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2017 has come and gone – there’s been some supreme cinematic moments and some colossal stinkers too, but there was never a dull moment…OK, there were a few. That said, here are What I Watched Tonight’s BEST movies of the year, very much in order…

“Powered along by stellar performances, set against beautiful backdrops and led by a glorious soundtrack, La La Land is a joyful triumph celebrating all that was great before and wrapping up in a modern day bow. Magnificent.”

“Managing to create a stunning movie whilst encapsulating the sheer horror, madness and chaos of war, Dunkirk is Christopher Nolan’s finest work”

“Brimming with a shadowy seediness, Lady Macbeth is a beautifully shot, stunningly acted and a compellingly cruel gloomy affair with its components combining to make it one of the year’s best movies.”

“The raw emotion that ekes out of every scene is all that is required, and along with stunning acting and outstanding writing, creates a monumentally good movie that eschews the normal proceedings of modern movie storytelling – and thank God it does.”

“An adventure that will pull you this way and throw you that way but never ceases to be anything but Star Wars – buckle up and get ready for a wild ride. The Force is with The Last Jedi.”

It works as a coming-of-age drama and as a straight up horror movie – combine the two and the result is an exceptional movie that was well worth the wait. We float too.”

“Thomas Q. Napper has crafted a fine boxing movie which centres solely on the man rather than the boxer, and the fight rather than the bout. Stick with it and you won’t regret it.”

“In a world crying out for original movies (and then not watching them), A Ghost Story is a hauntingly beautiful example of film-making at its near best.”

“An intelligent movie and a stark display of a taboo subject. Well directed and expertly acted - a thrilling and vicious account of unspeakable acts and of confronting the past by breaking the silence that builds around it.”

“Whilst we care about the end destination, the journey to reach it provides the movie’s heart. A movie about a jilting fiancé, a Maori felon and a vegan activist hits the mark – who’d have thought it? But it works and Pork Pie is a great ride all the way through its ups and downs.”

“A fine example of how to deliver a human tragedy drama by adopting the 'naturalistic not nationalistic' approach and the movie is all the better for it. Honest, gritty, emotional and genuine, Stronger is a real triumph.”

"The fearless, powerhouse performance from Aubrey Plaza is the highlight of the movie and one of the year’s best. Ingrid Goes West is entertaining, enthralling and intriguing and you can’t ask for much more than that. Check your privacy settings and close your curtains, Ingrid may just be outside watching."

“A contender for gloomiest, most depressing movie of the year for sure, but it matches that with a great story and delivers a gripping, entertaining movie – ‘Everything’s going to be OK’…No, it isn’t.”

“The story of the man who fought the war with bandages and morphine as opposed to bullets and machine guns. Immensely engrossing with a brilliant lead, this is one of the finest war movies put to screen.”

“Sometimes a movie can be so heart-warming and well-executed that these [sugary] moments feel justified and a good old-fashioned inspiring story is just fine by me. Great performances, great messages, great movie.”

“Mooney is fantastic leading the movie and there’s plenty of warmth and positivity to be found here, as well as pure celebration of fandom – and that’s never a bad thing.”

“Delivering an understated epic, Logan provides Hugh Jackman with the fitting send off for the character he made his own for so long. He can hang up his claws proudly now.”

“It’s clear that in less able, less confident hands, this movie could have been a disaster but Peele steers the ship masterfully and in-between all of the messages lies a great, suspenseful horror movie.”

“A strong character drama with soul and wince-inducing violence. Vaughn’s unrelentingly great performance anchors a movie that will engage you for every minute of its runtime. Surprisingly very, very good.”

“Fun, emotional, catchy and real, Patti Cake$ is a great movie and one that delivers top performances, eschewing the accepted image of leading roles perfectly.”

…and honourable mentions to…

 

Raw

Super Dark Times

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

The Meyerowitz Stories

Wonder Woman

 

There were so many fantastic movies in 2017 that this list could really have spread to over 40 choices – to not include The Big Sick, Okja or Blade Runner 2049 was tough enough.

 

Well, thanks 2017 for a wonderful year in movies, and here’s to 2018…

© 2016 Matt Hudson / What I Watched Tonight / Essex

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