Spider-Man makes his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, Pennywise, and the Dark Tower hit the big screen, and a Star Wars saga film closes out the year. There was so much to look forward to in 2017 and for the most part, it lived up to expectations. Here are the five films that left the biggest impression on me:
Best Picture of the Year: In my review of mother! I wrote it would be the most polarizing movie of the year. (Who would have predicted The Last Jedi would be more controversial?) This movie is not for everyone, and not in the pretentious “you just don’t get it” sense. Darren Aronofsky’s film is filled with shocking imagery, is more allegory than straightforward story, and deals with deep personal issues. The acting is great, the direction draws in the audience, and the story is amazing. mother! is the best movie of the year.
Lost in the Shuffle: Standing out during the summer movie season is always difficult. This year was no different with Wonder Woman, the third installment in the Planet of the Apes series, and early Oscar favorite Dunkirk¸ all hitting theaters. Atomic Blonde was a fun movie that managed to hold its own during the summer glut. Charlize Theron’s does all her own stunts, the soundtrack is perfect, and a great aesthetic all come together in an exciting action flick. Go see Atomic Blonde immediately.
Oh, Hai Oscar: The Room has its own special place in movie history and This Disaster Artist is a fitting tribute. The highlight of the movie is James Franco’s amazing performance. Franco stayed in character during the entire shooting and his dedication shows. His role as Tommy Wiseau is the best performance of the year and will hopefully be acknowledged awards season.
That Was a Surprise: I never read Stephen King’s Dark Towers series but was still excited when I learned the movie would be released. I read The Gunslinger, loved it, and decided I would watch the movie before reading any more books in the series. Then the trailers came out. They were so bad I decided I was done reading the series. I ended up watching the movie anyway. It was awful. But it was still better than I expected. And now I look forward to reading the rest of the books.
That Was a Shock: Emma Stone and Steve Carell together again sounded great. Somehow, it wasn’t. Battle of the Sexes is the biggest disappointment of the year. The movie covers the historic tennis match between Billie Jean King (Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Carell), King discovering her sexuality, Riggs’ personal life, the birth of modern women’s tennis, and more. It sounds like too much because it is. Ironically, nothing is touched on in a meaningful way. Battle of the Sexes could have been so much more.
Despite the controversy and disappointments, 2017 was a great year in movies. There was something for all movie fans’ tastes. Time will tell how just how good the year’s movies truly were, but the immediate review is positive.