Stars & Popcorn Present the Best Movies of 2017!
2017 has come and gone, so it’s that time to look back on it and reflect on all the good and bad that has befallen us. Instead of focusing on the bad though, Stars & Popcorn is going to take a look at the best movies of 2017 to raise our spirits a little. Now, we’re not your grandma’s movie review site, which means we aren’t just going to focus on the movies that deserve awards and accolades. Instead, we’re going to focus on the movies that helped us survive the year while everything seemed to be hitting the fan. It’s time for a list that appreciates that fine balance of both stars and popcorn. The entertaining movies that were thought-provoking, unique, and gave us a much-needed escape from the woes of our everyday life. So, get ready for this list, because we know that not all great movies are good, and it’s that time to reflect on the great things that happened at the movies.
Let’s settle into the groove of this list with It. Of course, this movie wasn’t a cinematic tour de force like The Florida Project or Ladybird, but it’s been a long time since we’ve had a horror movie that was actually really good. With other movies like Jigsaw in the genre this year, It stood out as one of the best movies of 2017 because it balanced the horror genre with a coming of age themes. As must as the internet wanted to cling to Tim Curry’s performance in the mini-series, he’s got nothing on Bill Skarsgård. Plus with nearly $700,000,000 in worldwide box office sales, it would seem moviegoers felt the same way about it.
I might not have thought that Thor: Ragnarok was a good Thor film, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a damn good superhero comedy. Despite so many superhero movies out this year (and so many on this list), Thor: Ragnarok proved itself to be one of the best movies of 2017 by being a refreshing change of pace from all the others. Director Taika Waititi managed to utilize Chris Hemsworth’s newly discovered comedic talents in the best way possible, while still giving us one of the most dazzling films of the year. Plus, Tessa Thompson was a total badass in the movie making her one of the best additions to the MCU in years.
8. Spider-Man: Homecoming
It looks like third time’s the charm as Spider-man finally comes home to Marvel and swings his way onto this list of the best movies of 2017. Tom Holland manages to capture what fans have always loved most about the wall-crawling hero by making him a loveable outcast that we can all relate to. Best of all, it manages to avoid the dreaded Marvel villain problem by not just falling back on a dark version of the hero by casting Michael Keaton as The Vulture (he’s been having an impressive year making a comeback to the big screen). Marvel really made a move towards diversity with the casting of Jacob Batalon, Zendaya, and Laura Harrier in crucial roles. A new trend I’m hoping to see snowball in the future.
7. Baby Driver
Enough of the superhero movies for now (we’ll get back to them later), Baby Driver was exactly what audiences needed from a summer action film to avoid comic movie fatigue. Not only is it one of Edgar Wright’s best films, but it’s also easily one of the best movies of 2017. Featuring a stellar cast, outstanding soundtrack, and some of the most incredible car chase scenes since the original Bourne trilogy, there was no way of knowing just how good this movie was going to be before walking in. Baby Driver isn’t exactly one of the most reassuring titles ever, but that’s all part of the film’s charm.
6. John Wick: Chapter 2
John Wick is probably the most impressive original character we’ve gotten in decades. The first film was so good that it left lingering doubt that any sequel could possibly come close to the bar is set. Chapter 2 through manages to do exactly that as it expands on the fantastic world Wick inhabits. Plus, there’s no dead dog this time, which is always a good thing in my book. I’m a huge fan of the character which might make me a little biased, but I still wholeheartedly believe that this is one of the best movies of 2017. With a third movie in the works, a comic series, and a rumored prequel tv-series, it would seem I’m hardly alone in my love of John Wick.
Deadpool might have done it first, but Logan managed to prove that there is a high demand for R-rated superhero movies. It proved to be a fitting goodbye to Hugh Jackman as well, who has been around since the genre exploded in the new millennium. Other actors have come and gone from roles, but he’s always going to be the Wolverine. I almost feel sorry for whoever takes on the role next, because he’s going to have some big claws to fill. Logan wasn’t your typical superhero film either. There were no flashy costumes, no world-threatening plots to battle, no oversexualized love interests. It was just a man on his last legs trying to do the right thing one more time.
I’m a huge fan of the original Blade Runner, so it fills my heart with joy that I can legitimately include this long-awaited sequel on the list of the best movies of 2017. What made it such a great sequel is that director Denis Villeneuve clearly understood the original movie and used that understanding to expand on the themes without simply regurgitating them. This is also probably my favorite performance from Ryan Gosling (besides his role in The Good Guys). In fact, the whole cast was spectacular in this, especially Harrison Ford who made a triumphant return as the Blade Runner who dreamt of unicorns. One of the few sequels this year that didn’t fail audiences.
Of course Pixar managed to make one of the best movies of 2017, However, it’s not just on this list because it’s an outstanding film. Coco is a movie that we desperately needed in a time when racism has gone mainstream. With a President that made building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico a cornerstone of his campaign, Pixar dove into the rich culture of the Mexican people and gave us a film that was essentially a huge middle finger to the ignorant masses who supported the policy. Coco proved that social commentary doesn’t have to be heavy handed and that movies are a great way to open our eyes to the beauty of the world.
2. Wonder Woman
Continuing the trend of great movies with strong social messages, Wonder Woman is by far and away the best thing to come out of the DCU (and that’s coming from a die-hard Batman film). Gal Gadot proves that she is the hero that we all need and is more than capable of shouldering the weight of her own film with grace. Not only that, but it proved that the age-old belief that audiences don’t want to see female lead action films couldn’t be less true. This was a year for breaking the mold with superhero movies and that’s why I couldn’t be happier to put Wonder Woman on this list of the best movies of 2017! Here’s hoping for more strong women on screen in the coming years.
1. Get Out
Coming in at the very top of the best movies of 2017 is the film that the year should be remembered for. Jordan Peele transitions from on-screen funny man to the thought-provoking director with his debut feature that shows the horror of racism. A movie that was delightfully uncomfortable for the privileged in the audience, Get Out has a strong message that is carefully intertwined with all the tropes we love about the horror genre (the good ones at least). While social commentary is no stranger to the big screen, this film manages to do so in a way that appealed to both sides of the issue in such a way that allows it’s message to be fully absorbed by the audience. I know I certainly had my fair share of white guilt afterwards, but damn if I didn’t want to see it again. That’s why Get Out is Stars & Popcorn’s best movie of the year.
There you have it. Sure there are a lot of films that received critical praise that is missing from this list. But going to the movies isn’t always about the stars. In fact, after the horror show, 2017 was for so many people, I believe it’s the popcorn that saved our sanity. What were some of your favorite movies of the year? Do you have any unique recommendations that people might have missed? Be sure to comment below with your top picks so we all have something to fill the first month of the year with.