11 Best Movies of 2017 (and 5 Worst)

In the year that just whizzed past us, I acquainted myself with 115 movies. Here is a peek at the best and the worst of the lot.

In other news, welcome to the new year.

Best

Bonus? Beauty and the Beast (2017) – How can one not be extremely skeptical about whether or not Disney can pull off a live action version of the tale as old as time with Emma Watson? But ask the dishes, they did it. Every bit as good as the animated version.

11. Hacksaw Ridge – Brutal true story re-enactment of a soldier ostracized for refusing to carry a weapon during WWII, but he still manages to save 75 soldiers from certain death while the Allies attempted to take Okinawa.

10. La La Land – I’m not sure any movie from 2016 will find its place on the lists of all time movie greatness, but I did enjoy this musical with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Just like I enjoyed Crazy, Stupid, Love. (I enjoyed their first movie together more). Sure Moonlight was good and different and saying something important, but I thought this still should have won Best Picture.

9. Blade Runner 2049 – Another great movie from director Denis Villeneuve (his recent movies Sicario and Arrival both made this list in previous years). The plot was fine, it didn’t exceed the original, but then that would be impossible to do. The visuals were intense and beautiful. The only thing that truly annoyed me – the score was way too loud in the theater! I’m talking ear-shatteringly, can’t hear yourself think loud.

8. Dunkirk – This movie can be panic inducing. I watched it in IMAX 3D, and it felt like you were right there with the soldiers meeting their fate during this look (from three perspectives – air, sea and land) at the massive retreat of the Allied forces from France in 1940. The scene with the battleship sinking still causes nightmares.

7. Baby Driver – The story follows a young (baby) getaway driver and the crime lord that blackmails him to be the driver for hired thugs that pull off his heists. Set to music. Starring car chases, with Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm and yes, Kevin Spacey (sigh).

6. Spider-Man: Homecoming – Among the best Marvel movies made to date; it went small. Stay local, use a villain with no special powers beyond hustle (Michael Keaton was great), and keep the humor quick and light. And an epic sequence of Spidey saving people trapped at the top of the Washington Monument.

5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – I liked this movie so much more than I thought I would. I was nervous. No movie will ever live up to the level of expectations and critical picking apart that a Star Wars movie gets. Ever. But if the plot and characters are interesting and the special effects are spectacular (you know they will be), it deserves to be judged on its merits as a movie, not at how well it met your expectations. That it thwarted so many fan theories, and did something exciting and different, I have to applaud that. I will watch it again, and see if the few things that did annoy me can be forgiven. (I am a Star Wars fan after all, so I guess can’t help myself with a couple critiques.) And for the record, I think this movie acted like a magician and threw in a little misdirection, and you’ll just have to wait for Episode IX.

4. Wonder Women – The World War I setting is cool and I like how Diana is a little naive and an idealist after leaving her home island, not the cynical anti-hero trope that many of the superhero characters represent. Definitely the best movie DC Comics has produced for their ‘universe’, and among the best of all superhero movies made to boot.

3. The Big Sick – Kumail Nanjiani breaks up with girlfriend, then bonds with her parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) while she barely remains alive in a coma. But it’s a comedy!

2. Captain Fantastic – Viggo Mortensen takes the homeschooling of his six kids to the extreme, living out in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, until it all crumbles around him when his wife dies.

1. Lion – A fascinating true story of a boy who gets lost and separated from his family in India, then gets adopted by a couple from Australia and when he becomes an adult, spends his free time searching for clues to find his real family using Google Maps.

Worst

5. CHIPS – Why do they keep re-making old TV shows into huge steaming piles of excrement??? That’s rhetorical.

4. The Mummy – Or the one were Tom Cruise runs around for no reason and Russell Crowe pontificates for no reason. And so dyeth Universal Studios’ scheme of a Dark Universe of monster movies. Whew.

