The end-of-year holidays is the period of time in which families get together, sit around the fireplace, and watch movies. Or, at least, that’s how it should work. In an ideal world. Okay, in my ideal world. Regardless, it does happen in many households. The question then becomes “what movie should we watch?” at which point the participants browse through the DVD collection, Netflix, and VOD selections before eventually deciding on a movie they’ve all seen a dozen times – because why push yourself during the holidays, right?
Here is a super serious and not at all joking list to help you with this decision. Here are movies from 2017 that will help drive home the importance of family, or teach your family lessons they might not even know they needed to learn. The films are presented in order of release date.
xXx: Return of Xander Cage
xXx: Return of Xander Cage is an important movie for a lot of reasons. The first is that, if you’re a child and your parents ask you what you’re watching, you can say “triple X” and give them a momentary heart attack. The movie also became a Fast and Furious knockoff, which will remind you of how strongly those movies push the idea that family is important. And, I mean, it does treat its team of heroes like a family. It deserves to be here. Shut up.
The LEGO Batman Movie
Almost any Batman movie that even mentions Batman’s parents would automatically fit into this list, but this year we had The LEGO Batman Movie, which went overboard with the whole idea of family. Batman’s greatest fear in life is gaining (and subsequently losing) a new family, and has walled himself off from the world in order to prevent this.
The lesson here is that if you, as a parent, die, your child could become Batman. And I think that’s a trade-off we’re all willing to accept.
The Fate of the Furious
xXx: Return of Xander Cage would have been the best Fast and Furious movie this year, but then an actual Fast and Furious movie decided to come out. In it, Vin Diesel’s character turns against his “family” – gasp! His reasons for doing so are ultimately noble and just further reinforce how important these movies want you to believe family is.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 reunites our hero Star Lord with his father, who left him and his mother when he was a child. It’s a touching moment … but then the film diverges from there into something else. Still about family, mind you, but a different kind of family. It makes the raccoon cry, you guys! It’s really heartfelt and sweet. And funny. And has solid action. what a great movie.
It Comes At Night
It Comes At Night will teach your family not to trust anyone else ever again, because the only people upon whom you can rely is yourself. Set after some “event,” it follows one family who allows another family to crash with them … only for that to not necessarily work out perfectly. Don’t trust thy neighbors, kids!
The Glass Castle
If you have an alcoholic or abusive person in your family, put on The Glass Castle to passive-aggressively show them how their actions impact those around them instead of sitting down and discussing it like adults. Or, conversely, if you don’t have someone like that in your family but your kids complain anyway, show them how much worse it could be.
Holiday fun for everyone!
Religion can always be a tough and touchy subject around the holidays. You bring families together and not everyone believes the same thing, and sometimes arguments get started because of that. Well, mother! will help you out here by allegorically showing you the story of creation from the Christian Bible – as well as being a creepy horror movie that frequently abuses its female protagonist, and also is so full of insane ideas that it only sometimes feels like a cohesive movie. If nothing else, it’ll bring everyone together with a shared experience that’ll leave all of you wondering what just happened.
Professor Marston & the Wonder Women
Not all families need to be conventional. Professor Marston & the Wonder Women will remind you that two women and one man can live together in harmony as long as BDSM gets introduced somewhat early on into the relationship. In all seriousness, this movie does serve as something of a triumph for unconventional households, and also tells an interesting story about how Wonder Woman came into existence.
A Bad Moms Christmas/Daddy’s Home Two
Two movies about families on Christmas released just weeks apart from one another, both A Bad Moms Christmas and Daddy’s Home Two will remind you of one important thing: don’t sell out. Don’t participate in cash-grab nonsense just to make a quick buck. That might not be a family lesson as much as an individual lesson one learns from sitting through both of these films, but they’re about families and they’re garbage so there you go.
I’ll end this list on a genuine note. Wonder is a movie I thought I would hate. It looked like saccharine silliness that would never resonate with anyone. It isn’t. It’s a sweet movie about not just a disfigured little boy but the family surrounding him. It could have just been about his attempt to attend public school, but it also showcases the importance of not forgetting about other family members even if one in particular receives the most attention. It’s also a great anti-bullying film. It’ll wind up being a great film to show grade-school children once it hits home video.