In recent years, I held off on composing my annual Movies of the Year roundup until one or two January weekends had passed, hoping to catch at least a couple of those acclaimed, Oscar-friendly titles that generally get to our area just prior to the announcement of Academy Award nominees. (This year's lineup will be unveiled on January 23.) But I'm just as relieved to be bidding farewell to 2017 as you likely are – and, after a year of disappointing grosses and endless scandals, as Hollywood no doubt is – so what say we get right to it?
As always, we'll start with my list of 10 Favorites, beginning with a release that looked to have a lock on the pole position before last year's Oscars commenced, and one that, despite loads of competition, never once lost its foothold … .
1) Get Out. We may as well begin with the official meeting of the parents, because even if you've seen writer/director Jordan Peele's smash-hit horror comedy a time or two, you may not recall the moment. Photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) has been invited by girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) to spend the weekend at her folks' house, and is apprehensive due to his correct suspicion that the white Rose hasn't informed them that Chris is black. Rose tells him not to worry. (“My dad would've voted for Obama a third time, the love is so real.”) And when the couple arrives at the front porch of the Armitages' rural country estate, Chris is indeed greeted by Rose's parents Dean and Missy (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) with bonhomie, warmth, and hugs, and with Dean breaking into a bouncy, Tigger-esque hop of excitement. We eventually learn, of course, precisely why the guy is so excited. Yet what's truly fascinating about this introduction is that for all of the build-up about how the Armitages are going to react to Chris, and he to them, Peele barely shows us, filming their first encounter in an unbroken long-shot with the dialogue barely audible. Then, instead of scooting the camera closer to the scene's focal characters, he pulls back, revealing that we've been witnessing the meeting from the point-of-view of the Armitages' black groundskeeper Walter (Marcus Henderson). And then Peele pulls back just a little further, so that we're a couple feet behind Walter as he watches the Armitages and Chris, suggesting that someone is watching him watch them. But who? And if not from behind Walter, from where? (Hint: The voyeur isn't in the yard.)
I bring this sequence up because it's indicative of why Peele's remarkable feature-length directorial debut is so hugely satisfying, particularly on repeat viewings: There's so much going on in the foregrounds of nearly every scene that you don't immediately recognize just how much is happening subtextually, and why. Rose refusing to let a cop see Chris' I.D. demonstrates her committed and woke bona fides ... until you realize the reason she can't let him be identified. Chris' introduction to the stoic maid Georgina (Betty Gabriel) is suitably off-putting and creepy … and gets more so when you re-hear the line prefacing her appearance. (“My mother loved her kitchen, so we keep a piece of her in here.”) The garden party Chris is forced to attend is genially sinister … and downright horrific once you notice how everyone in attendance is dressed to match the party's black, white, and red bingo cards. (The only other color on these cards is blue – a blue the exact shade of Chris' denim jacket.) Get Out was an utter blast back in February, and instantly commendable for its obvious pleasures: Peele's über-deft blending of scares, satire, and social commentary; the tricky, twisty narrative that offered surprise after surprise; the thunderously fine performances, with particular kudos going to the watchful, empathetic Kaluuya, the divinely serene Keener, and Gabriel, whose nightmarish, heartbreaking “Oh, no, no, no, no no no no no no no no no no ...” is both a scene and a meme for the ages. But even 11 months ago, the movie appeared destined to be a genre classic because it felt like you could spend many hours exploring its nuances – the photos in the hallway, the rules behind “The Sunken Place,” Behold the Coagula – and still keep finding added layers of terror, hilarity, paranoia, anger, and astute intelligence. After nearly a dozen viewings and a daily urge for more, I'm here to tell you that's true. Although I adore all the movies on this 10-Favorites list, Get Out is my unwavering favorite by a country mile, and I wouldn't be at all shocked if, collectively, Academy Award voters wound up agreeing. The last horror film to win Best Picture was The Silence of the Lambs in 1992, and 26 years seems a long-enough wait for another – especially when the Picture in question is this freakin' good.
