Welcome to another installment of GHG’s Top “Geek” Movies of the Year! All the following lists take a look at our favorite superhero, sci-fi, fantasy, horror and geek-related flicks of 2017: OD (On-Demand) and streaming services included.
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1. The Shape of Water –The spectrum of emotion you experience during The Shape of Water is unlike anything else to be released this year. Del Toro has this personal understanding of flawed humans and eccentric creatures resulting in something magical and wondrous. – 5/5
2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – A glimpse of actual change for the beloved franchise that is quite possibly the most divisive film of 2017. Luke is a shell of his former self, Kylo goes psychopathically apeshit as a villain who finally distances himself from his influences, and Rey realizes that someone can be special even if their upbringing is the most average in existence. I liked this one; probably a lot more than I should have. – 4.5/5
3. Thor: Ragnarok – Taika Waititi is phenomenal with comedy and seeing him inject the Thor franchise with his unusual brand of New Zealand humor was an absolute delight that was worth seeing in the theater more than once. Also Jeff “It’s my birthday!” Goldblum, the “Pure Imagination” sequence, all of Korg’s dialogue, and Hulk traumatizing Thor with the sight of his massive green penis all factored into how entertaining this film is. – 4.5/5
4. War for the Planet of the Apes – Despite the fact that Woody Harrelson is basically portraying The Governor from The Walking Dead in this; Andy Serkis has never been stronger as Caesar. His outstanding performance along with the film’s spectacular special effects had the film leave an impression that overcame the majority of the Oscar nominated films everyone is currently focused on. – 4.5/5
5. Logan – This is the mercifully barbaric Wolverine film you have always wanted chock full of blood, gore, and extreme vulgarity even South Park would be proud of. Hugh Jackman’s swansong to the character is beautifully bleak and James Mangold can finally say he did the source material proud (for the most part anyway). – 4.5/5
Honorable Mentions: Your Name., Blade of the Immortal, Colossal, The Disaster Artist, Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Wheelman, Logan Lucky, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Non-Geek Honorable Mentions: Okja, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Wind River, Dave Made a Maze, A Ghost Story, Band Aid, Mustang Island.
There were a lot of movies that came out this year, so much so that I missed a lot. I didn’t see IT, Blade Runner, Thor: Ragnarok, Wilson, Loving Vincent, and (as of press time) I still haven’t seen The Last Jedi. It’s not that I didn’t want to; it’s just timing never synced up with the overwhelming amount of incredible fandoms released on the big screens. After tallying the titles, I’m not surprised that awkward endearing determination, superhero beginnings and endings, ugly crying animation and social horror ruled my year.
1. The Disaster Artist – I expected this to a fun, outrageous telling of two passionate actors who became friends while following their dream. But I couldn’t have predicted that James Franco would give this emotionally detailed, sometimes meta, look into the hearts behind The Room. Geeky? Definitely. – 5/5
2. Wonder Woman – Near perfect intro of the Amazon Princess into the DCU. – 4.75/5
3. Cocoa – Pixar bought their A-Game that fans old and young continue to marvel at with this colorful tale of life, death, and heritage. – 4.75/5
4. Get Out – Jordan Peele delivered one of the best modern day social horror flicks this year and barely spilt any blood. – 4.5/5
5. Logan – One of the hardest moments I had saying goodbye to an old favorite. – 4.5/5
Honorable Mentions: Hidden Figures, GotG2, 1922, Raw, It Comes At Night, War for the Planet of the Apes, Gerald’s Game, Bright.
Non-Geek Honorable Mention: Okja.
1. Blade Runner: 2049 – Denis Villeneuve joins the conversation as one of modern film’s great directors with this Sci-Fi classic. Gripping, contemplative and better than the original. – 5/5
2. Logan – The first true superhero Western. Heart-wrenching and poignant, this X-film felt like a goodbye to an old friend. Excellent performances by Jackman and Patrick Stewart gives the film an Oscar sheen. – 5/5
3. Get Out – This was a unique marriage of horror and social commentary. Jordan Peele goes full Hitchcock. – 4/5
4. Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan dazzles once again with this epic war film told in three different time sequences. Sonically powerful and visually stunning, Dunkirk pulls you onto the beaches of Normandy. – 4/5
5. Thor: Ragnarok – Fun as Hel! Taika Waititi gets to unleash in this MCU metal-fest. – 4/5
Honorable Mention: Wonder Woman.
