What a year for cinema! Join Josh Burford as he counts down his top 10 best movies of 2017

Best Movies

There have been plenty of top quality movies this year, from hilarious comedies to powerful, hard-hitting dramas, it is safe to say that Hollywood has treated us well in 2017.

While there was a lot of trash, which we’ll save for another list, there was a lot to love and I’m going to talk about them now…So without further ado, here are my top 10 best movies of 2017.

10: WIND RIVER (Out January 22nd on DVD)

This was an extremely powerful movie that gripped me from start to finish. Director Tyler Sheridan gave us a thrilling depiction of missing person cases that was kind of a slow burn, but you wanted to stick it out because the characters were great, and the story was executed brilliantly.

Jeremy Renner gives his best performance to date and Elisabeth Olsen was amazing. They both had great chemistry and really drove the story with some emotionally compelling moments. But the real stand-out of the movie was its setting and cinematography.

It was utterly gorgeous, this really was one of the most beautiful movies of the year. I feel like this film flew under everyone’s radar, as no one is really talking about it, but it stuck with me long after leaving the cinema and definitely deserved a spot on this list.

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This last instalment in the thrilling rebooted apes franchise is by far the best one. I spent large parts of the movie trying to pick my jaw up off the floor, not because of the story or action, but because of how life-like those apes look.

The motion capture performances from all the apes was astonishing. If they can make movies like this why are we still getting some with CGI straight out of a Syfy channel movie?! Andy Serkis once again gives a captivating performance as Caesar, and every time I watch one of these films I hope his portrayal gets recognised with an Oscar nomination, but alas, no luck yet.

Why was this the best one? It focuses mainly on the apes instead of the boring human characters, it has awe-inspiring action scenes, the perfect amount of humour, and it has some incredibly tense and emotional moments. War gives Caesar a beautiful send-off and you’ll find it hard to track down a better movie trilogy.

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8: IT (Out January 15th on DVD)

You know when it’s a good list when one of the most entertaining movies of the year is at number eight. The big budget movie adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel is hands down the best one to date.

This film gets so many things right. The kid actors were all perfectly cast. Their chemistry and banter with each other drives the film and they were hilarious to watch. Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise was a chilling take on the infamous clown and I just found myself smiling whenever he was on screen. He produced some truly horrifying moments and I can’t wait to see more of him when IT: Chapter 2 releases next year.

This film never took the foot off the gas, constantly bombarding us with scares and creepy imagery which is exactly what you want with this type of movie. This meant that the film raced by, making me leave the cinema wanting more. This was a faithful adaptation that had hilarious comedy, brilliant acting, a tight well-told story and some memorable movie moments.

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7: THE DEATH OF STALIN (Out February 26th on DVD)

I didn’t know what to expect with this one, I wasn’t familiar with Armando Iannucci’s previous work, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved this movie. It is the second funniest film of the year, the recipient of that honour will be discussed later, and it featured one of the best ensemble casts of the year.

The cast featured some big hitters including, Steve Buscemi, Michael Palin, Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Isaacs and Simon Russel Beale. These men all give great performances and have brilliant chemistry, interacting with each other in very funny ways. Another bonus was that they weren’t all trying to do Russian accents, which gave the comedy a certain Monty Python feel.

One of the most impressive things about the film was how Iannucci was able to tackle serious topics and deliver genuine laughs. Not the easiest thing to do when explaining an important part of history but his political satire expertise fits perfectly into this story.

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The greatest movie about the creation of the worst movie ever made. James Franco carries this film with his sincere and heartfelt portrayal of Tommy Wiseau. He was just fascinating to watch, the way he captured Wiseau’s traits and his likeness and voice is pretty spot on. He did a great job in making us care for Tommy instead of spending the whole movie mocking him.

Franco’s direction was spectacular as well, he managed to recreate iconic scenes from The Room down to the most precise detail. He has turned what was solely considered as an awful movie into an inspirational story of pursuing your dreams no matter the obstacles you may face.

Even though I hadn’t seen The Room I still found myself laughing constantly, there were times where knowledge of The Room would have come in handy, but these were limited. It would be funny if the movie about the worst movie ever made gets an Oscar nomination, but with Franco’s performance and direction, it’s definitely in with a shot.

