My Top 10 Best Movies of 2017

2017 has been an awesome year of movies. There are still a bunch of movies that I haven’t seen or reviewed, but out of all of the ones I saw, these are my 10 favorites.

Honorable mentions:

Dunkirk (directed by Christopher Nolan)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (directed by James Gunn)

The Big Sick (directed by Michael Showalter)

Thor: Ragnarok (directed by Taika Waititi)

10. Wonder Woman (directed by Patty Jenkins)

Credit: Warner Bros.

Wonder Woman was great. Despite a cheesy third act and weak villain, I had a fantastic time at this movie. It’s not only a really solid origin story for the character but gives us an awesome female-led superhero movie for 2017. Gal Gadot shines as Wonder Woman and the movie boasts lots of humor, heart, and some really cool action and visuals.

9. Spider-Man: Homecoming (directed by Jon Watts)

In Spider-Man: Homecoming, we got to see not only the web-slinging action of Spidey, but also the high-school aspect of the character, which is what I love most about this movie. Tom Holland gives us a Peter Parker that feels like a kid, and its endlessly entertaining. Although Michael Keaton’s villain feels flat at times, it’s made up for by the gorgeous visuals, charismatic performances, and super fun story. Homecoming was a blast, and does the iconic character justice.

Credit: Marvel Studios

8. Logan (directed by James Mangold)

Logan is another type of superhero movie completely. It’s bleak but never too dark, and Hugh Jackman is the best he’s ever been as the Wolverine. The movie, although it has its fantastic, intense action sequences, also really explores its characters in a way we haven’t seen much before and gives us a fantastic X-23 in Dafne Keen. It’s very…different, and shows us these “superheroes” at a breaking point in a way that’s both somber, satisfying, and heartbreaking.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

7. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (directed by Rian Johnson)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a very unique Star Wars film. It subverts your expectations in a way that’s both shocking and interesting. It was so much fun from start to finish. It has some of the best action sequences from a Star Wars movie, humor that works really well, and a complex, damaged performance from Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. Aside from one subplot that could have been cut out, I loved Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Credit: LucasFilm

6. It (directed by Andrés Muschietti)

It works on a lot of levels. It’s a both horror story and a coming-of-age one. The kids in this film are fantastic acting in their respective roles, and make us really care about them and where the story takes them. Not to mention the fantastic, at times horrifying visuals that add to the effectiveness of the movie. Andy Muschietti gives the movie a creepy atmosphere that will have you constantly nervous. Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise is definitely super scary, and he gives a really, really good performance as the titular clown. It balances scares, some really genuine humor, and an emotional, at times touching story deftly and makes for a very interesting watching experience.

Credit: Warner Bros.

5. Coco (directed by Lee Unkrich)

Pixar gives us a very emotional, heartfelt, and gorgeously animated film in Coco. This movie has everything you could want from a Pixar movie and more. It’s characters are so well-developed and I found myself really invested them by the end of this movie. There’s some super catchy music in here and visuals that are amazing to the point that they don’t look like they’re animated. This movie made me cry, it made me laugh, and it has a great story for all ages.

Credit: Pixar

4. Get Out (directed by Jordan Peele)

Jordan Peele, who’s known for his comedy, and not exactly psychological thrillers, made his directoral debut with Get Out. And, boy, is it good. Get Out is a mixing of a lot of different things. It’s part satire, part thriller, part social commentary, part drama. Get Out provides an accurate, scary look at racial tensions in America now, and does so while balancing this commentary with old-fashioned scares. All of the performances in Get Out are great, and Daniel Kaluuya shines as the protagonist, Chris, who must escape his girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) house. There’s also a good comic relief in Chris’s friend Rod, which adds a bit of levity to the movie. Get Out is a unique experience, and a film you can revisit many times.

Credit: Universal Pictures

3. Baby Driver (directed by Edgar Wright)

Edgar Wright is one of the best directors working. His films are hilarious and have his trademark editing and style. Baby Driver is those things, but also more. It’s an action musical that has a great soundtrack, thrilling car chase sequences, and lots of humor. The way that everything syncs up works as more than just a gimmick and adds a ton to the movie. Baby Driver doesn’t lack on plot either: it’s story is engaging and never lets you get bored. Ansel Elgort gives a ton to the role of Baby and other standouts from the cast include Jamie Foxx’s insane Bats as well as Jon Hamm’s Buddy. Baby Driver is a movie you remember long after you watch, and as soon as you’re done watching it, you want to turn on the soundtrack and crank it up to 11.

Credit: Tri-Star Pictures

2. Blade Runner 2049 (directed by Denis Villeneuve)

The original Blade Runner is widely considered a masterpiece, and after watching it, I…thought it was fine. But it was 2049 that did it for me. This movie expands on the original in a way that honors its themes and idea, but gives it new ones too. This movie looks just gorgeous. Its cinematography is some of the best I’ve seen ever and the visual effects are groundbreaking. The score is otherwordly and Denis Villeneuve gives this movie a gritty, realistic, yet still futuristic feel and does a great job directing it. It deals with some really interesting themes in a very thought-provoking way, and has a compelling story. Although it’s long, it uses its runtime effectively and doesn’t ever feel boring. 2049 is a truly well-made film.

Credit: Warner Bros.

