THE BEST FILMS OF 2017
Many consider 2017 a disappointing box office year. While that may be true, there were still some quality films from a wide varity of genres that kept me entertained throughout. Here are my Top-10 films for 2017.
In an era that relies on shock and gore to scare its audience, it’s refreshing to come across a horror film that goes the other way and uses psychology to challenge our basic fears. Guaranteed that you’ll never look at a floating red balloon the same way again let alone a clown. It’s been a long time since a Stephen King novel was done so faithfully and the children leads were outstanding.
9. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
There are origin stories and then there are origin stories. If you ever wondered what was the inspiration behind the icon hero of Wonder Woman, you’re in for a huge surprise. While Wonder Woman was the brain child of Dr. William Moulton Marston, a Harvard psychologist, he drew his inspiration from the two most important women in his life, his wife Elizabeth and their lover Olive. A very well done film and beautifully acted led by Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote.
8. Only the Brave
Bravery comes in many forms. We see every year the destruction forest fires can cause. Not only do they destroy the ecosystem and natural landscape but lives and communities are threatened. While most of us run away from danger, these élite firefighting teams put their lives on the line to save lives and homes. We often take for granted the men and women who risk everything to save everyone. This powerful film will make you appreciate them and their families.
No matter who we are or how confident we believe we are, there’s always something we struggle with. As adults we can learn so much from watching children. They reflect our beliefs and they reflect our views. The story of Auggie Pullman who was born with a facial deformity shows us what true beauty is and that’s through compassion, friendship and acceptance. Whether you’re a parent or not, Wonder should not be missed. Stellar job by Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Izabela Vidovic.
6. Thor: Ragnarok
The Thor films have often been looked at as the weakest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe until now. Simply put, Ragnarok is the best Thor film in the trilogy. A throwback to 80’s style filmmaking with a great soundtrack that has a Flash Gordon feel to it. There’s great action and great humor. You will leave the theater with a hulk size smile on your face because it was so much fun.
5. War For the Planet of the Apes
This final chapter of the rebooted Planet of the Apes series builds from its previous films and delivers with a powerful narrative that mirrors in so many ways the world that we live in today. I’ve always been amazed by the great special effects and how wonderful Andy Serkis is as Caesar. He is able to convey emotions through his voice and facial expressions that is CGI induced better than most actors do on their own. This rebooted series is a worthy if not superior addition to the Apes saga.
4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The Force Awakens was a nostalgic walk down memory lane with seeing old friends again. The Last Jedi is where the baton gets passed to a new group of heroes and villains. This latest installment in the Skywalker saga has fans divided and I understand their passion. It’s very easy to compare Rey’s journey to Luke or Kylo Ren’s internal conflict to Darth Vader. I don’t think it’s the perfect Star Wars film but after seeing it several times, I find myself appreciating the direction this new Star Wars story is headed and I look forward to more stories from a galaxy far, far away.
Probably the biggest Oscar contender on this list, Dunkirk is Christopher Nolan’s WW2 triumph and may do for him what Saving Private Ryan did for Steven Spielberg. Over 300,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers lay in waiting to be evacuated on the beaches of Dunkirk as German fighters bombard them from above. You watch with great anticipation as each solider wait their turn to board a vessel they hope will lead them to safety. Certainly one the best war films in many years.
2. The Big Sick
My sleeper hit of 2017 is this true story romantic comedy about a Pakistani comic named Kumail and his American girlfriend, Emily. The closer they get, the stress of Kumail’s Muslim parents finding out becomes too much for him. But when Emily gets sick and goes becomes comatose, Kumail develops a bond with her parents and he begins to question what love and relationships mean as oppose to what cultural tradition states it should be. In today’s world that question has become even more relevant than ever. Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan are outstanding in the lead roles. I hope they’ll get recognized come Oscar time.
1. Wonder Woman
No film in 2017 made me smile more than Wonder Woman. No film outside of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was more anticipated. The anticipation was a combination of nervous feelings of a DC Extended Universe on the brink of destruction on the heels of box office duds like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. But there were also feelings of excitement to finally see the iconic superhero character getting the big screen treatment that was decades over do. Bravo to director Patty Jenkins for having the vision and actress Gal Gadot for delivering the definitive version of Wonder Woman to life. There’s an old saying that if you want something done right, leave it to woman. That saying holds true for the DC Extended Universe as Wonder Woman saved the day and has earned her rightful place among the greatest comic book films ever.
Another year of movies have come and gone. 2018 is upon us as The Dork Knight enters his Fifth Year. Lots of positive changes are coming and I look forward to sharing them all with you.
May the Dork be with you,
The Dork Knight