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Year in Review: Our Top 7 Feel Good Movies of 2017

One of the best things about going to the movies is how they can make you really feel something special, to lift you up and inspire. Here’s our list of some of the best feel good movies of 2017.


Okja, 2017 © Kate Street Picture Company

Okay, so this South Korean film is a pretty dramatic and emotional story, but by its end, will lift you up, the story of a little girl and a giant pig, one of the more surprisingly affecting movies of the year. From director Bong Joon-ho, the tale follows the adventures of a Mija (Ahn Seo Hyun), who tries to save the life of a new species of pig meant to be bred for mass consumption and along the way teaching the world a few very valuable lessons. Stirring imagery and a heartfelt message make this one to watch.

READ MORE: Our Review of Bong Joon-ho‘s Okja

Dave Made a Maze

Dave Made a Maze, 2017 © Butter Stories

One of the quirkiest films of the year, this delightfully charming and offbeat take on personal redemption is a creative and uplifting journey that is endlessly satisfying. Writer/director Bill Watterson builds a fantasy world so convincing, we can’t help but follow the curious journey of Dave (Nick Thune), who, in a weekend of frustration, built a cardboard fort from which he can’t escape. And that’s only the start of this wildly imaginative gem that will make you smile from start to finish.

READ MORE: Our review of Bill Watterson‘s Dave Made a Maze


Unbridled, 2017 © Moving Visions Entertainment

A well-made family movie that doesn’t get preachy or condescend its target audience is a rare thing, so it’s refreshing to come across John David Ware‘s emotional-driven Unbridled, about a teen girl (Téa Mckay) facing some genuinely troubling issues and finding peace on a horse ranch for troubled girls. Contemporary and earnest, this is a sweet and poignant tale with a very positive message for the whole family.

READ MORE: Our Review of John David Ware‘s Unbridled

Pitching Tents

Pitching Tents, 2017 © Meritage Pictures

Your average teen sex comedy is a collection of silly pranks, cheap nudity and whacky characters, and serve their purpose as such, so when something comes along that sort of flips that over, it deserves a little love. Jacob Cooney‘s Pitching Tents is a real surprise, taking the themes and giving it a spin that offers a lot of rewards in the second half. Sweet story and one heck of a retro soundtrack make this an easy recommendation that will lift you up.

READ MORE: Our review of Jacob Cooney‘s Pitching Tents

Second Nature

Second Nature, 2017 © Cross Films

Sure, gender-swap movies are nothing new and it would seem there’s not much that can be done with the premise aside from a few obvious role-reversal jokes, but somehow, Michael CrossSecond Nature gives it enough spin to make this work. Amanda (Collette Wolfe) and Bret (Sam Huntington) are in a race for the mayorship of their town, but when a magic mirror flips not them, but the people’s attitude’s towards gender, things get wacky. A strong finish helps this light comedy feel really good.

READ MORE: Our Review of Michael CrossSecond Nature

First They Killed My Father

First They Killed My Father, 2017 © Netflix

You’re probably thinking a movie with word ‘killed’ in the title could hardly be considered a feel good movie, and for the most part, you might be right, but Angelina Jolie‘s stirring retelling of Loung Ung (Sareum Srey Moch) survival of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia is ultimately one of the most inspiring films of the year. A gripping account of a young child trying to understand a violent and horrifying transition after the end of the Vietnam War, this is a must watch that will have you celebrating your own life.

READ MORE: Our Review of Angelina Jolie‘s First They Killed My Father


Stronger, 2017 © Bold Films

A biopic about a survivor of the 2013 Boston bombing, this exceptionally well made and performed story is a surprisingly honest and respectful account of Jeff Bauman (Jake Gyllenhaal), a man who lost his legs to the attack. From director David Gordon Green, this is a departure from the typically manipulative take on these kinds of stories, an inspiring and authentic examination of life after tragedy.

READ MORE: Our Review of David Gordon Green‘s Stronger