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 SkĂĄrsgard’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 TimothĂ©e 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

Watch This Space: September 11th – 17th

Every Monday we will be recommending films that are on TV that week, films playing at the cinema, and also remind you of those brilliant films hiding on streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and possibly in your own collection.

In Cinemas

IT: The highly anticipated ‘IT’, the second Stephen King adaptation to grace our cinemas this year, released last week and is already breaking records worldwide! We’ll have our review up later today!

Wind River: Last week we posted up Rhys’ review of Wind River, in which he says “Sheridan has set himself an improbably high standard to exceed with his next film”. We highly recommend checking it out at the cinema this week if creepy killer clowns aren’t your thing!

On TV

Monday

Prometheus (2012): Up for a mind-bending Sci-Fi flick this evening? If so, make sure you catch ‘Prometheu’s, Ridley Scott’s enigmatic and divisive return to the ‘Alien’ franchise. Delving deep into the mythology and lore of the ‘Alien’ universe, Scott’s ‘Prometheus’ is a story of creation and the origins of mankind. Whilst it lacks the scare-factor evident in the original ‘Alien’, this prequel will immerse you by its many, many mysteries. Whether you’ll love it or hate it, you will need to watch it at 9pm on Film4 to find out.

Home Alone (1990): With plenty of silly moments and wonderfully funny set pieces, courtesy of the famous booby-trapped finale, this delivers lots of heart in a story full of witty and charming moments. It made an international star out of Macaulay Culkin, and it’s easy to see why at just 8 years old by carrying the film pretty much on his one. With a toe-ta[pping festive soundtrack, wonderful performances from all including our “Wet Bandits” Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern – who has THE best scream in cinema – this is real innocent family fun. But shame on you for watching it in September. Hethen! Save it for mid-November to December at least, ya filthy animal.

Tuesday

The Secret of My Success (1987): Tune in for a slice of 80s fun in the male version of ‘Working Girl’, as Michael J Fox attempts to sleep his way to the top in ‘The Secret of My Success’. As usual with 80s fare, there’s some crazily fantastic fashion, decor and music on display. This film is really funny and relies on the charm of Fox as he wrestles with his conscience, leading to a heart-warming, feel-good conclusion. Like all 80s classics, this is comfort food for the soul. To learn the secret be sure to tune in to ITV2 at 9pm!

Wednesday

Hot Fuzz (2007): At this point, every film fan has had a conversation about which Edgar Wright film is their favourite. Some will say ‘Shaun of the Dead’, some will say ‘Scott Pilgrim’, and I’m sure some will now say ‘Baby Driver’. Me? It will always be ‘Hot Fuzz’. ‘Hot Fuzz’ is everything that makes Edgar Wright great. It’s hilarious, it has a brilliant cast of characters, it’s fabulously written, and it has many moments that I can remember beat for beat. Also, as great as he is in most things, Nick Frost is never better than he is as Danny Butterman, yeah motherfuckerrrrrr. Catch ‘Hot Fuzz’ on ITV2 at 10pm

The Ladykillers (1955):   Five oddball criminals rent out a room in a house owned by  a an old lady by the name of Mrs Wilberforce, where they pretend to be musicians. Here, they attempt to plan a bank robbery, but they find Mrs Wilberforce is a force to be reckoned with and things do not go to plan! This is a classic that everyone needs to see at least once. It has a brilliant cast, with the likes of Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers starring. Watch the robbery plans unfold on Film4 at 12pm.

Thursday

Mr and Mrs Smith (2005): Imagine keeping your secret life of an assassin a secret from your spouse, only to learn they are doing the exact same thing… Well, that’s exactly what happens when John (Brad Pitt) and Jane Smith (Angelina Jolie) are contracted to kill one another and learn they’re both hiding the same secret. Of course, the professionals that they are, the pair plan on fulfilling their contracts and killing the other, but that may not be as easy as they’d planned on it being. Watch the bullet-fest marriage counselling session at 10pm on 5*.

Meet the Fockers (2010): Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller come face to face again in the sequel to 2000’s ‘Meet the Parents’. This time, it’s the the Byrnes’ turn to meet the other side of the family, the Fockers. Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand are Bernie and Rozalin Focker, and hilarity ensues as the two families, who are complete opposites, are forced to spend time with one another for the sake of their children. You can meet the Fockers on Comedy Central at 9pm.

Friday

Pitch Perfect (2012): Every few years or so there comes a “chick flick” which easily manages to transcend that annoyingly gender specific term. We had ‘Clueless’, ‘Mean Girls’, ‘Easy A’, and now ‘Pitch Perfect’ is able to join that elite pantheon. Making the world of competitive collegiate acapella somehow the coolest thing ever, ‘Pitch Perfect’ has great songs, great comedic performances, and a surprising amount of heart. It ticks some of the gross-out humour boxes without ever going too far and is consistently rewatchable. Give it a try, you might just find yourselves surprised. Tune in 9pm on Film4!

