Drama

LADY BIRD

Writer & Director
Greta Gerwig
(NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS)

Stars
Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalfe, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Beanie Feldstein, Timothée Chalamet, Odeya Rush and Jordan Rodrigues

The solo feature film directional debut of actress Greta Gerwig (FRANCES HA, MISTRESS AMERICA), LADY BIRD made headlines late last year by breaking a record on Rotten Tomatoes to become the best reviewed film of all time, maintaining a perfect score of 100% from 185 reviews. Now at 99% with five Oscar nominations and two Golden Globe wins, including the award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy to its name, LADY BIRD chronicles a fractured relationship between a mother and her daughter

Featuring several young and talented personalities led by American-born, Irish-raised star Saoirse Ronan as Christine “Lady Bird” MacPherson, this coming-of-age comedy-drama is set firmly in the heart of Sacramento, California (the birthplace of Gerwig). First beginning in the year 2002, Lady Bird (as she prefers to be called) is a student at a Catholic high school who has an interest in the field of dramatic arts and auditions for the school’s next performance. It is here she also gains a new interest; fellow pupil, Danny (Lucas Hedges). As Lady Bird continues to grow into the young woman she’s becoming and begins to build a future for herself, the further away she is drifting from meeting the higher standards that her perfectionist mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalfe), expects of her.

The magnificent Saoirse Ronan, who at just twenty-three years of age already boasts an impressive acting resume that has earned her three Oscar Nominations (including a Golden Globe win for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for this film), soars in LADY BIRD. And the film is pretty darn good itself.

Despite having some parallels to her own life, Gerwig has stated that while there is a “core of truth” to this film, none of the events depicted here actually took place in her life. Nevertheless, the sharp wit and piercing honesty that drive the discourse of Greta Gerwig’s Oscar-nominated screenplay are among some of the true highlights of LADY BIRD. There is a fair amount of emphasis on the faults of each character (and there are several of them), yet the goodness extracted from their hearts constantly outweighs their numerous imperfections. This is critical to the overall feeling you will walk away with from watching LADY BIRD. Had the writing and potently defined characterisation not been as studiously precise as they are, then your invited cynicism would likely result in a gross disconnection to the characters and a complete misunderstanding of the film. Adding to the healthy pulse of the film’s humour is its engagingly whimsical tone and some very blunt dialogue. On the flip side, the latter stretches of Lady Bird’s relationship with her mother and Laurie Metcalfe’s excellent Oscar-nominated performance is bound to tug onto a few heart strings. A generally bittersweet film, LADY BIRD beautifully realises the various ways in which people never stop learning and growing.

As director, Greta Gerwig has employed a steady pacing that is deceptively fast-moving, courtesy of its briefly captured scenes paired with the prompt editing work. This is a highly original and rather impressive first shot at directing solo from Gerwig that has not just earned her a well-deserved Academy Award nomination but will keep her audience attentive and entertained. Job well done!

3 ½ stars

Viewer Discretion
M (Mature themes, coarse language and a sex scene)

Trailer
LADY BIRD

Moviedoc thanks Universal Pictures for the invite to the screening of this film.

Review by Moviedoc / “LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc

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FIFTY SHADES FREED

Director
James Foley
(FIFTY SHADES DARKER)

Stars
Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and Eric Johnson

Shot back-to-back in 2016 with the very unappealing FIFTY SHADES DARKER, FIFTY SHADES FREED is the third, final and moderately improved film of the franchise.

Picking up the events from after the finale of its predecessor, Anastasia and Christian wed and are enjoying themselves on their postcard perfect honeymoon in Paris until their idyllic and romantic vacation is abruptly truncated. An incident has occurred at Christian’s office back home in Seattle and there’s reason to believe that Ana’s scornful ex-boss, Jack Hyde is somehow involved and will stop at nothing to destroy their relationship. Meanwhile, the newlyweds go through the trials and tribulations of learning to adjust living together.

