Animated – Coco
Pixar has done it again. They’ve taken a character and culture that on the surface I wouldn’t think I could relate to very much, being from such a different background, and made me cry. Before this movie I didn’t know much about Dia de los Muertos besides its on Halloween and the sugar skulls. Pixar painted the culture around a modern day story full of mythos and traditions, all in time to still have a complete Heroes Journey. A fantastic movie by a fantastic company.
Marvel – Logan
A lot of the MCU lately has become a paint-by-numbers version of storytelling, and Logan has brought something completely new.
DC – Wonder Woman
The first legitimate female led superhero movie. The only competition was really Justice League, which the best compliment is “It’s better than Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Not to take anything away from this film though, it earned its merits through a studio and Hollywood culture that didn’t seem to want it to succeed. Part of the reason this movie is so good, is because it does what it is supposed to do, when so many others couldn’t. We have a well told story about an amazing superhero, who just happens to be female. That’s how it should be.
Superhero – Logan
Wonder Woman achieved what we hoped it could, Logan did what none of us expected. You could not tell someone this is a superhero movie before they see it, and they won’t feel like you left out a crucial part of enjoying it. A large part of watching superheroes is suspension of disbelief. You didn’t have to do that with this movie. We aren’t seeing fights in tights, we are seeing the a movie about why it’s important to have family, and the fears of growing old. This is the best superhero movie because it was a great movie even without the superpowers.
Sci-Fi – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Some people have such a dislike of this movie, because they thought they knew what Star Wars is, and they were expecting that, and they didn’t get that. I don’t want the same thing over and over, I want new and interesting. There are few Sci-Fi properties that can go toe-to-toe with some of the worst Star Wars films, and this is definitely one of the best.
Video Game – Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
This was literally the only movie this year based on/about videogames.
Horror – It
A horror movie doesn’t have to be constant jump scares, it can be a really great coming of age movie.
Sequel – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
This movie takes the saga in a new and exciting direction. It managed to lead us to so many expectations, and then turned the story in an unexpected way every single time. Rian Johnson knows what we are expecting based on the previous eight Star Wars movies, and he shows us Star Wars can be something else.
Reboot – It
Without diminishing the original Tim Curry, we are able to see a well made evolution of this story. This was made for a modern audience, and doesn’t rest on the nostalgia of the previous version.
Original Story – Baby Driver
Unlike any movie I have ever seen. Changes the relationship between music and film in a way we haven’t seen since American Graffiti.
So many references and jokes that weren’t for kids, but real fans of Batman. Kids don’t know why Adam West dancing, and Daleks being called “British Robots! Ask your nerd friends” is funny, but we do, and thats why it deserves an honorable mention. Also “What is the Password? Iron Man Sucks”
Creating a new genre “Social Thriller” and being talked about by critics constantly all year round deserves some recognition. Jordan Peele challenged everyone’s expectations when we thought we were getting another gangster cat named Keanu, but got this instead.
This film almost won Original Story, but didn’t purely because there really isn’t much of a story to be told. We barely learn anyones names, or anything about them. Dunkirk is to movies what the Sistine Chapel is to paint.
Tom Holland is my definitive Spider-Man. He wants to be Spider-Man, his friends are new and fun, and absentee father figure Tony Stark is always great. Can’t wait to see him in Infinity War on May 4!
Greatest Movie of the Year – Logan
This movie takes us back to what movies were. For much of the ’60s and ’70s, spaghetti westerns ruled the movie scene (pun intended), and changed American cinema permanetly, and this film takes so many pages right out of those Sergio Leone books. Ironically, in 2015 Steve Spielberg mentioned how superhero films would “go the way of the western.” He meant more as how there is a huge explosion, and then people will become bored and move on, perhaps to be referenced or return later. I have to believe that the creators of this amazing movie took that as more than just a jab at the genre, but almost a suggestion. At the end of the day, the only superhero movie I can compare this to in terms of quality, is The Dark Knight. If you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?