The Favorite movies of 2017 From Team Ruthless- 2017 was a pretty good year for movies. Oh, there were plenty of movies that sucked, which is a dead solid perfect reality if Will Ferrell is still alive and making movies. He had two stinky turds this year that I won’t even mention. Also, don’t forget The Emoji Movie that Goat forced Al to review (he is barely speaking to him now). Lest we forget, we also have the very painful The Mummy and Just Getting Started, with superstars Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones. This abomination is shaping up to be one of the worst movies ever (3.7 at IMDB and a horrible 21 at Metacritic), but enough of the stinkers, what about the movies that we liked?
There were some really great movies, and two from the virtual newcomers of Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig. This list is not a Top Ten List or an Oscar prediction list, or anything like that. It is simply a list of movies that Ruthless really liked. The list will be presented in no particular order. After a lengthy meeting in the Break Room at Ruthless Towers in Las Vegas, we came up with this list.
Dunkirk– We’ve all seen what Christopher Nolan is capable of and it’s almost always been fantastic. We’re at a point now where Directed by Christopher Nolan is all that needs to be said to peak interest in a new movie. In other words, the opposite of Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. We’ve also come to expect a certain type of movie; one with a well-written and intriguing story featuring rich characters, dazzling visuals, and sounds/music that are almost a character unto themselves. When Dunkirk was announced and the first trailers dropped, our immediate reaction was YAAAAAASSSSSS. The thing is we haven’t seen a Nolan movie like this before. -Kevin
Get Out– Get Out is a masterpiece of impossibility made into a wonderful horror movie. It is a first time effort by writer and director Jordan Peele who is a comedy writer known for the TV series Key and Peele and a few other things. How about a great horror thriller with elements of The Stepford Wives, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Oldboy, Psycho, Total Recall, Jeeper’s Creepers + comedy to boot? Get Out will have you riveted to your seat the entire run time of 1 hr. and 43 minutes. Not only is this movie all that I have mentioned above, but the entire body of the film is based on a premise of social commentary about a unique form of racism that you will just have to see to believe. -Goat
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri– 2017 has been a year for movies that keeps on giving, but one of the biggest presents of all came near the end of the year. Martin McDonagh is a Director that gave us one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, In Bruges, but he has outdone himself with Three Billboards. In Bruges, a darkest of all dark comedies, was no fluke. I have not seen Seven Psychopaths, (Now I have) but I will put it at the top of my list of movies to see. Like his other 2 movies, Three Billboards is also a dark comedy. -Goat See also: Kevin’s Review
It– Even though Kevin did not give this his full Seal of Approval, It got enough votes and noise from the rest of The Team to elevate it to a solid position on this list. Stephen King’s novel It is a churning, visceral slog of a novel. It’s the themes of Ray Bradbury with the grit of Ramsay Campbell, an extended meditation on the interplay of trauma and nostalgia, the borderlands between nightmares and dreams. King himself identified a hierarchy of horror, in his book Danse Macabre, that ranged from disgust, which is a base revulsion, to terror, which is a more elevated, purer form of fear. For all of the quality of his novel, I never felt terror in reading the book; horror at points, but mostly a sad disgust. Derry, Maine is a magical surrealist version of the squalid everyday horror that underpins many American towns; the murder clowns and un-dead children only a means to draw distance from the horror of the mundane which we refuse to countenance. –Devon Pack
The movie rocks, and aside from a few people taking a swing because it’s an exposed target, the sentiment seems to be fairly unanimous. It’s not a remake; it’s an adaptation of the source material, so differences between the miniseries and the 2017 version are largely moot other than in how faithful they are to the book. For those who have read the book, there are a thousand tiny details in this version which betray a familiarity with King’s original work. These deliver a depth of narrative that’s up there with the adaptations of Stand By Me, Shawshank, and The Green Mile. By the same token, however, the team behind this adaptation have clearly taken pains not to estrange a viewer whose coming fresh to the story.- Al
Lady Bird– This was not a consensus, but no way this great film was not making the list (Team Ruthless Consensus: Goat is a fag). Lady Bird was such a great surprise and pleasure to watch. The acting by Saoirse Ronan was as stunning and surprising as the direction and writing by Greta Gerwig. Laurie Metcalf was perfect as the long-suffering Mother who loved, but did not like her daughter. The ending scenes were heart-wrenching, but quite satisfying. Greta Gerwig has made her bones with this film and I look forward to seeing more from her. –Team Ruthless.