1. Get Out – Not only a well-crafted, well-acted, well-paced, well-written, well-shot, and well-directed film, but certainly one of the most prescient, self-aware and smart films of 2017 that also happened to contribute to a growing sub-genre of horror films. It has sheer social impact and immediacy (to say nothing of the feeling of dread) as Jordan Peele‘s debut film. When we’re dead and buried, decades from now, this film will be one of the few from this year that will help define a specific year, but also an entire era and social psychology. – 4.75/5
2. Baby Driver – Edgar Wright has been building up his crazy, frenetic style to this: a breezy, poppy, lively bit of music-infused crime fantasy that just so happens to not only have his trademark incredible editing energy, but also some of the most expertly composed and choreographed shots of any film this summer. – 4.5/5
3. IT – Ignoring *MOST* of the jump scares and raw gore that defines the genre of late, Andy Muschietti‘s IT is as refreshing as its villain is mesmerizing and terrifying; this version of Pennywise has already become part of the zeitgeist, underlining the story of a town that is trying so hard to be “normal”, while being tricked into ignoring the evil hiding beneath the surface. – 4.25/5
4. Wonder Woman – Has: some of the most tightly paced sequences (generic climax, and certain odd acting choices, notwithstanding), and proof that DC Films, when it knows how to treat its properties, can create one of the most resonant, acclaimed, popular, PROFITABLE films of the year. Has: actual subtext that feels organic and real, with a characterization of one of DC’s major characters that not only remains true to who she is, but is more inspirational given the climate of today. – 4/5
5. The Disaster Artist – I’ve written at length about this movie (which you can read here), so there’s not much else to say here. But James Franco and company rightfully deserve all accolades on this one. – 4/5
Honorable Mentions: The LEGO Batman Movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, War of the Planet of the Apes, parts of Justice League (SHUT UP. I SAID “PARTS”!)
Non-Geek Honorable Mentions: The Bad Batch, mother!, Dunkirk.
1. Logan – This isn’t a superhero story. This is a story about family. It is about time that a screenplay focused on character throughout the film and shows why true fans of comics love reading about their favorite comic book heroes. It isn’t display of superpowers that keep comic book readers reading; it is the great storytelling which Marvel comics and their movie franchise have forgotten. – 5/5
2. Split – A psychological thriller that will leaving you thinking “Damn!” and question the power of thought. This is not the abduction story you are expecting. Well-acted by the cast and well-played, M. Night Shyamalan. – 4.5/5
3. Baby Driver – This heist/love story is perfectly choreographed to the soundtrack. It isn’t the movie you go in expecting, which almost always mean a thumbs up! What would be your guest code name? – 4/5
4. Okja – Visually stunning, fable-like film that makes you think about our agricultural culture and animal rights through the journey of a little girl out to age her pig friend (sorta where I consider this “geek”). Are you going to be come vegan after watching this movie? This reviewer didn’t because bacon is delicious– but she does want that said bacon to be raised humanely and processed with respect and without fear. – 4/5
5. Blade Runner: 2049 – When something defies all reason and it looks at you what do you do? Your whole world becomes chaos. Do you destroy it and return to a world you can comprehend or do you embrace it as the future and fight for it. This is a superb sequel to the original Blade Runner. – 4/5
1. John Wick: Chapter 2 – All the shoot-em-up fun of the first one but with a more fleshed out backstory — taking it to another level of cool. With crazy car chases and insane hand-to-hand combat, no movie topped this one for me. – 4.75/5
2. Thor: Ragnarok – Best — and funniest — of the Thor movies. My favorite of the Marvel flicks this year, which is saying a ton. – 4.5/5
3. Get Out – Helped redefine horror flicks in the black community. Definite ground breaking flick. – 4/5
4. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2. – Good companion to the first flick. Lotta laughs. Lotta heart. – 3.5/5
5. Wonder Woman – Best DCEU film so far. Leaps and bounds better than the rest. – 3.5/5
Honorable Mentions: Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Sleight, Power Rangers, Justice League.
