Nat’s Top 10 Movies for 2017

It’s a personel moment when a film reaches into your mind to take you on a journey.  And I’m happy to say this is what the films below have given me over the past year.

Being an avid fan of the horror/thriller I was surprised when I realised  IT didn’t make it into my top 10 for 2017.  However, after a re-watch I found that, although a great coming-of-age film (still rating:★★★★), IT was more a monster movie than a thriller with Pennywise a little too animated for my taste.

So, brace yourself because it was more about the suspense and intellectual thrill that tickled the grey cells this year, with a bit of humour thrown in the mix.



Drama ★★★★☆ (4.2/5)

Moonlight is unique in that it’s both raw and subtle, creating something else, a feeling that stays with you that’s beautiful because it’s laid bare.  What a rarity and an experience you won’t soon forget.



Action / Drama / History ★★★★☆ (4.2/5)

Nolan has used his talent to bring the true story of Dunkirk to the screen without over-dramatising, allowing us to admire the courage and valour of the civilians of Britain who saved more than 330, 000 soldiers’ lives.

Suspense like a ticking time-bomb.



Crime/Mystery ★★★★☆ (4.2/5)

After writing the screenplay for the two highly regarded crime/thrillers, Sicario (2015) – which I gave a 5/5, and, Hell or High Water (2016), Taylor Sheridan has returned as writer and as director (debut) of the crime/mystery, Wind River: a tragedy based on actual events, beautifully told, where each moment, word and gesture show more than just the surface.



Drama/Arthouse ★★★★☆ (4.2/5)

The Safdie brothers (Josh and Ben) return with their fifth feature film, building on their gonzo-style street films with Official Selection and winner of the Cannes Soundtrack Award, Good Time.

And I was hooked from the opening scene.



Comedy for kids but made to be enjoyed by all: Hillarious! ★★★★☆ (4.2/5)

When any thought of reality is overwhelmed with wonder.



SciFi ★★★★☆ (4.3/5)

Atmospheric and quietly menacing.

And that’s the quality of the film, subtle: complicated emotions yet, made to feel simple.  A kind of gentle unfolding with an underlying darkness driving life into the shadows, but the shadows fighting back, like life…

Ah, don’t you love it when a movie makes you feel all moody when you leave the cinema!



Comedy/Crime/Mystery ★★★★1/2

Deadpan delivery of the clever, the very dark and the very funny.



Fantasy/SciFi ★★★★1/2

Rian Johnson also wrote and directed, Looper (2012) and has brought that same attention to the script here, revealing layer upon layer of story to take the audience on a journey totally unexpected.

No other word to describe: Epic!


Miss Sloane

Drama / Thriller ★★★★☆ (4.6/5)

This is a thoroughly absorbing film because its cleverness is combined with an undercurrent of emotion that’s felt without needing explanation. 

Classy and smart all the way – brilliant.



Documentary ★★★★★

Unbelievable as it may be, but a documentary tops my list of best films of 2017: I felt like my soul was being fed by this symphony of poetry, imagery and sound.

A combination of sound and stomach clenching cinematography creates a thrill as people fly down slopes or jump into the air 1000s of feet above the earth, death defying leaps, where there really must be an element of insanity, to even think, yet, it’s not about thinking, it’s about feeling alive.



GoMovieReviews Rating:

Rated: M

Directed by: Barry JenkinsMoonlight

Screenplay by: Barry Jenkins

Story by: Tarell Alvin McCraney

Produced by: Alede Romanski, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner

Starring: Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes, Naomie Harris, Janelle Monáe, André Holland and Mahershala Ali.

An emotionally charged, poignant film brought close to the audience through beautiful camerawork and the direction of open and honest performances making the story all the more real.

Moonlight follows the life of Cheron as he grows up in the Projects of Miami.

The story follows as he grows from Little (Alex Hibbert), just a kid already running, to Cheron (Ashton Sanders) in the midst of adolescence, to MoonlightBlack (Trevante Rhodes), the man he is destined to become.  Each step of life is depicted by a different actor, yet the resemblance of the three is astounding.

Moonlight reveals the life of a boy as he struggles to grow through his mother’s drug addiction, loneliness, racism and his sexual identity.  But this isn’t an in-your-face film that confronts and rips your heart out, this is a story shown with genuine artistry through beautiful shots of people and light and an openness where you can see the character up close, like the whisper of a secret.

The soundtrack (composed by: Nicholas Britell) is quiet and used to turn the tide of tone, carefully.  The music making or breaking the mood of a film and the support of the soundtrack here essential as the story is shown through the subtle.

And that’s what makes the film resonate so loudly: the small movements, the way a head turns or the light as those eyes flick.  All those awkward movements felt and shown, known.

We’ve all been there at some point: the fool, the humiliated, the hated.  We’ve all felt the quiet.  Yet the film shows love too, like kids sprinting then laughing because they feel the joy of the blood pumping, like kids do.


The authenticity of the story comes from the script based on a project written by Tarell Alvin McCraney: A Forging of Cinematic Identity of Miami, with director Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy) broadening the script and adapting for screen.

By coincidence both McCraney and Jenkins grew up in the Liberty City housing projects where most of the film is set.  And the experience shows in how and where the film was shot.

This isn’t the Miami you see on TV.  Yet the feeling of Miami is still there in the palm trees, the beach and the sea breeze.

The soundtrack, the setting, the camera work is all used to support the amazing performances of the cast.  As Cheron grows into a man the performances are so open and honest I felt I could see into the soul of the man he becomes.

Moonlight is unique in that it’s both raw and subtle, creating something else, a feeling that stays with you that’s beautiful because it’s laid bare.  What a rarity and an experience you won’t soon forget.

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