Image result for FIFTY SHADES FREED ANASTASIA AND CHRISTIAN IN PARIS MOVIE STILLS

What have we learnt to this point after watching just over four hours of FIFTY SHADES?
That it’s just like watching an R-rated (or MA15+ here in Australia) version of a daytime TV soap opera. Most of its issues and concerns are trivial and of little care. It’s often cheesy and lame. And if you’re able to view this latest film just that way, then the next 105 minutes (the shortest of the three movies) isn’t so hard to mind and is certainly easier to sit through than FIFTY SHADES DARKER.

FIFTY SHADES FREED might be more endurable, but that still doesn’t mean it’s a good film. The plot line has become increasingly mundane over time and that well and truly takes over almost all proceedings here. I mean who really cares that Christian cracks it because Ana hasn’t yet changed her surname on her work emails? Or that Ana isn’t obeying orders to head straight home from work while Christian is away. You go girl! As for its villain plot and thrilling climax, they don’t get lamer or more roughly executed than this. Speaking of rough, let’s move across to the bedroom now! Or should I say the playroom? It must be said that FIFTY SHADES is a bit of a one-minute wonder in this department. Some curiously striking psychological themes that could be grasped from the original film have been put to bed and left under the covers. The sexual component of Ana and Christian’s relationship, which is an utterly important aspect for the couple, does possess its fair share of flair and dare. However, the directing and editing chooses to remain far too conventional and polite considering the sexual origin and emphasis of this story.

Thankfully though, this franchise stars Dakota Johnson, who has a certain manner that makes Anastasia such an easily accessible character that requires zero effort to like. For those of you that care to find something of value to take away from the entire franchise, it has a fair point to state regarding the listening, understanding and the compromises that need to be done for relationships to stand the test of time. This is no dismissive example that when the love is real, it can conquer just about any challenge.

2 ½ stars

Viewer Discretion
MA15+ (Strong sex scenes)

Trailer
FIFTY SHADES FREED

Now that the FIFTY SHADES trilogy is over, grab yourself a copy of the underrated 2009 film SPREAD, starring Ashton Kutcher and Anne Heche! Recommended 3 ½ stars viewing by Moviedoc!

Moviedoc thanks Universal Pictures for the invite to the screening of this film.

Review by Moviedoc / “LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc

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THE WOUND (INXEBA)

Director
John Trengove
(HOPEVILLE)

Stars
Nakhane Tourè, Niza Jay Ncoyini and Bongile Mantsai

The most internationally awarded film in South African history has been subject to plenty of controversy in the lead up to its cinematic release. Several screenings of THE WOUND have been forcibly cancelled in its homeland, due to threats of violence and damage to property. So what’s the cause for its controversy? 

In a double-whammy for protesters of this film, THE WOUND is exhibiting to the world the very private and traditional Xhosa initiation into manhood as it deals with the theme of sexuality led by gay male characters. 

Celebrated singer, songwriter and novelist, Nakhane Touré, makes his screen acting debut as Xolani, a factory worker living in Queenstown who is sent to the rural Eastern Cape to be the caregiver for a new initiate named Kwanda (Niza Jay Ncoyini). The initiate’s father has a private word with Xolani, requesting him to be tough on his son, who he feels is becoming a softie due to the gentle treatment given by his mother. Throughout the course of the lengthy initiation process, Xolani struggles to mask his sexual identity from his observant initiate.

 Almost the entire hour and a half duration of THE WOUND is set throughout the several phases that consist of this traditional induction into manhood. As such and as very much intended, viewers will feel equally uncomfortable, fascinated and disturbed by the honest insights that have been bravely derived from the screenplay. Most of this footage is filmed with the use of handheld and effectively-controlled cinematography that truly captures a feeling of isolation within its confines its lead characters undoubtedly feel. What is also equally effective are the genuine performances from the main members of the cast, most of whom are first-time actors that had direct experiences of this initiation!