2) Lady Bird. When his movie was classified a comedy for Golden Globes consideration, Jordan Peele cheekily (or not-so-cheekily) tweeted, “Get Out is a documentary.” I'm a little surprised writer/director Greta Gerwig didn't respond similarly about her movie when Lady Bird received the same classification, because I can't imagine any of its viewers not relating to at least one of the characters with an amazed reaction of “Oh my God … that's me.” True, Gerwig's main focus is on a very specific young woman: Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, an anxious, creative, infuriating, witty, endlessly curious high-school senior played with limitless truth and lyrical grace by Saoirse Ronan. But the key to Gerwig's supremely big-hearted creation lies in the depth with which it explores our complicated heroine's relationships with family, friends, boyfriends, teachers … . You may not be Lady Bird, but you're almost certainly someone. Maybe it's her mom Marion (an unimprovable Laurie Metcalf), who cherishes her daughter yet can't stop criticizing when she means to be rational. Maybe it's her dad Larry (a flawless Tracy Letts), whose unwavering humor masks gnawing panic. Perhaps it's conflicted beau Danny (Lucas Hedges) or pretentiously unconflicted hook-up Kyle (Timothée Chalamet); possibly devoted bestie Julie (Beanie Feldstein) or spoiled popular girl Jenna (Odeya Rush). Maybe it's the sensible Catholic-school principal (Lois Smith), or the depressed drama-department director (Stephen Henderson), or Christine's agitated brother (Jordan Rodrigues), or his live-in goth girlfriend (Marielle Scott). But Gerwig finds room for all in her magnificently textured and and detailed character piece, and fills everyone's exchanges with so much honesty, emotionalism, and acquired wisdom that, in reflection, you nearly forget how consistently hard you laughed, and how unashamedly Lady Bird's 90-minute path from immaturity to adulthood made you cry. (As a director, Gerwig is never more inspiring than when allowing her characters the screen time for actual pain, as in the long, anguished hug between Christine and Danny, and Marion's teary drive away from, and back to, an airport.) I caught this one at the cineplex twice during its local run and don't feel remotely close to being done with it.
3) The Florida Project. I'm not a parent. But as a brother and an uncle and a godfather and a friend of families, I readily remember hundreds of life experiences, both momentous and everyday, based on how they registered on the faces of kids. That's likely how I'll always remember The Florida Project, too, because writer/director Sean Baker's deeply affecting, Orlando-based drama is impossible to think about without having instant recall of the face of leading lady Brooklynn Prince, who was all of six when she shot the film. Loads of child actors are cute, and in the tacky-mauve-motel universe her underprivileged Moonee cavorts in, Prince has definite moments of cuteness: antagonizing the motel manager (Willem Dafoe in career-peak form) with a slowly dripping ice-cream cone; playing up the wide-eyed gumption while her desperate mom (Bria Vinaite, tender yet harrowing) sells second-rate perfume to passing tourists; enjoying, in a series of tight closeups, the rare treat of an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. Yet cute is never all that Prince is, or that Moonee is, and the miracle of this little girl's performance is that it simultaneously appears completely spontaneous and perfectly controlled – just like Baker's entire, blisteringly well-observed movie. Wholly original in both milieu and presentation, the film explores the lives of those near, yet profoundly untouched by, the gleaming gates of Disney World that stand mere blocks away from their shabby, makeshift homes, with particular emphasis on how Moonee and a few equally unsupervised tykes make their own Magic Kingdom out of deficiency laced with imagination. Yet The Florida Project isn't a bummer, because even characters' considerable hardships are explored with clear-headed vitality and a keen eye for funny and telling details; the motel's unmissable mauve-ness may keep you awake, but the movie itself keeps you alert. It also boasts the year's finest, most evocative finale – a street-level flight of fancy to make your heart sink while your spirit soars.
