Before we get down to the top 10 films I thought where the best, I thought I’d talk a little about some runner-ups that didn’t make the cut. 2017 had a ton of great films and not all of them made the list unfortunately. Sometimes I like recommending at least one film no one has ever heard of. I think last year Spaghettiman was that movie. But this time around, there just wasn’t enough room.
Which is why I think my best list might be a bit predictable. If you’ve read the last 5 or so of my reviews, you’ll already know what my top 5 is. Hint, it’s the films I called “masterpieces”. A word that popped up a lot. Maybe a bit too much.
But until we get to those films, let’s talk about the ones that were good, just not good enough. In absolutely no order whatsoever…
The Big Sick – Stars Kumail Nanjiani as he awkwardly deals with his comatose ex-girlfriend’s parents. Who hasn’t been there, am I right? Well, at least one person has seeing as this is based on how he met his actual wife. I’m trying to think of what I know Kumail Nanjiani from, aside from his voices on Adventure Time. He might just be one of those comedians that pops up sometimes when you need a nerdy opinion on something. But I don’t think I knew him from actually starring in anything. Thankfully, Big Sick changed all that. And in a big way. This might seem like a romantic comedy, but it isn’t. It really has more to do with Kumail Nanjiani growing as a person than it does about him falling in love. Hell, when his ex wakes up from her coma, she still hates his guts.
Spider-Man: Homecoming – Arguably the best representation of Spider-man/ Peter Parker put on screen. What makes Spider-man and particularly this film stand out against most superhero films, Spidy isn’t trying to save the world or even the city. His goal is to take down a family man arms dealer. I had a blast while seeing this, but I seem to have a blast whenever I see any of the Marvel films, so…
Wind River – Taylor Sheridan is a fantastic writer, everything he does is great and this time around he’s also directing. I don’t know if that’s what hurt this film or not. It might have benefited from a more seasoned directed to tackle this script. Jeremy Renner is the real star of this, and he blows it out of the park with his performance. I’d love to see more films dealing with his character. This is another film that just missed its spot on the official list.
Kong Skull Island – Another movie I absolutely loved when seeing it at the theater. There’s a pretty good chance I might have called this one a masterpiece, I don’t remember. Is it a masterpiece? No, but it is beautifully shot. Not to mention one hell of a fun movie. Recently this film got the Everything Wrong treatment and they got called out for it by the director. I’m not a fan of theirs and finally people are waking up to how terribly unfunny and pointless their videos truly are.
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore – I really really wanted to put this one on the list. I absolutely love this movie to death. A rare thing to say about Netflix original films. This movie hit all the right spots with me. It was kind of like if Napoleon Dynamite got mixed up in a Coen brothers film, where he’s trying to solve a small crime, that leads to people getting shot in the face.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Like I thought, this film has really divided a lot of fanboys. You either love it or you loathe it. Seems Hank is in the loath department. I honestly think I need to see it at least one more time before I give my final thoughts on it. I left loving it but as I starting writing my review for it, a funny thing started to happen, my opinion started to wane a bit. So off the list it goes.
Brigsby Bear – Hands down one of the most original films I’ve seen. It’s hard to really explain what this is about without spoiling everything. So I won’t. Just check it out.
American Made – I truly loved this movie. It’s the best thing Tom Cruise has done in years. He is at his best here, Oscar worthy really. I do think it gets slightly boring around the 3rd act. But Tom Cruise is so damn charismatic that it pushes this thing home.
Brawl in Cell Block 99 – I really wanted to find room on my list for this one. I would have reviewed this awhile back but it came out at an awkward time when all I was reviewing were horror related films. As violent as this movie is, I wouldn’t classify it as horror. Of course I broke my own self-imposed rule to bring you a review for Blade Runner 2049, so really there was no reason why I shouldn’t have given this great film a review. It’s currently on bluray for like $10, so do yourself a favor and buy it. By the same director of another favorite of mine, Bone Tomahawk.
The Foreigner – Jackie Chan, making a comeback, still kicking ass at 63. I wouldn’t exactly classify this as an action film. Sure, there are scenes of things blowing up and Jackie whipping out a few knuckle sandwiches, but this is more of a political thriller, dealing with the IRA. For that reason it might turn some people off. They just want to see Jackie Chan kick people in the mouth, they don’t want to see him acting. I’d say this is the best performance Jackie Chan has given in his whole career, seeing as he was always a bit of a comedian when it came to his performances. This is one worth checking out.
