By Bradley Griffith
• “Wind River” – If you’re looking for an excellent adult drama with a real story, great characters, and amazing vistas of the Wyoming wilds in winter, look no further than “Wind River.” Jeremy Renner is spectacular as the main character with a great supporting cast. The movie may not have cleaned up at the box office, but “Wind River” is easily the best movie of the year.
• “Wonder Woman” – Speaking of cleaning up at the box office, “Wonder Woman” raked in its fair share of money and then some, and deserved every penny. The film is an example of great movie-making. The filmmakers blended a great story with great action scenes. Gal Gadot was amazing in the title role. She was tough, sensitive, strong, and understanding at the same time. She was born to play Wonder Woman.
“Dunkirk” – The best movie of the year with the least amount of dialogue, “Dunkirk” told the story of the evacuation of almost 400,000 British soldiers in World War II mostly by the actions of each of the main characters. Using three differing points of view of the evacuation and weaving those separate stories together into a seamless conclusion, director Christopher Nolan worked his magic once again.
“Logan” – “Logan” is a superhero movie that is not actually a superhero movie. Sure, Hugh Jackman donned the adamantium claws of Wolverine one final time, but it’s unlike any other superhero movie you’ve ever seen. “Logan” has a melancholy feeling throughout the movie, it tells the story of how everything must come to an end. Along the way there are great action scenes with Logan fighting with a never-before-seen ferocity.
“It” – Fans had waited many years for the silver-screen adaptation of the beloved Stephen King novel. While the movie wasn’t very scary, “It” did not disappoint. The film told a great story with great young characters and left you wanting more. Good thing there’s a sequel.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” – “The Last Jedi” had to be on this list because it’s a cultural phenomenon. The influence of Star Wars movies over the years is impossible to quantify. “The Last Jedi” brings back many beloved characters and introduces a few new ones with great action scenes. It’s not everything I hoped it would be, but my hopes were probably too high.
“Justice League” – This movie didn’t get the high marks from critics it was hoping for, and likewise didn’t get the high box-office numbers it was expecting, but it was a good time at the movies. The combination of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman all in the same movie brought back the joys of my childhood.
“American Assassin” – I admit it, I’m biased when it comes to “American Assassin.” I love the series of books featuring Mitch Rapp as the cold-blooded CIA assassin. “American Assassin” shows how Rapp became a killing machine and Dylan O’Brien was surprisingly well cast as Rapp. We can only hope sequels are in the works.
“Why Him” – Frankly, it wasn’t the best year for quality at the theater. Having said that, “Why Him” was the funniest movie of the year. It was irreverent and downright wrong at times, but that’s what made it so funny. Who knew the man best known for playing Walter White could be so funny?
“Coco” – The best family movie of the year, by a wide margin, was “Coco.” The film was a pleasant surprise. Great visuals combined with one of the best stories for an animated film in recent years made for an enjoyable and astonishingly emotional movie.