The year is slowly coming to an end and it is finally time to look back on the movies that made us burst with laughter, shake with fear or simply stuck with us for reasons we can’t quite describe.
Creatively speaking, there is no doubt that 2017 proved to be a potent and refreshing year for movies across genres.
Between big budget superhero crowd-pleasers, riveting horrors, emotional war dramas and out of left field comedies, 2017 had something in store for cinema lovers of all stripes.
So, sit back and enjoy as we take you through the list of our most loved flicks of the year. It might refresh your memory on some of the great movies you’ve already seen, or prompt you to check out interesting releases you missed out on!
The highly anticipated adaptation of Stephen King’s award-winning 1986 novel, It hit the theaters in 2017, to the great satisfaction of horror enthusiasts everywhere.
The story takes place in Derry, Maine, where seven preteen children who call themselves the “Losers’ Club” have to battle an age-old mystical evil which is terrorizing their hometown. It soon becomes apparent they will also have to combat their own personal fears in order to prevail.
Directed by Andrés “Andy” Muschietti (Argentine filmmaker best known for the 2013 supernatural horror Mama), the movie stars Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård as the iconic Pennywise the Clown.
After the initial trepidation about how the movie was going to fare against the beloved book, It not only met the expectations of the audiences, it managed to beat all the records and become the highest grossing horror movie in the United States.
Due to its phenomenal success with the moviegoers, It has already been scheduled for a sequel with Gary Dauberman as the screenwriter and Muschietti returning to the director’s chair.
Get Out is a genre-bending thriller whose unexpected, yet resounding success firmly places it on our list of must-see movies of 2017.
The movie is the directorial debut of Jordan Peele, American actor best known for being one half of the comedic duo Key & Peele.
The plot follows Rose Armitage (portrayed by Allison Williams of HBO’s Girls fame) and Chris Washington (played by British actor Daniel Kaluuya), an interracial couple who decide to spend the weekend out of town in Rose’s family home.
Things start to become odd when Chris discovers that Rose’s parents, Missy (portrayed by Catherine Keener) and Dean (played by Bradley Whitford), have more sinister plans in mind.
Because of its fresh storyline coupled with cutting social commentary, Get Out garnered praise from a number of high-profile critics. It also proved to be a highly successful box office draw, grossing over $30 million in ticket sales in its first weekend.
Another milestone event for 2017 films was the release of Wonder Woman, the first live-action superhero blockbuster with a solo female lead.
Wonder Woman, one of DC Comic’s most recognizable superheroes, first appeared in print in 1941. Since then, the character had a number of iterations in various media, including video games, animated series and the famous 1975 TV show, in which she was brought to life by the legendary actress Lynda Carter.
The 2017 rendition of Wonder Woman was directed by Patty Jenkins, best known for the 2003 award-winning crime drama Monster and AMC’s mystery TV show The Killing. The movie features Israeli actress Gal Gadot in the titular role and Chris Pine in the role of the American pilot Steve Trevor.
The story first takes place on Themyscira, a sheltered paradise island founded and inhabited by Amazons, an all-female society of super-humans. Their peaceful everyday life is interrupted when a young princess warrior called Diana rescues an Ally pilot whose plane had crashed offshore of the island. He informs her about a grave conflict happening in the outside world. This prompts Diana to leave Themyscira and follow Steve to England, where she helps put a stop to war and destruction.
If ticket sales are anything to go by, the audiences around the world were more than ready to watch their DC shero save the world on the big screen: Wonder Woman was aa 2017 box office smash hit which earned over $800 million internationally.
Beauty and the Beast
The year 2017 also saw a live action remake of the beloved Disney animation based on the French 18th-century fairy-tale La Belle et la Bête.
The live action version stars British actress Emma Watson as the independent-minded book lover Belle, while the curmudgeonly Beast (and later Prince Adam) was brought to life by fellow Brit, Dan Stevens. The role of the narcissistic village hunter Gaston was taken on by the Welsh actor Luke Evans.
Due to its lavish costume designs and innovative, dream-like special effects, Disney’s classic love story enchanted audiences across the globe, and the movie grossed a whopping $1 billion internationally. It has subsequently become one of the highest-grossing movie of the year, as well as the most profitable live action musical of all times.
The year 2017 saw the return of the British cinematic giant, Christopher Nolan, who this time captivated the audiences with a highly dramatic wartime epic titled Dunkirk.
The movie depicts real-life events from World War 2, when thousands of British and other Allied troops found themselves stranded on the beaches of northern France, surrounded by German forces from north and south.
What followed was an arduous heroic mission to evacuate soldiers using any and all civilian and naval vessels at their disposal.
The film featured an exceptionally strong ensemble composed of seasoned stars like Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Kenneth Branagh. However, Nolan also insisted on casting young, lesser known actors, so the movie could accurately portray how inexperienced the soldiers were in reality. The only exception was the pop sensation Harry Styles, who took on one of the recurring roles of younger soldiers.
Thanks to the high suspense and masterful direction, Nolan’s action-packed war drama drew crowds all over the world, banking over $500 million in international box office sales.
Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 17th installment and the third one in the Thor franchise, had its premiere in October of 2017.
