Monday, July 3, 2017

Top Ten of the Year (So Far)

The year has come to the halfway point and though a majority of the heavy hitters are yet to come 2017 has still produced a number of great films. What better way to celebrate the midway point than to count some of them down? Here are some of the best films of 2017 (so far).
Honorable Mention
The Lost City of Z (88% RT; April 21, 2017)
Hearkening back to the grand adventure classics, The Lost City of Z takes one man's life mission and tells it over his complex and tumultuous time as an explorer. It feels epic in many ways and yet the best piece may just be Charlie Hunnam as the lead.

Hounds of Love (92% RT; May 12, 2017)
Delivering textbook examples of how the audience’s own imagination can be more terrifying than anything director Ben Young puts on screen, Hounds of Love takes the less is more approach and lets each horrifying moment sink in.

Band Aid (86% RT; June 2, 2017)
Incredibly funny and equally emotional, Band Aid has so much heart to it. Couple that with some catchy, albeit harsh tunes, and an emerging triple threat in Zoe Lister-Jones and Band Aid is a must see.
Top Ten 
10. Wonder Woman (92% RT; June 2, 2017)
The Amazonian warrior finally gets her day in the sun and the duo of director Patty Jenkins and actress Gal Gadot make sure it isn’t wasted. Wonder Woman is a well-crafted, thrilling, and absolute blast to behold on the big screen. Not to mention a true turning point for Warner Brother’s expansive DC universe.
9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (81% RT; May 5, 2017)
Travelling back to the galaxy with everyone’s favorite ragtag superhero team isn’t quite the revelation that the first was but it doesn’t take away from how spectacular Vol. 2 truly is. The comedic punches still hit, the visuals are better than ever and the emotional moments all feel real in this world of talking raccoons and walking trees.
8. It Comes at Night (87% RT; June 9, 2017)
A mysterious and eerie atmosphere goes a long way in this sophomore effort from director Trey Edward Shults. It Comes at Night absolutely oozes tension and illustrates that the true monsters aren’t always what they appear. Throw in some great performances across the board and It Comes at Night should be on everyone’s list.
7. The LEGO Batman Movie (90% RT; February 10, 2017)
Who would’ve thought that the adaptation that most understood the character of Batman would be The LEGO Batman Movie? Taking advantage of the entire catalog of Batman characters, the film is beautifully animated and offers so many hilarious moments, for casual fans and aficionados alike.
6. Spider-Man: Homecoming (93% RT*; July 7, 2017)
Technically not a film from the first half of 2017 but it deserves to be mentioned for the true fun ride that it is. Spider-Man: Homecoming finds a way to breathe life into the character despite being the second reboot in 15 years. Combing heroics and high school expertly, Spider-Man: Homecoming finds a way to be completely fresh.

*RT Score as of July 3rd, 2017
5. Colossal (80% RT; April 7, 2017)
One of 2017’s more original films, Colossal has this strange nature about it that defies any explanation beyond viewing the film with your own eyes. What appears to be a larger scale monster film instead becomes a deeper look at the human condition and how it manifests itself over time.
4. Raw (91% RT; March 10, 2017)
The French-Belgian film earns its single word title without a doubt as it presents the most unsettling 98 minutes of the year. Though on the surface Raw may appear to be just another horror film, the symbolism and depth of the picture as a whole elevates the violence and visuals to something much greater.
3. Get Out (99% RT; February 24, 2017)
Timely, funny, and quite scary, Get Out is able to link it’s social critiques with a horrifying scenario and atmosphere. The directorial debut of Jordan Peele makes him so much more than just the sketch comedian that he was before, but a director that should be on everyone’s radar for the foreseeable future.
2. Baby Driver (97% RT; June 28, 2017)
Few directors earn the level of acclaim that Edgar Wright has through just a handful of films and he continues his exceptional career with Baby Driver. A heist film with all of Wright’s style, humor, and ambition is enough to make just about anyone excited but add a killer soundtrack and you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who won’t enjoy this exceptional film.
1. Logan (93% RT; March 3, 2017)

Deeply emotion and expertly crafted from top to bottom, Logan is hands down the best picture of the year so far. Hugh Jackman gets to send off his signature character in a fashion that very few can in a film that shows just how versatile comic book heroes can be in film.

These are just a handful of great films from the first six months of the year. And while the list if bound to shift throughout the remaining months, these films are undoubtedly going to make many end of the year lists as well. So are you there any you disagree with? Any that are missing? Share, subscribe, comment below and as always return to I Am Sam Reviews for weekly reviews and insight. 

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