.
  • Carlito's Way - What debts should and should not be paid.
  • Casablanca: Are there some causes so worth fighting for that even love should be sacrificed to fight for them?
  • The Charge of the Light Brigade: War is a confused mess run by inept Upper-Class Twit s and blustery Glory Seeker s, and nobody gains anything at the end.
  • Chinatown: Doing what is right may lead to terrible outcomes/there is no hope for final and lasting justice in this world/wealth and power will win over truth and justice.
    • It's really hard to understand other people and learn the truth because make false assumptions and quick judgments.
  • Cinderella (2015): The refusal to let your circumstances change you.
  • Citizen Kane:
    • How will the world remember you when you are gone?
    • Money can't buy love or happiness. Even the most powerful people in the world often truly desire simple things—like having a real childhood.
    • Even in a world of mass information, it's sometimes impossible to truly "know" the people around us.
  • A Clockwork Orange: Do people have a right to their freedom of will, even if they use it to be evil?
  • The Conversation: The difference between listening and hearing.
  • The Crowd: Everyone is a Hero of Another Story, if not in their own eyes than in the eyes of their children or their wives and families, even if they aren't financially successful or only mediocre in talent.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy is about as a whole also explores the strengths, weaknesses and dangers in various political and social systems and what effects these can have. Batman Begins is about what happens when our established forms of authority — the police, the court system, local government etc — become too corrupt, decadent and uncaring to effectively function. The Dark Knight, is about the conflict between order and chaos, and the dangers of pure, unrestrained nihilism and anarchy. The Dark Knight Rises is about the dangers of unfettered populist mob rule.
    • In addition to the above political themes, each film explores an aspect of the human psyche and condition. Begins is about fear: it's the ubiquitous state of the general populace, and used as a weapon by all three principle villains (Falcone, Crane and Ra's al Ghul), as well as by Batman himself. Dark Knight is about freedom and responsibility, order and chaos, whether it's best to be The Fettered or The Unfettered. And Rises is about truth, trust, and pain: every lie and deception carried out in the course of the series contributes to making the situation much worse, and revealing the truth provides the steps to improving matters. Bane is a villain defined by the physical pain he feels, contrasted to the psychological pain Batman feels. Significantly, by the end of the film every main character knows Batman's true identity.
    • The power of myth also is a significant theme, as is the problem of escalation — Batman ultimately derives his strength not from his money, which can be lost, or his physical powers, which can fail him, but his power as a symbolic icon to the people of Gotham, and in doing so becomes "more than just a man". On the flip side, however, the more powerful the myth of Batman becomes, the more powerful his enemies become as they rise to challenge him.
    • The films also warn about making short-sighted decisions to solve immediate problems. Bruce Wayne joining the League of Shadows, Gotham's gangsters hiring The Joker, Daggett hiring Bane and Catwoman stealing Bruce's fingerprints all prove to be very bad ideas.
  • Dangerous Liaisons: Corruption and Redemption.
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Peace doesn't happen if only a few are willing to work at it. All must be striving to achieve it.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Man of Steel: The freedom to choose one's own path in life and how working for the greater good sometimes means making hard decisions.
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:
      • No matter how much good you do, there will always be people out there who hate you. But it doesn't mean you have to give up.
      • "Men are still good."
    • Suicide Squad: Family. The Big Bad Duumvirate are siblings that care deeply for one another, Diablo and Deadshot both have families that motivate large parts of their actions, Harley's deepest wish is to start a family with Joker, and the Squad themselves grow into a strange little makeshift family themselves.
    • Wonder Woman (2017): Some humans can be truly despicable, but on the whole Humans Are Good and try to do better; the world can be a terrible, awful place, but it's worth fighting for.
    • Aquaman:
      • Don't judge a place you've never been to.
      • There's also a lot of emphasis on familial bonds, with even the villains showing that they care about their relatives.
      • Dealing with the emotional fallout of a parent's premature death.
      • If you're looking for a fight you will probably find one.
      • There is strength and nobility in making friends.
