2017 saw the theatres once again crammed with remakes, superhero movies, and superhero remakes, most of which were not very good. Audiences seem to have caught on, because it’s one of the worst box office years on record. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t diamonds in the rough, Indie cinema flourished and several visionaries, including Guillermo del Toro and Christopher Nolan, returned with a vengeance. Without further ado, the Lisgarwrite team presents the top picks of the year. – Fred Azeredo
Fred Azeredo: Dunkirk, directed by Christopher Nolan. It’s cheesy these days to call something a ‘cinematic experience,’ but there is no other way to describe Dunkirk. Its plot is nonexistent, its performances are more concerned with naturalism than scene-stealing monologues, and there are no shots staged for effect. Nolan instead gives us a dizzying distillation of why we go to the movies the way only a master can.
Cameron Christie: Baby Driver, directed by Edgar Wright. Baby Driver is a stylish-action film which is, essentially, John Wick but with automobiles and expertly choreographed heists that match the beats of the music. It’s an expertly written, directed and acted film which, in my opinion, is one of the best films of 2017.
Meghan Oliver: Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon. I love musicals and I love Emma Watson so this one was the whole package for me. The set, costumes, acting, and dancing were all done exceptionally well and overall, it is quite a visually stunning movie.
Olive Nugent: The Big Sick, directed by Michael Showalter. I’m not usually one for RomComs, but The Big Sick was just dark enough to avoid the kind of fluffy implausibility that drives me up the wall. Kumail Nanjiani is brilliant and his film expertly walks the line between poignancy and cringe-humour. Realistically, I know this probably wasn’t the best film of 2017, but it was definitely the most enjoyable for me in a pretty dark year. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a laugh. If you want a good cry too, Ladybird, Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, is also fantastic.
Peter MacDonald: The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo del Toro. The movie has great visuals and it marks Guillermo Del Toro’s long awaited return to film. The trailer was also amazing.
Tara Orange: Dunkirk, directed by Christopher Nolan. It shed light on how brutal war was and the actors displayed true emotion. It was an award-worthy movie in my opinion.
Andrew Poirier: Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins.
Because it gave the DC Cinematic Universe a fighting chance at survival. Both Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman (though especially the later) required tons of background knowledge of what was going on and catered more to pre- existing fans instead of a new audience. Not so with Wonder Woman. I explained the premise and the context to my mother before we watched it, only for everything I just said to be repeated in the first few scenes. Great acting, great story, great music, great special effects. Great everything, really. I doubt DC will ever really be able to top Marvel when it comes to superhero movies, but superheroine movies? DC all the way!
Alinah Charania: Lady Bird, directed by Greta Gerwig. This film is very real. There is no real suspense or action, yet it is still captivating and has many laughs throughout. I consider this a lot better than films that rely only on cheap thrills to keep the audience’s attention.
Sam Yee: Spider-Man: Homecoming, directed by Jon Watts. Spider-Man: Homecoming is by no means a perfect, Oscar-worthy film, but it captures the youth and heroic innocence that made me fall in love with the character of Peter Parker as a child. Homecoming is humorous, action-packed, and gets bonus points in my book for the nostalgia I felt on opening night. To those of you who still insist that Tobey Maguire is the best, let’s face it: Tom Holland is pretty awesome too.