Best and Worst of 2017 Films: Ensembles, Remakes, Sequels, and Breakthrough Performances

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The best and worst in 2017 films

2017…what a year in feature films. Wonder Woman wowed, Stephen King adaptations were a mixed bag, Star Wars: The Last Jedi divided fans, and superhero films continued to excel at the box office. In fact, five of the year’s biggest grossing films (Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, and Logan) were comic book adaptations.

In addition to our annual list of the best feature films, Showbiz Junkies wanted to acknowledge some of the best and worst of 2017 films and performances in other assorted categories. The best ensembles, breakthrough performances, sequels, and reboots/remakes all deserve to be recognized, as do the cringe-worthy films that make us all the more appreciative of the outstanding work of actors, directors, and writers.

5 Breakthrough Performances in 2017:
These five actors delivered memorable performances that were impossible to ignore.

  1. Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name
  2. Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out
  3. Barry Keoghan in The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  4. Sophia Lillis in It
  5. Brooklynn Prince in The Florida Project

5 Actors with Outstanding Performances in Multiple 2017 Films:
Snagging a role in one decent feature film in any given year is a major accomplishment. These actors earned high marks in more than one feature film released theatrically in 2017.

  1. Sally Hawkins (Maudie, The Shape of Water)
  2. Michael Stuhlbarg (The Shape of Water, The Post, Call Me By Your Name)
  3. Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird, Hostiles)
  4. Robert Pattinson (Good Time, The Lost City of Z)
  5. Colin Farrell (The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Roman J Israel Esq)

The Best Ensembles of 2017:
Two horror films, a gritty drama, a timely tale based on a true story, and the third (and best) film of the Thor franchise all have one thing in common: remarkable casts.

  1. It
  2. The Post
  3. Get Out
  4. Thor: Ragnarok
  5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

5 First-Time Directors to Watch:
Keep your eye out for future films from these five incredibly talented individuals. If you haven’t seen all of the films from these first-timers, you need to do so as soon as possible.

  1. Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)
  2. Jordan Peele (Get Out)
  3. Matt Spicer (Ingrid Goes West)
  4. Geremy Jasper (Patti Cake$)
  5. Kogonada (Columbus)

5 Blockbusters That Didn’t Deserve to Strike It Big at the Box Office:
A furious-ly bad action film, a ho-hum superhero movie, Disney’s unfortunate return to one of its cash cows, an ape the studio shouldn’t have monkeyed around with, and the fifth – and please let it be final – movie in the transforming robot franchise each earned a spot on the list of 2017 films that raked in big bucks but shouldn’t have.

  1. Fate of the Furious ($225.7 million)
  2. Justice League ($223.1 million)
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales ($172.5 million)
  4. Kong: Skull Island ($168 million)
  5. Transformers: The Last Knight ($130.1 million)

Films I Wanted to Like But Couldn’t:
As a fan of the first Kingsman, Ryan Gosling, Stephen King’s novels, Darren Aronofsky’s risk-taking, and epic musicals, I would have loved to have been able to rave about the following five films. Unfortunately, I can’t. There were obviously other 2017 theatrical releases that were just as bad or even worse than these five films, however they weren’t accompanied by the hype or high expectations of these movies.

  1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
  2. Blade Runner 2049
  3. The Dark Tower
  4. mother!
  5. The Greatest Showman

2017 Remakes/Reboots That Shouldn’t Exist:
These five films made audiences wonder if all the creative juice has been drained from Hollywood.

  1. Baywatch starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron
  2. CHiPs starring Michael Pena and Dax Shepard
  3. The Mummy starring Tom Cruise
  4. Kong: Skull Island starring Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, and Samuel L Jackson
  5. Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlett Johansson and Pilou Asbæk

And 5 Remakes/Reboots That Worked:
And these five films gave movie fans reason to believe revisiting characters multiple times isn’t always a bad thing.

  1. It starring Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Finn Wolfhard
  2. Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens
  3. Spider-Man: Homecoming starring Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr
  4. The Disaster Artist starring James Franco and Dave Franco (very loosely qualifies as a remake)
  5. The Beguiled starring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, and Colin Farrell

2017’s Best Sequels:
2017 was busting at the seams with sequels, most of which didn’t come close to living up to the original films that spawned them. However, the following five sequels were exceptions to the “sequels suck” rule.

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi starring Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill
  2. Thor: Ragnarok starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and Cate Blanchett
  3. Logan starring Hugh Jackman, Dafne Keen, and Patrick Stewart
  4. Trainspotting 2 starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, and Robert Carlyle
  5. War for the Planet of the Apes starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, and Steve Zahn

Top 5 Documentaries of 2017:
2017 was an exceptionally strong year for documentaries. The five listed here are the cream of a very competitive crop.

  1. Jane
  2. Wormwood
  3. Faces Places
  4. Dawson City: Frozen Time
  5. The Work

A Shout-Out to Social Media Activism in 2017:

It’s important to acknowledge the incredible impact the #MeToo campaign had on film studios, production companies, television networks, newspapers, and talent management companies in 2017. The entertainment world was rocked when brave women (and men) came forward to reveal they’d been sexually harassed/abused at the hands of powerful players in the worlds of film, television, music, and theatre. Proving there’s strength in numbers, the #MeToo campaign was able to challenge the powerful while shining a spotlight on the rampant abuse within the industry. We can all hope those who spoke up have sparked a permanent and positive change within the entertainment industry.

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