Top 12 Best Movies of 2017

*Completed 6 months ago

Rem­i­nisc­ing about the best movies of the year is a joy­ous oc­ca­sion, just think­ing about the ones that stood out the most and won’t be for­got­ten when the year ends. 2017 was­n’t ex­actly the best year in the world, but a bright spot for me is go­ing to the the­aters and I’m just amazed that other peo­ple en­joyed that too.

Mak­ing the “Best Movies of the Year” list is hard. It’s tough to de­cide what movie de­serves to be in a par­tic­u­lar spot. But un­like pre­vi­ous lists that I cre­ated be­fore, I de­cided to go with a Top 12, mostly be­cause there were a few that I could­n’t bring my­self to leave out.

This year de­liv­ered some great movies from dif­fer­ent gen­res: small in­dies, comic book movies and come­dies (even though this year had a lot of mediocre ones.) Dur­ing Christ­mas break, I caught up on a lot of films that I had­n’t seen yet, and it was worth wait­ing to make my list of the best and worst of the year. There were a few flicks I did­n’t get to check out, like “The Florida Pro­ject,” “De­troit,” “Wind River,” “Lo­gan Lucky” or “Phan­tom Thread” be­cause of time or it was­n’t play­ing near me.

With­out fur­ther ado, here are my Top 12 films of 2017.

12) “I, Tonya” (Craig Gillespie)

I knew who Tonya Hard­ing was be­fore walk­ing into the biopic “I, Tonya”. But I did­n’t ex­pect to have a pos­i­tive re­ac­tion to how en­gag­ing this turned out to be. “I, Tonya” tries to bring some hu­man­ity to this for­mer fig­ure skater in an un­con­ven­tional way with a black com­edy that never lets down. Di­rec­tor Craig Gille­spie brought an en­er­getic feel­ing to this story writ­ten by Steven Rogers. All com­ing to­gether with Os­car-wor­thy per­for­mances from Mar­got Rob­bie and Al­li­son Jan­ney.

Margot Robbie in I, Tonya (2017)

11) “Won­der” (Stephen Chbosky)

“Won­der” has to be one of the most touch­ing fam­ily films of the year. Like I said in my re­view, this could’ve been a cheesy af­ter-school spe­cial that won’t get to me. But it left a cheer­ful im­pres­sion once it ended. This is a sat­is­fy­ing sun­rise based solely on tak­ing the mes­sage of not judg­ing some­one’s ap­pear­ance on the out­side, but on the in­side. Ja­cob Trem­blay still proves to be a na­tional trea­sure, mak­ing “Won­der” an up­lift­ing flick.

Jacob Tremblay and Noah Jupe in Wonder (2017)

10) “Three Bill­boards Out­side Ebbing, Mis­souri” (Martin McDonagh)

If dark come­dies aren’t your style, trust me, you won’t like Mar­tin Mc­Don­agh’s “Three Bill­boards Out­side Ebbing, Mis­souri”. From my per­spec­tive, this was out­stand­ing, com­bin­ing funny and se­ri­ous mo­ments with­out ru­in­ing ei­ther as­pect. Mc­Don­agh’s orig­i­nal story tack­led the power of free­dom of speech and the emo­tions of grief in an un­for­get­table way. Be­side from the bril­liant, un­pre­dictable screen­play, Frances Mc­Dor­mand and Sam Rock­well gave two of the best per­for­mances of the year. And the fact that is get­ting ridicu­lous back­lash makes fans love it more.

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

9) “The Dis­as­ter Artist” (James Franco)

The fact that “The Dis­as­ter Artist” kept me grin­ning the en­tire time makes it worth a spot on here. This is­n’t just about the mak­ing of “The Room,” one of the worst movies of all-time, it’s also about one guy’s pas­sion to be some­body in the en­ter­tain­ment world. James Fran­co’s un­canny per­for­mance as Tommy Wiseau is great with­out be­com­ing a par­ody. Work­ing along­side with his brother Dave, they’re played off each other well. It’s both hi­lar­i­ous and heart­felt at the same time.

