Karl’s Top 10 Movies of 2017

To say 2017 was an interesting year for the movie industry behind the scenes is an understatement. From the #MeToo movement claiming a lot of scalps from actors to directors to heads of agencies, it’s going to be interesting to see if anyone still has a job come 2018. But there was more to it than that. On the screen we saw the “rise” of the “very first empowering female lead hero in her own movie” to “whitewashing of a robot” and beyond. 2017 as it was for the movies themselves has become more political than ever, but when we put down our political outcry and stopped being triggered by every little choice that was made in Hollywood; we actually got some great movies to enjoy as fans. So here’s my Top 10 movies that I personally watched in 2017.

As always I shouldn’t need to warn people that this is no official Top 10 for the whole of The Outerhaven and it’s staff, but a personal listing based on personal opinions.

10. Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell got a very bad wrap in 2017. The whole casting of Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi in the live action adaptation of the 1995 masterpiece anime brought about a preconception in critics and fans alike that this was going to be a terrible film, and they rated it so. However the more open minded viewer would have seen a semi-faithful adaptation of the source material with enough changes and updates to keep the western audiences enthralled with the film from start to finish. When it recreated scenes from the anime, such as the water fight, it was perfection; but at the same time they did enough to not get too deep into the psychological aspects of the original that was a big turn off to those outside Japan. If you get a chance, grab a copy on Bluray and give it a watch. The CGI effects and the world created by it are amazing, and the story is not too bad at all… Just leave the “whitewashing” controversy out of your mind when hitting play and you might actually enjoy this one.

Title got a score of 4 out of 5 on The Outerhaven’s review that you can read for yourself here.

9. Downsizing

A very recent addition to the 2017 line up, releasing during the Christmas season when people are watching either more festive films or whatever kid friendly movie is put out there by Disney or Dreamworks, Downsizing is going to be one of those movies that will slip under the radar for a lot of people. Downsizing, a film about reducing yourself to 0.51% of your normal size for the sake of the planet, might be VERY heavy handed on the environmental message that humans have ruined the Earth to the point where even reducing anything including yourself is not going to help but watching Paul Safranek (played by Matt Damon) get shrunk down and learn about everything being for nothing is just a nice enjoyable and somewhat funny film that involves a lot more than it’s given credit for. Keep an eye out for Ngoc Lan Tran (played by Hong Chau) as the breakout and funniest character in Downsizing.

Downsizing has yet to get a review on The Outerhaven. We’re working on it for early 2018.

8. Spider-Man Homecoming

The first Disney/Marvel Studios outing with the old webhead since liberating him from the hands of Sony was looking to be an amazing adventure for a beloved character. However what we got was almost a coming of age story that felt written for a completely different Spider-Man (Miles Moralez instead of the traditional Peter Parker). Given how Marvel is able to take some of it’s lighter and even more out there properties and make them into a great mixture of comedy and adventure, it’s a shame that Spider-Man Homecoming wasn’t something more spectacular or amazing… Just mediocre. While giving us that Marvel magic that makes you enjoy the ride from start to finish, I haven’t been able to bring myself to rewatch or even pick up this movie at all; which is why it is so low on the list. Spider-Man Homecoming has a lot going for it though, including a great villain in Adrian Toomes/The Vulture (played in amazing fashion by Michael Keaton) but for some reason it just can’t shake the feeling that this wasn’t as good as it could have been compared to other Marvel Studios outings later in the year.

Title got a score of 4 out of 5 on The Outerhaven’s review that you can read for yourself here.

7. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman, if you listen to critics and the Twitter crowd, is the “first proper empowering female lead in film” to ever appear on the silver screen. Though a lot of people will give you a rundown of dozens of other even more empowering female leads in movies dating back over 20-30 years. I think a lot of the attraction of Wonder Woman was the subject matter, the over-empowerment of the character, and the fact that the director of the movie was a female. When you get down to it, Wonder Woman wasn’t this big epic show of womanhood, but instead a paint by numbers superhero/fish out of water film that ground the same guitar rift into your brain like a drill in every action scene. At the end of it all, it was good to see Wonder Woman up on the screen by herself showing that she can kick ass just as well as any other male superhero, but other then that, the film didn’t have much to offer.

Title got a score of 4 out of 5 on The Outerhaven’s review that you can read for yourself here.

