Plugged In Movie Awards: Best Movie for Teens

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PIMA Best Movie for Teens

We’re in our second day of unveiling the nominees for the Plugged In Movie Awards, and we’ve hit one of my favorite categories: Best Movie for Teens. The name’s a bit misleading, because lots of other folks can enjoy these movies besides teens, of course. But by default, these tend to be where the big, four-quadrant blockbusters land: The superhero movies, the sci-fi spectaculars, the movies that make enough money to wipe out the national debt. (Well, admittedly, none of them actually come close to wiping out the national debt, but you get the idea.)

Remember, we’re looking for your opinions, too. Pick your favorite among our nominees or, if you think we whiffed on one, choose your own. Let us know your own favorites down below, on our Facebook page or on Twitter, if you’re so inclined. You’ll have until Feb. 21 to vote. Winners will be announced March 2.

DunkirkDunkirk: Director Christopher Nolan’s time-shifting actioner takes viewers into perhaps World War II’s darkest moment: Nazi Germany seems unstoppable and the British army, the Continent’s last best hope to combat Hitler’s ambitions, is pinned against the sea. Yes, that’s right, England’s entire army—300,000 men—is trapped on the beaches near Dunkirk, France, and it’ll take a miracle to even save a tenth of them. What happens next has been spoiled by history, of course, but it’s no less riveting or inspiring. Weaving three separate narratives together from land, sea and air, Nolan crafts what some have called one of the greatest war movies ever made. Language can be an issue in spots, and Dunkirk certainly doesn’t soft-pedal the wartime peril. Indeed, augmented by Hans Zimmer’s driving score, viewers can practically feel the bullets fly. But for all that felt tension, The Oscar-nominated Dunkirk is inspiring, surprisingly restrained and, at times, even beautiful.

Greatest ShowmanThe Greatest Showman: This film tells the story of P.T. Barnum, an impoverished man who rose to fame through a whole lot of tenacity and creativity. He brought together some of society’s most shunned, least-likely success stories to create what would become what he modestly called “the greatest show on earth.” Sure, the real P.T. Barnum might not have been as warm and cuddly as the movie suggests. But if we accept this toe-tapping, tear-jerking musical for what it is, we learn some pretty great lessons: that hard work and creativity pay off: that we’re stronger together than we ever could be alone: and that we should never, ever write people off just because they might look a little different. That’s a great lesson, and a biblical one, too. It reminds us that God made us all different, and that He made us all for a purpose. And when we tap into our gifts and talents and even oddities within us and turn them toward a greater, purer purpose—in the case of this movie, making people happy—we get closer to being the people that God always intended us to be.

Last JediStar Wars: The Last Jedi: The galaxy’s seen better days. The dastardly First Order has picked up where the old, fascist Empire left off, enslaving whole systems right and left. The fire of rebellion has been all but snuffed out. But all is not lost—not yet. As Leia, Poe, Finn, et al., struggle to escape the First Order’s clutches and find a new operations base, Rey tries to encourage Luke Skywalker, the legendary Jedi of yore, to join the fight. Alas, Luke says he’s done with lightsabers. “This is not going to go the way you think,” he says. For many fans, Luke was absolutely right: The Last Jedi has polarized plenty of ’em. The movie focuses in on a concept difficult to convey on screen: disillusionment. Luke has grown disenchanted with the Jedi, mirroring many a scarred believer. Antagonist Kylo Ren is determined to tear down every father figure—good or bad—he’s ever had. Even our brave heroes grapple with the hard, murky realities of rebellion. But these elements add depth and resonance to this latest chapter of the Star Wars saga, even as the movie still embraces what the franchise has always been about: good and evil, light and dark and the war inside our own souls.

WarWar for the Planet of the Apes: Things have gotten a little … hairy on Earth. Most of humanity’s gone now, wiped out by a terrible, manmade disease, and some of those who survive are turning mute. Apes, meanwhile, have gotten smarter, and they’re carving out their own civilization. But humankind won’t go down without a fight: The Colonel and his band of zealots are determined to cleanse terra firma of its primate problem through any means necessary—forcing the apes’ heroic but increasingly disenchanted leader, Caesar, to fight back. It can’t be easy for a film to make human moviegoers to root against our own kind, but that’s just what War does, crafting a compelling story with resonant religious echoes. It positions Caesar as a kind of Moses, leading his “people” to the promised land, and it asks a pointed question of us: If we humans lose our humanity—our God-given sense of right and wrong, justice and compassion—what else do we risk? This film is sometimes bloody and certainly provocative, but this is a rare popcorn flick that sparks thought and conversation even as it entertains.