4) Blade Runner 2049. As the end credits rolled at our screening of Denis Villeneuve's 164-minute sci-fi continuation, my moviegoing companion – one of my favorite people in the world – said, “Aw-w-w, does it have to be over?” Given my euphoria over what I'd just witnessed, I was all set to respond with “I know, right?!” Then I realized she was being sarcastic. So okay: I get why some people find the movie too long, and too slow, and, in my friend's case, too filled with skyscraper-sized naked ladies for comfort. (Villeneuve's outing does strongly imply that, in a few decades, porn will have swallowed us whole.) But I was so colossally wiped out by this impassioned return to the world of Philip K. Dick (in his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) and Ridley Scott (in 1982's seminal Blade Runner) that I'm pretty sure I only blinked to occasionally get some much-needed moisture to my popping eyes. The extraordinary visual effects, production design, and costuming certainly played their parts, as did, perhaps most especially, the exquisitely lit images courtesy of cinematographer Roger Deakins; given the delectable photography, the only conceivable way to attack Deakins' work here would be with a knife and fork. But while watching the travails of bounty-hunter replicant K as he tried to solve numerous mysteries – one of them the mystery of his own origin – I was just as riveted on narrative and philosophical levels, the original film's question of what makes us human resounding with even more thoughtful deliberation and dramatic urgency. With Ryan Gosling at his most magnetically inscrutable, the movie's fulsome, largely female ensemble also gives us stellar portrayals by the likes of Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Mackenzie Davis, and an enticingly repellant Sylvia Hoeks, while long-delayed arrival Harrison Ford proves as Harrison Ford-y as you could ever want. Early in the film, a rogue replicant played by the marvelous Dave Bautista (someone please give this Guardians of the Galaxy vet a solo franchise!) torments K with a teasing “You've never witnessed a miracle.” By Blade Runner 2049's finale, we all have.
5) Dunkirk. Provocative and impressive though they were, the film's previews did suggest that the oft-ignored Christopher Nolan was nakedly courting Oscar approval by giving voters exactly what they've traditionally liked: a big, sturdy, era-authentic World War II epic. It turned out, though, that instead of kowtowing to presumed Academy tastes, he was instead indulging his own – and in the process, making a movie that Academy members would be absolute fools to ignore. (Granted, the risk of looking foolish has never stopped them before … .) As director Joe Wright's current Darkest Hour reminds us, the war's legendary Operation Dynamo – which led to the safe evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops and demonstrated Britain's refusal to bend to Hitler's will – is such a moving tale of bravery and heroism that it's powerful even when employed primarily as background information. (At least, in the case of Darkest Hour, it is when being referenced by Gary Oldman.) Yet by throwing us directly into battle, as Churchill stated, “by sea, land, and air,” Nolan achieves a frightening yet exhilarating immediacy whose only remote cinematic comparison is the storming of Omaha Beach in Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan – and Spielberg didn't make his siege last 105 minutes the way Nolan does. (He also didn't do it under this movie's restriction of a PG-13 rating.) Dunkirk's writer/director and the wizardly editor Lee Smith accomplish this through a complex yet never confounding – and very Nolan – bending of time and locale regarding which characters we're watching when. And all three of the film's distinct segments are so meticulously crafted and visually and aurally ravishing that the movie feels like one uninterrupted barrage, yet a barrage you don't cower from – you're in thrall to everything from the underwater missile attacks to the narrow escapes to the weary humanity of Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, and Tom Hardy. Darkest Hour explains why the rescue took place. Dunkirk demonstrates how. I'm with the “how”s on this one.
6) A Ghost Story. If I told you one of 2017's best films featured Casey Affleck under a sheet for nearly 90 minutes, you'd probably think … . Man, I honestly can't imagine what you'd think. But you probably wouldn't expect anything remotely close to writer/director David Lowery's stirring, unforgettable, undeniably challenging meditation on love, the universe, and just how much pie can be consumed in a single sitting without retching. The story is disarmingly simple, with two unnamed young lovers (Affleck and Rooney Mara) living in domestic harmony until the male partner dies in an auto crash, at which point his ghost begins haunting their home. Yet some clarification is necessary. For one thing, the ghost isn't just a ghost – he's a prototypical Halloween ghost, portrayed by Affleck under a simple white bed sheet. For another, the haunting of his and Mara's dwelling is less active than reactive; he basically just watches her, forlornly, as she comes and goes and, in a much-discussed moment, devours almost an entire pie in one unbroken eight-minute shot. (That one's a pretty solid litmus test in gauging whether you'll make it through the entire film without bolting.) And for yet another, Affleck-under-a-sheet stays in the house even after Mara permanently vacates it, milling about through new owners, enormous changes in the landscape, and even the unfolding and refolding of time itself. I'm still not entirely sure what it all adds up to. But few films in recent years have been so filled with longing and sadness, and so adept at abrupt tonal vacillations, and so heart-stoppingly moving; even scenes that produce an immediate chuckle quickly give rise to aching melancholy. (Few conversational exchanges, meanwhile, have more thoroughly floored me than the telepathic, subtitled chat between Affleck's ghost and a sheet-wearing neighbor across the way: “I'm waiting for someone.” “Who?” “I don't remember.”) Gorgeously shot and aurally captivating, A Ghost Story is insightful, magical, thematically resonant, and utterly bewitching. Apologies if you end up hating it.
