Here it is folks! Grab your favorite cup of joe before you head on out to your New Year's Eve parties, and let's dive into my end of the year wrap up and faves of 2017 -- my favorite movies, television shows, and books!
This year we had everything from the world learning about "The Sunken Place", a woman superhero who blew us away with her wonder, one of the most breathtaking cinematography I've seen, a 7th season of a culture phenomenon, a show about teenage suicide that sent us on an emotional rollercoaster, a new Star Wars that divided us, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman making television brighter with all the Lies (and of course Reese's book club), Marvel and Ryan Coogler blessing us with Black Panther sneak peeks and the mind-blowing Infinity War trailer, Tiffany Haddish gracing us with her talent right when we needed it, books taking us on the best journeys, poetry changing our lives, and of course Netflix serving us all the good content! :)
I'm breaking down some of my favorite content, including a few of my favorite movies (that I've seen), a few shows I loved (that I've watched), and some books I read that took me on the best imaginative and heart-wrenching, yet inpsiring journeys.
Let's get to it shall we?! :)
I'm breaking down a few of my favorite films from this past year by their initial theater release date month! There were a lot of good films this year. Unlike previous years though, not too many "blew me away" unfortunately. But still, we had a good selection of solid, entertaining, and some really great ones during 2017.
The ones with a movie poster -- and in bold with an asterisk -- listed are my absolute faves of the year!
- We saw James McAvoy portray many characters in this psychological thriller by M. Night Shyamalan. I didn't care for the ending that much, but the acting by McAvoy is worth it making my list. Impressive acting!
- From the brilliant mind of Jordan Peele, comes one of the best films this year starring Golden Globe and SAG Award nominated Daniel Kaluuya! Made for only $5 million, this sleeper indie hit went on to gross more than $252 million and has garnered much deserving acclaim for Peele! Can't wait to see what else he brings us post his Key & Peele days as a filmmaker!
- The last Wolverine movie starring Hugh Jackman took a gritty, dark turn and I was all about it! Great last film for his good run as Wolverine!
Beauty and the Beast
- I'm always hesitant when Hollywood does their remakes of beloved films. This live action version had great moments and was a fun movie to watch (and reminisce about)!
The Zookeeper's Wife
- I saw this one with a Q&A with Jessica Chastain and the film's director, Niki Caro. I enjoyed this film and thought Chastain had a good performance in it (although her best performance of the year comes later on in Molly's Game).
- I saw this one with my mom while I was visiting my parents. We rented it. I was apprehensive at first, but this one definitely tugged at my heart strings. I really enjoyed this one a lot!
Going in Style
- This Zac Braff directed movie was a nice little film.
(The Promise is a film starring one of my favorites, Oscar Isaac, that I still haven't seen yet, but I still plan on watching it!)
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2
- It's no secret that I'm a big Marvel movie fan! This second installment in the Guardians universe was a nice continuation!
- I really liked this book by Nicola Yoon and enjoyed watching the YA adaptation when it came out earlier this year.
- One of my absolute favorites of the whole year! Loved this one! Read my thoughts on this epic and amazing film here! I love, love this film!!
The Big Sick
- This one was a great surprise! Great to see Kumail Nanjiani star in this movie based on his real-life love story with his wife, and co-writer, Emily V. Gordon.
- What a really well constructed, fun movie! It had great scenes and sequences throughout -- and that music! Yes!
- Yes, yes, yes!! What an incredible, pulse pounding film directed by one of my favorite directors, Christopher Nolan! The cinematography (by Hoyte van Hoytema) blows my mind!! And the score and sound editing, I mean, so insanely good! Read more of my thoughts on Dunkirk here, from a previous post! One of the best films of the year!!
- Another Spider-Man movie dropped into our lives this year. This reboot was lead by Tom Holland and was a really great, inclusive summer film! Holland makes a good Spider-Man. I really liked this one!!
War for the Planet of the Apes
- Andy Serkis is the best of the best when it comes to motion capture! This was a great ending to the series.
