2017 is quickly coming to close, so it’s time for some reflection. As always, it was a good year for film and it was also a bad year for film. Some pretty great movies were released since we rang in the new year, as well as some duds. But we aren’t here to talk about the latter.
When it comes to really, really good movies, some are more well known than others, but movies that make a lot of money aren’t the only ones that should be recognized. Even if a flick flew under the radar or got snubbed for a Golden Globe, that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not worth recognition. The best movies of the year are the ones that entertained us, made us think, and dove deep into our emotion whether it be humor, sadness, or fear.
17. Thor Ragnarok
This is the third Thor film and there were high expectations for this one. The first two Thor movies were kind of stuffy compared to other Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero adventure tales and Thor had been taking himself way too seriously for being a space viking. The Avenger movies took some time to slowly redevelop Thor’s personality, making him less serious and way more fun and it all came to a peak in Thor Ragnarok. The humor was on point and it turned out to be the MCU film we all didn’t know we needed.
16. Baby Driver
Love or hate Ansel Elgort (and we KNOW you’ve got an opinion!) Baby Driver is his best movie yet. Following a young getaway driver who’s always rocking out to some sweet tunes, all the chase and robbery scenes are set to the music playing on Baby’s earbuds which adds a whole new artistic dimension to this action flick. Quite frankly, we’ve never seen a movie quite like this one. Ansel steals the show for sure, but with Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm on the side, how could we complain?
15. Wonder Woman
It took until 2017, but we finally got a phenomonal movie about a strong female superhero. Wonder Woman was a visually stunning origin story that the Amazonian warrior goddess deserved. The story flowed freely and naturally, and Gal Gadot was the perfect casting choice to embody both the strength and the beauty that define this goddess. The movie was a critical and commercial success that DC needed for their faltering superhero franchise. Too bad she couldn’t save Justice League.
Wolverine is a character who has been with us for a long time. We learned his background in X-Men Origins: Wolverine way, way back in 2009 and then in The Wolverine a few years later in 2013. Hugh Jackman had played the titular character for 17 years. Logan was essentially his swan song and this movie was designed as his exit from playing the complex and damaged character for so long. The movie is violent and gory, yet surpisingly, still has immense heart and emotion. Not to mention that Jackman absolutely killed it in his final performance of Wolverine.
13. Lady Bird
Lady Bird currently posts a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes so it’s safe to say the movie’s leaving people pleased. Set in 2002, the movie follows your typical rebellious high schooler applying to college, navigating friendships, romance and her mother. Saoirse Ronan is perfect as the lead, Lady Bird, and proves once again she can play pretty much any character to perfection.
12. Get Out
This movie is super creepy and has a surprising twist ending but that’s exactly why it’s one of 2017’s best films. Jordan Peele made his directorial debut with this satire about a black man meeting his wealthy white girlfriend’s family for the first time in the country. Not only is this movie well-written and acted, but it’s relevant to the current political landscape of America right now and delves into the racial tensions that are running rampant.
11. Spider-Man Homecoming
There have been a lot of Spider-Man movies in the past few years, so we were all confused when it was announced they were doing yet another. However, this reboot gave us a Peter Parker that actually looked young enough to be in high school, which we’ve got to respect.
The storyline was great, the acting was surprisingly impressive, and there was a humor that is so necessary — yet so often forgotten about — in superhero films. Tom Holland took on the spidey suit and, along with his gymnastics background, brought Spider-Man to life again in a way that didn’t feel totally overdone.
There certainly isn’t a lack of WWII movies in film history, but there aren’t many about the Battle of Dunkirk. If you like to have a good cry during a historical film, Dunkirk will definitely do the trick. Sure, a major reason we were in the audience was to see Harry Styles‘s acting debut — but there are also about a million other reasons to see it, too. It’s the highest-grossing WWII film of all time and some critics even called it Christopher Nolan‘s best film to date.
