JUMPCUT’s Top 10 Films Of 2017

As we prepare for our annual award show, The Odysseys, we asked our wonderful team to list their top 10 films of 2017 and we’ve created the JUMPCUT Top 10 list based on their input. The votes were nail bitingly close, and there’s been plenty of discussion this year amongst the team!

You may recall that last year we posted up our ‘Top 10 Most Anticipated Films Of 2017‘, which featured the likes of ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘Logan’, ‘Dunkirk’, and at the #1 spot was ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, and whilst appearing on some of our team’s personal Top 10 lists, did it make it onto our Top 10 of the year?

Just missing out out making our ultimate top 10 are the following honorable mentions:

and now, for the part you’ve most likely quickly scrolled past everything else for: JUMPCUT ONLINE‘S official top 10 films of 2017 are:


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#10 – IT

One of a number of adaptations of Stephen Kings work to grace a screen this year, ‘IT’ made a record breaking entry to the box office by more than doubling the record takings for a horror film’s opening weekend. Bill Skårsgard’s performance as Pennywise the Dancing Clown is not one that’ll leave your nightmares any time soon. With the film arriving on home release shortly, we highly recommend taking Pennywise home with you!

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#9 – Wind River

Taylor Sheridan’s directorial debut was nothing short of heart racing. Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen ditched their MCU costumes for something a little warmer as they investigate the death of a young girl in Wyoming, on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The investigation leaves the audience guessing right up until the third act, and when the truth hits it doesn’t pull it’s punches.

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#8 – Thor: Ragnarok

If a couple of years ago you’d have told us that a Thor film would end up our ‘Top 10’ of the year least, you’d forgive us for not believing you. Whilst the first two instalments of his solo outings are rather lacklustre and dreary, in comes Taiki Waititi to shake things up and deliver one of the best entries to the MCU to date. With lots of colour, humour, and a dash kiwi charm, Waititi left his mark all over the God of Thunder – as well as introducing us to everyone’s instant new favourite, Korg, who is played by Waititi.

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#7 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

‘The Last Jedi’ topped our list last year for most anticipated movie of 2017 and boy did we have a wait on our hands. Now it’s been released worldwide, the latest entry to the ‘Star Wars’ franchise has divided many fans on it’s approach to some of the characters and it’s plot. It’s fair to say that our team, which consists of a number of huge ‘Star Wars’ fans, had quite a bit to say on this film (in a pleasant, civilised, and GIF-happy manner might we add) and it may actually come as a surprise to some of them that it made our list!

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#6 – Baby Driver

If the toe-tappingly catchy and action filled trailers weren’t enough to get you to see Edgar Wright’s ‘Baby Driver’ in the cinema, then we sure hope you’ve corrected your mistake and watched it since it’s home release following it’s wave of praise online. Not only is the film insanely brilliant, the soundtrack ain’t half bad either.

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#5 – La La Land

The UK started the new year hearing nothing but praise for ‘La La Land’. The U.S theatrical release date was in December, whilst we had to twiddle our thumbs and wait  here in the UK until the following month. By the time it was released, it had already won a jaw-dropping amount of awards and was also in the running for a number of Academy Awards, including ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Film’ (let’s not get into that). 11 months later and the film still sits highly on the top of a lot of our team’s list, and we daren’t tally up how many times we’ve all watched it since!

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#4 – Get Out

With a production budget of just $4.5 million, ‘Get Out’ broke records and all expectations when it grossed over $251 million worldwide during it’s run in cinemas. Jordan Peele’s directorial debut was greatly received and is arguably one of the most talked about films of the year. Daniel Kaluuya has received numerous nominations and awards as the lead of the film, and rightly so. Another one we recommend ticking off your list before the year is out!

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#3 – Logan

James Mangold stepped back into the director’s chair to direct another Wolverine solo film, but this time the claws were well and truly out for his R-Rated return. ‘Logan’ showed us Wolverine like we’ve never scene him on screen before. The neo-western take on Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Logan was a perfect send off for the actor and the character, as well as a superb introduction to Dafne Keen as Laura Kinney (aka X-23). ‘Logan’ proved to be an emotional farewell, but also left us with a glimmer of hope that we could potentially see X-23 in her own film in the future.

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#2 – Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan’s latest film was hyped up to no end that some of us were certain our expectations were too high and would never be met. Those doubts were quashed upon viewing the film (numerous times for some of the team) and although the story, told from three perspectives (land, sea, and air), had very little dialogue, the way in which is was shot, and the perfect accompanying score, were enough to keep you on the edge of your seat the whole way through.

