The movies this year were pretty mediocre. There are still several I haven’t seen that possibly could have made this list but life gets busy and it’s impossible to make it to the theater every time something is released that I’d like to see. Still, here are nine films I enjoyed this year.
Beauty and the Beast
One of my all-time favorite animated Disney movies gets the live action treatment.
Emma Watson is perfect as Belle and I was happy they stayed pretty true to the original. Some stories just shouldn’t be messed with and with a classic like Beauty and the Beast, sticking to the original concept was the right choice.
The Zookeeper’s Wife
War movies are generally not my thing, but this is a different kind of war movie. Set in 1939 Poland at the beginning of WW II, The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the true story of how Antonina and Jan Zabinski hid Jews in their zoo for the duration of the war. The couple smuggled Jews in and out, right under the Nazi’s noses and saved 300 lives in all. After the war, the zoo was rebuilt and is still open to visitors today.
Jessica Chastain is one of my favorite actresses right now and gives a fantastic performance in this heart-wrenching war drama.
The Fate of the Furious
AKA, Fast and the Furious 8. Can you believe they are still making these? I’m sure I’ll get some flak for adding this to my list, but the Fast and Furious movies have always been a guilty pleasure of mine.
Sure the acting isn’t great – but what movie with Vin Diesel is? This is one you just want to enjoy for the high speed, adrenaline fueled and all around fun action sequences. And Charlize Theron who steals the show this time around.
Baby is a getaway driver for a crime ring. His parents were killed in an accident when he was a child and as a result, he was left with tinnitus in his ears. So he drives the criminals around Atlanta, saying very little and listening to a bunch of rockin’ tunes.
This is a really fun, stylized movie with an excellent cast and one of the best films of 2017.
Full disclosure: I am more of a Marvel fan. I just prefer the cast of characters from Marvels versus those from the DC universe. Wonder Woman has never been all that interesting to me – she’s fine but I wasn’t greatly anticipating this movie or anything.
However, I thought it was a solid film and DC’s best (excluding the Nolan Batman films).
Gal Gadot is an excellent choice for the role and she really shines in this origin story as well as Justice League, which did not make my list.
While we’re on a superhero kick, let’s talk about Logan! One of the X-Men’s most beloved character’s story arc seemingly comes to an end with this final (at least for Hugh Jackman) Wolverine film.
Set in the future, Logan is aging and no new mutants have been born for twenty-five years. He’s caring for Charles Xavier, who’s also very ill. When a nurse hires Logan to transport her and another young girl to a safe haven in North Dakota, trouble begins and Logan discovers some startling facts about his young transport.
The Wolverine films have been uneven but this one is excellent. It’s a bit bloodier than usual, so if gore bothers you, be prepared. It’s also heart-wrenching in a few places if the X-Men are near and dear to your heart. Bring tissues if you plan to watch.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
Star-Lord and company are back in this sequel to vol. 1. While not as good as its predecessor, there are still lots of laughs and a killer soundtrack, which make for an enjoyable two hours.
Rocket steals some cargo the Guardians were hired to protect and as the crew tries to elude the angry aliens, they’re rescued by an individual with a tie to Star-Lord’s past.
Once again, the Joker is out to destroy Gotham and it’s all Batman’s fault.
In this superior spin off of The Lego Movie, Batman must save his city, along with the help of Robin and a whole host of other DC characters. There are some exciting cameos from other non-DC characters and as always, the writers of Lego Batman bring us a movie with a message and important life lessons. A fun movie the whole family can enjoy.
Let’s be honest, Charlize Theron kicks major butt. She’s amazing in just about everything she’s in and Atomic Blonde is no exception.
This is a highly stylized action movie set in 1989 Germany just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. You aren’t really sure who the bad guys/bad girls are and twists abound, even until the very end.
The soundtrack rivals that of Baby Driver in terms of excellence and you get the sense that the studio behind the movie is setting this up to be the next James Bond, but with a female lead.