      • Arthur's ability to communicate with sea life is directly tied to why he is the rightful king of Atlantis.
    • SHAZAM!: Incompleteness and inadequacy. If you feel you are not what you're supposed to be, how do you try to remedy it? What if the world and the human race are themselves not all that they should be?
  • The Descent: If you feel like things are turning out for the better, things can always get worse.
  • Dirty Dancing: The rediscovery of innocence.
  • Dirty Harry: How crime and law enforcement are hideously intertwined.
  • Do the Right Thing: Racism is still alive and kicking, only this time the issues present are lot more complex and nuanced and no side is truly in the right
  • Dr. Strangelove: How do you save mankind when they are bent on destroying themselves?
  • Drive: Your actions speak much louder than your words. Also, how important is it to have a code?
  • Dunkirk: Day-to-day survival can be a victory.
  • The Empty Mirror: Evil devours itself.
  • Evil Dead: Man's capacity to persevere in the face of overwhelming odds.
  • Falling Down: Dealing with the traumas of everyday life.
  • Fargo: The stupid things people do out of greed and desperation.
  • Fatal Attraction: How one stupid, isolated mistake can derail one's whole life.
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Don't be afraid of taking chances.
    • Live your life instead of being stuck to the grindstone.
  • Final Destination: The futility and madness of putting off the inevitable.
  • Forrest Gump: American life after the war has changed radically with every decade and nobody knows how to fit into the times.
  • Full Metal Jacket: Is killing part of human nature and can one become a killer and still remain human?
  • Heat:
    • The thin line between police and the thieves they pursue.
    • The price of devoting yourself to excelling in a particular vocation on yourself and those around you.
  • Her: The connections that people share with one another, even if you can't see them at first.
  • Galaxy Quest: The appreciation of fandom, warts and all.
  • Get Out: Condescending Compassion and Positive Discrimination can be every bit as dehumanizing as overt racism, however well-intentioned it may be.
  • Ghostbusters: Heroism is a thankless job, but someone has to do it.
  • Giant: The constantly changing face of family.
  • Gladiator: How A Simple Plan never seems to go right. Also the role of charisma, personality and popularity in leadership.
  • The Godfather:
    • Loyalty to one's family is well and good, but to what extent?
    • Families can contain tensions that never truly go away, and people who feel they are doing good for the family can do the most to destroy them.
    • A crime family will never "go legit" because they are useful to other powerful factions (politicians, businessmen, actors, the church). If they grow soft, they will be taken out by more ruthless enemies who want to usurp their position as a power broker, so they must stay ruthless not only to protect themselves, but also prevent someone worse than them from taking their place.
  • Godzilla: The eternal conflict between humanity, nature and technology. Nature Is Not Nice, and humans can't always succeed in taming the beasts of the Earth — but humanity's own creations can turn on them just as quickly.
    • Godzilla (2014): That Nature Is Not Nice and that mankind isn't nearly as powerful as they think they are. Also, family is important.
      • Nature may not be nice, but she's been here longer than us, and sometimes, she knows what's best for everyone. So, "let them fight".
      • Nature really only cares about balance; if something threatens that balance, something else will knock it back into place.
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019):
      • Bearing grudges have long-term effects. Godzilla has a personal vendetta against Ghidorah since the ancient times. Mark has a personal grudge against Godzilla for his son's death, but eventually learns to let it go because he realizes Godzilla is humanity's only hope against Ghidorah.
      • Tragedy bears consequences and consequences bear tragedy. Emma is so stricken with grief by the death of her son that she strikes a deal with ecoterrorists to free all the Titans, realizing too late that a murderous three-headed monster plans to terraform the Earth to his liking and even actively goes out of his way to kill every human he sees.
  • Gone Baby Gone: What is ethically right and what is lawfully right don't always overlap.
  • Gone with the Wind: The conflict between lofty ideals and hard edged reality.
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Even war won't stop the greedy.
  • Goodfellas: Why are people lured into organized crime?
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel: Is there still a place for kindness in a post-war world?
