So far, I’ve made twelve trips to the movie theater so far this year to see ten films. I’m impressed with 2017 thus far, having not seen a film I outright disliked. I decided today that I would rank the ten films I’ve seen so far, and preview the top films I’m looking forward to thus far this year.

 

10. Kong: Skull Island17. Kong

Kong looked amazing. This film was a masterpiece of action and visuals. The story and performances left a lot to be desired. Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson felt like forced characters, while Samuel L. Jackson’s revenge plot was lame. The only performance worth mentioning was the fantastic, layered showing from John C. Reilly. His character was well-written and successfully connected with me. While this film was okay to me, it did successfully entice me into returning to Skull Island to see the King Kong face the Godzilla in 2020.

9. Power Rangerspowerrangers_share_1200x600v2

I was very excited for this movie. I love this property and was hoping that the film retained the Chronicle-like elements gifted to it by screenwriter Max Landis. The film did a great job of establishing the world and making realistic characters for the first half of the film and retaining the dark and gritty nature. By the middle, the film abandons the world established for a CGI-heavy megaword fight and cheesy quips that reflect that of the classic 90s TV show. The film had a hard time choosing what it wanted to be. The performances by RJ Cyler (Billy), Dacre Montgomery (Jason), Naomi Scott (Kimberly), and Bill Hader (Alpha) were great, but the film was hindered by Elizabeth Banks and her awkward performance as Rita Repulsa and Bryan Cranston’s sleepy showing as Zordon.

8. The Case for Christnews_img_f_1491238831

The Case for Christ, based on the true story of journalist Lee Strobel, surprised me. I was expecting another Christian family film in the vein of God’s Not Dead. Instead, I got a film that painted a genuine struggle within a man and conflict between him and his loved ones. The film does a good job of displaying both sides of the argument. The cinematography and hair and makeup styling were great. I would be remiss to not mention to brilliant and layered performance by lead actor Mike Vogel. The man did a great job of portraying the role and struggle going on internally.

7. The Lego Batman Movie10. The Lego Batman Movie

This was one of two movies that I made two trips to see. The first time I saw this film, I loved it, enjoying the simple plot, great voice work and nostalgic elements. However, upon a repeat viewing, I was bored and found myself disinterested in the simple plot. The performances from Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, and Zach Galifinakis are still great. The nostalgia loses its touch over time. Overall, your kids will love it, but this is one that only needs one viewing to be satisfied. The first showing, however, is great.

6. The Fate of the Furiousfate-of-the-furious-logo-216895

This franchise is one of my personal favorites, admittedly a guilty pleasure. I rank the fun franchise as such…

  1. Fast and Furious 6
  2. The Fate of the Furious
  3. Fast Five
  4. The Fast and The Furious
  5. Furious 7
  6. The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift
  7. Fast & Furious
  8. 2 Fast 2 Furious

This one is a worthy entry that is, personally, my second favorite Fast film (behind Fast & Furious 6). The action is the best in the franchise so far. Jason Statham is fantastic and Kurt Russell is a treat. F. Gary Gray directs this film very well and you can tell everyone is having fun. I had a blast watching this film.

5. Splitsplit-movie-james-mcavoy-ending

This film is a fantastic thriller. I was surprised by M. Night Shamylan’s work. While I enjoyed The Visit, he hasn’t made a universally praised film since Unbreakable, which lends a hand to this film’s additional appeal. James McAvoy gives the best male performance of the year thus far. He is given the task of creating nine distinct characters for Kevin’s personalities and he succeeds in spades, especially with the creation of M. Night’s new supervillian The Horde.

4. Logan5. Logan

The final outing of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine was a beautiful sendoff. Hugh gives a great performance in a film that was written very nicely and directed greatly by James Mangold. Logan nicely captures what we love about Wolverine and gives us a tearjerking farewell to the only man to portray the character in live action.

3. Live By Nighthou_art_20170113_livebynight_headerjpg

There aren’t many gangster epics left in Hollywood. It’s a dying genre. Ben Affleck skillfully adapted the novel Live By Night masterfully. I drank in every frame of the beautiful visuals and loved every minute of story. Ben’s performance left a little to be desired, but his writing and directing are masterful, with great supporting characters that help carry the film.

 

2. Beauty & The Beastlandscape-1478512906-beauty-and-the-beast-movie

This film blew me away. Everything, the direction, performances, music, production design, makeup, costumes, and even the visual effects are stellar. I was skeptical about this film, but I was pleasantly blown away. Emma Watson is excellent. Dan Stevens is great. Luke Evans and Josh Gad are brilliant. Kevin Kline and Ewan McGreggor surprise. The film really is the prime example of how to remake a film: keep the best parts and improve on what didn’t quite work originally. This film is incredible and Disney’s best live action picture.

1. La La Landlala-land

La La Land is one of the greatest films of all time. I said it. Justin Horowitz’s score is fantastic and Damien Chazelle brilliantly writes and directs a masterpiece. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s chemistry is irresistible. Emma deserved her Oscar, as her performance is legendary. This film should have won Best Picture over Moonlight. If you haven’t watched this film, go watch!

