Top 10 movies of the year

Story by Pete Tubbs, Editor in Chief

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The North American box office hasn’t been it’s best self this year. There have only been a handful of surprising hits, but there have been a bevy of surprising misses from “Justice League,” to “Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” 

That doesn’t mean, however, that there haven’t been awesome movies. In fact, there are ten in particular that I think are spectacular, and here they are. 

#10- “Better Watch Out” 

Chris Peckover’s holiday themed horror story was perhaps the most surprising film I saw all year. Filled with equal parts humor and disturbing horror, this limited release indie truly delivers in spades. “Pan’s” Levi Miller and “The Visit’s” Olivia DeJonge and Ex Oxenbould are all fantastic here as three teens who have to survive after a break in. It would be a disservice to you if I were to spoil anything else, because there are some shockers here. Do yourself a favor, get into the Christmas spirit, and order this up on Amazon Video. 

#9- “Logan Lucky” 

This little-seen Steven Soderbergh crime comedy is the most original comedy of the year. Starring Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as two brothers who plan a heist, at first glance it seems like Soderbergh’s ripping himself off. Although the film is similar in tone to his fantastic “Ocean’s” trilogy, the comparisons stop there. This is a down home heist comedy. Most all of the characters are slow talking and slow thinking southerners who just want to get a leg up on life. While Tatum and Driver are fantastic, Daniel Craig all but steals the entire film as Joe Bang, a bleach blonde headed convict who knows his explosives. “Logan Lucky” is a fun, funny, and surprisingly heartwarming piece of gold. 

#8- “John Wick Chapter Two” 

The first “John Wick” came out of nowhere back in 2014. It was a frenetic, brutal, and exhilirating experience. Not many saw it, but those who did would have done anything for a sequel, and that’s exactly what they got this past February. The second chapter directly follows the original and fleshes out Wick’s world to an insane degree. The action is just as good, if not better this time around, and the cinematography is to die for… pun intended. Reeves remains a stoic and brutally effective anti-hero who we root for even though he kills dozens upon dozens of people. It’s the best pure-action movie of the year. 

#7- “Baby Driver” 

The crowning acheivment of Edgar Wright’s career so far, “Baby Driver” is the action version of “La La Land.” With pristine editing, slick action, and a playfully sincere tone, it’s one of the most fun action movies to come along in a good while. Ansel Elgort proves himself as a true leading man here as the conflicted Baby, and Jon Hamm shows his dark side as the Terminator-like Buddy. “Baby Driver” is an ingenious and rewarding re-tooling of the heist genre that will remain a favorite of the genre for myself and many others. 

#6- “Spider-Man: Homecoming” 

Although it may be controversial to say, there has never been a better representation of the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man than Tom Holland. He embodies the character with the perfect amount of innocence, immaturity, humor, and courage. That is what shoots this MCU film near the top of the crop. Of course, it helps that “Spider-Man: Homecoming” was written with more than its share of hilarious humor, heart, and action. Michael Keaton’s “Vulture” is also one of the best villains that the MCU has ever seen, so there’s that. 

#5- “A Ghost Story” 

David Lowery’s masterpiece of his young career is a deeply moving and profoud exploration of grief, love, and the afterlife. It stars Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck as a couple who is broken apart by Affleck’s untimely death. He is not gone, however, as he returns to haunt the house, all the while under a bed sheet almost the entire film. There are long stretches with no dialogue, but if you watch this film in the right mood, it could change your life. Yep, it’s that deep. 

#4- “Logan” 

“Logan” may just be the greatest superhero film of all time, although it can barely be called a superhero film. It has the feel of an epic western as it follows the dreary and tragic journey of much older versions of the Wolverine and Professor Xavier that we all know and love. If either Hugh Jackman or Patrick Stewart aren’t recognized for their work come awards season, I’ll lose a bit of my faith in humanity. 

#3- “Dunkirk” 

In what is undoubtedly Christopher Nolan’s greatest acheivment, “Dunkirk” is one of the best war films of all time. Told in a non-linear way, “Dunkirk” covers three different stories all based around the evacuation of troops from the city of Dunkirk. It is thrilling, emotional, and breathtaking. Seeing it in a theatre was one of the best movie experiences I had all summer. 

#2- “Blade Runner 2049” 

1982’s now renowned classic “Blade Runner” has long since been one of my favorites of the science fiction genre, but I have to say, it’s sequel more than lived up to the wait. “Blade Runner 2049” is a ponderous, awe-inspiring gut punch of a film that features some of the best cinematography ever seen by human eyes. Harrison Ford actually looks like he’s trying and Ryan Gosling is just as good as ever here. “2049” makes no wrong turns, but be warned, it does require some patience. However, it is an exceptional film that I believe will stand the test of time and become an all-time classic of the sci-fi genre. 

#1- “The Lost City of Z” 

Over time, this film has become my absolute favorite of the year. The period drama starring Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, and Sienna Miller is an epic tale of the sort that just aren’t made anymore. It follows the true story of explorer Percy Fawcett as he seeks to discover the famed Lost City of Z over the course of decades. It is a life affirming, emotional, and trance-inducing tale of passion and soulful exploration. It’s a truly beautiful and haunting film.