By Adam Ray Palmer
Look! It’s 2018 guys! That means one thing… it’s the end of the world because of the ‘big buttons’ on those two egotistical blokes’ desks and all that jazz!
But whilst we are still around with our health intact, check out Cineroom’s eight best films that we caught in 2017!
Please leave comments below if you agree, disagree or even to list your top eight, or 10 or whatever…
EIGHTH: The Meyerowitz Stories (New & Selected)
Creeping onto the list at number ten is the only Netflix-funded feature on the list - it's just nice to be included, isn't it? The Meyerowitz Stories captured my heart when I caught it at the London Film Festival last October. Starring a collective of A-listers including Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson; Stories follows two brothers who reconnect with their father after coming together as a family to celebrate his work as an artist. This dysfunctional family comedy has many highs with witty quips, but touching moments in abundance too. I didn't expect to see a film in 2017 that I didn't realise I'd enjoy this much. It's a hoot.
Read our review of The Meyerowitz Stories here.
SEVENTH: The Big Sick
What a charming comedy-drama. I caught The Big Sick late last year when I missed a screening for it in the summer. I didn't think much of it because these things happen. However, when I finally caught up with the dramedy, I fully understood the fuss and I felt cheated it took me months to catch it. Based on true events, The Big Sick follows Emily and Kumail who must manage close relationships with either families whilst also trying to juggle careers and their own romance. The drawback? Emily spends most the film in a comatose state.
Read our review of The Big Sick here.
SIXTH: Baby Driver
Hitting the sixth spot is one of the films of summer’17. This high-octane thriller is like a mixture of Drive, an 80s-cop show and the soundtrack to a rock n roll heaven. The stunts, the narrative, the characters and the slick directing is top notch. A lot can be said for an opener to a movie, and I think in 2017 we have been blessed with a few gems (one being my third spot film too). The opening six minutes to Baby Driver are riveting, pulsating and thrilling viewing. Make sure you catch this movie… and buy the soundtrack!
Read our review of Baby Driver here.
FIFTH: Tiger Girl
In fifth place is the German film, Tiger Girl. This is the only foreign-language film on the list this year, and also the film I saw first out of all eight. Tiger Girl follows a girl called Tiger (of course) who gets what she wants. She meets Vanilla who does not know what she wants apart from a uniform. They form this unlikely partnership where Tiger is this kind of superhero figure to Vanilla and therefore follows her dysfunctional ways. What ensues is a kick-ass, engaging action drama that has quips to belly-laugh at and violence to shriek at. A proper, good watch.
Read our review of Tiger Girl here.
FOURTH: Free Fire
Just missing out on a podium finish is the gun-slinging, banter-quipping action-thriller, Free Fire. Ben Wheatley’s and Amy Jump’s raucous comedy focuses on a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two gangs in 1978 Boston. What is meant to be a low-key trade of arms, turns into a trade of bullets and a game of survival. There’s so much to admire about this film. There’s twists and turns, there’s incredible dialogue, spectacular performances and there’s also Armie Hammer – I mean come on! A special mention goes to Sharlto Copley too, what a shift.
Read our review of Free Fire here.
In the bronze spot is the ticking masterpiece, Dunkirk. If you don’t get the ticking reference then you haven’t seen this tense, gripping and emotional war drama. The constant clock beating in the background is like the sound of your heart pounding throughout. The masterful Christopher Nolan purposely uses this to put you on edge, making sure you understand how little time you have in war and every decision made is vital and consequential. Like Baby Driver, the opening sequence in Dunkirk showcases exactly what to expect over the next 100 minutes, and you’re never quite prepared. The film makes you deeply think how lucky you are to not have gone through the paranoia and petrifying times of war. Dunkirk is sublime in every department – acting, editing, soundtrack and narrative. I can’t believe Nolan won’t pick up the Best Director awards for this, sacrilege!
Read our review of Dunkirk here.
SECOND: Get Out
Jordan Peele is usually known for comedy films (well, Golden Globes has this down as a comedy too, to be fair), but now he is also known for having his movie Get Out as our runner-up in Cineroom’s best films of 2017 (self-proclaimed!). Daniel Kaluuya stars as a young African-American who is to meet with his white girlfriend's (Allison Williams) parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambience will give way to a nightmare. Get Out is a tour-de-force from start-to-finish. The performance from Kaluuya is astonishingly good and rightly award-nominated worthy. The original narrative is riveting too, you just don’t know what is going to happen next. Get Out will have you screaming at the screen in one instance, and then hiding behind a pillow the next – it’s just a treasure.
Read our review of Get Out here.
The moment is here, the winner of the best film in 2017 for Cineroom is… THE SHAPE OF WATER! Guillermo del Toro’s exquisite masterpiece is a sight to behold. Granted it isn’t out yet in the UK, but just you wait for when this majestic triumph of a film to hit you for the first time. It’ll rip out your heart, beat it, massage it, then put it back in your body and sew you back up on your way. It’s a whirlwind of emotion in two hours. The Shape of Water is based in a top-secret research facility in the 1960s where a lonely janitor (Sally Hawkins) forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature (Doug Jones) that is being held in captivity. From that plot alone, you know it’s very del Toro and Pans Labyrinth-like; and you’d be correct. Guillermo returns to his whimsical best and delivers a sensitive sucker punch of a movie for everyone to marvel at. The core message at its heart is for all to ponder, but I took away the feeling of everyone on this crazy planet is different; and how brilliant that is. The Shape of Water makes me celebrate how wonderful individuality is. If I could, this would win every award going for it. In all honesty, I’m not sure what it will pick up at the Oscars… but fingers are crossed for ‘Best Picture’ and Hawkins. You must see this, people.
Read our review of The Shape of Water here.