2017 has been one of the best years for movies in recent memory. From superhero flicks to artistic dramas, it’s had it all. There are a few I wasn’t able to see like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Molly’s Game, and I, Tonya, but for the most part, I’ve seen all the movies I’ve wanted to see. Most of the movies on this list are interchangeable, but I will try my best to rank them (click on the hyperlinks to check out our full review of each film).
Spider-Man: Homecoming was easily one of my most anticipated movies of 2017. My favorite superhero finally joining the MCU is something I’d been anticipating for a long time, but I was a bit cautious considering the last three Spider-Man movies were total duds. I’m happy to say that Marvel did something new and fresh with the character, even after two iterations of the character. As a high school student, I could totally relate to the character in ways I never could before. This is thanks to Tom Holland’s excellent, kid-like performance, and John Watts’ brilliant John Hughes-esque directing. What also made this movie great was Michael Keaton as the Vulture who I believe is one of the best comic book movie villains. I prefer the down to earth story of the Vulture to the global dominating tyranny of other villains. What sets this movie apart from the other superhero movies this year, though, is that it has a great core message and character arc for the hero. Peter learns that he needs to be strong on his own, without help from a fancy suit. While this isn’t as good as Spider-Man 2, I think it is one of the best movies in the MCU.
9 – Lady Bird
When I heard this movie was the highest rated movie ever on Rotten Tomatoes, I read the synopsis, and I wasn’t hooked. I then watched the trailer, and I was unimpressed. I decided to see the movie, though, and I’m glad I did. After seeing big, blockbuster action movies for most of the year, Lady Bird was a very nice change of pace. It tells a simple coming of age story which portrays the relationship between a rebellious teen and her strict mother, and it hit me on so many levels with both comedic and somber moments. Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is nothing short of amazing and Saoirse Ronan gives an Oscar worthy performance. It’s movies like these that inspire me to become a filmmaker. You don’t need flashy effects or a big budget. With a great story, you can make spectacular movies.
The Room is something I’ve been laughing at for years, so when I heard James Franco was making a movie about that movie, I was completely on board. The story of Tommy Wiseau is one that is too insane and utterly bizarre to be true, but it is, and is captured perfectly in The Disaster Artist. James Franco is almost unrecognizable in his portrayal of Tommy and there’s hardly any differences in a side by side comparison. In my opinion, this is the best performance I’ve seen this year. This film doesn’t just poke fun at The Room, though. It dissects Tommy Wiseau and his friendship with Greg Sestero, and at times, you really feel bad for Tommy. He’s trying his hardest to make his vision, but everyone is putting him down. My only complaint is that I wish they had delved deeper into the story after the movie became a pop culture phenomenon, but overall, this is one of the best and funniest movies of the year.
One of the only rebooted franchise that I think is better than the original is the new Planet of the Apes. Dawn and Rise cemented themselves as great action blockbusters, but War For The Planet Of The Apes finalized the trilogy as one of the greatest of all time. Unlike most big budget movies, this one focuses on character and, despite its name, worries less about big action set pieces. The character of Caeser, who has been built up throughout the trilogy as a great leader, is filled with rage and revenge even when those things get in the way of his tribe. It’s these flaws that make him such a great character and what makes this movie so good, and it’s all thanks to Andy Serkis’ astonishing performance. He is well deserving of an Oscar nod. This is also coupled by the great visual effects. All the apes are picture perfect and I never once doubted their believability. I hope Matt Reeves does just as good of a job directing his Batman as he did here.
I was excited for Blade Runner 2049, but I had never seen the original, so I watched it right before my screening, and I was left disappointed. I liked this movie, but it wasn’t all it was hyped up to be, so I was a little skeptical going into 2049. As it turns out, I loved it way more than the original. Everything about this movie is amazing. From the acting to the cinematography to the story, it’s all great. Similar to War For The Planet Of The Apes, this is unlike most big budget blockbusters. It’s much more of a slow burn, but it benefits from that. It has deep ideologies and really makes you question things like free will and choice. I love how Warner Brothers took a risk in having a long, deep movie which is also sequel to a lesser known 80s sci-fi movie. It’s a shame it didn’t make a lot of money, though, because we likely won’t be seeing more films like it any time soon.