7) The Big Sick. Before reiterating this deservedly lauded rom-com's most widely referenced charms – the fabulous semi-autobiographical script by spouses Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, the eternal awesomeness of Holly Hunter, “The truth is out there!” – can I state, for the record, how unbelievably good Ray Romano is in this thing? I think his performance as the father of our comatose female lead (the luminous Zoe Kazan) is easy to underrate, considering the actor doesn't venture far beyond his familiar Everybody Loves Raymond persona, and most of his readings – outside of an incensed comedy-club smack-down – sound indistinguishable from those he's delivered on TV, or in his standup, or as that woolly mammoth Manny in the Ice Age movies. Try as I might, though, I can't think of a single performer who'd make a better fit for The Big Sick's lovable, frustrated, overwhelmed Terry Gardner than Romano, and it's kind of like that with director Michael Showalter's whole movie – a compendium of one fundamentally unsurprising yet ridiculously satisfying character interpretation and casting choice and redolent detail after another. Describing a movie with “it's just like TV” was an instant pejorative until watching TV, some years back, became routinely more fulfilling than going to the movies. (Not that anyone asked, but if pressed for my favorite 2017 entertainment regardless of medium, it would be those 18 transcendent episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return.) And this gloriously funny and touching cross-cultural romance is like an exceptional 21st Century sitcom that clocks in at just under two hours, overflowing with relatable figures, believable complications, hysterical one-liners (“He's like Daniel Day-Lewis, but he sucks”), hysterical set pieces (“I want one burger with four slices of cheese!!!”), and personality-revealing grace notes acted to endearing perfection by Nanjiani, Kazan, Romano, Anupam Kher, Zenobia Schroff, and that whirlwind of eccentric humanity known as Holly Hunter. It's by no means an insult to say I'd happily watch seven seasons' worth of this material, at least if they could recruit this cast.
8) mother! Or, as I prefer to think of it: Bible-study night with hash brownies as snacks. In the hours I spent, after my initial screening, diving into numerous analyses of writer/director Darren Aronofsky's mesmerizing and controversial passion play, I discovered that not everyone was convinced of mother!'s biblical leanings. Some found the film a cinematic representation of (male) artistic temperament and the necessity of a (female) muse who's promptly discarded after inspiration hits. Some found it an extended, agnostic, overtly P.C. analogy for the Earth's eventual demise through global warming. Some found it pure torture porn. (As, I'm guessing, did plenty of patrons who paid for tickets, judging by the rare “F” grade the film notoriously earned from the market-research firm CinemaScore.) But I saw the same film they saw, and I've returned to it a couple times on home video, and I mean … . Come on! The cauterized rib cage! The hungry-for-knowledge wife! The forbidden fruit! (“Lemonade!”) The banishment from the sacred place! The murderous brother! The mark on the forehead! The debauchery! The animals! The flood! The promise of new life! The miraculous birth! (“They brought gifts!”) The ultimate sacrifice! The communion! The annihilation! It's all there and a great deal more, and if you have an admittedly warped sense of fun the way I occasionally do, this literal re-imagining of the Good Book – Old and New Testaments – is a helluva lot of fun for the perverse pleasure of seeing what bat-shit-insane developments will arise, and just how far this ballsy and, arguably, blasphemous premise can go. (Answer: from Genesis to Revelation and back again.) Aronofsky's artistry here is grand and uncompromising. Jennifer Lawrence does some of the most wrenching work of her career. There are madly inventive turns by Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and a dazzlingly insinuating Michelle Pfeiffer. (The best thing to happen to American movies in 2017? An autumn that gave us both this and Pfeiffer's best-in-show turn in Murder on the Orient Express.) You might still detest Aronofsky's admittedly contentious outing. But hey, if you like A Ghost Story … !
