My Top Ten Movies of 2017

Trying to narrow down your Top 10 list for the year is always a difficult task. 2017 was a good year for film. We had some blockbusters that hit and some that hit rock bottom. There were also a lot of small independent films that made big splashes.

Here are my 10 favorite films of 2017:

  • The Big Sick
  • Director: Michael Showalter
  • Writers: Emily Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani
  • Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano

The Big Sick tells the real life story of how Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) met his wife Emily Gordon. Their story is a great mix of humor, romance, and how life throws the craziest curve-balls when you least expect it. The story takes on some serious relationship issues and never stops being laugh out loud funny.  Kumail is known for his supporting roles and this shows he has the strength to lead and carry a feature film. The Big Sick is personal story that never tries to be too profound. It focuses on two people fall that in love under the strangest circumstance.

  • I, Tonya
  • Director: Craig Gillespie
  • Writer: Steven Rogers
  • Stars: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney

Tonya Harding will always be linked to the Nancy Kerrigan incident in 1994. As crazy as that story is, Tonya’s life was even crazier. I, Tonya shows everything that lead up to the Kerrigan attack and what happened to Tonya after. Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, and Allison Janney give some of the year’s best performances. It’s an incredible story told through an incredible cast. You’re guaranteed to laugh and cringe and the numerous WTF moments that happen in Tonya’s life.

  • The Shape of Water
  • Director: Guillermo del Toro
  • Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
  • Stars: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones

Guillermo del Toro is king of the creature feature and The Shape of Water is one of his best. Its part love story, part sci-fi fantasy. Shannon plays an over-the-top villain whose malicious behavior gets magnified thanks to Elisa’s (Sally Hawkins) innocent demeanor. The movie goes to some strange places and even has a fun musical number – yes, a musical number. Hawkins performance may earn her an Oscar nomination this year even with Shannon stealing scene after scene. The Shape of Water is a reminder to cast Michael Shannon as a villain in everything.

  • Get Out
  • Director: Jordan Peele
  • Writer: Jordan Peele
  • Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Catherine Keener, Lakeith Stanfield.

Get Out is the most unique film of 2017. Jordan Peele’s social thriller has a crazy premise and gets even crazier once the plot unfolds. Daniel Kaluuya may be 2017’s Breakout Star with this intense performance. Watching the situation slowly turn up the heat on Chris (Kaluuya) until it reaches a boiling point is the reson the film is titled Get Out. The movies popularity has transcended film, its spawned many water cooler conversations, artwork, parodies, jokes, theories, and videos breaking down the easter eggs more than any movie this year.

  • Good Time
  • Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
  • Writers: Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie
  • Stars: Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh.

The Safdie Brothers made noise this year for directing Jay-Z’s video for Marcy Me. If you add in the critically acclaimed Good Time, they’re having a great 2017. Robert Pattinson plays a man trying to free his mentally ill brother from Rikers Island after their failed bank robbery. The whole story takes place over the course of one night. Pattinson is incredible as Connie Nikas; you can see the desperation on his face in every scene. Good Time is an 80’s comedy if it wasn’t funny and the protagonist failed at every turn. This film will live a second life on streaming platforms and people will wonder why they didn’t see it in theaters.

  • The Disaster Artist
  • Director: James Franco
  • Writers: Scott Neustadter, Michael Weber
  • Stars: James Franco, Dave Franco, Alison Brie

The Disaster Artist is a beautiful love letter to one of the worst films ever made. James Franco transforms himself into the mysterious Tommy Wiseau to tell the story of The Room. Dave Franco adds his talents as Tommy’s partner Greg. The movie is hilarious, insightful, and touching. The Franco brothers give an incredible two-man performance that’s well worth the price of admission. Plus there are jokes, lots and lots of jokes.

  • It
  • Director: Andy Muscheietti
  • Writers: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga
  • Stars: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff, Nicholas Hamilton.

Add Derry to the list of fictional places I’d never want to live alongside Elm St. and Haddonfield. IT was a highly anticipated remake that lived up to the hype. The star of the film is Bill Skarsgard who had some big clown shoes to fill when he took on the role of the villainous Pennywise the Clown. Skarsgard played a frightening Pennywise who took delight in killing his victims. The Well House sequence is one of the best 10 minutes in any movie this year – it could be its own short horror film Director Andy Muscheietti deserves an award for his ability to recreate a healthy fear of Pennywise and terrorizing kids 27 years later.

  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Director: Taika Waititi
  • Writers: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle
  • Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo

Thor has always been an interesting comic book character, but that didn’t come across in his two previous films. With the help of Director Taika Waititi and a more humorous Chris Hemsworth, a lighter Thor was brought to life in Thor: Ragnarok. Tessa Thompson and Mark Ruffalo are amazing as well as Cate Blanchett blazing the trail as Marvel’s first female villain. Waititi’s colorful humor imprinted all over this film and the superhero movie genre is better for it.


  • Molly’s Game
  • Director: Aaron Sorkin
  • Writers: Molly Bloom, Aaron Sorkin
  • Stars: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera

Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut is based on the true story of Molly Bloom and her high stakes poker games. Jessica Chastain gives her best performance to date as Molly Bloom. Sorkin does a masterful job telling her story with the use of flashbacks, narration, and not painting Molly as a hero. Idris Elba gives another great performance and a reminder that he needs to be in more movies. Chastain is so good in this; she should have her name in the conversation during Oscar season.

  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Matt Reeves
  • Writers: Mark Bornback, Matt Reeves
  • Stars: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn.

What is it going to take to get Andy Serkis and Oscar nomination? Serkis is incredible in the final film of an amazing trilogy. War is a much more serious movie than previous films, yet never loses the heart of what the Planet of the Apes franchise is – there’s still a bit of humor and social commentary to keep audiences engaged. It’s amazing how much emotion a group of CGI apes can  pull out of you. Woody Harrelson’s performance as The Colonel is great. He was one of the best villains in any movie this year. People will look back on this movie years from now and see just how socially conscious it was at the time – and hopefully see just how amazing Serkis is in these films.

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  2. Baby Driver
  3. Lady Bird
  4. The Post
  5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  6. Wonder Woman
  7. John Wick: Chapter 2
  8. Girls Trip
  9. Blade Runner: 2049
  10. American Made
  11. T2: Trainspotting