As the Summer movie season comes to a close, it’s time to set aside our popcorn movies and head into the Oscar and horror seasons. It’s a good time to take a look at what the best Movies of 2017 so far are, and wonder what will still be on that list by the end of the year.
As of now, I have seen 57 new films this year, and am on pace for a record number of movies. I’m not exactly sure what my record is, but I think the mid 70s is a good guess. As always, that includes any movie I see for the first time, so the easiest first cut, is all of the older movies I see for the first time. And the process continues until I get only ten movies, and this year, I pretty much knew what the top movies were going to be. It was the end of the list that was the real issue.
So, here’s a look at my Top 10 Movies of 2017… so far.
Let’s start with the Honorable Mentions, Dunkrik and Kong: Skull Island. I really enjoyed both, but the only time I saw them was in glorious IMAX, and I am not sure that I will have the same love once I watch it on my TV, which is nowhere near IMAX size. I recently bought Kong on Blu-ray and will be buying Dunkirk as well, and hopefully I will get to re-watch both before the end of the year to see if I need to find room for them in my top ten list. You can’t see Kong in IMAX anymore, and I think the same goes for Dunkirk, but if they ever come back to IMAX for any reason, I would highly suggest checking them out. But enough about the honorable mentions, let’s get to the movies that did make my top ten list….
10. Atomic Blonde
There are a few themes this year when it comes to my top ten movies, and this movie is a fine example of one of those themes: soundtracks. After seeing Atomic Blonde, the first thing I did when I got home was buy its soundtrack. A great collection of songs that I had to have in my collection. But there is more than just a great soundtrack to this movie, as we get another movie from the amazing Charlize Theron, kicking ass and taking names, and looking amazing while she does it, thanks to a great visual style as well. You could say another theme this year is kick-ass leading ladies (spoilers for a few other movies on this list). After a few lackluster Bond films these past few years, the good news is that we might have a great female replacement.
9. Baby Driver
And it’s not a long wait on this list before we get another movie with a great soundtrack, but not only that, a great soundtrack that plays a very important role in the style and pace of this movie. Thanks to Edgar Wright and his sense of visual style and sound production, Baby Driver is a movie you need to see a few times, just to really appreciate the importance of the soundtrack. A great heist film with some cool car chase scenes, and a great performance from Jon Hamm as well.
8. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Was it too soon for yet another Spider-Man reboot? Well, considering it landed on my top ten list, that should answer that question for you. I didn’t hate most of the Sam Raimi movies, and I thought the Marc Webb films had some good moments, but when Marvel Studios got a chance to take control and bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a lot of people’s excitement was running high. I am willing to admit that I was looking forward to this one, but after a second trailer was released, I was worried there was going to be too much Iron Man in this. And after watching this, I am happy to report, he does play a role in this movie, but thankfully he only pops in here and there. I am looking forward to seeing where they go with this version of Spider-Man, as they say things are going to be different. Also need to give some kudos to a great performance and bad guy, a rarity in the MCU, to Batman, I mean Birdman, no I mean Vulture, aka Michael Keaton.
7. Free Fire
On one trip to the movies I saw the standee for Free Fire, and judging by the cast and seeing the look of this film, I knew I had to check this one out. A great gun fight, with more, somewhat realistic actions and reactions to being shot than most films. All taking place in one central location, a warehouse during a gun deal gone wrong. We don’t get lot of back story about each character, other than what is told in the movie, and it’s a great journey to see who is telling the truth and who is out to turn on each other. A great mix of comedy thanks to Sharlto Copley and Armie Hammer, and it’s nice to have Brie Larson back on my top ten list. This is available on Blu-ray and one that has found a place in my collection.
A great case of going into a movie, knowing very little about the story, and walking out blown away by what we really got. Colossal is one those movies I recommend going into not knowing much about or even watching a trailer, just so you can also experience what I did when I viewed it. Of course, that also means that I have to have your trust and you are willing to give this movie a shot. I enjoyed the giant monster movies, and this is one with a little twist, and even a nice little metaphor on life as well. Trying to be vague about this one, but still trying to entice you to give this one a watch. It was just released on Blu-ray, so hopefully you will give this one a shot.
5. LEGO: Batman
As we get higher up on the list, we have another theme that presents itself, the definition of family. And we kick that theme off with LEGO: Batman, and yes it’s just as funny as the The LEGO Movie, with some great one liners and visual gags, but there is also a great and thoughtful story mixed in there as well. A great voice cast all around, with way too many to mention, but like I said, every choice was a good one. So many easter eggs in this one, as they reference the whole Batman history, so a few viewings might be necessary to make sure you catch them all. It will have you yelling “Hey ‘puter” every time you fire up your computer.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
And the family theme continues with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and you can once again throw in the soundtrack theme as well (as with Vol. 1). I saw this movie at the very first showing the opening Thursday night in IMAX 3D and went back and saw it again a few days later on Sunday night. The crew is all back once again for another adventure, and we even get a few new faces in the family, and of course, we get Groot and Drax stealing the show when it comes to the comedy. But on the other side, a great story arc featuring Mary Poppins, aka Yondu, who lets us know the definition of family is not just by blood. A roller coaster ride with all kinds of emotion, great direction from James Gunn, and some great stingers as well at the end of this one. The first film make my number one pick, and I was really happy to have this sequel so high on my list this year. I can’t wait to see where Vol. 3 ends up.
3. Wonder Woman
And one of the biggest surprises this year was how much love Wonder Woman got. I didn’t hate the other DCU movies as much as others did, and I went into this one thinking I was going to enjoy it. Well, I ended up seeing this one a few times in the theater, and both times in IMAX 3D. Some great action scenes, that beach battle, and of course No Man’s Land too. And of course some kudos to Gal Gadot on her great job of playing Wonder Woman, and the girl power continues with Patty Jenkins behind the camera. If this is the movie that puts the whole DCU into a more positive aspect for movie fans, I look forward to seeing what comes next. Higher hopes for the Justice League movie coming up soon.
2. Your Name
Your Name might be the movie that most of you might not have heard of up to this point. And I think I need to thank YouTube movie reviewer, Chris Stuckman, who was the first to bring this movie to my attention. And I was lucky enough to check this out in the theater, and an added bonus, thankfully I got to see it subtitled. A story about two people who live two different lives, and their weird connection that seems to focus around a mysterious comet. Once again, another movie I am trying to be very vague about, as I don’t want to spoil anything for you. I can’t wait to see this again when it comes out on Blu-ray. It’s such a beautiful story and even more beautiful when it comes the visuals, some are just stunning.
And we finally come to the number one spot, and so far, we have had a few themes: family, great soundtracks, and plenty of superhero movies. And a few of those themes continue with my number one spot, with Logan. It’s very sad that this, being the last Wolverine movie, is the best of the series. And thankfully we have a way for the story to continue. I will be interested to see how that plays out in the other X-Men movies. And as much as I loved the color version of this, the noir version of this is just incredible, the whole black and white seems more appropriate with this story more than when they did it with Mad Max: Fury Road. If for some reason you haven’t watched this yet, I would suggest checking out the noir version first.
And there you go, my Top 10 movies of 2017 (so far), and in just a few months we will see which ones are still on this list. Will anyone be able to knock Logan out of the top spot? Will Atomic Blonde and Baby Driver be able to hang on to those final few spots? We shall see in late January how things turn out.