Year Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Movies of 2017
Like most years, 2017 had a great mix of massive blockbusters and small independent releases, but what made this year special was the sheer quantity. Over the course of the year, we've felt overwhelmed by all the great movies to see. Here's some of our favorites.
Matt's Top 5:
Coco is Pixar’s most human film, a story about family that hits the emotional highs the studio is known for. You know how people always mention the first ten minutes of Up? The last ten minutes of Coco may be even better. It brings a culture to life in vibrant color and fantastic music and instantly earns a place in the classic Disney canon.
Greta Gerwig’s directing debut is charming and lovingly detailed, bringing to life the story of a young woman growing up in Sacramento. Both the main character (played by future superstar Saoirse Ronan) and the city she lives in are portrayed with incredible realism. Gerwig’s script shows she has a knack for emotion and comedy that easily bests its coming-of-age contemporaries.
I am definitely not a horror movie person, but Get Out is so masterfully written and directed that it had me riveted. Oh, and it’s also a spectacular commentary about race in white America, which helped it transcend. It does both things extremely well, complete with an ending that will stick with me for a very long time. Let’s just say I’m frightened by Alison Williams now.
Going into list season I never would have guessed that a Star Wars movie would make my top five, but this is one hell of a movie. It completely re-works the franchise in ways that have ruffled many feathers, but that’s why I loved it so much; it’s the closest to punk rock that a massive pop culture institution has ever come. Star Wars is dead; long live Star Wars.
I love music and I love movies, so naturally Baby Driver has to be on this list. Edgar Wright’s best movie yet combines the two in dizzying, jaw-dropping ways, creating what might as well be a 90 minute music video. The movie is also surprisingly nuanced, with characters that defy their genre roles and direction that keeps up with all the beautiful chaos.
Mike's Top Five:
Oh, god, no other movie this year made me break down crying twice. I saw this film twice in theaters and both times I was served my feelings in front of me. Not only is this a great story, but the original music elevates this film to another level even among other Pixar films. It has everything I want in a film from family, to catch music, to making me care about what happens to these characters. This is a film I want to not only own, but tell everyone to see.
No surprise here as one of the best films of the year is also at the top of my list and that’s not just because it’s a Star Wars film. The Last Jedi exceeded expectations and broke the internet by going against fan expectations while still maintaining the spirit of a Star Wars film. There were many epic set pieces as well as several shots that I want framed up in my place or on my computer desktop. No film this year can compare to the on screen epic of Star Wars and I can only hope that this is the beginning of a great end.
From the opening shot of this epic, you know it’s going to be in your face dramatic and awe-inspiring. Christopher Nolan is at his best as the enemy is rarely seen, yet always present with an ever present ticking noise. Few films this year had the high expectations surrounding its release, and yet Dunkirk exceeded all of these. The only reason it’s not number one on this list is because, while it had me constantly at the edge of my seat, the only way to see this film is in IMAX since that’s the only format that does this film justice.
Few films are out this year that are hard to describe except “you have to see it for yourself.” Three Billboards is that movie as it reminds me of No Country for Old Men where not a lot happens, yet the character performances in this film are top notch. Every actor brings their A-game in this film about police investigation and losing a daughter. Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell each bring their own unique styling to this film.
While it may not have been a commercial success, this sequel to a film that’s over 30 years old was a masterpiece. This film lived up to the hype and solidified its director Denis Villenueve as a master director. It’s very rare that a sequel can also be a reboot and also a remake that amplifies the message set from the original Blade Runner. The visuals of this film are quite the spectacle of the year and the acting is superb from Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford. Put quite simply, don't ignore this film as we may never quite see the likes of it again for another 30 years.