9) All the Money in the World. That's roughly what I would've paid to watch the filming – or rather, re-filming – of the Christopher Plummer scenes. I don't suppose that anyone entrenched in movie news needs to be reminded that, in the wake of numerous sexual-harrassment allegations against former co-star Kevin Spacey, the actor's completed scenes as tyrannical billionaire J. Paul Getty were re-shot this past November with Plummer in the role and a shooting schedule of only nine days. But if you've ever spent any significant time on a film set, or have merely heard horror stories about the endless production delays on works such as Coppola's Apocalypse Now, or Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, or really any Kubrick, you likely have an idea of how long it takes just to get cameras and lighting equipment in place, to say nothing of the patience required for planes to pass and rain to stop. How the eff did director Ridley Scott not only get everything he needed in the can given that impossibly limited time frame, but, during the editing process, make the freshly shot scenes fit seamlessly and beautifully within the first-rate footage shot so many months prior? And how, given barely more advance preparation than the length of a plane ride, did Plummer come through with a portrayal – perhaps the finest of his legendary screen career – that's this magnetic, reptilian, and ferocious? I'll likely never know. But that won't stop me from trying to figure it out through numerous future viewings that would no doubt be enjoyed even without Scott's last-minute change of plans, considering the fascination of its real-life kidnapping tale, the richness and craftiness of David Scarpa's screenplay, and the unbridled performance power of Michelle Williams. All the Money in the World is my sole 10-Favorites choice that's currently playing on local screens. You will totally be forgiven for momentarily abandoning this article, getting in your car, and seeing it now.
10) The Meyerowitz Stories (New & Selected). As of this writing, it's awfully, awfully cold out there. So please forgive me, because I'm pretty sure it's due to Hell having frozen over as a result of my concluding this list with an Adam Sandler comedy. To be fair to my general tastes, it's not an Adam Sandler comedy so much as a Noah Baumbach comedy. And to be fair to Sandler, he's unbelievably good in Baumbach's novelistic tale of damaged adult brothers still longing to be appreciated – really, just acknowledged – by their distant and withholding father. Sounds like a laugh riot, doesn't it? Amazingly, however, it sometimes is, with The Meyerowitz Stories' author finding new modes of expression, and delicious dialogue, for his three leads that still fit snugly in their well-worn wheelhouses: barely contained hostility for Sandler, self-aggrandizing neuroses for Ben Stiller, mumbly certitude for Dustin Hoffman. Yet this artfully edited, emotionally sprawling study on art, personal and professional rivalries, and what constitutes fulfillment is also a treasure trove of incisive “found” moments that can make you smile or sigh or well up the way you do landing on presumably lost images in an album of yellowing family photos. Sandler and screen daughter Grace Van Patten (a true find) at the piano, revisiting a tune they co-wrote when the girl was nine. Stiller falling apart when reminiscing about his dad at an exhibit opening. Hoffman attempting to avoid embarrassment by, even more embarrassingly, racing down a Manhattan sidewalk. Elizabeth Marvel, as the daughter who long ago gave up her paternal illusions, squirming her way out of a group hug. Van Patten brimming with pride as a missing relic is finally found. All this plus Emma Thompson as a drunken stepmom, Adam Driver as a sweetly obtuse artiste, Sigourney Weaver as herself … . I was beginning to think no Baumbach movie would ever top his 2005 masterpiece The Squid & the Whale. But as this Netflix streamer lovingly reminds us, it's never too late to top yourself.
And a Few Other Lists … :
10 Runners-Up to the 10 Favorites: Baby Driver; Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie; It; Logan; Logan Lucky; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Star Wars: The Last Jedi; War for the Planet of the Apes; Wind River; Wonder.
10 Terrific Films I Saw at the Cineplex: The Disaster Artist; Everything, Everything; The Lost City of Z; Megan Leavey; Only the Brave; Split; Stronger; Thank You for Your Service; Wonder Woman; The Zookeeper's Wife.
10 Terrific Films I Saw on Home Video: Beach Rats; Get Me Roger Stone; Icarus; Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton; Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold; Lady Macbeth; Mudbound; Okja; Strong Island; Voyeur.
10 Excellent Performances Under Solid Circumstances: Chadwick Boseman in Marshall; Tiffany Haddish and Regina Hall in Girls Trip; Rebecca Hall in Professor Marston & the Wonder Women; Woody Harrelson in LBJ; Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water; Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell (but really everyone) in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes; Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde.
