Alternative Top 10 Films of 2017 (Runner Ups #20 -#11)
I started this tradition 2 years ago, when I saw so many movies in 2015 that loved with a great passion, that it felt wrong to not mention them in my best of the year list. So, I created this Alternative Top 10 list, which is basically my runners up list. It also functions as a list you can pick and chose from and add to my Top 10 to create a list you are satisfied with. I have just about as much love for these films, as the films in my Top 10 lists and I would be perfectly OK with any of these representing my favorite films of 2017. So, lets get to it shall we, here are the films that just missed my top 10 list.
20. Girls Trip
2017 was the year of the women and that didn’t couldn’t be more obvious then in the movies of 2017. Take for example one of the best comedies of the year, Girls Trip. This film about a group of women, who were former College roommates and haven’t seen each other in years, who go on a trip to Brazil. It had me laughing so hard I cried more than a few times. Anchored by a great cast, which includes Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and the sublime Tiffany Haddish, this film just throws everything at the screen and see’s what sticks. Not everything works (a dance off was just laugh out loud bad), but when it does land, it hits hard. One scene involving a banana and a grapefruit, which finally showed us that the ladies can do the dirty comedy, just as well as the men, left me in a puddle of mirth on the floor!
19. Guardians of the Galaxy 2
I will be the first person to tell you that I am completely burned out with superhero movies. That said, 2017 was a surprisingly solid year for them. One of the reasons I say that, was this brilliant and funny as hell, sequel to the brilliant and funny as hell original. For once a sequel understands everything, that made the first so good and not only gives us more of that, but also takes it in new directions that work as well. The movie is full of great actions scenes, deeper plot development and a story that is tons of fun. It also has the pleasure of having the comedic brilliance that is former WWE superstar Dave Bautista, who steals the show. I loved everything about this sequel, making this series Marvel’s crown jewel.
Speaking of great superhero movies in 2017, here was another, one that flipped the game and did something fresh. Following Deadpool’s lead from last year, Logan was the R rated Wolverine movie we have all been begging to have for years now. Yet, that is not the only thing Logan did different either. Setting the film deep into the future, where the world has had enough with the mutants and has acted, leaving Logan and a dying Professor X (an excellent Patrick Stewart) on the run. The movie looks at the dark side of the superhero world, mimicking the way the real world often quickly turns on all its heroes. Dark and original, Logan was a breath of fresh air, right when we needed it. Now if only, all superhero movies can fully suit.
17. Kong: Skull Island
My most guilty pleasure of 2017 cinema, was this loving ode to the action films of the 70’s and the Japanese monster movies from back in the day. Sometimes you just want to have fun watching a movie and for me this was a total blast. I loved everything about it, from it is 70’s style filming (a scene late in the film with Samuel L Jackson, perfectly sums this up!), its over the top action (done correctly, take note Michael Bay!) and especially its massively over sized ape (the first look at these beast is breathing taking!). This film doesn’t take itself seriously for a second and that had some critics wanting to burn it at the stake. Not me though, I just gave in and let the wonders of this gem, absorb me completely. A total trip!
Coco was a bit of an odd film in the Pixar cannon. In many ways it is like your typical and brilliant Pixar classics (great concept, delightful story, heart tugging scenes), yet in many ways it wasn’t like them at all (a bit of a slow middle act, lack of our right lovable characters). Thought it may not have stuck with me as deeply as some of the Pixar classics, this was still a truly touching tale, filled with some wonderful animation and a few moments that will stick with you (a song between two family members deep in the film, will wreck anyone). I feel like this is the kind of movie that will find a core audience, that will rank it amongst Pixar’s best and even though that will not include me, I wouldn’t really complain about that too much. Coco was still easily the best animated movie of 2017 and a strong entry in the Pixar filmography.
Katherine Bigelow’s intense, dark and terrifying new film, that takes place in the 70’s based on a real-life story about some corrupt cops in the title city. Despite the fact that it takes place in the 70’s, it was timelier then ever, with the recent headlines, over the last few years. The film has a different type of structure than most films and was very well shot and filmed. Its filmed with a gritty style, giving a sense of realism, making it feel like you are right there, experiencing the events for yourself. This film looks at the dark side recent America’s history with racism and further proves that somethings never change, no matter how hard, we try to act like they have. This was a powerful film.
14. The Big Sick
This years best romantic comedy is this tail of the romance between a Pakistan born aspiring comic, who hooks up with a grad student at one of this sets, expecting it to be a one-night stand. When things start to get serious between the two, both most confront the expectations that are laid on them by their parents. Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan both give wonderful, grounded performances, really bringing the real-life story of Nanjiani’s courtship of his real wife, the Kazan’s character in the film. Supporting work from Holly Hunter and the excellent Ray Romano help anchor this film, providing many truthful moments. Mostly this is just the excellent story of modern day love and how timing can mean everything. Its wonderful.
13. Lady Bird
The critical darling of this year’s award season, was this coming of age story about the relationship of a mother and daughter, who couldn’t be more different. I didn’t fall head over heels with it as many did, but I still found it to be a wonderful tale, that really captures the struggles of teenage life, both for the teenage themselves and the parents tasked with raising them. Saoirse Ronan the title character of the film, gives an excellent and layered performance, showcasing the hardships that often come with going through high school. Laurie Metcalf plays the mother and she is sensational, an honest but loving woman, who is starting to show the signs of wear and tear of raising a teenage girl. I may not find Lady Bird to be the masterpiece so many critics have declared it but I can’t deny that director Greta Gerwig has made great portrait of the struggle many women will go through, from both sides.
12. Wind River
Here is the years most underrated film, a cold dark thriller, that The Snowman wises it could have been. Dealing with the murder of a young Native American woman. Jeremy Renner plays a veteran tracker working with the Fish and Wildlife service, who has the weight of another tragedy on his shoulder. When a young female cop (a solid as always Elizabeth Olsen) comes to investigate the murder, Renner’s character see’s the chance to right the wrong that has haunted him for years now. This film has some of the years best cinematography, brilliantly showcasing the stunning snow-covered wilderness, forcing it to act like another character in the movie. A smart tight screenplay by director Taylor Sheridan keeps things engaging throughout and more than a few twists to keep you guessing. This film hardly got the attention it deserved during its summer release and that is a real shame as this is a stone-cold gem.
11. Baby Driver
This literally pains me to leave of my Top 10 list, because I loved this film so much! Right from its brilliant and breath taking opening chase scene (that tells you everything you need to know about this film), to the final quiet moments, this film had my attention. A wicked action movie that calls back to the pulp fiction of the 90’s films, director Edgar Wright puts all the Fast and the Furious films to shame. Not only that, this is one of the most beautifully shot films of the year two, with many moments in this film, that could be taken out as picture of striking beauty ( just look at the scene where baby goes to get coffee, for a perfect example of this). I truly loved every heart pumping moment of this smart and breath-taking film and truly feel that it could have ranked on just about any other years Top 10 list. This is what sucks about making lists!