Jonathan's Top Ten List: 2017
Every year I spend a few days trying to collect my thoughts on my favorite films and how to align them in the list that everyone has come to expect. The older I get it becomes increasingly hard to rank movies that vary the spectrum of moviemaking, but here is my futile attempt to line up my top ten favorite films of the year.
1) Star Wars: The Last Jedi
I honestly tried to subjectively move The Last Jedi further down my list in an attempt to remove my bias of a lifelong fanboy; however, that being said, I love and adore this movie. I just recently completed my third viewing, and it continues to strike me just how layered, powerful, beautiful and poetically complicated this film is. Rian Johnson managed to craft a Star Wars film I didn’t know I wanted but just the one I needed.
Hugh Jackman is a powerhouse in what I consider to be one of the best superhero movies of all time. The supporting cast of Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen are both oscar worthy as well. The gritty imagery combined with emotional performances and the rawest portrayal of Wolverine all combine into a hauntingly beautiful film.
3) Only the Brave
This is one of those movies that wasn’t even on my radar this year, but its performances and story was extremely powerful and caused my most visceral emotional reaction in a theater this year. Josh Brolin leads a great cast of supporting talent that brings this team of men and their families into your heart for two hours. While it may not be a repeat watch anytime soon, it’s a movie that everyone should see at least once.
Ever since the first trailer hit theaters I had been looking forward to seeing this film, and I wasn’t disappointed. This beautiful film is one of Pixar’s best and seeing the responses from families and children that get to see themselves on screen can’t be overstated in its importance. It breaks new ground for Pixar, and I still sing along with the amazing soundtrack everytime it comes on my iPhone.
If you had told me that a horror film would be in my top ten for the year, I would have called you crazy, and yet, here we are. This is such a powerhouse of acting from it’s incredibly talented cast of kids and of course Pennywise himself, Bill Skarsgård. It’s funny, emotional, scary, and sometimes heartbreakingly honest in its portrayal of growing up. If you think you can hang in through the scares, do yourself a favor and watch IT today.
6) Wonder Woman
I haven’t been a fan of the overall direction of the DCEU, but Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot finally gave me a film that I loved. I’m also sure this film will continue to influence all of us for the better for years to come. The message of hope, power and compassion are all over this film, and Gal embodies it to perfection. Some of the speeches she gives throughout the film still stick with me, and Chris Pine gives an amazing performance as well. This was a hallmark year for Wonder Woman fans, and it was worth the wait.
7) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
This is a dark comedy with a very surprising amount of heart, and it was a masterclass of acting. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s one that deserves to be seen and enjoyed. Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell are perfection, and they all deliver Oscar worthy performances.
8) Baby Driver
Honestly, this film would have been higher up on my list, but then November and December happened. This movie is an absolute blast from beginning to end with superb car chases and world class editing as only Edgar Wright can do. I’m also well aware of my bias towards Lily James, but she is just one of the amazing cast members in this project. This film is a riot, so check it out today.
9) Wind River
It is impressive what Taylor Sheridan manages to accomplish in this film, and it is another mark in his already impressive resume. It is filled with beautiful cinematography, gritty performances, and some of Jeremy Renner’s best work to date. This film has moments that truly made me feel uneasy, and it creates tension without musical interlude; it’s a truly remarkable film.
This is one of Netflix’s original films, and it surprised me just how much I loved the journey of Mija and her super pig, Okja. This has an eclectic cast which includes Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, and Jake Gyllenhall to name a few. Moments of heartwarming action, unexpected peril, and lots of wonderfully weird moments with Tilda make this a standout film to me, and it should be on your growing Netflix list as we speak.
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