The Best Movies I saw in 2017

Movie Report

I did my favorite books, now it’s time for movies.

Normally I’d list out ten movies; 5 movies released in 2017 and 5 movies from any year that I saw for the first time in 2017. However, this time, I’m just going to list out all my favorite movies from last year. I may get to ten, I may not. I literally don’t know.  But I watched all of these movies for the first time in 2017.  In no particular order.

Baby Driver (2017) – This took me by surprise.  I like Edgar Wright, just not as much as everyone else seems to.  I really liked Shaun of the Dead. I liked Hot Fuzz.  I was disappointed by Scott Pilgrim.  But the premise of this movie and the cast got me on board and while I planned to see it in the theater I missed it and watched it when it hit Redbox.  And I’ve since bought the Blu-Ray, watched it two more times and I bought the soundtrack.  I *LOVE* this movie.  I would say it’s my favorite Edgar Wright movie.  The cast, the performances, the music and how it informs what’s happening on screen, the action sequences.  This movie is SO GOOD.  As good as anything else on this list and it would seriously contend if I were to pick a #1 movie.  I almost wish the young star, Anson Elgort, would have gotten the role of “young Han Solo” as I was more impressed by him here than Alden Ehrenreich in Hail, Caesar! (and I really liked Alden in that movie).

Logan (2017) – They did it. They made the definitive Wolverine movie. And he had to die in it. I simultaneously hate and love that this is the last Hugh Jackman Wolverine movie.  I love pretty much everything about it.  My only regret was that instead of the “young Wolverine clone” at the end, I would have liked to see Liev Shreiber’s Victor return.  But that’s a nitpick that I don’t actually hold against the movie at all.  This was a great movie and a powerful love letter to the character that Hugh has been playing on and off for the last 17 years.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – Finally, we get a good Spider-Man movie in the modern age of super hero movies.  They *nailed* Peter Parker/Spider-Man with Tom Holland.  He’s great.  I love that they skipped the origin and all the Uncle Ben stuff and they kept it funny.  And Michael Keaton was the best Spider-Man villain since Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock.  And I like that he has the potential to return rather than joining the long parade of disposable, one movie villains that Marvel has been doing.  I loved Pete’s friend Ned.  I really like the Stark-ified Spidey suit.  This was a fun, exciting movie and I can’t wait to see Holland return in Infinity War.

Wonder Woman (2017) – I can’t believe that we got a Wonder Woman movie that is this good.  Especially considering the lackluster output of EVERY SINGLE OTHER WB/DC MOVIE.  90% of this movie is GREAT.  I have a few issues with the giant CGI slugfest at the end.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that we get a fully realized George Perez Ares God of War on screen.  And I love the reveal of whom Ares was, but the movie seemed to lose some of its weight in the computer generated spectacle at the end.  That being said, this was a great super hero movie, Gal Gadot was awesome and bad ass as Diana and I eagerly await a sequel and the return of Wonder Woman in the Justice League movie (which I still haven’t seen).

The Accountant (2016) – This is another one I wanted to see in the theater but was unable to and caught later on Redbox.  And subsequently bought.  I like Ben Affleck, especially his resurgence since Gone Baby Gone.  I’ve liked every one of the movies I’ve seen that he’s done since then…well, except for Live by Night.  It’s not good.  Not sure what happened there.  But everything else he’s done, I’ve at least really really liked or I liked him in it (I hate BvS but I like Batfleck in it).  I must also really like the formula of ‘hyper trained specialist is put in a situation where he must use his skills on bad guys’ as I’ve previously loved movies like the first Taken, The Equalizer, Jack Reacher and John Wick.  Affleck is great in this, we get to also see the adorable Anna Kendrick, the bad ass Jon Bernthal in a more Punisher-y performance than what he gives in the Netflix series and the awesome John Lithgow.  Oh, and JK Simmons who is always fun to watch.  Definitely check this one out.

Logan Lucky (2017) – I was turned onto this movie by the cast.  Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig?!  Wow.  This is a fun heist movie.  Sort of a “redneck Ocean’s 11” (not surprising since Soderbergh directed it) but I feel like that description denigrates the movie a little bit.  Adam Driver is so good in this.  I’m really liking him as an actor in everything I’m watching him in.  Channing Tatum is charming as his brother and Daniel Craig comes in and does a southern accent like a *BOSS* in a funny role as Joe Bang.  The heist is smartly written, the characters are funny and the movie is quirky.  I highly recommend this.

So now that those are out of the way, how about some honorable mentions. These are movies that maybe weren’t my favorites of the year but I really think you should check out.

The Circle (2017) – This movie turned out to be not at all what I was expecting…and ultimately that’s a good thing. I think.  The Circle shares aspects of another tech industry based thriller that I love called AntiTrust (2001). But this movie goes in a different, more morally ambiguous direction.  It mostly tackles the idea of personal privacy and whether we have any right to it at all.  Emma Watson  and Tom Hanks are great but the supporting cast is also killer including Jon Boyega, Patton Oswalt, Karen Gillen and Bill Paxton.  So while I’m still ruminating over where this film ultimately took me, I applaud that it didn’t go in the easy direction and keeps me thinking about its message.  Even until today.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) – I’ll just drop this one in here. This movie is going to have a specific audience, and if you aren’t in that audience, you aren’t going to like it. I really liked it.  To be honest, lately, I’ve sort of tired of Sam Jackson and his schtick.  He’s *always* Sam Jackson.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is what it is.  However, he has tried to change it up a bit.  His villain turn in the first Kingsman was awesome, but here, he’s still “Sam Jackson”.  The difference is, that is exactly what this movie wants.  It’s violent, it’s vulgar, it’s really funny to see Ryan and Sam play off each other.  I just had a really good time with the movie and I was honestly not sure that I would when I saw it.

The Founder (2016) – Another Keaton movie I was excited to see in theaters but couldn’t get my stuff together to actually get out to the theater to see it.  This is a fascinating movie because you think Keaton’s Kroc will be the protagonist, and he starts out that way, but ends up kind of becoming the antagonist.  I love that subtle switch as well as the historical aspect of this movie; how they show you the evolution of the small McDonald’s burger chain to the giant corporate conglomerate we know today.  And how Kroc, for good or ill, made it that way.  Keaton is great, but there are lots of great performances outside of Keaton as well, like John Carroll Lynch and Nick Offerman as the original McDonald’s brothers and BJ Novak as Kroc’s right hand man.  If you haven’t already, seek this one out.


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