Legend (2015): Love a bit of Tom Hardy? If so, make yourself a cup of tea, get your jammies on and jump on the sofa, because tonight you’re going to see two of him in ‘Legend’, A biopic exploring the Kray twins’ criminal hold over London. Starring Hardy as both Reggie and Ronald Kray, ‘Legend’ is driven by its exciting performances and the overwhelming amount of fun to be had, from its explosive fight sequences and hilarious dialogue (“it’s a fucking rolling pin”). You’ll have a ball with this one, I guarantee it, so flick over to Film4 at 9pm

Hiding Online / In Our Collection / Out This Week

Mindhorn (2017): His time has finally come! ‘Mindhorn’ is available to take him this week, and you’d be a sucker not to pick it up. Julian Barrett has been a long time favourite of mine, from his time as Howard Moon in ‘The Mighty Boosh’, and more recently as Maurice in Channel 4’s ‘Flowers’. Barrett’s character, Richard Thorncroft, is an actor who played an 80’s detective in a hit TV show that time forgot, and is called to play the character once again after a murder suspect the police are chasing will only talk to Mindhorn, who he thinks is a real detective. Thorncroft see’s this as the perfect opportunity to get his career back on track, and get his name in the news. ‘Mindhorn’ is simply British comedy at it’s finest and definitely one I’ll be picking up.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017): The second outing for the Guardians is out on home release this week, and it’s a mixed bag. Some of the characters are a little flat and just there for the sake of it, and some of the humour feels shoe-horned in and rather naff, but there is much to be enjoyed to counter the negatives. It’s a popcorn movie at heart that doesn’t fail in setting up more for us to follow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe while expanding on the ‘GOTG’ series as a whole with new characters and new worlds. Plus, with the likes of Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone and….David Hasselhoff?….in tow, you can’t go far wrong. It’s daft, bright, visually spinning stuff so don’t expect anything groundbreaking and you’ll be ok.

A huge thank you to contributors this week: Chris Gelderd,  Corey Hughes, Sarah Buddery, Fiona Underhill, and Rhys Bowen Jones

Wind River

Year: 2017
Director: Taylor Sheridan
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Gil Birmingham, Julia Jones, Kelsey Chow

Written by Rhys Bowen Jones

If you haven’t heard of Taylor Sheridan by now, I’m sure he is going to be a household name from 2017 and beyond. Following up two stellar films he wrote (‘Sicario’, ‘Hell or High Water’) with his directorial debut, ‘Wind River’, Sheridan is making a name for himself as one of the most exciting writer-directors in the business today.

According to Sheridan himself, ‘Wind River’ is the end of his “American frontier trilogy”, an anthology series documenting varying aspects of American life. Where ‘Sicario’ took on the military and immigration, ‘Hell or High Water’ took on crime and class culture, ‘Wind River’ takes aim at sexism and secluded societies around the country. Across all three films, Sheridan criticises aspects of life that have become part and parcel of American culture, while managing to tell a riveting story on top of it; and the final part, ‘Wind River’, is no exception.

‘Wind River’ is set in an Indian Reservation in Wyoming, a stunning, mountainous, snowy tundra of a place that is miles away from any sort of city. The people of Wind River are on their own, any problems that arise will have to be solved by themselves or not at all. Police are few and far between as the town’s police department is a 6-man operation that covers hundreds of miles of mountainous terrain. This is Cory Lambert’s (Renner) playground. He is a hunter, a man who roams the mountains and does odd jobs for the locals, hunting and killing the wild animals that are terrorising the town and their farm system. During one of his expeditions, Cory stumbles across a dead body in the snow, and suspecting murder, calls in young FBI Agent Jane Banner (Olsen) to investigate. What follows is a tense murder mystery that is sure to leave a lasting impression long after you’ve left the cinema.

What struck me during the film, and after the film had ended, was how assured a debut this was for Sheridan. It is as confident and as good a debut as I’ve seen since Steve McQueen’s ‘Hunger’ or Ryan Coogler’s ‘Fruitvale Station’. Everything in the film is done to such a high standard in front of and behind the camera that Sheridan was evidently in total control of his cast and crew, going as far as bringing out a career-best performance from Jeremy Renner. The cinematography gives the film a gorgeous, bright tone that does the area’s stunning scenery justice, the soundtrack complimenting the action on screen with both foreboding and uplifting moments, and the clever editing during certain scenes (there’s one sumptuous, intentionally surprising and jarring cut with an opening door that gives the upcoming scene an entirely different meaning) add to the film’s escalating tension.

As previously mentioned, Jeremy Renner is terrific in the role of mysterious recluse Cory. Living a life away from his ex-wife and son (who gets occasional visits), he has intentionally placed himself in an environment where he is effectively in charge of his own destiny. He has forged a small career out of his hunting and he thrives upon it, to the point where once the body is discovered, the FBI agent called in is effectively helping Cory solve the murder, rather than the way it was intended. Olsen is equally excellent as the underestimated agent, someone left on her own to solve a bigger crime than the FBI had anticipated, facing a constant stream of sexism and ageism from the locals and even the local police department. Olsen gets her moment in the spotlight in the final act as things begin to escalate out of control, and she brings out a fiery temperament that is sure to be a major reason for Banner to have climbed the ranks of the FBI.

Where I found the film stumbled slightly is in its climax. The story up to this point is so intriguing and well-thought out, the eventual reveal of how the events happened comes somewhat out of left field. In the best-written murder mysteries, an initially innocent moment or character is revealed as a major factor in the mystery; in ‘Wind River’, there is no earlier suggestion of “whodunnit”. As such, initially, the climax of the main murder lands with a hefty bump.

Since, however, the ending has improved in my mind. Sheridan doesn’t exaggerate the story for dramatic purposes; this is a story that happened, and this is how it ends. In real life, there is no dramatic final act twist. There may not be a wholly satisfying resolution to every last thread. People wish to put the dramatic events behind them, and people move on. I’ll be stunned if Sheridan doesn’t end up with an Oscar nomination for his script next year.

‘Wind River’ is a terrific film. There’s no other way of saying it; so much of this film is made to such a high standard that Sheridan has set himself an improbably high standard to exceed with his next film. If you can, avoid any trailers, go into ‘Wind River’ as blind as you can. You won’t regret it.

Rhys’ rating: 9.0 out of 10