This incredibly courageous film not only accumulated a record-breaking nineteen award wins from worldwide film festivals it screened at, it was also shortlisted as one of nine films to be nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2018 Academy Awards. Though it was cut from the final list of nominees, THE WOUND has loudly, clearly and successfully utilised the power of cinema by giving a triumphant voice to a minority who are not only silenced but completely denounced. Until now.

4 stars 

See THE WOUND if you liked MOONLIGHT

Viewer Discretion
MA15+ (Strong themes and sex scenes)

Trailer
THE WOUND (INXEBA)

Moviedoc thanks In Character/Off Topic Entertainment for the invite to the screening of this film.

Review by Moviedoc / “LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc

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SWEET COUNTRY

Director
Warwick Thornton
(SAMSON AND DELILAH)

Stars
Ewen Leslie, Sam Neill, Hamilton Morris, Bryan Brown, Matt Day, Gibson John, Tremayne Doolan, Trevon Doolan, Natassia Gorey-Furber and Thomas M. Wright

This acclaimed Australian film from director Warwick Thornton, a Camera d’Or Award Winner at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for his debut feature film SAMSON AND DELILAH, has and continues to gain strong recognition at home and abroad. Its most significant award wins from late last year include the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Film, the Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival and it was also the Special Jury Prize Winner at the Venice Film Festival.

Inspired by a true story that was told to Thornton by the grandfather of co-writer David Tranter, SWEET COUNTRY is filmed and set in the Australian outback during the 1920s. Local landowner and Christian preacher, Fred Smith (Sam Neill) lends his indigenous farmhand, Sam (Hamilton Morris) to ex-war veteran and cattle station owner, Harry March (Ewen Leslie), for a couple of days to help him finish works on his land. As Harry’s behaviour turns increasingly threatening and soon becomes violent towards his helper, Sam fatally wounds his aggressor in an act of self-defence. Knowing all too well that he is in major trouble for killing a white man, Sam and his wife Lizzie (Natassia Gorey-Furber) go on the run. Seeking justice for the death of Harry is Sergeant Fletcher (Bryan Brown), who scours the dry and dangerous landscape in scorching conditions in pursuit of the wanted man.

Lo and behold, what we have here in SWEET COUNTRY is a masterful work of striking authenticity and raw storytelling. Our country has home-grown a healthy number of films that boast these characteristics, but rarely at the consistently high standard so prevalent in this ‘meat-pie’ Western.

Filmed in the Macdonnell Ranges near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, director and cinematographer Warwick Thornton stunningly photographs the breathtaking locations, making them just as prominent as the films’ characters. Of particular note, the entire sequence that depicts Sergeant Fletcher‘s pursuit of the wanted man is abundant with images beautiful enough to hang on your lounge-room wall. As far as cinematic productions go, they don’t get much better than SWEET COUNTRY. This exceptional work of dramatic art is one that all Australians can and ought to take pride in, even though its story isn’t one anyone can be proud to tell.

Moving across now to its narrative, viewers should be aware that SWEET COUNTRY is told at a relatively gradual pace and features a high number of more drawn-out scenes. Once accustomed to its slower tempo and as major incidents occur, an overwhelming sense of appreciation for the fine storytelling and top-notch quality of movie-making on display sets in and stays. A highly commendable attribute of the writing involves the multi-dimensional characterisation of the film, which removes all instant labelling away from its protagonists and antagonists. At the same time, the themes of this movie are never sacrificed or lost, proving SWEET COUNTRY to be an all-round stand-out motion picture our country has produced in recent years.

4 ½ stars

Sweet Country

Viewer Discretion
MA15+ (Strong violence)

Trailer
SWEET COUNTRY

Moviedoc thanks Transmission Films for the invite to the screening of this film.