Wonder WomanWonder Woman: Themyscira seems like a nice place. Filled with forests, surrounded by beaches and dotted with beautiful Grecian buildings. It’s as dandy a vacation spot as you could wish for—if you could find it. For hundreds, maybe thousands of years, young Diana has called this paradise home, and her mother, Queen Hippolyta, sees no reason why Diana should ever leave. But when Diana rescues Steve Rogers, a World War I pilot who somehow crashed just off the coast, and the island’s Amazon warriors do battle with a bevy of Germans on the beach, Diana realizes that she can no longer wile away her years on the island paradise. She’s been raised and trained to fight evil, and so she shall—in a world wholly unfamiliar to her. Wonder Woman isn’t a perfect movie, naturally: It has some spiritual and sexual issues to wade through, along with the requisite superhero violence. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a silver-screen hero who embodies heroism quite so well.

(All movie capsules written by Adam Holz, Bob Hoose, Kristin Smith and yours truly.)

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Cj lastrue More than 1 year ago
vote : Dunkirk 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Dunkirk
CarstenT More than 1 year ago
Seems like the teens have so much more fun than the adults :) war for the planet of the apes was the big surprise hit for me last year. 
Rocketshipper More than 1 year ago
Dunkirk or Greatest Showman, though either of those could have been on the adult list too.  

And War for the Planet of the Apes was a huge disappointment, IMO.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
definitely The Greatest Showman!!
library_girl More than 1 year ago
I only saw Dunkirk and Wonder Woman, and I would have loved to vote for Wonder Woman, but I just can't get behind her sleeping with this guy she's only known for a few days as a good role model for a teen movie, alas. Dunkirk really stressed me out, but it was very well done. 
library_girl More than 1 year ago
Actually, Jumanji would be my vote for teen movie. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guess I gotta vote for Dunkirk...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a near impossible choice, given that three of my top picks from this year, nay, of all time, are on the list.

War for the Planet of the Apes: Did not see it.

Last Jedi: Disliked its lack of subtlety and heavy-handed female empowerment. I am all for qualified women being granted opportunities in leadership, the military, etc, but Last Jedi was so focused on its women that poor Finn and Poe spent most of the time on the sidelines. None of their decisions turned out well or really impacted the plot.

Dunkirk: A brilliant war movie. It did a great job acting as not just a film but a sense experience of warfare, while maintaining restrained levels of violence and profanity.

The Greatest Showman: Said it best itself. This movie is a celebration of humanity. Inspiring, joyful, and unabashedly exuberant, it also contains strong family themes and encourages respect and compassion for those who are different. Add in great music and dance numbers as the icing on the cake, and this becomes one of my favorite movies all-time. A genuinely uplifting experience!

And yet, MY VOTE GOES TO:

