The Top Ten Best Films Of 2017 So Far
Making this list was quite easy because so far, 2017 is a year of soooo many middleground films. Even films with some of the best performances so far this year (James McAvoy in Split, Salma Hayek in Beatriz At Dinner, etc..) are plagued with problems. But let’s take a look at the best in film that has been offered in the first half of this year.
10. Personal Shopper: Personal Shopper is a new kind of ghost story. It is practically three different movies rolled into one: ghost story, psychological drama, and a portrait of grief and loss. This one singular film is anchored by a flawless lead performance from Kristen Stewart who reteams with her Clouds Of Sils Maria director Olivier Assayas. Hopefully, this film won’t be the last time where they team up.
9. It Comes At Night: It Comes At Night is nothing like how the trailer makes it seem. Yet unlike the audience members on Twitter who bullied me for saying I liked it, I found that to be a good thing. I was surprised to see that It Comes At Night wasn’t necessarily a post-apocalyptic horror film but more of a demonstration of the dangers of paranoia set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world.
8. Colossal: Anne Hathaway bursts her way back onto the big screen in this offbeat kaiju romantic comedy. She commands the screen as ferociously as the monster that her character Gloria controls through cutting humor mixed with emotional heft. Equally as amazing is Jason Sudeikis who shows us a different side to him as Gloria’s arrogant and controlling former childhood friend. The film’s constant defiance of genre convention is another strong suit as well, making this one of the more original films of the year.
7. The Beguiled: Without being categorized as a horror film, The Beguiled certainly has the feel of one. Its isolated location, darkness-drenched cinematography, and dramatic tension that builds up to its horrific third act all make this remake of the 1971 film starring Clint Eastwood an eerie success. It also features flawless acting from the ensemble. Especially from Kirsten Dunst who emerges as the MVP as Edwina, the schoolteacher trying to please those around her as she agonizingly attempts to please herself.
6. Wonder Woman: After the double whammy of Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman managed to single handedly save the DC Cinematic Universe. It is rare that we get a superhero origin story so refreshing and organic and these days, it is even more rare when we get a superhero film that doesn’t feel manufactured. Director Patty Jenkins injects such passion and precision into her filmmaking from the way she directs her actors to the distinctive set pieces. Of course, credit should also go to Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot. A star is born.
5. Get Out: Get Out is a satire that offers very biting humor. But it is also quite chilling due to its Stepford Wives-esque premise and its capturing of the cultural zeitgeist as it demonstrates prejudice in the Trump era. Even if it doesn’t really say anything new when it comes to racism, it still does its job at keeping the conversation going.
4. Logan: Logan is many things at once. It is a superhero film without the capes, a traditional Western, and most importantly, a tremendous swan song from lead actor Hugh Jackman. After playing the role of Wolverine for 17 years and bringing such depth and commitment to the character with each portrayal, Jackman is the best he’s ever been as the character in Logan.
3. Okja: Okja is currently the best film this year that you likely won’t see on a big theater screen. Regardless of its Netflix distribution, which has become a subject of controversy, Okja still remains a vibrant monster movie that demonstrates how alive moviemaking can be. Director Bong Joon-Ho goes quite balls to the wall with the film’s various tonal shifts as it goes from being a Spielbergian-like tale about a child and her pet monster to a biting satire on capitalism and the media. It’s like different movies rolled into one and it works quite well. Okja is already one of those movies where the more I think about it, the more I love it.
2. Baby Driver: Movies like Baby Driver are why I go to the movies. Practically every time I think of this film, I feel like I want to go on a high speed chase. In this summer tentpole climate where we have films that play the same thematic beats and play well with their core audiences, director Edgar Wright has made a film for everybody. You like music? This film has a kickass soundtrack. You like to laugh? It’s got plenty of humor (Especially coming from scene stealers Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey). You want a good love story? Stars Ansel Elgort and Lily James have good romantic chemistry. This movie has got it all and if you want a fun, eclectic movie watching experience, rev up your engine and drive to your nearest theater and go see Baby Driver. NOW!!
1.The Big Sick: As someone who remains agnostic towards romantic comedies and most of the films of Judd Apatow (who’s a producer on the film), I am in absolute love with The Big Sick. It is a breath of fresh air for the romantic comedy genre with its heart, humor, and most importantly, its honesty. While it features a lovely romance (brilliantly brought to life star/co-writer Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan), it shows that we can tell how much we love someone by how much pain we make them feel. Whether you cheat on your loved one or just have a bad argument, feeling like your world has crumbled shows how bad you feel about hurting your significant other and you’ll do anything to heal those wounds. It doesn’t just feel real because it’s based on screenwriters Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon’s relationship. It’s something everyone can connect with. Its universal story and its ability to make me laugh while simultaneously tugging my heartstrings are all reasons why The Big Sick is the best movie of 2017 thus far.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top 5 worst films of the year so far:
- Staying Vertical
- The Book Of Henry
- Beauty And The Beast
- Kong: Skull Island
What do you think are the top ten best films so far this year? Please share your own lists in the comments section. Thanks for reading!!