  • The Grand Illusion: Fighting a war is absurd because you will often find that you have more in common with your counterpart in another nation than you will among your countrymen.
  • Harakiri: "Honour" is a meaningless, abstract concept, mainly used by the powerful to protect their own corruption.
  • Highwaymen: Revenge.
  • Hitch: Be yourself.
  • The Hitcher: The thrill of the hunt.
  • Hobo with a Shotgun: Do desperate times really call for desperate measures, or will that just make everything worse?
  • Home Alone: Self-reliance.
  • Hot Fuzz:
    • The importance of achieving balance in your life between the things you find important (such doing a good job at work and maintaining a perfect community) and maintaining healthy relationships with the people around you.
    • The conflict between illusion and reality. Note that this is seen through Danny Butterman's obsession with buddy cop movies (escapist fantasies that barely resemble real police work) and Frank Butterman's obsession with maintaining the illusion that Sandford is the perfect village.
  • The Host (2006): Family can overcome even the most obstructive bureaucrat.
  • Ikiru: How do you spend the last days of your life? And in a broader sense, what gives one's life meaning and fulfillment in the first place?
  • Indiana Jones: What's treasure versus what's valuable; each movie sees Indy and his friends on the hunt for some ancient artifact of incalculable power and worth, but while they might not end up with the treasure, they usually come to some understanding about themselves that is more valuable and meaningful.
  • Inception: The power of an idea.
  • Interstellar: Maintaining hope in the face of seemingly impossible odds.
  • It: Coming of age and facing fears.
  • It's a Wonderful Life: The importance of a single person to the community of man.
    • The people who truly make the community happy are the No Respect Guy for whom Being Good Sucks and however much people take them for granted they should never be forgotten.
  • James Bond: Films made between 1962 and 1989 showcase the tensions between NATO and Warsaw Pact during the Cold War, while those made after 1991 deal with new threats such as terrorism and the role of 007 in a post-Cold War era.
  • Jerry Maguire: Whether or not ideals and principles are a liability in business.
  • Joker (2019): "The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth."
  • Jurassic Park: The fragility of man's control over nature.
  • The Karate Kid: The different dynamics of the student/mentor relationship.
  • The Killer: Even in a world of criminals, brotherhood and loyalty are still important traits to have.
  • King Arthur: Is freedom tangible? Can it be given or taken away?
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service:
    • Class conflict, how it can be viewed from different sides and how it isn't necessarily black and white.
    • The nature of money. Can fabulous wealth ever be used for the good of humanity, or does it inevitably distort a person's view of the world? Yes.
  • La La Land: The clash between ideals and reality.
  • The Last Emperor: "Is that really so bad? To be useful."
  • The Last Temptation of Christ: What does it mean to be fully human and fully divine?
  • Legend (1985): The duality inherent in life and in all of us — good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, innocence vs. corruption — and what it takes for the former to triumph over the latter.
  • The Leopard: Society will change and alter in all manner of unexpected ways and not everyone can live in a changed world.
  • Life (2017): In tomes of crisis, making decisions based purely on emotions will only make matters worse.
  • Lord of War: Gun runners are integrated into the world market and vital to great power interests, so can't be eradicated through policing.
  • M: Helplessness.
  • The Machinist: The truth will set you free, no matter how awful.
  • Mad Max: Holding on to the bits and pieces of society and civility.
  • The Magic Christian: Every Man Has His Price.
  • Maleficent: The loss and reclamation of faith in humanity.
  • The Maltese Falcon: Can matters of the heart override one's sense of justice?
  • Manchester by the Sea: Grief is a lifelong struggle, and not everyone is equipped to handle it.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man: Peace through superior weaponry is a self-defeating prospect without a measure of responsibility.
    • The Avengers: How do those with power handle their differences when dealing with a bigger problem? This relationship is found not only between the title characters themselves, but also between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the World Security Council.
    • Iron Man 3: How much are we defined by our pasts? This is also sort of the theme in Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Freedom versus security. Do either need to be sacrificed in the name of peace?
