2017 was unequivocally a great year for film. There were fantastic continuations and finales of fan-favorite and classic franchises as well as plenty of heart-warming and thought-provoking indies. I’ve compiled a list of what my favorites of last year were and while this is my list, it may drastically differ between your own or someone else’s. That’s okay because film is subjective.
Here are some honorable mentions: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Big Sick, Wind River, The Disaster Artist, and Lady Bird. These films were all fantastic and are worth a viewing if you haven’t seen them. Now onto the list.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
Finally, a great Spider-Man film. It took six installments, but we’re finally there. I honestly had so much fun with this film and that’s why it’s on my list. I was smiling constantly throughout because it was genuinely funny and thrilling. Tom Holland is endearing as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Michael Keaton is terrifying as The Vulture.
I love this film for so many reasons. It’s a great horror film with some of the best horror set pieces I’ve ever seen, but it’s also a great character piece about these six kids trying to overcome their fears, which is seeped in metaphor about growing up. The young cast was dynamic and believable in these roles while Bill Skarsgard is absolutely terrifying as Pennywise.
- Baby Driver
This is probably the best musical ever that isn’t a musical. The soundtrack throughout this film is so much fun to listen and because most, if not all, of the action is timed to the music, the film sucks you into the world and you don’t want to leave.
- The Shape of Water
This is a film that shouldn’t work, yet it does. Guillermo del Toro has made a modern fairy tale in Pan’s Labyrinth before, but he struck gold with The Shape of Water. Because of Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones as the creature, the film felt real and worked because of that.
- Wonder Woman
This was probably the most important film released this year and thankfully it was great. Gal Gadot shines as Wonder Woman and Chris Pine is wonderful as Steve Trevor. Some of the best sequences ever are present in this film, but it still manages to be heartfelt and meaningful.
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi
I’m in the camp that loved this film. It’s not a perfect film, but its handling of old and new characters alike was unexpected and that is why I loved it. It’s a film about failure, a theme that has never been explored at length in Star Wars. I was expecting Rian Johnson to do something different with this franchise and I’m happy he did.
- Call Me by Your Name
I nearly started to weep during the final shot of this film. This is a beautiful exploration of forbidden love with powerhouse performances from Armie Hammer and especially Timothee Chalamet. On a technical level there are several issues, but on a pure emotional level, this film has nearly no equal.
- War for the Planet of the Apes
This film is one of the best character pieces in years, which is saying something because the character is an ape. Caesar, played by Andy Serkis, is one of the best characters in film history in my opinion and this is a great end to his story.
For most of this year, this was my number one. This film is a fantastic, beautiful, heart-breaking character piece that just so happens to include a guy with claws in his hands. This film takes your heart right out of your chest, puts it back in, and tears it out again by the end and it’s incredible.
- Blade Runner 2049
This film, in my opinion, is perfect. It’s one of the best sequels ever made and now, one of my favorite films ever. It takes the themes and aesthetics from the original Blade Runner and expands on them, while also injecting better characters and a better story. In my opinion, this should win all of the Oscars, but the only one I will be actually angry if it doesn’t win is cinematography. Roger Deakins deserves an Oscar.