period film tagged posts

The 10 Best Films of 2017

Another year, another 10 movies that define why we love cinema. 2017 was such a strong year for film releases that many excellent movies failed to make our Top 10.

Honorary shout-outs then to such must-sees as Wind River, IT, Mother!, Una, A Silent Voice and Wonder Woman. Great movies all, all pipped to the post by the titles below.

Whatever brow-furrowing misbehaviour 2018 brings, one sliver of good news is that cinema should remain in fine shape. From what we saw at the London Film Festival in October, at least three five-star movies will be released next year.

But, without further ado, here is Electric Shadows’ 10 Best Films of 2017…


  1. Brawl in Cell Block 99

Writer/director S...

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Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Writer: Michael Green (screenplay), Agatha Christie (novel)

Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe, Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Sergei Polunin, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo

Cert: 12

Running time: 114mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: As the Orient Express travels through the mountain ranges of the middle east, one passenger is murdered. It falls to famed detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh) to solve the crime.

What’s the verdict: The latest big screen go-round for Agatha Christie’s beloved whodunnit is much like the titular choo-choo. Handsomely decorated, but never building to a full head of steam and derailing halfway through...

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Last Flag Flying

Director: Richard Linklater

Writer: Richard Linklater, Darryl Ponicsan (screenplay), Darryl Ponicsan (novel)

Cast: Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, J. Quinton Johnson, Yul Vazquez

Cert: 15

Running time: 124mins

Year: 2017


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What’s the story: Larry Shepherd contacts Sal Nealon and Richard Mueller, who served with him in Vietnam, to help escort his son’s body home after he was killed in Iraq. But, the journey takes longer than expected as secrets are revealed and past events are revisited.

What’s the verdict: Midway through Richard Linklater’s excellent new movie, Bryan Cranston’s troublemaking Sal says every generation gets its war. Every generation also gets its sign-of-the-times dark military comedy.

Vietnam had Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H and Hal Ashby’s The Las...

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My Friend Dahmer

Director: Marc Meyers

Writer: Marc Meyers

Cast: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche, Dallas Roberts

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 107mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: Ohio, 1978. High school student Jeffrey Dahmer is approaching graduation. But, impulses that would later cause him to kill begin to control his life.

What’s the verdict: Most of us will never know what it was like going to school with a serial killer. Not so Derf Backderf. He attended school in Bath, Ohio in the late 70s, and graduated in the same class as Jeffery Dahmer, who would later go on to murder seventeen men.

Based on Backderf’s graphic novel of the same name, My Friend Dahmer recounts the killer’s late adolescence...

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Battle of the Sexes

Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Writer: Simon Beaufoy

Cast: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Sarah Silverman, Austin Stowell, Bill Pullman, Andrea Riseborough, Elisabeth Shue, Alan Cumming, Chip Chinery, Jessica McNamee

Cert: 12

Running time: 121mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: In 1973, former men’s number one tennis champ Bobby Riggs challenges current female superstar Billie Jean King to a match broadcast around the world.

What’s the verdict: This tale of women’s rights, fought on the tennis court and in the court of world opinion, is presented in the broad Disney brushstrokes needed for these nuance-free times.

Indeed, Battles of the Sexes (as Billie Jean King’s showdown with Bobby Riggs was titled) can be read as a Disney Princess movie...

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IT (2017)

Director: Andy Muschietti

Writer: Cary Fukunaga, Chase Palmer, Gary Dauberman

Cast: Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacbos, Bill Skarsgård, Jackson Robert Scott

Cert: 15

Running time: 135mins

Year: 2017 



What’s the story: In the summer of 1989, almost a year after young Georgie Denbrough is murdered by an evil force, Georgie’s brother Bill and his gang of self-styled Losers vow to defeat whatever is plaguing their town of Derry.

What’s the verdict: After years languishing in the sewers of Development Hell, IT finally reaches cinema screens. And the reaction is one of relief.

Relief that the characters and tone of Stephen King’s macabre magnum opus have survived the transition.

Relief that the decision to mess around with the book’s fla...

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Hounds of Love

Director: Ben Young

Writer: Ben Young

Cast: Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Curry

Cert: 18

Running time: 108mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: Perth, 1987. Teenage school girl Vickie (Cummings) is abducted by serial killer couple John and Evelyn (Curry and Booth). Held hostage by them, she attempts to influence the tremulous, though dangerous Evelyn.

What’s the verdict: Hounds of Love is the type of film that generates buzz on the horror film festival circuit, but has a short lifespan in the real world.

Borrowing heavily from the superior Snowtown, debut writer/director Young shoots with the same muted aesthetic, locating the film’s horrors in a forgotten working class neighbourhood, with serial killers who force their victims to pen diversionary notes to family members.

B...

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