Top 25 of 2017

For the third year in a row I’ve been keeping track of all the new films I’ve been watching and thus it’s time for another round up of my 25 favourite films of the year. It’s been a fantastic year with a lot of fanatic movies. Out of the 80 2017 UK releases i’ve seen, these are the ones that i’ve loved the most.

25. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

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By no means original nor perfect but J:WttJ is surprisingly fun and pretty funny with a great cast on fine form, Karen Gillan and Jack Black are particularly brilliant. It’s a romp and perfect Sunday afternoon fare.

24. Trainspotting 2

Dazzling and grim with a killer soundtrack. Never saw the first one until just before I caught this sequel and I gotta say I loved this more.

23. Seoul Station

This strange animated prequel to last years superb Train to Busan is an oddity, perhaps a little too grim compared to its predecessor. Yet some great set pieces and a palpable sense of dread make it a great zombie treat.

22. Battle of the Sexes

Great performances and style, this is less about tennis as it is about the central relationship between the two women and it shows.

21. Detroit

Spectacular performances from the pro and antagonists. It captures a slice of the culture of the time and isn’t just a grim real life tale.

20. Colossal

Weird but I like weird

19. Wonder Woman

That scene in No-Mans Land is one of the best scenes of the year and Gal Gadot is simply breathtaking as Diana

18. The Lego Batman Movie

Funny, sharp and impossible not to enjoy

17. Blade Runner 2049

Visually and musically dazzling with some wonderful set pieces and performances

16. Atomic Blonde

Sexy in every sense of the word. An explosion of the senses with incredible action scenes.

15. Gifted

A wonderful little underrated gem. Emotional and engaging.

14. Free Fire

Sharp, concise and fun as hell. Free Fire is a ride from start to finish.

13. The Death of Stalin

Laugh out loud funny and uncompromisingly dark. An excellent mix and a great film.

12. The Limehouse Golem

Old gothic grisly with excellent atmosphere and a great score.

11. Thor: Ragnarok

Very funny, very silly and a breath of fresh air.

10. Get Out

Brilliantly darkly humorous, superbly made with some great moments of cheer, shock and gore.

9. The Red Turtle

A stunning piece of work. Moving, sweet and sublime, this is a masterful story of life that captures a spark of deft imagination and beauty.

8. John Wick: Chapter 2

Stunning action and an extra focus on plot make this a well honed and incredibly enjoyable film

7. La La Land

Music, melancholy and gorgeous visuals. A wonderful old school musical with more than a hint of sadness.

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Bold, beautiful and often jaw dropping. Sure it’s divisive but I’d rather it be a film that takes risks than is horribly safe.

5. Logan

Jackman and Stewart are on incredible form. The film is dark, brutal and heartbreaking but ultimately the film these characters deserved.

4. IT

Scary, funny but most importantly well made. Pennywise is a fantastic villain and all of the young performers are brilliant and endearing.

3. Baby Driver

Marries my love of action set pieces to music and is brilliant at it.

2. Paddington 2

Made me cry, made me laugh. As good as the first if maybe a tad less so yet it’s warm hearted joyousness is the perfect antidote to the world and an incredible experience.

1. The Big Sick

A true surprise. Funny, tender, heartbreaking and honest. I loved every single second.


La La Land Review: A Masterpiece of Music, Magic and Melancholy


Sometime in 2011 a little Rom-Com called ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ came out. It’s perhaps been both overrated and underrated in the years since, whilst it may be clunky and cliched, it also had a fantastic cast, a great script and some great scenes that subverted certain tropes.

What it’s perhaps best known for now is a tender scene in a bedroom where the hot guy and girl end up talking all night instead of bonking their gorgeous brains out. It’s a touching scene that, despite being dressed in Hollywood sheen, feels more relatable than the majority of romantic comedies. Continue reading

Silence Review: Pray for Silence and Great Hair


I expected Silence to be this years ‘The Revenant’. A tale of faith and courage against the background of a harsh wilderness and harsher people. I expected Scorsese, of all people, to make a film that made 2 hours and 40 minutes feel brisk. I expected that the great reviews the film was getting were on to something, pointing to the appearance of a new classic.

Nope. Nothing like that. Continue reading

Arrival Review: Breathtaking and Beautiful


Not since Up broke our hearts back in 2009 has a film made me cry, no, weep so much within its first five minutes. And Arrival doesn’t stop there.

From it’s achingly beautiful opening to the mesmerising, chilling first half and on to the jaw-dropping, head-spinning finale. This is a film that does for the alien invasion genre what The Girl with All the Gifts did for zombies earlier in the year and singlehandedly proves that 2016 has not been the death knell of cinema as the summer season had made some fear. Continue reading

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review: The New World


I feel very lucky to have grown up with Harry Potter. I was three when the first book came out and seven when I saw the first film at my local cinema. I have memories of first discovering the books (coming to them with Azkaban) and my dad reading them to me then eagerly awaiting every single film.

By the time the franchise had wrapped itself up with Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 2011 I had finished school and was approaching adulthood. It’s fair to say that I don’t remember not having Potter in my life. Continue reading

A Street Cat Named Bob: Hooked on a Feline


Based on the bestselling book of the same name. A Street Cat Named Bob is about James (Luke Treadaway) a homeless busker recovering from drug addiction who befriends a stray cat that gives his life motivation.

Like Trainspotting and a CBBC special had a baby. The wildly veering tone is to the film’s detriment, going from scenes of heroin overdose to cat based antics in a heartbeat. It’s a strange mix and it sometimes doesn’t work but you’d be churlish to admit that there’s not some good stuff here. Continue reading

Inferno Review: Laugh a Minute Comedy


Daft, ridiculous and occasionally so bad it’s funny, Inferno is the third part in the Ron Howard/Dan Brown collaboration that will not win any praise for its complex story but survives because it’s sort of dumb fun.

You watch it cause you want to watch Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones run about Italy and point at paintings. If that’s what excites you then this is your favourite movie ever.

It’s not boring and I liked learning about Dante and hell, which may make me crazy but I’m not gonna turn my nose up at Tom Hanks on holiday. I love Tom Hanks.

Rating: C+