The year 2017 saw some gains for comic book fans, as well as some sleeper hits that took many movie-goers by surprise.
DC won big with “Wonder Woman”, but “Justice League” drew mixed reactions, while Marvel scored with “Thor: Ragnarok”, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2”, not forgetting the formerly Fox-owned “Logan”.
“Baby Driver” was a surprise hit, while “Blade Runner 2049” brought the franchise back for a new generation in a way that many others failed to do the year before.
A late entry was “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, which has divided audiences but did enough for the Yahoo Singapore team to earn a spot on this list.
10) Star Wars: The Last Jedi
“The Last Jedi” is the latest instalment of the Star Wars franchise, and sees Rey (Daisey Ridley) continuing her quest to save the galaxy from Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). General Leia (Carrie Fisher) must fight to keep the Resistance going while Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) just wants to hang out on an island all day.
“Just when everyone thought they knew everything there is to know about Star Wars, this movie boldly takes things forward/beyond to establish a ‘same-same but different’ storyline for both old and new fans. While some may have found the movie slightly ‘insulting’, it feels like this ‘old’ franchise has been given new life.” – Elizabeth Tong, Entertainment Reporter
“Arguably the most divisive movie from the industry’s greatest franchise to date, The Last Jedi is for some fans a visceral cinematic experience that has reignited their faith in the saga, and a devastating disappointment for others who are outraged by director Rian Johnson’s ruthless slaying of the sacred cows in the Star Wars canon.” – Vernon Lee, Senior Editor
9) Baby Driver
Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver” tells the story of Baby (Ansel Elgort) a young man working as a getaway driver for bank robbers, led by the mysterious Doc (played by Kevin Spacey).
“Baby Driver stands out because the car chases and action sequences are a perfectly choreographed cinematic feat set to the beat and tempo of a killer soundtrack. With a vivid colour palette, director Edgar Wright makes the most graphic, bloody, violent scenes seem like a painting in motion.” – Reena Devi, Lifestyle Reporter
“Director Edgar Wright fantastically fuses the soundtrack with the action scenes (think gunshots synched to the song beat) in this little thriller. The magnetic Ansel Elgort is just part of an ensemble that all put up memorable performances.” – Teng Yong Ping, Content Producer
8) Get Out
This horror-comedy directed by Jordan Peele stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a black man who visits the family of his girlfriend (Allison Williams), who is white. At her house, he finds out that not everything is as it seems.
“This sly send-up of race relations in America manages to be both hilarious and terrifying at the same time. One of the smartest movies of 2017.” – Nicholas Yong, Senior Correspondent
“Get Out was so unsettling because I watched it with no expectation. It is stark social commentary disguised as schlocky suspense flick, complete with jump scares, but for me it was Allison Williams’ surprisingly cold-blooded performance that left the deepest impression – especially given her breakout role as the generally pathetic Marnie from Girls.” – Amir Ali, Content Producer
7) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Director James Gunn once again takes the helm for Marvel’s space avengers’ next adventure. Star-Lord Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and gang find themselves joined by the newcomer Mantis (Pom Klementieff), as well as old faces Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Nebula (Karen Gillan).
“One of the most offbeat superhero franchises around, director James Gunn manages to get the mix just right again: Action, humour and pathos in equal measure, all driven by an excellent ensemble cast.” – Nicholas Yong, Senior Correspondent
“There’s just something about James Gunn’s GotG that walks the fine line between brilliance and cheesy. The Guardians were never the easiest Marvel characters to turn into a blockbuster hit; that Gunn has done it twice in a row speaks volumes of his ability and Marvel’s faith in him.” – Bryan Huang, Editor
Christopher Nolan’s war epic focuses on the evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk, France, during World War II. Told from the perspectives of participants from the land, sea, and air, the film itself has little dialogue, with a cast including Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Harry Styles, James D’Arcy and Tom Hardy.
“It takes a bit of time to get into Dunkirk’s non-linear narrative, but Christopher Nolan’s novel approach in using sound effects to drive the narrative for this war movie is a bold and different take on the war movie genre.” – Hannah Teoh, Senior Content Producer
“Christopher Nolan’s reverential treatment of the key World War II event about the Allied troops’ epic evacuation from Dunkirk coast hits the target on several counts: Realistic dog fights and gripping drama on the waters, tight pacing and powerful portrayal of men who were fighting for survival on the edge of abyss.” – Vernon Lee, Senior Editor
5) Blade Runner 2049
The sequel to 1982’s classic sees the return of Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard alongside new characters like K (Ryan Gosling), a “blade runner” who works for the Los Angeles Police Department. It is set 30 years after the original “Blade Runner”.