Sometimes I still hear the ticking…. 

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#1 – Blade Runner 2049

Aaaaand if you hadn’t guessed by now – Denis Villeneuve’s neo-noir sci-fi masterpiece ‘Blade Runner 2049’ sits at number one for this year’s list. With some breathtakingly beautiful cinematography and set pieces, an ear-pleasingly gorgeous score, and strong performances from Ryan Gosling, Ana De Armas, Ryan Gosling, and the rest of the supporting case, there was nothing we didn’t love about this film – although unfortunately it appears that the general audience may disagree with us as it didn’t perform all too well at the box office!

 


There you have it! ‘Blade Runner 2049’ claims the #1 spot this year for us here at JUMPCUT. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this list and what your Top 10 looks like!

In case you missed it, we also wrote up our ‘Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2018‘ – We wonder if any of those will feature in our end of year top 10 next year….

Feel free to leave a comment below, or tweet us your Top 10 to @JUMPCUT_ONLINE 

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NBR Award Winners Announced

The annual National Board of Reviews awards were announced earlier this evening. Steven Spielberg’s  ‘The Post’ claimed the top prizes, including ‘Best Film’, ‘Best Actor’, and ‘Best Actress’. Greta Gerwig was awarded the ‘Best Director’ award for her directorial debut, ‘Lady Bird’.

Other NBR winners include Willem Dafoe for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ in Sean Baker’s ‘The Florida Project’, Jordan Peele won ‘Best Directorial Debut’ for ‘Get Out’, which also won ‘Best Ensemble’. ‘Coco’ took home the prize for ‘Best Animated Feature’ and Timothée Chalamet wins yet another ‘Breakthrough Performance’ award for his role in ‘Call Me By Your Name’

Full list of winners:

Best Film: The Post
Best Director: Greta Gerwig – (Lady Bird)
Best Actor: Tom Hanks (The Post)
Best Actress: Meryl Streep (The Post)
Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project)
Best Foreign Language Film: Foxtrot
Best Animated Feature: Coco
Best Documentary: Jane
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber (The Disaster Artist)
Best Directorial Debut: Jordan Peele (Get Out)
Best Ensemble: Get Out
Breakthrough Performance: Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)
Spotlight Award: Patty Jenkins & Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman)
NBR Freedom of Expression: First They Killed My Father

Top Films: Baby Driver, Call Me By Your Name, The Disaster Artist,  Downsizing,  Dunkirk,  The Florida Project,  Get Out,  Lady Bird,  Logan,  Phantom Thread

Top 10 Independent Films: Beatriz at Dinner,  Brigsby Bear,  A Ghost Story,  Lady Macbeth,  Logan Lucky,  Loving Vincent,  Menashe  Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer,  Patti Cake$,  Wind River

Top 5 Foreign Language Films: A Fantastic Woman,  Frantz,  Loveless,  Summer 1993,  The Square

Top 5 Documentaries: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail , Brimstone & Glory,  Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars,  Faces Places,  Hell On Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS

Baby Driver

Year: 2017
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez

Written by Rhys Bowen Jones

Odeon’s ‘Screen Unseen’ is a regular event in which the cinema chain hand picks a film for an early screening. In the build up to the eventual screening, Odeon release very cryptic clues for the film they’re showing. This film’s clues were “Political hangover,” “Soon shorter star, surrogate shop,” “Tiny, dark, waiting in the wings, “ and “Fingers ‘n Finest formed.” I’ll let you figure out exactly how they link to the film in question, but as you can tell, Edgar Wright’s ‘Baby Driver’ was the ‘Screen Unseen’. For a film to join the ranks of previous ‘Screen Unseen’ films like ‘Moonlight’, ‘The Revenant’, and ‘Whiplash’, Odeon certainly had high hopes for ‘Baby Driver’. Those high hopes were not unfounded. ‘Baby Driver’ is one of the films of the year so far.

‘Baby Driver’ is the story of Baby (Elgort) and his adventures as a getaway driver for mysterious criminal and bank robber Doc (Spacey). As far as the plot goes, giving much else away would ruin some of the surprises and magic you have in store. In ‘Baby Driver’, you have a film where the motto seems to be “it’s not about the destination, it’s how you get there.” Both the film and its title character get from Point A to Point B in the only way they know how; driving really fast to the sound of a really loud, really eclectic iPod. It’s a blast.

