The Most Common Themes Found in Films

Have you ever watched a newly released film and had a vague feeling that you’ve seen it before? Chances are you haven’t but you probably have seen a film which covers similar themes.

It’s very rare that you’ll find a film which tells a completely new and revolutionary story.  Many movies re-tell the same stories; albeit in their own different ways.

Couple eating popcorn while watching a movie

This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Whilst the same themes are prevalent, it all depends on the way that they are told (and acted). We always withhold judgement until we’ve seen the movie!


However, if we were to write a list of common themes and motifs that do seem to be a firm favourite with Hollywood, it would look something like this…


Man vs. Nature

Man vs. Nature has long been a popular theme in movies, dating back hundreds of years. It involves pitting men (or women) against the harsh elements of the environment. Think about movies which include being stranded in the wilderness, or caught in a natural disaster. A running theme in these films is that man shouldn’t mess with the natural world. However, the whole idea is that the main characters will overcome the odds and survive.

Films include:

  • Cast Away (2000)
  • The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
  • Into the Wild (2007)
  • 127 Hours (2010)



Coming of Age

The idea of innocence and losing that innocence is also a common theme within a lot of films. You’ll often hear it being defined as a “coming of age” story in many plot descriptions. It’s a theme that can definitely be explored in lots of different ways, with some screen writers opting for serious and dark films, whilst others keep it as a comedy. A lot of these movies typically centre on a teenager or young adult.

Films include:

  • Sixteen Candles (1984)
  • The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Juno (2007)
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)



Let’s be honest, how many revenge films have you been to see at the cinema? There is something exciting and chilling about these films, making them so popular with audiences around the world. The main thing about revenge films is the journey that the main character takes. What happens to spark the need for revenge? Is the protagonist right in seeking revenge? The endings of these films can differ massively, with some getting what they are looking for and others deciding that it isn’t the right path to take.

Films include:

  • Gladiator (2000)
  • Kill Bill (2003)
  • Django Unchained (2012)
  • Deadpool (2016)


If one thing is clear, it’s that we’re undoubtedly drawn to these themes time and time again. It doesn’t matter if we’ve seen one or a hundred movies about superheroes finding their way in the world; we’re always eager to watch another.

This is similar to the way we love to re-watch our own home movies.  Despite seeing them all a thousand times, and despite them all pretty much being the same as the others, we still love to sit down and reminisce.

If your old home movies are still stuck on cine film, please contact us today. We can convert your old film to DVD format, making it easily accessible again.  Just give us a quick call on 0800 592 433!