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Top 11 Movies of 2017

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  • On 30/01/2018

2017, as is the case with any other year, has brought us a variety of movies, some great, some bearable and some completely unwatchable. I've seen quite a few movies from this particular year, and though I wouldn't hail it as the year of movies, I've got quite a few favourites.

Below I've listed my top 11 favourite movies in descending order. These are not only measured by bias, but by the dramatic arc metric; exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution. Read more on why I chose these movies below!

This list merely consists of Hollywood movies. Indie and foreign language films will be included in a seperate list.

11. IT

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"Richie on the other hand is a smart-mouthed schmuck who slyly assumes leader-of-the-pack. He says things like "I drew the short stick, you were lucky we weren't measuring d****" out of nowhere, so you can imagine the chaotic mess he is. His banter flows throughout the film, complementing Eddie's rants. The overwhelming comic relief is wryly balanced out by the more tuned kids; who willfully commit to their individual sombre, depressed, apprehensive and quiet personalities."

Full review: IT, 2017

10. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

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"The world-building in this movie is as believable as can get. This is an important aspect to check-off for such a movie. A mystery/thriller, with elements of horror, is often tough to crack as the pacing of the movie depends on how believable the setting, then story and characters, is. Sacred Deer's production design and ghostliness thereof is on the same standard as movies such as Fincher's Gone Girl and Villeneuve's Arrival. Goes without saying that this is the movie to envy from 2017 as far as overall aesthetic goes."

Full review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer, 2017

9. War for the Planet of the Apes

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"War for the Planet of the Apes doesn't shy away from otherwise polemical grounds. It juxtaposes humanity against other lifeforms through a Civil Rights and slavery discussion. The film stands firm in its astute to exhibit a Hitler-era reality on a 2017 screen. Who would have thought Hollywood would allow such a controversial theme on screen in this time where popflicks thrive? This film only wishes to bring humans to question themselves and their moral standing. To come to peace with the writhing ego of the human, so to be able to confront and think beyond ourselves and the belief that we're the only relevant live force. And it serves the tea hot and steaming! The Samian virus has mutated and is now attacking human ability; cutting off the ability to speak, to think logically, altogether- one human at a time. This of course causes the humans to begin doing away with their own who are infected, so to contain the virus. Oh, how predictable and fragile we are."

Full review: War for the Planet of the Apes, 2017

8. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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"The Last Jedi’s primary theme is about breaking away from the past in order to create a new future & there are many references to this including one very powerful line from Kylo Ren where he says “Let the past die…kill it if you have to”. Rian Johnson understood that he had to create something that would propel the future of the Star wars franchise forward in an attempt to keep it relevant & give a chance for its new protagonists to get out of the shadow of the original pillars of the Star wars universe (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back & the Return of the Jedi). The film also had to avoid the pitfalls of the Force awakens which was heavily criticized for being a simple “rehash” of a New Hope. With that in mind we finally realize that every plot twist within the film is a purposeful attempt to ensure that The Last Jedi creates an identity of its own without borrowing from previous Star wars films e.g. The Empire Strikes Back."

Full review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 2017

7. Wind River

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"Wind River is a chilling story by Taylor Sheridan, set in a small, lonely and frosty Wyoming reservation, where a murder mystery quickly unfolds. It's one of those quiet works of art which are prone to getting overlooked solely based on the misconceptions surrounding it. I for one didn't expect this story to unfold in the manner that it did and, boy, was I thrilled that I'd finally taken time to watch it. Not many thrillers are done to perfection like this one. Wind River is scorchingly poetic, its darkness is supported by wide landscapes captured masterly by the cinematographer."

Full review: Wind River, 2017

6. I, Tonya

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"The film is an allegory on pure instinct and natural selection. Tonya, from a small age, is bred and moulded to be brute in her manner; callous, numb and calculating. Her mother, depicted brilliantly by Allison Janney, is as feral and plain cold. The abuse which habitually unfolds within the Harding household is normalised so much that the audience only cringes at it in the beginning. As the movie progresses, the audience is conditioned into dismissing the abuse as customary. This speaks to the extent of the programming and manipulation the victim endures pre-abuse, that they quickly learn to adapt to and fall into route of it."

Full review: I, Tonya (2017)

5. Mudbound

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"It is a historical drama that feels more contemporary than it is a war confessional and simulator, and that's perhaps the most jarring, remarkable aspect of the film. I especially appreciate that a movie made in 2017, the fast-pacedness film has maintained in this decade alone, can be so gutsy as to tone down a bit and fold into itself for the better of the film. It is a confessional nonetheless, aided by chilling voiceovers coated in bitterness, brood and vengeance."

Full review: Mudbound, 2017

4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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"The comedy never waters down the genuine sorrow the characters go through, just the same way a bit of salt would enhance the sweetness in sugar. The writer works well with the director and cinematographer to bring through the same inadequacies that the characters feel to the visuals. The camera is precise in its ambivalence. The site shots are either too far or too close, and somewhat always have a slant to them. The camera is hesistant to juxtapose the character against the environment they're in that moment, which makes audience both assess the person in question and the setting. I thought it to be a brilliant way to say: we can never be sure of anything, we can never let our guard down, thus we're never safe."

Full review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

3. Darkest Hour

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"The writing coupled with a rythmic, poetic dialogue, is undoubtedly the films biggest feat. The cast come as a secret weapon, all outstandingly living up to their respective roles. The film is unbelievably intense and thrilling, all thanks to the commitment by the awe-producing cast. You simply go through a moment in time watching this film. It is as mythological as it is historic. You could close your eyes and picture slow-motion gods floating about the screen as each of the cast rage through their impassioned monologues."

Full review: Darkest Hour, 2017

2. Blade Runner 2049

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"Blade Runner is a  beautiful neo noir cyber punk film drenched in melancholy & existential angst which has the perfect balance of intimacy seen in indie films whilst also having that explosive essence usually associated with mainstream block busters. Dennis Villeneuve showcases why he his a master at making thoughtful science fiction films that challenge the audience's perceptions of what it means to be human & whether or not an artificially created being can possess a soul of their own. This is highlighted through our journey with Officer K who is constantly seeking purpose and meaning in a world where his existence is just seen as means to an end. The further his investigation continues into the film the more astounding revelations begin to make him question his own identity in this dark world. I really fell in love with this character as I found that I could personally relate to his outsider complex & sorrowful persona."

Full review: Blade Runner 2049, 2017

1. Dunkirk

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"There are various plots explored in the short time that Dunkirk plays. All these short stories are given but a mere few seconds on screen at a time- so to build up the suspense. This makes the audience feel like they're slowly falling into danger, just as the performers on screen are. None of the known actors are given special attention, or any real big piece of the storyline, but Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy's apperances are well appreciated."

Full review: Dunkirk, 2017

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