Top Ten Best Films of 2017


“TOP 10 BEST FILMS 2017”

The best films of 2017 were really some brilliant pieces of work. I have had a real ball going to the cinema this year and it wasn’t just because of these films, even the films that were never going to make the list were alright. Films that I was expecting not to be very good turned out pretty well, for example Power Rangers exceeded my expectations even though it wasn’t as good as I was expecting it to be.

Kong Skull Island was actually better than I thought, which is interesting considering that I am kind of in the minority that seemed to like that film and I got to see many brilliant films at the London Film Festival, many of which don’t even qualify for this list since they didn’t receive general releases this year, but still. Incidentally a lot of films that got very good reviews I didn’t see, such as Call Me By Your Name, Moonlight and the Big Sick, which was a shame because I reckon I would have got a lot of joy out of it, but because of the afore mentioned reasons, I didn’t get a chance, though I fully intend to see it if it gets an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, which will make me see it as soon as possible, but other than that, I do intend to see it at some point considering how well it has been reviewed.

I am going to look back on what I consider have been some of the best things I have seen this year. For the record, here’s what I think have been some of the best things I have seen this year, so far.

As usual, here are my honourable mentions, in alphabetical order, the films that were very close, but didn’t quite make the list:

Brigsby Bear – This is described by its creator’s as a delightful dramatic comedy about child abduction, which is a very apt description of it. If you are put off by that, don’t be, this is a very heart-warming film with a ton of very funny moments. The film was unfortunately not very well distributed when it got its release and I think most people who saw it saw it with me and Ren at the London Film Festival, but I would recommend tracking it down since it is worth a watch.

In This Corner of the World – This is a very interesting animated film about War time Japan and the various struggles that the people of Japan faced during that time. Like many animated productions and Japanese cinemas depict this time period, it is no way sympathetic to the Japanese war cause, but is sympathetic to the innocent bystanders on the street that were caught in the mix. It’s a very well made animated film and I wouldn’t mind seeing it nominated for an Oscar if it gets the nod.

It – I might not have enjoyed this as much as Ren who reviewed this film with me, but I still think this is one of the better Stephen King adaptations in recent memory. It’s certainly scarier than the than the original TV mini-series. Its problem lies in the fact that it doesn’t go all out and takes itself a little too seriously, which means when a silly moment does crop up it feel tonally dissonant. I still recommend it, however and I am looking forward to It Chapter 2 which is coming out in 2019 which will tell the next story in the list.

Lego Batman Movie – If it wasn’t for another film that made the list, this would have been the funniest film I have seen all year. Lego Batman is one joyful fun movie and while I may not have got around to seeing Lego Ninjago, which I didn’t hear amazing things about, I suspect this still would have been my favourite of the two Lego films that came out this year. People are asking for a sequel to this film, but frankly I don’t think it is necessary since this one is fine on its own. It’s a good choice to give to your kids.

Spiderman Homecoming – Yes, this is the first year where a Marvel film did not make my Top 10 Best of the Year list. That’s not to say Marvel’s output was worse off this year, they just had a ton of competition. But out of all the Marvel films that came out this year, this was the best, and by far. Is it the best Spiderman film? I am still debating, but it is still a contender. If you enjoy the Spiderman character, I would give it a go. Special props should go to not only Tom Holland’s performance as Spiderman, but Michael Keaton’s brilliant performance as the vulture, creating one of the best villains in the MCU to date.

The Man Who Invented Christmas – Christmas movies are not generally on my radar and I am not a big fan of them, but I am a massive fan of A Christmas Carol and this gives a new insight into the story that I didn’t think was possible and gave me a new found respect for it. This will made a great double bill with any of the faithful adaptations of a Christmas Carol, or in fact, any of the great versions of it. It’s one hell of a really good film. Special props should go to the brilliant performances of both Dan Stephens and Jonathan Price. I decided that it didn’t make the list, however, since I felt in order to really enjoys this film, you would have to have some awareness of a Christmas Carol. While I am at it, let’s not forget the brilliant performance of Christopher Plummer, who makes a very good Ebenezer Scrooge.