From the first scene, Wright lets us into idea of the film. Baby is the getaway driver and he is our lead character; he is the focus of our story. While some of his criminal associates are off performing heists, that is purely background noise to Baby’s enjoyment of music. The first song we hear is ‘Bellbottoms’ by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, a blues-y, headbanger of a song, and the entire heist is ignored in favour of Baby air-guitaring and air-drumming and miming along to the song. Instantly, Baby comes across as charming and likeable and once the driving begins, almost impossibly talented. The first car chase, in the red Subaru that’s all over the trailers, is spectacular. It’s an intense, white-knuckle thrill ride through the streets of Atlanta. There are close shaves, clever tactics, handbrake turns galore, and accompanied by the song in question it becomes one of the best car chases I’ve seen in years. This becomes a common theme. Every car chase or major set-piece in ‘Baby Driver’ is on its own level of awesome.

As a huge fan of Edgar Wright, his Cornetto trilogy, ‘Spaced’, and ‘Scott Pilgrim’, I found his energetic style of filmmaking to be a perfect fit for ‘Baby Driver’. Even small, conversation filled scenes are punctuated with small sound cues at just the right moment or gesture. I got the impression as the film went on that the visuals on screen were so meticulously planned from the get go, almost as if the scenes themselves were filmed with a song in order to truly nail the timings. Everything you see in Baby Driver can be matched to a musical influence of some description, gunshots were in perfect sync with the music playing overtop, and even Doc explaining an upcoming heist had the rhythm of a drum solo. Wright manages to keep the pace and flow of the film at such a high level that I have no doubt that there are moments and jokes that I didn’t catch on first viewing and will require a second or third viewing. What a shame.

Given the talent on show, it should come as no surprise that the performances are terrific across the board, particularly from Elgort, Foxx, and James. Foxx’s Bats is a loose cannon, a difficult business partner when the business is crime and several characters find themselves on the wrong side of Bats. Lily James’ Debora leaves a long-lasting impression too as she comes across so endearingly from her very first appearance. It’s possible that there’s a manic-pixie-dream-girl element to her as she is Baby’s perfect match instantly, but when James pulls off the character so well you can’t help but be swept up along with Baby and his love for her.

Baby Driver’s driving force is no doubt its music. Judging by my Spotify playlist having increased in number by no less than 15 songs, there’s something for absolutely everyone as the song choices span several decades. ‘Baby Driver’ does for 80s blues what ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ did for 70’s rock. ‘Baby Driver’ covers every base it can in a soundtrack that no doubt took almost as long to get right as it did to actually film. A late chase sequence to the sound of a Queen song had my mouth agape for its duration as it was such a perfectly intense song for the visuals on screen. That scene, as well as several others, were utterly breathless and I can’t wait to see them again.

If I had a gripe about Baby Driver, I would say it’s in its third act as some characters make some choices that are questionable, possibly going against what we’ve been shown in the previous 90 or so minutes. One character has been far-removed from the key action until the third act and when they are, they appear to brush off fairly brutal violence very casually. That said, it’s a small gripe that has no bearing on my overall opinion of the film.

‘Baby Driver’ is a blast. It’s exciting, funny, heart-warming, and very original. The performances are terrific, it’s written and directed superbly, and all being well, ‘Baby Driver’ should be one of the big hits of the summer. Edgar Wright, you’ve done it again.

Rhys’ verdict: 9.2/10

First Trailer For Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver Arrives!

The much anticipated trailer for Edgar Wright (Sean of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World)’s ‘Baby Driver’ finally dropped in the wee small hours of the morning, flanking it’s premiere screening at SXSW.

The outing at SXSW seems fitting for a film that seems to be driven (excuse the pun) by music.

Ansel Elgort plays the Baby of the title who, the trailer quickly explains, is a driver for nefarious characters, but due to a childhood trauma has to play music to drown out a hum in his head. Kevin Spacey is on top Frank Underwood bad guy duty, while Jamie Foxx and Flea add in some comedy relief.

The dialogue seems to be a carefully studied pastiche of every heist movie going, and there is more than a touch of Tarantino about the relationship between Baby and the woman of his dreams (Lily James). Add in Wright’s penchant for lightning fast cuts, kinetic stunts and a fallible human element, Baby Driver looks like it’s going to be pure, high octane fun.

‘Baby Driver’ races into theatres 16th August 2017

Written by Abbie Eales