A Look Back at 2017’s Best Movies

Andrew Mello and Aviv Yaacobi

This year had some great movies, so to celebrate the cream of the crop, here are each of our personal selections for the top five movies 2017 had to offer. 

#5: T2 Trainspotting

Set twenty years after the original film, T2 continues the story of a group of Scottish heroin addicts—some clean, some still using. Many of the characters exist in the same place they did twenty years ago. Trainspotting 2 bookends the story, gives an entertaining two-hour journey, and reflects on the regret that comes with watching time pass while you remain the same person. Trainspotting 2 made me think about the path I’m headed on and where that path may end—for that it deserves to be on this list.

– AM

#5: Wind River

Wind River is the story of Cory Lambert, a man who is sent to kill dangerous wild animals. While tracking them, he finds the body of a girl in the snow who was raped. This movie does not pull any punches—it shows you the full spectrum of grief that can follow after this kind of incident. The film is a fantastic thriller, making your heart race at many tense moments.

– AY

#4: Logan

I am tired of superhero movies. Every time another one comes out, I feel more and more exhausted. However, Logan is not dissimilar to 2012’s James Bond movie, Skyfall. Both include character studies of broken men shadowed by the heroes they used to be. But most importantly, to quote Evan Puschak, these two movies “reaffirm the myth” the genre used to tell. And that is what Logan is; it’s a way to tell the viewers that there is still blood to be drawn from this stone, there are still stories to be told.

– AM

#4: War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes is the third and final film of the Planet of the Apes prequel series. After Caesar and his group get attacked by the military and Caesar loses his oldest son and his wife, he goes on a path for revenge. The CGI in this movie is amazing—Caesar looks real and so does his movement—so the credit has to go to Andy Serkis for doing motion capture and acting for his character. Woody Harrelson plays the colonel very well; you just grow to hate him as he does all these terrible things to the apes. To top it all off, the ending is extremely tense and well-executed.

– AY

#3: Get Out

When you watch Get Out, you only get out what you put in. If you watch Get Out with a passive viewing mind, you won’t get much. But if you take it at more than face value, you’ll find Get Out’s conflict is not just with the body-snatching Armitage family, but with the systemic racism in this country and its sinister nature.

The scariest moment of Get Out isn’t a jumpscare, but the implications of the alternate ending director Jordan Peele originally envisioned. After the conflict and horrors are finished at the Armitage house, main character Chris is caught by the police and sentenced to prison. Even when Chris has escaped the horrors he’s survived, he is still not free.

– AM

#3: Baby Driver

Baby Driver is the story of a getaway driver known as Baby. He has tinnitus from a car crash when he was younger, so he listens to music to drown out the ringing. The music in this movie acts like its own character. The action is great—especially the car chases. The comedy is hilarious, and all in all, the movie is full of energy.

To top it all off, the cast is stocked with A-listers like Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx.

– AY

#2: Baby Driver & Logan Lucky

One of my own personal problems with modern action movies is they often don’t do enough to stand out. Baby Driver makes a point of distinguishing itself from the competition.

The main character listens to music throughout, making for some great musically tied in scenes, like a gunfight to the beat of “Tequila.” With impressive action scenes, a great soundtrack, and fun, sweet-like-candy visuals, Baby Driver is easily the best action movie of the year, impressive just by how entertaining it is. Among competition of lifeless genre fare, Baby Driver is a colorful standout worth watching.

But, Logan Lucky and Baby Driver tie for my second place on this list.

I enjoyed Logan Lucky for many of the same reasons I loved Baby Driver. The main difference between the two films is the tone they choose to utilize. Baby Driver goes into dark places with its story. Logan Lucky, however, is the least serious it can be while maintaining a captivated audience. The culmination of the plot is the most entertaining in recent years:  the robbery of a NASCAR track carried out by fools. In a word, Logan Lucky is entertaining.

– AM

#2: Logan

In Logan, the title character is old—his healing factor is failing as his adamantium skeleton is killing him.

There is so much I can say about this movie. Dafne Keen appears for the first time in a motion picture, and she plays her character amazingly, holding up very well with her more experienced co-stars. The action is great as we see how brutal Wolverine is. However, this movie is not just about amazing action—it has very touching moments that pull your heartstrings. It’s the only movie that almost made me cry this year. I have to say, Logan is the best movie I’ve seen this year, but a different movie gets my number one ranking for a special reason.

– AY

#1: Blade Runner 2049

I’ve already talked about this movie before here, but any excuse to praise it is good enough for me. Of all the movies that came out this year, Blade Runner 2049 is the most beautifully shot and told story I saw. The story is one you wouldn’t want spoiled, full of twists and turns all complemented by the amazing visuals from director Denis Villeneuve. Blade Runner 2049 is not the most fun movie of the year, but it’s the best story of the year, and for that it deserves the highest recommendation I can give it.

– AM

#1: Silent Voice

The story follows Shôya Ishida, who bullies a deaf girl in middle school. Once it’s discovered that the girl got bullied, all the other bullies throw Shôya under the bus, and he gets ostracized and bullied in return. Flash forward to the current moment and Shôya has learned sign language and tries to befriend the girl, hoping to make up for his past sins.

The reason this movie gets my top ranking is because of its unique story, because the bully is the main character, not the deaf girl, and because the animation of the movie is very clever.

– AY

Do note that I did not see everything I wanted to before the end of the year, so there are a few other films that may have made this list, such as Call Me By Your Name, Good Time, and The Disaster Artist.

– AM

A few of my honorable mentions are: John Wick 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Detroit, and Split.

– AY