We’ve reached the point in the year where it’s safe to start legitimately putting together a rough outline for your top 10 films of the year. Your number one might be displaced come December, or a handful of others might infiltrate the rest of the list; but it’s likely that those you’ve already decided are your favourites, will still be there or thereabouts by the time we compile our End of Year Awards.
Below you’ll find the top 5 films of 2017 (so far) from a few of our regular contributors. Will Paul squeeze in five geezer films? Has Callum found a DreamWorks movie worthy of making his top 5? Is Transformers: The Last Knight actually Brooker’s worst cinematic experience this year? You’ll have to read on to find out.
by Tony Black (@ajblackwriter)
Just beats Get Out as the five-star masterpiece to win the day so far but I thought Pablo Larrain‘s mournful, elegiac look at Jackie Kennedy was sublime, in pretty much every way. Natalie Portman is phenomenal, the script nails the fragmented narrative and invests you in emotion, the direction is stately and haunting and the cinematography lush. Classy, classic cinema, and it’ll take some film to beat it this year.
WORST: Live By Night – Truth be told, I haven’t seen any proper stinkers yet that have come out in 2017, but Ben Affleck‘s Dennis Lehane adaptation should have been a world better than this. Affleck shoots it well but the script is absent, everyone looks bored and man is it slowwwww. Disappointing.
by Andrew Brooker (@Brooker411)
Part western, part road movie, part superhero flick. Logan is the perfect way to send off a character that, for better or worse (a lot of worse) has been a part of our cinematic lives for seventeen years.
It tells the story of a beaten and near broken Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) who is suffering from the years of torture his body has been put through. Logan must also care for a frail and guilt ridden Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart). It’s a story that would leave a hollow pit in the stomach of most audiences. When you add in a young girl (Dafne Keen) whose body has also been put through the same awful routines to make her indestructible; not only can he see her future, but he knows that he’s the only one that can protect her.
So many of us were worried that the fabled “R-Rated superhero film” label (that has become a hot ticket after last year’s Deadpool) was going to do disastrous things to Logan. Happily, it turned out for the best and looks to be the second time in succession that a comic book movie is my best of the year.
Each of the four times I watched this beautifully made daddy/daughter story at the cinema, I was left a blubbering mess. God only knows what happens when I get the Noir version in my hands in a few weeks. I can’t wait.
by Paul Field (@pafster)
1) The Lure
Of all the Polish erotic mermaid horror comedies i’ve seen, this is of course the best. I don’t even like musicals. But, if the idea of mermaids doing Eurovision-style cabaret routines whilst struggling with their, er… mermaidness floats your boat, then this is for you. Director Agnieszka Smoczyńska delivers the weirdness, the horror and the laughs in spectacular fashion.
WORST: A Cure for Wellness – Oh God, where to start? Dangerous Game for being the most inept, King Arthur is the most fist-chewing cringe, Alien: Covenant for being incomprehensible garbage, Logan for thinking it’s not a kids movie – but hats off to A Cure for Wellness, as even with a dad finger-banging his 200-year-old daughter, it was still the most tedious film of the year. Glacial grot.
by Owen Hughes (@ohughes86)
Film fatigue is the bane of any film blogger’s life. Even if you love what you do, watching so many movies all the time can become irksome. It doesn’t matter how competently put together, or how well paced and edited the story is, there comes a point when movies just all look and sound the same. Nothing seems new. You become mildly obsessed with movies from countries you’ve not had much experience with before, or return to favourites over and over, or seek out those that appear to conform to the type or genre that you know you already like.
Cue last year’s pre-FrightFest trailers; and specifically Anna Biller’s erotic thriller, with its gorgeous 60’s aesthetic, glamorous femme fatale and its intoxicating Hammer Horror vibe. I knew straight away that this would be the film to shift me out of 2016’s funk, brought on by a succession of vapid blockbusters and trite melodramas. I only had to wait until March this year before it was released on VOD to fall in love with The Love Witch.
Despite its look, it isn’t an ode to Hammer. It’s not a 60’s throwback. It’s a unique, creative and frighteningly unconventional slice of originality. It served as a refreshing palate cleanser after Hollywood’s constantly turning conveyor belt circa 2015 onwards shovelled wave after wave of fast food in my gob à la Chaplin’s malfunctioning machine in Modern Times.
There’s nothing else out there right now that’s remotely like it: impeccably casted, subversively hilarious, and absolutely bloody splendid.
WORST: Transformers: The Last Knight – Yes, technically it’s Essex Spacebin. But in terms of expectations:outcome, then Trans5mers tops it. A barely coherent mess of deeply detestable characters, snooze-inducing action sequences and nonsensical storylines. It pips both the obnoxious The LEGO
Migraine Batman Movie and Sadako vs Kayako (a film literally born from an April Fool’s joke) to the post.
by Steve Norman (@FailedSteve)
1) Baby Driver
I go to the cinema to have fun, and hopefully watch something with a bit of originality. My top five have all done that to varying degrees but Baby Driver was by far and away the best of them. It took the heist/getaway driver concept and gave it something unique. Building the movie around the soundtrack, and the way in which it was done was a brave move, and one that would have been easy to mess up but Edgar Wright pulled it off. Ansel Elgort, someone only known to me from rubbish films aimed at teenagers, was excellent as the lead ‘Baby’ in a film which made me laugh, tap my foot and had me on the edge of my seat.
WORST: Transformers: The Last Knight – Transformers 5 is unmitigated shite. In a series of diminishing returns, this has hit rock bottom and the only hope for this series (which is continuing) is that Michael Bay has gone. It takes some effort to be the worst film featuring King Arthur this year but this CGI infested 2 and half hours of confusion takes the crown. Robots in disguise? More like plot in disguise.
by Callum Petch (@CallumPetch)
1) Get Out
Normally, when a critic tells you that something is perfect barring one bum note, they’re talking in the metaphorical sense. With Get Out, however, I mean it in the literal sense. Apart from the one moment early on where the orchestra scoring the film collectively reacts to Georgina’s shadow like somebody accidentally fired a gun in the recording studio, Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is as perfect as I have ever seen a movie.
And whilst we can deservedly talk for days upon days about the film’s politics and how it tackles its themes of liberal racism – I found myself discovering newer, deeper layers that the film was operating on for weeks afterwards – one cannot forget just how outstanding Get Out works as a straight-up Social Horror film. Peele displaying a preternatural balancing of tone, shredding nerves to within an inch of their lives with laugh lines that only fray them further, and Daniel Kaluuya delivering a long-overdue star-making turn.
I said it when I first exited the film and I’ll say it again now: if I see anything in cinemas this year that is somehow better than Get Out, then I don’t even know how I’ll react because I genuinely do not see anything toppling this.
WORST: Alien: Covenant – I finished Prometheus angry. I came out of Alien: Covenant with a sick, sinking feeling in my stomach. Covenant is technically a better film than Prometheus – even if it features a trio of abysmal central performances, a complete lack of tension, crap dialogue, woefully explored themes done better in Blade Runner, and multiple sequences that are just silly – but it managed to do something that naming it, multiplying it, turning it into cannon fodder, facing it off against The Predator, merchandising it, toy-ing it, and shoving it into Mortal Kombat games were unable to: it made me no longer scared of the Alien. And that is unforgivable.
By the by: this spot technically should be filled by Transformers: The Last Knight, but that would require me to recognise that $217 million migraine-inducer as a Film, and no.
What do you think? Have we missed out something obvious? Included any awful films in our top 5 lists? Or do you simply know better than us? Drop a comment below! We’d love to hear from you.