by Jake Ramos
2017 is coming to a close and that means it’s time for my annual TOP TEN MOVIES OF THE YEAR! But this time I’m doing things a little different. Because I’ve seen so many movies this year - a total of 34, there were a lot of great ones to choose from. So I added some subcategories with a top ten list of their own. You can check them out here: TOP TEN COMIC BOOK MOVIES | TOP TEN ACTION/ADVENTURE MOVIES.
And now without further ado, here are my top ten movies of 2017. Warning: Spoilers ahead!
10. Get Out
Get Out marks Jordan Peele’s (of Key and Peele fame) directorial debut, and boy was it a great one! Taking on society’s issues of racism and turning it into a satirical horror film is a great way to make a bold statement. Peele has succeeded in where other experienced directors fail in getting a message to resonate with audiences. Get Out is witty and a different kind of scary.
James McAvoy gives one of his best performances as a disturbed man suffering with 23 different personalities. After a series of duds at the box office, Split was an unexpected surprise from director M. Night Shyamalan. But the biggest surprise was the ending (SPOILER ALERT!) featuring a cameo by none other than Bruce Willis, who portrays the character David Dunn from Shyamalan’s 2000 hit Unbreakable. Yes, Split and Unbreakable are in the same cinematic universe and Glass, the third film of this trilogy, is well under way.
8. THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
The Greatest Showman is spectacular and mesmerizing. A feel-good movie and fun for the whole family with catchy tunes that make you want to sing along and dance. Hugh Jackman can do it all and big props to Zac Efron, Zendaya, Michelle Williams, Keala Settle and the rest of the amazing and talented cast.
Hugh Jackman’s swan song as the titular character. Logan was action-packed, gritty, and very emotional. A mix between an old school western and a dystopian noir film with a breakout performance by Dafne Keen. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to a character Jackman has portrayed for 17 years. I honestly can’t think of a better actor to fill in his shoes. Logan was a beautiful way to hang up the claws. But now that Disney has bought Fox and the rights reverting back to Marvel, is it truly over for Jackman’s Wolverine? Only time will tell.
6. WONDER WOMAN
Gal Gadot's inner and outer beauty charms the screen in Wonder Woman. It's fun, emotional and action packed. Director Patty Jenkins (Monster, The Killing) captured the true essence of the character from a naive princess of Themyscira to an inspiring superhero tasked to save what's left of humanity in the midst of a "War To End All Wars". The tone and feel was very reminiscent to Christopher Reeve's Superman The Movie, Christian Bale's Batman Begins, and Chris Evans' Captain America: The First Avenger - all films led by male superheroes portrayed by actors whose names start with Chris (Whoa!). But Gadot truly stands triumphant as she makes this character her own in the very first BEST female led superhero film. Themyscira was beautiful, the Amazons are fierce, and Chris Pine was funny and had great chemistry with Gadot. After 3 attempts (Man Of Steel, Batman Vs Superman, Suicide Squad), DC finally has a hit in their first superheroine outing. The Amazonian Princess' time has come.
5. THE VILLAINESS
The Villainess is a mix between Kill Bill, John Wick and Hardcore Henry in terms of visual style, storytelling and fight choreography. It’s insanely brutal and the most kick-ass film I’ve seen since The Raid films. This South Korean action film is a great homage to female assassin thrillers and will leave you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
4. THE DISASTER ARTIST
Arguably one of the best movies of the year based on the true story behind one of the worst movies in cinema history. James Franco gives one of the best performances of his career! THE ROOM was one of those movies that was sooo bad but yet sooo good. What's more intriguing is the man behind the "Citizen Kane" of bad movies and the best friend that stuck with him to achieve their dreams. As a filmmaker, I can appreciate this story because it definitely strikes a chord with me and my own experiences trying to break into the industry. It's ironic that I find it inspiring given the fact that I hated The Room when I first saw it. The Franco bros and co. did an absolutely tremendous job on capturing the highs and lows of chasing your dreams.
3. STAR WARS EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI
The Last Jedi may have left some fans divided but as for me, I truly enjoyed it. The fanboy in me was saying “no, why’d you have to do that? I would have done it this way!”. But the filmmaker in me says “yes, I can appreciate the director’s decision to progress the story forward by ending another. It strayed away from the typical Star Wars formula and shook and broke the ground of what was familiar.” If there’s one thing both sides of me can agree with, it’s that I would have saved some decisions made in this film for the next and last one of the trilogy (Episode IX).
2. BLADE RUNNER 2049
A visually stunning, captivating, thrilling and breathtaking movie experience. A beautiful desolation of sorts where the story and characters are driven by its awe inspiring moments and set pieces. The art speaks for itself. With the trend of flashy, fast paced CGI-frenzy blockbusters nowadays, the tone and pacing is a breath of fresh air as it allows the story to unfold naturally. It's an intelligent film with an acquired taste for some which leaves us with more questions than answers compared to its predecessor. Blade Runner 2049 provides a glimpse into the not so distant dystopian future where one can no longer tell the difference between human and artificial intelligence. We're on that course... and it's scary.
DUNKIRK is one of the most thrilling, suspenseful experiences I've had at the movies in a long time. Director Christopher Nolan does an outstanding job capturing the gripping tale of survival and building tension, most without words, as 400,000 soldiers struggled to get home... until home came for them. Hans Zimmer's score is haunting in this World War II epic and Hoyte Van Hoytema's cinematography is beautifully projected on IMAX 70MM film. It is truly and beautifully immersive and I wish more big scale movies would go this route rather than digital and 3D. Dunkirk is epic and meant for a gigantic screen!
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