Weekend Binge: From Dunkirk to Logan, here are the top 10 films of 2017 so far
We’re halfway through 2017, and it’s time to count down our top 10 films of the year so far. Dunkirk, Wonder Woman, Logan, and others make the cut. Do you agree with our list?Updated: Sep 01, 2017 13:15 IST
Every week, we will curate a collection of titles - movies, TV, general miscellanea - for you to watch (and in some cases, read, or listen to), in a series we call Weekend Binge. The selection will be based on a theme which binds the picks - which could be extremely blunt in certain instances, or confusingly abstract in some. No rules apply, other than the end goal being getting some great entertainment to watch.
While the idea is to base the theme on the week’s major events - it could be the release of a new movie, or show - we could also use this opportunity to comment on our world in general, and turn to art to wrap our heads around some of the more difficult stories of the past seven days.
Congratulations are in order. We’ve survived half the year, and while there hasn’t been too much to celebrate, the movies haven’t disappointed. 2017 has been notable for giving us some of the most strikingly original movies in recent memory. While everyone was complaining about the usual barrage of sequels and remakes, we also got films like Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, James Gray’s The Lost City of Z, and Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch - and neither of them feature on this list.
Without further ado, here’s our list of the top ten films of 2017 so far.
Wonder Woman is the sort of movie that makes you forgive things it got wrong solely on the strength of everything it got right. And it got a lot of things right. It was the first film in the DC Extended Universe that was worthy of its iconic character, and it did what both Batman and Superman couldn’t do: It gave us hope for what’s to come.
The problem with Raw is that it’ll always be remembered as the cannibal movie that left audiences at Cannes scurrying for the exits. But it’s so much more than that. It’s a coming of age film. It’s a film about not fitting in. It might even be a film about getting periods. Who knows? But what we do know is that it’s more than just a cannibal movie.
8. Free Fire
After a string of increasingly bizarre films, director Ben Wheatley knocked it out of the park with this one. It’s a masterclass in filming contained action, and developing characters without needless exposition.
7. Trainspotting 2
It was a tall order, but someone had to do it, and who better than Danny Boyle to make a sequel to the film that put him on the map. Trainspotting 2 is deliberately reverential to the original, in many ways mirroring the fans. It’s a film about growing up, the ghosts of the past, and the fear of the future. It has no right being as good as it is.
War for the Planet of the Apes might even be the first great post-human movie – for more reasons than one. Technically, because it signals the arrival of an era in cinema where human actors could quite possibly be made obsolete, and thematically, because it suggests that human beings are a scourge that needs to be destroyed.
Logan takes cues from classics like Children of Men, The Wrestler, and even the great video game The Last of Us. It is uncompromising in its brutality and fearless in its reverence of these iconic characters. It’s a testament to the power of storytelling, and what creative freedom can produce.
4. The Big Sick
There hasn’t been a ‘romantic comedy’ as great as The Big Sick probably since (500) Days of Summer. It is a movie that sits comfortably inside the confines of its much-ridiculed genre, and transcends it with its almost unbelievable true story, and layered characters. It was a near miracle that it was released in India at all.
3. Get Out
Above all, Get Out is a film about that inherent fear of the other that we all have buried deep inside us. While this movie is about the current racial climate in America, police violence, and the deep-rooted differences those communities harbour against each other, it could easily be transported to India. And that’s the power of great cinema - it transcends borders, and strikes universal themes.
In a fair world, Netflix’s Okja would have the power to make even the most belligerent meat eaters consider vegetarianism. It would make us question the truths we ignorantly accept. It would make us seek answers, challenge the consumerist culture we so blindly embrace. It would inspire change. But – and Okja would be the first to remind us of this – the world is hardly a fair place.
Dunkirk, a film about men, created by men, is a force of nature – an elemental beast of a movie about finding the meaning of life surrounded by the meaninglessness of war. It is one of the greatest war movies ever made – it’s certainly the tightest, most unwaveringly propulsive film of Christopher Nolan’s career. But it’s also as meditative as The Thin Red Line, as brutal as Saving Private Ryan, and sometimes, even as surreal as Apocalypse Now.
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First Published: Jul 29, 2017 08:32 IST