Jason Coleman’s Top Ten Films Of 2017

What a year 2017 was and thanks to WhySoBlu and specifically head man Brian White the past year was one memorable movie loving time for yours truly.  I got to see more films than any other previous year (by my calculation I only missed The Post and BPM – not bad!), keep the love of my famed Forgotten Friday Flick going and I even got the once-in-a-lifetime chance to head down to Park City, Utah in January to not only attend the iconic Sundance Film Festival, but be on the Narrative Jury for the equally illustrious Slamdance Film Festival.  (My dream come true!)  But that’s not all…

On the personal film front I got to call out and highlight some of may favorite pitch perfect performances (click to see interviews #1 actor pick Dash Mihok and #2 Actress pick Eliza Taylor!), resurrect worthy long lost articles from my previous stomping grounds (click to see the #1 Starpulse.com traffic article Top Ten Coolest 80’s Movie Characters – w/Bonus Terrence “Critters” Mann Interview article!) and even jumped on board as associate and executive producer of two upcoming films including five-star stylist Christopher Soren Kelly’s sci-fi feature debut The Tangle and the 80’s homage outing Night Run for good money-where-your-mouth-is measure.  (Can one movie geek ask for more?!)  So this year end article is dedicated to giving thanks for my 2017 blessings and my love of all things WhySoBlu.  (Thanks to you I’m far from blue!)

And so below are my personal picks from a year filled with great films and for all those who gave my best friend James “Jimmy O” Oster a hard time for selecting a few indie flicks for his list over at Joblo.com, your blood is going to appropriately boil when you get a load of me.  Passing on good, but not great fare like big budget stuff (Last Jedi was way better than Force Awakens, but hardly the best Star Wars film ever made!), spectacles (Dunkirk was saved by the 70mm experience!), super hero flicks (Wonder Woman kicks ass – but still not five-star!), romances (the highly overrated The Big Sick was merely okay!) and slick outings (Baby Driver was an Edgar Wright flick…minus Edgar Wright style!), I carefully selected ten films that I believe deliver on an unwritten promise of being cinematically stellar in every possible way.  (Plus a few honorable mentions at the end!)  From deep dark dramas to fabulous fairy tales, here are my humble selections for…

Top Ten Films of 2017!

10. Bad Day For The Cut

Coming at a tired genre from an inspired perspective, the Northern Irish revenge flick Bad Day For The Cut is a caustic joyous journey that has it all.  An angry everyman angle, a well-woven story with plenty of twists and turns and even a brutal female antagonist with a foul mouth any mom would be happy to wash out with soap.  Ripe with ruckus fun, the only bad day would be one where this hidden gem was missed.


9. The Transfiguration

Though I dug the subversive and at times scary nature of Get Out, it’s the more disturbing underrated outing The Transfiguration that firmly beat it off this list.  While both films play with the conventions of the genre and feature African-American lead actors, The Transfiguration emerges as the victor simply due to its unabashed ability to get under the skin with maximum effect.  Delving into areas of vampirism, serial killing and depression all amidst an urban setting (and with a pinch of coming-of-age), this one has serious layered story scares that stick with you.


8. David Lynch: The Art Life

While this doc may be more geared towards those with an affinity for the famed ‘wizard of weird’, there’s simply so much to learn here about the various facets of David Lynch that even the smallest fan would be tickled with intrigue.  From his early years as a child, to becoming a father and especially his passion as a painter, fans who really look will get more insight into the man and his movies than ever before – the Easter egg of a lifetime.


7. Logan

Saving the best for last, Director James Mangold and actor Hugh Jackman finally let the angry man out of the X-Men bag and the result is the unwavering outing known as Logan.  Showing the somber side of the man with claws, the film adopts a ‘go bold or go home’ approach to both its visceral violence (the blades out of the top of the head are brutal!) and character back baggage (the father/son like relationship between Logan and Charles is heartbreaking!) to end things on a high note and as such Logan finally does what all final films in a franchise should do – go out with a bang.


6. The Shape of Water

What’s most amusing about The Shape Of Water is that it isn’t a film without flaws.  Octavia Spencer once again plays the “sassy” best friend (give that talented lady a different role already!) and Michael Shannon boarders on the broad playing an over-the-top baddie.  But even amidst such gripes it’s the whimsical and wondrous nature of Guillermo del Toro’s fairy tale style that nevertheless overshadows any film flaws to make all forgivable.  The enchanting love story involving Doug Jones’s amphibian man and Sally Hawkins’s spirited woman is so moving, so eloquent and so powerful that it reminds us what great movies today are missing – a filmmaker with vision.


