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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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Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Sin City - A Dame to Kill For - Eve Green, banned posterDirector: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

Writer: Frank Miller

Cast: Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Jeremy Piven, Jamie Chung

Cert: 18

Running Time: 102 mins

Year: 2014


The lowdown: Nine years after the original adaptation of Frank Miller’s neo-noir graphic novels comes the long-awaited sequel, promising more monochrome mayhem. Mickey Rourke’s one-man army Marv and Jessica Alba’s sweet-hearted stripper Nancy return, joined by (amongst many others) Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Eva Green as the titular dame. Expect balletic beheadings, ocular extractions and a plethora of perfect female flesh, but don’t expect anything new.

Sin City - A Dame to Kill For - Jessica Alba, Nancy, Bruce WillisSin City - A Dame to Kill For - Josh Brolin, Eva Green

The full verdict: When Sin City burst on to our eyeballs in 2005 it was a gritty, gru...

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Hatchet III

Hatchet III - posterDirector: BJ McDonnell

Cast: Danielle Harris, Zach Galligan, Caroline Williams, Kane Hodder

Cert: 18

Running time: 85mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Jason-Voorhees-like killer Victor Crowley rises again in this third instalment of the likeably scrappy, insanely gory horror franchise. Picking up moments after Hatchet II, Crowley is soon causing New Orleans swamp-based mayhem once more, while Danielle Harris and Zach (Gremlins) Galligan attempt to stop him. Plot and character are solid enough to keep momentum going, but fans are here for the red stuff and that runs in rivers.

Hatchet III - Crowley, Kane Hodder, Caroline WilliamsHATCHET III / Director BJ McDonnell

The full verdict: Hatchet was the little slasher movie that could...

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Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass 2 - quad poster, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jim Carrey, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse Director: Jeff Wadlow

Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey, Morris Chestnut, John Leguizamo

Cert: 15

Running time: 103mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Back in 2010 Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass hit cinemas and hit them hard.  Dazzling, daring and gloriously irresponsible, it revelled in and spun superhero conventions, adding a shotgun blast of smarts and more than a little heart.  This energetic sequel recaptures the energetic brio of its five-star predecessor, but wayward plotting, character flip-flopping and budget restrictions bring it down a couple of notches.  Yet, in a year when superheroes grew more brooding than ever, it’s good to have a multi-coloured splash of FU hurled at the silver screen.

Film Title: Kick-Ass 2Kick-Ass 2, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, The Motherfucker

The full verdict: If a Kick-Ass film...

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Only God Forgives

Only God Forgives - quad posterDirector: Nicolas Winding Refn

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, Tom Burke

Cert: 18

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Danish devil Nicolas Winding Refn follows-up crossover hit Drive with a handbrake turn into an even darker alley.  A perverse crawl over particularly jagged philosophical broken glass, the director’s reunion with Ryan Gosling is a hoary old revenge story soaked in graphically Old Testament style justice, refracted through the most gorgeous visuals you’re likely to see this year.  Touched by the madness of David Lynch, the detached solemnity of Stanley Kubrick and the vengeance thirst of Park Chan-wook, this is not one to miss.  Even if some audiences won’t be as forgiving as the man upstairs.

Only God Forgives - Gosling fight poseOnly God Forgives - Gosling Pansringarm fight

The full verdict: It is as if...

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The Purge

Purge_Quad_4_3_13Director: James DeMonaco

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Heady, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Rhys Wakefield, Edwin Hodge

Cert: 15

Running time: 86mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Blumhouse Productions, the team behind the Paranormal Activity series, Sinister and Dark Skies, stick to their tried and tested formula with another budget conscious imperiled family shocker.  In 2022, America has solved its crime problem with “the Purge”, one night a year when all law is suspended and citizens are allowed to indulge their darkest desires; bad news for dad Ethan Hawke, protecting his family from marauding thugs.  A Twilight Zone idea is seasoned with extract of Straw Dogs and A Clockwork Orange in a thriller whose intriguing premise would have benefited from a larger injection of cash.

Purge - Hawke HeadyPurge - clowns

The full ve...

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Kill List

kill-list-poster01Director: Ben Wheatley

Cast: Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, MyAnna Buring, Emma Fryer, Struan Rodger, Mark Kempner

Cert: 18

Running time: 95mins

Year: 2011


The lowdown: The best British thriller since Dead Man’s Shoes, Kill List is heart-stopping in its shocks and as difficult to pin down as a moving target. Part hitman thriller, domestic drama and horror film, it’s hugely ambitious and sticks Ben Wheatley right alongside such established genre masters as Danny Boyle and Neil Marshall. But be warned, although there are laughs to be had, they’re of the darkest variety and it’s the terror and incredible violence that haunts your thoughts long after the stark end credits. Breathtaking, but it’s worth having a shot of something strong before viewing.

Kill List - family fightKill List - Burning

The full verdict: British...

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