6. Logan

Coming right out of left field was Logan. For a movie featuring the older Wolverine from the X-Men franchise, this was a more heartfelt story than anything you would ever expect from a comic book movie. The addition of X-23 and the fact that Logan is taking care of a very old and mentally ill Charles Xavier makes for some good character moments for all involved. Logan showed that not every X-Men movie needs to have a huge CGI budget and involve a fight every 15 seconds. Plus the ending to the film is a great closer for not only Wolverine as a character, but the franchise as a whole. I even recommend getting the Noir version of the film (If you can find it) as it shows the gravity of the story a lot better than the original does.

Title got a score of 4.5 out of 5 on The Outerhaven’s review that you can read for yourself here.

5. Baby Driver

I was very late to watching Baby Driver, not getting around to watching it till it came out on DVD/Bluray later in the year, and man I was a fool for not seeing it in cinemas. For something that was at first glance a standard robbery/car chase film ended up being something more. Going back to the days of The Italian Job and mixed with the musical fun of The Blues Brothers, Baby Driver was just an all around fun film. Having watched it a few times since my first viewing, it was one of the films of 2017 that really grew on me. A great cast with great music and spot on action and drama makes Baby Driver a must-watch movie if you have the spare time, plus additional points for having the main character Baby know and use sign language with his deaf roommate. If there is any diversity I think deserves more representation in movies it’s the deaf community.

Title got a score of 4.5 out of 5 on The Outerhaven’s review that you can read for yourself here.

4. IT

Thankfully, the remake phase in Hollywood has come to a close in a pretty good way. This more modern retelling of the classic novel by Stephen King was done in a good enough way that it felt fresh and didn’t tread on the same grounds as the mini series featuring Tim Curry. This new Pennywise (played almost too well by Bill Skarsgård) was meant to be scarier, but did so with minimal interaction with his victims till the final act where it went into silly territory for a moment before actually showing us that they all indeed “float down here”. The biggest issue that I personally had with IT was that the sound in the cinema that I saw it was up a bit too loud (I have a sensitivity to high pitch sounds, which this movie used a lot), and also that we only got half a story here, leaving us with blue balls till the sequel is announced, filmed and then shown sometime in god only knows when.

Title got a score of 4 out of 5 on The Outerhaven’s review that you can read for yourself here.

3. Kingsman: The Golden Circle

There seems to be some sort of magic to the Kingsman films. In a world where James Bond has dominated for the last few decades to the point of killing the spy movie genre, Kingsman has brought it all back in a big way. Keeping the civility and charm of the Bond movies with the action of modern day action films, Kingsman blends it all together perfectly. As for The Golden Circle itself, it took what was a great British style and shit all over it with brash Americanism. This sudden shift in tone really hurt the film overall, but when it went back to what made it good, that being the character development between Eggsy and Galahad, then things feel just right. Kingsman: The Golden Circle takes what it did in the previous film and ramps it up just enough to keep things entertaining without risking alienating the fans too much.

Title got a score of 4 out of 5 on The Outerhaven’s review that you can read for yourself here.

2. Thor: Ragnarok

Talk about an amazing turn around from one of the lower scoring parts of the Marvel Universe. Thor went from being this grim and dark bunch of stories to being bright, colorful, comedic and extremely entertaining. Thor: Ragnarok was the change that the character needed, he found humility and strength in himself without his hammer; and the movie even redeemed one of the more boring and risky characters in the franchise in The Hulk. Combining the Planet Hulk story with a villain who is stronger than even Odin himself, requiring Thor, Loki and Valkyrie to combine forces to save not only Asgard but all the nine realms from Hela, the goddess of death. A great change in the way Marvel does some of their movies, and refreshing some characters who really couldn’t find their place in the overall Marvel Universe.

Title got a score of 4.5 out of 5 on The Outerhaven’s review that you can read for yourself here.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

From starting with one of the best opening credit sequences ever, to a fun and funky closing credits sequence that features everyone involved dancing and even a cameo from David Hoff, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is a fun ride. Sure, the story about Peter Quill being the son of Ego The Living Planet is a bit weirder than the actual parentage of Peter, but it works for the Guardians of the Galaxy brand. The film also features some of the best lines from one of the most outside characters in the series (“I’m Mary Poppins y’all!”) and his redemption too, to the point where I actually cried for a moment during the funeral scene. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 has everything that makes a film great, shame that Hollywood would never allow it anywhere near an Oscar… Got to keep those shiny achievements for films that no one saw nor will they remember once the awards season is over.

Title got a score of 3.5 out of 5 on The Outerhaven’s review that you can read for yourself here.

About The Author

Karl Smart
Senior Editor / Reviewer

The main "Australian arm" of The Outerhaven. Karl primarily spends time playing and reviewing video games while taking time to occasionally review the latest movie or piece of gaming technology.