9:10 pm EST, December 16, 2017

What we learned from the movies of 2017

It’s time to look back at the year and everything we learned. From hilarious to revolutionary, the movies of 2017 definitely made us think.

No matter how crazy the world gets, movies are something you can always count on. And 2017 provided us with a lot of them — some emotional, some disappointing, and some like nothing we’ve ever seen before. It also brought about a rise in the social discourse surrounding the impact of movies, their themes, and Hollywood in general.

Looking back at our own reviews and features on Hypable, here are some things we learned in 2017, thanks to its movies:

This article is part of Hypable’s 12 Days of Fandom, a celebration of 2017 and a preview of 2018. See new content every day from December 14 through Christmas!

guardians of the galaxy

Love can be found despite irreconcilable differences

In a time where society feels terribly divided, many of 2017’s films managed to capture the pain and suffering in society, and even find ways to work towards healing it. Wonder Woman was a great example of this, with profound conversations happening between characters from vastly different backgrounds and that managed to be inspirational without erasing anyone’s struggle.

The Big Sick gave us an interracial relationship struggling to overcome misunderstandings and disease. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 offered beautiful moments of friendship between vastly different characters, and even went as far as to challenge the Chosen One trope. Three Billboards Outside Ebbington, Missouri dared to take on issues of police brutality, domestic violence and rape, and offer its characters a chance at healing. We got to see very different people find ways to love each other, despite the hatred that threatens to divide them.

2017 belle

Reboots and sequels are good when they’re subversive

But with all the reboots and revivals this year brought, there was also much to learn. Both Pirates of the Caribbean and The Mummy aimed to attract old fandoms to new films, but ultimately struggled to create something captivating. Trying too hard to be like the originals and settling for mediocre storytelling, they lost money and ratings, and it’s hard to imagine the future bringing improvement.

It turns out that audiences want something new. And the success of Beauty and the Beast, Spiderman: Homecoming and Wonder Woman lies on the perfect mix of nostalgia and timely change. From a more intellectually ambitious Belle to an aged lead in Logan, the stories we thought we knew had new life breathed into them by daring to transcend the usual tropes.

dc justice league

If fans criticize something, change it

This year, we learned that as fans, we have a voice. With big franchises on the rise, DC became a fascinating case study. With 2016’s lukewarm-to-downright-bad reception of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, they had to step up their game. And while they delivered with Wonder Woman, they didn’t quite succeed with Justice League, which, while not hated as much as its predecessors, still didn’t quite find its footing.

It’s hard to pin down exactly what went wrong, but the studio clearly didn’t listen to the fans, who were concerned about the mood, villains and motivation of the DC films. Universal’s Dark Universe was also met with skepticism, and was ultimately so underwhelming that the franchise seems headed to failure. And with Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald facing backlash at the casting of Johnny Depp, Warner Brothers might have to tread carefully.

laura wolverine logan

There is hope in the next generation

We started out the year with the mindblowing event that was Logan, which set the tone for a new generation of X-Men stories: New Mutants and Dark Phoenix are coming soon, and a Laura movie has already been confirmed, all starring talented young actors from different backgrounds that will be telling poignant new stories. And with Disney having bought Fox, the future is even more intriguing.

Many franchises also kicked off again, from Pirates of the Caribbean to Spiderman: Homecoming. And though their reception varied, new actors are stepping into the light. Filmmakers are finally bringing in more diverse characters — Baby Driver’s portrayal of hard-of-hearing characters and Spiderman: Homecoming’s leading female characters was a good start (although not perfect), and the trailers for Black Panther and Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time promises much more to come.

This year, we saw many films that we’ll be watching for years to come. It’ll be interesting to see how the themes and learnings of 2017 affect the movie industry in the future… and with such a great lineup for 2018, next year is looking even more exciting!

What else did we learn from movies this year?

Editor’s note: Johnny Depp, who co-stars in Fantastic Beasts, allegedly abused his ex-wife Amber Heard. These accusations were made by Heard and Depp’s former associates.

For decades, Bryan Singer, who is a producer on X-Men, has been accused of allegedly sexually abusing young men. More info, as well as now-deleted comments from actor Noah Galvin. Why are we telling you this?

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