Because I like to rank things, here are the movies I saw in the theater in 2017 in order from best to worst.
These first two films are separated by mere millimeters.
They’re both amazingly good, and easily the best 2017 had to offer.
1) Blade Runner 2049
2) T2 Trainspotting
Blade Runner 2049 had it all: the story, the visuals, and the heart. A movie about non-humans somehow was one of the most touching films I saw all year.
T2 Trainspotting was the rare sequel that lived up to the original. Revisiting this gang twenty-some years later brought up a ton of memories and emotions from the time in my life when the first came out. Maybe nostalgia blinded me a little, but I thought it was great.
The distance between 2 & 3 is probably a centimeter, and then again nothing more than a millimeter is between 3 & 4.
3) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Three Billboards knocked me on my ass. I cannot imagine the grief a parent goes through after losing a child. But to lose a child in such a horrifically violent manner? I both laughed and welled up. Blade Runner 2049 and Logan will get ignored at the Golden Globes and Oscars because they’re sci-fi and comic book films, respectfully. Hopefully Three Billboards takes advantage of those slights. And speaking of…
…Logan. What a great swan song for Hugh Jackman. If losing a child is tough—the aforementioned Three Billboards—finding, and then losing a parent must be equally as difficult. Three Billboards was funny and touching; Logan was violent and touching. Both of them just fantastic movies.
Here’s where it gets difficult.
I think I have to have a several-way tie in position 5, because they’re all so fucking good. Also: just like previously explained, the 5 position is a mere millimeter below the four position. These films just…
…it was a great year for movies, and I actually don’t like ranking these so “low,” because they all deserve to be at the top of the pyramid.
5) Spider-Man Homecoming/Dunkirk/Thor Ragnarok
Spider-Man was everything you wanted out of a Spider-Man movie. Dunkirk I’ve already written about, and Thor? When was the last time the third movie in a series was better than the first? Come on… that just doesn’t happen.
From here, we move into more traditional rankings. Maybe a half-inch separates 6 from 5.
6) American Made
Tom Cruise spends so much time playing action heroes, people forget he’s a Goddamn great actor. American Made is Cruise at his best: being human. You can’t relate to Ethan Hunt in the Mission Impossible series, but you can absolutely relate to Barry Seal, his everyman in American Made. This movie should have absolutely made more money; had more eyeballs on it.
Maybe an inch separates 7 from 6
7) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
GOTG 2 was fun. I liked it a lot. But, when compared with the other films on the list? Yeah… hate to say it, but it loses out.
8) The Disaster Artist
Another great film, but in a great year, great wasn’t good enough. Highly recommend, though.
Here’s where it starts to fall off.
If the distance between 6 and 5 is a half-inch, a foot separates 9 from 8.
9) John Wick Chapter 2
Enjoyable, but the magic from the first was lost. Definitely felt like a sequel. I’ll see “Chapter 3” if they make it, but I’m not anticipating it like I was Chapter 2. By the end of the film, things got a little silly. The magic of the first was in that it created a world you didn’t know existed. In Chapter 2, it seems like fucking everyone in NYC is in that world, which makes it less special.
10) Kingsman: The Golden Circle
See above. Only if they make a part 3, I’ll wait for HBO or Netflix.
11) Star Wars VIII The Last Jedi
It wasn’t a bad film, it just wasn’t a great film.
So much out there outshone it. I’m actually sad to see it this far down the list. I expected more out of Rian Johnson. I also wrote out my thoughts about Last Jedi already, so nothing more really needs said here.
Watchable is about what I’d rank this film. The entire time I was thinking, “OK, the actors are all great, I just don’t care. I literally do. Not. Care.” Then I got the flu and binged Stranger Things and thought, “See, this is what IT should have been.”
There you have it.
Bring on 2018, and Avengers, Infinity War!