“The Old Guard,” Netflix’s recent action release starring Charlize Theron, is about immortal fighters, but it’s also a good movie featuring excellent hugs. Many tough characters in the film hug one another, without embarrassment, without the hint of romance. It shows friends who embrace with love — something many of us are not able to do in the real world at the moment.
The Gina Prince-Bythewood-directed picture made me consider other cinematic hugs and the supercut I’d make of memorable onscreen embraces. The big one in “Good Will Hunting.” Many from various “Avengers” films. Feel free to add to my list. I’m taking all suggestions.
Rocky III (1982)
I do not know much about the “Rocky” movies. I know that many of my friends love them, and I wish I had more interest in them. The scene I do like, which I enjoy as a gif, is Rocky taking part in a hug in the ocean with Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers. It is wet and enthusiastic, and some of it happens jumping, in the air. There is so much joy and celebration in this hug.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
You know who gives beautiful, human hugs? E.T.! He places his hands on his best friend’s red sweatshirt, right before he goes home, and it’s magic.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
This character is not a good hugger: He has scissors for hands. Still, Johnny Depp’s Edward gets an A for effort. He holds Winona Ryder as best he can, looking at her with gratitude, wishing he could do it better. She leans in like he’s not a danger. It’s lovely.
There’s an embrace in this film featuring its three main characters — played by Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, and Brittany Murphy — that reminds me of the March sisters piling on top of each other in adaptations of “Little Women.” I love the look of the shot of three teen characters in a loving embrace, appreciating support and good company, totally unconcerned about what’s happening around them.
Love & Basketball (2000)
Prince-Bythewood has always been good at capturing great hugs onscreen. In her movie about longtime friends and basketball players who navigate their relationship, Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps are friends before lovers, and their hugs are epic.
Jonah Hill spoons Michael Cera from a separate sleeping bag in this film, and even though the hug is played as a joke, it seems genuine and loving, and I like the way two friends who don’t know how to live without each other might say goodbye before college.
The Hunger Games franchise (2012-2015)
Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, isn’t great with emotions. She’s too busy trying to save a dystopian world. Still, she has a few embraces in these films, and my favorites are with Lenny Kravitz, as Cinna, who designs her costumes, and Haymitch, played by Woody Harrelson, who becomes her mentor.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Charlize Theron gives great hugs in “The Old Guard” — and in this film, too. During this hug, which happens in a very dry desert, she clasps the back of the head of Megan Gale, who plays the Valkyrie, and they share their love and grief. Foreheads merge.
There is a point in this film where Taron Egerton, as Elton John, literally hugs his own inner child. I muttered “You’ve got to be kidding me” during the scene (I do love this film), but I was also fighting back tears. As was my inner child. It’s a full, accepting hug.
Star Wars, episodes VII-IX (2015-2019)
Carrie Fisher gives a lot of good hugs in the most recent installments of the “Star Wars” franchise. All of them should make you weep because … it’s Carrie Fisher. No one can beat her hugs; even in the now-iconic shot with Harrison Ford, he can’t match her loving embrace, the one where she leans in with her eyes closed. Honorable mention goes to my favorite “Star Wars” couple, Poe and Finn, who manage to do the kind of hug that has a running start. That kind of hug can be messy, but theirs is perfect.
Meredith Goldstein, who gives awkward hugs in real life, can be reached at Meredith.Goldstein@Globe.com.