Review by Moviedoc / “LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc

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THE POST

Director
Steven Spielberg

(THE BFG, LINCOLN, JURASSIC PARK)

Stars
Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Matthew Rhys and Bruce Greenwood

If the engrossing biographical story being chronicled in Steven Spielberg’s THE POST isn’t enough to warrant your purchase of a ticket to this film, then the pairing of Hollywood greats Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, together for the first time in a feature film, is guaranteed to broaden its appeal should it be needed. They certainly do not let down.

Written for the screen by SPOTLIGHT writer Josh Singer, this political drama is a true account of the race against time faced by The Washington Post to expose a governmental cover-up that lasted for three decades and spanned four U.S. Presidents. As the newspaper’s first female publisher, Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) is thrust into a compromising position when secret documents pertaining to the cover-up are handed into her office. With rapid competition coming from The New York Times, Kay and her hard-working editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) must make several agonising decisions that place the careers of its employees on the line and will ultimately make or break Kay’s newspaper business.

THE POST
Before THE POST begins its examination of the pages that reveal the shocking government secrets, there is plenty of background the script wishes to cover that details the current position of the newspaper and its main shot-callers. Though it is necessary to have this understanding prior to the big news story being outed, the narrative is overloaded with dialogue (and not all of it is of a need-to-know basis) and results in the film becoming quite weighty and tougher to fully absorb. Appreciation for the film is not lost throughout this first half and once the central plot, along with the lead performances from Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks become the focus herein, THE POST is immediately more engrossing to watch.

This is Steven Spielberg’s fifth feature film with Tom Hanks and first with Meryl Streep. Personally, I had hoped for more from this promising film collaboration and storyline. The experienced director isn’t able to iron out some of the clunky creases in the film’s script. Nonetheless, THE POST is not to be missed by ardent fans of the genre and/or by those who possess a strong interest in this topic.

3 ½ stars

ThePost_Pic#06
Viewer Discretion
(Coarse language)

Trailer
THE POST

Moviedoc thanks entertainment One for the invite to the screening of this film.

Review by Moviedoc / “LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc

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DARKEST HOUR

Director
Joe Wright
(PAN, ANNA KARENINA, ATONEMENT)

Stars
Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Ronald Pickup, Stephen Dillane and Ben Mendelsohn

Not so long ago, another biopic that covered a comparatively dark hour during the tenure of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was released into cinemas. Quite plainly titled, the underrated CHURCHILL was set during a tense four day period in June, 1944 and lent its star, Brian Cox, his most significant role yet that saw him in career-best form. Now, Oscar-nominated writer Anthony McCarten (THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING) and Golden Globe-nominated director Joe Wright (ATONEMENT) join forces to set the spotlight over a volatile time of power in the hands of Winston Churchill in DARKEST HOUR.

As DARKEST HOUR enters its first few minutes, there is turmoil behind closed doors at 10 Downing Street. It is May 1940 and the United Kingdom is under threat of being invaded as Hitler’s army gains further territory. Amidst the escalating mayhem, current British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlaine (played by Ronald Pickup who is filling in for the late John Hurt) has just resigned. With his country in desperate need of a new leader, British politician Winston Churchill steps in as Prime Minister. With just days remaining to make a final call over Britain’s next course of action during the early days of World War II, Churchill is faced with insurmountable pressure as he considers opposing arguments and the likely consequences of his final decision.


Without a shadow of doubt, the brightest star in DARKEST HOUR is the exemplary acting being exhibited from Gary Oldman. After winning the Best Actor Golden Globe for his performance earlier in the week, Oldman is rightfully set to be unstoppable in claiming the top prize for best actor at the 2018 Academy Award’s next month.

