The Flickering Myth team vote…
July marks the second half of 2017, can you believe it’s been half a year already? We’ve seen so much already! Audiences have been wowed by the movies approved by the Academy, Beauty and the Beast earned $1 billion, we’ve seen Fate of the Furious push the franchise to whole new levels of crazy, and we’ve been surprised by Kong: Skull Island and Wonder Woman. It’s not all been good though, there was Alien: Covenant and The Mummy, after all.
So with it being the halfway point of the year, we tasked the Flickering Myth writing staff to vote for their favourite films of 2017 so far. It’s quite simple: each writer submits their top 5 nominations, and their top pick gets five points, the second gets four points and so on. Over 40 films were nominated across 24 writers, and you can see the results below…
10. T2 Trainspotting (7 points)
After a twenty year break, Danny Boyle returned to his movie that helped define the 1990s with T2 Trainspotting. All the original cast are back, and our writers seemed to really enjoyed it. In total 45 films were voted for, and T2 Trainspotting just managed to get into the Top 10 by just one point, beating out Split, Free Fire and The LEGO Batman Movie. It’s great to see a movie released in the UK in January crack its way into the list, even if it didn’t get the glowing reviews the original did.
“T2 Trainspotting may not capture the zeitgeist like its predecessor did, nonetheless this sequel is a welcome shot of adrenaline among January’s prestige dramas vying for awards glory.” Read Sara Hemrajani’s full ★★★★ review here.
9. Baby Driver (8 points)
The complete opposite of T2 Trainspotting, Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver has only just been released in cinemas – but enough of our writers saw it and enjoyed it to secure the ninth spot. If it can get 8 points from only a few votes, then it will surely be high up the list come the end of the year. With its killer soundtrack, great performances and incredible direction, Baby Driver is bound to be hailed as one of the best of 2017.
“Baby Driver represents the kind of originality and creativity that Hollywood is desperately lacking at the moment. Edgar Wright may draw influence from Quentin Tarantino here, but this is 100% his own idea. Anyone else would probably fail at adapting a concept this complex, where Wright uses it to show why he’s one of the best working modern filmmakers.” Read Robert Kojder’s full ★★★★★ review here.
8. Lady Macbeth (10 points)
Lady Macbeth is perhaps the funniest entry in this Top 10, because it only got two votes from our 24 writer pool. However, both of those votes placed it number, earning it ten points in total. So, with only two big votes, Lady Macbeth topped several movies with multiple lower votes. William Oldroyd’s adaptation of Nikolai Leskov’s 1865 novella Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District was highly praised upon its release.
“Lady Macbeth is an assured and accomplished piece of filmmaking. Pugh captures the vulnerability versus predatory nature of her character, all the while nurturing a responsive mix of sympathy and disgust from her audience. The interpretation of Birch’s script by the actors has an air of the melodic, the rigidity of social hierarchy of the 1860’s used to create a melodic rhythm in the verbal exchanges. The film represents a perfect marriage of script and performance, a calm that unfortunately escapes Katherine’s loveless and antagonistic marriage.” Read Paul Risker’s full ★★★★ review here.
7. Moonlight (15 points)
It was given the Best Film honour at the Academy Awards (not La La Land, of course) but Moonlighthas only managed seventh place on the Flickering Myth list. It will be interesting to see if it makes it into the list come the end of the year. Mahershala Ali shines in a fantastic performance, and Barry Jenkins showed why he’s one of the best directors in the industry today.
“Every performance in Moonlight is perfect and Jenkins’ direction is natural. The score blends classical opera with hip hop and R&B seamlessly. Moonlight is a quiet film with a big statement to make – and it does this expertly.” Read Helen Murdoch’s full ★★★★★ review here.
6. Kong: Skull Island (18 points)
The first tentpole blockbuster on our list, Kong: Skull Island was the second step in Legendary Picture’s MonsterVerse following 2014’s Godzilla. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, it took a group of explores to Skull Island where they try and escape while avoiding the presence of Kong and the horrible Skull Diggers. It’s burst of incredible CGI, great comedy and sublime action, Kong: Skull Island was a surprise to many who saw it. Those who were expecting a bog-standard monster flick got so much more.
“With such a long linage of films – including the groundbreaking original – it seems almost impossible to say this is the best of the lot, but Kong: Skull Island really is the best Kong movie ever. It has all the missing elements of recent monster efforts like Godzilla and Pacific Rim with its brilliant characters and performances, with the best of modern action blockbusters. It’s epic, brilliant, wonderful and one of the best pictures of the year so far.” Read Luke Owen’s full ★★★★★ review here.
5. Wonder Woman (23 points)
Surprisingly not higher in the list ,Wonder Woman is perhaps the most pleasant shock of 2017 so far. After the dreary and not-well-received Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, many people had written off the DCEU. The trailer for Justice League had installed some confidence, but a string of bad news around The Batman and The Flash spelled trouble. But Wonder Woman proved there was still life in this franchise yet, with one of the best and most pure comic book movies in recent memory. What’s very interesting, however, is that interest in Wonder Woman was so low at the start of 2017 that it didn’t even make it into Flickering Myth’s Most Anticipated Movies. It’s amazing what some good press can do for a movie. With that said, it’s the lowest voted for comic book movie on this list…
“Easily the best comic book movie DC and Warner Bros. have put out since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Now given the DC movies that have come out since The Dark Knight that is an extremely low bar to step over, but Wonder Woman leaps over it and sets a brand new standard. Justice League and Aquaman will have to work very hard to not only follow it, but also keep up.” Read Luke Owen’s full ★★★★ review here.