Now we get to the actual list. The best 10 films I saw in 2017, that came out in UK cinema’s, for the record, Your Name won’t make the list since it got a release in 2016, but if it had counted, it would have been top of the list.


10. Blade Runner 2049

I didn’t have incredibly high hopes for this follow-up to Blade Runner, since I kind of went ‘how do you follow up Blade Runner’. Both the book and the film didn’t really leave much room. This, however, is a prime example of how you do a sequel to a well-established franchise. Director, Denis Villeneuve has now done two years in a row of being in my 10 Best Films of the Year List, having previously directed the brilliant Sci-Fi epic Arrival and he brings a lot of his brilliant direction into this film. The films also includes excellent performances from Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling and Felicity Jones. This is one hell of a film. The film has brilliant atmosphere, cinematography and action scenes. This is one brilliant way to follow-up one of the greatest Sci-Fi films ever made and it does feel like something in the vein of what Phillip K Dick would do, which shows some great understanding towards the source material.


9. Loving Vincent

A very interesting animated film that looks into the life and last days of Vincent Van Gogh. What makes this take unique is the fact that this is the first ever entirely oil painted animated film. The team spent four years getting it together and the effort really shows and pays off. With some amazing performances from one hell of a talented cast list, this is seriously an amazing film and I highly recommend it. It is heavily emotional, beautifully made and is a joy to look at. It not only looks into his life, it also examines what made his art as great as it did and how much the world should have taken him more seriously.


8. The Disaster Artist

The funniest film I saw all year and one of the best things I saw all year. If this is not up for Best Picture at the Oscars, something has gone horribly wrong. The Disaster Artist is a brilliant piece from director and star James Franco who amazingly embodies the personality of Tommy Wiseau. I thought this film was brilliant and you can’t knock it for what it did. Not to mention that this film had one of the best scripts I saw all year.


7. Wonder Woman

Yes, who would have thought this year that the best Superhero of the year would come out DC after their troubles in 2016. While DC may not have finished the film brilliantly with the rather average Justice League movie, they started the year with a bang with giving us one amazing Wonder Woman film. The movie does address its gender politics but it doesn’t let itself be engulfed by them, which as a result, speaks wonders and addresses it’s point a lot better than a more heavy handed film would have. Not to mention the brilliant performance from Gal Gadot and I even liked Chris Pine. Even the reveal of Aries in the film was brilliantly handled and I won’t dare spoil the twist for anyone who hasn’t seen it. This is one hell of a great film and I really hope the DC cinematic universe does not collapse because I would like to see more from this character.


6. Logan

What could possibly be the final X Men film in this continuity, Logan is also a contender for its best film. I loved this one. With the R rating, they can finally gall out to tell this brilliant Wolverine story that is basically a western with an X Men twist to it. It does adopt its old man Logan story pretty well and while this film is a rather sombre movie, which feels like witnessing the last days of a very good friend, it’s very well done, very well told and if this is the last film to be told in this X Men continuity, I think it has gone out with a bang, which is looking even more likely considering that Fox has now been purchased by Disney. Hugh Jackman definitely deserves a Best Actor nomination and Patrick Stewart really should be receiving a Best Supporting Actor nomination.


5. War For The Planet of the Apes

This Planet of the Apes trilogy comes to it’s phenomenal conclusion with this film, making this one of the few perfect trilogies in cinema. While it may not be topping the originality scale, this film really concludes the franchise well, looking into the final days of humanity before it truly becomes the Planet of the Apes. None of these are storyline great, but the performances from Woody Harrelson and once again a brilliant performance from Andy Circus, playing the main character Cesaer, with brilliant motion capture technology cannot be understated. These films have been real highlights for me and I am really looking forward to see what director Matt Reeves does next, especially if he is going to stay on a future Batman film.


