The Films That Stood Out to Me in 2017

It’s one of my favourite times of the year for films and one of my favourite pieces to write for my blog; this is all about remembering and praising some of the films that made some sort of impact on me throughout the year. It’s one of my favourite things to do: talk about films, and more importantly, talk about the aspects I loved about those films.

This isn’t a ‘Top 10 list’ (especially because I’m talking about more than 10 films this year – a first for me), nor am I saying these are the best films of the year. I’m simply pointing out the film that in one way or another, mattered to me and made some sort of impact. Whether it was in the moment of watching them or it was the effect they had on the old memory box, this is all about films that stood out to me and mattered to me.

Before I start, I’ll lay out some of the conditions: These are all films released in the UK, between January 1st and December 31st. They are also in no particular order, so one isn’t superior to another. This is all about talking about good films and perhaps making you aware of little gems you may have missed, or simply praising a film that despite being well-known is still deserving of being talked about. I will also be talking about my personal ‘Film of the Year’ in this piece as well, so look out for that.

But let’s bring this waffling to an end – enough of the ramblings – let’s get to the reason why you clicked onto this in the first place: ‘The Films That Stood Out to Me in 2017’: Read more

Review – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars The Last Jedi

* This review does contain MINOR SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi *

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, written and directed by Rian Johnson, is a film that feels burdened by much that it tries to do. There are many moments to this film that I absolutely loved! Moments that reinforced and reshaped my love for Star Wars as a franchise, but to get to those moments, there were particular storylines, certain characters, and clear merchandising influences, that hampered the overall experience. However… some of the most impactful decisions this film creates, and the effect they will go onto have; I think evolves the franchise beyond the seemingly rehashed path it was going down. It will divide fans, but I hope it will move the trilogy into uncharted territory. Personally, I’m going to find this to be a challenging review to write, because I did have a genuine love-hate relationship with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This will almost be like a therapy session, as I try to come terms with all that this film is… so let’s get to it. Read more

Review – The Disaster Artist

The Disaster Artist, directed by James Franco, is wonderfully funny and also wonderfully sincere. Putting the spotlight on an endearing friendship and letting it guide us through an unbelievably touching, challenging story, results in a film that had me smiling throughout. I think many people will be surprised at the heart-warming little story that James Franco and his usual collaborators have put together and how they, in the most genuine way, tell the story of some inspiring, fascinating individuals – it could possibly even be considered the best work of Franco’s career. So let’s explore if that is the case and also what it is about The Disaster Artist that makes it such a worthwhile watch. Onto the review we go. Read more

Review – Mudbound


Mudbound, directed by Dee Rees, is a film that during the early stages, spins its wheels and directs its focus in all the wrong places. The film fills time with melodrama and nothing much else, until it finally finds what should have always received its attention. I felt myself detaching from the film in the beginning; settling in for something that I would soon forget once it had finished, but the story and characters it then found and shone a light on, may have saved the film. Or did they, was this ultimately a wasted 134 minutes? Let’s explore that question and more, in my review, and see if this film is worth clicking over to Netflix for. Read more

Review – Land of Mine

Land of Mine, written and directed by Martin Zandvliet, was both a morally and emotionally challenging film. Throughout the entirety of Land of Mine, I was questioning myself and what I deemed right; considering the abhorrent acts of a country and its people. Those questions and the challenging thoughts it brought before me, made for a compelling, engaging film that very deservedly got nominated for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at the 2017 Academy Awards. I’ve wanted to see this film for some time and now I’m eager to talk about it in this review – so let’s get to that. Read more

Review – Sweet Virginia

Sweet Virginia, directed by Jamie M. Dagg, offers a small, contained, but well told story that at times is infused with an unnerving tension and undertones of something sinister, while at other times it was harmfully slow and a little too dower. It struggles to find a balance that then makes for an experience that is always engaging, but when it’s at its best there’s certainly something that pulls you in. Is it enough though? I hope to discover the answer to that question through my review, so let’s get to it. Read more

Review – Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the Sexes, directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, is uplifting, full of heart, and will certainly gain a few well-earned laughs from you. The greatest achievement of this film is that it takes the time to really explore its varied characters, and because of that, it ended up feeling like a more complete experience. Coming from the perspective of the characters first and then letting the story build up around them, both benefited my connection to the people who mattered and led into me being invested in their story. And so, it’s thanks to patience and some noticeable attention to detail (of many elements) that the film has you feeling like a part of the journey, throughout. Let’s bring this introduction to a close and start exploring all that, Battle of the Sexes has to offer, shall we? Read more

Review – Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (Spoilers)

* This review contains SPOILERS for, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool *

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, directed by Paul McGuigan, offers charming, intimate little snapshots of a touching relationship, that warms the heart. There is something so beautiful in this films simplicity; with its lovely characters, its sweet story, the time in which it’s set and the places it goes – it puts you in a wonderful state of mind. It of course pulls on the heart-strings and tells a story that will, at times hurt, but it’s worth it. Let’s explore deeper into why the film is worth it, in my review, shall we? Read more

Review – Justice League

* This review contains SPOILERS for Justice League. *

Justice League, directed by Zack Snyder (and to some extent, Joss Whedon as well) is a totally empty, totally disappointing experience. Once again, you have a film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) that tries to tackle everything at once, rather than sensibly or properly developing things in a way that is smart, comprehensive, fulfilling or satisfying. You have the rushed development of key characters; a plot that is formulaic and filled with exposition, a villain with no characterisation, and action scenes that are ugly to look and lack anything exciting. This film is all that is bad about blockbuster films and also DC ones in particular. This review won’t be kind, which I’m disappointed about, but the MANY problems in this film have to be discussed – for the sake of people who might consider sitting through it or already have. Let’s get to it. Read more

