Introductory paragraph about the best movies of 2017! Hurry up and click and scroll down to the part you actually care about!
Top 5 Best Movies of 2017: Superhero Edition
There are so many superhero movies now that I think they need to be placed into their own category. When someone buys a ticket and walks into a superhero movie, they probably already have a few things in their minds:
- A massive suspension of disbelief
- At least some prior knowledge of the characters, settings, etc. (Even people who’ve never read comics have a basic idea of who Batman is)
- An understanding that this film is “a popcorn movie” and probably isn’t shooting for critical acclaim
Superhero movies showed a lot of promise this year. Most of the time we only get one or two good ones, but this year I managed to see five!
5. Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman is the only DC movie anywhere in this article, and I think that’s a large part of why it gets so much praise. While I felt Wonder Woman was a pretty good flick, it doesn’t deserve some of the more extreme accolades it’s getting. The fact that it stands among the abysmal DC cinematic universe created the very low bar that this movie was able to vault over with ease. Combine that with the movie reaching an under-served audience (female fans) and it hits a sweet spot that elevates it beyond its actual merits as a creative work.
Bravo. It’s a solid movie that shows some potential in the DC universe, and I hope they pay more attention to Patty Jenkins now. But as long as they continue to employ the long-washed-up-but-blissfully-unaware-of-it Zack Snyder, I have zero faith in any DC movies topping Wonder Woman anytime soon.
4. Spider-Man: Homecoming
I liked Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man for two of the three movies. Spider-Man is supposed to be a true nerd, and I felt that the first reboot with Andrew Garfield was a horrible casting because of that. I was wary of them rebooting my childhood favorite superhero a third time. To my pleasant surprise, I loved Tom Holland’s performance and Homecoming was fun and entertaining in all the ways that the comics I read every month when I was a kid were. I’m eagerly awaiting the next chapter.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
The first Guardians of the Galaxy movie was fantastic, and the sequel stands perfectly with it. James Gunn was able to recreate the same magical combination of humor, lovable characters, and awesome special effects that propelled the Guardians into the spotlight years ago.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on Netflix →
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on Amazon Instant Video →
I nearly dressed as Yondu for Halloween this year because of this movie, but he was beaten out by…
I want more of these movies. Show me more of the old mutants in their waning years. Tell me what happens to them when their powers deteriorate over time. Show me change and character development. It’s fresh, dark, and surprising, which are all areas that these movies severely need to keep getting better in.
Wolverine is the perfect character to show this story too. He’s practically immortal. Hugh Jackman is arguably the best casting decision ever made in the superhero world. Wolverine is massively popular, which gives him the most powerful superpower of them all: Plot Armor. Yes. Kill this character with a beautiful and tragic send-off. Emphasize the generational shift and pass the torch to the new breed of mutants. Well done, Marvel.
1. Thor: Ragnarök
Thor: Ragnarök was the most fun I’ve had at a movie this year, and it deserves a place somewhere in the top ten best movies of 2017. It’s exciting, extremely funny, well-produced, and satisfying from start to finish.
I think “the magic” of this movie lies entirely in how Taika Waititi made the set free and improvisational. Allegedly, they improvised 80% of the lines in the film. The cast seems to agree on how successful it was.
The colorful, light, and hilarious Thor: Ragnarök has earned its place as one of my favorite superhero movies of all time. I hope Marvel continues to run in this direction because it feels like I’m reading the comics as a kid again.
I don’t want to spend too much time on these before moving to the top ten best movies of 2017, so one sentence each. Here we go!
A stylish, fun movie that I could enjoy without needing to turn my brain on too much.
An impressive epic that inspired horror and dread in me like most other military films never have.
Not for the faint of heart, but full of authenticity and real history from perspectives rarely seen on film.
Coco is a lovely story that tells the story of a close-knit family and its traditions around death. It beautifully shows the importance of remembering those we love after they’re gone. In true Pixar fashion, it made me and other audience members in the theater tear up at a few points. Coco is touching, sweet, and has great music without being overly saccharine sweet.
A theme I’ve noticed in multiple movies and media this year is Generational Shifts. Coco shows the differing points of view of each generation in the family it features and does a beautiful job about showing that they still all love each other despite their disagreements and differences.
And the dog in the movie was probably the final straw that made me decide to adopt a new dog in 2018.
9. Logan Lucky
Logan Lucky came out of nowhere for me. We were looking for a light movie to check out so we could have a nice chill time on a date night. Logan Lucky delivered. It’s incredibly fun, satisfying, and engaging. I underestimated the movie the same way many of its characters underestimate each other.
