Take a look at our list for the top five movies of 2017 plus quite a few honorable mentions definitely worth checking out…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
2017 was a good year for the movies.
Of course when it comes to the Academy Awards or the Golden Globes, most of the movies we talk about won’t even be mentioned but that doesn’t mean these five films don’t deserve that sort of recognition.
Actually it could be argued that the five films we selected take chances and push boundaries that many of those “award winning” movies couldn’t come close to achieving over the course of two hours.
Also understand our list is made up of the five best movies that we would cover here on Nerdcore Movement — so if you don’t see ‘Phantom Thread’ or even ‘Dunkirk’ that’s why. We try to stick to the films most beloved by pop culture nerds like us, which means you’ll see a few comic book movies and maybe even a couple popcorn flicks making the final list.
Even with the selection field narrowed, we still struggled to pick only five films amongst a great list of contenders this year. While there were certainly some disappointing movies — here’s looking at you ‘Justice League’ — there were far more that were satisfying, exhilarating, soulful and down right meaningful when it was all said and done.
Make sure to also look at the bottom of our list as we have picked five additional movies that wouldn’t typically be covered on NerdcoreMovement.com that definitely deserve recognition as well as five more honorable mentions.
With that said, let’s take a look at our top five films of 2017.
5) Thor: Ragnarok
Comic book movies aren’t really supposed to be all that funny — unless we’re watching Batman and Superman realize their mothers share the same name and we just double over in laughter watching that plot point unfurl — but ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ was a legitimately hilarious movie and if not for ‘The Big Sick’, it probably would have been the best comedy of the year.
Typically known as a ultra serious God of Thunder, Thor takes a magnificent twist under the direction of Taika Waititi as the character is cast out of his home in Asgard and transported across the universe until he lands on a garbage dump of a planet where a Grandmaster puts on gladiatorial fights for his own enjoyment like a technologically advanced Roman empire. Thor not only has to fight his way to freedom but he’s forced to work alongside his notoriously mistrustful half brother Loki while teaming up with a pissed off green monster named the Hulk, who does not want to let Bruce Banner come out to play.
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ isn’t just the best of all the Thor movies — this movie is far and away better than the other two — but this film might be one of the most original Marvel feature films in years. It’s tough to make a God seem all that relatable much less vulnerable — that’s partially the reason why it’s not easy to make a compelling Superman movie either — but somehow Waititi transforms Thor from a Shakespearean Norse deity and reduces him down to the common man just fighting to save his home planet.
And yes as previously stated, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is absolutely hilarious while still telling a great story from start to finish. You’ll laugh, you’ll throw a few fist pumps into the air and when it’s over, you’ll be more than ready to watch the “Lord of Thunder” in his next movie not to mention running to the theater to see whatever Waititi directs in the future.
4) Wonder Woman
For all the missteps DC and Warner Bros. have made lately, ‘Wonder Woman’ was the one triumph.
Set during the events of World War I, Diana is an Amazonian princess living on a secluded island, hidden away from all of mankind when mankind finds a way to intrude. Diana ends up leaving to face what she believes is the ultimate evil in the world and she ends up caught in the middle of a war for the very fate of the planet.
Director Patty Jenkins crafts a truly great superhero movie with ‘Wonder Woman’ as she tells an origin story that ultimately fits into the narrative of the entire film. This isn’t a criminal killing a kid’s parents and then he dawns a cape and a cowl to fight crime in their honor — no offense to Batman — but Wonder Woman’s origin goes to the very heart of who she is as a character not to mention why she gets involved in World War I in the first place.
An outstanding blend of action, dialogue and story that deserves the same kind of praise the best Marvel movies seem to get each year. Add to that, in a year where women’s voices have been heard louder than ever before — and rightly so — this is a movie celebrating a heroic female character in a lead role really for the first time since DC and Marvel starting battling at the box office nearly a decade ago. ‘Wonder Woman’ received a ton of praise this year and here’s one more heaping spoonful of adoration for this truly wonder piece of filmmaking.
3) Spider-Man: Homecoming
When Marvel finally reached an agreement with Sony to share Spider-Man as a character, fans of the beloved webslinger rejoiced. Sadly, Sony had fallen face first into the pavement with ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ and with a shake up at the company after a series of emails leaked, this was the best possible plan to not only rebuild the franchise but crossover the character into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe where Spider-Man could flourish.
Perhaps the best part about ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is that while this is the first film in the series and the debut of Tom Holland as Spidey, the movie doesn’t bat you over the head with another origin story that we’ve all seen a thousand times. Instead, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is much more a coming of age tale about a teenage superhero with all the power in the world and no idea how to truly use them. Thankfully, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) serves as a father figure to Peter Parker as he tries to figure out where he fits in this world full of Avengers where he’s not an Avenger.
Everything in this movie is pitch perfect right down to the villain — the Vulture — played by Michael Keaton. If there’s one problem that Marvel has had throughout their shared film universe, it’s creating compelling villains. Well that’s not the case in this movie because the Vulture is a worthy foil to face off with Spider-Man.
From beginning to end, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ was one of the most enjoyable movie going experiences of the year.
In the final film starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, ‘Logan’ managed to push the envelope for what it meant to be “based on a comic book”. Certainly there have been those award winning features in the past like ‘Road to Perdition’ that were actually based on a comic book, but this was a movie set in a world of superheroes except sadly most of the heroes were dead.
An aged Logan — full of grey hair, slower healing abilities and filled with regret — is tasked with protecting a young girl, who might be one of the last mutants alive on Earth. Logan not only takes the girl but he also cares for his old friend Charles Xavier, who is barely half the man he once was when he started the X-Men all those decades ago. This version of Professor X is feeble yet still quite powerful and Patrick Stewart puts on arguably the best performance of his career in this role.
‘Logan’ is definitely action packed but the movie is also filled with real depth and heartbreaking emotion on more than one occasion. You’ll be thrilled but there’s also a better than average chance that you’ll cry at least once if not twice before the final credits roll. At some point in the future when we look back on the golden age of superhero movies, ‘Logan’ will be one that stands the test of time and remains an all time classic whether it’s 2017 or not.
1) Get Out
If you haven’t seen ‘Get Out’ by now, stop whatever you’re doing and go watch it.
The horror movie written and directed by Jordan Peele — yes of Key and Peele fame — was not only one of the most surprising films of the year but also one that made the strongest social statement without beating you over the head with it.
When Chris goes along with his new girlfriend Rose to visit her family in an upscale neighborhood decorated by wealthy, liberal white folks, he feels out of place almost immediately but tries his best to make a good impression. It doesn’t take Chris long to figure out something is rotten in Denmark when every black person he encounters resembles a Stepford Wife — docile and obendient — almost to a pain staking level. By the time Chris figures out what’s really going on, it might be too late for him to escape it all.
‘Get Out’ is everything you’ve heard and probably more. The movie is frightening as much as it is a striking social commentary on race while still managing to be rather hilarious at moments as well. The acting in the movie is chilling and often times disturbing with cutting dialogue and a plot that unravels into a series of surprises that will leave your eyes wide open and your jaw on the floor.
‘Get Out’ truly was the best of the best when it came to filmmaking in 2017 — original and truly appealing to anyone and everyone who would watch this movie.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The Blackcoat’s Daughter
BEST MOVIES OF THE YEAR (NON-NERDCORE MOVEMENT CATEGORY)
1) The Big Sick
2) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
3) Wind River
4) The Shape of Water
5) The Post