Top 10 Best Films of 2017

BLADE RUNNER 2049

Despite what the naysayers say, here at Reel Time we believe 2017 was a very strong year for film and a vast improvement over a lackluster 2016. Sure there have been some truly awful films this year but most are shoddy blockbusters that highlight the laziness of bigger studios aiming to have the next big film series, a trend that has continued the last few years. Compiling a list of the best films of last year was no easy task, and once whittled down to 22 potential entries it became far harder. While we could have done a list of the best 22 films of 2017, that would require a lot more writing and we don’t like you that much.

As we are based here in Ireland, many films receive different release dates than in other countries. Usually, most of the Oscar-nominated films are released a year later in the early months of Ireland so Oscar hopefuls like Lady Bird, The Shape of Water and The Post will be released here in 2018. This also leads to an overlap of certain movies released in 2016 that only came out in Ireland last year. So while we have just recently seen Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (review coming soon), we have to disregard it from our list and consider it a 2018 movie.

10. Good Time

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The Safdie brothers have built a reputation of examining the darker sides of the human condition, exclusively in New York, with an unflinching matter of fact approach. There’s certainly parallels to draw from their work to Scorsese’ earlier films such as Mean Streets where out leading characters fit in the grey area between protagonist and antagonist. Good Time is an odyssey of ineptitude and misery set to a pulsating synth soundtrack and grainy, intimate cinematography that captures the unfolding desperation on each character’s face. Robert Pattinson’s performance is a tour de force and the highlight of an already impressive film.

Read the full review Here.

9. It Comes at Night

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It Comes at Night is a tightly directed psychological horror with a superb cast and a pulsating score. Director Shults crafts a dreary, intense mood throughout. From start to finish there’s a raw sense of discomfort and uneasiness. We know nothing of these characters back stories but we know what their prime objective is, survive at all costs. You begin to understand these peoples paranoia, why they are so distant and cold. They’ve seen true horrors and lost everything. Suddenly small irregularities in characters stories begin to gnaw away in your own mind as you question what would you do in this situation, a situation where a single lapse in judgement equals death. It’s an exploration of the darker corners of our mind and how we can rationalize such thoughts.

Read the full review here.

8. Baby Driver

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Taking much inspiration from films like Bullit, The Driver, Heat, Vanishing Point, and so on, Wright sets out to make his own noir/crime tale. Much of the beats feel familiar but Wright puts his own stamp on the genre with stunning colours, quirky humour, and a pumping soundtrack. There are moments of comedy sprinkled throughout but for the most part Baby Driver is a stylish, kinetic joyride of a film with some thudding shootout scenes that would make Michael Mann blush. However, these shootout scenes pale in comparison to the films chase sequences. Edgar Wright knows his cinematic car chases and understands exactly what makes them great. Each turn and swerve is caught perfectly and the streets feel mapped out to give a sense of cinematic geography. Every moment Baby is behind the wheel sucks you right in and has you gripping to your seat. Not since Ronin have car chase sequences been this exciting.

Read the full review here.

7. Logan

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Logan is less of a superhero film and more of a character study focusing on the titular character as he’s forced to face his past and who he is. The film seems to be heavily influenced by the classic film Shane and has a western vibe to it. This bleak world looks awfully similar to the dying days of the wild west. Jackman gives one of his finest performances to date as the most vulnerable incarnation of the character we’ve seen to date. It also helps that he’s supported by the legendary Patrick Stewart who gets to play a very loosened up Charles Xavier with a foul mouth. Dafne Keen is a revelation in her film debut as Laura, she has the meanest scowl besides the main man and wonderfully acts through the majority of the film without saying a word. The perfect swan song for Jackman and the character.

Read the full review here.

6. Brigsby Bear

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There are many moments in Dave McCary’s Brigsby Bear where I was prepared for it to take a sinister turn, thankfully each time I was delighted to be proven wrong. I said earlier this year Logan Lucky was good-natured filmmaking at its finest, well Brigsby Bear is charming and endearing filmmaking at its finest. Its sincere, charming, funny, and best of all, creative. It’s an indie film with some seriously big-name writers behind it such as the Lonely Island, Chris Miller and Phil Lord (The Lego Movie).

Read the full review here.