1. War for the Planet of the Apes (directed by Matt Reeves)

Credit: 20th Century Fox

War for the Planet of the Apes is a masterpiece. Every shot in this film looks amazing and there isn’t a dull part of it. And even though the movie doesn’t skimp on action, it shows the more personal aspect of war than the actual fighting. Andy Serkis is once again amazing as ape Caesar and despite the fact that his performance was using motion-capture, it showed more emotion than any other in this movie. Speaking of which, this movie’s visual effects are rival to none and the apes were unable to be deciphered as CGI. The plot is emotional, brutal, and bleak, and has high stakes that keep you inside the story at all times. And finally the score was some of the best I’ve heard in a movie this year, and just made this movie better. War for the Planet of the Apes is a flawless film, and my favorite of the year.

Well, these were my top movies of the year, but what were yours? Post your favorite movies of 2017 in the comments below!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi- Movie Review

Credit: LucasFilm

What is it about?

As Rey (Daisy Ridley) begins training with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the Resistance, led by Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), has to face the First Order, led by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

How is it? 8.7/10

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a unique, ambitious Star Wars movie that still maintains the magic of the previous ones. Rian Johnson’s excellent direction and script gives the movie a ton of surprises, while the gorgeous cinematography, effects, and action also make this movie even better. This is a SPOILER-FREE REVIEW, but you should definitely go experience this for yourself.

The Ups

First off, Mark Hamill is fantastic here as Luke. He’s shown as a darker, more damaged, and haunted Luke, but he’s not completely different from the one in the originals. Mark Hamill is truly compelling and gives such a complex performance. His character goes interesting new ways and has a great, satisfying arc. Daisy Ridley is again amazing as Rey. Her character also has a great arc, and her training with Luke is super entertaining to watch. Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren is one spectacular villain. He’s very well developed and you get to see his internal conflict throughout. Driver’s performance is captivating and really lets you look into the character.

Credit: LucasFilm

Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) has much more to do here. I liked him a lot in The Force Awakens, and Oscar Isaac is again great. Poe’s such a likable, charismatic character, and I found myself always rooting for him throughout the film. He became one of my favorite characters after this film. John Boyega is amazing as Finn, who is a really strong character here. Carrie Fisher’s tragic death is handled well here and Leia’s character gets justice and lots of great moments. Laura Dern is great as Vice Admiral Holdo. She gives a committed, fun performance as the new Resistance leader. Kelly Tran also gives us a promising new character in Rose, who I want to see more of in Episode 9.

Credit: LucasFilm

Director Rian Johnson gives The Last Jedi the feel of a Star Wars movie, but also adds his own voice. He does a stellar job directing it, and the movie boasts a spectacular script as well. This is a Star Wars movie that takes risk and is definitely super ambitious. It’s unique and has some very bold story choices. The story also has a ton of surprises, and the movie will subvert your expectations lots of times. There were several genuinely shocking moments that had me gasping.  Johnson also deepens some aspects of Star Wars mythology that might anger some fans, but I personally thought was really cool.  This movie also has emotional moments that will definitely satisfy fans and are done well. As long as the movie is, despite one issue (which I will discuss later), its pacing for the second and third act is handled very well. The movie generally moves at lightspeed and even when it slows down a bit, it’s still super compelling.

Credit: LucasFilm

Rian Johnson gets very meta here at times, and this movie has some great self-aware commentary about itself that’s both entertaining and interesting. Although this movie gets really dark sometimes, it’s still endlessly entertaining. I had so much un with this movie and had a grin on my face for a large portion of it. There’s some great comedy from all of the characters and it’s used at the right moments so that it never detracts from the drama. The script explores the difference between the light and the dark and the blurring between the two. Its characters also see where they stand on this spectrum and these themes are very well dived into. Any and all fan service here doesn’t feel like it’s there for the sake of being there. There are lots of crowd-pleasing fan service moments that are earned and you can see the director’s love of Star Wars shine through.

Credit: LucasFilm

This movie is gorgeous. The visual effects are truly jaw-dropping. Combined with the incredible cinematography and action, this movie has some of the best Star Wars effects ever. The work on the creatures and all of the locations are just amazing and so hyper-realistic, you are really transported to this other world. The action is present throughout the film and is some of the best in the series. All of the space battles, hand-to-hand combat, and the lightsaber fights are just beyond words and look and feel so amazing. The choreography in them is so great and every detail about them is perfect. The cinematography is also fantastic. Some shots are just so well framed and had me in awe. A lot of the locations, like the salt planet Crait, utilize this, and they look fantastic. John Williams’ score is, as always, magical. It adds so much to these movies and is, again, just amazing.

Credit: LucasFilm

The Downs

My main problem with this movie is the storyline on casino planet Canto-Bight featuring Finn and Rose. Johnson needed to give them some to do, so he…gave them this…? It leads nowhere, has barely any payoff, and drags the pacing of the (already long) movie a ton. The design of the location is cool but it adds nothing to the movie and could have been cut out completely with no effect on the story. Benicio del Toro’s new character DJ is just…meh. He doesn’t get much screentime at all, and doesn’t have much of a role. Another underdeveloped character is Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), who didn’t get her character done justice in Episode VII, and doesn’t get it here either. She barely has any screentime and is just there for the sake of being there.

Credit: LucasFilm

Overall, I loved Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Packed with action and surprises, and boasting a great story, The Last Jedi goes deeper into these worlds and characters. However, there is one storyline that doesn’t land at all and could be taken out of the film, which is my only big problem with The Last Jedi.