The Top 10 Best Films of 2017…So Far

A look at some of the very best films to have come out of 2017

Screencap+from+the+film%2C+%22A+Ghost+Story%22+produced+by+A24

Screencap from the film, "A Ghost Story" produced by A24

Jarod Borem, Managing Editor

As the year is nearing its end, casual moviegoers and cinephiles alike have been blessed with a multitude of quality films from major studios, to independent filmmakers. As we enter into awards season, with many prestigious films scheduled for release within the next few months, I count down the top 10 films of 2017…so far.

 

10- Spider-Man: Homecoming

After five theatrical Spider-Man films, three of which were released this decade, it is shocking to see Marvel manage to reboot the franchise for the second time and have the sixth film be of any quality. Shifting the franchise into a different direction, excluding the tragic backstory we’re all familiar with, and remaining faithful to the source material, Spider-Man: Homecoming manages to bring something new not only to the Spidey franchise, but to the superhero genre as a whole. 4 out of 5 stars (8/10).

 

9- It

Pennywise the Dancing Clown returns to the big screen 27 years after the successful (and apparently much beloved) 1990 TV movie, It. Andy Muschietti (Mama) directs the second adaptation of the classic 1986 Stephen King novel, and delivers on both a creepy atmosphere and enriching characters. The new film is not only a vast improvement from the 1990 TV movie but, a loyal and faithful companion to the original novel which stands on its own. It is by no means a groundbreaking horror film but, indeed one of the better Stephen King adaptations and studio produced horror films in the last few years. 4 out of 5 stars (8/10).

 

8- The Devil’s Candy

Horror ensues when a  young family moves into their dream house in rural Texas, unbeknownst to them the true evil that lies within. We have all seen countless horror films tackle the now cliched haunted-house tale, The Amityville Horror, The Conjuring, Poltergeist, Insidious, the list goes on and on. What makes The Devil’s Candy unique and different is it’s clever, and at times, satirical approach at redefining the horror genre and letting the story unfold itself in resourceful and unpredictable ways. Masterful cinematography, thoroughly original, and flat out scary, a horror buff’s delight! 4.5 out of 5 stars (9/10).

 

7- Get Out

A satirical horror comedy written and directed by comedian Jordan Peele (Key & Peele) is one of the highest rated films of the year? Yes, yes it is. With a staggering 99% on “Rotten Tomatoes” and nearly universal acclaim, both critically and publicly, Jordan Peele manages to impress with his directorial debut. A smartly written, multi-layered film that satirizes the horror genre and our society simultaneously while remaining both hilariously entertaining and at times, thrilling. Get Out is not only one of the funniest and most original films of the year, but an intellectual piece of cinema with a thought provoking commentary that should not be missed. 4.5 out of 5 stars (9/10).

 

6- The Big Sick

Based on the true story of Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and the problematic relationship he struggled to retain with his caucasian girlfriend. The Big Sick is a beautiful film, exploring the difficulties and hardships faced when in a bicultural relationship. Poetic, heartfelt, and genuinely hilarious, the film never fails to impress. 4.5 out of 5 stars (9/10).

 

5- John Wick: Chapter 2

A follow-up to the 2014 sleeper hit, John Wick, the second installment in this newfound franchise exceeds expectations by delivering on action, character, world building, and an engaging plot. Director Chad Stahelski returned to direct the sequel (thankfully) and managed to craft beautifully dynamic and intricate action sequences that feel as if they were lifted right out of a classic Bruce Lee action flick! Smooth cinematography and pleasing wide shots throughout, with little to no edits, make the action and fight choreography feel realistically grounded, and are absolutely jaw dropping to watch unfold. John Wick: Chapter 2 is a non-stop action riot that proves American action films don’t always have to feel and look like studio processed schlock. 4.5 out of 5 stars (9/10).

 

4- Logan

After playing the iconic comic book character, The Wolverine, for 17 years and appearing in eight films as said character, Hugh Jackman delivers one of his finest performances yet in the bleak anti-superhero western, Logan. Sir Patrick Stewart and the talented young Dafne Keen costar and both deliver exceptional performances as well, mirroring the quality of performances as in the Academy Award winning 2008 film, The Dark Knight. Logan is not one of the big blockbuster superhero films we have all come to know but, a darkly compelling and mesmerizing character study that stands on its own. 5 out of 5 stars (10/10).

 

3- A Ghost Story

It’s all about the exploration of time, love, loss, and the meaning of our own existence in this beautifully thought provoking indie darling. Academy Award winner, Casey Affleck, and Academy Award nominee, Rooney Mara, star in this poetic and emotionally riveting drama about a recently deceased white sheeted ghost (yes, the ghost wears a white sheet), and his now widowed wife. Astonishing, mesmerizing, and bountiful emotion. 4.5 out of 5 stars (9/10).

 

2- It Comes At Night

A determined family isolates themselves in a desolate home while an unknown threat terrorizes the outside world in this psychological thriller written and directed by newcomer, Trey Edward Shults. Unlike traditional horror thrillers, It Comes At Night focuses it’s narrative on the characters rather than the opposing threat the lurks outside. The fear of the unknown and what humans are truly capable of is the true horror explored in the film, no ghastly monsters or demons, just the perplexing lengths one will go in order to survive. 4.5 out of 5 stars (9/10).

 

Honorable Mentions:

Okja (4/5)

Logan Lucky (4/5)

The Void (4/5)

The Fate of the Furious (4/5)

The Book of Henry (4/5)

The Beguiled (4/5)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (4/5)

 

1- Baby Driver

Obliged into working with a lethal gang of criminals, a young getaway driver, Baby, attempts to leave the criminal life behind him and run off with his newfound young love, Debora. Writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) truly shines as the star of his own film, with every action sequence perfectly choreographed and in sync with the musical soundtrack. The sheer brilliance of its perfection will not fail to impress or get old as the film carries on utilizing this “gimmick” to it’s fullest potential. Fast paced, exhilarating, and full of macabre touches, Baby Driver manages to be the most inventive and rightfully entertaining film of the year. A must watch for anyone! 5 out of 5 stars (10/10).