“Every shot in this sequel to the cult classic is a gem. The framing, the lighting, the set design all work beautifully to capture the unfolding of this thought-provoking, well-written neo-noir thriller starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford.” – Elena Torrijos, Editor-in-Chief
“The fact that science fiction films are more associated with punchlines and superheroes (e.g. Guardians Of The Galaxy and the Star Trek reboots) these days just makes Blade Runner 2049 stand out even more. It’s a beautifully shot work of sci-fi noir that somehow got made for over US$150 million and with a run-time of nearly three hours. It’s a miracle the film even exists in its current form.” – Dhany Osman, Editor
4) Thor: Ragnarok
The god of lightning’s third solo outing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe sees director Taika Waititi take charge. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) find themselves facing off against Hela (Cate Blanchett) as the fight to prevent Ragnarok takes them to meet a familiar green face.
“The heavy use of humour in the third film of the series was a surprise. It not only makes the characters in Thor’s cinematic world more compelling, but also makes for a fun (albeit lengthy) superhero adventure.” – Elizabeth Tong, Entertainment Reporter
“Thor’s third outing finally sees him shed the image of being a broody god for a light-hearted adventure that director Taika Waititi has said is pretty much a comedy. The stylistic choices and writing make it an enjoyable ride that’s accompanied with much laughter, especially with the director’s own acting contribution.” – Bryan Huang, Editor
Hugh Jackman’s last outing as Logan sees the titular character going on an enforced road trip with an ageing Charles Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart) to protect Laura (Dafne Keen), a young mutant girl who has similar powers to the Wolverine. Directed by James Mangold, the film follows the precedent set by 2016’s “Deadpool” and is rated M18 for blood, gore and language.
“A superhero movie that redefined our expectations of what a superhero movie can be. The strength of the story and quality of actors meant that there was no need for big explosions or over-the-top special effects. The storyline was a refreshing departure from the ‘stop this villain from killing someone’ or ‘team up and save the world… AGAIN’ tropes that are typically overused.” – Kenneth Koh, Audience Development Analyst
“Professor X with Alzheimer’s, old man Wolverine slowly dying of Adamantium poisoning, and a generational road trip with a youthful X-23, what more could you ask for? The non-action scenes are some of the best parts that make Logan a must-see film.” – Joel Balbin, Content Producer
2) Spider-Man: Homecoming
Spider-Man’s triumphant return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after his Civil War cameo sees Peter Parker (Tom Holland) struggling to balance being an ordinary teenager with having tasted life with the Avengers. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) plays part-time mentor to the new superhero, who finds himself up against Michael Keaton’s Vulture.
“Homecoming provides something different from other superhero movies as it is almost fully dedicated to the “growing pains” aspect of being a superhero. While most dedicate a small portion of time to self discovery and reflection, Homecoming is almost purely a metaphor for puberty, finding your place in the world and newfound responsibilities.” – Kenneth Koh, Audience Development Analyst
“Spider-Man: Homecoming works because you feel for the teenage hero’s struggle to do good in a complicated adult world. The film keeps it simple and the humour works because it’s in keeping with the character – unlike what happened with Thor: Ragnarok *groan*.” – Dhany Osman, Editor (We’d like to apologise to Dhany, but most of us liked Ragnarok too.)
1) Wonder Woman
DC’s only entry on our list tells the origin story of Diana (Gal Gadot) and how she became the Wonder Woman we were introduced to in last year’s “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”. Directed by Patty Jenkins, the film also stars Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, an American Army Air Service pilot during World War I.
“Some cheesy dialogue aside, Wonder Woman wows with top-notch action, captivating shots and an amazing performance by Gal Gadot. Under the direction of Patty Jenkins, the film makes the movie-watching experience absolutely wonderful.” – Elena Torrijos, Editor-in-Chief
“This was the first superhero movie from the current DC Studios and Marvel universes to feature a female protagonist, and boy, it didn’t disappoint at all. Its impeccable storytelling and character development set it apart from all the films in DC’s line-up so far.” – Teng Yong Ping, Content Producer
Honourable mention: IT
While the “IT” remake didn’t make our top 10 list, we felt it was worth an honourable mention given how many children Bill Skarsgård will potentially terrify for the foreseeable future.
“IT is one of the best horror films this year because it is masterfully done, in terms of a tight narrative, and a convincingly creepy performance by Bill Skarsgård on Pennywise the Clown. For a coming-of-age/rite of passage film, the children’s performances on the whole paint a compelling portrait of innocence, as well. I also like the female lead’s hair. – Wan Ting Koh, News Reporter
“Something that makes IT stand out from other movies in the same genre is that realisation that the supernatural/demonic entity may not be the most evil thing in town. It is a very ‘meta’ movie in the sense that it’s a horror movie where the demon arguably is not the most evil presence.” – Kenneth Koh, Audience Development Analyst
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