Best of 2017: Personal Winners and Top 10 Films of the Year

We’ve come to the end.  At least the end with my take on the year 2017.  Choosing the personal winners of the year, along with my Top 10 films.

There’s been plenty to love about the year and plenty to hate.  Overall, I liked the year and maybe with time, I’ll look back with fondness.

I’m proud of what I’ve seen and what I’ve chosen.

Check them all out in the gallery.


Sandy Martin as “Dixon’s Mother” in “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Lucas Hedges as “Danny” in “Lady Bird”
Jonathan Majors as “Henry” in “Hostiles”
Matt Damon as “Loki” in “Thor: Ragnarok”
Austin Stowell as “Larry King” in “Battle of the Sexes”

WINNER: Sandy Martin in “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”
(Runner-Up: Austin Stowell in “Battle of the Sexes”)

The foul-mouthed mother to the racist cop/anti-hero is sublime and feels like one of those details that adds to the overall greatness of the film a la the “coin-flip guy” in “No Country for Old Men.”


Benjamin Bratt in “Coco
Cate Blanchett in “Thor: Ragnarok
Allison Williams in “Get Out
Bill Skarsgard in “It
Adam Driver in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi

WINNER: Allison Williams in “Get Out”
(Runner-Up: Bill Skarsgard in “It”)

Sipping on milk has never looked so good and Allison Williams is the best at it.


Opening Battle in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Forest Fight in “Logan
Battle on Crait (The Salt Planet) in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Spider-Man on the Staten Island Ferry in “Spider-Man: Homecoming
Wonder Woman vs. The Soldiers in “Wonder Woman

WINNER: Battle on Crait (The Salt Planet) in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
(Runner-Up: Wonder Woman vs. The Soldiers in “Wonder Woman”)

A red ground, heroes rise and fall, and we say goodbye to one of the franchise’s most beloved characters.  A scene to remember.


Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Jack Dylan Grazer, “It”
Kelvin Harrison, Jr., “It Comes at Night”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Algee Smith, “Detroit”

WINNER: Timothee Chalamet in “Call Me by Your Name”
(Runner-Up: Daniel Kaluuya in “Get Out”)

No other actor this year made more of an impression in several different films that include his masterful work in Luca Guadagnino’s film about first love.  He’s also an integral and memorable part of “Lady Bird” while having a brief but interesting turn in “Hostiles.”


Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
Beanie Feldstein, “Lady Bird”
Sophie Lillis, “It”
Millicent Simmonds, “Wonderstruck”
Daniela Vega, “A Fantastic Woman”

WINNER: Daniela Vega in “A Fantastic Woman”
(Runner-Up: Beanie Feldstein in “Lady Bird”)

Talk about a performer that not only lives her truth but becomes a beacon of inspiration for so many moving forward.  Vega’s subtle yet powerful work in “A Fantastic Woman” has meant so much to so many and will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

Best Animated Feature
“The Boss Baby”
“The Breadwinner”
“Loving Vincent”

WINNER: “Coco” by Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
(Runner-Up: “Loving Vincent”)

It’s as if Pixar knew that the Latino culture would be under siege under a new leadership and vocal hate mongers.  “Coco’s” Latin music infused with a heartwarming and brilliant story is one of the studio’s most inventive and honestly, most appreciated yet.


WINNER: “Un Poco Loco” from “Coco”
(Runner-Up: “The Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name”)

A beautiful and meaningful number that shows the connection of music.  Miguel’s lively take, partnered with his “friend,” invites the audience to cheer, and find the soul of a boy meant to be so much more.

Best Visual Effects
Blade Runner 2049” (John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer)
Spider-Man: Homecoming” (Theodore Bialek, Danny Dimian, Lou Pecora, Janek Sirrs, Doug Spilatro)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan)
Thor: Ragnarok” (Jake Morrison, Chad Wiebe, Kyle McCulloch, Bruce Steinheimer)
War for the Planet of the Apes” (Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist)

WINNER: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” by Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan
(Runner-Up: “Blade Runner 2049” by John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer)

A battle set in space, a battle set on the ground, the creation of animals, characters, all taking place in a galaxy, far, far away.  You can’t enjoy the world unless every team member is on board, doing their part.  Rian Johnson’s direction allowed the visual effects crew to explore a new realm for “Star Wars,” not seen before, and even more beloved.

Best Sound
Dunkirk” (Gregg Landaker, Gary Rizzo, Mark Weingarten, Michael W. Mitchell, Randy Torres)
Get Out” (Jeffree Bloomer, Jonathan Wales, Trevor Gates)
Hostiles” (Paul Urmson, Wyatt Sprague, Lawrence Zipf)
mother!” (Simon Poudrette, Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan, Jill Purdy)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick, Stuart Wilson, Matthew Wood)

WINNER: “mother!” by Simon Poudrette, Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan, Jill Purdy
(Runner-Up: “Hostiles” by Paul Urmson, Wyatt Sprague, Lawrence Zipf)

Something that many won’t talk about but this was a defining year for sound work and in the end, “mother!” embodied scares, silence, and the mixing of a world that is both familiar and terrifying.

Best Documentary Feature
11/8/16”  (Duane Anderson, Don Argott, Yung Chang, Garth Donovan, Petra Epperlein, Vikram Gandhi, Raul Gasteazoro, J. Gonçalves, Andrew Grace, Alma Har’el, Sheena M. Joyce, Daniel Junge, Alison Klayman, Ciara Lacy, Martha Shane, Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Bassam Tariq, Michael Tucker)
City of Ghosts” (Matthew Heineman)
Cries from Syria” (Evgeny Afineevsky)
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond” (Chris Smith)
Strong Island” (Yance Ford)

WINNER: “Cries from Syria” by Evgeny Afineevsky
(Runner-Up: “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond” by Chris Smith)

The evolution of humanity has always seemed to be that we are doomed to destroy ourselves.  Evgeny Afineevsky’s portrait of an unconscionable horror is informative and tragic.  It inspires all of us to be aware and involved.