The MacGuffin’s Top 10 Films of 2017

8. Blade Runner 2049

“An eye opens and a world is reflected. A wide landscape filled with white towers, surrounded by an expanse of agriculture. From its opening frames, Blade Runner 2049 is making statements that it is both beholden to its predecessor and going to be something of its own. Like Blade Runner (1982), we open on not just a wide, establishing shot of a world, but a declaration of its current state. The original burst opens with a spouting flame and a dark, nighttime world polluted with industrial waste and overpopulation. Here we are greeted with daylight and more white than the original ever presented. This sets a tone for what’s to come.” Review by Benjamin Nason

9. (tie) Call Me by Your Name

“’Nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot.’ The line, with all its burning honesty, comes later in the movie. It exists in a moment I won’t fully reveal, in a space where the 24 year old Oliver (Armie Hammer) and 17 year old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) have had a romantic relationship and there’s an assessing of the consequences of what their love meant. It’s a beautiful moment that on several levels encompasses most of what makes Call Me by Your Name one of the year’s most exquisite and complicated films.” Review by Benjamin Nason

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9. (tie) Phantom Thread

“Elusive and hypnotic, the movie at times becomes lost in its own cleverness but never at the expense of its performances. Krieps is flat-out astonishing as Alma and given the fact she’s acting against the indelible Day-Lewis only ups her game into the stratosphere of a performance that will not be forgotten. Day-Lewis is of course superb in what he’s deemed to be his final role. Manville may be the secret jewel of the film but unfortunately her character doesn’t present the agency that Alma and Reynolds have. This however speaks to a greater aspect of Anderson’s work, especially with his last few films, which has become less about characters with traditional arcs and more about the impressions of characters upon emotion and performance.” Review by Benjamin Nason

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Honorable Mention: Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot was not an obvious choice to play Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman, but she proved to be the shining light in the dull Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. She demonstrated herself worthy of the iconic and beloved character. Stepping into the full spotlight of a film devoted to her, Gadot rises to the occasion and makes the character her own. She is charming, beautiful, strong, determined, but completely ignorant of the world outside her own. It is from this naivety that much of the humor in Wonder Woman comes from, both in her observations and contact with the modern world. Unfortunately, most of comedic highlights from it have already been shown in the trailers. Paramount above all else is that Gadot is seen as Wonder Woman. She is believable as this unstoppable woman with newly discovered superpowers. She is basically all that is good in the world, unspoiled, yet she is fighting with a vengeance against the madness and evil in the world. It is an interesting dichotomy as she does not hesitate to kill those who may harm others or are to her innately evil. She is not Batman or Superman, and that is a good thing.” Review by Sarah Ksiazek

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Sarah resides in Dallas where she writes about films and trailers in her spare time when she is not taking care of her animals at the zoo.

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