A lot of noise was made in 2017 about the state of the American film industry, with some saying it was one of the worst years in history for it.

I don't know if I believe that, personally; I quite enjoyed many films that came out this year, and here's the 5 I enjoyed the most. This list is not meant to be objective, and obviously can only include films that I personally saw. If a critically acclaimed movie isn't on this list, either 1) I didn't like it, or 2) I didn't see it. Now, on with the list!

  • 5

    Logan Lucky

    I can sum up Logan Lucky in three words; "Redneck Ocean's Eleven".

    I went into this movie blind; I wanted to see something, and chose this film at random, expecting nothing. What I got was by far the funniest movie of the year, about Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Daniel Craig as down and out West Virginians conducting a massive heist on a NASCAR track.

    Logan Lucky, though, was more than just a comedy. It said a lot about poverty and Appalachia, and despite being about "rednecks" it never feels mean spirited.

    Even after seeing it, I'm surprised this movie makes my top 5, but I really enjoyed it!

  • 4

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi remains a very controversial film, a couple of weeks after its release. It's nowhere near perfect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it overall.

    Funnily enough, this film also stars Adam Driver!

    You can read my full The Last Jedi review by clicking here. 

  • 3


    Dunkirk is the latest film from director and writer Christopher Nolan, the mastermind behind movies like Memento, The Dark Knight, and Inception, so expectations were high among the public for this film.

    Did it satisfy? I won't answer that question, because I don't consider myself a massive Nolan fanboy. However, I enjoyed Dunkirk very much!

    Dunkirk tells the story of British and French soldiers evacuating the beaches of France in World War II, in the face of an advancing Nazi threat. Despite the setting, this is NOT a war movie in the traditional sense; our heroes do very little fighting, and indeed there is barely a Nazi on screen at any point!

    Instead, Dunkirk dwells in the interactions between the characters, the scared boys in over their heads, the citizens doing their part to help the evacuation, and the pilots trying their hardest to help their comrades escape.

    I could write and write about this film, but I'll cut it short and say it was quite the fantastic movie.

  • 2

    Hidden Figures

    Choosing this movie is cheating a little bit, since it technically premiered on Christmas 2016. However, it saw wide release in January 2017, and I saw it in 2017, so Hidden Figures makes this list!

    Hidden Figures is about the titular characters, the black women who were instrumental in putting a man on the moon in the 1960s. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae star as three mathematicians, who overcome some significant barriers throughout the course of the film.

    One thing I found interesting about this movie is how the course of progress is portrayed; for example, the characters are not initially elevated to positions of importance for any progressive reason, but because they are the only ones capable of the job. The character that exemplifies this type of racism is portrayed by Jim Parsons, who I felt performed well, and outside his typical range.

    I also was pleased by how funny Hidden Figures was. It deals with serious topics, and often is heavy in tone, but it know very well when to lighten up and show the better side of life.

    If you haven't seen Hidden Figures yet, give it a watch.

  • 1

    Wind River

    Wind River was a movie I watched on a whim; I saw the poster, and knew I liked Jeremy Renner, so I figured I would see it.

    I expected a run-of-the-mill action movie, and instead I got one of the most heart wrenching and moving movies I have ever seen.

    Wind River starts off with the death of a teenage girl, on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Montana. As the death was on federal land, an FBI agent must be brought in to investigate.

    Since the agent (Elizabeth Olsen) knows next to nothing about the area, she asks a local US Fish & Wildlife Service tracker (Jeremy Renner) to serve as her guide.

    For the most part, Wind River serves as a traditional mystery/crime thriller as the duo attempts to track down who committed this act. However, in execution it is so much more than it seems. It delves into issues such as humanity vs nature, urban vs rural, and even touches on the nature of criminality itself; the villains aren't mustache twiddling masterminds, for example.

    The biggest theme of this film, though, regards the epidemics that are currently threatening the Native American populations of our country. From poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse and violence, Wind River shines a stark light. In fact, what inspired the creation of this movie was the staggering rate of violence against Native women; According to Indian Country Today, Native women are murdered at a rate of 10 times the national average, and they are much more likely to befall other terrible fates as well.

    Wind River is a truly fantastic movie, and in my opinion, deserves a watch. It's moving, exciting, and thoughtful.

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