As always, here are my favourite films from 2017. Seeing as I’ve only posted two reviews since my top ten list from last year, it seems I need to pull my finger out in 2018.
10. Wind River
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this film since watching. It’s a slow burner that packs a punch. Taylor Sheridan wrote Hell or High Water and Sicario, which were both in my top ten lists in previous years, so it’s an impressive feat for his first feature as director.
9. Good Time
From something that’ll make you feel nice to something that’ll make you feel really uncomfortable… Good Time is dark, dirty and super intense. Who could have predicted that the two most exciting actors working today would be the romantic leads from Twilight?
8. Brigsby Bear
A feel-good child kidnapping film is not something you come across often. This could have been in really poor taste if it wasn’t for the perfectly awkward timing from lead Kyle Mooney. To give you a feel for the humour, it’s produced by the guys from The Lonely Island.
7. Thor: Ragnorok
This is probably the most re-watchable film on the list, it’s a lot of fun. Coming from Kiwi director Taika Waititi (Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople) it’s unsurprisingly laugh-out-loud and feels like much of it was unscripted. It’s no surprise they’re talking about giving him his own Star Wars film.
6. Wonder Woman
Director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot surprised everyone by making not only the first decent film from DC’s current on-screen universe but also beat Marvel to release a solo female superhero film – which is about damn time.
5. Get Out
Nothing about this film should work as well as it does. It’s funny and terrifying, pays homage to classics while raising the bar of modern cinema standards, and comments on serious social issues without ever taking itself too seriously.
4. Blade Runner: 2049
It’s absolutely mind-boggling how Denis Villeneuve managed to expand this universe without spoiling the mysteries of the original. Roger Deakins, who did the cinematography, has been nominated for 13 Oscars and never won – it would be awesome if this was the one that brought it home.
DC can’t seem to do their material any… justice… so it’s nice to see Fox trying new things. They went R rated with Deadpool and Logan doesn’t even feel like a comic book movie, it’s more of a Western. The last few Wolverine films have been pretty dismal, so in what Hugh Jackman says will be his last appearance, this is the farewell the character deserves.
2. Baby Driver
It takes a rare kind of film-maker to synchronise what’s happening on screen with the soundtrack behind it, and an even better one to pull it all off. The ending is a bit over-the-top but it’s certainly different to anything else out there.
Not since 2014’s Whiplash has a film left me physically exhausted by the end. This MUST to be seen on the big screen, preferably IMAX, so hopefully once it takes out the Best Picture Oscar you might get another chance.
The Best of the Rest:
- Lucky: People unfamiliar with legendary actor Harry Dean Stanton may not appreciate this as much, but he died soon after filming so it feels like the perfect send off.
- I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore: Elijah Woods is in good form. Funny, intelligent and hyper-violent. Netflix continues to produce films that are actually worth the subscription.
- T2: Trainspotting: It’s been a long time between hits. Thankfully unlike most directors these days, Danny Boyle shows real love for the original film, source material and characters, rather than doing it just for the money.
- The Big Sick: It’s not often you get supporting characters with this much depth. Ray Romano should win an Oscar for his efforts, but Sam Rockwell will probably rob him of that.
- Call Me By Your Name: Beautifully captures the calm serenity of this Italian village, and more so of the confusion, angst and curiosity that comes with being a teenager.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: The film itself and the soundtrack are not as good as the first but still everything you could want in a good popcorn flick.
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The plot line of the slow-moving ship and unnecessary new characters aside, Rian Johnson is an incredible film-maker and the visual stylings alone are worth watching.
- The Disaster Artist: James Franco’s entire career seems to be echoing that of Tommy Wiseau – he just seems to fearlessly do what he wants and people love him for it. You probably need to watch The Room first to appreciate his performance.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming: This would have been way better had there not been five adaptations of the character since 2002 – Tom Holland is the closest casting to Peter Parker and Michael Keaton has a good time as the villain.
- Split: It’s been a while since M. Night Shyamalan has made any “best of” lists, so I thought I’d sneak him in here. As a fan of Unbreakable I can’t wait to see these two films collide.
A Ghost Story, The Founder, John Wick Chapter 2, The Meyerwitz Stories, Lego Batman, The Lost City of Z, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, The Discovery, Atomic Blonde, Logan Lucky, American Made
Films I didn’t get around to watching:
The Florida Project, Free Fire, Loving Vincent, Personal Shopper, War of the Planet of the Apes, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Alien: Covenant, Ingrid Goes West, Mother!, Coco, It, Downsizing, Brad’s Status, Columbus, Lady Macbeth, Raw, Mudbound, Rat Film, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, Your Name, BPM, Faces Places, Okja, The Work, Dawson City: Frozen Time, The Square
Films not released in Australia in 2017:
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Lady Bird, I Tonya, The Shape of Water, Phantom Thread, The Post
Best of the silver screen:
Master of None, Black Mirror, BoJack Horseman, Rick & Morty, American Gods, Game of Thrones, Big Mouth, The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, Legion, The Runaways
Most anticipated for 2018:
Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, Black Panther, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Deadpool 2, The Incredibles 2, Ocean’s 8, Venom, The Predator, Sicario 2: Soldado