I always see top ten lists of films at the close of the year and I thought it would be fun to do the same. Granted, I haven’t seen every major release so I can’t give those a rating or even consideration. For example, I haven’t seen “Get Out” or “Split” so I can’t include those, though I have heard great things about both films.
My taste in movies can be odd at times. Sometimes, I will fall in love with a film for a very simple reason, which stands out and makes a lasting impression in my extensive film mind-vault. Lists are subjective, so if you disagree or think I’m plain crazy, that’s cool. Send me your list and I’ll give it a read and tell you why I think you’re crazy.
Note: I’ll avoid spoilers with each blurb.
A horror movie is in my top ten?! Yes. Yes it is. Let me explain. Despite being a genre that I don’t prefer, this was a very well-done film. The acting was great, especially considering the child actors who were the heartbeat of the story. Without their amazing performances, this would have flopped hard. Pennywise, the villain, is not enough to make this a top ten movie. He’s there, he’s the antagonist, but it’s how the kids band together to defeat him that makes this work. You can check out my full review here: http://adamhenderson.net/2017/09/24/why-i-watched-it/
To be honest, Gifted did not seem to be on a lot of people’s radars when it came to movies in 2017. From the trailer, we see a precocious little girl being raised by her uncle who has a knack and ability to solve difficult mathematical equations despite her age. It’s not really an original story idea but the reason why it made my list (besides just being heartfelt and well-performed) is a particular scene in the middle of the movie. As the little girl is having a difficult time adjusting to the attention she’s getting for her genius, her uncle takes her to a hospital and they’re waiting and waiting (she doesn’t understand why and neither do we, the watchers) when a new father comes out to the waiting room and announces the birth of his child to his family who has been waiting for hours. Excitement ensues and the little girl joins in. Seriously, this kicked me in the feels and tugged the heart strings. Check this one out if you haven’t yet.
8. Logan Lucky
Under-rated and under-the-radar. Logan Lucky is not only fun but has great, subtle moments that you miss upon first watch. It’s directed by Steven Sodenberg who directed the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy. This has a similar feel but involves West Virginia, NASCAR, and Daniel Craig with a hilarious accent. How this movie was ignored by people, I don’t understand but it is absolutely worth your time.
7. War for the Planet of the Apes
I never cared for the older Planet of the Apes films. I was an 80s kid but only saw the first and it didn’t grab ahold of me like other sci-fi properties. However, I have been a huge fan of the newer films. The motion capture technology plays a big part in the performances of the “apes”. Andy Serkis is a Mo-cap master. Just look into his career and it’s impressive. This is the third installment and surprised me on many levels. Not only does it progress the story, which leads into the original PotA movie but it brings true depth to the Apes and their will to survive and find peace.
Vibrant and beautiful. Coco is a stunning film with so much heart, you can’t help but walk away feeling like you did not waste your time. It’s visually amazing as the animation continues to push the bounds and it has an amazing message of family and honoring those from the past and those in the present. Check out my previous blog post for more: http://adamhenderson.net/2017/12/06/how-pixar-and-disney-help-me-appreciate-different-cultures/
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Tobey Maguire was good. Andrew Garfield was okay. Tom Holland is perfect. Yes, in my mind, this version of our friendly neighborhood Spider-man was and is the best of the roster we’ve seen in films. Keeping Spidey in high school is a must. Not rehashing the origin story is the best decision of the story. Having Michael Keaton as the main villain brought weight and actual conflict to the plot. Hands down, I am most excited to see where this franchise goes more than any other Marvel property in the cinematic universe.
4. The Big Sick
This was a pleasant surprise. I watched the trailer and thought to myself, “I have to see this movie”. For those unaware, it’s based on a true story of how the main character met his wife. Some things were changed for the flow of the film but the basic plot is the same. It’s a pseudo-rom com that focuses more on how the main male protagonist sacrifices his time to be near the girl he cares greatly for while she’s in a coma (not a spoiler if you’ve seen the trailer). What I loved most about the film is the relationship formed between him and the girl’s parents in the middle of this horrible situation. It has heart and humor by the fistfuls.
3. Wonder Woman
I don’t know what more I can say about Wonder Woman than I already have in my previous blog post review, which you can read here: http://adamhenderson.net/2017/06/15/wonder-woman-thoughts-and-impact/
2. Baby Driver
Surprise film of the year for me. I saw the trailer and thought it was worth watching. Could be good. I like director, Edgar Wright, who did Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Should be a fun watch. What I got though was a fast action caper synced to the second thing I love most behind storytelling: music. Action, comedy, and drama. All of it is there. Throw in slick editing and production and you’ve got what might be a universal top five film on most lists.
My favorite movie of 2017 is hands-down Logan. Confession time: I cried during the trailer. That two and a half minute video soaked in the age and conviction of Johnny Cash, covering “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails just broke me. And yes, I did tear up during the film itself as well. The reason, though, that Logan was my favorite movie was the finality of the character and his struggle through life. In my opinion, there is no more tormented super hero than Logan aka Wolverine. For almost two decades over several films, Hugh Jackman brought the titular hero to life. Due to the nature of the film industry, it’s inevitable to see someone else don the adamantium claws but I remain convinced that Jackman brought the depth needed so we got a legitimate Wolverine and not some campy nonsense that left a bad taste in our mouths. Go here for my complete review: http://adamhenderson.net/2017/03/06/logan-reaction/
Runner-ups: Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Free Fire
Call to Action: This list is prone to change since there are about a dozen movies I still need to see: The Shape of Water, Hostiles, Downsizing, The Greatest Showman, I, Tonya, The Disaster Artist, Blade Runner 2049, Battle of the Sexes, etc. If I do make some updates, I’ll make sure to let you all know by a blog post. I have a feeling the list could be impacted.