- I'm a Louisiana girl, so I loved this one for more reasons than most! The Louisiana stamp on the film (it was based in New Orleans) was so fun to watch and we were blessed with the talents of the incredible Tiffany Haddish with her breakout role!
- This compelling and well written script by Taylor Sheridan (he makes his directorial debut with this film), was definitely a favorite of mine! I felt it got completely overlooked this award season. It sucks because it was definitely one of the best films this year. Great writing, impressive performances (one of Jeremy Renner's best performances), and executed and shot so well! Please check this one out if you haven't seen it yet!! :)
- This was one that didn't enough attention. The way Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow shot this movie was incredibly interesting and I loved the performances by the great cast, which included John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Will Poulter, and Jason Mitchell (who we also see later on in Mudbound)!
- What an interesting crime drama. Robert Pattison stars in what probably is his best performance to date.
(I didn't get a chance to watch Logan Lucky or Ingrid Goes West yet.)
Battle of the Sexes
- My girl (and Oscar winner) Emma Stone stars as tennis legend Billie Jean King alongside Steve Carell in this funny and endearing drama. Aside from being a huge Stone and Carell fan, I'm a big tennis nut, so I really, really enjoyed this one!
(I didn't watch the movie It. Maybe one day I will, but it's just not my jam.)
Blade Runner 2049
- I'm a fan of director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival)! I think he delivered a great sequel with Blade Runner 2049. It definitely had some great cinematography (from the incomparable Roger Deakins) as well, which overall, was probably my favorite part of the movie!
THE FLORIDA PROJECT!*
- I just recently saw this movie and whoa! The style isn't exactly my favorite -- but the performances were so good and the realistic aspect of the entire film really blew me away. It was so realistic on so many levels. Everyone talks about Brooklynn Prince and Willem Dafoe, and rightfully so (they're stunning), but the real magic here is with Bria Vinaite (and her dynamic with Brooklynn)!
- We saw this one randomly one weekend because we were itching to go to the movies. I really enjoyed seeing Jackie Chan make a dramatic turn in this movie. Solid film!
- Here we have another one of my favorites of the whole year! I wish it would have gotten more attention and that more people would have seen this biographical legal drama! (I LOVE legal dramas!) Starring Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman, alongside Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown, Josh Gad, and Kate Hudson, make sure you see this one when you can! So good!
- One of my favorite actors, Oscar nominated Andrew Garfield, stars alongside Claire Foy in this biographical movie directed by Andy Serkis in his directorial debut. Beautiful story and performances.
(I never got around to seeing Goodbye Christopher Robin or The Killing of a Sacred Deer. I'll catch those soon though!)
- Oh, Lady Bird. I really wanted to LOVE you, but overall, I just thought it was a really, pretty good movie. It's listed as a favorite because I really did love the acting, the writing, and the last scene was pretty darn perfect.
- They finally got them a really good Thor movie with this third installment! I really loved this one!
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- Frances McDormand is superb (can I say "superb?) in Three Billboards. Sam Rockwell kills it too. Excellent cast and performances!
Roman J. Israel, Esq.
- I mean, Denzel Washington is always pretty incredible! But we saw him in a different light as Roman. I really enjoyed his performance and this film!
- I laughed, cried, and got all giddy inside while watching this wonderful cast. This was a delightful story! I really liked the writing, direction, and acting.
- This movie is led by a talented cast and director Dee Rees weaves it all together so well! The cinematography by Rachel Morrison (she's also the cinematographer for Black Panther!) is oh so beautiful too!
(Guy, I have YET to see Coco! I know, I know. (sigh!) I am finally seeing it next week though!! Also, I haven't watched Call Me by Your Name yet either. I have my screener and will watch it by next week!)
The Shape of Water
- I just watched this film by Guillermo del Toro last night. What an interesting, freaky, weird, lovely film. The performance that Sally Hawkins gives as a mute, isolated woman, is one of my favorite performances of the entire year. She totally killed it and deserves all the recognition for it that she gets!
