The end of the year is nearly here, meaning it’s now time to drink and have fun with friends while we watch a giant ball drop in Times Square. But year’s end also means celebrating the finest movies made this year. Or at least, celebrating the ones I saw over the past twelve months.
Unlike other years, I don’t think you’ll find many surprises in my top 10. Most of the films listed here probably won’t shock anyone. However, before I get to my top 10 movies of 2017, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1. My earlier reviews may not always apply because opinions change after watching movies more than once.
2. There are some recent movies I haven’t seen, so don’t be shocked if “The Shape of Water,” “Jumanji,” “Molly’s Game,” “The Greatest Showman,” and other big movies are missing from my list..
I think that about covers it all. So now, without further ado, here are my picks for the best films of 2017:
10. Justice League
Okay, seeing this one on my list may be a bit of a surprise.
As I said in my review for Justice League,” there are a few things I would have done different. The villain needed a lot of work, some of the costuming decisions were questionable, and I would have sharpened the story quite a bit and made some edits here and there.
But none of that takes away from the fact that I still got a thrill seeing Batman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the League on the big screen. More often than not I found myself cheering rather than groaning in disgust. “Justice League” may not be a perfect film, but it has several fun moments that earns it a spot on my list.
Christopher Nolan did away with exposition and character development in favor of drama, and it worked!
“Dunkirk” is a dramatic account of the World War II evacuation of Dunkirk, France’s beaches in 1941. Nolan breaks the film into three interwoven time frames and perspectives (land, sea and air), and somehow you as the viewer care about all the characters, even though we don’t know much about them.
With grand set pieces, incredible drama and action, “Dunkirk” is one of the best war films ever, and one worth watching again.
I was a fan of the first Thor film, but like most people, didn’t really care for the sequel. But “Thor: Ragnarok” blew away any and all expectations that I had going in. This movie is touching, funny, action packed, and thrilling.
If that wasn’t enough, “Thor: Ragnarok” gave us a tour de force performance by Cate Blanchett. I don’t believe I can ask for anything else from a movie.
Hugh Jackman’s swan song as Wolverine is part Western, part drama, part superhero flick, and arguably the best X-Men film to date. In “Logan,” Jackman is more brutal than ever as he struggles with his own mortality, and with taking care of the powerful Charles Xavier.
But the highlight of the film is easily his relationship with his equally primal little-girl counterpart (Dafne Keen). They don’t speak the same language, so they fight, bicker and ultimately learn to care for one an other.
This is the sort of character development and storytelling you rarely, (if ever), see in superhero films.
6.Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Two years ago people complained that The Force Awakens was too much like A New Hope. So along comes The Last Jedi which completely changes the Star Wars universe, and people still complain about the movie.
Well, not me.
Even though I liked The Force Awakens, I am so thankful that director Rian Johnson created something new and original. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” showed consequences for people’s action, and maybe for the first time, we got to see brutality in world of Star Wars. For that and many other reasons, I say “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is one of the best Star Wars films.
With “Baby Driver,” director Edgar Wright delivered one of the best heist films in years, and brought along an entire jukebox filled with oldies.
Add to the music some of Wright’s style and some crazy criminals and lovebirds, and you got the right ingredients for a story about the fastest getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) in Atlanta.
4.How to Be a Latin Lover
On paper, “How to Be a Latin Lover” shouldn’t be a good movie. The premise of a pampered man trying to find another meal ticket sounds ridiculous, but then you watch the movie, and realize this is the most heart warming film you saw in 2017.
With a cast featuring Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raphael Alejandro, Raquel Welch and Rob Riggle, you know there will be plenty of laughs. But the best parts of “How to Be a Latin Lover” were the ones were Derbez tries to reconnect with his sister and nephew.
“How to Be a Latin Lover” also proves once and for all that Salma Hayek is one of the most underrated actresses today. This woman can do it all, so please cast her in a comic book movie!
3. The Hitman’s Bodyguard
To say this movie surprised me would be an understatement. But “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” was the only movie this year that had me laughing from start to finish. And that’s all due to the great chemistry between the film’s two leads, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson.
In many ways ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is a buddy/cop film, but this may be the best one yet. This movie keeps the action and the laughs coming, and its full of surprises and twists. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is one movie I had to watch again because I missed stuff the first time due to my constant laughter.
2. Atomic Blonde
With style, grace, and ferocity, Charlize Theron is an ass-kicking machine.
“Atomic Blonde” is a Cold War spy thriller based on the 2012 graphic novel “The Coldest City.” Theron’s is an American spy working with MI6 to navigate the city of Berlin in the day before the wall came down.
“Atomic Blonde” is a spy movie that keeps you guessing at every turn, never knowing who the good guys are. And you’re thrilled at how it all plays out in the end. Through it all, Theron delivers the goods, whether it’s in the form of an apartment battle with police, or the hallway gun and fist battle that you got to see to believe.
Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, now and forever. This movie had me from the opening scene on Themyscira , to the final scene in modern-day. I saw “Wonder Woman” four times on the big screen, and three times on Blu-ray.
Along the way, “Wonder Woman” not only became my favorite movie of the year, but also my all time favorite comic book movie. Well done Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins.