THE BEST FILMS OF 2017
BY CLAUDIO ZELAYA
Insert quote about how fast the year has gone and how much better or worse movies were this year than last year! In all seriousness, there was a lot of progress made this year and a lot of films that made me feel wonderful about the theater experience. It was hard getting down from twenty movies to fifteen and, finally, to ten. Keep in mind, I graded my top ten on how much the movie resonated in me after seeing it and how much it does to still to this day. Oh! What’s a list without some honorable mentions?
THE LEGO BATMAN
THE SHAPE OF WATER
The Top Ten Movies of 2017
10) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
Not as beloved as the original movie by most fans, but I still had a lot of fun watching our favorite space bandits back at it again. A lot of family themes were explored with Gamora and Nebula and Peter and his dads. I’m honestly a sucker for father themes in films so the final moments with Yondu and Peter had me tearing up a little. The story itself wasn’t amazing, but you’d be lying if you didn’t get pumped with Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” played during the final battle!
9) THE DISASTER ARTIST
For those of you who follow the podcast, you’re very aware that filmmaking is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Along with that dream comes the ever so present dread of showing anyone any of the work I do. Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero’s journey to getting their movie out into the world is a bizarre one to say the least. However, it’s a great story of perseverance and friendship. Just like this list, it’s about enjoying yourself at the movies! Just don’t take any sex advice from Tommy Wiseau!
I’m not big on horror at all so I was a little hesitant on going to see this film. I also was afraid of clowns growing up as a kid, but Batman quickly helped me get over that. I love “IT” for the relationships between the kids and the creepy nature of the titled character. I was never really scared, but the lore was so fascinating, the scares were not lazy, and Bill Skarsgard made a frighteningly romantic Pennywise.
7) THE BIG SICK
I watched this movie about a couple hours before making this list. I had it much higher, but I’ve been rewriting the list as I went on, but don’t let that take away from possibly the most charming film this year. I didn’t even know it was based on Kumail’s real life which let me ignore the extra 15-20 minutes any movie Judd Apatow is involved in has. I really enjoyed the overall theme of living life for yourself and not to for the expectations your family sets for you.
6) YOUR NAME
I was struggling a little because I wasn’t sure if this film counted for this year, but I was convinced that it did! It was released sometime last year, but only had an American release this year! I was taken to the ole’ O Cinema in Wynwood and didn’t know what to expect. What I found was a crazy body switching love story! It was hilarious, but hit the right notes when it wanted to be serious. It’s gotten lost in the animated shuffle, but if you’re a slight fan of anime, I’d watch this ASAP!
5) BABY DRIVER
Shire will have my head on a pike after seeing this movie so low on my list. For most of the year it had a solid spot in my top ten, but after watching it earlier last month, the ending still gets to me a little. Not that it’s bad! But compared to the rest of the movies on this list, it just felt tacked on. I’m a huge fan of Edgar Wright and this movie joins the pantheon of his hits alongside Scott Pilgrim and the Cornetto Trilogy.
As the trailers started coming out for Hugh Jackman’s last run as Wolverine, I knew this was going to be different, but I wasn’t ready for what I got! “Logan” belongs in upper echelon of comic book movies right next to “The Dark Knight”. That’s right! I said it! This has an Oscar worthy performance by Patrick Stewart and introduces us to Dafne Keen! I hope they don’t try to bring back Hugh Jackman in the eventual Disney reboot because this is the send off we all deserve!
3) WIND RIVER
Now this one is a movie that I saw last night! I had a lot of catching up to do as you can see. I love Taylor Sheridan’s “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water.” This movie makes him one of my favorite working directors today. Elizabeth Olsen is basically the audience being thrust into Jeremy Renner’s world. I will never be more interested in Wyoming than right now.
2) WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
So many Apes, hold the war! This was pitched with much more action, but we got a powerful character piece about Caesar. I watched this in a theater with a messed up screen and no A/C and was ready to walk out, but the story kept me through the discomfort. This movie shows how to have a mostly dialogue-less drama with the right amount of humor plucked in. “War” has made this new Apes trilogy one of my favorites next to Lord of the Rings and Nolan’s Batman.
1) GET OUT
I didn’t expect this movie to land anywhere near my top ten when I first heard about. I love Key and Peele, but was still skeptical about Jordan Peele’s venture into horror. This is absolutely the movie we needed for the time we live. This kind of dark comedy is chilling and reflective of the reality we live in. My stomach dropped when the police lights came on at the end because real life was creeping in. The fact that we got a happy ending was a testament to the movies self awareness because we didn’t need to see Chris arrested, we just had to assume it. That says so much in itself. “Get Out” spoiled me because not one film has been able to top it since February.