Well, it’s the end of 2017 today! I’ve seen a fair few films at the cinema this year, but not as many as I’d like. Among the ones I wish I’d seen but missed are Colossal, Valerian, Alien: Covenant (in a way…), The Big Sick, A Ghost Story, A Disaster Artist (although I haven’t yet seen The Room) and It Comes At Night. I’ve been disappointed by some of the major releases this year, such as Dunkirk, all of the MCU movies, Wonder Woman and Stephen King’s IT. However, there were just enough films that met my approval to make a Top 10 List of My Favourite Films from 2017!!! So here it is…

  1. John Wick: Chapter 2

Is there any other contender for action film of the year? I didn’t think so. I enjoyed the first one, but wasn’t blown away by it. The sequel ramped the violence and body count up in a film that delights in long takes, reflections and neon lights. Oh, and guns. Lots of guns. We see more head shots in this film than you’d experience in the latest FPS video game. In many ways, it is a video game brought to life. Whatever it is, it’s the most thrilling and entertaining film I saw this year.

  1. Detroit

Here we have a film, based on an extraordinary event in history, featuring sweat-inducing scenes of tension, bullet sound effects that burst eardrums, and a large cast that often aren’t even named. Oh, it’s also topical as well. I could be talking about Dunkirk…but that was dull as dishwater. I much preferred Detroit, which featured an hour of the most pure horror I’ve seen in cinemas this year. The second act is the most uncomfortable I felt in the cinema (apart from the entirety of mother!). It’s brutal and uncompromising. Yes, the final act is tonally jarring and dull, but it’s worth it for the second act. In these times, it’s necessary, compulsory viewing.

(Click here to read my full review!)

  1. Get Out

Can there be another contender for horror film of the year? Probably, but I haven’t seen anything that topped Get Out (apart from the second act of Detroit). It walks the fine line between comedy and horror that great horror films thrive on. It’s a thinly veiled satire, but a satire that’s more pertinent than ever nowadays in the era of Trump. Get Out is also the rare horror film that gives a logical and quite brilliant explanation for all the peculiar occurrences during the film. You’ll laugh, feel awkward, and cringe all at the same time.

  1. T2: Trainspotting

Who wanted a sequel twenty years after the original? It failed for Independence Day, but come on, this was Danny Boyle and the entire original cast of Trainspotting! And, apart from a few blips, it was the sequel we needed, not the one we wanted. Watch the original if you want to feel the infectious enthusiasm of mid 90s Britain. This is a painful reflection on the dangers of nostalgia, a drug that can be more dangerous than any narcotic. It’s exactly the kind of film we need in the day and age, where nostalgia fuels everything.

(Click here to read my full review!)

  1. Jackie

I feel Jackie slipped under the radar this year (or last year for people of the US). Natalie Portman delivered her finest performance since Black Swan in this daring biopic. It’s not the typical sympathy-begging biopic that you’d expect about a woman who witnessed her husband’s brains fly into her face. It’s non-linear, and presents Jackie as a diamond struggling not to crack under the pressure of interviewers and a public absorbing a national tragedy. But it also presents Jackie as a canny person who understands the power of the then-developing world of TV. She knows how to turn history into mythology. A deep study of grief, history, myth-making, and experiencing politics in the age of developing TV. Also, what a performance from Natalie Portman!

  1. Your Name

I’m pretty sure this was released in the UK in 2017, but I could be wrong and thus have to replace this in my list. But for now, it remains on my list. This was the best animation I’ve seen all year. To be fair, I’ve not seen that many, but I knew after watching Your Name that few films could be as beautiful, hypnotic or funny as Your Name. It’s about a Japanese boy and girl who swap bodies at random. After the swapping stops, they attempt to find each other. It’s a bittersweet and emotional ride. It mixes in plenty of genres in an experiment that could have gone horribly wrong, but everything comes together naturally and spectacularly. It’s a timeless animation.

  1. Logan

Forget Wonder Woman, or any of the MCU films. Logan was easily the best comic book film of the year. It’s expunges the usual downfalls of X-Men films (too many characters, silly CGI and a convoluted plot) to focus of three main characters: Logan, Professor X, and Laura (the latter is the most impressive, and the youngest!). There’s enough swearing and ultraviolence to appease those fans of Wolverine who wanted to see the vicious Wolverine they know and love from the comic books. But there’s also enough character work to keep you engaged when the bloodletting stops. The final act may segue into typical overblown comic book territory, but it doesn’t spoil the film.

(Click here to read my full review!)

  1. Mother!

Whilst I watched this film, I witnessed one person walk out half way through, someone tutting loudly through the final act, and an old couple laughed all the way through it (presumably they thought it was a comedy). I, however, sat spellbound by mother! It’s a visceral experience, and one that I wouldn’t want to spoil any plot developments. You think that you know where the film is going, but you have no idea. I felt exhausted by the end, but it was a satisfied exhaustion. Sometimes, I want to be poked, prodded and provoked (not literally, of course) at the cinema. And mother!, whilst not Aronofsky’s finest work, was the most provocative film I saw this year.

(Click here to read my full review!)

2. Blade Runner 2049

Like T2: Trainspotting, we didn’t deserve a belated sequel as great as Blade Runner 2049. When Villeneuve’s name was attached to this sequel, my excitement level hit the roof. Apart from Sicario, I’ve loved every film he’s put out (that I’ve seen). Although I had reservations about the necessity of a Blade Runner sequel, Denis made me thrilled for it. The sequel to one of the most influential science fiction films of all time justified its existence with aplomb. It complements and expands upon the original in wonderful, weird and beautiful ways. You’ll be mesmerised by the visuals, and touched by the heart-rending themes explored within. Yes, it may be a tad too long, but that’s a minor criticism.

(Click here to read my full review!)

  1. War for the Planet of the Apes

How do you follow up a great sequel like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Well, don’t’ go in expecting the “war” of the title. Yes, there are two visually grand war sequences, but they bookend the film. WOTPOTA is more of an old fashioned Western film than a war film. Of course, there are hints of Apocalypse Now and other war films mixed in, but this is wholly Caeser’s story. It’s a fitting end to the Planet of the Apes trilogy. It’s also the exclamation point on a reboot that surprised everybody. This is how you reboot a classic film series! It may not be as great as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but it’s close.

(Click here to read my full review!)

HOWEVER: I have to admit, one of the best experiences at the cinema I had this year was…TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY 3D! Yes, it’s a film I’ve seen hundreds of times, but in 3D it was a revelation (although I had to rush to the kiosk as the 3D was blurry at the very beginning!). I don’t know if I can watch Terminator 2 in normal 2D from now on…

Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?

3 thoughts on “HAMMY’S TOP 10…FILMS OF 2017 (RELEASED IN THE UK!)

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