2017 in Films

2017-main

  • 20th Century WomenA  (89%RT) – A brilliant and beautiful performance by Annette Bening elevates this touching and funny film. It’s the companion film to Mike Mills’ Beginners (that was about his dad; this his mom.)
  • All The Money In The WorldC+ (77%RT) – J. Paul Getty was an asshole.
  • American MadeB+ (87%RT) – True story of how one man took a job from the CIA and turned it into the largest drug smuggling operation in American history.
  • Atomic BlondeC+ (76%RT) – While Charlize kicks ass and looks great the plot is very weak but somehow overly complicated. Also, a bad use of great music.
  • Baby DriverA- (94%RT) – Every scene is perfectly in sync with the music. Give the editor an Oscar.
  • Battle of the SexesB (86%RT) – Enjoyable light-comedy that sadly only touches on sexism and homophobia rather than delve into what it really meant for society.
  • Blade Runner 2049B+ (88%RT) – Beautiful and disturbing. This could be part 2 of a trilogy or simply another chapter. It’s a bit long but each arc is gorgeous to watch.
  • Beauty and the BeastB- (70%RT) – Entertaining but nothing better than the original. The 4 new s%ongs are forgettable but the chemistry between Belle and Beast is good. Gaston and LeFou steal the show.
  • Call Me By Your Name B (98%RT) – Sensual, erotic, and awkward film. It suffers a bit from the “Italian pacing” but otherwise is beautiful. However, like Armie Hammer it’s nice to look at if not a little bland.
  • Claire in MotionB  (62%RT) – After her husband goes missing Claire (Betsy Brandt) realizes that her marriage and husband both had issues that she had been ignoring. Great performances all around.
  • Colossal B (80%RT) – Gloria discovers that she is somehow creating and controlling a rampaging monster in Seoul during her alcoholic blackouts. Crazy but very good.
  • Darkest HourB (84%RT) – Should have been titled “Let’s get ready to mumble!”
  • DunkirkA (92%RT) – Nearly perfect in every way. Gorgeous, harrowing, and troubling. My only quibble was that the dialogue get’s lost in the action and score.
  • Get Out B+ (99%RT) – Disturbing satire about liberal white-guilt and the evil that is buried beneath it.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2B (81%RT) – Daddy issues!
  • Hidden FiguresA  (92%RT) – One of the best movies of any time. Such a lovely and important film; great for the entire family!
  • I, TonyaB+ (90%RT) – You might just be team Tonya after seeing this.
  • IT A (85%RT) – One-part Goonies. Two-parts Stand By Me. Seven-parts terrifying. I freakin’ LOVED this film!
  • John Wick: Chapter 2A (89%RT) – Gorgeous and thrilling follow-up to the first film. I can’t wait until Chapter 3.
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the JungleB- (78%RT) – Every 15 minutes someone has a crisis of confidence and another character talks them through it. Still, it was mildly entertaining.
  • Kedi (The Cats of Istanbul) – B (96%RT) – Documentary about the hundreds of thousands of cats the roam the streets of Istanbul.
  • Kong: Skull IslandB+ (79%RT)  – This fun non-stop action-packed adventure subverts the monster genre slightly. The post credits scene is a game-changer.
  • Lady BirdA (100%RT) – Funny, endearing, honest, and smart. A must-see
  • Lego BatmanB+ (91%RT) – This movie was worth sneaking into. It was silly and fun. Although it gets a little crazy at the end it’s still entertaining with a good message.
  • Life C (67%RT) – Somehow this action-packed film is really dull. Completely un-original. I was rooting for the alien.
  • LionA-  (88%RT) – The first half of this heartwarming film could be told with no words and it would still be heartbreaking and gorgeous. The second half made me wish I had a head of hair like Dev Patel.
  • Logan A- (92%RT) – Depressing and gruesome but a perfect ending for this current franchise. NOT for kids.
  • Logan LuckyB (93%RT) – “Ocean’s 7-11” as the movie jokes. Fun but the whole thing falls apart if you think about it too much. Also, Hilary Swank is really terrible in this.
  • Mother! D- (69% RT) – Marketed as a thriller this ego driven ‘think piece’ is a sophomoric allegory for how society devours art and fame. Or maybe an atheists view of God, Mother Earth, Original Sin and the downfall of humanity. Regardless,  it was the only time I ever wanted to BOOOOOOO a movie. Pretentious and awful.
