Note: Instead of having 20 different columns with “Top 10” lists, this year I had a bunch of the staff do more simple lists, so I could present them here all at once. Most people stuck to the rules, but a couple of people (I’m not mentioning names, Mr. Cato and Mr. Perron) decided to do things their own way. So here’s the rest of our staff’s choices for the Best Movies of 2017, so we can get back to normal reviews. They are printed here in the order I received them.
The only list still coming is a list of Best Blu-Rays of 2017 by William Carl, coming next week) ~ Your Humble Editor
Steve Van Samson’s Top Movies of 2017
Ten: JOHN WICK 2
Seven: WONDER WOMAN
Six: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
Four: GET OUT
Three: THOR: RAGNAROK
Two: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
One: KONG: SKULL ISLAND
(Steve writes the column Monochrome Manor here at Cinema Knife Fight)
Dan Keohane’s Top 10 Films of 2017
Ten: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
Nine: A GHOST STORY
Eight: THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Six: BLADE RUNNER 2049
Five: WONDER WOMAN
Three: BABY DRIVER
Two: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 2
One: THOR: RAGNAROK
I know, at the end of 2016, I also had not yet seen the new STAR WARS movie. Shamefully, it’s the same situation in 2017. I’m certain it would have been on my Top 10. There are many others I want to see and will, likely, over the next couple of months leading up the Academy Awards. The list above is as honest as I can make it. THOR: RAGNAROK takes the top spot. Even with me having high expectations, it exceeded them. I laughed all the way through, thoroughly entertained. I could say a lot about these films, but have limited space. Kudos to the top films on my almost-list: DUNKIRK, GET OUT and SPLIT. Enjoyed them, but not quite as much as these ten. Special shout-out to Sam Rockwell for his amazing performance in THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. If he doesn’t take the Oscar this March, it will be a shame.
(Dan writes reviews of mostly new movies and science fiction films for CKF)
Nick Cato’s Top 5 Films of 2017
As a retro film reviewer and lover, I only got to see about 15 new films this past year. I enjoyed DUNKIRK and a couple others well enough (and of course I have a list of about two dozen more I’d like to see), but the five that made the biggest impression on me in 2017 were:
1-mother!: Some say it’s pretentious, some say a bunch of nonsense, but this one dragged me back to the theater for a second viewing. Fantastic performances all around; easy-to-digest symbolism, yet still conducive to conversation; and dazzling camerawork highlight the coolest film to play multiplexes in ages. A genuine, modern cult classic that has strongly divided audiences.
2-GET OUT: I had no idea where this was going, but was totally satisfied when the reveal came. An incredible debut feature from director Jordan Peele, it cleverly handles a racial plot and drives home the Twilight Zone-type chills.
3-68 KILL: Crazier than PULP FICTION, nuttier than most TROMA films, sexier than a Cinemax “erotic thriller,” this violent, modern noir is all that and a bag of body parts. Insanely entertaining.
4-THE DEVIL’S CANDY: I absolutely hate when heavy metal music is used in serious horror films. It often turns things campy and silly. But director Sean Byrne figured out a way to make the heavy soundtrack aid in his twisty terror tale. Despite a hard-to-swallow finale, this is one of the best heavy metal-themed horror films yet.
5-THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ: Finally released this year in the USA through the streaming service Shudder, this 2015 Spanish film (sorry LL!) is a non-stop suspense-fest: when a famous movie star suddenly dies, a morgue attendant allows his two friends in to see her body. As far as films dealing with necrophilia go, director Hector Hernandez Vicens manages to keep things as “classy” as possible and, instead of going for the gross out, employs a brutal suspense level that literally had me on the edge of my seat for half the film. A true gem I hope many will seek out. Even if you hate subtitles, give this a shot. Trust me!
(Nick writes the column Suburban Grindhouse Memories for CKF)
Barry Lee Dejasu’s Top 10 List
(In Reverse Order of Viewing)
Ten: THE SHAPE OF WATER
Nine: STAR WARS, EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI
Eight: THOR: RAGNAROK
Seven: BLADE RUNNER 2049
Six: IT, PART 1
Five: BABY DRIVER
Four: WONDER WOMAN
Three: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 2
One: GET OUT
It’s hard to pick favorites out of even these ten films. Fortunately, every one of these films are so different from one another that it’s impossible to compare them to one another. (And as usual, there were many films that I wanted to see in the theater, but didn’t get around to seeing – yet.) Also, few HONORABLE MENTIONS: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, ATOMIC BLONDE, PROFESSOR MARSTEN AND THE WONDER WOMEN, and JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE.
(Barry writes the column Scoring Horror for CKF, where he interviews film composers)
Daniel Robichaud’s Top 10 List
Ten: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Nine: JUSTICE LEAGUE
Eight: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
Seven: WE ARE THE FLESH
Six: THOR: RAGNAROK
Five: HIDDEN FIGURES
Four: GET OUT
Three: THE DEVIL’S CANDY
Two: THE UNTAMED
One: WONDER WOMAN
(Daniel is one half of the duo that writes Alamo Cinema Massacre for CKF)
Phillip Perron’s List of the Best Genre Films of 2017
ANOTHER EVIL– This one has been considered a horror comedy, but it is really a straight horror film with some drama and black comedy as elements. Basically, a reknowned painter’s second home appears to be haunted, and so he hires a ghost hunter to help out. But he may be getting more than he desires.
HOUNDS OF LOVE– This is an Australian film about a young couple who kidnaps young women. The question is whether their latest victim can find a way out before it is too late.
IT COMES AT NIGHT – A solid post-apocalyptic film that focuses more on the interactions of the survivors without getting into the soap opera elements that are common on shows like The Walking Dead.
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER – A medical doctor feels guilty that a patient of his dies during an operation. He befriends the man’s son only to find out that the boy personally blames him for the death. Soon the doctor has to make a harrowing decision about his own family.
THE LURE – This movie is very different, as it is a horror-musical from Poland. When two mermaids come out of the Baltic Sea, they discover their fins transform into legs. The film uses its plot as a commentary on tribalism, as well as the former communist government.
M.F.A. – Starring Clint Eastwood’s daughter in a breakthrough role, Francesca Eastwood plays an art student who is sexually assaulted. When she discovers that other victims have not had the justice they deserve, she decides to do something about it.
MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND – The movie, that takes place in Manhattan, is about a struggling immigrant woman from Spain looking for work. When her Russian friend lets her know about a gig, she discovers that the easy money that it pays isn’t all that easy.
RADIUS – This is a Canadian science fiction film that has a lot of twists. At various points it could be about an airborne bio-hazard, an unexplained phenomenal, and a serial killer … or maybe not?
WIND RIVER – Working on an Indian reservation, a Fish and Game Agent stumbles on the body of a young woman. Her death leads to the disappearance of her boyfriend, and possibly even a bigger cover-up.
WONDER WOMAN – An enjoyable Hollywood blockbuster that brings one of the most iconic superhero characters to the big screen.
(Philip writes the column Toto Mustn’t Be Destoyed! for CKF)
© Copyright 2018 by Steve Van Samson, Daniel G. Keohane, Nick Cato, Barry Lee Dejasu, Daniel R. Robichaud, and Philip Perron