Happy New Year all, we’ve turned the corner into 2018 and no doubt film fan thoughts have shifted toward what’s to come this year with Black Panther, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and more Avengers on the way. But to follow up on Darran, Phil, and Alison’s recent best films of 2017, here are my own top picks for what the last 12 months gave us in the world of movies. Those who have seen my “best 10” lists before would know that I am no fan of the whole numbering thing, so here are my top 10 picks presented in alphabetical order….
Edgar Wright’s first film since 2013’s The World’s End following his departure from Ant Man, Baby Driver is a stylistic, well-crafted crime story bringing with it a freshness that is well overdue in cinemas.
Blade Runner 2049
From director Denis Villeneuve Blade Runner 2049 took on the unenviable task of delivering a follow up to the Ridley Scott original, however (despite a lacklustre response at the box office) Villeneuve did everything right and delivered a brilliant noir tale in this dystopian sci/fi setting which ponders the meaning of existence. In the current era of big budget film making, the fact this project was funded is an achievement in itself. In many ways 2049 both matches, and even improves upon what the original film delivered back in 1982.
Chris Nolan continues his post-Dark Knight trilogy career with the intense Dunkirk, a film which I describe more as an experience than anything else. While some of the non-linear story telling didn’t quite work for me, overall this is an excellent film and includes some of the best WW2 aerial combat sequences in many years.
A detailed character study with an excellent performance from Natalie Portman. Pablo Larrain’s film taking place following the JFK assassination is engaging and makes excellent use of drama with a keen attention for detail.
Hugh Jackman finished up his time as Wolverine with the film Logan in 2017, a grounded character driven film which pushes the X-Men series in new directions. With the relationship between Logan, Xavier, and X-23 at its core this is an emotionally charged, gritty superhero tale that expands the genre.
Manchester by the Sea
This film was released in 2016 in the US but slipped over into 2017 for Australia, a drama filled tale with Casey Affleck in the lead role as someone unexpectedly burdened with custody of their nephew following a family tragedy. Portraying a deeply scarred and conflicted individual Affleck delivers a strong performance in a film centred on the exploration of grief and healing.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Such a polarising film, however Rian Johnson has delivered an excellent film with great writing and while subverting expectation in such a powerful way, he’s delivered a film so much more about the future of Star Wars than the past of Star Wars. Hamill and Driver are both amazing, the film makes several hard decisions which help leave the franchise with many options on where to go next.
The Big Sick
Funny, and adorable The Big Sick comes from a personal story of relationship hardship, and delivers an engaging, dramatic heart felt film which I highly recommend.
The Edge of Seventeen
Writer and director Kelly Fremon Craig’s debut feature film The Edge of Seventeen joins the ranks of the best coming of age films ever made. Released in very early 2017 in Australia, this film puts Hailee Steinfeld in the lead role of Nadine, who is trying to navigate the treacherous years of high school in the wake of both personal tragedy and betrayal.
Wonder Woman’s first feature film managed to buck the trend in the series of DC Cinematic Universe films taking on a more positive approach to its source material, which is further boosted by the casting of the excellent Gal Gadot. While the third act is quite messy and a bit of a misfire, the film more than makes up for it elsewhere leaving a sequel high on the list of priorities for Warner Bros and DC.
There you have it, my favorite films to come out of 2017, agree/disagree? Let us know in the comments section.