Last Flag Flying – This film is a sequel to the 70’s Jack Nicholson film The Last Detail. If you aren’t familiar with that movie, you might want to brush up on it before seeing this. It isn’t necessary, but they do talk a lot about events that happened in that film, and you might feel slightly lost if you’ve never seen it. It has been so long I can’t remember if I’ve seen it or not. What can I say, this film is fantastic. It’s sad and funny, featuring some of the best acting you’ll see in a movie. It’s just all-around fantastic. Bryan Cranston you can tell isn’t exactly giving an impression of Jack Nicholson but you can see Jack Nicholson in the part. Steve Carell plays it very quiet and sad, as he should seeing as his wife is dead and so is his only son. All of them deserve awards for their performances.
Okay, let’s get down to it!
THE BEST FILMS OF 2017
10. The Shape of Water – Guillermo del Toro is such a fascinating director. You never know what the guy will do next. Will it be a dumb action film with robots that no one takes seriously, or will it be a serious Oscar contender? Who knows, the guy makes what he’s passionate about. In this case, it involves a lonely woman falling in love with a fish person. When I described the plot to this to my mom she thought it sounded awful. And laughed when I said it might be an Oscar contender. But what does she know, her favorite film of 2017 was Pitch Perfect 3.
9. Thor: Ragnarok – If I had to rank this with the other Marvel films, I’d put this up there with my favorite. I know that hands down it’s the best Thor film. I really hope they get the chance to make a forth one, but these films normally top off at 3. Which is a shame because the first two aren’t great.
8. Dunkirk – One of those films I mentioned where I used the word “masterpiece” to describe it. As I was slowly falling asleep to Darkest Hour, the only thing that popped into my bored mind was, I wish I was watching Dunkirk right about now. I should stop falling asleep and go watch Dunkirk again. But no, instead I fell asleep. The lesson there being, don’t watch Darkest Hour, but instead watch Dunkirk! It’s fantastic.
7. War for the Planet of the Apes – I’m a giant Planet of the Apes fan and absolutely loved the new films. I think they might be one of the most underrated trilogies out there. I don’t know what it is, they got considerably better with each film, but I feel they went completely unnoticed by people.
6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – I’ve been a fan of Caleb Landry Jones since seeing him in the film Antiviral. He has this… thing about him that I oddly love. So when I saw him pop up in the trailer for Three Billboards, I was pickled. But clearly the main draw to this film are its two leads Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell. Though I think Sam Rockwell mostly steals the show. Not to say Frances McDormand doesn’t deserve credit, I loved her character. She played a tough as nails grieving mother that didn’t take shit from anyone.
5. I, Tonya – This film really took me by surprise. It really wasn’t on my radar at all. I mean, what did I care about figure skating? I had just watched Battle of the Sexes, a film I hated. It may or may not pop up on my worst list, wait and see. This movie felt like what the Coen Brothers would make if they were doing a bio pic. Small crime white trash. It also made you feel bad for Tonya Harding. Allison Janney as her mom is the reason why the Oscars exist. She is a revelation.
4. John Wick: Chapter 2 – One of the best action films made in 2017. It might have been light on story, but it made up for it on world building and like I mentioned, some of the best damn action you’ll see in an action film. I’m eagerly awaiting the third chapter. Not only to finish this epic journey, but so I can finally get the inevitable boxset with all three films. Another entry to add to my ever growing collection.
3. Logan – I love this movie. Something I didn’t think I’d ever say about an X-Men movie or a Wolverine solo film. They don’t have the best track record. The continuity is also a mess. I have no idea if it’s related to the other movies or not. There are some easter eggs suggesting this does take place in that universe, like Logan’s samurai sword hanging on the wall…
2. Baby Driver – It might be a crime if this film isn’t nominated for its editing. The way Edgar Wright blended music into everything is masterful. Sure I had some issues with the ending, but I think it’s a small enough issue that it can be overlooked.
1. Blade Runner 2049 – I guess it was pretty obvious this was taking the number one spot. It’s a cinematic masterpiece in every sense of the word. I was never the biggest Blade Runner fan, even though I bought the overpriced 30th anniversary collector’s edition. I mean, you can’t have just the bluray to 2049, that would be ridiculous. You also have to have the original, right? Right! If Ridley Scott decides to make a 3rd film, I think that would be great. As long as he doesn’t direct it or write it, or have anything to do with it really. So besides that it sounds like a great idea. It’s not like the story can’t be expanded upon. 2049 ends pretty open ended. I really don’t know why this didn’t do well at the box office, aside from the fact it was like 3 hours long and a sequel to a film made like 30 years ago. A film that didn’t do well either. I do however see this collecting a bunch of Oscars, mainly getting nominated for all the technical stuff, hopefully best picture, where I’m sure a film on my worst list will take home the prize. It happened last time, and once you see what’s on my worst list, it will most likely happen again.
Stay tuned for Part 2: The Worst Movies of 2017!
Want EARLY access to our videos, uploads, and movie/script reviews? Members get them FIRST! Follow this link to our Discussion Forum.
And be sure to check out our Notes Service, where I give my detailed thoughts and suggestions on your script.