Cinematic Celebration: My favorite films from 2017

RYAN GOSLING as K in Alcon Entertainment's action thriller "BLADE RUNNER 2049," a Warner Bros. Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment release, domestic distribution by Warner Bros. Pictures and international distribution by Sony Pictures (Photo: Courtesy of Alcon Entertainment)

(KUTV) It's that time of year again where someone asks me what my favorite movie is and I stare back blankly as my mind tries to process the overflow of information swirling around in my mind.

Here are 15 films that captivated me this year and an additional 20 titles that were part of the conversation. They’re listed in alphabetical order, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be “A Ghost Story,” “The Big Sick” or “The Shape of Water.” Then again, there’s nothing quite like being taken back to your childhood, which is exactly what “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” did. Then again, so did “Blade Runner 2049,” but that’s a different story altogether

The Big Sick

One of the big misconceptions about film critics is that they actively despise certain genres of movies like horror films and romantic comedies. I’m as apt to enjoy a good romance or a good scare as anyone else. “The Big Sick” is a fantastic film that explores the complicated minefield of modern romance. It is honest, funny and was a complete surprise. The film tells the true story of Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani. Nanijani stars as himself with Zoe Kazan taking Gordon’s role. The film explores racial identity, failure, forgiveness and rising to the occasion when given a second chance. I called "The Big Sick" the best romantic comedy of the decade. I stand by that.

Blade Runner 2049

Few films can claim to be as influential as Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner,” 1982’s loose adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Combining noir and sci-fi elements, “Blade Runner” redefined what the future would look like.

Some 25 years later director Denis Villeneuve returns to the world Dick and Scott envisioned. Harrison Ford’s Decker, a replicant (slave labor robot) bounty hunter known as a blade runner, returns, but is a secondary character. This time the focus is on “K” (Ryan Gosling), a blade runner who comes across a bit of information that could radically change the way replicants are viewed by human society.

“Blade Runner” is one of my favorite films and while “Blade Runner 2049” doesn’t quite reach masterpiece status (its lacking an antagonist remotely as engaging as Ruger Hauer’s Roy Batty) it does entertain with an incredibly different narrative that still retains just enough of the original film’s style to evoke a sense of familiarity in a world that has continued to decay.


"Coco" tells the story of Miguel, a young boy aspires to be a musician. Sadly, music is forbidden in his family. During the annual Day of the Dead celebration, Miguel travels to the Land of the Dead where he meets his ancestors and discovers their family’s rich history of music.

Leave it to Pixar to make a film that makes doing your family history look like an exciting adventure. While not quite on the level of “Up” or “Inside Out,” “Coco” is a beautiful film that manages to sneak in the classic Pixar moment that leaves the audience in tears.

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