SPOILER WARNING: These moments may contain crucial points in the plots of these movies
10.) Take Me Home, Country Road – “Logan Lucky”
In a plot that twists and turns with humor and action, Steven Soderbergh opens up some emotion with this scene towards the end of “Logan Lucky.” Jimmy Logan has just pulled off a massive robbery at a motor speedway and somehow manages to make it to the beauty pageant where his daughter, Sadie, would be performing. Her plan was to sing Rihanna’s “Umbrella” but changes her song at the last minute and sings John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” In the very first scene of the film, Sadie and Jimmy are talking about the song. It is one of Jimmy’s favorites, and it is a touching tribute to him from his daughter.
9.) Flashback Reveal – “Wind River”
In a movie about a gruesome murder, we see where it all started in this scene. Natalie is seen at the bunkhouse of men that work on the reservation, where she is meeting her boyfriend, Matt. Earlier in the movie when speaking with Natalie’s brothers, they seem to think that her boyfriend is up to no good and is not the greatest of people. It turns out that it may not have been him, but the men he was working with. His coworkers came back to the bunkhouse very drunk one night, and barge into Matt’s room where they find him and Natalie in bed. Matt gets into a physical altercation with one of the other men, which turns into a huge fight with multiple people. Natalie ends up getting beaten and raped by these men in an absolutely appalling and morbid scene. It is hard to watch but is very important to the film.
8.) Soldiers Return Home – “Dunkirk”
I loved this scene because of the emotion it opens up. Before George dies on the boat, he says something along the lines of wanting to make it in the newspaper to make his family proud. That is exactly what happens as the soldiers return home to Britain to read about the courageous effort they just gave in the Battle of Dunkirk. An excerpt from Churchill’s famous “We shall fight on the beaches” speech is also read aloud during this scene, which I thought was a great touch for the film.
7.) Kumail’s Breakdown – “The Big Sick”
When Kumail breaks down on stage during one of his stand-up performances, you get a good sense of how much he really cares for Emily. I think all of the emotions from this film are kind of captured in this moment where he is up on stage, and literally all he can think about is Emily, her well being, and just hoping she is going to be alright and pull through. In one of the most touching films of the year, this scene really brings it together for me.
6.) The Sunken Place – “Get Out”
The most terrifying scene of 2017 might just go out to this one. Daniel Kaluuya’s Chris is lured into this void by his girlfriend’s mother, which is really a bold political statement by director Jordan Peele on the struggles of being an African-American in modern-day America. This is the first time we get a glimpse that maybe this family is not so kind after all, and that they have some kind of an agenda for Chris. The scraping of the spoon against the teacup which ultimately hypnotizes Chris is absolutely horrifying, and this scene is brilliantly well-crafted.
5.) Stairway Brawl – “Atomic Blonde”
I mentioned this as a disappointing film earlier in the week, but it has one great scene. In the stairway brawl, Charlize Theron is an absolute badass. She encounters a group of thugs on a stairwell and fights them all off. The characters butt heads and bang each other up, and everything feels so real. It has to be one of my favorite action movie scenes that I can recall in quite some time. “Atomic Blonde” overall was disappointing, but this moment was tremendous.
4.) Opening Heist – “Baby Driver”
The thrilling song “Bellbottoms” playing in the background of this powerful opening makes it all the more fun. Ansel Elgort does a fantastic job taking on the persona of Baby, and it shines through right off the bat. The opening heist sets the tone for what the movie is going to be about and the pace it’s going to move at. It’s a fun movie that gets off to an extremely fun start, and words really do not do this scene enough justice.
3.) The Execution – “Detroit”
Another brutal scene comes from “Detroit.” I loved this scene because it just shows the intensity of the situation and how horrible things really were. An innocent man was killed by a police officer because he was too stupid to understand directions. The officer was told to mess with the other people being held hostage, but instead ends up killing the man they took upstairs. In an extremely intense movie, this was probably the most gripping scene.
2.) Ending – “The Florida Project”
A beautiful film that ends with young Moonie running away from the trashy Magic Castle Motel and away to Disney’s Magic Kingdom with her best friend before Child Services is able to take her away. It is a sign of hope for the young girls, that someday they may get out of that place they were stuck in. This movie shows the hardships that poor people living in America go through in their day to day lives, and at the end, there is a hopefulness to get away.
1.) Stuhlbarg Monologue – “Call Me by Your Name”
From the most beautiful film of the year comes the most beautiful monologue I may have ever heard. When Elio’s father learns of his homosexual relationship with Oliver, he delivers a monologue that will leave you speechless and on the verge of tears. It’d be better if you just watched it instead of me explaining it, and I urge you to do just that.
What was your favorite movie moment of 2017? Comment below with your thoughts.