D-Rock’s Top 10 Films of 2017

Now that 2017 has come to an end, it’s time to look back and review all the great films that came out over the course of the year.  Every year has good and bad films, but 2017 proved to be an absolutely fantastic year for cinema.

The multitude of incredible films that came out last year are astounding.  I’ll argue that 2017 is one of the best years for film this century.  The sheer quantity actually made it quite difficult for me while putting this top 10 list together, which is a very good problem to have.  I honestly can’t remember having such a difficult time making up my end of year list.  Over the last several weeks, I’ve been constantly adjusting and readjusting, shuffling films up and down.  So, after much internal debate, I present to you my list of the Top 10 Films of 2017:

#10. I, Tonya

One of the year’s most entertaining films.  Margot Robbie and Allison Janney gave what are arguably the greatest performances of their careers.  I had a hell of a lot of fun watching this film, and I can’t wait to watch it again.

#9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I’ve been a huge fan of Martin McDonagh since In Bruges in 2008.  Not a lot of people have seen, or even heard of that film, so I’m happy to see that Three Billboards is getting so much love.  This film is incredibly written, boasting some of my favorite dialogue of the year, and delivered by some of my all time favorite actors.  Anyone who likes dark comedy will love this film!

#8. Get Out

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is nothing less than perfection.  The writing and direction is flawless!  I’m sure everyone has seen Get Out by now.  This was one of the most thrilling and haunting cinematic experiences I’ve ever had.  I can’t wait to see what films Jordan Peele will give us in the years to come.

#7. Lady Bird

Like Get Out, this film marks another writing and directing debut, this time by none other Greta Gerwig.  I’ve been a fan of Greta’s for several years now.  Anyone who wants to see her acting abilities should check out Frances Ha.  This time, we got to see Greta’s talents behind the camera, and wow!  Lady Bird is one of the greatest coming of age films I’ve ever seen.  I have a special connection to this film because I grew near Sacramento and was in high school at the same time this film took place.  The nostalgia was perfect captured for me.  Much like Jordan Peele, I’m so excited for more Greta Gerwig films to come!

#6. Wind River

This film marks the third year in a row that a Taylor Sheridan written film has been released.  The notable difference this year is that he directed Wind River as well.  All of his films have a harsh brutality to them that I just can’t resist.  Obviously, I’ve been a fan of his scripts for a while now; I’m glad to say I’m a fan of him as a director as well.  Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen are both great in this neo-western that showcases the violence that still dominates certain pockets of America.

#5. Logan

In what was arguably the best year overall for comic book films, Logan sits at the very top.  The X-Men series is the longest running comic book series in the modern era, and has had its ups and downs over the years.  Luckily, the last few have been mostly ups.  After 17 years, Hugh Jackman gave his final performance as Wolverine, and it also happened to be his best.  Logan is one of those rare comic book films that dares to rise above and show the potential for what these kinds of films can be.  It’s the closest thing to The Dark Knight the X-Men series has put out, or any other comic book series for that matter.

#4. The Last Jedi

Rian Johnson’s installment in the Star Wars series wasn’t exactly what I expected, but that’s why I ended up loving it so much.  This film was so unpredictable and surprising, it was a breath of fresh air.  I could honestly go on and on about this film, but I’ll spare you that pain.  Although, if you do want a more in-depth opinion on The Last Jedi, you can click right here and see my review.

#3. The Shape of Water

Guillermo Del Toro has always been one of those hit and miss directors with me.  I’ve loved some of his films, while others, not so much.  I’m gonna go ahead and put this in my love category.  I’d say the most accurate word to describe this film is simply: magical.  This is one of those films that reminds us why we love going to the movies.  Guillermo pulled out all the stops and crafted something truly special.  From beginning to end, up and down, this film is a work of art.  The Best Picture race is tight this year, but The Shape of Water is my prediction to win.  I look forward to watching this for years to come.

#2. Dunkirk

I’ve always been a fan of World War II films, and I’m also a massive Christopher Nolan fan.  Over the years, he’s become one of my favorite filmmakers of all time.  Needless to say, when it was finally confirmed that he would be making a WWII film, I was more than ecstatic.  Dunkirk is one of those films made with a clockwork precision that is rarely seen these days.  Of course, Hans Zimmer’s musical score really plays into the “clockwork” aspect.  The tense editing has you on the edge of your seat, and the gorgeous cinematography keeps your eyes glued to the screen.  Dunkirk will go down as one of the great modern WWII films, with the likes of Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line, Schindler’s List, etc.  Christopher Nolan delivered yet another masterpiece, and one of the finest films of the year.

#1. Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner is one of cinema’s great science fiction masterpieces, so the thought of making a worthy sequel 37 years later seemed, well, impossible.  Then they announced Denis Villeneuve would be directing it, so I said to myself, “okay, maybe this can work.”  Denis is arguably the most exciting filmmaker working today.  I’ve followed his films passionately since I first saw Prisoners in 2013.  I knew he was the perfect choice to helm a sequel to Blade Runner, and I saw it first hand opening night back in October.  Blade Runner 2049 absolutely blew my mind in ways I didn’t even expect.  From its haunting score, to its visual effects, to its incredible well rounded cast, to its deep, complex story, to its absolutely jaw-dropping cinematography, this film is perfect.  I honestly can’t praise it enough.  For a film of such high anticipation to actually surpass impossible expectations is unfathomable to me.  I can’t believe they actually pulled it off.  Thank you Denis.

Okay, here are my Honorable Mentions.  These are incredible films, and it broke my heart that I couldn’t fit them into my top 10.  I know, there’s a lot.

Phantom Thread, Thor: Ragnarok, Molly’s Game, Coco, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Only The Brave, War For The Planet of the Apes, The Big Sick, John Wick: Chapter 2, T2: Trainspotting, Colossal, Baby Driver, Atomic Blonde, Raw, Split, Good Time, Band Aid, Call Me By Your Name, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Brigsby Bear, It, Logan Lucky, The Post, All the Money in the World, mother!


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