5. The Red Turtle

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Set to the backdrop of a beautiful string Quartet, The Red Turtle is a series of moments and scenes each as poignant and eloquent as the last. By the closing moments of the film, I could feel a lump in my throat and weary eyes. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why this film hit me on such an emotional level. The ending is quite bittersweet but overall the journey this film brought me on was profound. It was an escape for eighty minutes to a moment which needed no language, words or conflict. It’s a moving canvass of surreal dreams, meditative resolve and old-fashioned cinema. To use two words I barely recognize in my vocabulary, The Red Turtle was a Sweet and somber experience.

Read the full review here.

4. Get Out

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Jordan Peele establishes himself as a real legitimate talent behind the camera here. The performances he gets out of his actors are note-perfect. The actors are going through a lot of different emotions in short periods of time here, having to move from total relaxation to mild suspicion to genuinely uncomfortable to terrified in short spans of time, and everyone sells it perfectly. They’re all working off a really brilliant script too. I haven’t seen a movie that is able to weave in foreshadowing and larger character beats this naturally into the dialogue for quite some time. It all feels very grounded and none of it comes off as forced. Even elements like the comedic side-character, something that could’ve fallen really flat in anyone else’s hands, come as a welcome relief to break up the pacing.

Read the full review here.

3. War for the Planet of the Apes

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Riveting story, rich history and stellar character development aside, War for the Planet of the Apes is a technical marvel of a film. With the best character models seen in any film to date, the motion capture is unbelievable as reality becomes blurred as you witness these talking simians. The motion capture is a surrogate for Andy Serkis and the supporting cast to transform and deliver otherworldly performances. There are so many scenes where an entire conversation takes place without a single word spoken, these actors can convey everything with simple facial expressions. Cinematographer Michael Seresin brings a dark beauty to the film with lush shots of snow-capped mountains, dense forestry, and sprawling landscapes. There’s a thrilling shot from the beginning of the film where the apes appear through the mist on horseback carrying spears and bows that had my heart thumping. Michael Giacchino produces another heart wrenching and somber score and solidifies himself as one of the best film composers alive.

Read the full review here.

2. Moonlight

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Barry Jenkins has made this film for cinema lovers. I don’t believe this is a film directed at casual audiences – not because they won’t understand it or lack the knowledge of how to enjoy it – It’s because it would be difficult for them to truly appreciate what a complete package this film is on a technical level. I cannot point out one flaw or blunder this film makes. It simply left me in awe. Every performance in Moonlight is a revelation. Each character feels so real that I had to rub my eyes and remind myself that I wasn’t in someone else’s dream. It’s easy to identify great performances but in Moonlight I was transported into this world. Mahershela Ali and Naomie Harris both give career-best performances. The diner scene in the last act is perhaps one of the greatest scenes of pure acting I’ve witnessed in a long time. The raw emotion, seamless dialogue and masterful camerawork placed me right there in the moment hanging onto every word these characters said. It is perhaps what’s not said that resonates the most in Moonlight.

Read the full review here.

1. Blade Runner 2049

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Blade Runner 2049 is a beautifully crafted film by a bunch of great filmmakers, composers and cinematographers at the top of their game. This is a visual masterpiece as Roger Deakins recreates this harsh, crowded, neon-saturated world with such panache you’ll get lost in the beauty and craftsmanship. The original might have changed how we visualized future cityscapes, while Blade Runner 2049 gives a future that reflects our own technological advancements with neon marketing distracting from the brutalist architecture on closer inspection. This world feels lived in, shaped by generations of human advancement and in other areas, neglect. It’s easily my favourite film of 2017 and while it’s too early to tell if it could be seen as a better film than the original. I’m so confident in this film I expect that those who were not fans of the original will be blown away by this fantastic sequel

Read the full review here.

 

Tweet us your #Top10 films of 2017 @ReelTimeFlicks and we’ll judge you publicly for them!

5 responses to “Top 10 Best Films of 2017

  1. Blade Runner 2049 is a great pick! It was definitely a great year in film, and 2049 was yet another high-mark. A true art piece of a movie. The other day I watched the film without sound and I was still captivated by it (I’d highly recommend trying it). I truly believe the film will be projected in an art museum one day. Roger Deakins outdid himself this time. Seriously, the man should take a freakin’ bow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some great pics. Some I need to see. It Comes at Night is one I’m eager to see. I love the fact you highlight The Red Turtle and nice to see some shoe-ins like Logan, Moonlight and Get Out (both films would probably make my own top 10).

    Liked by 1 person

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