WONDER WOMAN: See, Last Jedi, I don't dislike movies that empower women. On the contrary, I love them! But they have to be done right. Gal Gadot's Diana is physically strong and powerful, but these traits do not undercut her compassionate nature. Like a lioness defending her cubs, Diana is both feminine and ferocious. Her near-naive sense of, well, wonder at the world around her resonated deeply with me. Too many movies present cynical antiheroes, or, when addressing women, act as though a woman must be cold, emotionless, and calculating to be a warrior. Wonder Woman defies both extremes of female stereotyping and soars to greatness as a bastion of moral character and selfless courage. 
Carissa Park More than 1 year ago
I give my vote to Wonder Women
Aaron Vriesman More than 1 year ago
Dunkirk for sure!
Jennifer Loving More than 1 year ago
Wonder Woman!
Airship Prodigy More than 1 year ago
Dunkirk
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonder Woman! Utterly fantastic in every way, left me breathless with... well, wonder, and revived my faith in humanity. No other movie has touched me in quite the same way. Wonder Woman showed the power each of us has to do good, and even in the face of horrendous evil it promotes mercy and love.
Lostariel Bronwethiel More than 1 year ago
YES!!! You put my exact feelings into words. Wonder Woman fills me with more hope than any other movie I've seen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree! The movie did a beautiful job humanizing Diana and injecting her character with feminine virtue while still making clear that in a physical fight she is not to be trifled with!
Lostariel Bronwethiel More than 1 year ago
I was so surprised at how well done it was!! Like you said, she's beautiful, smart, witty, compassionate, kind, gentle, loving, and nurturing while also being able to kick your butt ten different ways from Tuesday. I already knew it was going to be incredible based on the trailers, and I definitely wasn't disappointed!! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By CbinJ 
Honestly, I don’t understand where this sentiment comes from. Wonder Woman  suffers from the problems all the other DC movies do: it has an incoherent plot line, wooden acting, unending video game-esque CGI/ battles, emotionless characters, motivation-less story, and sloppy/ empty world building. Not to mention, the story lacks any semblance of thematic significance, romance, or anything that makes compelling entertainment. In my mind, Wonder Woman, doesn’t even meet the basics requirements to be a movie, let alone a movie that “restores my faith in humanity”. I can’t think of many movies that could do that—maybe a movie like Schindler’s List or something based on REAL people—certainly not a movie that completely fictionalizes history via intersectional philosophy/ the fetishes of a early 20th Century psychologist. Also, what is that “horrendous evil” you mention? I don’t remember who “the super-villain” was (because, again, utterly forgettable)—maybe that’s what you are talking about. But Wonder Woman takes place during WWI, not WWII. The lines between Good & Evil were much less clear in WWI.
By CbinJ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Obviously you're perfectly entitled to your opinion, but since you appear genuinely curious I'm happy to present my reasons for appreciating the movie so deeply. Be prepared for an essay. I've already written a bit on the subject and it only required some tweaking and re-organization.


1) Strong, Feminine Role Model: As a young woman who loves physical challenge and aspires to strong femininity, but who is wholly disappointed with the modern feminist notion of presenting men and women as the same, it was incredibly refreshing to add another to the fairly sparse ranks of strong but very feminine heroines. Diana embraces her role as a warrior but also as a woman, showing a special care for the lives of children and innocents, and possessing the gift of engaging with and appreciating all people. She is as beautiful as she is brave, and this complementarity of values resonated with me. Crucially, the film's male characters are not neglected (a la The Last Jedi). Capt. Trevor plays a pivotal role in the plot, and Diana grows as much in her relationship with him as he does in meeting her.


2) Subtle Promotion of Christian Values: There is a strongly Christian undertone to the movie, broken down as follows:


a) compassion: Diana believes in the basic goodness of humanity and seeks to save everyone. This idealistic attitude is blurred somewhat, but in the end she still retains the desire to see all of humanity reconciled and living in peace. Even if this is a goal she now sees is likely impossible, it is her "sacred duty to defend the world" and she'll do her darndest to perform that duty.


b) moral courage: President and General Ulysses S. Grant frequently discussed the virtue of “moral courage”, that is, maintaining an awareness of one’s duty and performing it any cost regardless of personal risk. This virtue is exemplified by Diana, who is willing to sacrifice her paradisiacal home and idyllic life on Themyscira, open herself up to the emotional torment of engaging in the constant battle between good and evil, and risk her physical life and limb to defend the innocent and all humanity from harm in whatever way she can. This willingness to lay down any and everything for the sake of the right — the true, good, and beautiful — is the essence of moral courage.


c) pro-life: While they may have been unintentional, there are obvious pro-life undertones to much of Diana’s behavior and statements. For example, she is overcome by delight at the sight of a baby, and later expresses horror and outrage toward an enemy for “killing people they cannot see. Women and children. Children!”


d) pro-family: Like the pro-life themes, these may have been unintentional, but they were definitely there. Near the beginning of the film, Diana and Steve hold two opposite extreme positions on love and marriage. Diana believes that, while men are indispensable for procreation purposes, they are unnecessary for pleasure. Steve meanwhile sees little potential in a woman beyond her ability as an object of pleasure. Both characters are misguided on the purpose of marriage, with Diana curious why it exists and Steve dismissing it as a thing that rarely works and generally ends in heartbreak. By the end of the movie, both characters have come to love and care for one another in a deep, committed way. Several important lines point directly to their desire for marriage. While this support for male-female complementarity and the family is somewhat undercut by the implication that Steve and Diana sleep together outside the confines of marriage, it is clearly indicated by their words and actions that marriage and an entire life spent together is their deep desire. Definitely a cut above most Hollywood fare and especially action flicks. 


