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These are the best movies of 2017 (so far)

From unnerving psychological horror to the best swansong a superhero can ask for, 2017 has provided us with some truly riveting and exciting cinema thus far. In this list we will explore our take on the best movies of this year released up until 30 June.

If there any films you think deserved a spot on this list, feel free to speak your mind in the comments section below!

Raw

Raw is undoubtedly one of the most controversial movies of 2017, the French film’s intense subject matter causing people to flee from the theatre or faint in their seats. In my opinion, it was a cinematic masterpiece, handling a plethora of deep and challenging themes with ease as it stuns you with its artful cinematography and sound design. But, admittedly not everyone will share this sentiment.

Raw is director Julia Ducournau’s debut feature film. It tells the story of life-long vegetarian, Justine (Garance Miller), a shy, young girl who is attending her first year at a veterinarian school. As part of a hazing ritual, and with stern encouragement from her extrovert sister, Alexia (Ella Rumpf), Justine is forced to eat a raw rabbit kidney, the first piece of meat she has consumed in her life.

Raw was a cinematic masterpiece, handling a plethora of deep and challenging themes with ease

This single moment is the catalyst for Justine’s metamorphosis, awakening a long-dormant and primordial urge that quickly challenges her humanity. Suddenly, Justine can’t resist her hunger for raw meat, sneakily devouring raw chicken breasts while no one is looking. But this proves too unsatisfying and soon her insatiable hunger evolves into something considerably more unsavoury, so to speak.

At its surface, Raw is a gory, cannibal flick. But once you look beyond that, you will find a film that explores a young girl’s coming of age and the almost supernatural bond between sisters.

If you’re tired of Hollywood’s generic rom-coms and action blockbusters, then watch this film. If not, watch it anyway.

Logan

Read our full review here.

Raw was a cinematic masterpiece, handling a plethora of deep and challenging themes with ease

Logan proves that there is an audience for superhero movies with a more R-rated edge. I for one am tired of the endless string of generic PG13 superhero films that plague our screens so much these days, which is why I relished every brutally glorious moment that Logan so graciously offered.

Logan is loosely based on Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s 2008 comic,“Old Man Logan”. It follows an aged and washed-up, alcoholic Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in the year 2029. Even though he’s not somebody I’d pick a fight with, people he’d usually be able to look to death manage to give him quite a run these days.

Logan is the best way Jackman could have ended his run as the clawed anti-hero

The man who was once a hero, now lives near the border of Mexico and drives a limo for a living while kicking back litres of spirits, making him remarkably more relatable than any Marvel character in recent memory. When he isn’t taking part in this sad, self-destructing ritual, he’s taking care of an almost ancient and dementia-ridden Prof. Xavier (Patrick Stewart), a deadly combo for a man with immense telepathic powers.

This all changes with the arrival of a young girl named Laura Kinney (Dafne Keen), which comic book fans might know as “X-23”, a mutant that boasts very similar adamantium claws to Wolverine’s. The sight of her little baby claws, which she uses to devastating effect (I will never fear a little girl as much as her), is enough to warm the old bastard’s heart and he agrees to escort her to a location where she’ll be safe from those hunting her.

Logan is the best way Jackman could have ended his run as the clawed anti-hero, giving him the opportunity to play the Wolverine he was made to play.

The Discovery

Personally, I found The Discovery to be one of the most surprising films of 2017, especially considering that I stumbled on it completely by accident on Netflix about two months after its release.

The film takes place in the near-future in a world where Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford) has discovered the existence of an afterlife. As you can imagine, this had some major implications, one of the results being a massive increase in suicides as people now know that there isn’t just an empty nothingness waiting for them after death.

The Discovery explores the themes of death, choice and the afterlife from various angles

We follow in the footsteps of Will Harbor (Jason Segel), the son of Thomas, as he visits his father on the two year anniversary of “the discovery”. On the way, he meets Isla (Rooney Mara), an mysterious and intriguing woman that he quickly grows to like. He quickly discovers that they’re both heading in the same direction, his father’s research mansion, but for two very different reasons.

Will and his father’s relationship is on shaky grounds and he has come to confront him about the impact his research has on society. Isla has come to be a part of it. Through each of their perspectives, the film explores the themes of death, choice and the afterlife from various angles, resulting in a thought-provoking piece of cinema.

Split

Finally, director M. Night Shyamalan has returned to true form with the terrifying and enigmatic psychological horror, Split. It might not be his best movie yet (I mean how do you even begin to try and top films such as Signs and The Sixth Sense), but it is certainly up there and undoubtedly one of the best films to grace 2017.

Split tells the story of three girls (Anna Taylor-Joy, Jessica Sula, Haley Lu Richardson) who have been kidnapped and imprisoned by a man (James McAvoy) with 23 different personalities. Considering that this is a Shyamalan movie, who is known to incorporate a healthy dose of twists in his films, it’s hard to say any more about the premise.

Split is a riveting piece of cinema that will constantly keep you on the very edge of your seat

What I can say though is that Split is a riveting piece of cinema that will constantly keep you on the very edge of your seat. This is not least due to McAvoy’s outstanding performance(s). I would imagine playing such a large variety of personalities can be quite difficult, but McAvoy handles it with a menacing ease.

The greatest twist of all comes at the very end though. But for the sake of not spoiling it for those who haven’t watched the film yet (which you should do right now), I won’t say much about it other than it is, most probably, the start of a great and twisted Shyamalan adventure.

Get Out

Read our full review here.

From unnerving psychological horror to the best swansong a superhero can ask for, 2017 has provided us with some truly riveting and exciting cinema thus far

Get Out is Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, a film that uses the theme of race to horrific effect, creating one of most captivating and original psychological horrors I’ve seen a long while.

Get Out follows Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), as they’re on their way to visit her parents at their country side home. Rose and her family are white and Chris, being African-American, feels uncomfortable going as she never mentioned his race to her parents. She assures him not to worry and, when the meeting eventually happens, everything goes down relatively smoothly.

If you’re looking for a different and remarkable insightful horror, Get Out is the one to see

But there is an undeniably strange undercurrent of tension present, barely strong enough to pick up on or even confirm. Whether it’s an enigmatic silence or a brief but unsettling glance, it just starts to toy with your mind and then suddenly gets diffused with laughter or a smile. This unnerving feeling is evolved further when Chris meets the grounds- and housekeeper, both of whom are African-Americans, and they display some seriously strange conduct.

This tension in Get Out starts out as a simmer and very gradually heats up until things come to a sudden boil, and director Peele unveils his twist on the American Nightmare. If you’re looking for a different and remarkable insightful horror, Get Out is the one to see.

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