Jack Giroux’s Top 10 Movies of 2017 So Far

It Comes At Night

5. It Comes at Night

The bleakness of this post-apocalyptic tale gets right under my skin. In Trey Edward Shults‘ film, each character is hoping for the best. That rarely ever goes well in It Comes at Night, in which no monster is needed to create suspense or horror. A room full of well-intentioned humans is enough to create problems and fear. There’s plenty of terror in It Comes at Night thanks to distrust and a killer virus, but it’s human nature that turns out to be the real threat. Shults’ second feature is sparse, but each scene is heavy. The filmmaker creates a remarkable and immersive sense of dread. It’s almost scarier after the credits roll, too. The darkness generally overshadows the few moments of warmth and humanity in 97 haunting minutes.

Logan Cameos

4. Logan

James Mangold‘s comic book movie is a completely satisfying standalone experience and farewell to a character we’ve watched for the last 16 years. There’s sadness to the deeply flawed hero Mangold explores to the fullest in Logan. The fallen X-Man has probably killed more people than he can count – for a superhero who’s saved the world a few times, he’s had a terrible life. His pain is on full display in this film, a comic book movie that never sacrifices character for the sake of action or comedic relief. Of course, the action scenes are exhilarating and intense. The stakes feel higher than before because they’re usually not as personal as Logan‘s, so the action packs more drama and excitement. The internal challenges are as palpable as the external ones in Mangold’s exceptional film, which feels uncompromised from the beginning to the very powerful end.

The Lure

3. The Lure

The Lure is a Polish musical about two Mermaid besties working in a club. Yes, Agnieszka Smoczynska‘s movie is every bit as wild and incredible as it sounds. The mermaids, who usually eat men for dinner, are two friends paying a visit to a sometimes wondrous and joyful but mostly disappointing and grimy human world. It’s a love story between the mermaids, not the human Srebrna (Marta Mazurek) with whom falls in love. They bring a lot of light to Smoczynska’s sometimes comically mundane settings, which contrasts the simple with the extraordinary. Not for a second does Smoczynska make it hard to suspend one’s disbelief watching a pair of mermaids sing in a club. She brings such an energy to the movie, too. The sequences in the club are some of my favorite of the year – full of life, excitement, and something different. The Lure is one violent and heartfelt musical.

Ruby Rose in John Wick Chapter 2

2. John Wick: Chapter Two

My second favorite movie of the year supplied my favorite moviegoing experience of the year so far. I took my dad to see Chad Stahelski‘s action movie. He hadn’t seen the first movie and doesn’t watch action movies. He couldn’t believe his eyes, his mouth agape during most of the A-plus set pieces, which move with swiftness and clarity. His expression wasn’t dissimilar to the famous Steven Spielberg “awe face.” I loved it, just as much I love where this sequel takes John Wick (Keanu Reeves). Stahelski and screenwriter Derek Kolstad don’t go too much bigger with the sequel and try to blow the first movie out of the water, but they expand on the unique and fun world they established in part one. Stahelski has an impeccable sense of style. The color choices, the costumes, the sets, and an actor with his own presence, Mr. Keanu Reeves, all make for one beautiful movie. John Wick: Chapter Two is an action movie shot and structured with grace and stars a hero who doesn’t waste any time on exposition or tangential subplots.

the lost city of z review

1. The Lost City of Z

James Gray‘s adaptation of David Grann‘s novel is his most emotional work to date. Gray doesn’t place emphasis on the madness in Percy Fawcett’s long search for a lost city. The Lost City of Z isn’t a story about a character reaching for greatness out of arrogance, but to explore the unexplored, seeking knowledge. There’s a purity to Fawcett’s quest in the Amazons, and a love for the place he shares with his son, Jack Fawcett (Tom Holland). Even though their journey doesn’t end well, to put it lightly, Percy Fawcett and Gray see more than despair. I won’t spoil it, but the final lines between Fawcett and his son are incredibly moving, say everything that needs to be said about Fawcett, and have stuck with me. The Lost City of Z is an epic with characters as rich as the arresting and lush shots.

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