Blade Runner (2049) – No screen can be big enough to do justice to this intoxicating spectacle of wonderment, love and despair. Never since The Godfather has the bar been set so high for a sequel. Not only did Blade Runner 2049 more than honor the sequel, it was a movie that stands solidly on its own as one of the great movies of all time. -Goat
Blade Runner 2049 also builds on the excellent foundations of the original by incorporating some of the most mesmerizing themes of recent science fiction cinema/television. The romantic story-line of Blade Runner 2049 is a tale of love between a boy (Ryan Gosling) and his digital assistant (Ana de Armas), a tale that you will recognize from Spike Jonze’s Her. But Blade Runner 2049 also steals from some of the recent greats: there’s the whole theme of memory editing and distortion (Black Mirror, The Congress), and the idea of a post-apocalyptic world that has survived the E-Collapse (Mr. Robot). Blade Runner 2049 uses these sub-stories to make it into more than a film that is simply about Replicants vs. Original Humans.-Devon Pack.
The Disaster Artist– Anyone who has actually watched The Room, straight up, cannot deny the scars. It is beyond horrible, but we have a masterpiece that was made out of the ashes of incompetence. It would be exceedingly easy to merely mock The Room, but The Disaster Artist went way beyond that. James Franco is quite amazing in this film. -Goat
The Disaster Artist is a movie about the making of The Room and is exactly the opposite of The Room. The big question I had coming out of The Disaster Artist is how the film goes over for someone who has never seen or heard of The Room. Those people might miss some of the small things the film focuses on (like how Tommy Wiseau throws a football the same way a microwave might throw one) and they might be put off by how weird and eccentric a person is Wiseau (brilliantly portrayed by James Franco) in the same way that Sasha Baron Cohen characters do. But, The Disaster Artist is so well-written and directed that anyone watching it without knowing the source material will still get the point by the end of the film. -Kevin.
The Shape of Water- Any movie with the great Michael Shannon has got to get your attention. It declared itself as a fairy tale and took that to its logical conclusion. And she fucked the creature! I’m glad it went there. It’s goofy and silly and overwrought, as it should be, given its ultimate conclusion. I like movies that follow through on their initial premise, following it wherever it may go. -Matt Cale
Kevin was not as generous in his review, but the awesomeness of this movie cannot be denied. When you have Mer-mans fucking mutes, something special is happening.
mother! It is a Biblical allegory. Obviously so. It’s maddening, outrageous, over the top, and plain nutty. It’s also magnificent. As ballsy as any film I’ve seen in years. And funny, too. It had balls, BIG Brass Balls. There is so much gutless art out there and it is exhilarating to see the opposite. This film never compromised it’s vision. I loved it. -Matt Cale
Mother! Is horrifying, but not a horror movie. It is thrilling, but not a Thriller film. There is a definite home invasion, but this is not a Home Invasion film. It is like nothing you have ever seen before, as it grabs you by the shoulders and rivets you in your seat for 2 hours.-Goat
Wait! That is only 9 movies. What did we miss? Who knows?
[Editor’s Note: Kevin knows and will post his year in review shortly]
[Edit, Edit] I, Tonya. What we missed was one of the best movies put out in 2017. This was a very good movie with terrific acting. I also conclude that the characters portrayed within this film are a somber portrait of why we have Donald Trump as President. I, Tonya is a hybrid of a documentary, a dark comedy, a mockumentary, and a Coen Brothers film. The circumstances that invoked this tragedy are ample evidence of why you should pick your parents and spouses wisely.
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