Can you believe that 2017 is coming to a close? In just a few days we’ll abolish that dreaded seven for ten more years, and a cool, clean, sexy eight will take its place.
2017 was an incredible year for moviegoers, gamers, music enthusiasts, and media lovers of all sorts. With the year coming to an end, it’s time to begin talking about the best of the best.
First up, here are Matt Kelly’s favorite films of 2017!
10. Baby Driver
Can Edgar Wright make a bad movie? Like is it in his genes? He might be one of the most flawless filmmakers out there. Is Baby Driver perfect? No. Is it his best film ever? No. This is arguably his worst movie, but when your worst movie is easily a 4.5 star flick and among the top 10 films in a year with countless great films, that’s a testament to the power you wield. With fun and chaotic camerawork and an amazing soundtrack it’s really hard to dislike this movie.
9. Beauty & the Beast
Some people really hated this movie. I expected that I would too, but instead I got teary-eyed mid-way through the opening sequence when Emma Watson sang Belle. Beauty and the Beast is a strong contender for my favorite Disney animated film and to see it work so well as a live-action film was stunning. The film is not without its issues – some of the computer animated characters leave something to be desired (for example Ms. Potts) but in general this movie put a smile on my face that simply would not go away.
8. Happy Death Day
This movie should not have been great and in a way, it’s not. That said, there was no movie that I had more fun seeing this year than Happy Death Day. The sarcastic tone, perfect comedy, and interesting concept reminded me of everything I love about horror films from the 90’s. So many people slept on this one because it looked stupid, but I remember leaving desperate to have someone to talk to about it.
7. The Lego Batman Movie
This is a fun movie, and in a world without Pixar it’d be the best animated film of the year. Is it better than The Lego Movie? It is not, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad film. I don’t think I laughed as hard at any movie as I did with Lego Batman. It’s a joke-every-second kind of movie which usually have more strike outs than hits but that’s not the case for this film where I’d say 90% of the jokes absolutely hit it out of the park.
6. Stephen King’s It
This movie really has people divided. Some think it was everything they could want out of the adaptation, while others have argued it was a C+ movie at best. I personally think it was fantastic and easily among the best King adaptations in history. The film manages to be a faithful adaptation, but also a wildly different adaptation. Characters are different, events are different, but that feeling of dread and doom is perfect. It also broke countless records and I can not wait for Part 2.
5. Lady Bird
If you told me that the character I related the most to in cinema was an angsty 17 year old girl in Sacramento I would have considered you crazy. However when I left the theater last month I couldn’t stop thinking about the movie and wanting to tell people about it. This is a theme for all of my top 5 films in most ways, but with Lady Bird being the one that I’ve met the least amount of people who also saw it means that this list is the only place I talk about this. What makes Lady Bird isn’t necessarily the comedy or the drama but the relatability of the subject matter. It’s a movie for everyone who hated their hometown until they moved away, hated their family until they weren’t there for them and underappreciated their high school memories until high school was over. It’s a truly beautiful film that I can’t wait to revisit time and time again.
4. Get Out
I’m going to keep this one short because you can throw a virtual rock anywhere and hit someone’s hot take on how good Get Out is. Despite being a fairly predictable film, that doesn’t make it bad. The film blends horror, suspense and comedy nicely. Additionally, every performance is perfect, there’s very little else for me to mention that hasn’t been said. The critical acclaim and box office numbers say all you need to know.
3. The Big Sick
I wasn’t crying, you were crying. Shut up. Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon’s script mixed with Michael Showalter’s beautiful direction created a perfect “chick-flick” for both guys and gals. The dry sarcastic humor hits all the right funny notes and the moments of sentimental drama pull on every heart-string. You will fall head over heels for Zoe Kazan and Ray Romano has never been more charming. It was the sleeper hit of 2017 and very deservedly so.
2. The Autopsy of Jane Doe
So I’m cheating slightly with this movie. It premiered at a film festival September 2016 and was released in the U.S. the last week of 2016 in a fairly limited release so because it wasn’t readily available until 2017 I had to call this one out. It was the best horror experience I’ve ever had. The first time I watched this movie was with my cousin and his wife in a dark house, every noise made us jump and scream and yell. It was so fun and well paced. I brought my DVD into work and lent it to so many people to watch and so rarely met anyone who disliked it. If this one has slipped under your radar, make it a point to watch.
Before #1, here are some movies I haven’t seen at the time of making this list but could have made this list: Blade Runner 2049, I Tonya, Wonder Woman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Greatest Showman, Downsizing, Shape of Water, Gerald’s Game and Pitch Perfect 3.
I ugly cried during the last 15 minutes of this movie. Non-stop, loudly, sitting by myself in a theater full of families. It was bad for me, but great for the movie. Pixar just seems to not know how to make a bad (Cars excluded) movie these days. They know the exact right things to pull on the right heart-strings but also have perfectly placed comedic moments too. I connected to this movie on a deeper level than I could have anticipated and left the theater and immediately called family members to let them know how much I loved them. This is a perfect film and was the #1 film of the year for me the second my feet exited the theater.