Ten movies that I enjoyed in 2017 with brief commentary. These may be in a rough order.
An acidic, uncomfortable, and scathingly funny take on the border between artistic expression and just being an asshole.
2. BLADE RUNNER 2049
Visual tone poem that is (so far) one of the most vital science fiction films of the 21st century while also being problematic in several ways.
3. BAD GENIUS
Applies the tropes of a slick heist movie to a high school cheating ring with electrifying results, only slightly undercut by a turn toward moralism.
A lawyer and a wage slave who aren't-zombies-exactly race against end-stage capitalism to exact revenge on a system built to exploit labor.
5. I AM A HERO
A blood-slick adaptation of the manga by Kengo Hanazawa that puts a socially inept nerd and his shotgun in the middle of a zombie uprising.
Vibrant, ugly, and sensual, this one really left a mark.
7. GET OUT
Most good horror is political -- but subverting your expectations of exactly how it's going to be political is one of the movie's most clever twists.
8. BABY DRIVER
FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE as a bouncy musical with William Friedkin callouts. I'd be hard pressed not to like it.
An eyebrow artfully arched over Hitchcock's Rope by way of Shirley Jackson: two teenage girls smart enough to talk themselves into murder.
10. JOHN WICK 2/ATOMIC BLONDE
If the future is exquisitely choreographed martial arts against stellar art-directed backdrops then show me to your leader.
RUNNER-UP: VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS
No, it doesn't work, but damn I could watch movies with this sense of wonder all day long.