4. John Wick Chapter 2

The first John Wick is an action marvel and is one hell of a revenge film. The second film, it’s pretty much the same, but dam is it really good, this has some of the best choreographed action scenes I have seen all year. This film commands your attention and does a brilliant job of it. Keanue Reeves delivers one of the best performances of his career and unlike many sequel films, this is not just a re-hash of the first film, it actually has its own identity and can stand alone as it. The film aims to take John Wick out of his territory and instead of him being the hunter makes him the hunted this time and it’s a joy ride to watch, especially considering this film finally has a great performance from Common, playing one of the main rivals to John Wick. The film does end rather abruptly, but at this point I wouldn’t have expected less and did set up the possibility to the now confirmed John Wick Chapter 3 which I am really excited to see. You really need to see these John Wick films, these are the prime example of how you should be directing action films in the modern day


3. Get Out

Whilst very difficult to classify Get Out, since it doesn’t fit any particular genre, it doesn’t deny the fact that it is one of the best films I saw all year and should easily be up for Best Picture at the Oscars. Get Out is one hell of an interesting film. It may have its plot holes and elements that don’t work, especially considering one of the plot twists is basically one of the ideas Karl Pilkington had for one of his films, which I am surprised no one has pointed out, but it doesn’t alter the fact that it did everything in a very smart way and worked very well, although I may have guessed the first plot twist, I didn’t exactly get the second one and I think this film is really going to be full of surprises for a lot of people. The first time director of Jordan Peel of Keel and Peel fame, really makes an excellent directorial debut and I really hope he gets a nomination for Best Director of the back of this as he really deserves it.


2. The Boy and the Beast

It may be predictable to have films like this, but frankly Mamoru Hosoda has really earnt my trust. I was considering leaving this off this list since it only had a limited release in 2017, but this is the only chance I get to rank it as high as it deserves and I am going to take advantage of that. The Boy and the Beast is one hell of an interesting film, dealing with several aspects of family, honour and finding one’s place in the world. It almost feels like a myth or fairy tale that you read to kids at night, but it also feels very mature and adult at the same time. Even if you are not a big animated fan I would seriously recommend this and both his previous films Wolf Children and Summer Wars, both of which are amazing films.


1. A Silent Voice

Yes, I have gushed about this film most of the year, so it’s no surprise that this is my best film of the year. I love this movie. Whereas the Emoji movie was a film that appealed to lowest common denominator and put not effort in whatsoever, this film puts buckets of effort in to tell its story, in a way that really challenges not only cinema goers but just typical Anime fans. This film is full of heavy emotion, excellent characters and writing. It is an excellent example of how to adapt a well know Manga into a film’s running time. The film obviously cuts many elements of the Manga considering that it is a six volume Manga, which obviously would struggle to fit into a two hour running time, but having read the Manga, I actually think they did a very good job of deciding what worked and didn’t and getting it to the screen and it delivers a really lovely piece. This is seriously one of the most joyous experiences I have had going to a cinema. I absolutely loved this film. Special commendations to the brilliant performances and the brilliant use of sign language in the film as a way of communicating with its deaf characters which never patronises the audience in any sense of the word. This should be the film shown to people that are training themselves in sign language.
So, there you go, 2017’s best films, I hope you get a good recommendation out of these.

Thank you very much for reading these lists and for sticking with me for another year, now I normally would roll on to 2018 but this year I decided to do something different hence why this list was lat I’lll be back to normal rviews in 2 weeks with a review of The Comuter but next week I’m gonna do my Anime Yearbook for 2017

Thanks a lot for reading my reviews. I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them and here’s hoping 2018 will be another excellent year for cinema.

Calvin – Nerd Consultant


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Posted in Film Society
One comment on “Top Ten Best Films of 2017
  1. Linda Buchan says:

    Thank you Calvin for an excellent round up
    We are buying the top ten DVDs
    They can be borrowed when you come to the Post diagnostic group in Crewe or our Wednesday Open room at Red Hill House
    Linda

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24th January 2018
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