James Franco and Dave Franco in The Disaster Artist (2017)

8) “Baby Dri­ver” (Edgar Wright)

“Baby Dri­ver” is full of en­ergy all com­ing off of di­rec­tor Edgar Wright’s style of di­rec­tion that is, with­out a doubt, killer. From the slick ac­tion se­quences, a fan­tas­tic sound­track col­lect­ing some great hits, and Ansel El­go­rt’s per­for­mance as Baby, this was the sum­mer hit no­body can hate. Even though it’s my least fa­vorite of Wright’s fil­mog­ra­phy, you still can’t go wrong when it comes to Mr. Wright. My killer track from the movie: “Knights of Cy­do­nia” by Muse.

Lily James and Ansel Elgort in Baby Driver (2017)

7) “Lady Bird” (Greta Gerwig)

Greta Ger­wig’s di­rec­to­r­ial de­but “Lady Bird” makes her one of the best ac­tors-turned-di­rec­tors in re­cent mem­ory. This is the type of com­ing-of-age film that gets bet­ter as time passes. Saoirse Ro­nan gives my fa­vorite per­for­mance of the en­tire year as the most re­lat­able char­ac­ter ever writ­ten. She felt real and hon­est, just like Ger­wig’s script. Though the story fol­lows our main hero­ine through high school, it also finds time to fo­cus on the mother/daugh­ter re­la­tion­ship, and that’s re­ally touch­ing. “Lady Bird” is near per­fec­tion for any­body.

Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird (2017)

6) “The Big Sick” (Michael Showalter)

I was­n’t ex­actly sure if I was go­ing to en­joy this or not, but af­ter it ended, I knew “The Big Sick” was the fun­ni­est com­edy of the year. With the help of Ku­mail Nan­jiani and Emily V. Gor­don’s script, that’s loosely based on their re­la­tion­ship, “The Big Sick” is a ro­man­tic com­edy that’s sweet and hi­lar­i­ous, but it ex­plores the cul­tural dif­fer­ences be­tween fam­i­lies in a ma­ture, yet sweet way. Its fan­tas­tic script and per­for­mances from every­body in­volved, in­clud­ing Nan­jiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Ro­mano and Holly Hunter, can’t be ig­nored. Hon­estly, this was a huge sur­prise that has so much heart.

5) “Lo­gan” (James Mangold)

2017 has been the year for qual­ity comic book movies, and “Lo­gan” is one of the rea­sons why. James Man­gold’s sec­ond take on the “X-Men” char­ac­ter is a bru­tal and dark su­per­hero movie that does­n’t hold back with its R-rat­ing. The sci-fi west­ern vibe is dif­fer­ent but in a great fash­ion. This gives us Hugh Jack­man’s great­est per­for­mance as Lo­gan/Wolver­ine, and a ca­reer-best for Sir Patrick Stew­art as Charles Xavier. The re­la­tion­ship be­tween Lo­gan and Pro­fes­sor X or be­tween Lo­gan and  X-23 (a phe­nom­e­nal per­for­mance by Dafnee Keen) was han­dled grace­fully. If you did­n’t cry at the end of “Lo­gan,” you aren’t hu­man, my friend. Ab­solutely the per­fect send off to one of my fa­vorite su­per­heroes of all-time.

Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen in Logan (2017)

4) “Call Me by Your Name” (Luca Guadagi­no)

Is it pos­si­ble to be emo­tion­ally at­tached to a drama? It could be. With all the hype sur­round­ing this, I could’ve been eas­ily un­der­whelmed. But Luca Guadagi­no’s “Call Me by Your Name” was a ro­man­tic drama that just con­nected with me till the very last frame. This could’ve been a very straight­for­ward gay ro­mance, but it’s more than that. It’s like cin­e­matic po­etry come to life. When it comes to love, the only thing that mat­ters is who you choose to love. Set in North­ern Italy in the 1980s, this re­la­tion­ship be­tween Elio and Oliver felt real, over time. It’s pure and beau­ti­fully deep in its sto­ry­telling, all han­dled mas­ter­fully with Guadagi­no’s di­rec­tion, and con­cen­trates on pow­er­house per­for­mances from Tim­o­thée Cha­la­ment and Armie Ham­mer. Hon­estly, it’s bet­ter than “Moon­light.”

Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name (2017)

3) “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Rian Johnson)

As a “Star Wars” fan, “The Last Jedi” is a great con­tin­u­a­tion of this new tril­ogy. Does it have prob­lems? (i.e. the Finn and Rose sto­ry­line?) Yes, but it’s not enough to down­grade the qual­ity of the film over­all. Rian John­son took the saga in a new di­rec­tion, and it’s amaz­ing.  Mark Hamill gives my fa­vorite por­trayal of Luke Sky­walker, the ac­tion is stel­lar and it gives me hope that “Episode IX” will be a spec­tac­u­lar closer. Sur­pris­ingly enough, this turned out to be one of the most di­vi­sive movies that came out. Fans ei­ther love or hate it. It cer­tainly is­n’t one of my fa­vorites, but it’s not even close to be­ing con­sid­ered the worst.

Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

2) “Won­der Woman” (Patty Jenkins)

It felt like a breath of fresh air to say that a DC comics movie is great a full six years af­ter “The Dark Knight Rises.” This past sum­mer’s biggest hit was the DCEU’s sav­ing grace (at that point.) “Won­der Woman” is one of the best comic book movies ever made, and it’s a great fe­male-led su­per­hero movie. Di­rec­tor Patty Jenk­ins should re­ceive all the credit for fi­nally bring­ing a great hero­ine to the big screen with no prob­lems. Gal Gadot be­came the heroic icon, show­ing the qual­i­ties that make the tit­u­lar char­ac­ter a real hero. The ac­tion is breath­tak­ing, the score is in­cred­i­ble, and it changed the game for the genre to give the chance for more fe­male su­per­heroes films to come by. Per­son­ally, it’s my fa­vorite comic book movie of 2017.

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman (2017)

1) “Dunkirk” (Christopher Nolan)

Any­time Christo­pher Nolan puts out a movie, there’s a nine in ten chances it will be in my list of fa­vorites. (Ex­cept “In­ter­stel­lar,” though I loved it.) “Dunkirk” is a World War II movie that never lost my at­ten­tion from the first frame. Any­body who says this did­n’t have a story or dares say it’s bor­ing don’t know what cin­ema is. Sure, there is­n’t any char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment, but it’s all about get­ting these 330,000 men out of peril. The di­a­logue is min­i­mal, which was­n’t a prob­lem, but it’s an ex­pe­ri­ence that will keep your heart pound­ing. Ten­sion-filled through­out, with sus­pense­ful ac­tion set pieces, “Dunkirk” just proves once again that Nolan can tackle any genre, and with his abil­i­ties to di­rect a war film, it has to be re­garded as one of the most am­bi­tious in the war genre in a long time. Every­thing, the di­rec­tion, Hans Zim­mer’s score, the cin­e­matog­ra­phy, and the sound de­sign, was phe­nom­e­nal. Now, can we fi­nally nom­i­nate Nolan for Best Di­rec­tor, please?

Tom Hardy in Dunkirk (2017)

Hon­or­able Men­tions: “Spi­der-Man: Home­com­ing”, “War for the Planet of the Apes”, “Gerald’s Game”, “Brigsby Bear”, “It”, “The Shape of Wa­ter”, “Score: A Film Mu­sic Doc­u­men­tary”, “Thor: Rag­narok”, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”, “Coco”, “The Lego Bat­man Movie”, “Girls’ Trip”


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