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The 10 Best Movies of 2017 (No. 1 Got Ignored)

I left the theater after watching “Thank You for Your Service” both drained and elated.

The film’s depiction of soldiers adjusting to civilian life proved brutal. We all need to see a movie like “Service” to understand the pressures they face once the shooting stops.

Writer/director Jason Hall, who wrote “American Sniper,” expertly captured the emotions of the soldier re-integrating back into society.

What a movie.

Thank You For Your Service - A Look Inside - In Theaters October 27 (HD)

And yet “Thank You For Your Service” tanked at the box office. The drama topped out at a paltry $9 million in U.S. sales. Surely film critics would rally to the film’s side, as would the inevitable Oscar buzz.

No, and no. This critic didn’t even receive an awards screener of the film.

RELATED: HiT’s Worst Films of 2017 List

“Service” is still an outstanding achievement, one that leads the Best Movies of 2017 list.

  1. “Thank You for Your Service” -- Miles Teller’s track record, to date, is more than impressive. It speaks to his ability to sniff out great scripts and dive head first into the material. He does just that with this post-war drama that shares a powerful story about both sacrifice and hope.
  2. “Get Out” -- The year’s best horror movie is also its nicest surprise. Who expected a very funny comedian, Jordan Peele, to uncork such a shrewd, sophisticated shocker right out of the gate? “Get Out” is terrific from the opening sequence on. Let’s hope Peele returns to the horror genre early and often.
  3. The Glass Castle -- A quick survey. Did anyone predict Woody Harrelson would emerge as the biggest movie star from the “Cheers” cast? It happened all the same, and in “The Glass Castle” he delivers one of his finest performances. The film follows a deeply dysfunctional family led by Harrelson, a man with huge passions and some glaring parental flaws. It’s gripping all the way through the end, which sadly sugar coats the real person behind the emotional drama.
  4. Baby Driver -- After “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” and “The World’s End” it appeared that director Edgar Wright’s mojo tank stood on empty. “Baby Driver” shattered those fears with a sly combination of action, humor and romance. Cult status, here we come.
  5. “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” -- When was the last time a film truly surprised you? This Netflix original does so every 15 minutes, delivering a tale that should self-destruct but never does.
  6. “I, Tonya” -- Retelling the Harding/Kerrigan skating nightmare seems like the stuff of an ’80s made-for-TV flick … at best. Instead, this smart, soulful dramedy captures a moment in pop culture that deserves to be revisited. Margot Robbie is excellent, as usual, but the supporting players steal the show (Allison Janney, Paul Walter Hauser).
  7. “The Big Sick” -- Finally, a warm, witty rom-com. It took a real-life romance and an indie sensibility to bring this sweet story to the big screen. Credit goes to not just star/co-writer Kumail Nanjiani but producer Judd Apatow. The comedy giant’s fingerprints are all over the film, in only the best of ways.
  8. “Lady Bird” -- A near flawless directorial debut from Greta Gerwig doubles as a timeless coming of age yarn. Saoirse Ronan, who is so good she’s still underrated, stars as a young woman finding her way in life. Nothing remarkable there, but it’s how the film captures her evolution that will delight you.
  9. Wonder Woman -- So much hype. So many rewards. We can start with the freakishly perfect casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman -- she’s gorgeous, funny and layered. From there, director Patty Jenkins reminds us why the best superhero movies matter. They teem with heroism, real humor and heart. The third act isn’t as strong as necessary, but it can’t chase away the film’s copious pleasures.
  10. “The Greatest Showman” -- Hugh Jackman pays the rent playing Logan, but you can tell he’d rather be putting on a show exactly like this. The movie brushes past P.T. Barnum’s serious flaws while reminding us why move musicals soar above the rest. The instantly catchy songs are a start, courtesy of the “La La Land” musical duo. This “Showman” might be the most beautiful film of the year.
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26 Comments

  1. Most of these I haven’t seen yet, but I’ve been avoiding Glass Castle because I thoroughly enjoyed the book and don’t want that experience to be ruined by the movie. However, it sounds like it will be worth it.

    I like Get Out, but I thought it was ultimately forgettable and same with Wonder Woman. The husband liked Baby Driver much more than I did. Again, I thought it was forgettable. I guess I like movies that stick with me.

    For instance, we watched Good Will Hunting the other day (randomly) and I could recall lines even though I hadn’t seen it in years. Now that’s a good movie. πŸ™‚

  2. I have to agree with Wonder Woman, but not much else. Admittedly, I haven’t seen most of the others. With that said, I’m so sick of Get Out. It was a mediocre story at best, racist screed at worst. Nevertheless, you, like so many other critics, left out the best films of the year: Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Alien Covenant, Murder on the Orient Express, American Assassin, and possibly Thor.

  3. Regarding “Thank You For Your Service”, movies about soldiers coming home from war have never been very popular, at least not since the post-WWII movies in the ’50s. Hollywood has made a lot of them, mostly about Vietnam and Iraq, and they tend to be very dour and depressing. Veteran comes home, has trouble fitting in, struggles with PTSD, etc. It’s been done so many times before, and it’s always a downer. War movies do well, but war veteran movies do not.

    I’m glad you included I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore on your list. I saw that one on Netflix and was genuinely surprised by how much I liked it. Melanie Lynskey is such a great, underrated actress, and deserved an Oscar nod for her performance, and Elijah Wood was quite good in it as well.

  4. “Dunkirk” and “Three Billboards” get my vote for the top movies. “Dunkirk” is one of the most innovative war movies ever made, and “Three Billboards” is a wonderfully conceived and crafted homage to the writings of the great Flannery O’Connor.

  5. Wonder Woman made my list of worst films of the year. It was so bad that everyone I was watching it with just burst out laughing at how cheesy and unthreatening the evil scientist was when she was trying to threaten everyone. And what was up with her makeup? It looked like what someone’s mom would do for Halloween.

    The chief villain was uninteresting, and the plot didn’t make a bit of sense. Wonder Woman spent the last third of the movie running back and forth needlessly when she was already where she needed to be to confront the villain.

    It was just absolutely awful in every respect. The script was crap, the acting was poor, the effects were shoddy, and the tropes were tiresome. As a film it really had no redeeming qualities. Hell, even Gal Gadot was obviously having trouble with her lines and acting through much of it.

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  6. Movies are so wanting these days. It is as of the film biz mislaid the recipe for making good, entertaining flms. Thy desperately need tro find it and some real movie stars too.

  7. I’ve only seen two movies from your list: Wonder Woman is good, but I didn’t like Get Out.

    – Serket’s Movies Commentary and Trivia on 444 Movies

  8. We were literally planning to see “Thank You for Your Service” when we realized Amy Schumer was in it. How friggen tone deaf do the producers need to be to hire Amy Schumer for a patriotic movie??
    FAIL!!!!

  9. While “Get Out” was well directed, I’m still confused as to why it makes so many best-of lists, especially when its plot is a carbon copy of “The Skeleton Key.”

  10. Interesting list, although I am not a fan of Get Out I am interested in seeing a lot of the films of this list! Thanks for sharing!

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