7 Meaningful Movies from 2017

"Thor Ragnarok" | Art by MetagalacticLama. Used with permission.

1. Thor: Ragnarok

When I heard the final Thor film would follow an apocalyptic storyline, I worried the movie would be dark and depressing. But after seeing Thor: Ragnarok, I was thrilled to witness a surprising amount of humour and positive character development, along with the epicness I expect in a Marvel film. I’m glad the movie gives Thor and Loki a chance to explore forgiveness and brotherhood, continuing the arcs of the first movies. Moreover, Thor: Ragnarok reminds me that we can find humour in the darkest of times, love even after having our hearts broken, and rebirth after experiencing disaster. Caitlin Eha

2. Wonder Woman

We may not deserve her, but we need her. Wonder Woman is the perfect balance between beauty, wisdom, strength, and pureness of heart. She can have a frank conversation on the value of men, step into a hail of gunfire to save innocent people, and still delight in ice cream. The movie shines a bright light on inequality, PTSD, greed, arrogance, and war. It’s a wonderful story of what we can do when we work together, no matter our power or influence, and the hope we can hold despite humanity’s failings.  Dustin Schellenberg

3. Blade Runner 2049

Just the chance to return to the world of Blade Runner was enough to get me into the theater for Dennis Villaneuva’s take on Ridley Scott’s masterpiece. Both films explore questions of personhood, identity and freedom. What I didn’t expect was that Blade Runner 2049 would strongly defend women. Arriving amidst the many public scandals, the film promotes the idea that women should be honoured and motherhood is a rare and beautiful thing. Sadly, the film underperformed at the box office, but if they ever make another I look forward to seeing more of Freysa and Stelline.Kevin Cummings

4. Logan

Wolverine has always been the X-Man of my heart. His story is compelling, accessible, and identifiable. He’s a character who struggles with his place in this world and with other mutants. Watching him die was one of the most heart-wrenching movie moments of my life. But, because it was a self-sacrificing, redeeming, peace-bringing death, it was simultaneously devastating and beautiful (but also very violent). Logan is the end of one of my favourite stories, but if it had to end, there was none more fitting. Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-man’s status as my favourite superhero is memorialized in family photos of me jumping around in a cheap Spider-man costume. In Homecoming, Peter Parker is a far cry from being an Avenger, and he looks a bit like a kid in a costume. Like Peter Parker, I’ve got big dreams, but those can get in the way of being faithful here and now. Homecoming left me questioning whether it would so bad if Spider-Man stayed in Brooklyn as a friendly, neighbourhood Spider-man instead of a famous Avenger. Once the credits rolled, I’d found some comforting advice for my success-craving soul: “Just stay close to the ground.” Matt Civico

6. In This Corner of the World

Is it realistic to believe that love can redeem you when war has taking everything—your home, your livelihood, even your family? Suzu is an absent-minded, relentlessly optimistic woman living near Hiroshima in the years surrounding World War II. The love she and her family express, even as they lose more and more each day, made me laugh and warmed my heart, even as the characters are inching closer to one of the most tragic events in all history. Through the love and loss, In This Corner of the World never ceases to be authentic. Maybe that’s why I left the theater with a restored heart, even though I swore the movie had torn it out completely. Charles Sadnick

7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

I’ll forgive you if you missed the deep themes present in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2. But between Rocket’s crazy plans, Drax’s inability to understand the slightest bit of figurative language, and the antics of the cutest seedling known to humankind, there are ideas about motivation, the bonds of friendship and family, and the difficulty of receiving love when you’ve struggled for acceptance your whole life. I laughed through the whole thing, thought about it for days afterwards, and the collection of 80s hits from the soundtrack still haven’t left my head. —Julia Hamm

AoE Staff

AoE Staff

Staff Writers at Geekdom House
Several Area of Effect writers contributed to create this article. Either that, or it was Gaius Baltar in Rivendell with the Master Sword.
AoE Staff