2017 proved to be a decent year for movies and yet, for some reason, this is the first time since I began reviewing films in 2013 for Catholic World Report that there a no five-reel films. Of course, I still need to see Bright, Lady Bird, and The Emoji Movie, so hope springs eternal. Here are my picks for the Ten Best Movies of 2017.
1. Dunkirk: A masterpiece of story craft as director Christopher Nolan weaves several narratives around the heroes who evacuated British forces from France at the start of World War II.
2. Wonder Woman: Gal Godat shines as the Amazonian Princess in one of the best superhero films ever made.
3. The Case for Christ: A compelling adaptation of Lee Strobel’s classic conversion story.
4. The Disaster Artist: The story behind one of the worst is one of the best.
5. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillian, and Kevin Hart make up the best ensemble of the year as teenagers who find themselves trapped in a jungle-themed video game.
6. Coco: Pixar’s takes on Purgatory, the Afterlife, and the Communion of Saints.
7. The LEGO Batman Movie: The Muppets no longer have a monopoly on great metahumor.
8. Logan: Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine has been struggling to do the right thing for eight movies, and, like a modern-day Carton, may finally find some redemption.
9. The Shack: While William P. Young’s story has many theological plot holes, its themes and pastoral insight ring true and give comfort, especially for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
10. A Dog’s Purpose: A sappy but beautiful look at man’s best friend.
Honorable Mention: The Big Sick, Bitter Harvest, Born in China, Get Out, Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, Kingsmen: The Golden Circle, Kong: Skull Island, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, The Star, Valerian and the City of a 1000 Planets, and Wind River