2017 Year in Review – The Top 25 Films of 2017: #20-16

No wasting time!  If you don’t know the deal, here is the first part of the countdown with the criteria.  Go check it out then come back here for more of . . .

The Top 25 Films of 2017

20. Get Out

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Jordan Peele’s Get Out blended social commentary with traditional horror to create a new blend of social horror.  The film was primarily sold on its horror elements but earned its reputation and word of mouth based on its intelligence and message.  The whole thing works both literally within the narrative framework of the film as well as metaphorically for those who are willing to be open-minded enough to listen.  On top of that, the whole principal cast turns in spectacular performances.  As a traditional horror film, it’s not quite as suspenseful as others, but looked at through the lens of the victimized, it’s more than scary enough to do the job.  (Original review.)

19. The Post

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Steven Spielberg strikes again with The Post – perhaps the most timely and politically significant film of 2017, if not recent memory.  After brilliantly casting perhaps America’s two most trusted actors in Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep as his leads, Spielberg recounts the true story of the Washington Post’s legal battle with the Nixon administration over the release of the Pentagon Papers.  At a time when current high-ranking politicians are frequently making not-so-veiled threats to attempt to smother the freedom of the press rather than answer for their own sins, the film is a poignant and important reminder of the importance of a free press and the public’s access to information.  And it’s delivered with perfection by a triumvirate of filmmaking legends.  (Original review.)

18. Colossal

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From director Nacho Vigalondo, the Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis vehicle Colossal snuck by almost entirely unnoticed by audiences.  That’s a shame, too, because it offered everything that mainstream audiences tend to look for in their movies: recognizable stars, special effects, comedy, drama, suspense, action, twists, and a poignant and emotional finale.  Hathaway charms her way through the picture, continuing to be one of Hollywood’s most underrated talents, and Sudeikis shows us a side of himself that most of us could have never imagined even existing.  The final product is an entertaining and engaging journey from beginning to end that will almost certainly eventually be elevated to cult status.  (Original review.)

17. It

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Very few adaptations have been made with a love equal to that which is evident within Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It.  With a brilliant cast and a stark attention to detail and subtext, Muschietti constructed a haunting tale of the dangers of childhood and the power of imagination.  Doubling as a metaphor for how society likes to target and prey upon people’s specific fears, Muschietti conceals commentary within the bloody folds of terrifying horror and strikes a nerve at a visceral level . . ..  And we’re only halfway through.  All we can do for the time being is sit back and patiently await the second chapter.  But we’ll do it with the lights on.  (Original review.)

16. Phantom Thread

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Writer-director has an affinity for crafting stories around those human instincts that we as a species try to suppress and ignore and gloss over.  With Phantom Thread, Anderson addresses the harsh realities of the manipulative nature of relationships and by doing so gives us the most grounded and realistic “romance” film perhaps in all of film history.  Yes, some of the events are a exaggerated for heightened cinematic drama, but the foundations are all true to life, whether we want to admit it or not.  Along the way, Anderson provides one of his two leads, Daniel Day-Lewis, with a fond farewell (at least for now.  I’m not convinced that Day-Lewis is done for good) and the other, Vicky Krieps with a grand (almost) American debut that will hopefully open up many doors for her in the future.  Phantom Thread is a surprising film that starts as one genre and finishes as another but, through Anderson’s talents, does so organically in addition to memorably.  (Original review.)

Okay, that’s it for now!  Spread the list around and keep your eye on Facebook for the next installment!

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