Hey, everyone, we’re back with numbers 11-1 of my movies of 2017. It’s all up from here folks, as we count down to my favorite movie of the year. Let’s get right to it!
- The Hitman’s Bodyguard
It’s nice to have a movie that’s self-aware enough to know exactly what it is. This is that movie. You want a fun, unfiltered, action film that’s basically Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson just doing their thing? This is 100% for you. This is the kind of movie you watch when you want to have a good time. I knew exactly what I was getting into from the first poster and trailer inspired by that other Bodyguard movie, and I wasn’t disappointed.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
How do you follow up a film like the first Guardians of the Galaxy? It seems like a daunting task but this film didn’t fall into many of the traps of sequels in needing to be ‘bigger, more explodey just because’. This film put a lot of focus on character development and expanding the galaxy on top of what we already know. The villain was leagues better than Ronan the Accuser and the interaction between both new and old characters was awesome. And Michael Rooker is a show-stealer. ‘Nuff said.
- Atomic Blonde
An action-spy flick with Charlize Theron and directed by one of the directors of John Wick? Add in a killer 80’s soundtrack and you’ve got me sold. The fights are knock-down-drag-out brawls that are gorgeously choreographed without the horrible multi-cuts that plague other actions films of late. And don’t even get me started on how much I’d love to see more female-led action films! 2017 was awesome for really getting some good female protagonists out there and I hope we can keep that trend going!
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
This is the Spider-Man we’ve been waiting for since at least Spider-Man 2, but more than that I finally feel like we found an actor that embodies both the Peter Parker and Spider-Man sides of the character. I also got one of my favorite villains on screen, and the Vulture was one of the better MCU baddies. I also really appreciated not having to do the origin again and instead see Peter come into himself as a hero in a post-Avengers world.
Making these lists is always hard. Dunkirk is objectively an incredible film, despite ‘only’ being at number 7 (in the middle of writing this I even bumped this one up a spot and dropped something else down). I don’t want its position on this list to take anything away from how damn excellent it was. This was a gorgeous, fantastically acted, beautifully scored experience that put you on that beach with those men. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. I know I sound like I’m fangirling, but this movie really is that good.
- Get Out
I haven’t been as pleasantly surprised and impressed by a movie in a long time as I was with Get Out. To have your feature directorial film be such an excellent mix of horror, comedy, social commentary, and satire is a huge credit to Jordan Peele. It didn’t quite go in the direction I thought it would but the final reveal was so fascinating that I was glad to be wrong. This movie has had a lot of hype around it and it really does deserve it. Side note, I can’t wait to see star Daniel Kaluuya again in Black Panther next month!
- John Wick Chapter 2
I loved everything about the first John Wick movie. It wasn’t much different with this one. I loved how you got more of the world in which these people operate, and to see John in action as more than just a rage-fueled killing machine. The ending left it open for a third and with me going ‘holy crap what are they gonna do next?’ Keanu Reeves is frickin’ spectacular once again and every piece of action is absolutely on-point. The pace is a bit less relentless than the first, but it gives you that opportunity to learn more about this shadowy assassin world and really fleshes things out.
- Wonder Woman
Of all the movies I saw last year, this was one of the ones I really, really wanted them to get right. You would not believe how relieved I was that they did. Free from the drag of Batman v Superman, Diana shines in her own film. The cast are all amazing, Themiscyra is appropriately beautiful, World War One is appropriately horrible, and it does it all without being disjointed, dour, or dumb like its predecessors. It was so refreshing to see a superhero who was not only beautiful and badass, but who felt emotions and had compassion without it being framed as a weakness (and not being framed like a sexual object in every shot). I can’t overstate how important it was for this movie to be good, let alone as good as it was. Not just for me, but for people like my little girl, who now always wears her sword stuck in the back of her shirt and had a full, movie-accurate Wonder Woman costume for Halloween (which was quite the project for me).
- War for the Planet of the Apes
The third installment in one of the best, most consistently excellent trilogies out there. A beautiful wrap up for the arc of Caesar and how he has developed into a leader for his people and how he grows as a person (ape?). An excellent score, breathtakingly lifelike motion capture, and incredible character development that gets you right in the feels, this film really has it all. I was skeptical about these movies at first, and I’ve never been happier to be wrong.
- Star Wars Episode VII: The Last Jedi
Okay, so this was the movie that was holding this all up. After seeing it the first time, I had no idea where to put it on my list and I knew I had to see it again if I was going to come to any sort of conclusion. Long story short, I loved it even more the second time. I found I watched parts of it differently the second time. I know this movie has been divisive but I loved every minute of it, from crawl to credits, all to that John Williams score. And our house is definitely pro-porg.