  • Mudbound A- (97%RT) – A farming family’s and their sharecroppers’ sons become friends in post-WWII Mississippi.
  • Murder on the Orient ExpressB- (59%RT) – I don’t really care for this book so I my hopes weren’t high for this star-studded adaptation. My expectations were met.
  • Our Souls At NightB (91%RT) Fonda and Redford star as widowed neighbors who seek comfort in bed. A little stilted and rushed but the acting is sweet.
  • Pearl Jam: Let’s Play TwoA (71%RT) Cubs and Pearl Jam, what’s not to like?
  • Princess CydA- (86%RT) Cyd comes-of-age while visiting her aunt in Chicago which forces her aunt to examine her own life. Touching, funny, and heart-felt.
  • Professor Marston & The Wonder WomenB- (87%RT) This is less about the origin of Wonder Woman as it is the problems with being in a poly-amorous relationship centered around bondage in the 1940s. Except boring.
  • Star Wars: The Last JediB (93%RT) Our annual Star Wars movie.  A good middle chapter even if the Luke stuff was a bit dull. Also the best jump to lightspeed EVER!
  • The Big SickA- (97%RT) – Uncomfortable, awkward, funny, depressing, and real.
  • The Disaster ArtistB+ (93%RT) – This guy is a weirdo, Franco does an amazing job.
  • The Greatest ShowmanA- (53%RT) – A watered-down “bio” pic of P.T. Barnum with little story. But man-oh-man is it entertaining.
  • The Florida ProjectA (96%RT) – A very funny but heartbreaking view into the life a little girl stuck in crappy Kissimee and oblivious to the adult issues around her.
  • The FounderB (83%RT) – Either Ray Kroc railroaded the McDonald’s brothers or they didn’t have a vision or a head for business. Take your pick.
  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer A- (75%RT) – It’s too simplistic to say that the Murphy family is cursed for a father’s perceived mistake. It’s better to say it’s a metaphor for…something. I was enthralled and confused and anxious and frustrated, yet on the edge of my seat the entire time. You’ll either love it or loathe it.
  • The Lost City of Z C+ (88%RT) – Everything that I loved about the book was watered down to make a plodding relationship drama that never finds it’s central purpose.
  • The Mummy C (16%RT) – Either Cruise is miscast or his character is poorly written. Either way this generic gateway into the “Dark Universe” was a complete bore.
  • The Shape of WaterB+ (95%) – A well-worn story brought back in this Cold War era fairy tale. Be warned, Del Toro loves secret, surprising gross scenes.
  • Three Billboards outside Ebbing, MissouriA (94%RT) – Complex characters have trouble dealing with daily life in this small, backwoods town. One of my favorites of the year.
  • Thor: RagnarokB+ (96%RT) – It tries a little too hard with the funny but overall a great ride.
  • Spider-Man: HomecomingA- (93%RT) – Finally a great Spidey movie! Tom Holland is fantastic as the teenage webslinger trying to navigate high school, girls, Aunt May, and bad guys. It’s like if John Hughes made a superhero film.
  • SplitB- (74%RT) – James McAvoy is amazing in this otherwise by-the-book slow burning thriller. Not as suspenseful as it should have been nor as original. It’s watchable but it’s just a complete setup for that last reveal (per usual).
  • Victoria & Abdul B (65%RT) – The “paint-by-numbers” screenplay let’s you know where it is headed but it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment. Fazal is quite charming as Abdul and the first half is quite lovely.
  • War for the Planet of the Apes B (93%RT) – Decent end to the trilogy and better than the previous film (Rise…). I liked that the virus released in Rise is devolving the humans. A fourth film that explores that could be interesting.
  • Wind RiverA- (86%RT) – Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye team up to solve The Punisher’s murder…sort of. From the people that brought you Sicario and Hell or High Water.
  • WonderB (86%) – Nice story about accepting people for who they are rather than what they look like.
  • Wonder WomanB (92%RT) – The best (read: only good) DC movie they’ve had in years. Diana kicks ass and despite some slight 3rd act problems the movie as a whole is inspiring and exciting.