My Top Ten Films of 2017
Here is my top
ten… top eleven… top twelve … wait… top THIRTEEN… no, no…Top FOURTEEN films of 2017. Before anyone asks? I have not seen Ladybird, Blade Runner 2049, Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk, Murder on the Orient Express, Wind River, Hostiles, the Shape of Water or Mother!
Logan is the swan song for both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in their memorable runs as Wolverine and Professor X. Set in a time where most of the X-Men are gone and Wolverine’s health is failing, Logan was a gutsy move. It earns it’s ‘R’ rating in the first five minutes, but what really makes it stand out is the emotion that is packed into it. Stewart gives a wonderful performance here.
2. Land of Mine
I know this was released in Denmark in 2015, but technically, it is a 2017 film for the U.S. So I am calling it as “this year”. After all, the director’s next film is due out in 2018.
3. War For the Planet of the Apes
Matt Reeves managed to make the most consistent trilogy of films. All three of his Apes movies have been top notch. Emotional and exciting, Reeve shows a real understanding of the balance of action and drama.
4. Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman was everything I wanted to see from the DC film universe. Wonder Woman is hopeful and filled with excitement. It was a bright spot for Super-Hero films in general, the DC Cinematic Universe quite specifically.
5. Get Out
Jordan Peele, best known as part of the comedy duo Key and Peele, wrote and directed this smart dark social satire thriller that skewers liberal attitudes towards black Americans. It has great writing and some really good performances.
6. The Big Sick
A wonderful and personal story from husband and wife creative team Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the Big Sick mines humor and heartbreak from their real life experience. In what seems like the ultimate Rom Com movie plot, Emily had fallen into a coma early in their relationship. The Big Sick does not approach this from a glossy sense of “isn’t it romantic”. It is messy and gut wrenching at times. It is also endearing and joyful. They explore the issues of cultural differences, the pressures those can bring on relationships. Really, the Big Sick is a wonderful little movie.
7. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Unexpectedly one of the most controversial films of the year… and one of the rare reversals for Star Wars where the critics largely love it, while the general audience is more sharply divided…The Last Jedi is kind of the Unforgiven of Star Wars. It also has one of Mark Hamill’s best live action performances ever.
8. Atomic Blonde
This film was not what was advertised. This is not a James Bond Spy Action flick. This is an Espionage Thriller, and a very, very good one at that.
9. Edge of Seventeen
I thought this was a real good “coming of age” film, full of wit and heart.
It (Chapter One) is a pretty solid fright film. Dramatic with some of the strongest kid actor performances I have seen in a long time, this was a real intense scare film and one of the best adaptions of King to date.
11. Logan Lucky
I suppose this is really just “White Trash Ocean’s Eleven”…but it is full of great performances, and held together emotionally by Channing Tatum and young Farrah Mackenzie. Really, this was a lot of fun.
12. Baby Driver
Baby Driver is not a deep film. It is not even all that emotionally engaging. It is the simple story of a getaway driver trying to get out of his job for the girl he loves. But Edgar Wright does not give the film any such pretense of being more than just a really good noir action flick with a killer soundtrack.
13. Thor: Ragnarok
Ragnarok is a lot of fun. I simply had a terrific amount of fun. The Hulk has evolved, Cate Blanchett’s Hela is a good villain and Taika Waititi managed what seemed to be looking impossible…a Thor film that rose above, “I guess it was okay.”
14. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Sam Raimi had a decent run with Spider-Man, but ended on a flawed note. Marc Webb made Spider-Man films with some good points, but still did not quite connect for audiences. Sony’s deal with Marvel to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe paid off. Skipping over the origin story, we get a Spider-Man months into his role. Peter Parker wants to be an A-List Super-Hero badly, but he is stuck on a neighborhood level, and his connections to Tony Stark are not boosting him forward like he hoped. Between good arcs for both Spider-Man and his nemesis the Vulture, I am excited to see where Peter goes next.
John Wick 2. Somehow, these John Wick movies have me wanting to see more. I mean, they are really enjoyable. Kong: Skull Island was fun, much in the same way as Baby Driver. A Cure For Wellness was just such a weird film, but I really liked it. Also really enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy 2. While not perfect, it is a lot of fun.