My favourite Movies of 2017

The first months of the year are typically a dumping ground for bad movies, but this year has proven otherwise.
The year is young, but it’s never too early to start celebrating the finest movies offered up by both the multiplex and the art house. After only four months, moviegoers have been gifted with a bounty of great blockbusters, indies and documentaries, proving that filmmakers are continuing to find new ways—both big and small—to entertain, excite and enlighten, provided online by project free tv. No doubt there are numerous gems to come in the months ahead, given that by the holidays, we’ll have the latest works from acclaimed directors like Paul Thomas Anderson, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg (to name just three). For now, however, these are our current picks for the best films of 2017.

1. Get Out
Be it the early sight of a car pulling up alongside an African-American man, or a photo of an angry dog being held on a tight leash, the color white spells doom in Jordan Peele’s social-commentary horror hit Get Out—albeit ultimately in unexpected ways. Surrounded by his white girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) Obama-loving family and their friends during a weekend getaway at their rural estate, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) finds himself increasingly uncomfortable, especially after a series of encounters with fellow African-Americans (the household’s staffers, a young boyfriend of a much older white woman) make him suspect that something is scarily amiss. The story’s climactic revelations are indebted to The Stepford Wives, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Rosemary’s Baby, and yet are given a fresh of-the-moment twist by Peele’s razor-sharp script, which cleverly locates the means by which liberals’ pro-black attitudes function as a type of appropriation-esque intolerance. As impressive as its racial-dynamics critique, however, is its formal dexterity; from its malevolent pacing to its terrifying imagery (especially of “The Sunken Place”), Peele’s directorial debut is a first-rate cinematic nightmare.

2.The Lost City of Z
Acclaimed American filmmaker James Gray (Two Lovers, The Immigrant) ventures for the first time outside New York City—and into the dark heart of the Amazon—with The Lost City of Z, an adaptation of David Grann’s 2009 non-fiction book of the same name. Such a geographic relocation, however, does little to alter Gray’s fundamental artistic course, as his latest—about early 20th century British explorer Percy Fawcett’s (Charlie Hunnam) repeated efforts to locate a lost South American civilization that he believed to be more advanced than any previously discovered—boasts his usual classical aesthetics and empathetic drama. Energized by a hint of Apocalypse Now’s into-the-wild madness, this entrancing period piece is at once a grand adventure, a social critique about class and intolerance, and a nuanced character study about an individual caught between his love for, and desire to escape, his environment. Led by Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, and Sienna Miller, it’s also one of the finest-acted dramas of the year.

3.Logan
Hugh Jackman bears his adamantium claws one last time as Marvel’s Wolverine in James Mangold’s Logan, which—after 2013’s samurai-themed The Wolverine—relocates the character in dusty, downbeat Western terrain. Set in a 2029 in which mutants are rare specimens thought to be extinct (as well as the stuff of comic-book legend), Mangold’s film finds Jackman’s famed hero hiding out in remote Texas, caring for a dementia-addled Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and trying to forget how he got all the scars that now mar his body, failing to heal the way they did during his youthful heyday. His recluse life is forever upended by the arrival of a young girl (Dafne Keen) with whom he shares a mysterious connection, and who’s wanted by mercenaries led by Boyd Holbrook’s Donald Pierce. What follows is a prolonged chase narrative that’s awash in more brutal R-rated action than any prior X-Men franchise installment, and infused with a surprisingly melancholy—if quietly hopeful—heart that marks it as a fitting end for Jackman’s Wolverine tenure.

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