As 2017 comes to a close, a few movie trends are clear.
It was a banner year for superhero movies. “Justice League” aside, “Logan,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and “Wonder Woman” were all excellent.
It was a great year for horror movies, too. “It” and “Get Out” both terrified audiences this year and became critically beloved.
And there were also a bunch of other great movies — from critical darlings like “Lady Bird” to rom-coms like “The Big Sick.”
Here are the 12 best movies of the year.
Gritty superhero movies are nothing new, but “Logan” steps it up.
The X-Men spin-off movie about Wolverine in his twilight years was both intensely violent and deeply moving, providing a satisfying end to Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the character.
“Get Out” hit a nerve.
No movie captured 2017 like “Get Out,” a racially conscious horror film by comedian-slash-genius Jordan Peele. It came out all the way back in February, shortly after the presidential inauguration, but we haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
They don’t make movies like “The Lost City of Z” anymore.
Grand, epic adventure movies are seldom made without superheroes or spaceships anymore. But “The Lost City of Z” is based on the incredible true story of Percy Fawcett, a British explorer who went searching for an ancient lost city in the Amazon before disappearing in 1925. It’s a story about obsession that you’ll never forget and the period details are perfect.
“The Big Sick” will make you laugh through tears.
Based on writer-star Kumail Nanjiani’s real-life story, “The Big Sick” is about him falling in love, then breaking in love with a woman. Then she goes into a coma and they fall in love all over again. It has all the sharp, sensitive humor you’ll recognize from his “Silicon Valley” character, but with a bigger heart.
“Dunkirk” is the war movie you didn’t know you needed.
Movies about World War II battles have been made so many times, it seems like the genre had outworn its welcome.
Until Christopher Nolan got to it. The “Dark Knight” and “Interstellar” director brought his knack for non-linear storytelling and majestic images to a series of interweaving stories about the Battle of Dunkirk. It’s gripping and gives a new understanding of what courage means in the middle of a war.
Plus, Harry Styles is in it.
“Wonder Woman” is still DC’s only good movie — but it’s a great one.
“Justice League,” “Suicide Squad,” and “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” are all critical flops. But “Wonder Woman,” at least, remains by far the best movie of the DC cinematic universe. Directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot, the movie subverts every gender norm you can expect and delivered excellent mid-summer entertainment.
“Lady Bird” is a bittersweet look at being a teenager.
Now the best-reviewed movie in the history of Rotten Tomatoes, Greta Gerwig’s first movie that she directed solo is a semi-autobiographical story about growing up in Sacramento. At the center of it all is a beautiful performance by Saoirse Ronan, who occupies an unforgettable character.
“Thor: Ragnarok” had a lighter touch than most Marvel movies.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” re-introduced one of the most beloved superheroes of all time, sure. But so, in a sense, did “Thor: Ragnarok.” Taika Waititi’s installment in the Marvel series gave us a funnier, less self-serious Thor that had audiences laughing while he landed his punches and battled his sister, Hela, played by Cate Blanchett.
“The Florida Project” realistically portrays a segment of society rarely seen in movies.
People don’t normally think about impoverished children living on the outskirts of Disney World, but “The Florida Project” goes there and paints a thoughtful picture. The three young actors at the heart of the movie are excellent and successfully make the movie sad, entertaining, and relatable.
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