Top 5 Films of 2017 (So Far)
It’s hard to believe that 2017 is halfway over already. It’s also hard to believe just how many genuinely great films have already surfaced as of this writing (June 10th, 2017). From giant blockbusters to sleeper January and February hits, this year has been full of film surprises that have genuinely been a pleasure to witness. If I’m being honest, picking my top five is difficult in itself, as I’ve liked a multitude of films, all for different reasons.
This is my list of personal favorites. Some movies on here may not be critical darlings, but struck a cord with me as a movie lover, though not necessarily as a critic. So, without further ado, here are my top five films of 2017 (so far).
#5 Power Rangers
As I said, this is my personal list, and I can’t lie when I say that I had an absolute blast with Saban’s Power Rangers. When the Rangers busted the Zords and took on the mighty Goldar, we were treated to some seriously fun robot action. The CGI was a bit too obvious at times when the individual Zords were in the heat of action, but the use of all of the Zords was unique. Each team member had a purpose, and when they formed the Megazord, the control of this gigantic super robot was equally unique, and required teamwork.
Some consider this movie a cash grab, a way to bring a universe back into the present and sell toys and lunchboxes. However, you can’t deny the genuine passion and respect for character development in the script. On the outside, Power Rangers appears to be mindless popcorn fun. Beneath the colors, catchphrases, and cheesiness, however, is a story about five characters looking to make their lives meaningful. This is a story of relationships, friendships, and becoming something that’s always been inside of you.
#4 Band Aid
What I found to be bold and sensible about Lister-Jones’s script is how refreshing it felt. When Anna and Ben allow their anger to become a vessel of expression via music, it’s a magical moment. They’ve lived through so much together, with so many ups and downs along the way (though I won’t give away any spoilers). When they start creating music, the lyrics come to them so naturally, to the point where they joke about the ridiculous fights they once had.
Band Aid is one of the better indies I’ve seen thus far in 2017. Zoe Lister-Jones is a potent triple threat. Her writing and directing match the story seamlessly, as does her poignant and charming performance. It’s a film that is not afraid to go places married couples often go, which makes for an honest and hilarious story that had me smiling the entire time.
#3 Wonder Woman
Even though I genuinely loved Logan, Wonder Woman made me feel the magic of a great superhero film. This genre is one of my favorites, and I yearn for this magic every time I step into a theater. Multiple times during Wonder Woman, I experienced a feeling that had been all but lost in the redundant superhero genre of today’s cinema. That feeling is (yes) hope. When Diana Prince marched into battle, saying who she was and what she believed, it gave me goosebumps several times throughout the 140-minute run time. I found myself incredibly involved in her story, her quest, and her evolution as a character.
Patty Jenkins has crafted an inspiring, emotional, and exciting tale for Diana Prince. Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman through and through, and not only is this the first female superhero to get her own standalone movie; it may be the best one to ever grace the screen.
#2 Split and Get Out (Tie)
Split is one of those rare films that isn’t necessarily perfect by any means, but I couldn’t help but adore the mystery, along with James McAvoy’s Oscar-worthy performance. I loved Split, a lot. I loved how daring it was and how much trust Shyamalan has in his audience. McAvoy went to such lengths to bring all of these different characters to life. Films often try to go for messages about acceptance and people being different, but I don’t feel that this is often achieved.
However, if you are looking for classic Shyamalan, an Oscar-caliber performance, and some genuine tension and surprises, then see Split. I didn’t expect to like, let alone love it, so you may be surprised!
Okay, I know I may be cheating here, but I just can’t put either of these films over the other; I adored both, and I don’t think one is particularly better than the other. I would barely call Get Out a horror movie; that’s simply dumbing it down to one particular genre. Such originality is a risk in modern-day cinema, and a damn great one at that. The acting is superb, the themes are timeless and critical to us as the human race, and it’s just an all-around fun time at the movies. I highly recommend seeing Get Out, and seeing it with as many people as you can.
I don’t think I’ve seen a more original film in recent memory than Colossal. Colossal deals with some rather severe and delicate issues once the core plot is finally revealed — subject matter that would undoubtedly be tough for many to sit through. Nacho Vigalondo handles these topical issues head-on, with no chance for stopping, and makes his points crystal clear. What makes Vidalondo a cut above the rest is that he manages to tackle these elements without ever beating you over the head with a message. The messages are clear, present, and terrifying, and work with this massively original story. You may be surprised how emotional and gut-wrenching this IMDB-advertised “Action-Comedy” can be.
Yes, there are monsters in this movie, and you may even see them slap each other occasionally. The actual monsters in Colossal, though, are much more horrifying than anything you’ve seen in a Godzilla movie. Scenes that on paper would read like a parody or an SNL sketch transcend on the screen with gravitas and wonder. Some plot elements become insane, ludicrous even. Colossal is a film that simply should not work, but does, exquisitely. With Nacho Vidalondo’s script and direction, along with a powerhouse performance from Anne Hathway, Colossal will go down as one of the best films of 2017.
What are your favorite films of the year so far? Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment below, and let’s start some great conversation about the best films of the year so far.