2017 was a pretty good year for movies. I did not get to see a lot of Oscar contenders yet as I had a family vacation in the most magical place of the year (blog post possibly coming soon) so there will be a bunch of those that won’t make this list. I saw a total of 30 films in the theater this year, which again I wanted to be more but life happens. This list is my personal top 10 films of the year, the films that made me have the biggest reactions. There are absolutely films that were loved by people that aren’t on my list. Here are a few honorable mentions.
- Baby Driver
- Blade Runner 2049
- War for the Planet of the Apes
- Wonder Woman
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
So with those out of the way, here are my top 10 favorite movies of 2017!
10) Star Wars: The Last Jedi
This was the last film I saw this year and it just squeaks in at 10. For being talked about as the most divisive Star Wars film ever, I don’t see it at all. I’ve seen it twice and both times had a smile on my face the whole time. Luke Skywalker. That is all I need to say because he is awesome in this movie. Kylo Ren is great, Rey is great, and Poe is great in this movie. I liked the Rose/Finn storyline. This movie is still pretty fresh but when the movie comes out on Blu-ray, I’ll do a detailed review of this guy.
80’s nostalgia is still hot and this film tapped right into it. I’ve seen bits of the original mini-series and the one theme that stuck out in that was the bullying. This movie didn’t hold back on bullying here either and it is brutal. There is also a good balance of humor and the creepy Pennywise. To me, this wasn’t a horror film. This is more of a psychological thriller coming of age movie. Pennywise is creepy as hell, played by Bill Skarsgard and all of the kids, which are essential for a coming of age movie, are all very good here. It was a pleasant surprise as a film and as a box office success.
8) Spider-Man: Homecoming
I’ve never been a big Spider-Man guy. He’s just not my superhero. I’ve enjoyed some of the Spider-Man films. Now I’m a pretty big fan of this character. Tom Holland was excellent as Spider-Man/Peter Parker but the best part of this film was Michael Keaton as the Vulture. As far as comic book villains go, Vulture has to be top of the list, or near the top. Toombs is a hard-working guy, gets screwed out of his job, and turns to a life of crime to make ends meet and support his family. You kind of feel for Toombs at the beginning but then he just goes to a dark place when Spider-Man enters his life. The scene with Toombs and Parker in the car was one of the more chilling scenes in an MCU film. Ned is also a great character as Peter’s best friend. Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, and Zendaya help round out this fun blockbuster.
7) Three Billboards Outside of Ebbings, Missouri
This was the only November-December Oscar-bait type of film I got to see this year and I’m so glad I did. For the story, this movie told, it was amazing at how much humor was in here. Then I found out after the fact that this was directed by the same guy that did In Bruges, which is also dark humor-filled, and that made a lot of sense. My favorite type of humor is dark/gallows and this film was filled with it. Frances McDormand should be contending for best actress at the Oscars this year because she packs in an amazing performance. Sam Rockwell also has a very good performance and his character takes quite the arc. I think this film could have been higher on my list at a point but I’m happy with placing it at 7.
I haven’t seen this movie on many lists that I’ve watched/read so far but for me, Detroit caused such a reaction for me that it was a no-brainer that it made my top 10. I knew nothing about the real-life story behind this film, the 1967 Algiers Hotel incident, and it infuriated me. I just recall after seeing the film that I sat there for a minute when the credits rolled and just stewed on it because I was so angry, which is to the films credit because I rarely get that angry at a film that’s asking me to be angry, not because the film is bad (that’s a different type of angry). Of all the villains on screen this year, Will Poulter as Krauss is at the top of the list for me. I was shocked at how much I hated Krauss in this film and even more infuriated with how his story ended (again, a credit to the film). I may do a detailed review on this when I have it on Blu-Ray but I really think people should see Detroit.
5) Thor: Ragnarok
This is probably the most fun I’ve had watching a superhero film from start to finish since Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. Thor is one of my favorite MCU heroes and even though the direction is quite different in this film for Thor, it is an amazing film. The humor mostly hits throughout the film, it’s an epic scale film, and has a very ominous villain in Hela, played by Cate Blanchette. I already did a review of this film on this here blog but I’m quite happy it made my top 5.
As of today, this movie is #4 but man it could have been #1. I came out of this movie buzzing because I wanted to talk about it with other people who had seen it immediately. I love teasing this movie to people because you have to be careful about the plot. Once you figure out the move, which for me was when the brothers came into the picture, then you either will hate this movie or like me buckle in and just adore the storytelling. Jennifer Lawrence as “Mother” and Javier Bardem as “Creator” are both fantastic in this film. Darren Aronofsky is hit or miss for me sometimes, but this one was definitely a big hit. This film is not for everyone and will offend a large group of people. However, I appreciated it for what it was, agreed with some of the themes Aronofsky was putting out there, and just loved the storytelling of the film once you figured out what really was going on.
Logan is certainly the best Wolverine movie and might be the best X-Men movie. I loved the direction they went with this film and the way that it wrapped up. It was such a great send off for Hugh Jackman who’s played this character since 2000. As good as Wolverine’s story was, the person who stole the show for me was Professor X, played by Patrick Stewart. What a great concept for his character. Laura (X-23), played by Dafne Keene is also excellent in this film. I love the world, I love the characters, and I loved the story of this film, my favorite comic book movie of 2017.
2) Get Out
What a fantastic film. It told a horror story with the underlying real-life climate of how some black men are treated in this country and told a fun, haunting, and thrilling story. There was audible applause near the end of the film because of how this movie ended. That is because people have read about how this story ends for black men in real life and the fear that this was going to happen in this movie struck a chord with people. I thought it was great storytelling by Jordan Peele, first time director by the way, and excellent acting by Daniel Kaluuya as Chris. Sadly, if the treatment of some African-American men wasn’t so relevant and palpable in this country, this movie may not even make the top 10 even though it’s well directed and acted. This movie taps into it and it works brilliantly.
1) Wind River
This one was going to be hard to top for me and while some movies came close, Wind River was always going to be my choice for #1 film of the year. This is just an excellently crafted film from beginning to end. It’s such a simple story as well but the acting and directing push it to the top. I’ve sadly still haven’t seen The Hurt Locker all the way through but this easily has to be Jeremy Renner’s best work ever. I couldn’t believe what I was watching with how good Renner was. Like Detroit, I was infuriated with the crime that was committed here and that leads to a satisfactory ending. This film also talks about an area we rarely get to see on film, the Native American point of view in 2017. I also feel, like Get Out, this movie tapped into another real-life story in the Dakota Access Pipeline (which was hotly contested because of the fear of oil leaks on Native American land and guess what, it fucking leaked 210,000 gallons.) It also was not covered by the mainstream press, which also helps lessen the voice of the Native American’s echoed here in this film. So with that real life storyline in the back of my mind and with the other crime committed in this film, it made me really hate the antagonists in this film quite easily. With the villains established, Renner is a great foil for them and Elizabeth Olsen is also tremendous as a fish out of water FBI agent that Renner takes under his wing solving this murder mystery on a Native American Reservation. This was easily my favorite film of 2017 and I recommend it to everyone.