This year I seemed to like my blockbusters with a side of emotional gut-punch. But really, what else could have been number one (other than maybe Star Wars)? Logan was top of my list pretty much all year, and nothing else quite surpassed it. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart were at the top of their game here. In fact, my other half, who works in a personal care home, commented on how eerily familiar Charles Xavier was to some of the residents he’s worked with. The standout performance had to go to Dafne Keen, though. She was absolutely phenomenal and I hope James Mangold gets that X-23 film off the ground with her in it. This was Wolverine as we’d never seen and had been waiting to see on the big screen, in a film full of emotional depth that in some places just shattered me. And I wasn’t the only one getting the feels (I heard all you other people around me in the theater sniffling at certain parts, too). If this was to be Wolverine’s swan song, then he went out in incredible fashion.
So that’s it, folks, my films of 2017 from bottom to top. This is just my own opinion, of course, and I’m sure everyone has their personal favorites. Let me know what yours was! Next time we’ll look ahead to the films coming out this year and see what we have to look forward to. Until then!
Could not agree more with Logan at #1. It is a symphony of violence featuring an Oscar worthy performance by Stewart.
I saw all of these except for Hitman’s bodyguard, so down below I’ll place my thoughts on them as they appeared in this list, followed by my own top 10 of the year with some honorable mentions listed.
GotG 2: It was good and was a more character driven piece than the first GotG. I think I enjoy it more than the first one for this reason, also for the relationship of Yondu with everyone else being a joy. It got emotional for me.
Atomic Blonde: Everything about this movie should appeal to me. I like Charlize Theron, James Macavoy, and love both action and espionage movies. I say this but the movie left me cold. As I don’t seek out movies I feel I’ll dislike and tend to enjoy most movies, this places Atomic Blonde as one of the worser movies I saw this year. The stairway fight is dope though.
Spiderman Homecoming: I loved this movie. It is easily my favorite superhero movie of the year. I loved the jokes, the tone, and Tom Holland as Spiderman. Add in the fact they actually give time to develop their villain and you got a great movie. It also has one of my favorite scenes of 2017 with a certain car ride.
Dunkirk: I saw this 3 times in theaters and each viewing let me focus in on it more. I enjoyed Dunkirk quite a bit and felt the cinematography and editing were astounding. I also dug the performances from Rylance and Branagh.
Get Out: I saw this at a preview screening in January on campus and enjoyed it quite a bit. The humor is great and the film is anchored by solid performances. I don’t know if it deserves the level of love it’s getting, but I definitely want to see more from all involved.
John Wick Chapter 2: This is my favorite action movie of the year. I loved the set pieces and world building. It’s more of the same, though a bit bigger and grander, and I have no problem with that. The Shopping scene is one of my favorite scenes in the year. The Catacombs shootout is also my favorite shootout of the year.
Wonder Woman: It was OK. I liked it going into the final third which then caused it to take a nosedive with an uninspired final fight. I love Gadot as Diana and Chris Pine as Trevor and their relationship is great. I also dig the no man’s land scene. But that last fight dragged it down for me along with some historical annoyances. I feel WWI is the wrong choice. They seem to both want to push a germans are bad and germans are people too argument and these two things don’t mesh. I’d argue WWI fits more of a latter argument, hence my wrong war point.
War for the Planet of the Apes: This is a fantastic movie. I still think Dawn is my favorite of the trilogy, but this a close second. All of the callbacks, a fantastic score, and an excellent performance from Andy Serkis bookmark the possibly greatest sci fi trilogy in recent memory.
Star Wars the Last Jedi: I enjoyed this quite a bit. I’m unsure whether I like this more or less then tFA as Force Awakens is more cohesive, but also safer. This movie has a bit of a lull in the middle, which I understand, but I wish it was shorter. The last hour is sheer perfection with possibly my favorite star wars moment ever. The silent scene is easily one of my favorite moments of the year.
Logan: I dig this trend of Neo Westerns we’ve been getting with Logan as the superhero entry. See WftPoA as sci fi entry. The performances are all solid and the movie made me feel things.
My personal top 10 is as follows:
1. Baby Driver
2. Call Me by Your Name
3. Wind River
6. Spiderman: Homecoming
7. A Ghost Story
8. The Post
9. Blade Runner: 2049
10. Logan Lucky
HM: War for the Planet of the Apes, John Wick: Chapter 2, Get Out, Logan, The Big Sick, Dunkirk, The Last Jedi, the Babysitter, mother!, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Free Fire, Loving Vincent, The Beguiled