top of page
  • rachelallen060

Pick Your Theme

Theme Categories While the film's theme can be put into either a question (can money buy happiness?) or a statement (some things cannot be bought), at the end of the day, your theme will most likely stem from one of the following categories. These are some of the most common themes explored by novels, films, and short stories: - Man vs. Nature – Stories that pin man against the powers of nature. (Jaws, 127 Hours, Jurassic Park, Cast Away, The Grey, Wild)

- Loss of Innocence – When a young protagonist is introduced to or thrown into the complexity of adulthood. (To Kill a Mockingbird, Toy Story 3, Pickings, Empire of the Sun) - Man vs. Self – Stories that explore internal conflicts, illness, addiction, rites of passage, etc. Often, these films present the protagonist as his/her own worst enemy. (Almost Famous, A Beautiful Mind, Wall Street, Silver Linings Playbook, American Beauty) - Revenge – Stories as old as humanity itself. (Oldboy, Kill Bill, Death Wish, Hard Candy, True Grit, Once Upon a Time in the West)

- Man vs. Death – Movies that explore the inevitability of death and the way in which human beings deal with it. (The Bucket List; The Fault in Our Stars; Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl; The LovelyBones) - Battle Movies – Stories that revolve around physical conflict and battle, either between two individuals, two nations, two worlds, or two galaxies. (300, Saving Private Ryan, AvengersInfinity War, The Lord of the Rings, Pearl Harbor) - Man vs. Society- Stories where an individual is fighting against the injustices of society, social norms, or authority. (Schindler’s List, Fight Club, A Few Good Men)

- Triumph over Adversity – When the human spirit fights to triumph, and when an exceptional character is stuck in a bad situation – you have yourself an inspirational story about the true power of the human spirit. (Forrest Gump, The Shawshank redemption, The Pursuit of Happyness, The BlindSide, Rocky) - Love Stories– It can be romantic, sad, or heart-wrenching, but stories about love will always tug at one’s heartstrings. (The Notebook, Titanic, Before Sunrise, Shakespeare in Love) - Good vs. Evil – By far the most used thematic category on this list; there’s a bad guy doing bad things and a hero who stands up to stop him. It’s the theme of almost any superhero film and the oldest ones in the book. (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, James Bond, Avatar, The Lion King, Shrek, Aladdin, Who FramedRoger Rabbit)

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page