1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Since I don’t necessarily find my numero uno 5-bible masterpiece this year, Dunkirk, a “geek” film (despite being directed by a “geek” director), leave it to the greatest geek franchise of all time to trump one of the richest years in geek cinema. From the opening space battle to a most controversial magnum opus, SW’s most “jedi” film also happens to be one of its best — including the O.G. three. – 4.75/5
2. Logan – Only fitting that my two favorite Marvel characters got excellent film adaptations this year, and Wolvie’s last(?) stand proved an arguable dusty road/weathered worn X-Men best. Mangold and Jackman brought the violence, language and tenacious action we’ve been waiting for years now. Hell, a “making of” panel I attended at a convention earlier this year was almost better than the film. SNIKT! – 4.5/5
3. War For the Planet of the Apes – This is CGI cinema at its highest level. Like many great war movies that have blessed the silverscreen in the last century, this fight for survival, for this planet of the apes, is not such a simple one, all thanks to heartwarming dialogue and expressive practical and VFX performances that might have us questioning even our own humanity. – 4.5/5
4. Wonder Woman – My favorite thing besides Wonder Woman (the character, of course) is that the film feels right at home in the DCEU. Many were worried that DC/WB/Director Patty Jenkins were going to “Marvelize” Wonder Woman in response to all the harsh criticisms this cinematic superhero line has received, but to our blessing this is as well-roundedly humorous and dark as we ever dreamed. – 4.25/5
5. Thor: Ragnarok – This could easily have been a most Marvelous 3-way between The House That Stan Built’s delicious 2017 entrees, but I’ll go with the perhaps unexpected funniest geek film of 2017 and my own “Hela” Thor bias. Ultimately, this film dared to do something different and had a bit more cohesion than my 2 Marvel HM’s just down below, all the while implementing near impeccable CGI — something DC films for the most part struggled with in 2017. – 4.25/5
Honorable Mentions: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Justice League, Atomic Blonde, Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
Non-Geek Honorable Mention: Dunkirk.
1. IT – An incredible version of the Stephen King classic, with fantastic performances from a truly gifted cast; IT definitely floats above the rest. – 5/5
2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – By the end of TLJ you feel like you’ve been on a journey, and not just assaulted by the special effects. You’ll also feel a little more for the characters, their relationships, and their situations. And with three major space battles that justify and honor the series, The Last Jedi ranks up there with the Original Trilogy(Click here for my GHG review.) – 4.75/5
3. Split – M. Night Shyamalan continues his return to form with this pseudo sequel to Unbreakable that sets up the ultimate conclusion. Released last year on the indie circuits, Split might be the year’s most unappreciated film. – 4.5/5
4. Logan – The heart-wrenching, adrenaline-testy journey of this aged X-Man, with mesmerizing, Oscar caliber performances from Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. Who’d a thunk my favorite superhero flick would come from 20th Century Fox? – 4/5
5. Thor: Ragnarok – It’s fantastic.. no.. Mighty that the MCU has finally realized how preposterous of a character Thor and the rest of the Asgardians are. Here they’ve gone the Full Monty (Python), utilizing/relegating this mythological side of the Marvel Universe to pure comedic effect. (Click here for my GHG review!) – 4/5
Honorable Mention: War For the Planet of the Apes.
Disnorable Mention: Blade Runner: 2049.
2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
3. Get Out
4. Thor: Ragnarok
5. Wonder Woman
Honorable Mentions: IT, The Disaster Artist, Blade Runner: 2049, War For the Planet of the Apes, Split, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Non-Geek Honorable Mentions: Baby Driver, Dunkirk, Okja.
Happy New Year, Geeeeeeeeeeeeks!