3) True Heroism: Diana, Steve, and the other members of her team all demonstrate virtue in one way or another. While some are more broken than others, they are all called to a higher level of moral courage by Diana’s uncompromising moral clarity. She elevates those around her, encouraging them to believe in love — of neighbor and enemy. It is proposed that, while evil is to be faced and fought, “only love can save the world”. That sounds an awful lot like a certain faith believing in the power of self-sacrificial love and uncompromising morality. Greater love hath no man than this. . .


4) Sense of Wonder: Socrates states that: “Wonder is the only beginning of Philosophy”. By wonder he refers to a sense of awed questioning that comes with the exposure to depth, meaning, and the overwhelmingly beautiful. Philosophy refers to the pursuit of wisdom and understanding through the use of reason. ‘Wonder’ in ‘Wonder Woman’ can be broken down into two sides: Diana’s experience of wonder at the world and her awakening to reality, and the audience’s experience sharing her journey. On a spiritual or philosophical level I think there was great depth within this movie. From an artistic point of view, which is much more subjective, I can agree to disagree with those who disliked the visual aesthetic. Personally I was greatly pleased at not having to sit through another gray-and-orange, concrete-and-explosions actioner, a problem to which the DCEU has been particularly prone.


5) Allegorical and Symbolic Elements: Diana is repeatedly told that humanity does not “deserve” her and yet she continues to sacrifice herself for them. We do not deserve the sacrifice of Christ, and yet He chose to come to earth and redeem us by His blood. Not because we deserve it, but because He loves us. And as Diana says, “only love can save the world”. Additionally, the character of Ares bears much more resemblance to Satan, with his tempting and jealousy, than he does to the mythical Greek god of war.


In conclusion, while no one is obligated to agree with me, I cannot deny that I was moved by Wonder Woman in a way that few films have moved me. It touched a chord in my soul that I did not know needed to be played, and filled me with happiness like music. It reminded me that there is beauty in the world, that the line between good and evil, the war between good and evil, is in every human heart not one isolated place. It reminded me that only love and compassion can save the world, and yet there are still some evils so great that we have no choice but to stand and fight. It inspired me with hope and moral courage, and I pray that it had this effect on thousands more. Few directors or stars can ask for a greater achievement than to, through their art, make the world a better place. One human heart at a time. 

Lostariel Bronwethiel More than 1 year ago
I'm going to defend Wonder Woman till the day I die, so here we go. 

1. Incoherent plot line.

I'll admit that the plot was somewhat lacking. It didn't make complete sense to me, and the reveal of the villain wasn't very horrifying or whatever. But take away the plot and you're left with a movie full of compassion, love, innocence (I'm talking about Diana venturing out into the world for the first time), beauty, protection of those who can't protect themselves (Steve says, "We can't save everyone. This isn't what we came here to do." Diana replies, "No. But it's what I'm going to do."), and a discussion of good and evil that I don't remember watching in any other movies. 

2. Wooden Acting 

To what wooden acting are you referring to? Chris Pine's charismatic, loyal portrayal of Steve Trevor? Or how Gal Gadot made Diana seem innocent yet brave, compassionate yet strong, naive but also understanding all at once? Lucy Davis as Etta Candy, who complete stole all the scenes she was in? Robin Wright as Antiope, a strong, brave, fearless warrior who only wants the best for Diana? In my opinion, Wonder Woman has some of the best acting since the Dark Knight Trilogy in the superhero genre yet (DC and Marvel included). 

3. Motivation-less Story

This one I genuinely don't understand. Motivation-less story? One of the key themes in the movie is protecting innocents. Once Diana hears about the millions of men, women, and children being slaughtered, she immediately sets out to try and bring an end to the fighting. Steve has decided to risk his life (and eventually give it) in service to his country, because he believes that humanity is still good. Yes, we fight. We kill each other. But we also love. We protect. We defend. The movie makes it very clear that mankind is worth saving, even if we don't deserve it (sound familiar?). 

