Movies of the Year: 2017 Edition

With the Oscar's coming next week I figured I would write up what the real best movies of 2017 were. At the end of each write up I included a trailer for the movie if I have failed to convinced you that it is worth watching. Most of the trailers are fairly spoiler free, with the exception of one but I do provide a warning for it. Most of these movies are available to stream on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

10. I Don't Feel At Home in This World Anymore

A Coen Brothers style film about inept characters trying to get revenge in a world that doesn't give the first shit about them. Elijah Wood seems to be channeling Kip from Napoleon Dynamite as the charming protagonists fumble their way through wacky situations of their own making. Trailer can be found here.

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9. Free Fire

This movie is basically just one big gun fight among snarky characters spouting off one liners. It is a simple premise and there isn't much in the way of a larger plot. And that is ok. Sometimes it is fun to just watch some mindless shenanigans. The actors are all clearly having fun with it which goes a long way towards making this shallow film a fun ride. Trailer can be found here.

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8. Good Time

It didn't hit me until after I finished watching it, but Good Time is actually a brilliant film about white privilege. Robert Pattinson does a fantastic job at portraying a self-centered piece of shit with absolutely no consideration for anyone but himself. At no point was I rooting for the protagonist but I remained engaged anyway as he continuously makes things worse and yet somehow weaseled himself out of those situations. Trailer can be found here.

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7. Get Out

With his very first movie Jordan Peele has established himself as an incredibly talented director to look out for. Get Out is an incredibly unique horror movie that is unlike anything else currently out there. Peele is able to perfectly capture that unique brand of awkward uncomfortableness that only comes when you are surrounded by bougie white people. Trailer can be found here.

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6. Power Rangers

I'm not ashamed to say that I love big Hollywood action blockbusters. When I found out there was going to be a Power Rangers movie there was no question as to whether or not I would check it out. But it is not the spectical nor the action that put this movie on my list. Rather, it is the fantastic interactions between the team members. The Power Rangers have always been about the friendship between a group of teenagers with attitude and this movie leans into the whole "Breakfast Club with superpowers" for about 80 percent of the movie. Once they get the suits it becomes the Hollywood blockbuster that everyone was expecting, but that lead up to that moment is what puts it above the standard superhero movie. Trailer can be found here.

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5. Mayhem

Mark my words, Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving are going to make it big. If there is any justice in the world, they will both become household names before too long. Both actors are incredibly charismatic and bring a real energy to the screen. Mayhem is about a virus causes people to lose their inhibitions. This virus gets released in a law firm, and what follows is a action comedy that as our protagonists try to reach the CEO of the firm. It is like the director saw the church scene in Kingsman and said "yeah, I can make a movie about that." It is a simple premise that is able to remain interesting for the duration of the films runtime. Trailer can be found here.

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4. Okja

A movie about genetically modified super pigs has no right to be this good. Bong Joon-ho recruited an incredible cast for this movie with some standout performances by Jake Gyllenhaal, Steven Yeun, and Ahn Seo-Hyun. The film has a variety of locations which, when combined with the cast, make the world feel very well realized. The animators who did the CGI on Okja herself also deserve a lot of credit. They actually made me care about a cartoon pig. I am pretty sure this movie has turned more people vegan than PETA ever has. By the time the credits were rolling this movie had made me feel all of the feelings. Trailer can be found here.

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3. The Babysitter

One of the funniest movies I have seen in years. It is a tightly packed comedy that is pretty much Chekov's Gun: The Movie. There is no wasted time as every scene ends up serving some purpose, whether that be setting up a plot point or one of the movies many gags. This movie completely cemented Samara Weaving as someone to keep an eye out for. Anyone who is a fan of horror comedies should go check this out. Trailer can be found here.Note: This trailer does spoil quite a bit. If you are sensitive about that sort of thing, there is your warning. It is available on Netflix.

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2. Gerald's Game

I don't think I have ever seen a movie about a person trapped by themselves paced this well. The movie quickly moves from beat to beat without ever feeling rushed. The Stephen King book from which this is adapted is filled with inner monologues and the film is able to get around that by having the character hallucinate and thus have other characters to play off of. It totally works and is carried by Carla Gugino's performance. It also features the single most horrifying moment I have ever seen in a movie ever. Trailer can be found here.

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1. It Comes At Night

I came into this movie completely blind and was expecting a standard monster horror movie. What I got instead was a character piece that delves deep into the theme of paranoia. Yes, it is set in a house in the middle of nowhere. Yes, it is set in the post-appocolypse where there is a deadly virus. And yes, there is some kind of monstrosity that lives in the woods. But that all exists as a way to heighten the sense of paranoia among the characters. Make no mistake, this is a movie about the characters and their lack of trust of one another. The film maker uses some subtle and not so subtle techniques to give the viewer that same sense of paranoia as the characters. It is incredibly well done and kept me engaged throughout. The movie also raises a million and a half questions and answers almost none of them which is sure to frustrate some people. I actually loved this aspect too, as it gave me much more to reflect and speculate on long after the movie was over. Trailer can be found here.

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