Jacob Hall’s Top 10 Movies of 2017 So Far

Baby Driver Sequel

5. Baby Driver

Best described as “Heat re-imagined as a jukebox musical,” Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver is nothing short of joyful. The parts are familiar, but the build is unique – a “one last job” crime movie set to a killer soundtrack the informs the pace and rhythm of everything you’re seeing on screen. Watching car chases and action scenes (and even mundane conversations) move to the beat of whatever is playing on the soundtrack never gets old and a game cast ensures that their archetypal characters stand out beyond the tropes they’re inverting. While Ansel Elgort provides a lovely deadpan as the lead, it’s Kevin Spacey’s menacing papa bear crime boss and Jon Hamm’s raging henchman who steal the show.

Garance Marillier in Raw

4. Raw

Calling Raw a “cannibal movie” is both accurate and misleading. Yes, this is a horror movie about a young vegetarian girl who goes to veterinary school and learns that she has a taste for human flesh, but it’s not about eating other people. Raw is less interested in cannibalism and more interested in the loneliness that comes with being away from home for the first time, the isolation of finding yourself between cliques, those awkward moments when you try to evolve into a new person amongst those who don’t know the old you, and the unpleasant ickiness of your early sexual encounters when you have no idea what the hell you’re doing. Above all, it’s about sisterhood and the complex feelings that drive siblings apart before bringing them together again. And yes, it’s also full of extreme gore and body horror. Oh, and it all wraps up with the greatest ending you’ll see in 2017, an exchange between two characters (and a sudden reveal that is both deeply romantic and horrifying) that will scar your brain even as you go “Awww.”

John Wick pic 3

3. John Wick: Chapter 2

There has never been an action movie series quite like John Wick. The emphasis here isn’t just on the bonebreaking, head-exploding action (of which there is plenty). Just as much time is spent building a complex world of assassins and secret organizations that operate by arcane rules and regulations. Just as much time is spent transforming every single character on screen into someone we understand, love, or loathe. Even those who exist simply to supply helpful exposition are brimming with personality. And at the center of it all is Keanu Reeves in a role that is built to emphasize all of his strengths and nullify all of his weaknesses – a seemingly zen warrior whose effortless manner of dispatching his foes slowly cracks, revealing the rage within. I have already written 4,000 words on why John Wick: Chapter 2 is a masterpiece that manages to top the first film in just about every way, so I’ll just get to the point: this is one of the best and cleverest action movies of all time and it is a gift to fans of the genre.

The Big Sick Alamo Drafthouse

2. The Big Sick

Warm and sweet and hilarious and humane, The Big Sick isn’t just the best romantic comedy of 2017…it may be one of the best romantic comedies ever made. Directed by Michael Showalter and written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon (who based their screenplay on their real-life relationship), this is the most downright pleasant experience you’ll have in a movie theater this year. That’s not to say the film is without drama or stakes – the relationship at the heart of the movie between Nanjiani (playing himself) and Zoe Kazan (playing a version of Gordon) has its ups and downs and, uh, comas, but it’s all so fresh and so funny and so honest. Even as The Big Sick is recognizable and painfully human in every single frame, it’s hilarious. Even as The Big Sick tackles race and religion and breaking from family tradition to pursue your heart’s desires, it feels universal. This is the kind of movie so gentle and good-natured that it sneaks up and blindsides you with unexpected power and grace.

get out

1. Get Out

Holy hell. How do you even begin to talk about Get Out? As a horror movie, it’s top-notch – an unnerving and spooky and paranoid tale of abductions and stolen identities. As a comedy, it’s perfect – those horror elements are balanced by wry jokes that escalate as the plot grows increasingly insane. As a social satire, it’s ferocious – the topic of race in America is keenly explored and dissected with wit and clarity. As a political statement, it’s a molotov cocktail – it uses its horror imagery to examine how white America continues to exploit people of color and sell their bodies well over a century after slavery was abolished. In his directorial debut, Jordan Peele has established himself as one of the cleverest, angriest, funniest, and most incendiary voices working in cinema today. Get Out has no right to work as well as it does, but those elements come together in a maniacal, violent, and hilarious clockwork to create an experience so singular and unforgettable that I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I saw it. It’s a film of such stunning depth that I feel unqualified to even write about it. But I can’t stop talking about it.

Pages: Previous page 1 2

Cool Posts From Around the Web: