Firstly, a huge thank you for every review you have read, liked, shared, commented on and even chatted to me about in person. Thanks to you and your incredible support, I had a very productive year of film watching and reviewing!
In total, I got to see and review 141 films officially released in 2017 alone, which is 15 more than I was able to see at this same time in 2016! Of these, more than 25 movies received a 4 star rating from me, so I have compiled a ‘Best 25’ list this year as well as a ‘Worst 5’.
I hope you thoroughly enjoy reading this post. I also hope you take away a handful of films to see that you’ve never previously heard of or watched!
As always, please get in touch to share your views and best & worst movies.
I look forward to your continued support and interaction in what will be an even bigger and busier year of film watching & reviewing in 2018, where I hope to review a monthly classic and bring a review or two fresh from my attendance at film festivals!
Moviedoc’s Best 25 Movies of 2017
A beautiful and meaningful story featuring a great cast that will make you cry a little but feel plenty of joy
As sweet as marmalade itself and a sequel that’s every bit as good, if not better, than the first film. Paddington is no one-trick teddy bear!
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
Arguably and in my opinion, this is the best rendition of Batman, ever! Utterly hilarious at times and scores Moviedoc’s #1 spot (just!) for best family film of 2017!
INGRID GOES WEST
All at once, this is an uncomfortably funny, dreadfully saddening and downright frightening exposé of just how far a social media addiction and obsession can take a person. Highly recommended!
A splendid drama! One of the most underrated films of 2017! If you haven’t already, it is time to unwrap this true gift of a film.
THE BIG SICK
A broadly appealing and wholly accessible romantic comedy-drama that’s not only based on a true story but even stars one of the real-life subjects; stand-up comedian, actor and writer, Kumail Nanjiani
It’s been a solid year for heist movies and this is the best of them. Flawless car chase sequences and an outstanding music score drive this slick and unique heist film. Hopefully BABY DRIVER won’t lose popularity due to co-starring Kevin Spacey, for it absolutely deserves to be seen.
Enthralling! I’ve been told those who are into TV Series “House of Cards” will want to see this. Sorry for making another connection to Kevin Spacey!
Can be a challenge to watch, especially during the first half. However, Denzel Washington’s Oscar-nominated performance playing a character he’s portrayed on Broadway 114 times before and Viola Davis’s Oscar-winning acting are so stellar in a movie that becomes absolutely riveting
Beautifully filmed and impeccably acted by one of the stand-out ensemble casts of the year. An excellent film from director Sofia Coppola.
You haven’t seen a story quite like the one told in MOONLIGHT before. This is the Best Picture Winner at the 2017 Academy Awards earlier this year. Brave and heartfelt storytelling.
A majestic and breathtaking cinematic experience. The Australian-made MOUNTAIN is 2017’s best documentary feature.
This is acclaimed Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s (THE PAST, A SEPARATION) latest feature film. An immaculately devised and strongly executed domestic drama with a gripping finale.
A minimalist war film that draws maximum anxiety and exacts a claustrophobic stranglehold over its viewers from start to end thanks largely to the ever-present score by Oscar-winning film composer, Hans Zimmer
HOUNDS OF LOVE
A similar breed of film to 2011’s SNOWTOWN, HOUNDS OF LOVE is an unnerving and tense dramatic thriller that showcases an outstanding music score, cinematography and acting. The best Australian film of 2017.
LAND OF MINE
An Oscar-nominated foreign film taking place after WWII, which depicts a group of very young German POWs sent to Denmark to clear thousands of hidden land mines. Stomach-turning tension is guaranteed.
The first-ever oil painted feature film about Vincent van Gogh is never solely limited to its visual capabilities. A sublime film.
Martin Scorsese’s passion project and three-hour epic is a bravely written piece that is expertly penned toward the most religiously devout. A near-masterpiece.
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
The PLANET OF THE APES film series is now officially one of my favourites, if not my absolute favourite film franchise. Combines mesmerising CGI and cinematography with a powerful and relevant story that has a strong message for humankind. I just love it!
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
The storytelling structure, its well-studied account of key themes and the honesty of its writing and character depiction achieves MANCHESTER BY THE SEA A-grade status.
What happens when a close-knit group of friends meet for dinner and share every text message, email and phone call received with one another? You will want to find out! Italian comedy PERFECT STRANGERS features one of the most cleverly conceived and carefully-considered screenplay’s of the year.
Movies as genius as this are few and far between. Masterfully and studiously crafted, intelligently written and flawlessly executed, GET OUT is a broadly appealing and accessible horror film at heart that functions as a menacing mystery invite to all. If you haven’t already, please accept your invitation, pronto! You will not regret it.
Witness one of the most conceivably written, daring and exciting character transitions seen in recent years. This fierce, fearless and electrifying film turns the period drama genre on its head in near flawless fashion and is the breakout film for its star, Florence Pugh, who is scintillating. Unmissable!