3. Pandemic – This year I decided to crack open the zombie movies streaming on Netflix. See what the uneaten brains have come up with in recent years. A few were decent (Train to Busan or What We Become). Others were very much not so. This one trumped them all. I mostly object to the first person point of view that permeated throughout; a) that they used that approach to begin with, and b) that it was done so inconsistently. It was like a bad first person shooter video game.

2. Snatched – Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn! Nary a chuckle to be found in this steamer. You are on notice!

1. The Bad Batch – I have no answers to what this movie with Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo from GoT, as well as Aquaman) wants to say, but since it’s also plodding, boring and a bit too gruesome, I didn’t seriously care to find out.

Stats on Movies Watched

  • 18 repeat viewing (and therefore not eligible for the best/worst list)
  • 18 on a plane
  • 11 zombie movies
  • 11 animated movies
  • 0 animated zombie movies
  • 3 Quentin Tarantino movies

Extra Special Bonus Time (All 115 movies)

  1. Suicide Squad
  2. Pete’s Dragon
  3. Sully
  4. Caddyshack
  5. Jason Bourne
  6. Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children
  7. Bad Moms
  8. Spectral
  9. The Secret Life of Pets
  10. For the Love of Spock
  11. Blair Witch
  12. The Martian
  13. The BFG
  14. The King of Hearts
  15. The Colony
  16. Kubo and the Two Strings
  17. Superbad
  18. Last Knights
  19. The Girl on the Train
  20. The Rezort
  21. Train to Busan
  22. The Handmaiden
  23. Dead Snow
  24. Manchester by the Sea
  25. Hacksaw Ridge
  26. Moonlight
  27. Doctor Strange
  28. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  29. Moana
  30. Bad Santa 2
  31. Wreck-it-Ralph
  32. Don’t Breathe
  33. Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead
  34. Captain Fantastic
  35. Nocturnal Animals
  36. Passengers
  37. The Accountant
  38. The Purge: Election Year
  39. Ghostbusters (2016)
  40. Lion
  41. Sing
  42. What We Become
  43. The Angry Birds Movie
  44. Underworld: Blood Wars
  45. Pandemic
  46. Split
  47. The Red Turtle
  48. Predator
  49. Resident Evil: Afterlife
  50. John Wick: Chapter 2
  51. The LEGO Batman Movie
  52. T2: Trainspotting
  53. Get Out
  54. Here Alone
  55. War Machine
  56. Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  57. Alone in the Wilderness
  58. The Lost City of Z
  59. Children of Men
  60. Fences
  61. The Punisher
  62. Heat
  63. The Founder
  64. Snatched
  65. Alien: Covenant
  66. The Belko Experiment
  67. It Comes at Night
  68. Life
  69. The Bad Batch
  70. Rough Night
  71. The Big Sick
  72. The Boss Baby
  73. The Girl With All the Gifts
  74. Ghost In the Shell
  75. Hype!
  76. The House
  77. CHIPS
  78. The Mummy
  79. Hostel
  80. The Circle
  81. Inglorious Basterds
  82. The Hateful Eight
  83. Scary Movie
  84. War for the Planet of the Apes
  85. Cars 3
  86. The Beguiled
  87. Inside Out
  88. Logan Lucky
  89. The Hitman’s Bodyguard
  90. What Happened to Monday
  91. Bad Santa
  92. It Stains the Sand Red
  93. Wind River
  94. Jackie Brown
  95. Captain America: Civil War
  96. The Holy Mountain
  97. Kentucky Fried Movie
  98. Step Brothers
In Theaters
  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (IMAX 3D)
  2. La La Land
  3. Hidden Figures
  4. Logan
  5. Kong: Skull Island
  6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  7. Wild at Heart
  8. Wonder Women
  9. Landline
  10. Mulholland Drive
  11. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  12. Dunkirk
  13. Baby Driver
  14. Blade Runner 2049
  15. Thor: Ragnarok
  16. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  17. Downsizing

One thought on “11 Best Movies of 2017 (and 5 Worst)

  1. Pingback: The December List, and Other Stable Facts From 2017 | A Random Journey

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