9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Here’s an instance where the sequel may have been better than the OG, and its all thanks to baby Groot and his adorable dancing. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was another Marvel superhero movie that totally kicked ass thanks to an intriguing storyline, great acting, and amazing visual effects. There’s a reason it made so much money. It was the sixth highest grossing movie of the year and again, that’s saying something considering the caliber of many films that debuted this year. You don’t have to see every MCU film, but this one is a must. (You also probably should see every MCU film anyways.)
8. The Big Sick
This is the only romantic-comedy on our list, but it isn’t your typical one. Kumail is a Pakistani Muslim stand up comedian who’s expected to marry a Muslim woman his parents set him up with. Emily is a non-muslim white woman who heckled him at one of his shows. Naturally, they fall in love. After a one-night-stand, a proceeding relationship and then a big ol’ fight, Emily winds up in a coma in the hospital. It might not sound like a comedy — but somehow there’s an uplifting tone to the flick throughout. It was one of the most talked about films of the summer and with good reason.
Pixar movies are always entertaining but they’re even better when they teach you something. Coco focuses on a holiday in Mexican culture called Dia de los Muertos AKA The Day of the Dead. We’re sure you’ve heard of it, but you’ve never seen the celebration come to life the way it does in this Disney/Pixar collab.
12-year-old Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead with those who have passed via a magic guitar. It sounds super creepy but it’s not. This movie will make you laugh and cry… and sing because there are some really great songs woven throughout. Its another winner from Disney that has been loved by kids and adults alike and obvi, one of the best films of the year.
6. Call Me By Your Name
This drama has recieved a lot of award buzz already and for good reason. Call Me By Your Name has been in the works since 2007 but the wait was worth it considering the quality of this movie and the beautiful story it tells. Starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet play young men falling in love in the summer of 1983. Based on a book by the same name, this love story is treated in a way that many gay romances aren’t… basically, the same way a straight one would be. It captures the thrill of first love and the inevetiable heartbreak distance creates. With three Golden Globe award nominations and many award-wins already, this film is a must-see for movie buffs.
5. The Beguiled
This Civil War period drama has an all-star cast including Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Colin Farrell, and Elle Fanning. A handsome wounded Union soldier shows up on the property of a southern boarding school for girls. All the girls are smitten with the soldier, giving him attention and presents but no matter what you think this movie is about — it’s entirely different. Directed by Sofia Coppola, this is truly a movie about badass women flipping the script (kind of literally) and we love it.
4. Girls Trip
This feel-good women-centric comedy somewhat surprisingly delighted viewers wth the cast chemistry and crazy shenanginans. Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish all star and while it’s been compared to the other 2017 ladies-looking-for-a-wild-and-crazy-time movie Rough Night, this one is the clear winner. Goofy comedies like these can sometimes fall flat but the humor in this movie is on point.
3. Beauty and the Beast
This live-action remake of the 1991 Disney classic was destined to be a hit or a miss. I mean, remaking a tale as old as time, pretty much, is a risky move. But when Emma Watson brought Belle to life earlier this year, it was pure magic. This fantasy flick was visually impressive, well-acted and even (kind of) had the first openly gay character in a Disney film. As of now, it’s ALSO the highest grossing movie of the year. So, what more of a reason do you need to go see it?
We wouldn’t typically put a horror movie about a creepy clown on our “Best Movies” list at the end of the year, but when it comes to Stephen King and It, exceptions have to be made. This was one of the most talked about films of the fall and spurred what will always probably be a heated debate about whether or not Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) could possibly be hot in real life. Spoiler alert: he is! Well recieved in the box office, on Rotten Tomatoes and by critics alike, the only bad thing you can really say about this movie is that it’s really effing scary. And in this case, that’s a good thing.
1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
I mean, how could we possibly leave this film off of the list? Dedicated to the late, great Carrie Fisher, and the last film in the franchise she’ll appear in, they really pulled out all the stops in her honor. Since it’s still so fresh we won’t give much away — but expect some great plot twists, raw emotion, and a story that respects the other films’ legacy.