As promised I’ll have these up here before Facebook. #5-1 will be posted next week. Happy Holidays Everyone!
#10 – Ghost in the Shell
Let’s start off with the most controversial film of the list. Yes, I know this was universally hated for even daring to attempt an adaptation of the beloved Anime classic. I know about the white-washing, which I wrote an article why I think that reasoning is weak to boycott the film. But if you follow my reviews at all you knew that I actually really enjoyed this film. Yes, I’ve seen the original so I do have some comparison going on. Yet, I still enjoyed the film as one of the best looking films of the year and ended up being an above average action thriller. Is there things it did wrong? Absolutely, the heavy reliance on imagery from the anime was unnecessary, and its use of too many action movie cliches are the two major ones that I can think of. But what it lacked in philosophically loaded exposition like the original did it get in some nuance that most people chose to ignore. It did some amazing effect shots that were done practically (the birthing scene with the robotic skeleton was practical) and it was entertaining to watch. You might hate it, but it’s my list so I will put it down.
#9 – Justice League
Another movie that people seem to hate a lot more than I feel is fair. It’s not a perfect movie by any means, the plot is predictable and has a weak antagonist. But I still saw it 3 times this year and didn’t mind one bit. Call this my “guilty pleasure” movie of the year. Not to say there were things that movie didn’t get right: the plot, while predictable, was at least well paced. The action scenes were easy to follow and exciting. But most of all, I am excited to finally see the DC heroes on screen together. I am a big DC comics fan and having the gang together was a treat for me. All of them were well acted and worked well together with a chemistry that felt natural and balanced. It may not have been the Avengers buster people were hoping for but it did make me more interested in the future solo movies to come.
#8 – Dunkirk
Anytime a Nolan movie comes out, you bet I’m going to be excited for it. I was also fortunate enough to watch it in IMAX, which was what I would call an “experience movie”. This film was made for large-format theaters with some of the most immersive experiences at the movies. The soundtrack made me feel like I was in a war zone, which added to the sense of danger and suspense that loomed over the movie. The images were beautifully shot and edited together in another non-linear way of telling a story that Nolan is famous for. The only reason why this film didn’t score higher was because I haven’t really given much thought to the film since watching it. Also the impact it has will be lessened as it goes to home video. Even a 7.1 surround home theater won’t do the film justice. This film was made for the theater.
#7 – Spiderman: Homecoming
Marvel Studios wasn’t a complete disappointment this year. From the movie that had a lot of doubts for it too. The original Spiderman films are considered classics (the first two at least) and the last couple movies were disappointing to put it mildly. This film has reversed the trend with the best Spiderman film since Spiderman 2. Tom Holland is without a doubt the best Spiderman on screen, Michael Keaton returns to comics as a relatable yet menacing version of a B list villain and having it take place in the Marvel Universe was a nice bonus. Most of all, it was a maturation story that worked perfectly for this version of Spiderman. Also it had the best end-credit bonus scene from Marvel yet.
#6 – Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
This film ranking as low as it is, I’m sure surprises a lot of people. I’ve seen this movie called both the best Star Wars ever and the worst one since Attack of the Clones. Needless to say this film has been very divisive for fans. I find myself in the middle of it all. I liked the movie and felt it did a lot of things right but there were some really annoying story decisions that stopped it short of being a great movie. That said, it did have a bunch of surprises which was refreshing since Episode 7 was too similar to the original. Plus I have a soft spot for Luke Skywalker and seeing him again was fun. The second act was bumpy but the ending was satisfying. Overall, this movie isn’t the best film since Empire Strikes Back and it’s not as bad as Attack of the Clones.