Best Movies of 2017... So Far

The best film that I've seen this year wasn't shot in IMAX 70 mm. It doesn't have the pedigree of an Oscar-nominated filmmaker. It didn't make a ton of money in the box office. In fact, the movie hasn't even been released nationally. It had one screening in Los Angeles back in June at a film festival, and so far has no information about future screenings or even release dates digitally. The film is Being Black Enough or (How to Kill a Black Man). It's a film by Devin Rice, a young black filmmaker who has a lot of potential. I wrote a review describing that potential.  Hopefully, it will get some distribution before the end of the year, so that I can add it to my top ten, but until then, it's on hold and should be a film to watch for.

Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast is the blockbuster of the year though. It made $504 million here in the United States, making it the clear number-one. It's made $1.26 billion worldwide, which puts it in the top ten films of all-time, just behind Disney's Frozen (2013). Right on its heels is The Fate of the Furious, which is at $1.23 billion. Next in line is the super-hero flick, Guardians of the Galaxy. Because it was just released, Spider-Man: Homecoming has a way to climb, which it probably will. However, the success story of the year has to be Wonder Woman. Warner Bros. released three previous films in the DC Extended Universe, and all of them were poorly received. They made enough money not to be considered failures, but Wonder Woman changes all that. Not only is it critically acclaimed but it has become the highest-grossing film directed by a woman. Patty Jenkins was the director and has crafted something truly special.

Yes, Wonder Woman is the best comic book film so far. The best romantic film would have to be Terrence Malick's Song to Song. The best comedy would have to be Malcolm D. Lee's Girls Trip, followed by Onur Tukel's Catfight. That makes the two best comedies about women, one where women learn to come together and one where they tear each other apart. Both though are interesting and compelling in their own rights. The best romantic comedy would have to be Hirokazu Koreeda's After the Storm. It's probably so because it doesn't announce itself as such. It's about Japanese people in a quieter and not outright contrived situation. Koreeda's film is more genuine and not as sitcom-ish as The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, which is a Christian film that I also enjoyed, but that's okay.

There was only one action film other than Wonder Woman that I latched onto, and that was Eran Creevy's Collide. To me, it was a much better version of Baby Driver and more thrilling than The Fate of the Furious. There was only one horror film that caught my attention and kept it, and that was M. Night Shyamalan's Split. Shymalan is officially back.

I know most people will put Jordan Peele's Get Out on the list of best horror films or just the list of best films on 2017, period, but in my review of Get Out, I lay out why the film is problematic as the satire that most are praising. As a thriller, I thought American Fable by Anne Hamilton was more intriguing. In terms of genre films, that was all I liked. I didn't even latch onto any documentaries so far this year. I did enjoy The LEGO Batman Movie, but I missed My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea. There were some animated movies released straight to DVD or Blu-ray that made my list, but of the movies that played this year in theaters, my favorites were all dramas.

Here is the list with links to reviews when available.

Best Drama

SONG TO SONG by Terrence Malick
WONDER WOMAN by Patty Jenkins
THE SALESMAN by Asghar Farhadi
BURNING SANDS by Gerard McMurray
THE LOST CITY OF Z by James Gray
FRANTZ by Fran├žois Ozon
RETAKE by Nick Corporon
SPLIT by M. Night Shyamalan
COLLIDE by Eran Creevy
LOVESONG by So Yong Kim
BWOY by John G. Young

Best Comedy

GIRLS TRIP by Malcolm D. Lee
CATFIGHT by Onur Tukel
AFTER THE STORM by Hirokazu Koreeda
LITTLE BOXES by Rob Meyer
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE by Chris McKay
DO YOU TAKE THIS MAN by Joshua Tunick
THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE by Dallas Jenkins


Best Overlooked DVD or VOD Releases

COME AND FIND ME by Zack Whedon
THE TAKE or BASTILLE DAY by James Watkins
TANNA by Martin Butler & Bentley Dean
TEEN TITANS: THE JUDAS CONTRACT by Sam Liu
MERCENARY by Sacha Wolff
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK by Jay Oliva
TONI ERDMANN by Maren Ade
PATRIOTS DAY by Peter Berg
RUN THE TIDE (2016) by Soham Mehta

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