Another year at the movies has come to an end. As award season gets underway, the best of the best are on our minds! So, we asked Hypable’s writers to share what they thought was the single best movie of 2017.
We know picking just one movie is a major challenge, but that’s the fun of it! Enjoy our picks and add your own in the comments.
The Best Movies of 2017 is part of Hypable’s 12 Days of Fandom, a celebration of 2017 and a preview of 2018. See new content every day from December 14 through Christmas!
The Best Movies of 2017
‘Atomic Blonde’ – Karen
Atomic Blonde was the film a lot of us had been waiting for. If you love action movies and kickass female characters, then this one is definitely for you. Not only did it star both Charlize Theron and James McAvoy (plus Sofia Boutella!), this spy-thriller had a great plot and a surprising twist. Most importantly, however, it put a woman at the forefront and gave her the same challenge any male action hero would come up against in their own movies. With a single-shot stairwell and apartment scene that even blows Daredevil’s hallway fight out of the water, you’ll see Lorraine Broughton take a lot of hits and keep getting back up, time and time again.
‘Logan Lucky’ – Natalie
Maybe I’ve been hanging around with the wrong people, but I saw next to no hype for Steven Soderbergh’s subversive summer heist movie Logan Lucky, and all I can say is that y’all are missing out on something special. This clever comedy about two working class West Virginia brothers who pull off a robbery at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Coca-Cola 600 features career highs from Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as Jimmy and Clyde Logan, Riley Keough as their sister Mellie, and, astonishingly, Daniel Craig’s Joe Bang, a tattooed hillbilly explosives expert.
As well as simply being sheerly, delightfully entertaining all the way through – I think I grinned more during this cinema screening than I did the rest of 2017 combined – Logan Lucky is sharp as tacks and extremely sensitive to its setting, never taking pot shots at the redneck culture its colorful, resourceful characters spring from, instead crafting empathy for each individual as a product of their circumstance, as well as touching on such social issues as accessible healthcare and poverty in the South.
I never would have called it, but Tatum and Driver were born to work together – Jimmy and Clyde are a particularly endearing pair, with plenty of untold backstory, and the movie ends in a place that’s prime sequel territory. It’s also wonderful to see Tatum not playing a heartthrob – that man’s heart, soul and talent outstrip his looks a hundred times, and he needs more vehicles to prove that.
‘Lady Bird’ – Brandon
Laugh-out-loud funny, endlessly charming, and also profoundly sad, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird makes this delicate balancing act of comedy and drama look absolutely effortless, and it proves her wealth of talent. In a year full of impressive directorial debuts, Gerwig’s comes out on top (with Jordan Peele’s Get Out a close second).
We’ve seen a glimpse of her behind-the-camera talent having co-written Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha and Mistress America; these companion pieces breathed new life into the filmmaker’s work, and it’s no coincidence they have Gerwig’s name on them. Turns out that was just the beginning.
A beautiful exploration of the pain and thrill of leaving home and the prickly but tender nature of mother-daughter relationships, this coming-of-age tale takes story beats we’ve seen a dozen times before and makes them feel like something never seen before. Imbued with honesty and authenticity and led by two of the year’s best performances from Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalfe, Lady Bird is a warm hug of a movie.
‘Call Me By Your Name’ – Aaron
Luca Guadagnino’s newest film Call Me by Your Name is the finest cinematic achievement of the year. Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, the film is a coming-of-age story and passionate romance, one that captures the emotionally charged atmosphere of summer love and the heartbreak that comes with growing up.
Starring Timothee Chalamet (who gives the performance of the year) and Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name is an impassioned, heart-racing, and heartbreaking story that will remind you how great movies are and how good it can feel to be alive. Every piece of this film epitomizes movies at their very best – stunning cinematography, career-best performances, an eloquent script, and some of the most inspired direction we’ve seen from Guadagnino.
Call Me by Your Name is a miraculous achievement of the form that will grow and mature in the years to come as one of the greatest love stories ever told.
‘Baby Driver’ – Kristen
If you’d asked me at the beginning of 2017 which movie I thought was going to be my favorite, I definitely would have said Guardians of the Galaxy 2 or maybe even Kingsman: The Golden Circle or something, but the moment Ansel Elgort’s Baby started his Carpool Karaoke: Bank robbery edition, I was hooked. This movie just gets better and better every time you see it.
