“The Big Sick”
“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie”
Mixing an inexperienced director with a cast of child actors and putting them into a horror film that is over 130 minutes long would almost always be a combo for failure, but Andy Muschietti made this horror smash hit anything but. This film quickly became one of 2017’s most successful, and for good reason. The scares are effective, the acting is tremendous, and the movie knew what style to go for, and this film managed to overcome the usual pitfalls and be a truly great horror movie.
4.) “Annabelle: Creation”
Another horror movie that was surprisingly effective, this sequel to 2014’s truly terrible “Annabelle” is higher than “It” not for being the better film, but for overcoming lower expectations. I was convinced this movie was going to be horrible, especially after its’ cliché-ridden trailer, but director David Sandberg held the movie together with loads of suspense and a strong story that overcame all of my expectations going in.
3.) “Wonder Woman”
After DC’s string of average to below average movies, I began to lose hope that there could be a strong superhero movie made outside of Marvel’s grasp, but as hope began to fade, Patty Jenkins came in and saved DC for the time being. “Wonder Woman” was the first universal success that DC had since “The Dark Knight,” and it was because of the fun, energetic atmosphere, beautifully choreographed action, and a killer performance from Gal Gadot. DC didn’t end 2017 on the highest of notes, but this summer was their proudest moment in a very long time.
2.) “Baby Driver”
I knew Edgar Wright could direct, but a movie about a getaway driver starring the heartthrob from “The Fault in Our Stars”? It doesn’t sound terrific, but this movie blew me away with its frantic energy, Elgort’s amazing performance, and Wright’s impeccable precision with his directing and editing style. This was one of the most entertaining movies of the year, and it made Elgort a true star to look out for, and it is much in thanks to Wright, who truly brought the flair and the energy to what could have been a very simple film.
1.) “Get Out”
The no-brainer surprise of the year for me, “Get Out” was the early 2017 hit that just got better and better over time. I did not know what to expect out of Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, especially one that looked this controversial, but Peele held nothing back, and it paid off in every single way. Daniel Kaluuya gave a powerhouse performance, and Peele’s direction was nothing short of exceptional, and on a movie that felt like it could be a major misfire, “Get Out” started off 2017 with a bang, and still remains one of the best movies of 2017.
“The LEGO Ninjago Movie”
“All Eyez on Me”
“Ghost in the Shell”
All this had to be was a funny comedy. Instead, this movie has weak jokes and an overly-complicated plot that gets ridiculous very fast. I can’t say I was expecting an award winner, but I did expect something fun, and “Baywatch” was tedious, poorly executed, and certainly not fun to watch.
4.) “Cars 3”
After seeing that first trailer of Lightning McQueen flipping through the air, my excitement went through the roof for a potentially gritty sequel to the subpar “Cars 2”. Instead, the third installment felt like more of the same, with only slight improvements to Pixar’s worst film to date. I wouldn’t call “Cars 3” bad, but it certainly was underwhelming, especially after abandoning the tone seen in the original teaser.
3.) “The Circle”
The director of “The Spectacular Now” combined with Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, and John Boyega, and this movie still sucked? Welcome to “The Circle,” a film about companies using surveillance to see every corner of the world, but in the most mundane and uninteresting way imaginable. Almost nothing of note happens in the film, and by the time the credits rolled, I was left in pure rage at how much my hopes had been crushed.
This film felt like an easy home run: strong cast, great director, and a weird enough premise to stand out during awards season. The pieces were there, but “Downsizing” gets off track and never comes close to finding its footing again. The performances are fine, and the opening act is great, but there was so much left to be desired by the end of the film, and the fact that almost none of my expectations were met, even with a ridiculously long runtime, is an absolute disgrace.
1.) “The Snowman”
I swear “The Snowman” looked great on paper. A murder mystery starring Michael Fassbender sounds interesting, and the snowman aspect added a unique twist. The problem, however, is that “The Snowman” is one of the most painfully boring film experiences of the year, while also being poorly told, and horribly executed. Nothing in the film makes sense, Fassbender feels like he’s sleepwalking, and not only was this film a disappointment, it was truly awful, and it really shouldn’t have been.
What was your biggest surprise of 2017? Biggest disappointment? Comment below with your thoughts.