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron: Children, evolution, and legacies- what do we leave behind, and will it change the world for the better or the worse? Also a secondary one: Where is the line between a hero and a monster/a spy and a murderer/a visionary and a mad scientist?
    • Ant-Man: Being defined by our pasts, for good and ill. Also the fear of losing control of our own legacy, and whether there are things for which The World Is Not Ready.
    • Captain America: Civil War: The destruction of family and the Cycle of Revenge.
    • Doctor Strange (2016): Finding new purpose in life after losing your previous one. Also the lengths someone will go to in order to achieve their goals, and whether or not such lengths are ever justified.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Parenthood and how that affects you.
    • Spider-Man: Homecoming: The "little guy" and how they react to their perceived treatment by those in power. Do they try and help those even less fortunate than themselves, or do they try and get their own piece of the pie by any means necessary? Who out there is really looking out for the interests of others?
    • Thor: Ragnarok: Self-reflection. Who the characters really are and can they leave the past behind?
    • Black Panther: Interventionism, how the past and present are meant to interact, and the Cycle of Revenge.
    • Avengers: Infinity War: Sacrifice. Is it right to kill one in order to save millions? What if that one person is your loved one?
    • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Consequences. The second and third-order effects our actions have, and the collateral damage we do in pursuit of our goals (and how much collateral damage we are willing to ignore or accept.)
    • Captain Marvel (2019): Inner and outer discovery. Finding the courage to see what's more than meets the eye despite influences around you saying otherwise and having the strength to get back up when knocked down. Also the tendency of war to corrupt and destroy the lives of the innocent and vulnerable.
    • Avengers: Endgame: Second chances. You may have failed once, but never give up. Use your failure to create an even better success.
    • Spider-Man: Far From Home: Truth and deception. Everyone tells comfortable lies to themselves, and those who can craft and control the narrative of events have a power that must not be underestimated. To drive this point home, the villain of the movie is a charismatic Consummate Liar, while the hero's love is has a major socially awkward and brutally honest streak.
    • Phase 1: Weaponization and the consequences of the desire for ever more powerful weapons to either kill or protect
    • Phase 2: "You Create Your own Demons": Regardless of whether it happens in 70 minutes or 70 years your mistakes will eventually come back to haunt you or those who succeed you.
    • Phase 3: How the mistakes of the older generation effect the new generation and how the older generation can make up for it even if it means death.
    • The Infinity Saga as a whole (Phase 1 through 3): The at times extreme mental, emotional and physical cost of being a hero and the question of whether that cost is a price worth paying.
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: Is the truth more important than a good legend?
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate: Possession and ownership.
  • A Matter of Life and Death: There is nothing on earth more powerful than love.
  • The Matrix: The nature of reality and the world around us; can we trust what our senses tell us? Might authority be using this to mislead us?
  • Memento: The ways in which memory — and thus people — can be distorted and manipulated, by ourselves and those around us.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian: Whether it is wise or not to follow someone who seems to have all the answers.
  • Moonlight: Identity and its malleability over time.
  • Mystery Team: How do you find the perfect balance between growing up and following your childhood dreams?
  • Network: How viewers and network execs are enslaved by television.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): The reality that sometimes adults are not always helpful and can even make things worse unintentionally.
  • No Country for Old Men: There's always been evil in the world. There is no happy place in the past where everything was perfect. That said, does America still have a place for an old man who still believes this to be true?
  • On the Waterfront: "Conscience, that stuff can drive you nuts".
  • Oldboy (2003): What is at the end of revenge, contentment or heartache?
  • The Ox-Bow Incident: What does it truly mean to take the law into your own hands?
  • Over the Edge: Delinquency and how society often fails to tackle it.
  • Pacific Rim:
    • Family. All of the regular Jaeger pilot teams we see, barring Raleigh and Mako, are related in one way or another, and there's a recurring theme of surrogate family members. Even the Kaiju, in an odd sort of way, are related to each other, despite being genetically-engineered bioweapons. One is even pregnant.
