The following is a list of movies I saw for the first time in 2017, ranked from the one I liked most to the one I liked least, and with brief comments. (Comments are written with the assumption that the reader has seen the movie.) Note, though, that I liked every movie I saw this year.
- your name.: This is it. This is the movie where I can finally stop qualifying the statement “Makoto Shinkai is a genius.” Prior to this, I always had to append “but this movie only points to his potential without showing its full extent.” But your name. shows what he’s truly capable of–like almost all of his work, your name. uses a science-fictional high-concept premise to tell an intensely personal story of love and loss, but in the past he’s had trouble landing the emotional beats and pulling off the concept at the same time, generally succeeding in one or the other, but never both. In your name., he does both. (And, of course, it’s visually stunning, but that should go without saying–it’s Makoto Shinkai.)
- Thor: Ragnarok: The only way to truly move on from the horrors of empire is to burn the society built from that empire. Keep the people, but destroy the structures of power. Easily the best Thor movie and the best Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
- Lego Batman Movie: This is the best Batman movie ever made.
- Wonder Woman: Incredibly important for what it does and what it achieved, and many moments are brilliant–but the whole ends up less than the some of the parts. Plus it implies that Diana sat around doing nothing during the Holocaust, which goes beyond being out-of-character and shades into character assassination.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming: Finally, a Spider-Man movie that gets it.
- The Last Jedi: This is the best Star Wars movie because it’s the only one that realizes Star Wars is actually terrible: heroes get people killed, desperate last stands against overwhelming odds usually fail, terrible fucking people who do one good deed usually go right back to being terrible, and rebellions are built on sacrifice, not hope. Now if we can just get that droid uprising…
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Looks great, and I’m a sucker for father-son stuff, but it’s fluff. To its credit, it knows it.
Movies I know I need to see:
- Get Out
- Professor Marsden and the Wonder Women
- My Little Pony: The Movie
What movies did you like this year? Dislike? Are there any movies not on this list that I need to go see?