My Top Ten of 2017
As another year ends, that means it's that time to recap my ten favorite movies I saw this year!
10. Wonder Woman
There were a lot of films competing for the ten spot, but ultimately I had to go with the blockbuster that I had the most fun with this year. While Wonder Woman suffers from a predictable bloated CGI finale, everything that proceeds that is excellent. Gal Gadot is absolutely charming as our titular heroine and her chemistry with co-star Chris Pine just made me smile all the way through. It was so great to get such an empowering super-hero film and I can't wait to see more of Gal in the role.
9. I, Tonya
Margot Robbie shines in this biopic of the disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in her rise to fame and descent into infamy. I thought this was a fascinating film depicting the media and the role it plays in creating the celebrity monster. Robbie is fantastic, but the rest of the cast including Allison Janney, Sebastian Stan and Paul Walter Hauser are all great as well and make this film really come to life.
8. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is such a bizarre, unsettling film and honestly there's nothing else out there quite like it. Right from the get-go there's something off and the more film goes on you find that you just can't shake it. The film culminates into one of the most strange and outlandish finales I've ever seen, but at the same time I'll never forget it.
I guess this year I couldn't just put one really weird movie on my list... I had to have two. Mother! proved to be one of the most polarizing films of the year as audience either admired or reviled it. Sold as a horror film, Mother! was something else entirely: an allegory that tears apart our human comfort zones. I felt so much anxiety and discomfort in this film that it might as well have been a traditional horror film.
6. Three Billboards Outside
of Ebbing Missouri
Frances McDormand gives a stellar performance as a mother who takes the law into her own hands in order to solve her daughter's murder. She's joined by an incredibly strong supporting cast with Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Lucas Hedges and Peter Dinklage. Each character is given a lot of depth, while the audience is constantly trying to decide whether anyone is actually likable. The story and script though are so compelling you just can't take your eyes off the screen even as all the characters on it are morally gray.
5. Get Out
Jordan Peele delivers an instant classic to the horror genre in his directorial debut Get Out. The film manages to be simultaneously funny, scary and thought provoking ensuring that its rewatchability factor is high. While I still wish the trailer hadn't given away so much, the film still managed to meet the high expectations I had for it.
4. The Post
The Post is kinda like the journalistic prequel movie to All The President's Men. I really dig a good journalistic movie where a piece of history comes alive, and seeing The Post today it couldn't be more relevant. Meryl always gives great performances, but it was interesting seeing her playing a character so timid in a time where women didn't get nearly the same respect in the work place. Her plight to gain respect in a field dominated by men was inspiring and courageous.
3. The Disaster Artist
I've always said I love movies about movies, but movies about BAD movies are the funnest. This movie made me laugh uncontrollably all throughout. James Franco totally commits to the role of Tommy Wiseau as the terrible auteur who is convinced he's destined for greatness. Bolstered by a script by my favorite (500) Days of Summer duo, The Disaster Artist shows that even bad movies can bring joy. But luckily this one was a gem.
2. The Big Sick
The Big Sick is one of the rarest things in Hollywood that you can find anymore: a good romantic comedy. The genre has practically gone the way of the dinosaur, so finding any of them.... let alone an excellent one is like striking gold. The Big Sick actually is one of the most unique rom-coms I've seen wherein it focuses on a much more unlikely relationship to get the two leads together: not the relationship between the leads themselves, but it is the relationship between the suitor (Kumail Nanjiani) and the love interests' parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) that forges the bond that convinces our heroine (Zoe Kazan) to give the romance another try. Ray Romano and Holly Hunter are both terrific here and Kumail's deadpan humor is hilarious. The film is hysterical and heartwarming. One of my favorites of the year for sure.
1. Baby Driver
Baby Driver literally had me hooked from the opening scene and did not lose my attention for one moment. Edgar Wright made one heck of an entertaining film and one that could easily have been forgettable. Ansel Elgort is an unconventional lead in an unconventional heist movie. He plays Baby, a getaway driver who has to have the perfect playlist at the ready for every job he does. The editing here is in a masterclass of its own as each shot matches every beat. As an editor, it's honestly a joy to watch.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: DUNKIRK, JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, INGRID GOES WEST, WIND RIVER, WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, ALIEN COVENANT, LADY BIRD, LOGAN, JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2