By Matt Neglia The first three months of 2017 are officially over and traditionally this is the point of the year where we see the movie studios releases some truly awful films. We certainly got those with movies such as “The Boss Baby,” “The Great Wall,” “Rings” and “The Space Between Us.” However, it has not been all doom and gloom as some of the staff here at Next Best Picture reveals to you what have been our top 3 highlights of 2017 so far.
The best X-Men movie ever made that pays homage to the great Westerns of old.
2. “Get Out“
Sly social commentary during a time when we need it most.
3. “The Girl With All the Gifts”
Genuinely unique sci-fi thriller with a great female cast.
1. “Beauty And The Beast“
A thrilling spectacle! An imaginative retelling of the 1991 Disney classic told with such love and dedication. Director Bill Condon has such affinity for musicals, which allows him to create the ultimate tribute to a genre and its fans. Terrific ensemble and dazzling visuals. One of the best films of the year!
2. “Bright Lights”
Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds- A superbly well-made documentary released under the most tragic of circumstances. Here is a highly entertaining yet deeply personal look into Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds’ irrevocable bond. Fantastic footage.
3. “Get Out“
The nifty social satire that has created quite the stir among audiences. Funny, pointed, scary, and smart. The real horror here comes from the questions we are left thinking about afterward. Vital in these trying times.
After six “X-Men” movies and two other “Wolverine” movies (including one of the worst movies ever made), color me surprised that one of the best dramas I’ve seen in the past years is a Hugh Jackman “Wolverine” film. The decision to make “Logan” R-rated may have seemed like a cheap ploy to get some “Deadpool” money, but it ended up making for a truly great character study. In committing to the adult content, it meant that we experienced this character with a real story and in his truest form.
2. “The LEGO Batman Movie“
As someone who grew up on “Batman: The Animated Series” and found their love of cinema watching “The Dark Knight” multiple times in theaters, let me make this next statement clear. “The LEGO Batman Movie” speaks directly to everything I love about cinema. “The LEGO Batman Movie” should not only be nominated for Best Animated Feature but also Best Comedy at this year’s Golden Globes.
3. “Get Out“
Jordan Peele makes his directorial debut by showing that he can not only explore racial issues via comedy but with a terrifying cinematic experience. On one hand, it is possible to enjoy “Get Out” simply as a good time at the movies. The mystery is solid, the reveals are interesting and there are some genuinely thrilling parts. On the other hand, “Get Out” is sure to be one of the smartest releases of the year, showing us how to tackle big issues with equal parts horror and comedy.
While not The Dark Knight of re-inventing the superhero film wheel, Logan is a moving and well executed send off to one of comic lore’s great characters. Jackman and Stewart give some of the performances of their careers.
2. “Get Out“
Sneaky and subversive, “Get Out” is a both funny and thrilling look at racism that marks Jordan Peele as a director to look out for in the future.
3. “The Zookeeper’s Wife“
Sweet spirited and competently made, the film makes the list only because I’ve seen so few other 2017 films. However, Jessica Chastain shines and Director Nikki Caro shows some promising directorial flourishes.
Gritty, intense and everything this character should always have been. Director James Mangold gives us the Wolverine character we have always wanted in this R-Rated Western that happens to also be a Marvel superhero film. Both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are phenomenal with newcomer Dafne Keen stealing the show as Laura/X-23.
Sexy, erotic, gory and absolutely fluid in all of its assured direction. “Raw” is a foreign film that I hope will stay in the conversation come awards time for Best Foreign Language Film as it is as good as any other film I am to see all year. Do check this one if you can stomach it. It’s truly unforgettable.
3. “John Wick: Chapter 2“
An action sequel done right in almost every single way. “John Wick: Chapter 2” expands upon the original film while raising the stakes and sets up what will most definitely be an explosive third (And possibly final?) act for Keanu Reeves’s iconic assassin character.
So what have been some of your favorite films of 2017 so far? be sure to let us know your own Top 3 in the comments section below.
You can follow Matt and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture