My Ten Favorite Movies of 2017 – So Far

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I have lots of room in my heart for “mainstream” movies. You know, the ones people actually watch. I saw a film aficionado’s list of the 50 Best Movies of the 21st Century recently and suddenly felt terribly unsophisticated. Not only hadn’t I seen a single one, I’d never even heard of most of them. None was from America, and virtually all were darkly Freudian; not a comedy in the bunch. It was a classic example of the “if it’s popular, it’s not art” mindset.

So, back to my plebian tastes. I do see some “art films” and quite a few indies. But I also appreciate well-crafted Hollywood movies. I’m not a critic, so I don’t see everything released. I haven’t seen Baywatch, for example, and don’t plan to (pretty sure I wouldn’t like it). But neither have I seen Baby Driver, which is reportedly terrific (simply haven’t gotten to it yet). Finally, like most plebes, I vacillate toward seeing “big movies” at theaters and “little movies” at home, so my Little Movies (below) were mostly released last year.

My highly subjective So Far list:

Big Movies

The Lego Batman Movie – Same frenetic energy, pop culture gags, and covert sweetness as the original Lego Movie. Those little plastic bricks have heart, y’all!

Logan – Wolverine and Professor X as we’ve never seen them before. This is not a “super-hero” movie, it’s a drama with Oscar-worthy performances.

Wonder Woman – Proof that DC has finally figured how to combine wowie f/x with worthy thematic content (female empowerment, self-sacrifice, forgiveness)?

Spider-Man: Homecoming – Who knew this constantly rebooted franchise needed another reboot? Marvel did. After getting back the rights, they refused to muffin pan the kid, insisting on giving  him a nerdy sweetness all his own, with the help of a surrogate dad–Ironman!

War for the Planet of the Apes – The completion of an almost miraculous trilogy—not a reboot, a rethink—War is really a character-driven survival story. The mo-capped Caesar’s performance (Andy Serkis) is as richly subtextual as any inspired live actor’s. Others, a brutal human of the dying era (Woody Harrelson), a heart-piercing little girl who is probably the precursor of the future (and another trilogy), and a proto-Roddy McDowall named Bad Ape, add richness to my favorite movie of the year. So far.

Little Movies

Remember – Respected Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan keeps us perpetually off-balance in this artfully character-driven thriller about an aging Holocaust survivor’s eleventh hour revenge quest.

My Life as a Zucchini – This stop-motion animated flick is a bit off-putting at first, but the surprisingly adult (drugs, suicide) story about orphans in France is emotionally nuanced and deeply affecting.

The Founder – Michael Keaton, as McDonald’s “founder” Ray Kroc, is brilliant, as is the rest of the cast, including Nick Offerman (who’s determined to appear in nearly every movie made). You won’t like Ray, but you’ll understand him. And you’ll be disturbed. Which is the whole point.

When Marnie was There – Co-writer/director Hiromasa Yonebayashi is the spiritual successor to anime genius Hayao Miyazaki, “the Walt Disney of Japan.” Half ghost story and half coming-of-age tale, Marnie draws us toward an unexpected conclusion that mirrors the bittersweetness of real life.

The Accountant – So much smarter and thematically nuanced than anyone expected, The Accountant may have been last year’s least appreciated Hollywood movie. And, yes, Ben Affleck can act. When he wants to.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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20 Responses to My Ten Favorite Movies of 2017 – So Far

  1. smzang says:

    I loved the Accountant…It was not what I expected it to be but it really touched me.
    (I’ll add one) Collateral Beauty was very good (in my opinion)
    Over the Rhine was the best

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jrusoloward says:

    The only ones I’ve seen are Wonder Woman, Spider-man: Homecoming, and The Lego Batman Movie and I loved them all. Wonder Woman surprised me the most.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. robertcday says:

    Loved all the blockbuster ones. Never heard of any of the others. Could have done with links to the Wikipedia or IMBD or homepages of the movies. Always want to explore stuff like that. 🙂
    Lovely, informative article – I like stuff like this, Mitch – thanks.
    KIndness – Robert.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Edward says:

    Now I have to check out some of these since you are spot on with the Planet of the Apes series!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. beigebirds says:

    I absolutely love one of the last lines in War of The Planet of the Apes. I won’t ruin it with a horrible paraphrase, but the use of the word “father” instead of leader captures the very essence of Caesar and highlights just great writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really like to watch movies…. popcorn and all. Thanks for the reviews as I’ve only seen one of these – The Accountant. It was surprisingly very good!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Squidbee says:

    Logan and Spider-man: Homecoming were both fantastic movies, and I can not wait until the next Spider-man movie. I still have yet to see the noir version of Logan, but judging from the screenshots it looks great.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. After reading this I might actually have to get off my butt and see some of these.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. cigarman501 says:

    I gotta get out more….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. evailasite says:

    I find sector little movies so inspiring, need to see them all!
    Greetings,
    E.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. raenegade says:

    Only seen Wonder Woman and it was great. Looking forward to Remember and The Founder. Thank you for the recommendations 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. KinjalParekh says:

    Adding few on my list! Thankyou for this!!
    Also, two of my all time favourite movies, which probably you might like too;
    1. The Dead Poet’s Society
    2. Patch Adams
    Thanks 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. alexankarr1 says:

    Isn’t Logan a Marvel film? Or am I wrong? Slightly bewildered here.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ekurie says:

    I think they’ll never stop making planet of the apes movies. I find them creepy but no one else seems to.

    Liked by 1 person

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