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By Matt Rodriguez

Matt: Top 10 Films of 2017

2017 was a surprisingly great year for films so for me to narrow my list down to just the Top 10 was quite the challenge. We say intimate blockbusters like Logan, which redefined the superhero genre, as well as compelling art house films like Phantom Thread, which saw the reunion of Paul Thomas Anderson with Daniel Day-Lewis for his final acting role before his retirement.With other films like The Florida ProjectCall Me By Your NameMudbound, and The Disaster Artist, my Best Films of 2017 could easily top 20 or even 25. Regardless, I've managed to narrow my list down to 10. Here are my Top 10 Films of 2017.


10. Dunkirk 
2017 was a popular year for film’s portrayal of the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II, playing a vital role in both Their Finest and Darkest Hour, but it’s Christopher Nolan’s epic war-drama titled after the evacuation itself that reminds us just how masterful a filmmaker Nolan is. He puts the war front and center, creating an intensity that doesn’t let up for the film’s entire 106 minute run time. 


9. War for the Planet of the Apes 
The conclusion of the newest Apes trilogy, War goes out with a strong finish and gives Andy Serkis’ Caesar one of the best character arcs across all three films. It’s about as personal a story as you can get from a big budgets blockbuster, and one of the best of the year.


8. Colossal
In a year where sequels and adaptations ruled the box office, Colossal was a surprisingly different in the best way possible. Anne Hathaway controlling a giant Godzilla-like kaiju was awesome, but seeing the film evolve into a dark story about obsession and friendship really made it something uniquely special.


7. The Greatest Showman
Hugh Jackman singing and dancing to songs written by La La Land lyricists Pasek and Paul; that’s all I needed to know.


6. The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro delivers one of the most stunning and redefining genre films of the year with amazing performances by Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer. Beautiful and terrifying, the film is classic del Toro.


5. The Big Sick
Written by comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, writer Emily V. Gordon, you’ll both laugh and cry at the wonderfully heartfelt biographical story of how they met and eventually fell in love. It’s an intimate window into their personal relationship, and I’m forever grateful that they’ve shared this with the world.


4. IT
Andy Muschietti proved to have a masterful understanding of horror and Stephen King’s novel, resulting in one of the best horror films of all time. Bill Skarsgård’s portrayal of Pennywise the Dancing Clown is terrifying and unsettling, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings when the sequel finally arrives.


3. Get Out
Speaking of horror, Jordan Peele knocked it out of the park with his film directorial debut. Part psychological horror, all social commentary, Get Out is filmmaking at its finest and one film well worth multiple viewings.


2. Lady Bird
Just when you think you’ve seen everything from a coming-of-age film, Greta Gergwig comes along with Lady Bird and blows up the genre. It’s smart, heartwarming, and funny, with brilliant performances from the entire cast that will leave you reminiscing about your youth and perhaps wanting to call your parents and tell them you love them.


1. Baby Driver
I simply love everything about Baby Driver. The action, the humor, and most importantly the music; it is all perfectly in sync with each other thanks to director by Edgar Wright, whose attention to detail can’t be ignored. Having seen the film multiple times already, I’m always picking up on some new reference or obscure easter egg. The fact that it’s both filmed and set in my hometown of Atlanta is just icing on the already delicious cake.