I’m trying not to spoil anything with the details I’m giving here, but it’s one of the best caper movies in years. That’s what makes Logan Lucky one of the best movies of 2017.
8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri
A dark, depressing film the likes of anything the Coen Brothers may have produced. It’s a beautifully human kind of darkness. The authenticity of its characters — whether you like them or not — shows an impressive level of skill in the craft of every actor and crew member on this production. If they don’t walk away with multiple awards, it will confirm how bullshit those award shows are.
If you love dark stuff, don’t miss it. I don’t know if I could watch it again, but I’m glad I did the first time.
7. Alien: Covenant
I love the Alien franchise. I even enjoyed Prometheus and Alien: Resurrection. Much like many other popular franchises, even the worst movies among them are better than the average movie. Alien: Covenant stands among the top half of the main Alien franchise films, and that makes it one of the best movies of 2017 for me. I walked into the theater expecting a similar experience to Prometheus, but I was blown away. If you love Alien, don’t miss this one.
6. The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water is fresh in my mind because it came out so recently, but it’s such a beautiful movie. Probably one of Guillermo Del Toro’s best yet. It’s strange, moving, surreal, and entrancing very much the way that Pan’s Labyrinth was. It’s probably the best date movie of the year, and definitely one of the best movies of 2017.
5. The Disaster Artist
I don’t like bad movies, even if they’re so bad that they’re hilarious. I don’t hate-watch. B-movies hold no value to me, especially if they’re unintentionally bad.
However, I am a big fan of movies that recreate the production of bad movies. My dad introduced me to Ed Wood when I was a kid, and The Disaster Artist carries on that tradition remarkably. What happens in this movie is insane and unbelievable. Because of this, they actually split screen real footage with their reenactments near the end credits to prove that some of the stuff actually happened!
The Franco brothers are amazing in this movie, and the story absolutely must be told. Even if you’re like me and The Room itself holds no appeal to you, I cannot recommend The Disaster Artist enough. Easily one of the best movies of 2017.
4. John Wick: Chapter 2
My inclusion of John Wick 2 in this list should surprise no one. I love Keanu Reeves. I love self-aware, over-the-top action movies. John Wick was easily one of the best movies of 2014, and it was number one for me. John Wick 2 doesn’t surpass the original, but it is a fantastic addition that makes me even more excited to see more in the future.
And Common is amazing in this one. *fans self*
3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The only way any true Star Wars fan could possibly dislike The Last Jedi is if their social and political motives override their love of Star Wars. It’s either that or they prefer tired tropes and predictable plot points over original storytelling. I can’t sympathize with either of those people.
The Last Jedi was phenomenal, and I now consider it one of the top 3 best Star Wars movies overall. It had amazing style, wonderful character development, and — best of all — it surprised me multiple times.
I’m going to talk briefly about a theme in the movie in the next paragraph, but I’m going to try to keep it spoiler free. You may choose to skip it if you like.
The Last Jedi is another one of the best movies of 2017 with strong themes about generational shifts. Both sides of the conflict are struggling with passing power from the previous generation to the next: The Rebel Alliance to The Resistance, The Empire to The First Order, Snoke to Kylo Ren and General Hux, Leia to Poe, and Luke to Rey. All struggle with giving and taking the torch — much like the generational shift happening in our society today from baby boomers to gen-x and millennials. Some are handling it better than others, but no one has all the answers.
2. Get Out
Get Out is absolutely one of the best movies of 2017, without question. No other movie in recent memory has been able to wield humor, horror, suspense, and biting social commentary simultaneously in such an amazingly skillful way.
I recently recommended this movie to some of my relatives at Thanksgiving, but they haven’t checked it out yet. I know this because they haven’t contacted me to talk about it yet, and Get Out is the type of movie that inspires conversation.
So go watch it, mom!
1. Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049 is not only #1 of the best movies of 2017, it’s my favorite movie I’ve seen in almost a decade (previous winner: Children of Men from 2008). It’s strikingly beautiful, packed with intricate subtle details that immerse the audience in its world, consistent with callbacks to the original, and leaves us with dozens of wonderful questions to ponder after the end. The acting isn’t always loud and obvious, but it smolders with intensity. Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins deserve all the awards.
I could go on at great length about the dozens of compelling themes — both subtle and overt — that resonate with me in this film. Ask any of my many friends I’ve gushed to about it: I will talk about Blade Runner 2049 (and its companion shorts) for hours if I’m asked.
I want to keep this post fairly short and spoiler-free so I won’t go into more detail here. Simply put: If you love sci-fi, cyberpunk, and modern existentialism you should have already seen Blade Runner 2049 by now. Go watch it, then talk to me about it. GO!