Eppler: The 10 best movies of 2017 (and some others)

Eppler: The 10 best movies of 2017 (and some others)

It was such a good year for movies that the usually fun task of making a "Top 10" list was actually pretty arduous. Movies kept being added and omitted, shuffled and rethought. Even the titles making up the "Also" section would make a respectable Top 10. In the end, I went with the movies that I will be most likely to revisit numerous times, remember and write about in the future. 

Honorable Mention: "Wonder Woman"
A watershed moment for superhero movies featuring a breakout performance from Gal Gadot, which came along at the perfect time to help usher in the powerful women's movement that's caused shockwaves throughout the male-dominated movie industry. Aside from what the movie represents, its also quite good until the final quarter, which is typical comic book movie pablum. 

The 10 Best Movies of 2017:

10. "John Wick Chapter 2"
The tenth spot on my list is always reserved for the most fun movie I saw last year. I've watched  "John Wick Chapter 2" three times - the most inventive action movie this side of "The Raid: Redemption."  Keanu Reeves has found the perfect role for his talents and sensibilities. 
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and download

9. "War for the Planet of the Apes"
A great finish to one of the strongest movie trilogies ever. Part Western, part POW movie - this final installment in the new "Planet of the Apes" trilogy is a thoughtful meditation on the dark side of the human condition. On top of that, the groundbreaking computer assisted performance of Andy Serkis as the now iconic Caesar demands once and for all the Oscars create a new acting category - or simply include it with the rest. 
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and download

8. "A Ghost Story"
An experimental picture about grief that is devastating despite the conceit of a man haunting his old house in a bed sheet. It's a miracle it works so well. David Lowery is establishing himself as a true visionary - delivering images in this movie that I haven't been able to shake for months.
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and download

7. "I, Tonya"
This pitch dark comedy does not let Tonya Harding off the hook, but it's brave enough to point a finger at the audience for our culpability in her suffering. Margot Robbie has proven she's the real deal, and expect Allison Janney will likely win an Oscar for playing the scariest movie monster of the year - Harding's mother. 
Now playing in Lubbock theaters

6. "Colossal"
A brilliant genre twist using the destructive Kaiju monster as a metaphor for alcoholism. Anne Hathaway has never been better (which is really saying something) and the picture goes to surprisingly dark places as it delves deeper into how this disease can literally ruin lives. Did I mention it's also really funny? It's welcome weirdness. 
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and download

5. "Get Out
This will probably be the definitive movie of 2017 - the one destined for classic status. The year's best exercise in genre bending is a blistering take-down of white liberalism and its impact on the American black experience. It's a stunner of a debut for writer and director Jordan Peele - one that will be imitated for years to come. 
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and download

4. "Coco"
A wonderfully moving deep dive into the arts and traditions of the Latino culture and an important step forward in diverse representation in family films. The animation is stunning, the characters feel authentic and the Land of the Dead is stunningly realized. It is Pixar's best movie since "Inside Out," and maybe since "WALL-E." 
Now playing in Lubbock theaters

3. "The Shape of Water"
My top three movies are all unusual love stories, but "The Shape of Water" is the most radical - a love letter to classic movie monsters from a true auteur, writer and director Guillermo del Toro. The cast made up of some of the best character actors - Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhbarg and Octavia Spencer - makes for ensemble storytelling at its finest. It's a movie that is beautiful in every way.
Now playing at Alamo Drafthouse in Lubbock

2. "Phantom Thread"
Writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my absolute favorite filmmakers, and he has delivered a work that feels intensely personal and intimate about an artist with an obsessive attention to detail in every aspect of his life. So naturally, Daniel Day-Lewis is perfectly cast. But the real find is Vicky Krieps with an incredible turn as a woman fighting for her place in a relationship, household and business. The film is rich and elegant with surprises sewn into the hems. 

1. "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women"
The year that gave us the game-changing "Wonder Woman" movie also gave us this film about the man who created her, the women who inspired him, and their unconventional love story. It's intensely romantic, intelligently erotic and thoughtful with its message about censorship and faux morality. In a time when Hollywood needs more feminine voices in the creative process, here's a story about revolutionaries - people ahead of their time artistically and romantically. 
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and download January 30.

Also (alphabetically): 

Atomic Blonde
Baby Driver
The Beguiled
The Big Sick
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
It Comes at Night
Lady Bird
Logan
Mother!
The Post
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO
Wind River

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