A passion project for writer Anthony McCarten, DARKEST HOUR is a film that history film buffs and those who revere Winston Churchill will greatly appreciate. The screenplay takes a deep dive into several of the specific facets that occupied the long and tumultuous days of the incomprehensibly difficult induction of Britain’s new PM. Its key focus is that ultimately most critical decision whether Churchill attempts to strike up peace negotiations with Adolf Hitler, or refuses to surrender and announces that Britain will fight to the end. All the while, he is faced with additional pressure from his doubtful king (a miscast Ben Mendelsohn) and betrayal within his own party. Providing much-needed support is his young secretary, Elizabeth Layton (Lily James) and his encouraging wife, Clementine (the great Kristin Scott Thomas). At a tad over two hours, DARKEST HOUR’s detailed narrative is engagingly written, but can become somewhat overwhelming. However, during those patches where this biographical picture is becoming dense, the powerhouse performance from Gary Oldman seizes total control. His anchoring work is simply a must-see experience for anyone who values acting of the highest calibre.

3 ½ stars

Viewer Discretion
PG (Mild themes and coarse language)

Trailer
DARKEST HOUR

Moviedoc thanks Universal Pictures for the invite to the screening of this film.

Review by Moviedoc / “LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc

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BEST & WORST MOVIES OF 2017 including the highlights and some low-lights

Hello everyone

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 🙂

Moviedoc’s Best 25 Movies of 2017

25
WONDER
4 stars

A beautiful and meaningful story featuring a great cast that will make you cry a little but feel plenty of joy

24
PADDINGTON 2
4 stars

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!

23
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
4 stars

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!

22
INGRID GOES WEST 
4 stars

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!

21
GIFTED
4 stars

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.

20
THE BIG SICK
4 stars

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

19
BABY DRIVER
4 stars

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.

18
MISS SLOANE
4 stars

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!

17
FENCES

4 stars

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

16
THE BEGUILED
4 stars

Beautifully filmed and impeccably acted by one of the stand-out ensemble casts of the year. An excellent film from director Sofia Coppola.

15
MOONLIGHT
4 stars

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.

14
MOUNTAIN
4 stars

A majestic and breathtaking cinematic experience. The Australian-made MOUNTAIN is 2017’s best documentary feature.

13
THE SALESMAN
4 stars

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.

12
DUNKIRK
4 stars

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

11
HOUNDS OF LOVE
4 stars

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.

10
LAND OF MINE
4 stars

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.

9
LOVING VINCENT
4½ stars

The first-ever oil painted feature film about Vincent van Gogh is never solely limited to its visual capabilities. A sublime film.

8
SILENCE
4½ stars

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.

7
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
4½ stars

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!

6
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
4½ stars

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.

5
PERFECT STRANGERS
4½ stars

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.

4
GET OUT
4½ stars

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.

3
LADY MACBETH
4½ stars

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!

2
DOWNSIZING
5 stars

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 
5 Stars

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.

Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Moviedoc’s Worst 5 Movies of 2017

5
BAYWATCH
1 ½ stars

Not even the charismatic Dwayne Johnson can save BAYWATCH from drowning in its own dump.


4
CHIPS
1 ½ stars

Unfunny. Sexist. Nasty. Avoid!


3
JIGSAW
1 star

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.

2
SNATCHED
1 star

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
1 star

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
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

PATRIOT’S DAY
LIFE
BATTLE OF THE SEXES
THEIR FINEST
A MONSTER CALLS
COLOSSAL
LION
COLLATERAL BEAUTY
SUBURBICON
THE BOSS BABY
BERLIN SYNDROME
LOGAN

Most over-rated and/or most disappointing films from 2017

KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
JACKIE
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
VICTORIA & ABDUL
THINGS TO COME
THE SNOWMAN
A CURE FOR WELLNESS
GOD’S OWN COUNTRY
LOVING
A SILENT VOICE
ALONE IN BERLIN
TRESPASS AGAINST US
GOLD

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

GET OUT
(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

PERFECT STRANGERS
(However, if you want something more mainstream, then try GIRLS TRIP)

Best love story or romantic film

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Most unique/strange films

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
MOTHER!

Highest Grossing Film – Worldwide

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
($1.26 Billion)

Highest Grossing Film – In Australia

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 
($36.3 Million)

Compiled by Moviedoc
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