    • Unity. All of the family teams are defeated. The final victory requires everyone to work together; people of different races and nationalities, people who love and hate each other, fighters, scientists, and even criminals have to contribute something to achieve the win.
    • Hope. The hero of the movie refuses to trade ten lives in favor of improved odds for saving two million more, and instead resolves to save two million and ten lives. The entire Jaeger outfit at the end is still unhesitatingly going out to fight even when the war is visibly beyond the point of no return. The politicians who try to cut their losses and be pragmatic and play lifeboat are shown as taking the road of good intentions straight down to Hell. It's only the people who refuse to acknowledge 'hopeless' odds and instead persist in believing that they can score a clean victory rather than a mediated loss who end up achieving anything.
  • Paddington: A very topical one about welcoming immigrants.
  • The Patriot: Is there really such a thing as "rules" of war?
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Can a good man be also a scoundrel and vice-versa?
  • Pleasantville: The conflicts between nostalgia for the past and the reality of the past. Also, accepting the present, flaws and all, versus living in the past.
  • The Prestige: Always pay close attention to everything around you. You never know what you might miss.
  • Prisoners: Two of them: The limits of man and and how far one will go to break them.
  • Psycho:
    Norman Bates: "I think that we're all in our private traps, clamped in them, and none of us can ever get out. We scratch and we claw, but only at the air, only at each other, and for all of it, we never budge an inch."
  • Pulp Fiction:
    • The ways in which people and their lives connect and overlap, even if those connections may not be immediately apparent or clear at first glance.
    • The unexpected. The movie's plot can be succinctly summed up as "A series of classic film noir stock plots that are all thrown out of whack by various bizarre and/or unexpected twists". Whether those twists take the form of a freak drug overdose, a random encounter with a pair of psychotic rapists, miraculously surviving a flurry of point-blank gunshots, accidentally blowing a man's head off, or a hit-man having a sudden religious conversion, nearly all of the film's major plot points stem from them.
  • A Quiet Place: Parenthood, the fears and responsibilities that come with it.
  • Rambo: The war that goes on inside every soldier.
  • The Rapture: How much are you willing to sacrifice in the name of your belief?
  • Rashomon: Truth is subjective.
  • Rebel Without a Cause: The need for grown ups to grow up. The realization that adults don't always have the answers to the larger questions in your life, and the need to be your own man without completely falling into cynicism.
  • Red Riding Hood: The devastating effects of secrets in a community.
  • The Red Shoes: You must make personal sacrifices to truly excel artistically.
  • Requiem for a Dream: The lengths to which someone will go to escape their reality.
    • Time passes by quicker than you realize, and life isn't defined by single events, so you need to learn to live in the moment.
  • Reservoir Dogs: Loyalty and betrayal.
  • RoboCop (1987): He may be a corporate mascot but Robocop, along with good honest cops, will always stand for what's right. Even if the people who made him don't.
    • The dangers of unrestrained, unfettered capitalism.
  • The Rock: The power of the will.
  • Romy and Michele's High School Reunion: Living well is the best revenge. Also, life goes on after high school, and one's experience there eventually matters very little, if at all, in the grand scheme of things.
  • Run, Lola, Run: Learn from your mistakes.
  • The Running Man: The dehumanising effects of sensationalist television on those who participate in it and those who watch it.
  • Saw: Overcome your Fatal Flaw. Your life might depend on it. Torture does not make people change for the better. It will only makes things worst.
    • Even more prominent is: Cherish your life, and don't squander it for any reason.
    • Jigsaw: The truth will set you free.
  • Scarface (1983): Money, cocaine and power get you to the top as fast as it gets you down from it.
  • Schindler's List: The Holocaust was horrible, and the Nazis were evil. Also, the power of one person to make a difference, even in the worst of times.
  • Seven Psychopaths has two themes: Everyone's a little bit crazy and violence is not always the answer (but it works a hell a lot of the time).
  • Seven Samurai: Who has it better, the peasants who live normal but undistinguished lives or the warriors who live exciting but violent lives?
