We’ve shared our Top 10’s from 2017, but there are a bunch of movies just missing the cut we still liked. Our contributors and staff offer up a movie from 2017 they consider to be essential viewing but missed out on their specific Top 10. Here’s to the last look at 2017 and to a fabulous 2018 in movies!
Gene Gosewehr – Brigsby bear
I feel internally conflicted about laughing at this movie because of the subject matter, but also okay because it’s clear the film wants me to laugh. But then again, part of me is wondering if the message of the film is morally bankrupt. I know the majority of our readers haven’t yet seen this film so I’ll stay away from spoilers, but from the trailer alone you know something is up with the way James (Kyle Mooney) was raised. The tone and direction of the film are somewhat cavalier with how it treats James’ particular circumstance, and I’m just not quite sure how to feel about that. But the execution of the film makes me more intrigued than angry with that ambiguity. This is a movie that inspired one of the best Letterboxd conversations I’m ever had, and it also feels like a love letter to pop culture nerds, which is always fun.
The Film Avenger – Logan Lucky
josh Crabb – Hounds of Love
Debuting in the US in 2017, Australian Ben Young’s debut film, Hounds of Love, is a sordid, intense feature of survival in 1980’s suburban Perth. Starring Ashleigh Cummings as Vicky Malone, a young, teenage schoolgirl abducted by deranged, serial killer couple Evie and John(Emma Booth and Stephen Curry), she must find a way to leverage the couple’s fragile relationship against one another and survive to find her way back to her pursuing mother Maggie, played by Susie Porter. It’s buzzing, electronic score by Dan Luscombe combined with Michael McDermott’s restrained, yet lurid camera gaze builds tightly-wound drama and percolating dread for a sensational directorial debut from Young.
The hounding love of the title suggests the story goes far deeper than a young girl’s tenacity to survive. It parallels Evie’s will to persevere in the face of a fearful, dominating man and Maggie’s ferocious will to make a life for herself and for her daughter, as well as her unrelenting love for a daughter who has snubbed her affection before being taken. Ben Young’s Hounds of Love shows tenacious, enduring love overcomes the fearful, ferocious hostility of violence and evil.
hannah lorence – Wonder Woman
Watching Wonder Woman was one of the most empowering moments for women at the movies last year. Director Patty Jenkins took all of the things that were good about the Wonder Woman character and brought them to life on screen. Diana’s badassery and vulnerability were portrayed in a way that made a whole new generation fall in love with the character.
blake collier – marshall
While it largely got forgotten in the mix of historical black narratives like Detroit and Mudbound, Marshall is more subversive and smarter than anyone thought. Chadwick Boseman—who is the king of black biopics at this point—stars at Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, while Josh Gad and Kate Hudson fill out the remainder of the roster. I think the structure of the film and the journeyman regularity of the direction lulled people into thinking it was nothing more than a run of the mill biopic paint by numbers. However, there is more going on here than meets the eye, but you have to be paying attention because Reginald Hudlin doesn’t give it to you on a silver platter. He makes you work for it. While it just barely got moved out of my top ten films, it is one that has stuck with me through 2017 and shouldn’t be forgotten regardless of what people tell you.
mikey Fissel – the lego batman Movie
It seems that no one was surprised more than I when The LEGO Movie turned out to be an actual, good movie. While The LEGO Batman Movie does not hit on the thematic depth of its predecessor, it still has a solid theme and truly fun plot. I think it’s the funniest movie that came out in 2017, hands down, and it only gets better on multiple viewings when you catch the things you missed the first time around. It truly is a movie that is great for all ages and only rewards viewers who have more familiarity with the various iterations of Batman over time.