5 – Dunkirk
Dunkirk is not a movie. It is an experience. That is the only way I would describe it. Of all the war movies I’ve seen, I’d say this one does the best job of replicating the actual feeling of war (I’ve never gone so I could’t say for sure). You don’t get a main character to sympathize with. The characters in this movie are just trying to survive, and they barely even share a word with each other. Despite hardly ever seeing the enemy, the characters still feel surrounded and in danger at all times. There’s never a dull moment. Every scene is as suspenseful as the last. Christopher Nolan’s non linear story telling enhances the experience, as well as Hans Zimmer’s heart pounding score. I saw this in IMAX and was stunned, but I was concerned it wouldn’t hold up as well upon its home release. I’m happy to say I was still thrilled by every minute while watching it on the tv in my room. Dunkirk further solidifies Cristopher Nolan as my favorite director of all time.
4 – Baby Driver
Baby Driver is a near perfect movie. Every tiny detail is lined up to the beat of music. The whole thing almost plays out like a music video, and it’s obvious that each actor spent a lot of time in preproduction rehearsing their scenes. Upon several viewings, I still catch small things that show how meticulous Edgar Wright was while making this movie. The car chase scenes are also some of the best in modern cinema. Everything is clear and you know exactly what’s happening, unlike most action movies, and they have a perfect blend of humor. Almost every character, even the small ones, is unique and entertaining, especially Bats and Buddy, who was played excellently by John Hamm. The chemistry between Ansel Elgort and Lily James is off the charts and extremely believable, but my only complaint with the film is that the love story should have been developed more before Deborah decides to leave with Baby. If it weren’t for that, this film would probably be number 1 or 2 on this list.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is one of the most controversial films of the year, but despite all the negativity, it is still one of my favorite Star Wars movies. There are a some big flaws with this movie. Pretty much anything involving Canto Bight and Finn and Rose dragged on for me, but the the things I did like more than make up for it. Rian Johnson made a film that surprised me from the start and took the franchise in bold new directions. The character of Luke Skywalker has my favorite arc in the film. He’s different than he was in the Original Trilogy , but after 30 years of experience, you’d expect him to be a beaten man. I think this is the best performance Mark Hamill has given for that character. Another great performance comes from Adam Driver. His conflicted portrayal of Kylo Ren has cemented that character as one of my favorite villains of all time. With one of the craziest final acts of the year, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the sequel I was hoping for, and more.
2 – Logan
People talk of superhero fatigue all the time because of the surplus of comic book movies we have from Marvel and DC, but it’s movies like Logan that keep the genre alive. Logan is unlike any other superhero movie to come out this year, or any year prior. It takes the character of Wolverine that’s been in big budget X-Men movies since 2000 and brings him down to Earth. He is no longer an unstoppable machine. His old age has caught up to him, as well as his long time friend, Charles Xavier. Logan has pretty much given up on mutants, but when a girl comes along, he has to question everything he’s done. This movie was the perfect sendoff for the character of Wolverine and Professor X, and I’d say Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart gave their best portrayals of those characters in this movie. The only flaw I have with this film is that the villain isn’t as interesting as the hero, but then again, Logan can also be seen as the villain, literally and figuratively. Logan will go down with The Dark Knight as one of the best comic book movies of all time.
1 – Coco
Pixar is notorious for making their audience cry, but I don’t think I ever truly experienced that until Coco. A movie about dead people who rely on their families to remember them is as sad as it could get. This movie does a perfect job of portraying Mexican culture and what Día De Los Muertos means to them. Even though I don’t come from a Mexican family, I could still relate to Miguel and his defiance and wanting to be unique. His journey through the Land of the Dead is extraordinary. Every person he meets has their own personality with Hector being a personal favorite of mine. The Land of the Dead is beautiful, but what I love most about it is that it feels lived in. From the first scene in that world, you can tell all the characters have history there, and each person has their own backstory. The movie also has some mature themes. It deals with different forms of death which is something you rarely see in a kids movie. The animation, the music, and the characters are all exquisite, and the whole thing culminates in the most tearful moment I think I’ve ever witnessed in film. This is by far the best movie of the year, and I hope it gets the recognition it deserves at the awards shows next year.
What are your favorite movies of the year? Let us know on Twitter @SuperBroMovies.