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.
DUNKIRK Action / Drama / History ★★★★☆ (4.2/5)
Suspense like a ticking time-bomb.
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.
WIND RIVER 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.
GOOD TIME 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.
PADDINGTON 2 Comedy for kids but made to be enjoyed by all: Hillarious! ★★★★☆ (4.2/5)
When any thought of reality is overwhelmed with wonder.
BLADE RUNNER 2049 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!
SUBURBICON Comedy/Crime/Mystery ★★★★1/2
Deadpan delivery of the clever, the very dark and the very funny.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI Fantasy/SciFi ★★★★1/2
No other word to describe: Epic!
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.
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.
MOUNTAIN 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.
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