With 2017 already half way over, I thought it would be a good time to have a working list of my top ten films of 2017 (so far). With August just starting, I have seen most of the films on my watch list. There have been some stellar films that have already cemented themselves in my top favorite films of all time. There have also been some major duds. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the years most critically acclaimed films, and some movies that were panned negatively I absolutely adored. So without further ado, here is my list:
10. It Comes at Night
The past few years have been very interesting for the horror genre. A new sub-genre has risen deemed “post-horror”, including notable films like It Follows and The Witch. Trey Edward Schults’ It Comes At Night is a film follows the story a family trying to survive an unknown illness in a post-apocalyptic world. The film aligns itself with other post-horror film by creating a fear inducing atmosphere while not relying on the cheesy horror movie tropes like easy jump scares. It Comes at Night is an intelligent and beautiful shot film that is a welcome addition to an increasingly growing sub genre. Check out our full review here.
9. Wonder Woman
After a couple of really bad movies, Warner Brothers finally produced a hit film to put their DC cinematic universe back on the map. Patti Jenkins has done something spectacular for women in film with Wonder Woman. It is a fun film with excellent action and a compelling origin story. Gal Gadot is incredible as the titular character. However, the film falls in the comic book movie pitfall of CGI overload in its third act. In my opinion, this is what prevents it from being a perfect superhero movie. Check out Sean’s full review here.
8. Spider-Man: Homecoming
With the return of this intellectual property, Marvel hit the ball out of the park with Spidey’s first solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is extremely fun and does not waste audience’s time by retreading the origin story seen in two other Spiderman franchises already. Michael Keaton’s performance as the Vulture is one of the standouts in this film, and proves he is experiencing a rebirth as an actor. Check out my full review here.
I’m not the biggest fan of foreign independent films. Often I find them overly self indulgent, and their style of filmmaking does not always mesh with mine. Every now and then I find a gem that I absolutely love, and Julia Ducournau’s Raw is one of those. The film is marketed as a grotesque horror flick, but plays out as a unique coming of age story. Following the story of a young vegetarian as she experiences an unorthodox hazing ritual at veterinary school, she discovers an unbidden taste for meat. This is one of the most original films I have ever seen, and it’s executed perfectly. Check out our full review here.
I’m admittedly a huge Nolan fan. His filmography is as impressive as some of the greats like Hitchcock and Kubrick. With each new film, he treads into different territory with every genre he tries. When it was announced he was taking on a war movie, no doubt my curiosity was peaked. This film is an incredible spectacle, with striking visuals and unbelievably lifelike sound design. The storytelling is unconventional and makes it stand apart from other great war films. Harry Styles also provided a great performance for his acting debut. If you haven’t seen it in IMAX 70mm, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Check out Michael’s full review here.
5. War for the Planet of the Apes
The prequel trilogy to Planet of the Apes is unquestionably amazing. The 1968 original is a classic, and the sequels and Tim Burton’s lackluster attempt at a reboot do not live up to the originality of the first. With the prequel trilogy, new ground was explored in this rich science fiction universe. Matt Reeves created a stellar blockbuster with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and he builds on that tenfold with War. This is a dark and emotional ending to an already great franchise. Andy Serkis’ work as Caesar is definitely accolade worthy. Check out Keven’s full review here.
Wolverine is personally one of my favorite X-Men. From the comics to the original X-Men trilogy, he has been a standout character. Hugh Jackman brought this character to life in ways that have not been replicated with any other comic book character on screen. Due to his growing popularity he was becoming a bit oversaturated, like with his random scene in X-Men: Apocalypse. James Mangold gives our beloved hero a proper sendoff with Hugh Jackman’s final appearance as the mutant in Logan. Both Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart give amazing and emotional performances. The film is absolutely stunning, and the Black and White version feels like a completely different film. Check out my full review here.
3. Baby Driver
Edgar Wright is a truly exceptional filmmaker. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are classics, so the release of his passion project was highly anticipated. This film is fun and refreshing take on the heist film genre. The action is impeccable, and the soundtrack puts Guardians of the Galaxy to shame. One of the standout aspects of this film is the editing. If this film deserves an Oscar, it’s for the rhythmically pleasing editing. The cast also provides some wonderful performances, especially Kevin Spacey and Jon Hamm. Check out our full review here.
2. The Big Sick
The Big Sick is a film that caught me by complete surprise. I was interested in this film because of the raving reviews coming out of Sundance and I am a fan of Kumail Nanjiani’s comedy. This film starts out as a sweet romantic comedy, then evolves into so much more. This film has the most natural portrayal of a budding relationship in the early stages of dating. About halfway through this film then punches you straight in the gut. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. Not only is it fun, the film has brilliant commentary on the hardships of meshing Pakistani and American culture. This is an essential 2017 film.
1. A Ghost Story
David Lowery’s A Ghost Story is the most brilliant and original film I have seen so far this year. Following the story of a recently deceased man who returns as a ghost to observe his bereft wife in his former home, this is the definition of an indie artistic masterpiece. Quiet and emotional, Lowery explores huge thematic ideas strictly through an atmosphere he renders and with very little dialogue. This is not a film for everyone but if after the first 30 minutes the films clicks with you, definitely stick around for the ending. If you missed it earlier this week, check out my full review here.