It says something to my procrastination as a critic when I'm posting my "Best of 2017" in March. Better lake than never though. 2017 was a strong year in film. Last year saw the return of big-name directors such as Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Denis Villeneuve, and Edgar Wright. 2017 had plenty of hits as well as misses but one thing that made 2017 different than any year was the amount of good films that nobody saw. Audiences were completely unpredictable this year with what they wanted to see. The box offices reflected this radical nature between the bombing of Blade Runner 2049 and the insane box office run of Get Out. 2017 could go down as one of the most insane years in the film industry especially with the results of this season's Oscars. Now with the new year beginning, it is time to give you our Top 10 films of 2017.
One of my top films of 2017 that I have still failed to finish my review of. To summarize the film without going into the full details of my thoughts, Mudbound was one of the most under appreciated films at this year's Academy Awards. While the film has a sluggish first half, the film has greta pace once it gets into the meat of the drama. Showcasing solid performances from top to bottom, Mudbound is one of those Oscar darlings that somehow was not able to get solid footing and also one of the most accessible films on this list and you should give it a shot.
9. Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Spider-Man film that nobody wanted was the Spider-Man film that we all deserved. Being that this is the second time I've talked about this film (with a third time approaching in the MCU Countdown), it's safe to say how much I love this film. I was one of the few supporters of Sony's second interpretation of the Spider-Man character. While Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield did an incredible job with their characters, Sony's lack of solid villains and their focus on the future rather than the now lead to the downfall of their reboot. Thankfully Disney were able to get their hands on the character and now the future of the MCU looks very bright with Tom Holland.
8. The Post
While The Post was not the Oscar-darling that everyone thought and hoped it could be, Speilberg's film on the Washington Post's publication of the Vietnam papers was a solid and definitely well-timed film. Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep deliver what you expect from them at this point in their careers but none of them exceed expectations. The film has a handful of moments that help bring tension to the story but it's sluggish pace and abrupt ending lead to this film falling lower than it should on this list.
7. Crown Heights
When I saw this film earlier this year, I thought that this film was Amazon's next Oscar-winning after last year's success with Manchester by the Sea. But as shown earlier in this list, the voters of the Oscars gave zero attention to films that were primarily released on streaming. The amount of pain that Keith Stanfield portrayed carries so much weight that I'm still feeling the impacts of this film months after seeing it. Crown Heights does a great job at telling this true story and the affects a corrupt and broken justice system can have on a struggling black community doing whatever they can to survive.
6. Wonder Woman
Whether you like the DCEU or not, you have to respect what Patty Jenkins did with Wonder Woman. With a comic book franchise on the verge of collapse, Jenkins and Gadot teamed up to show the world that this franchise doesn't need Batman or Superman to stay afloat. While the third act of this film doesn't carry the momentum of the film as powerfully as it should, Wonder Woman is still a powerful film that showcases that Gal Gadot can be a star and how the demand for female heroes is out there. Sadly, Warner Brothers might struggle to get a sequel afloat with the DCEU on life support after the complete failure of Justice League. Hopefully Warner Brothers finds a way to get audiences interested in their properties again and bring DC back as a competitor in the comic book genre.
5. Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049 was one of the biggest shockers of the year. First, nobody thought that the film was going to be good. Just like prior sequels of films from yesteryear, Blade Runner 2049 was going to leave a stain on a cult-film classic and weaken one of the strongest sci-fi films in modern cinema history. Instead, the film found a way to surpass the original and elaborate on everything we loved about the original and brought the story to a future generation. Too bad that nobody saw this film in theaters just like its predecessor. Let us all hope that Warner Brothers allows this group of storytellers to round out this franchise and cap off what could be one of the greatest trilogies in cinema history.
Dunkirk is a personal favorite of mine this year mainly on the fact that Christopher Nolan is my favorite director working in the business today. While Dunkirk is not anything near the story-telling genius of Memento and Inception, Dunkirk is a step in the right direction after somewhat of a letdown with Interstellar. I thankfully got an opportunity to watch a 70mm IMAX print of this film and that experience is one of the most intense moments I've ever had in a theater. Christopher Nolan is still a master of pacing and tension but his stories are starting to lack the intrigue that his former work possessed. I am hoping that Nolan scales back for his next film and focuses on characters instead of spectical.
3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Oscar darling of 2017, Three Billboards was one of the most talked about films during the award season and there are many reasons why. This film probably showcases one of the best top-to-bottom performances from a cast in 2017 and it showed this award season. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell went on a tear winning award after award for their performances in this film. I personally believed that Three Billboards was going to win this year's Oscars. Between the performances and material that the film presented, I thought it could take home the award. I still don't know how The Shape of Water did as well as it did. Hopefully you set aside some time and see this film if you missed out on Three Billboards in theaters.
2. The Big Sick
How did everyone forget about this movie? Seriously, The Big Sick is one of the most inventive romantic comedies in recent memory while also being one of most heart-wrenching stories released on the big screen. Known for his quirkiness in Portlandia and Silicon Valley, Kumail Nanjiani shows his range as a performer in this true story about his life and meeting his wife Emily V. Gordon. Both him and his wife wrote one of the most original romantic comedies in in recent memory and injected a fresh take into a genre that has been dying for great content for twenty years. Hopefully The Big Sick can show that romantic comedies can be a powerful genre in cinema sooner rather than later.
1. Get Out
I seriously cannot talk about this film enough. Back in February of 2017, I left my New York screening of this film and automatically went "This is the best film of 2017 and I do not know how any films this year will top it". I was hoping that I would be wrong and that Get Out was just the start of an amazing year in movies but not many films came close to dethroning the champion. Jordan Peele's debut is one of the strongest debuts of a first-time filmmaker I've ever seen and I hope that Peele has more up his sleeve. While The Shape of Water might have won Best Picture, Get Out will be the film on this list that truly stands the test of time.