The superhero blockbuster saw the return of Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth in the role of the Norse God of Thunder, while his mischievous adoptive brother Loki was once again brought to life by the British actor Tom Hiddleston.
The movie also featured several other big Hollywood names, such as Jeff Goldblum in the role of flamboyant Grandmaster and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Thor’s father and the ruler of Asgard. A notable addition to the cast was the Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett who took on the role of Hela, Goddess of Death and Thor and Loki’s villainous older sister.
The plot of the second sequel follows the Asgardian prince as he finds himself imprisoned in a faraway place without his powerful hammer. He has to find a way back to his homeworld in order to stop his evil sister from destroying the entire civilization.
Thor: Ragnarok was directed by the New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi who, prior to signing up for the superhero franchise, was known in the indie movie sphere for his charming comedies What We Do in the Shadows and Eagle vs Shark.
As it turned out, Waititi’s fresh directing style and quirky edge resonated well with the audiences, who earned Thor: Ragnarok over $700 in international box office sales to date.
The Big Sick
The Big Sick was without a doubt one of 2017’s most successful rom-coms. The witty flick was written and directed by actor Kumail Nanjiani, best known for playing the role of sarcastic software engineer Dinesh in HBO’s hit comedy show Silicon Valley.
The charming comedy is based on Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon’s (Nanjiani’s wife who also co-wrote the script) real-life story, in which Kumar, a young Pakistani-born Chicagoan (played by Nanjiani himself) falls for Emily (Zoe Kazan), a grad student he meets at one of his stand-up shows. After several months of dating, Emily falls into a coma due to a mysterious illness. What follows is an emotional rollercoaster laced with cultural misunderstandings, contemplations on identity, and much more.
Between the cleverly portrayed cultural clashes and trials and tribulations that come with being a first-generation immigrant, it is no surprise that Nanjiani’s directional debut became an indie darling among the critics and moviegoers alike, grossing over $400,000 in its first weekend, despite the limited release.
Logan, the third and final Wolverine movie, premiered at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival in February and received a wider release in the following month.
Loosely based on the Old Man Logan comic book, this dark Marvel flick was directed by James Mangold, whose oeuvre includes critically-acclaimed movies Walk the Line and Girl, Interrupted.
Australian actor Hugh Jackman reprised his role as the Wolverine, making Logan his final appearance as Marvel’s iconic character; English actor Patrick Stewart also returned to play the role of Charles “Professor X” Xavier.
Logan takes place in the year 2029, when the estranged and heavily worn-out Wolverine spends his days in a hideout near the Mexican border working as a limo chauffer while simultaneously caring for the increasingly sick Professor X.
Things take a turn when he encounters a young mutant girl with whom he shares striking resemblance.
Logan was the first R-rated Wolverine installment, which is clearly reflected in the movie’s liberal use of profanities and graphic violence, otherwise uncharacteristic of Marvel Comics’ X-men universe. Critics have praise Logan for its well-executed gritty and daring character, backed up by Jackman’s emotion-packed performance in the role of the troubled mutant.
In terms of its theatrical performance, Logan was a roaring success, banking in over $600 million in worldwide box office sales.
Edgar Wright, British director who earned his fame for the wildly popular Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy, returned to the big screen this year with Baby Driver, a visually spectacular action-packed heist film.
The movie features up-and-coming Hollywood star Ansel Elgort in the role of Baby, a young, music-obsessed getaway driver who is paying off his debt to Doc, a mafia kingpin (played by Kevin Spacey).
After years of working as a driver in bank robberies, Baby finally decides to seek a way out of his criminal activities after falling in love with a waitress called Debora (Lily James). Unfortunately, his exit does not go as smoothly as planned.
Other than the three leads, the compelling thriller also stars Jaime Foxx, Jon Hamm and Eiza González.
Due to its highly stylized aesthetics, epic soundtrack that features artists like Queen, Barry White and the Beach Boys, as well as dazzling racing scenes, Baby Driver received glowing reviews from an overwhelming number of high-profile critics. It was also one of the most successful movies of the summer, earning over $200 million in box office sales.
Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049, the much-anticipated sequel to the sci-fi cult favorite, received a wide release in October 2017.
The follow-up to Ridley Scott’s 1982 future-noir saw Harrison Ford return to the role of bounty hunter Rick Deckard, and also introduced the character of K, LAPD’s replicant blade runner, played by Canadian actor Ryan Gosling.
The movie also stars Jared Leto as the engineering genius Niander Wallace and Robin Wright as Lieutenant Joshi.
Blade Runner 2049 was directed by Dennis Villeneuve, French-Canadian filmmaker most famous for the recent cinematic hits like Arrival and Sicario. The film’s stunning cinematography and profound symbolic narrative earned Blade Runner 2049 gushing reviews from top movie critics.
Despite overwhelming critical praise, Blade Runner 2049 did not perform as well at the box office. In its opening weekend, the movie earned just over 30$ million in US and Canada, falling far short of industry expectations.
Hopefully, this list managed to illustrate how diverse and innovative the cinematic crop of 2017 was. If this trend continues, we can’t wait to see what Hollywood has in store for us in 2018!
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