Most Enjoyable & Most
Disappointing of 2017
are my lists of the most enjoyable and least enjoyable/most
disappointing/most overrated films I saw during 2017. The negative
category includes some films that, while not the worst, were
disappointing or overrated, or, while enjoyable, had huge flaws. The
positive category is just how much I enjoyed them, not rated as I would
rate an Oscar®-winner. But don’t look for any of these in nominated
films because I rate them on how well they are made and how entertaining
they are. The Academy apparently now rates them on how politically
correct they are, and nothing else matters. The "Most Disappointing" are
listed by rank of how much I loathed them with #1 the most loathsome.
Speaking of loathsome, this was the worst year in my memory for movies.
The fact that the five largest grossing films of the year consisted of 4
comic book films and Star Wars indicates that were “All About Eve” made
today it would probably go straight to video or have no showing
How good is this?
I avoid animated films like the plague. So for me to name this,
purporting to reveal the real story of the demise of Vincent van
Gogh animated by oil painters in the style of van Gogh, as the best
of the year, it’s gotta be something special!
Sally Hawkins is
getting all the Oscar® raves for “The Value of Water” but you’ll
never see a better performance than what she gives in this, a film
so good it blew me away.
Rebel in the Rye:
compelling portrait of the elusive JD Salinger that had me
Gives a completely
different take on Tonya Harding but worth seeing also for the
supporting performance of Paul Walter Hauser who plays a villain
dumber than a rock.
The Newspaperman: The
Life and Times of Ben Bradlee:
If you pay attention
to this fascinating documentary you will realize that, hidden by his
charm, he was not an admirable man or an honest, unbiased
Paris Can Wait:
Like a fine wine,
this ages well. The more I think about it, the better I like it.
The only movie I
paid to see, and it was worth every penny.
The unknown true
story of an heroic attempt to assassinate Hitler in 1939.
shines a spotlight on the shameful Turkish genocide of over 1
million Armenians during WWI, something that is a fact of history
but which the deceitful Turks deny, just as the Japanese deny their
equally despicable “comfort women” program that enslaved hundreds of
thousands of Asian women to sexual slavery in the ‘30s and ‘40s. And
it’s a good, suspenseful movie to boot.
dialogue between Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall), the closed-minded
leader of the Protestants, and Martin McGuiness (Colm Meany), the
leader of the IRA, who had never met but hated each other, does what
movies should do; it educates and entertains at the same time.
Thank You For Your
This is a brilliant
film with realistic battle scenes at the beginning and important
revelations that finally leaving the battle and returning home is
actually just the beginning for our brave warriors, rather than the
end of the strife.
Only the Brave:
movie about what it’s really like to fight a fire.
The Greatest Showman:
music and dancing, and I came out of it feeling good, even though I
knew the story was Hollywood Hokum.
A charming young
Thurgood Marshall before joining SCOTUS and as you’ve never seen
I went into this
thinking it was really a dumb idea and not expecting much but turns
out it is believable enough to tell an interesting story.
A psychological thriller about two couples with a lot of problems;
for a fairly long film full of talk, the pace is outstanding.
Beatriz at Dinner:
What sets this film apart is the party dialogue of the
exceptional script. Most movies that
try to display slice of life dialogue fail dismally because it is so
stilted and phony.
the dialogue in this film is so true to the characters’ respective
personalities that it expertly displays a realistic interaction of
such a group.
American Made: Based
on a True Lie:
The lie is that this
is a true story, but, regardless, this is an entertaining, well-made
film, with good pace and action.
Beauty and the Beast:
lots of flaws, an enjoyable trip.
The Zookeeper’s Wife:
Notwithstanding being a calculatedly
sexist movie (made entirely by women) that purposefully minimized
the heroism of the husband, it’s still a fine movie and a good
Also worth seeing: Live
by Night, The Lost City of Z, A Woman’s Life, Atomic Blonde, Baby
Driver, The Comedian, Lady Macbeth, Midnight Return, Kong: Skull Island,
Victoria and Abdul, and War for the Planet of the Apes.
Pitch Perfect 3:
This is not
the worst film of the century; there was, after all, an original
Pitch Perfect in 2012.
Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks confirm how ignorant, biased, and
ill-informed they are in this politically motivated snorer.
Darkest Hour &
Two fantasies that libel the memory of Winston Churchill but have as
much in common with the truth as the TED movies have with real life.
How much did I
loathe this idiocy that gives women their own Superhero and
completely distorts history? Let me count the ways.
A Cure for Wellness:
to get your mind around the fact that these are real people so
cartoonish they are.
See Pitch Perfect 3,
Daddy’s Home 2:
Transformers: The Last
another one of Mark Wahlburg’s really bad choices.
He’s better than this rubbish, but, then, so is Anthony Hopkins, who
also cashed a paycheck for this.
A film made by people
too cowardly to make a film about an Islamic terrorist so they made
one about an American terrorist, with a motive for why the villain
does what s/he does that is one of the most imbecilic in the history
of intelligent thought.
Advertised as a
comedy, there is nothing remotely humorous in this nihilistic
abhorrently violent nonsense whose sole purpose seems to be to
desensitize its audience to brutality.
John Wick Chapter 2:
except I don’t think they thought they were making a comedy,
although attributing “thought” to the people who made this thing is
giving them too much credit.
King Arthur: Legend of
Writer-director Guy Ritchie doesn’t come to this game of putting his
own spin on hallowed literature as a virgin. He did the same thing
with Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and I loathed this one
almost as much as I loathed each of those.
Nobody Speak: Trials
of the Free Press: A prejudiced, partisan, ham-fisted
polemic, so biased it would embarrass Pravda.
Too silly and trite to
be involving. On the plus side, it was less than 90 minutes long.
Warning! This is a movie for nobody. It is violent, profane, and
without any redeeming social or entertainment value.
Murder on the Orient
Excruciating to sit through because it’s a “star turn” for director
Kenneth Brannagh and he suffers terribly in comparison with his
predecessors Peter Ustinov and David Suchet playing Agatha
Christie’s P.I. with the little grey cells, Hercule Poirot.
The Golden Circle: The first was a surprisingly good
spoof of James Bond movies. This sequel, however, is simply
Michael Fassbender sleepwalks through the role, barely
hitting his marks and mumbling his lines. He is poorly directed by
Tomas Alfredson, from an even worse script. Val
Kilmer”incomprehensible slurring has little or nothing to do with
the plot. Nor, really, does his presence in the film.