3-. John Wick: Chapter 2 (28 points)
We’ve got a joint third place now, with John Wick: Chapter 2 and James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 both taking 28 points. The first John Wick was a surprise to many back in 2014, so much that interest in the sequel managed to get squeak it into our Most Anticipated Movies of 2017. It features more of the bonkers action we loved in the first one, turned up to a new level. More like this please, Hollywood.
“Basically, a certain plot point essentially propels the film into the complete nonstop action mode that fans of the ever-evolving franchise will come to expect, and my God does it absolutely deliver. The difference between both John Wick films is that one of them fizzles out by the final action sequence, while the other just ups the ante on stunts and carnage to maximum excitement. Once again, it also much more greatly utilizes aspects regarding the rules of assassin work, benefiting the violence. John Wick: Chapter 2 embraces the tropes, pacing, and style of 90s action film, winding up being a perfect example of what more action films should strive to achieve. Furthermore, as a sequel it improves and expands on the original in every conceivable way.” Read Robert Kojder’s full ★★★★★ review here.
3-. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (28 points)
I said that Wonder Woman was surprisingly low on this list, and one could argue that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is much higher than anticipated. While it’s still an incredibly enjoyable ride, many felt that it didn’t stand up to the original. However, 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy is so beloved within Flickering Myth it topped our Ranking of the MCU in 2014 and 2016. James Gunn returned with his cast of a-holes along with an on-form Kurt Russell for a rip-roaring adventure of laughs, action and heart. Some were disappointed, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 topped two of our writers lists, and was high enough in others to earn it a very respectable 28 points. Perhaps its placing here – considering it was second in our Most Anticipated Movies of 2017 – could spell trouble for it come the end of the year…
“If you don’t like [Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2] or at the very least don’t have fun with it, I don’t know what to tell you. The opening credits alone should have you smiling with joy, and that smile won’t leave your face until you’ve left the cinema (although the sadder moments may make you less smiley).” Read Luke Owen’s full ★★★★ review here.
2. Get Out (41 points)
With all the movies released in 2017, it does please this writer to see a horror film so high up in the list – even beating out two comic book properties. Not only that, but topping four of our writer’s lists, Get Out comfortably secured second place with thirteen points above the joint fourth. Comedian Jordan Peele creates an incredible world full of tense horror, pulse-racing inventiveness and some dazzling twists and turns along the way. Get Out highlights the very topical subject of race relations in such a creative way, and its reveal will stick with you days after you’ve left the theatre.
“Superbly acted with a deliciously creepy score from Michael Abels that ingeniously mixes up Swahili vocals (another ghostly warning echoing from the past) with Bernard Herrmann-esque suspense, the movie is a treat for the intellect, gut and funny bone: 12 Years a Slave meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers, yet infinitely less glib, more ghoulishly delightful and more endlessly surprising than that description implies.” Read Sean Wilson’s full ★★★★★ review here.
1. Logan (62 points)
Before it was released Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds felt that Logan should be in contention for Academy Awards, and many comic book fans felt the same after seeing Hugh Jackman’s swansong to the Wolverine franchise. Set in a distant future where Logan is one of the few mutants left alive, he goes on a roadtrip with a senile Charles Xavier and his newly-discovered daughter Laura while being chased down by bad dudes. There were some – including Flickering Myth Podcast’s Oli Davis – who felt its mid-act reveal was a detriment to its story, but with 62 points Logan easily cleared the top spot in our Top 10 Movies of 2017 (so far). It topped four of our writers lists in a landslide victory, 21 points ahead of second place.
“It’s a grounded, appropriately violent, substantial, and emotional work of art containing highly impressive acting across the board. Logan is the kind of movie that shuts up elitists who can’t fathom a comic book movie transcending popcorn entertainment, or offering up personal connections to superbly crafted characters. Logan is exceptional filmmaking and the perfect sendoff for Hugh Jackman’s 17-year tenure as Wolverine.” Read Robert Kojder’s full ★★★★★ review here.
What’s interesting is that the biggest movie of the year – Beauty and the Beast – got 2 points from just one vote. Of the biggest movies released in 2017 so far, The Fate of the Furious, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Boss Baby and Fifty Shades Darker didn’t make it into the list either.
Here’s what just missed out:
12. Free Fire
13. The LEGO Batman Movie
14. The Mummy
15. Lost City of Z
And here’s what each of our writers voted for as their favourite film of 2017 so far:
Tom Beasley – Get Out
Luke Owen – Kong Skull Island
Andy Naylor – Logan
Shaun Munro – Logan
Thomas Harris – The Lost City of Z
Chris Cooper – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Ben Robins – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Samuel Brace – Silence
Tai Freligh – Wonder Woman
AJ Black – Get Out
Sean Wilson – Get Out
Helen Murdoch – Moonlight
Rachel Bellwoar – Band Aid
Eric Bay Anderson – Logan
Mike McClelland – Moonlight
Martin White – Moonlight
Anghus Houvouras – Kong: Skull Island
Rob James Kojder – Lady Macbeth
Harrison Abbott – Logan
Matt Spencer-Skeen – Get Out
Jordan J Jones – Logan
Liam Hoofe – Lady Macbeth
Kieran Fisher – John Wick: Chapter 2
Jake Peffer – Okja
Logan may have topped this list, but it’s going to face stiff competition from some big movies still to come in 2017 including Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Dunkirk and The Emoji Movie. Well, maybe not the last one.
What’s your favourite movie of the year so far?
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth, the co-host of The Flickering Myth Podcast and the author of Lights, Camera, GAME OVER!: How Video Game Movies Get Made (which you can pre-order from Amazon UK and Amazon US). You can follow him on Twitter @ThisisLukeOwen.
(Article originally appeared on Flickering Myth)