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5: THOR: RAGNAROK (Out February 26th on DVD)

Here it is, the funniest movie of the year. Most Marvel movies nowadays have a particular type of comedy, and the third instalment for the Norse god is filled to the brim with hilarious moments. As we near the end of Marvels Phase 3, we get the most entertaining one to date.

Chris Hemsworth once again delivers a great performance as Thor and having him team up with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk was a stroke of genius. Their chemistry was great, and their fight was a fantastic spectacle to behold. This was also one of the best-looking Marvel films, the colours were so vibrant and whimsical that it really sucks you into the world.

We also got the best villain since Loki in Cate Blanchett’s Hela. She commanded the screen with every scene she was in and she was a formidable foe for Thor and co. I definitely want to see Director Taika Waititi have another crack at a Marvel film because his perfect blend of comedy and action was refreshing to watch.

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4: LOGAN (Out now on DVD)

Hugh Jackman’s final performance as Wolverine is by far his best, making Logan one of the best superhero movies of all time in my opinion. Inspired by the success of the bloody, expletive-filled Deadpool, Director James Mangold took a risk when making Logan a 15, but the result is gory, brutal fun.

From the action, to the story, to the character development. This film nails everything! The gore and humour never felt forced, with the latter happening quite naturally. But on the subject of gore…Logan hacks off limbs and slashes his way through goons in brutal and unforgiving ways, it’s what fans have been waiting for.

This film almost made me cry. When the emotional moments happen, they hit you hard. The film does a great job of making you care about certain characters, which creates a pulse-pounding final fight for Logan. The final send-off for Hugh Jackman, who has now retired from the role, is a tear-jerker and is handled brilliantly.

3: GET OUT (Out now on DVD)

This was probably one of the best horror movies of the last ten years. First time director and comedic genius Jordan Peele was behind this one and he delivers an edge-of-your-seat thriller with creepy imagery and a fresh, sharp story.

Instead of relying on jump scares and loud noises to make us jump out of our seats, Peele relies on the unknown to creep us out, slowly building the story to an explosive climax. Daniel Kaluuya delivers a performance that is very likeable and relatable, he also provides a lot of subtle comedy.

The film also features a stellar supporting cast who all do a great job. But it’s really Peele’s direction and script that shines as it is so smart and refreshing. He manages to balance the humour, scares and social commentary expertly, giving us a film that refuses to pull any punches. Get Out will make you think, and you will definitely want to watch it again and again, I know I did.

2: THE FLORIDA PROJECT (Out March 5th on DVD)

I could have easily put this at number one. This was a beautiful film; the scenery was gorgeous, the settings were vibrant and full of life and the acting was magnificent. It is full of humour but also explores a version of homelessness in a very raw and emotional way.

Let’s talk about the actors. Brooklynn Prince was amazing. Her portrayal of Moonee felt very authentic, giving us a first-hand view of life through her eyes. Bria Vinaite was captivating and her relationship with Moonee was excellent. Willem Dafoe deserves an Oscar for his performance, he was brilliant as usual playing the tough guy with a heart of gold.

Sean Baker is an extremely innovative filmmaker and he brings the infectious joy of a mischievous childhood summer to life in a very bold and refreshing way. Another film that has flown under the radar this year, but I urge you to see this movie whenever you can, you will not be disappointed.

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DUNKIRK (Out now on DVD)

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LOGAN LUCKY (Out December 26th on DVD)

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MOLLY’S GAME (In cinemas January 1st, 2018)

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1: BABY DRIVER (Out now on DVD)

I’d be lying to myself if I said this wasn’t my favourite film of the year. In a world filled with sequels, reboots and adaptations, an original idea for a movie will break through and this year it was Baby Driver. This film had everything; likeable characters, great acting, thrilling action and a fantastic soundtrack.

The music is the star of the show and Baby’s playlist is full of toe-tappers and head-bangers, they really drive the film, pun intended. The way they are seamlessly blended with everything in the movie was so impressive and it just made the film that much better.

The action is filmed perfectly, giving us good views of the chaotic carnage and not relying on countless cuts and edits. The opening scene five minutes speaks for itself. Ansel Elgort was great as Baby and his romance with Lily James’ Debora was particularly fun to watch due to the actors’ solid chemistry. Writer/Director Edgar Wright has given us a exhilarating cinematic joyride worthy of the top spot!

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About the Author

Josh Burford
Trainee journalist at Highbury College with a passion for film and TV.