Review – The Florida Project

The Florida Project, directed by Sean Baker, gives us an honest insight, and a powerful commentary on a part of America that is almost completely ignored. With a heartbreakingly authentic feel and a host of characters who feel like their taken directly from the streets and put into the film, The Florida Project is able to communicate its message in a clear, unflinchingly sad way. But it’s important what it has to say, and it does it wonderfully. The film isn’t just there to be enjoyed, it is there to make you think and it certainly caused me too. So let’s explore all it has to say and how it goes about doing that, in my review. On to it we go. Read more

Review – Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein II The New Colossus

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, developed by Machine Games and Published by Bethesda Softworks, is another unrelentingly brutal, satisfying, insane ride through an alternate-reality where seemingly anything is possible. This is a game where tearing Nazi’s limb-from-limb, diving into the psyche of a damaged man and his struggling friends, and shooting your way through some unimaginably terrifying, awe-inducing locations is a continuous experience – one you don’t ever tier of. The game almost never lets up, and is always finding ways to shock you or get you laughing. As a lover of the first game, I was excited for the sequel, but does it match up to its predecessor? Does it justify a sequel? Let’s hack our way into the review and find out. Read more

Review – 6 Days

6 Days, directed by Toa Fraser, lays out and builds its story well, while also keeping a constant level of tension running throughout. For what little time it has, the film is able to tell its story and develop its characters in a way that produces a reasonably full feeling experience that all ends up delivering on a memorable point in British history. Limitations don’t hold this film back, but they do produce a few snags that caused some issues. But do those issues irrevocably damage the film and lessen its watch-ability factor or is it fair to overlook them? Let’s rappel down into the review and find out. Read more

Review – Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express, directed by Kenneth Branagh, is an exciting, engaging film that presents a murder-mystery – and everyone loves a murder-mystery – surrounded by a host of intriguing characters who you want to learn more about – and you will. It’s all wrapped up in a stunning and classic looking experience that delights the eyes and engages the mind. However, is the film able to take the murder-mystery plot and its many characters and suitably expand upon them? Well, let’s ride on down the tracks into my review and see how the films varied offerings hold up, shall we? Read more

Review – Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino, was a film where I lavished in all the beautiful joy that it had to offer. Whether it was the serene, welcoming surroundings of northern Italy, the vibrantly interesting characters that filled every scene, or simply the pleasant, freeing atmosphere that coursed through the film – I was completely enveloped in everything this film was. This is one of those reviews that I’m excited to write, because I know it will bring me the same amount of enjoyment that watching the film did – it’s like experiencing it all over again. Read more

Review – The Killing of a Sacred Deer

The Killing of a Sacred Deer, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, is another surreal, unsettling, and at times disturbing film from the unconventional director. There’s something so alluring, yet at the same time distant about Lanthimos’ work. This film feels out of cadence with reality, which makes for something that pulls on your attention as something sinister and distressing slowly unfolds and becomes wholly tension inducing. You don’t know what’s going to happen but with how odd the film is, you know it’s going to be something bad. I’m really interested to review this film as it might be quite challenging. So let’s get to it. Read more

Review – Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok, directed by Taika Waititi, is… a Marvel film. It is fun, entertaining and had me laughing along and enjoying the spectacle of it all. It seems that thanks to other Marvel films, they’ve finally found the voice and tone of a Thor film and they capitalise on that find well. The film is also aided by the comically inclined joy of director, Taika Waititi who guides the film on a journey filled with jokes. If I’m begin honest, this review will pretty much be more of the same when it comes to talking about another Marvel film but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things worth saying… I think. Anyway, on with the review. Read more

Review – Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth, directed by William Oldroyd, is a film that some, if not many, will struggle with. But that struggle does not come from the film being bad, because it isn’t. That struggle will come from the fact that its lead character is a truly reprehensible person. She could perhaps be best described as evil. But, are her evil ways justified? Does the fact that the lead character is so un-sympathetic, mean the film has too large of a hurdle for people to overcome when it comes to consuming this film? I want to explore those questions and more in my review, so let’s get to it. Read more

Review – 1922


1922, written and directed by Zak Hilditch, lacks anything that might possibly make it a creepy, suspenseful, meaningful watch. It rushes to get to a particular scene, but once it’s seen it through, the film seems lost as to what to then do. To me, it was clear what to do, but apparently not for the people telling the story or making the film. But is this spooky looking film one that would be good during Halloween? Well, let’s explore what the film has and find out. Read more

Review – The Death of Stalin

The Death of Stalin, directed by Armando Iannucci, is both one of the funniest films I’ve seen this year and also one of the darkest films I’ve seen this year. The film has great fun with its story and fills the scenes with richly devious individuals who you love to hate. Armando Iannucci is brilliant at cutting to the core of the stupidity of people and situations (his previous work like, The Thick of It, being a prime example of this) and the film is full of conversations, backstabbing and horrendous acts that leave you laughing, but also a little uncomfortable. There is humour and there is also darkness, but what is it that makes this film so much fun to watch? Let’s explore that and more in my review. Read more

Review – A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls, directed by J.A. Bayona, is a wonderfully creative film full of moments that seem like they are pulled directly from a child’s imagination. But it is also a film with a powerful and challenging story at its centre, and all of it is guided by an absolutely outstanding performance from Lewis MacDougall. This is going to be one of those reviews where I gush about the film for a while, so if you’ll indulge me; I’m going to get on with the ramblings. Read more