The role that music plays in this film elevates the whole thing to another level. Ultimately, Baby Driver is a heist movie, but thanks to the incredible soundtrack and the way the film utilizes every beat and musical phrase to its advantage, the whole experience is more immersive than ever before.
If I had my way, Jon Hamm and Ansel Elgort would both see some accolades for their work in this film, alongside the incredible directing from Edgar Wright, and so many of the technical geniuses who also had hands in creating this cinematic masterpiece. Every time I pop the blu-ray in my player I notice beats and moments that I didn’t see before. The world of Baby Driver is rich and layered and will continue to reward viewers for years to come.
‘Coco’ – Kyle
Despite questionable marketing techniques (*cough* That Frozen short *cough*) Coco has proven to be one of the studio’s best original creations. Not only does it shine a light on the traditions of the Mexican community, seldomly celebrated in movies or on TV, but it also celebrates those that dare to defy traditional expectations put on them by family. Coco’s message is crystal clear and helps to teach both children and adults that when it comes to family, love should be unconditional.
Not only is the story original, educational and creative but it’s also visually stunning and the original music is some of the best I’ve heard all year. If you had to see one animated film this year, I really hope it was Coco.
‘Wonder Woman’ – Lelanie
In the 40 years since Richard Donner’s Superman debuted on the big screen, we’ve had over 60 comic book superhero films put out by DC and Marvel. Only two of them were about female superheroes and were considered so awful that, for over a decade, studios completely disregarded the notion that a female superhero film could be both good and profitable.
Wonder Woman completely shattered that idea.
It went on to become the highest-grossing superhero origin movie ever by being that rare comic book film that appealed to both hardcore fans and casual viewers alike — introducing us all to warm, compassionate hero who could likewise kick a lot of ass and look good while doing it. The story took us through Diana’s journey as she moved from bright-eyed innocence to bitter disillusionment to loving acceptance of mankind. It’s a story that reminded us all that that while darkness exists in the world and in all of us, goodness does as well — and it’s in the choosing of that goodness that truly allows us to become a hero. It’s an emotional, compelling story that shows the power of hope while doing justice to the character of Wonder Woman and inspiring a generation of young girls and women.
‘Trainspotting 2’ – Brittany
20 years after a group of Scottish friends grappled with heroin addiction, Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle and Ewan Bremner find their way back to Edinburgh in the sequel to the cult-classic film, Trainspotting. It’s nostalgic for sure. The film finds ways to infuse the sets with nods to moments lost — paying tribute to Tommy’s death, the iconic toilet, Renton laughing on the hood of a car.
But the film also unpacks 20 years of grudges fueled by one significant betrayal. No one has gotten on with their lives or found success. They’ve been circling the drain, trying to recapture the thrill of living that ironically came with believing their lives didn’t matter. Spud’s closing scene best captures what I took away from the movie. Spud chooses to write the past down, a period of time that was hazy and took place in dilapidated buildings. By owning up to those events and accepting them as reality, everyone (except Begbie), can finally look towards a fresh start.
‘Dunkirk’ – Katie
Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited, much anticipated war film Dunkirk delivered in all aspects. It depicts the World War II battle in which the British Allies are stranded in Dunkirk, sitting ducks and fish in a barrel for the Nazi force.
The unique storytelling keeps you on edge, conveying the tension, danger, and anxiety felt by the men at war in 1941. Nolan forgoes establishing characters in exchange for illustrating the hardships those characters face. War isn’t about one individual, it’s about the collective. The victories and losses are predicated on the strengths and faults of those around you, and Dunkirk does well to establish the grey areas of what’s right and wrong.
Dunkirk is unrelenting and merciless in its depictions of war, using three different, seemingly unrelated perspectives of land, air, and sea, to create both a wide and narrow scaled environment. It speaks volumes in silence, and breaks the mould of war movies past.
‘The Big Sick’ – Kendra
When I heard that Kumail Nanjiani, one of my favorite comedic actors, was making a movie about his life, I was all in. Not only have I loved everything I’ve ever seen him in, since first being introduced to him as a guest star on Portlandia, but he also always impresses me with his wit in interviews. I was ecstatic that he was getting a chance to tell his story.