 

Top 20 Films I Want To See:

20. Geostormgeostorm-trailer-700x300

  • Releasing October 20th
  • Directed By Dean Devlin and Danny Cannon
  • Written By Dean Devlin and Paul Guyot
  • Starring Gerard Butler and Abbie Cormish
  • Distributed by Warner Bros.

19. Sleightmaxresdefault2

  • Released April 28th
  • Directed by J.D. Dillard
  • Written by J.D. Dillard and Alex Theurer
  • Starring Jacob Latimore and Dulé Hill
  • Distributed by BH Tilt

18. Itit-movie-2017-pennywise-bill-skarsgard

  • Released September 8th
  • Directed by Andrés Muschietti
  • Written by Chase Palmer, Cary Joji Fukunaga, & Gary Dauberman
  • Starring Bill Skarsgård and Finn Wolfhard
  • Distributed by Warner Bros.

17. The Mummythe-mummy-2017-movie

  • Releasing June 9th
  • Directed by Alex Kurtzman
  • Written by Jon Spaihts and Christopher McQuarrie
  • Starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella
  • Distributed by Universal Studios

16. Despicable Me 3

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-june-30th-1303807.jpg

  • Releasing June 30th
  • Directed by Kyle Balda, Piere Coffin, & Eric Guillon
  • Written by Ken Daurio & Cinco Paul
  • Starring Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig
  • Distributed by Universal Studios

15. Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-july-21st-1303808.jpg

  • Releasing July 21st
  • Directed by Luc Besson
  • Written by Luc Besson
  • Starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne
  • Distributed by STX Entertainment

14. Blade Runner 2049

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-october-6th-1303814.jpg

  • Releasing October 6th
  • Directed by Denis Villeneuve
  • Written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green
  • Starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford
  • Distributed by Warner Bros.

13. Bright

bright-jpg.297824.jpg

  • Releasing December 2017
  • Directed by David Ayer
  • Written by Max Landis
  • Starring Will Smith and Naomi Rapace
  • Distributed by Netflix

12. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-december-22nd-1303830.jpg

  • Releasing December 20th
  • Directed by Jake Kasdan
  • Written by Chris McKenna, Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, & Erik Sommers
  • Starring Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillian
  • Distributed by Columbia Pictures

11. War for the Planet of the Apes

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-july-14th-1303835.jpg

  • Releasing July 14th
  • Directed by Matt Reeves
  • Written by Matt Reeves and Mark Bomback
  • Starring Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson
  • Distributed by 20th Century Fox

10. Wonder Woman

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-june-2nd-1303841.jpg

  • Releasing June 2nd
  • Directed by Patty Jenkins
  • Written by Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, and Jason Fuchs
  • Starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine
  • Distributed by Warner Bros.

9. Pitch Perfect 3

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-december-22nd-1303847.jpg

  • Releasing December 22nd
  • Directed by Trish Sie
  • Written by Kay Cannon
  • Starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson
  • Distributed by Universal Studios

8. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-may-5th-1303856.jpg

  • Releasing May 5th
  • Directed by James Gunn
  • Written by James Gunn
  • Starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana
  • Distributed by Walt Disney (Marvel Studios)

7. Spider-Man: Homecomingspiderman-homecoming-759

  • Releasing July 7th
  • Directed by Jon Watts
  • Written by Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Day, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, & Erik Sommers
  • Starring Tom Holland and Michael Keaton
  • Distributed by Walt Disney (Marvel Studios)

6. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedisw-the-last-jedi-tall-b

  • Releasing December 15th
  • Directed by Rian Johnson
  • Written by Rian Johnson
  • Starring Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley
  • Distributed by Walt Disney (LucasArts)

5. Cars 3

au_rich_large_cars3_nr_b9e5af7c.jpeg

  • Releasing June 16th
  • Directed by Brian Fee
  • Starring Owen Wilson and Armie Hammer
  • Distributed by Walt Disney (Pixar Animation Studios)

4. Thor: Ragnarokgallery-1469440016-logo-thor-ragnarok

  • Releasing November 3rd
  • Directed by Taika Waititi
  • Written by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Steohany Folsom, and Eric Pearson
  • Starring Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo
  • Distributed by Walt Disney (Marvel Studios)

3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

landscape-1488452253-pirates-of-the-caribbean-poster.jpg

  • Releasing May 26th
  • Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
  • Written by Jeff Nathanson and Terry Rossio
  • Starring Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem
  • Distributed by Walt Disney Studios

2. Justice Leaguebg

  • Releasing November 17th
  • Directed by Zack Snyder
  • Written by Chris Terrio and Zack Snyder
  • Starring Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot
  • Distributed by Warner Bros.

1. Murder on the Orient Express

feature_update2016_101_main.jpg

  • Releasing November 22nd
  • Directed by Kenneth Branagh
  • Written by Michael Green
  • Starring Kennet Branagh, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Lucy Boynton, Judi Dench, Michael Peña, Derek Jacobi, and Leslie Odom Jr.
  • Distributed by 20th Century Fox

 

What film is your favorite so far? What are you most looking forward to seeing? Let me know in the comments below.

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