4. Undending video game-esque CGI/Battles

A fair bit of the movie isn't action. There are only three major battle sequences, all of which have incredible special effects. Just thinking about Diana crossing No Man's Land gives me the goosebumps. And too much CGI? Do have any idea how much CGI most movies have? Avengers was mostly CGI. Man of Steel. Lord of the Rings. Hunger Games. Inception. Apollo 13. Jumanji. Star Wars. Les Miserables. CGI is not uncommon. The slow motion action scenes may not be to everyone's taste, but I think they're pretty cool, especially in IMAX 3-D.

5. Emotionless Characters

Wonder Woman has some of the most heartfelt and emotional characters in any superhero movie (I say superhero because I think it's universally agreed that this genre is rarely very emotional). Steve Trevor's passionate speech to Diana about how humanity is worth it brought tears to my eyes and was genuinely inspiring. Diana's scream of pure agony when he died made me sob. Then think of the supporting cast: Chief, who had no home. Sameer, who hates fighting and wants to act, but feels he owes his country to go and risk his life for her. Charlie, a sharpshooter with PTSD. Hippolyta, a protective mother who sees that Diana needs to live her own life. Antiope, a fearless aunt who trains Diana to protect those who can't protect themselves. And as a side note, when Diana defeats Ares and the sun rises, you see the German soldiers. They're just boys. Barely even 20. Definition of that: emotional. 

6. Sloppy World Building

I have to agree with you on this one, I'm afraid. Themyscira wasn't the best developed place in the world. The backstop about the Amazons I found cringe-worthy, but then again, I cringed when Diana walked into the meeting full of men cause that was really awkward. 

7. The story lacks any semblance of thematic significance, romance, or anything that makes compelling entertainment

The characters are difficult to relate, as not many of us have been raised on an island filled with woman for hundreds of years or are American spies, but you can relate to Diana's compassion and protectiveness, Steve's loyalty and passion, Etta's sarcasm. And this might just be me, but isn't there romance? If you didn't hear Steve's heartfelt deceleration of love to Diana right before he died, well, that's your loss. 

The "horrendous evil" is in my opinion Dr. Poison. If you recall, she created a poison that gas makes would be useless against, wiping out both sides of the war completely. Ares admittedly isn't a very good villain. Compared to the likes of the Joker or Thanos or Sauron,  he's quite weak.

8. "The lines between good and evil were much less clearer in WW1" 

That's the point the movie made. Diana is the epitome of everything good. Steve is good, but he's also killed people. Diana asks him about his friends, if they can trust a liar, a thief, a smuggler, and a murder. He replies, "And what about me? I lied to the German army and to you, I stole the book, I smuggled the book here to London, and I shot soldiers on the beach. Liar, thief, murderer, smuggler. You still coming?" 
There's a comment made about how Charlie can't see the people he shoots. He replies, "Trust me. It's better that way." 

The lines between good and evil are much less clear. But that's one of the points the movie made. Sometimes you just have to do what you feel is right. Sometimes that choice is wrong. But that's OK, because we're only human. 
John Peterson More than 1 year ago
I vote for Dunkirk. It was so captivating, I felt like I was really there. 
Julienne Dy More than 1 year ago
"whimper" I wanted to go see The Greatest Showman, but both of our movie theatres were closed for renovations, and my younger siblings don't like live-action musicals.   The only one I've seen is The Last Jedi, so that's the one I'm voting for. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Out of the five, I've seen four:

War for the Apes: a cliché story to boot surrounded by great effects.

Wonder Woman: Having seen a lot of 'superhero' movies over the last few years, WW doesn't resister at all on my radar. Still haven't liked a DCEU movie yet. Maybe Justice League's amazing I haven't seen it.

The Last Jedi: If I had to describe what I thought of TLJ in one word it would be that it's disappointing. I hope in Episode 9 Kylo Ren gets what he deserves for killing Han Solo & Luke. I'm still not sure who or what killed Luke at the end of the movie. Maybe it was the AT-M6 walkers, or Kylo cutting him in half, or force depletion, or maybe he was just constipated. If Luke wanted to kill himself so bad, why didn't he just astral project himself sooner and end his sad life?

Dunkirk: A solid movie that really put me in the situation. My only real criticism for Dunkirk would be that both this and Darkest Hour could be spliced together and would make a great 3 hour political war drama. I know that's a nitpick.

My Vote: Dunkirk
In the kids category my vote would go to the film: WONDER

The Greatest Showman looks interesting from the trailers. I'll probably pick it up from the library one day.

