Bryn Lipinski – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hit theatres in May and grossed more than $865 million worldwide, making it the sixth highest-grossing film of this year. Most people can tell when a movie has a strong entertainment factor (i.e. the satisfaction an audience feels as they walk out of the theatre). Anyone who has seen James Cameron’s The Terminator, however, knows there is another level of entertainment that films rarely surpass. This year though, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 not only arguably passed that level of entertainment, it also out-performed its predecessor at the box office. This is a film that knows when to get funny and when to get serious. There is a perfect balance between emotion and adventure. Each scene brings you closer to the story in its own way and the characters within. If you haven’t seen it, find it, watch it. This movie is worth it.
Nikita Eleniak – Baby Driver
Baby Driver was by far one of the best movies to come out of 2017. It has action, romance and a killer soundtrack – making it a film for movie lovers of all types to enjoy. Ansel Elgort plays Baby, a reluctant getaway driver with a passion for music, who falls in love with diner waitress Debora, portrayed by Lily James. The film follows Baby on his attempt to break free of his criminal lifestyle and drive off into the sunset – with some setbacks from Jamie Foxx’s Bats and Jon Hamm’s Buddy. Director Edgar Wright’s attention to detail is astonishing, timing every tire-squeal and gunshot perfectly to the beat of the songs. It brings passion and authenticity to the screen, and is full of memorable moments that stick with you long after you leave the theatre. Baby Driver is a must-see for lovers of intense car chases, fast-paced wit and a soundtrack to die for.
Isaac Dymock – Dunkirk
Dunkirk is one of the best films of the year, for its’ accurate recreation of the battle and rescue operations at Dunkirk. I got such a visceral feeling while watching, as if I was there on the beach with them. This was largely because of the excellent sound design. Excellent performances were given by all of the actors involved.
Mackenzie Gates – Lucky
The past few years haven’t been all that great for Hollywood and the film industry as a whole. The public wants new, fresh and original ideas from the major studios and it seems the only way to achieve that vision is to look at the independent scene. Well, this year was no different. Even with such successful films as Blade Runner 2049 and Get Out, one independent film shone above all the rest. Harry Dean Stanton stars as a 90-year-old atheist who has out-smoked and outlived his fellow peers, in John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut, Lucky. The film, written by Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja, deals with the issues of death and what life is really all about. Written based on their love for Harry Dean Stanton, it also became even more poignant knowing this was his final film before he passed away earlier this year. The cast also includes Ron Livingston and David Lynch. The film is full of beauty, from its landscapes, quirky characters and its message about life. If you haven’t seen this film yet, you better get on it; you’ll be one of the lucky ones.