The last film to receive 5 stars from me was THE HUNT in 2013! Well, it had to take something very special to break that lengthy drought. Simply put, you have never seen a film quite like DOWNSIZING before. It is extraordinary. I admired its continual refusal to yield to any form of mainstream cinema convention, despite being a mainstream-friendly release. It also unearths one of the truest & most beautifully conceived and written characters I’ve seen in any film. Hong Chau (from acclaimed TV Series Big Little Lies) is just superb as Ngoc Lan Tran, in what is one of this year’s acting highlights. Absolutely amazing in every way imaginable.
THE BEST MOVIE OF 2017
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
It took me until February, 2018 to see this sensual and picturesque masterpiece. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME not only met my high expectations, it by far exceeded them. This slow-building drama set in northern Italy during a hot summer in 1983 is so precise and honest yet powerfully subtle in its articulation of the complex emotions and sensitive scenarios involving its characters. It takes some time for the forthcoming relationship to develop, yet does so organically and in complete avoidance of all stereotypes. By the time its extraordinarily moving and meaningful finale arrives, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME simply overwhelms. The ultimate meaning and key themes of this beautifully produced film earn an equal amount of appreciation as the stunning production, stand-out score and immaculate performances achieve.
Moviedoc’s Worst 5 Movies of 2017
1 ½ stars
Not even the charismatic Dwayne Johnson can save BAYWATCH from drowning in its own dump.
1 ½ stars
Unfunny. Sexist. Nasty. Avoid!
Jigsaw may do a Jesus by way of his resurrection, however he is certainly no saviour to the eternal damnation sentenced upon the viewer in this dreadful reboot. Now, please stay dead.
Goldie Hawn should have remained in her fifteen-year movie hibernation. Terrible movie.
THE WORST MOVIE OF 2017
T H E M U M M Y
An unacceptable first instalment in Universal’s rather forced Dark Universe film series that seemingly exists purely to rival Marvel and the like. Yet sadly, THE MUMMY still grossed $409.1 million worldwide, which means there’ll probably be more to come. A score of just 5.5 on IMDB and 16% on Rotten Tomatoes more than justifies why this utterly dreadful reboot is the worst of the 141 movies released this year I have seen.
Still with me? Good! Now we go to some highlights and low-lights of 2017
The acting stand-outs of 2017
Timothée Chalamet in CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Hong Chau – DOWNSIZING
Florence Pugh – LADY MACBETH
Danielle MacDonald – PATTI CAKE$
James Franco – THE DISASTER ARTIST
Emma Booth and Stephen Curry – HOUNDS OF LOVE
Naomie Harris – MOONLIGHT
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis – FENCES
Aubrey Plaza – INGRID GOES WEST
Teresa Palmer – BERLIN SYNDROME
Barry Keoghan – THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
Sonia Braga – AQUARIUS
Oscar Isaac – SUBURBICON
Hugh Grant – PADDINGTON 2
John Lithgow and Salma Hayek – BEATRIZ AT DINNER
Nicole Kidman – THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER & THE BEGUILED
Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar – LION
Pierre Niney and Paula Beer – FRANTZ
Brian Cox – CHURCHILL
Jessica Rothe – HAPPY DEATH DAY
Tiffany Haddish – GIRLS TRIP
Sally Hawkins – MAUDIE
Hugo Weaving – JASPER JONES
Films to add to your watch list not in my Best 25 from 2017
BATTLE OF THE SEXES
A MONSTER CALLS
THE BOSS BABY
THE DISASTER ARTIST (But watch clips from YouTube of THE ROOM first, if you haven’t already seen it!)
Most over-rated and/or most disappointing films from 2017
KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
VICTORIA & ABDUL
THINGS TO COME
A CURE FOR WELLNESS
GOD’S OWN COUNTRY
A SILENT VOICE
ALONE IN BERLIN
TRESPASS AGAINST US
THE FLORIDA PROJECT
The highlights in films from 2017
Hong Chau’s character in DOWNSIZING
The uniquely hand-painted visual experience in LOVING VINCENT
The extreme slo-mo’s in HOUNDS OF LOVE
The development of the relationship and the first intimate scene between Elio and Oliver in CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
The atmosphere and the battle sequences staged in DUNKIRK
The real footage of a tightrope walk between two mountain peaks in MOUNTAIN
The final dinner table scene in THE BEGUILED
The car chase sequences and the music score in BABY DRIVER
A reaction from a particular water monster in THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
The birthday party sequence & guest arrivals in TONI ERDMANN
The visual and aural experience in GHOST IN THE SHELL
The dialogue and its delivery from Tiffany Haddish in GIRLS TRIP
The final action sequence on the ice in Iceland in THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS
Best horror film
(A clear stand-out, however if that’s not scary enough for you, then try out IT COMES AT NIGHT, HAPPY DEATH DAY and IT. None of these films managed to scare me though!)
Best crying film
A MONSTER CALLS
(Even though its title suggests this belongs in the above category! Not the first time director J.A. Bayona has claimed this spot at the end of the year. THE IMPOSSIBLE was his previous movie)
Best lol film
(However, if you want something more mainstream, then try THE DISASTER ARTIST and GIRLS TRIP)
Best love story or romantic film
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Most unique/strange films
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
Highest Grossing Film – Worldwide
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Highest Grossing Film – In Australia
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Compiled by Moviedoc
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