My Top 15 Best Films of 2017 (UK Release Dates)

Honorable Mentions ...



Top 15:

15: 'Good Time' is a film which is has a speedy pace and a straight forward narrative, with impressive visuals and music to boot. The performances lift this way above your standard crime thriller and as for as the overall package, the film is an engaging ride for viewing as an audience and is a good piece of filmmaking for the more analytical sort.

   14:Baby Driver has to be one of the most entertaining films I saw this summer. The films pacing never lacks and each action sequence is as exciting as the last. If you want a fun filled, action packed, cinematic extravaganza without killing your brain cells, Baby Driver is for you.
  13: The Disaster Artist is not just a film which recognises the spirit of the 2003 cult film "The Room", it is also a heartwarming film about friendship and the passion to achieve your vision, no matter how questionable it may be.

Not to mention James Franco's brilliant interpretation as Tommy Wiseau.

  12: Boasting a brilliant screenplay from writer/director Kenneth Lonergan and terrific performances from Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, 'Manchester By The Sea' is a film which is an honest, heartwarming and relatable story for the everyday person and presents how entertainment can seamlessly represent reality while still being engaging.
  11: Like 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' this film is more focused on the apes and further explores how they have evolved since the last film and shows the audience through subtitles and body language how they interact with each other, which is quite a risk considering half of these films are actually sub-titled, not many blockbusters would dream of trusting their audience to read. Without a doubt this film is one of the most intelligent blockbuster films in the past few years. The tone throughout this entire film is somber and foreboding as the emotion of the film is centered on Caesar's grief and anger. It's impossible to not relate to Caesar's feelings as the film presents these emotional themes clearly and in a beautiful manner which is more expected in an art-house film, but works brilliantly here with the help from Andy Serkis' powerful performance and the extremely talented CG animators. 

All in all, a brilliant end to a brilliant trilogy. 

  10: Silence is the type of film that does not answer questions or tie things up to their most logical point, but instead is a film that just wants you to think after it's over, and whether you like the film or not, most people will agree that it is a memorable experience. It's quite rare today that we get a mainstream film that really wants to challenge it's audience. 'Silence' is uncompromising in every degree, from it's style, storytelling, themes and tones. Don't expect a middle ground in this film because you won't get one.

And to me this film is all the better for it. 

  9: I believe that this film is best seen with knowing as little as possible, so I will not get into any plot details, but I will say that 'Fog In August' is a thought provoking, earth shattering film which I would highly recommend to anyone who is interested in the history of the holocaust or mental illness, nevertheless this film is sure to be effective to everyone who sees it.
  8: On the surface, the set up of Free Fire is nothing new and the sound of the premise will probably make film buffs shrug their shoulders and say "I'd rather just watch reservoir dogs", but despite the obvious similarities, Free Fire still manages to surprise me with it's quick wit and creative action, Thanks to the talents of director Ben Wheatley and writer Amy Jump.

It's a film that I keep wanting to go back to and each time I watch it, I still find it as funny and engaging as the first viewing.

  7:  The writing, performances and direction make 'The Death of Stalin' a film which whatever your political opinion maybe, laugh at the flawed and desperate nature of the characters, which we can all relate to in one way or another.  If you were expecting a historically and culturally accurate film, then you maybe confused as to why all the Russian characters have distinctive British and American accents, once you start to settle into the tone of the film you begin to understand why director Armando Iannucci has made this decision. In terms of tone it feels like a mix between 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and 'House of Cards' as odd as a mix that sounds it works excellently to create the absurd world that is satirising one not too dissimilar.
6: The highlight of 'Christine' is unquestionably Rebecca Hall's stunning central performance, her line delivery, body language and all the small instances of her performance make Christine one of the most memorable characters of recent film memory. This film can be interpreted in many ways and will make most audiences have different views regarding what it's underlying theme is. I saw it as an allegory for depression, which is beautifully demonstrated throughout the entirety of the film. While this type of theme being explored may make people unconformable it's a powerful way of portraying depression and how people like Christine, who suffer from depression see the world from their own perspective.
5: 'Dunkirk' is another successful chapter in Nolan's Filmography. Anyone who knows of Nolan's work does not need me telling them that this film is well directed, c'mon everyone and their mother knows that by now, but the scenes involving the air force in-flight are worth mentioning because of the camera's focus on the central rotation of the real-life inverting planes, which is nothing less than an example of A-class cinema. The Music from Hans Zimmer is the emotional center of the film, not only because the film has little dialog, but also because of how Zimmer is able to capture the right emotion for every second of a film as fast paced and chaotic as this. The sound design is amazing, simply amazing, if it does not win the academy award, something is really, really wrong. 'Dunkirk' is a masterful war film which is really worth seeing on the big screen, but is also capable of being engaging while seeing it at home.
4:'mother!' is a thought-provoker of the first degree. It won't please everyone, nor should it. It's an unpleasant viewing, but in my eyes an essential one. No matter how you feel about Darren Aronofsky you can't deny that his films are atmospheric, which is the most effective skill you can have as a director when you are crafting a horror film. This film is a horrific nightmare and I loved it.  
  3: Yes, yes, yes. La La Land may be overrated, but one cannot deny the talent on show here. Damien Chazelle will make any aspiring filmmaker in awe at the craftsmanship on display. The cinematography from Linus Sandgren is simply outstanding and the music from Justin Hurwitz caps off the film as a truly magical experience.
  2: Detroit' stands tall as the best period drama of the year. Although the film has a lengthy 143 minute runtime each scene is engaging as the last thanks to Bigelow's direction and Mark Boal's powerful script and not least of all to the intense performances from the film's talented cast, the highlight being Will Poulter who plays the violent, hateful and vicious cop Philip Krauss. The dread fueled motel sequence is more terrifying than most horror films, due to the power of Will Poulter's demanding performance.
'Detroit' is a very powerful film indeed, Brilliantly written, directed and performed. It's honest about a sensitive subject matter, and is brave enough to accurately portray the atmosphere of turbulent times. Whether you want to draw modern day parallels, or you agree or disagree with the films politics, you have to admit that the film feels real, for a film like this, that's what really matters.

1: 'Moonlight is a film which really is indescribable. While some critics and audiences have viewed it as a film about prejudice, I myself saw it as a film about guilt and forgiveness.
This is a passionate and a truly emotional thought provoking film, which may be interpreted is many ways, but it will always open the door for discussion, which is what cinema is all about and while I can interpret the film in my own way, I don't feel I am doing it justice, to have any understanding of Barry Jenkins latest film you just have to cancel out the noise at watch it for yourself. And of course I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you do.