- Now, I might be a little biased because my friend Paul Walter Hauser stars in this biographical comedy-drama about disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding (and has some scene stealing moments too)! But with that fact aside, this film was a really well made, written, acted (Margot Robbie and Allison Janney do some of their best work here), and directed film!
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
- I have mixed feelings about this film. I'm listing it here ONLY because there were some parts I really liked about it -- despite the ones I didn't like at all, and there were quite a bit. :(
- I liked this movie more than I thought I would -- but mostly because of Hong Chau! She outshines everyone in this comedy-drama! She's so good in this, so good!
- Steven Spielberg is back with this true story starring Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. Nowhere near the top of my list of favorite Spielberg movies, but it's a solid film that I enjoyed.
- I've always been a fan of Aaron Sorkin's writing and he makes a solid directorial debut with this true story of Molly Bloom, starring Oscar nominated Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba!
(I haven't seen The Disaster Artist yet, but I plan on watching that one within the next few days! I also haven't watched The Greatest Showman, Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World, or Hostiles yet! But I'll get around to them!)
What a cool year in television! We had a great variety and some incredible writing and acting! Below are a few of my favorite shows (minus network television) of the year!!
Game of Thrones (HBO):
- After binge-watching seasons 1-6 before the premiere, season 7 delivered some crazy moments and I'm totally not ready for this series to end. #LongLiveWinter
13 Reasons Why (Netflix)
- What an emotional rollercoaster watching this series was for me. In case you didn't catch it, read some of my thoughts on this crazy show here!
Big Little Lies (HBO)
- So well done and it gave us one of the best performances of the year, with Nicole Kidman's turn as abused wife, Celeste Wright!
Stranger Things 2 (Netflix)
- It was hard to top season 1, but this new season definitely delivered. Too good!
- It took me a while to get through this show, but what an impressively written and directed show all around. Also, Jason Bateman and Laura Linney kill it!
- I love a good psychological drama and this one, brought to us by David Fincher, surely surpassed all my expectations!
The Master of None (Netflix)
- Aziz Ansari has surely put together a great gem here. I love this entire series!
The Punisher (Netflix)
- Two words: Jon Bernthal!! I've always been a fan of his and it's great to see him starring in his own television show! I never really watched Daredevil or any of Marvel's television shows (I love their movies though of course), but whoa! I really liked this one!
- Issa celebration! :) Issa Rae keeps making her mark on Hollywood and I'm all here for it!
The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
- Uhm, this Emmy winning show was crazy, terrifying, and intelligent one!
She's Gotta Have It (Netflix)
- It's another Spike Lee joint! We didn't know we needed it until we got it!
The Sinner (USA Network)
- Jessica Biel has made a "comeback"... you can say...in the acting world with this adaptation. I didn't care too much for certain parts or the ending, but Biel alone was worth the watch.
(A new show that I'm still making my way through that I'm liking so far is Glow, on (you guessed it), Netflix!)
Below are a few of my favorite reads from this past year (some released this year and others are from previous years)! They each took me on some fun rides! They were thought provoking, emotional, great writings.
Most are fiction and I enjoyed a few nonfiction ones as well. Take a look at my favorites and check them out if you haven't yet!
- Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path by Erin Loechner (nonfiction)
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (fiction)
- Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (fiction)
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (poetry)
- The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur (poetry)
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (fiction)
- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (fiction)
- The Dry by Jane Harper (fiction)
- The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (fiction)
- We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union (nonfiction)
Those are some highlights for the year for me as far as movies, television, and books go! I'm sure I missed a few here and there that I thoroughly enjoyed, but ah well! :) I hope 2018 delivers some great content and I hope to discover some gems I might have overlooked from previous years, along the way.
I love connecting with other likeminded entertainment lovers. I started this blog back in April. It's been a fun and creatively fullfilling ride so far, and I thank you for coming along with me on it! (Also, for more personal "end of the year thoughts" check out my post from the other day here!)
Wishing you lots and lots of JOY throughout the new year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!