Wild About Movies brings you the Top 10 Movies of 2017 by Tim Nasson and Dylan Tracy.
There were 724 movies released in theaters in 2017, 341 movies which were eligible for 2018 Best Picture, Actor, Actress and other major Oscar nominations. (To be eligible for 90th Academy Awards consideration, feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County by midnight, December 31, and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days). We’ve picked our favorites from the list of 341.
To find out which 2017 Movies have been nominated for 2018 Oscars visit our 2018 Oscar Nominations page.
1. The Shape of Water
Written and directed by Guillermo del Torro The Shape of Water is, by far, a piece of cinematic genius. The performances, especially by Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon are Oscar worthy. As is the film’s cinematography, original score and costume design. The Shape of Water earned the most Oscar nominations of 2018, thirteen.
2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Twenty one years ago, (1996), Frances McDormand won her first Oscar for Fargo. And just as surely as the sun will rise in the east tomorrow, she will win her second Oscar for Three Billboards, for her role as a mother hell-bent on getting justice for her daughter who was recently raped, murdered and then burned (or burned and then murdered?), even if it means going up against the whole, seemingly incompetent, police department in her town, Ebbing, Missouri. The plot twists and turns from the beginning until the very under, under the brilliant direction of Irish director, Martin McDonagh, who has crafted one of the most spellbinding screenplays of the past decade. Sam Rockwell, who plays Dixon, the racist, violent officer in the department is equally as mesmerizing in his role and has a lock on Oscar too.
3. Molly’s Game
Jessica Chastain is a good girl gone bad in this film with all the glamour, sass, and confidence of a true bad ass chick…and who doesn’t love a movie with a strong female lead? Molly’s Game is the true life account of former Olympic skier Molly Bloom, who turned to the world of underground gambling after moving to Los Angeles upon a career ending accident. Brown ran two underground poker games attracting high profile actors, athletes, businessmen, and mobsters, garnering thousands of dollars in her share of the game. However, it was only a matter of time before the FBI caught up with Ms. Brown, and her glamours scheme was ended. Molly’s Game captures viewers attention so well, you don’t want to miss a single detail out of fear of missing something important. It’s one of those films that you can’t believe is based on true events, but are so intrigued by the story it leaves you wanting to know more about the subject of the film.
4. Call Me By Your Name
Adapted for the big screen by 90 year old James Ivory (director of the classic Oscar winners and nominees A Room With A View, Howard’s End and Remains of the Day), is not the type of movie that comes along often. Is Call Me By Your Name overrated? Yes. Definitely. But it is also a masterpiece. Armie Hammer is miscast. While a nice guy, he is not a great actor. And Timothee Chalamet, the star of the film, runs circles around him in every scene. Rightfully so, Chalamet will earn a 2018 Best Actor Oscar nomination (he earned a Golden Globe nomination and SAG nomination for the role). In addition, it is supporting roles like the one that Michael Stuhlbarg plays in Call Me By Your Name that give meaning to the definition Best Supporting Actor. The heart wrenching scene at the end of the movie where Stuhlbarg’s character sits with his son, (Chalamet), pouring out his heart, bonding with his son, is pure magic.
5. I, Tonya
For the movie I, Tonya, Margot Robbie earned a well deserved Best Actress Oscar nomination for playing Tonya Harding, the reviled rival of Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan. What takes this movie to another level is the performance of soon to be Oscar winner Allison Janney, who plays Tonya’s white trash, foul mouthed mother with such verisimilitude. Yes, just like Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell, who are bound for Oscar glory for their roles in Three Billboards, Janney is, as well, for her captivating performance in I, Tonya. However, it’s not just the acting that makes I, Tonya stand out. The screenplay is one of the best of the year, yet was overlooked by Oscar voters.
Stephen Chbosky truly is the puppet-master of the human heart strings. We were first exposed to his work with The Perks of Being a Wallflower, another strong, heartfelt, tearjerker involving an outcast character finding himself in adolescence. Wonder puts us in the shoes of a young boy born with a facial deformity who has never been exposed to the world of public school, and takes us on a journey through the highs and lows of maneuvering his new world. There is something about Chbosky’s work in which he is able to identify with each and every one of us, no matter who we are, and remind us that in some point in time we have all felt different.
