The Top 25 Films of 2017
Maybe I’m a sap. But if I’m a sap, so is the rest of the world, because virtually everyone who saw Wonder was absolutely enchanted by it – including me. In the current climate of never-ending negativity, distrustfulness, lying, and general disenchantment with . . . pretty much everything . . . Stephen Chbosky’s Wonder steps up to remind us all of the things that truly matter on a more personal scale and why we shouldn’t lose sight of them or stop fighting for them. The bigger, more widespread issues are still there and as important as ever. But family, friends, and basic human decency count just as much. Augie is the embodiment of that idea and Wonder is one of the true must-see films of 2017. (Original review.)
Pixar struck back in 2017, determined to show through Coco that their recently developing reputation suggesting that their best days are behind them is premature. They succeeded. Coco is not only visually stunning but also, in classic Pixar form, emotionally stirring. The film is a true original, with an engaging story, endearing characters, and a powerful payoff that will resonate with viewers of any age, origin, or history. Though Pixar’s recent missteps aren’t as pronounced as many want to believe, Coco sends a loud and clear message that they aren’t going anywhere and they want some more Oscars. (Original review.)
13. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Writer-director James Gunn has a lot of fun with his work, but also takes his job very seriously. Not content to ever make a film that’s pure popcorn, Gunn consistently finds ways to inject truckloads of entertainment into his productions while also providing poignant undertones for the audience to ponder as they leave the theater and head home. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues in that vein as the viewer is bombarded with bombastic action, raucous comedy (most of which lands), and resonant character arcs for all eight main characters. That’s a lot to accomplish, but Gunn and Marvel pull it off without a hitch. It’s not quite the instant (and flawless) classic that the original film was, but it’s not far behind and deserves the high praise and hundreds of millions of dollars with which it was rewarded. (Original review.)
12. Atomic Blonde
Now it’s getting to the point where I wish every film on the list could have made the top ten. I easily loved Atomic Blonde enough to happily include it in a year-end Top Ten list. In another year, it could have made it. Pure adrenaline and energy from start to finish, Charlize Theron and director David Leitch team up to present a seedy, gritty, @$$-kicker of an eighties throwback film. It’s an unapologetic kick to the nether regions after which one finds oneself smiling and asking for another, please. For all the fantastic performances she’s given over the years, this was my personal favorite role for Theron and I would love to think we’ll get a sequel. Time will tell but, if not (and even if so), Atomic Blonde is one 4k blu-ray from which, with all the repeat viewings, I will definitely get my money’s worth. (Original review.)
11. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Who would have thought, right? While the trailers and other marketing filled me with confidence that I would enjoy Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, I never expected to love it as much as I actually did. Jake Kasdan’s loose sequel to 1995’s original Jumanji encapsulates everything that a four-quadrant all-audiences action-comedy should entail. Much like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it’s got the action (to a lesser scale, but it’s still quality and plentiful), the humor (to a greater degree, this time, and with a higher hit ratio), but it’s also somewhat more accessible. No previous knowledge of the original film is necessary or even particularly useful. Audiences can simply walk in, sit down, and enjoy. When that all combines to create lightning in a bottle, as this movie has (currently at $867 million plus and counting, having once again been number one in North America, this past weekend), then everybody wins. And that’s what this Jumanji is: a game where everybody wins.
Ohhhhhhh, so close to the top ten for these movies! But we’re getting to the best of the best, now. Have you seen your favorite? Could it still lie ahead? I’ll be back with the penultimate part, soon! Until then, like us on Facebook and share with your friends and family!