15) Troy’s Pick – Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Troy finally got the broader Spider-Man movie that he knew that Marvel could provide. He also thought it was neat that Lord and Miller saved up all that talent from botching Solo to take it over to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. What Troy also found super weird was the blanket support it got from the morally upstanding crowd. I can’t wait for a Spider-Verse sequel to get Spider-Man 2099 and Toei Spider-Man.
15) Daniel’s Pick – BlackKklansman
Spike Lee has finally managed to make another film that people are paying attention to. Mind you that’s not a slag on Lee. His work on Chi-Raq was just as good, but cinephiles largely seemed to sleep on that one. Not so here! Be it those railing against its historical inaccuracies or folks touting it as an incendiary masterpiece, people are paying attention and rightfully so.
BlacKkKlansman might not be historically accurate, but it has a lot on its mind in regards to race relations of both the past and present. What he have here is a film as exhilarating and hilarious as it is depressing and infuriating. That’s a fine line to walk and Lee struts down it like a champ. See it to witness a master at work and some wonderful turns by John David Washington, Adam Driver, and Topher Grace.
15) Mike Flynn’s Pick – Deadpool 2
The first film, Ryan Reynolds’ proper debut as Marvel Comics’ indestructible, homicidal meta-pest, cracked my top ten in 2016. It’s a brilliant skewering of the superhero genre with no obligation to follow conventional story structure or get children in the theater. This sequel easily trounces it. While it’s not in the top ten, that’s due to this year being so rich with great films.
Deadpool 2 doubles down on what worked in the first film—copious violence, juvenile vulgarity, an irresistible obsession with female power ballads—and adds invaluable commodities like Zazie Beetz as Domino, luck manipulator and professional sass-master. As Cable, a model punchline of the stupidity of comic books in the 90’s, Josh Brolin’s self-righteous brute force feels transported from a more serious movie, making Deadpool’s antics more ridiculous.
It’s also bolstered by a better director in action pro David Leitch, or, as the film makes it known, “One of the Guys That Killed John Wick’s Dog.” If I’m being honest, it’s the first comedy sequel since Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey that isn’t solely interested in remixing the original. That’s the glory of Deadpool 2—it doesn’t give a fuck. Celine Dion performs the theme song. It shoehorns X-Force into the story for the sole purpose of pulling off what is arguably the funniest thing I’ve seen in a film this year.
No matter how tasteless or careless it is, however, the fact that this franchise’s heart bleeds with compassion has proven to be the key to preventing audiences from superhero burnout.
15) Jamie’s Pick – The Favourite
Jamie finally got to see his personal English royalty fantasy displayed onscreen. Never has he wanted to be Emma Stone so badly in his life. We asked if he meant somebody else and he said No. Then he wept.