  • The Seventh Seal: Why death is necessary to the great scheme of things.
  • The Shape of Water: A love letter to the outsider.
  • Shaun of the Dead: Getting stuck in a rut with your life, and what it might take to kick you out of it and realize your potential. For some people, it might be a bust-up with their loved one or an argument with their friend. For others, a Zombie Apocalypse might be necessary.
  • The Shawshank Redemption:
  • The Silence of the Lambs: Disillusion with authority figures.
  • Sleepaway Camp: Don't ever force your ideals on someone. There's a chance it could end badly.
  • Song of the South: The trials and triumphs of the underdog.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy Movies have the theme of whether one can remain a hero even as their life crumbles around them.
  • Star Trek:
  • Star Wars:
    • In general:
      • The eternal (and cyclical) nature of the battle between Good and Evil, and how people can be brought to either side by a single choice.
      • Good exists where you may least expect it. And even the worst people can find redemption by facing their pasts.
      • How big things can be beaten by something small.
    • Rogue One:
      • Hope. More specifically: even against insurmountable odds, even in the face of your own certain death, one must always have hope in the greater good. Or to paraphrase a fitting quote from another franchise entirely, the film's theme is summed up with:
        "I give hope to others, I leave none for myself."
    • The Last Jedi:
      • Moving on from the past—and how that can be either a good thing or a bad thing.
      • Being a hero and doing the right thing aren't always the same thing; sometimes the people who do the most good are the ones who make hard choices, despite knowing that they're not going to be praised or honored for them.
      • The perils of rushing to judgement. Nearly every character in the movie makes some assumption about somebody else that turns out to be woefully incorrect, often leading to tragedy; Rey assumes that Luke Skywalker is exactly the kind of larger-than-life hero who she's heard legends about, Poe assumes that Vice Admiral Holdo is leading the Resistance to their deaths, Finn and Rose assume that DJ is trustworthy, Kylo Ren assumes that his uncle Luke Skywalker tried to murder him as a child, and Luke is still haunted by the fact that he once briefly contemplated killing his nephew Ben Solo after assuming that he was too evil to be redeemed.
  • Swing Kids: What should someone do when faced with evil in a corrupt society?
  • The Terminator: There is no fate but what we make.
  • The Terminal: Rules shouldn't be absolute. While the rules exist for a reason, they can sometimes prevent good people from getting the help they need.
  • The Thin Red Line: War as a truly unnatural phenomenon.
  • The Thing (1982): Paranoia and the loss of trust.
  • Trading Places: How wealth (or lack thereof) affects peoples' lives.
  • True Grit: How can you tell if one has grit or character?
  • Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil: How first impressions can be misleading and deceptive. Also, the importance of communication to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Unforgiven: Violence, as a means of establishing law and order, and violence, as a means to get revenge, is one and the same and equally self-destructive.
  • Vertigo: It's hard to love people for who they truly are, since you never really know if what you see is how they really are and you can be so lost in your fantasy that you can go insane.
  • Wall Street: Is Greed, for lack of a better word, good?
    • Putting wealth and power against simplicity and honesty.
    • The yuppie culture of the 1980s.
  • WarGames: War doesn't determine who wins, but who loses the least.
  • Warm Bodies: Time healing old wounds.
  • The Wicker Man (1973): The need to believe that things will get better in the future.
  • The Wild Bunch: The Power of Friendship, Teeth-Clenched Teamwork and Undying Loyalty.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street: Money is a drug, it's addictive, it gives you a high and you will always want more and more, and will never really be satisfied.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: The importance of maintaining hope, even in the face of hardship and tragedy, because hope can conquer anything, and that just because someone has lost their way, it doesn't mean they're lost forever.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: The main threads throughout the story are families coming together, and that love is stronger and more powerful than fear, hate or anger.
    • Deadpool 2: Can a Heroic Comedic Sociopath '90s Anti-Hero's heart be in the right place? Also, moving on from loss and the impact a surrogate family can have.
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