See you later, Comment Section!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Correction: Kylo Ren did not kill Luke. Luke died from exhaustion. Also, aren't you rooting for Kylo Ren to turn back to the Light? Like Luke himself said, no one is ever "really gone." 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Correction: The name of the pilot Diana rescues in Wonder Woman is Steve Trevor, not Steve Rogers. Steve Rogers is Captain America, and while they'd be cute together, it would be Marvel copyright infringement. Doesn't help that both the actors are named Chris. . .
Brigette Eldredge More than 1 year ago
definitely war for the planet of the apes or wonder woman for me. I think this year was one of the best years for movies ever. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by Peggy Carter

Wonder Woman and the Greatest Showman were both amazingly well-made movies...can't say the same for the Last Jedi though. Dunkirk is getting my vote for this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I vote for Dunkirk.
charitysplace More than 1 year ago
Love The Last Jedi, but The Greatest Showman was a positive, entertaining experience -- I saw it twice with two different groups of people and everyone, old and young, walked out with a smile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By CbinJ
The Greatest Showman gets my vote. The acting, singing, and choreography were flawless. I play the soundtrack on loop. (The Greatest Show, The Other Side, and Tightrope are my favorites.) Now, it’s not Best Picture worthy (like La La Land was) because it has a lot of little film making & story/ script inconsistencies, but it is—without a doubt—an aesthetically beautiful film that must be seen on the big screen to be fully appreciated. And, also, I loved the messages: the idealizing of the Circus (side shows, a forgotten, but unique part of the American fabric, giving misfits an opportunity to earn a living when they otherwise couldn’t) and American entrepreneurship. Then, there was the  thread about family and marital fidelity. It was such a twist for the Leftists in Hollywood to make the man an honorable character as opposed to glorifying a mistress. Also, as someone who was obsessed with High School Musical, I loved seeing Zac Efron in a musical again. He’s so much better suited for classical and musical roles than he is for R-rated comedies.
By CbinJ
Adventuress More than 1 year ago
This has to be the hardest vote ever. Three of the movies on this list are not only my favorites of the year, they rank in the top ten or twenty films I've seen in my life. They are, namely:

Dunkirk: Relatively restrained for a war film but unrelentingly intense, Dunkirk is both realistic and minimalist. It immerses the viewer more in an experience than a movie. Terrifying, exhilarating, and heartbreaking, Christopher Nolan & Co have turned out a gem.

The Greatest Showman: Probably the most family-friendly on this list, the movie says it best itself. The Greatest Showman is "a celebration of humanity". While it bears virtually no resemblance to the rather sordid, exploitation-filled real life of the historical PT Barnum, it stands solid as a beautiful musical. Unabashedly joyful and uplifting, The Greatest Showman combines the modern values of individuality and self-expression with the old-fashioned, God-given satisfaction of family life. The circus is not the greatest show: human life and love is, with all its joyful, often messy trappings.

Wonder Woman: MY VOTE! Wonder Woman combines the brutal intensity of Dunkirk with the joyful optimism and clear-sighted morality of The Greatest Showman. Diana is good to the point of near-naivety. She is selfless, vulnerable, compassionate, courageous, powerful, and graceful. She embodies perfectly the universal call to goodness (holiness, in the Christian world). And she manages to radiate a warm, caring femininity even as she uses her incredible physical strength to defend the world with all the fury of an enraged lioness.

Notes on the other two picks: 

War for the Planet of the Apes: Did not see it.

The Last Jedi: I was extremely disappointed by the disjointedness and rambling of the Last Jedi's plot lines, along with the overt, over-the-top feminist agenda that focused so hard on the female characters, poor Poe and Finn fell almost completely by the wayside. It's tough to watch a movie with so many promising ideas go off the rails, and it's even worse (a cinematic crime, if you will) when that movie is a Star Wars movie.
Lydia Grace More than 1 year ago
Dunkirk. Powerful and extremely well done.
Scott Jamison More than 1 year ago
Sadly snubbed by the Oscars, and actually about teenagers:  "A Silent Voice".  A Japanese animated film about a school bully who goes too far even by bully standards, then himself becomes the target of bullying and must struggle to redeem himself.  Not for children because of the depiction of bullying and attempted suicide, but a fine film that got bumped for "Boss Baby."