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.
Yesterday, Matt Kelly shared his favorite films. Today, it’s MCDave’s turn.
Please Note: I still haven’t seen Call Me By Your Name, Phantom Thread or The Post.
Honorable Mention: Wind River, Small Town Crime, Princess Cyd, The Disaster Artist, War for the Planet of the Apes, Wonder Woman and Blade Runner 2049.
10. T2 Trainspotting
As a fan of Danny Boyle’s 1996 original, I was eager and nervous to catch this sequel. Yet, Boyle and company refuse to disappoint with a humor-laced screenplay and a valiant return by all of its characters in a truly enjoyable experience that works as both a worthwhile sequel or a stand-alone entry.
9. Lady Bird
While my adoration for Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is a far cry from the Best Picture claims from many critics, I still found the film to be an endearing teen dramedy. Powered by the wonderful onscreen efforts of Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird” tells a somewhat familiar coming-of-age story that stands out because of its key performances.
This character study follows a victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing who struggles to go on after losing both of his legs. The film could have demanded cheap sentiment, but instead relies on superb acting from Jake Gyllenhaal and his onscreen girlfriend, played by Tatiana Maslany, to bring this sad and courageous tale to life.
7. Last Flag Flying
Richard Linklater delivers a somber, yet poignant, story of a Vietnam veteran (Steve Carell) who enlists the support of fellow servicemen (Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne) as he travels to claim the body of his Marine son during the Iraq war. The film relies on hystericslly outspoken humor from Cranston and a quiet warmth from Carell in order to touch on deeper themes of grief and patriorism.
It’s truly amazing how certain filmmakers have the ability to transcend conventional storytelling in order to deliver a visual masterpiece. Christopher Nolan does just that with his World War II epic “Dunkirk”. It’s a fair criticism to harp on the film’s failure to adequately develop any of its characters, but the truth still remains that “Dunkirk” is one of the year’s most intense movie experiences thanks to Nolan’s keen direction and a world-class score from legend Hans Zimmer.
5. I, Tonya
I was completely caught off-guard by Craig Gillespie’s riotous examination of notorious figure skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie). Told through the perspectives of various unreliable sources, this farce of a comedy throws away any hopes of trying to spark a revelation about the “incident” surrounding Harding and fellow competitor, Nancy Kerrigan, and instead devotes itself to telling a widely embellished and hilariously vulgar interpretation of the events.
4. The Big Sick
Kumail Nanjiani writes and stars in the year’s most heartfelt comedy. Where “The Big Sick” succeeds most is in its ability to operate as a comedy first and a drama second. There’s no shortage of laughs in this earnest tale of a Pakistani (Nanjiani) who secretly falls in love with a white woman (Zoe Kazan) as his parents try to arrange a marriage for him with someone that they approve. This laugh-out-loud tale of a modern-day forbidden love story really hits the mark.
3. Get Out
From the bizarre and creative mind of writer/director Jordan Peele comes one of the year’s most taut and interesting screenplays. Daniel Kaluuya stars as a lonely, mid 20s African American who travels with his Caucasian girlfriend’s rural estate to meet her parents for the first time. Yet, what begins as a bunch of peculiar exchanges, eventually turns into something far more insane. Rarely does a horror film (although it’s a rather timid one) immerse itself in a controversial political climate such as “Get Out”, and we should all be grateful it does.
2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths”) delivers a timely dark comedy that culminates as one of the year’s finest offerings. Set in the rural south where a heartbroken mother (Frances McDormand) hasn’t heard from local law enforcement for seven months regarding the rape and murder of her daughter, so she purchases a trio of billboards to shine a light on their incompetence. With an ending that I’m sure will irk some moviegoers, although I found satisfaction in it, “Three Billboards” possesses an all-star cast and an insanely fun journey.
1. The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro’s beautifully-filmed conquest bridges science fiction, history and romance in the year’s most exceptional release. Sally Hawkins is masterful as a mute loner whose life changes forever when she encounters a strange and enchanting creature at the top-secret government facility where she works. “The Shape of Water” tackles some reminiscent ideas in a completely original manner, and allows for its brilliant ensemble to bring del Toro’s wildly imaginative tale to life. Lovely and enchanting, “The Shape of Water” steals your heart with its unconventional love story.