When I actually The Big Sick, I was not disappointed. The charming, real, and heartbreaking story of the beginning of Kumail’s relationship with his wife, Emily, was beautifully told. The subject matter was tough, surrounding Emily’s unique illness and family drama, but it was conveyed with so much heart and humour. Every minute of The Big Sick was a joy to watch.
‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’ – Nate
After the bad joke of a year 2017 was, I needed a good laugh, and I mean a really good laugh, like, an almost peeing your pants laugh. Before Harry Potter was getting kids into reading, some of us were already snickering behind the potty-humored pages of The Adventures of Captain Underpants. The series is a gut-busting tour-de-force that teaches kids to reasonably challenge authority and think for themselves while harnessing humor to withstand any obstacle.
At the helms of this challenge of authority are best friends and comic book creators George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch) who turn their grumpy, mean-spirited principle into the very same comic book superhero they’ve created: Captain Underpants (Ed Helms). Captain Underpants is the epitome of lawful good who refuses to compromise anything in order to help those in need.
The film illustrates countless valuable lessons for today’s trying times but, once Principle Krupp is hypnotized, a colossal new theme enters: responsibility. Just as Krupp is responsible for the entire school, George and Harold must now protect the vulnerable Captain Underpants who fully believes himself to be super and invincible. However, once an embarrassed scientist is mocked one too many times for his ridiculous name (Professor Pee-Pee Diarrheastein Poopypants [Nick Kroll]), he teams up with George and Harold’s nemesis Melvin Sneedly (Jordan Peele) to exact his revenge and rob the entire world of laughter. With all of comedy in jeopardy there’s only one person for the job: it’s up to Captain Underpants to save the day!
This hysterical tale will leave you with an aching stomach, runny eyes, and a newfound inspiration to refuse to be beaten down and rise again not only with a smile, but laughing all the way.
You can stream Captain Underpants: The Epic First Movie on Netflix January 10th and stay tuned for the equally epic Netflix series in 2018!
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – Caitlin
With the glut of superhero content available to viewers today, both on television and in movie theaters, new entries need to find a way to stand out from what has come before. While the first Thor film, with its Shakespearean influences courtesy of Kenneth Branagh, was enjoyable and unique, The Dark World was both uninspired and boring — two big strikes for a blockbuster film. The third Thor entry had a large hill to climb to set itself apart from the other MCU films.
Enter Taika Waititi. Best known for his quirky sensibilities, Waititi ended up being the perfect choice for this film. Very little about Thor: Ragnarok resembled previous Thor entries, and for good reason. Chris Hemsworth was given space to show his excellent knack for comedy, but Thor was never reduced to a joke. As Thor’s character developed, so did Loki’s — and so did the relationship between the brothers.
Moreover, the film featured some kickass women, including the scenery-chewing Cate Blanchett as Hela, the goddess of death, and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, a legendary warrior who awes even Thor himself. Neither woman was reduced to a love interest; they were given agency and stories of their own that set them on equal ground with their male counterparts.
Overall, Thor: Ragnarok balanced humor and quirkiness with heart and character development to serve as one of the top installments in the MCU.
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ – Donya
After two years of discussion and speculation over on Resistance Radio, my anticipation for The Last Jedi couldn’t have been higher. I’d poured over every official detail since the closing moments of The Force Awakens, and hadn’t stopped — not even hours before I was due to head to the midnight showing.
It seemed unlikely that The Last Jedi could have ever lived up to every expectation that I had for the film. And yet, as I walked out, red eyed and wrung out emotionally, it felt as though it had surpassed each and every one of them. From Luke’s true return, the fallout from the destruction on Starkiller Base, and expanding on the characters we’d had our hearts stolen by, each moment in The Last Jedi was a delight.
It was everything I’d hoped for and more. I laughed. I cried. I was genuinely surprised at turns. All the speculation and theorizing in the world couldn’t have prepared me for the emotional journey that I went on throughout that film. Most of all, the women of Star Wars continued to rule the galaxy – particularly newcomers Amilyn Holdo and Rose Tico.
How The Last Jedi ended opens up so many questions for the final entry in the trilogy, despite all the ones it managed to answer from the first. The wait for Episode IX will be just as excruciating, but worth it. There’ll certainly be plenty to discuss in the meantime.
What was the best movie of 2017?
Sound off in the comments below!