10 Excellent Performances Under Iffy Circumstances: Hong Chau in Downsizing; Judi Dench in Victoria & Abdul; Kelvin Harrison Jr. (but really everyone) in It Comes at Night; Woody Harrelson in The Glass Castle; Anne Hathaway in Colossal; Shirley MacLaine in The Last Word; Jason Mitchell in Detroit; Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour; Aaron Taylor-Johnson in The Wall; Denzel Washington in Roman J. Israel, Esq.
10 That Are Better Than You May Have Heard: 47 Meters Down; American Assassin; The Case for Christ; A Cure for Wellness; The Great Wall; How to Be a Latin Lover; Life; Phoenix Forgotten; Rough Night; Snatched.
10 for Occasional Trashy Fun: Annabelle: Creation; Before I Fall; The Belko Experiment; Free Fire; Happy Death Day; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Sleepless; Underworld: Blood Wars; Unforgettable; Wish Upon.
10 Good-to-Very-Good Family Flicks: Beauty & the Beast; The Boss Baby; Cars 3; Coco; Ferdinand; Gifted; Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; Leap!; The Lego Batman Movie; Wonderstruck.
10 You-Could-Do-Worse Family Flicks: Born in China; The Greatest Showman; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; The Lego Ninjago Movie; The Man Who Invented Christmas; Monster Trucks; Power Rangers; Rock Dog; The Space Between Us; The Star.
Three These-Are-Definitely-Worse Family Flicks: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul; The Emoji Movie; Smurfs: The Lost Village.
10 Acceptable-or-Better Sequels or Reboots: The Beguiled; The Fate of the Furious; Fifty Shades Darker; Going in Style; Jigsaw; John Wick: Chapter Two; King Arthur: Legend of the Stone; Murder on the Orient Express; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; T2 Trainspotting.
10 Disappointing-or-Worse Sequels or Reboots: Alien: Covenant; A Bad Moms Christmas; Daddy's Home Two; Justice League (not technically a sequel, but close enough); Kingsman: The Golden Circle; Kong: Skull Island, Pitch Perfect 3; Rings; Thor: Ragnarok; Tyler Perry's Boo 2: A Madea Halloween.
10 Favorites from 2016 That I First Saw in 2017: 20th Century Women; Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened; Elle; The Founder; Gleason; I Am Not Your Negro; Jim: The James Foley Story; Silence; Tower; Your Name.
10 Titles from 2017 I'm Looking Forward to in 2018: The Breadwinner; Call Me by Your Name; A Fantastic Woman; Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool; Happy End; I, Tonya; Molly's Game; Phantom Thread; The Post; The Square.
10 to Avoid Despite the Oscar Winners and Nominees Involved: American Made; The Bye Bye Man; The Dinner; Ghost in the Shell; Home Again; The Mountain Between Us; The Promise; The Shack; Table 19; Tulip Fever.
10 That I Strongly Considered for Least-Favorite Citation: All Eyez on Me; Baywatch; Birth of the Dragon; The Circle; The Dark Tower; Father Figures; Flatliners; The Hitman's Bodyguard; Same Kind of Different as Me; xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.
But My Actual Least-Favorites:
10) Suburbicon. George Clooney made two movies here – one about racism in the '50s, one about an adulterous affair leading to murder. Both of them were crap.
9) Collide. You may not recall this noxious action-thriller with Nicolas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Sir Ben Kingsley, and Sir Anthony Hopkins. Their reputations – and the Queen's – no doubt thank you.
8) A Dog's Purpose. I really do love dogs, and still felt no guilt about swatting this thing with a newspaper.
7) The House. What if Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler threw a block party and nobody came? Or cared? Or laughed even once?
6) Geostorm. Our planet is on the brink of destruction, and only Gerard Butler can save us. I'll take that cyanide tablet now, please.
5) The Mummy. Its villainess wakes up pissed after spending thousands of years in an enclosed tomb. Watching this Tom Cruise vanity project, I completely related.
4) The Snowman. The cinematic equivalent of eating yellow snow.
3) Transformers: The Last Knight. Hasbro-ken.
2) Just Getting Started. So was I upon muttering the first of many, many expletives.
1) CHIPS. Which I can only assume is an acronym for Completely Hateful, Insulting Piece of S – … . Nah. Too easy.