Written By: Rick Masters
As we prepare to say goodbye to 2017 I thought I’d have a look through the many many films I’ve had the pleasure of watching over the past 12 months and pick out my overall Top 10, It’s also because I’m hugely hungover and I needed something to take my mind off this life threatening headache thats crippling me. How wrong I was…. This was one of the most stressful things I have ever done. Damn you 2017 for being such a great year!
BLADE RUNNER 2049 (2017)
Director: Denis Villeneuve
What is undoubtedly the most beautiful film of the year (and quite possibly the decade) Denis Villeneuve’s masterpiece is at the forefront of film production. The only reason it does rate higher in my list is that it was overly long and I personally prefer the shorter films. This is purely my own preference though and it does rate high on many people’s Top 10s this year and rightly so!
AMERICAN MADE (2017)
Director: Doug Liman
After this years rather dismal Mummy movie, Tom Cruise proves here that he’s still got it in this action heavy Biography thriller. Following the story of Barry Seal, an American pilot who became a drug-runner for the CIA in the 1980s the film blends smart story telling with high energy editing and a fine sense of humour. There’s a lot of fun to be had here!
Director: Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan has done it again, Dunkirk is an instantly re watchable war movie with an incredible ensemble cast. It does a fine job of building tension throughout and does everything to honour the fact-based story. Technically awe-inspiring and narratively inventive, it is both harrowing and smart.
PADDINGTON 2 (2017)
Director: Paul King
As good as a freshly made marmalade sandwich… Paddington’s second adventure is bursting with kindness, humour, warmth and optimism. Mixing live action with CGI, it’s a wonderfully enjoyable and brightly coloured romp through a picture postcard pretty London.
Paddington’s creator Michael Bond passed away in June and it’s such a shame he did get to see how magical this film turned out. It’s fantastic to see his legacy live on through top class entertainment such as this.
The bear is an absolute treasure.
Director: Marc Webb
Gifted is a gentle, warm and heartfelt movie that follows Frank (played by Chris Evans), a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, that is drawn into a custody battle with his mother. Its delightfully simple and endearing. Mckenna Grace, who plays Mary, also delivers one of the greatest child performances to date. A film that really pulls on the heartstrings.
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (2017)
Director: Matt Reeves
One of the most compelling, most morally resonant franchises of our times, War for the planet of the apes is the pinnacle of where Hollywood is with SFX’s right now. Andy Serkis performance as Caesar is phenomenal. It’s an emotional rollercoaster of a film and a perfect ending to one of the best trilogies of all time.
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2017)
Director: Chris McKay
This film is exactly what it says on the tin, its a stupidly cool, equally as funny and beautifully animated. Not afraid to poke fun at itself or to throw in some jokes aimed squarely at true Batman fans, The Lego Batman Movie is the Bat-spoof we didn’t know we needed and it gives Batman a chance to loosen up. Everything is awesome here!
THE BIG SICK (2017)
Director: Michael Showalter
Seldom do films achieve the delicate balance of humour and seriousness find within this little gem. Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. The film tackles so many assorted elements including cross-cultural themes and the many different human emotions. It also proves the standard romcom formula still has some fresh angles left to explore. The Big Sick is brilliantly written, fantastically acted and very grounded. A hugely enjoyable, lovable comedy.
Director: James Mangold
It was so close between this and the winner, in fact I chopped and changed numerous times before I finally settled on this decision. For me Logan is one of the most ‘grown up’ superhero films ever made. It has so much grit and emotion which does, at times, risk becoming a little over bearing but its balanced so perfectly and compensated with a certain amount of optimism by a new generation with retractable claws. Hugh Jackman is outstanding in his final outting as Wolverine and the adorable Dafne Keen delievers one hell of a performance. It strips away the spandex and distills the story down to the essence of the man. Logan is a fantastic conclusion to one of comics most beloved characters.
And just before we get to my number one pick…. A few honourable mentions
KONG SKULL ISLAND
An epic display of what a popcorn movie should be!
An edge-of-your-seat, unrelenting, chilling and intense adventure.
STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI
Some questionable story choices aside, The Last Jedi features some goosebump inducing moments! The force was strong with this one.
Coming from one of my new favourite directors, Ragnarok is the child of confident film making and the understanding of what the Thor franchise should have always been.
Brimming with heart and reason, Wonder Woman whipped the DCEU into much better shape and introduced the world to the absolutely incredible Gal Gadot.
BABY DRIVER (2017)
Director: Edgar Wright
Baby Driver is a breath of fresh air. In a year full of remakes and reboots Baby Driver turns up and shows us just how creative and arty movies can be. This is picture and sound working absolutely perfectly with each other, a master class of editing. Gun shots and window wipers sync perfectly with the beats of the music, the volume of the soundtrack dictated by how the main character ‘Baby‘ is experiencing it at the time. It’s a unique and creative effect, the likes I‘ve never seen done before. The cinematography is exceptional and the plot is intriguing and unpredictable. The amount of attention to detail found in here is something to behold and it‘s clear Edgar Wright put his absolute all into creating this masterpiece. Couple all that with some of the wittiest dialogue I’ve heard in a film in a long time, Baby Driver is La La Land being overrun by speeding cars and bank robbers. Throw in some Kingsman style humour and, at times, pretty graphic violence and you‘ve got yourself one hell of a good heist movie!