7. Phantom Thread
Daniel Day Lewis alleges that Phantom Thread is his last movie. While that remains to be seen, the three time Best Actor Oscar winner (My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood, Lincoln) shines in his Best Actor Oscar nominated performance in Phantom Thread. In 1950s London, Reynolds Woodcock (Day-Lewis) is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who becomes his muse and lover. Were it not for Gary Oldman, who is a shoo-in to win the Best Actor Oscar for his role as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, (a movie that makes it on our Honorable Mention list) Day-Lewis most likely would have earned a record breaking fourth Oscar for acting. (No male actor has ever won four). He plays his role in Phantom Thread with such reticence that it almost seems effortless. There may not be a living actor who can morph from one type of role (that of President Abraham Lincoln) to another (a 50s dressmaker) so effortlessly. Paul Thomas Anderson’s direction earned a Best Director Oscar nod. In addition, the film earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination.
Coco, the latest Pixar masterpiece goes where no major motion picture released by any U.S. studio has ever gone before, aspiring child musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer. Not since Dinsey’s Fantasia, have colors and music come together to explode on the big screen in such a eye-opening way. Disney and Pixar took a big risk tackling a subject that most who see the movie are not familiar with, but the gamble paid off in spades. Like all Pixar movies, Coco captivates adults with its brilliant screenplay and animation, but kids will be bewitched by the film’s colors, music, and hero, Miguel.
9. The Disaster Artist
They say that truth is stranger than fiction and with The Disaster Artist, based on the life of the very strange actor and director Tommy Wiseau, that adage couldn’t be truer. James Franco directed, stars as Tommy Wiseau, one of the craziest people to ever invade Hollywood. The Disaster Artist tells the story of aspiring actor Greg Sestero (played by Dave Franco, James’s younger brother), who befriends the eccentric Tommy Wiseau. The two travel to L.A, and when Hollywood rejects them, Tommy decides to write, direct, produce and star in their own movie with money (more than $5 million) that no one can figure out where he got. That movie is The Room, which has attained cult status as the “Citizen Kane” of bad movies. The Disaster Artist, on the other hand, will go down in history as one of the most underrated, and best movies based on a true story ever made.
10. Atomic Blonde
Charlize Theron is one of the world’s most underrated actresses. In Mad Max: Fury Road, she stole the film, deserving an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. In Atomic Blonde, one of the year’s most pleasant surprises, yet one of the year’s most underrated films, she shines brighter than a Harvest Moon. Theron plays an undercover MI6 agent who is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recovers a missing list of double agents. There hasn’t been an espionage thriller as perfect in every sense as Atomic Blonde in at least twenty years, and that includes all James Bond and Jason Bourne movies that have been released in that time frame.
Graphic violence, foul language, superb screenplay, a career launching performance by twelve year old Dafne Keen, (she doesn’t utter a word for the first half of the film, conveying everything that needs to be expressed with her eyes and other facial expressions that most adult actors can’t). A stand-alone X-Men movie, featuring Wolverine, Logan is by far the best action movie of 2017 and proof that R-Rated movies based on comic books can and do well at the box office. The film earned over $225 million at the U.S. box office, and over $600 million worldwide. Will we ever see Wolverine again on the big screen? Who knows? But we can only hope for a spin-off featuring Keen’s character, Laura.
Honorable Mention: Thelma, Wonder Woman, Wind River, All The Money In The World, Victoria & Abdul, The Florida Project, Foxtrot, BPM, Girls Trip, Hostiles, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk
Most Overrated Movies of 2017: Get Out, Lady Bird, Baby Driver, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Detroit, The Big Sick
Most Underrated Movies of 2017: Home Again, Logan Lucky, Novitiate, The Ballad of Lefty Brown
Worst Movies of 2017: Downsizing, CHiPs, mother!, The Dark Tower, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Snatched, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Justice League, The Snowman