5. Catfight

Going well beyond mere hair pulling and nail scratching, Onur Tukel’s satirically savage masterwork (yes, his swan song!) more than delivers on its salacious title.  Featuring Anne Heche and Sandra Oh as a couple of competing colleagues who hit first and ask questions later (and who thankfully learn NOTHING over the span of ninety-five minutes!), their long (and should be legendary!) featured feisty film fisticuffs would even give the alley fight duo of They Live a run for their movie money.


4. Burden

The best documentaries dig deep and the beauty of Burden lies in its desire to bare all.  In telling the tale of performance artist Chris Burden, the film examines both his early Jackass-like stunts (go ahead – shoot me!) and askew personal life (former wives dish dirt!) with the same equally candid gusto and it’s a thrilling story from start to finish.  Proving that everyone has a tale to tell, the difference here is the bold Burden tells it well.


3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

With five-star turns right across the actor board, there’s no denying the performance power of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.  From Woody Harrelson’s earnest sullen lawman to Sam Rockwell’s goofball small town trooper, not to mention the likes of an angry John Hawkes and sweet Peter Dinklage (hell, even throw in a little meek Caleb Landry Jones action!), the layered work within this one proves winning.  But ultimately it’s the fire focused caustic character of Mildred via ample actress Frances McDormand that proves to be the real icing on the Three Billboards cake.  Her passionate portrayal of a mad mom on a mission alongside the wonderfully all-over-the-place story and tone via filmmaker Martin McDonagh (by far the best work of his already notable career!) is one memorable match made in movie signboard heaven.


2. Brigsby Bear

Funny, moving and at times kneecappingly poignant, Brigsby Bear is definitely the movie underdog of the year.  Taking on a rather somber subject (no spoilers though!) from a fairly light perspective while managing to not risk the reality of the piece speaks to the strength of Brigsby Bear and it’s what makes it such an effective and outstanding outing.  From broad humor (all the fish out of water stuff lands just right!) to bits that will make you cry (the scene in the diner gets me every time!), Brigsby is one enjoyable emotional animal that towers high above the competition.


1. The Lure

While there has been some chatter about the year it came out even on this site, I’ve been in love with the wild wares of this five-star flick ever since I was lucky enough to witness it on the big screen this year.  (For the record US theatrical release date was Feb. 1, 2017!)  Proving then and there to be THE film of 2017 to beat, there’s simply no denying by anyone the utter originally of The Lure.  And by skillfully and boldly mixing every genre under the sun (see musical, horror, romance, coming of age and drama!) all with an artistic ease that is reserved for films of the highest caliber, this is one lavish and lush fable whose stunning cinematic qualities will most assuredly stand the test of time – The Lure lingers long.


(Honorable MentionGood Time, People You May Know and yet to be released films Kate Can’t Swim and Zen Dog)


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

8 Responses to “Jason Coleman’s Top Ten Films Of 2017”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Great List Jason! And glad you’ve been so happy to join the WSB Team! I’m happy we got some overlap with two of the best films of the year 😉 Happy to see more props for Brigby Bear, it’s one I really love watching. Good Time honorable mention! I honestly didn’t enjoy Catfight all that much, but it’s among the little films I’m happy to see get shout outs, because there’s so much smaller stuff out there and you catch a lot of it for sure!

  2. Brian White

    Indeed I echo Aaron’s sentiments above, awesome unique list and much appreciative of you being here.
    Well first and foremost I feel I need to see Lure now. After doing some research on the film it looks like something I would totally love! I’m going to order that Criterion right now!
    Your summary has also completely sold me on Transfiguration.
    However, the one press screening I fell like I missed out the most on this year was not seeing Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Even the trailers made that film look outstanding!
    This is the kind of list I was expecting from you and you did not disappoint!

  3. Brian White

    Lure Blu-ray ordered. Thanks again!

  4. Gregg

    Another list with Brigsby Bear! I love it! Truth be told, I’ve not heard of The Lure. The musical aspect can be a turn-off for me but then again I’ve been surprised by some great musicals. That’ll be a Red Box viewing in my future along with Three Billboards. Logan on so many of our top ten’s for ‘17…such an awesome movie! Very versatile list here, Jason!

  5. Jason Coleman

    Thanks guys for your comments and encouragement – appreciate you all! (And I’m not big on musicals either Gregg – but The Lure is so worth the Red Box rental!) p.s. Enjoy your Criterion disc Brian – I have it and it’s fabulous!

  6. Brian White

    I’m standing by with great anticipation as to how Gregg will find The Lure in a rental box location 🙂

  7. Gerard Iribe

    Nice list Jason! Gotta bookmark some, because I’ve only seen a couple those on your list.

  8. Aaron Neuwirth

    The Transfiguration was great!