Editorial: The Best and Worst in Film in 2017

It would be hard for me not to qualify 2017 a successful year for movies, as my top four anticipated films of the year are in fact at the top of my list.  And while much has been made about a down box office, for once, I’m going to be the glass is half full guy.

Sure, we could dwell on all the underperformers such as Transformers: The Last Knight, Cars 3, Alien: Covenant, The Dark Tower, Justice League, The Mummy and many others, but why do that?  Let’s focus on the over performers like Split, The Big Sick, Girls Trip and Get Out.  My word, Get Out.  A worldwide gross of over $254 Million on a production budget of $4.5 Million.  That’s like betting the odds on Jay Cutler to win the MVP, but he actually does it.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.  The box office for Blade Runner 2049 is certainly 2017’s biggest tragedy.  I’m still banking on a lot of technical Oscar awards.  Speaking of Oscars, while the Award friendly movies weren’t as great as they were last year, we still got plenty of gems like The Disaster Artist and Lady Bird.  Is there any chance Logan can get into the mix?  I’m praying for it.

Speaking of Logan, the six superhero movies this year offered very little divisive reaction for a change.  There’s usually at least one where people go to war over, like BvS last year.  Not this time.  Everyone loved Logan, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok.  Sure, you have jackasses like me who crap on the two MCU offerings, but by in large, everyone was satisfied.  Everyone also agreed on Justice League.  It was whatever.  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the only superhero movie that came close to being divisive, but barely.

As we close the door to 2017 in Film, it’s time for me to reflect one last time.  This is it.  It’s my annual Academy of One.  The Daniel Cohen Oscars.

We’ll get into everything.  The Good.  The Bad.  The Baywatch.

It’s time for my lasso of truth – THE BEST AND WORST IN FILM 2017!


Also, just to be safe: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Logan, Split and Blade Runner 2049 all throughout this list.


BEST MOVIE: LOGAN

As much as I loved a lot of my honorable mentions that you’ll see below, quite honestly, it wasn’t even close.  Logan came out in March and held the title all year long.  It never looked back.  While expectations for this movie were high ever since that great teaser was released with the Johnny Cash song, never in a million years did I think a Wolverine movie could be this good.  Nothing will ever beat The Dark Knight as best comic book movie ever, but if someone wanted to argue Logan, I don’t think it’s that crazy.

While many of the best movies of the year hit on a lot of social commentary and important subject matter, Logan is a simple character piece that rips through your soul.  This is a man at the end of his rope.  He doesn’t care anymore.  He’s waiting to die.  As much as he tries to resist it in this movie though, there’s always something there, pushing him to be the hero.

Hugh Jackman is simply a master.  You can tell how important this movie was to him all over his performance.  Pure pain and anguish.  Patrick Stewart is equally as devastating, barely recognizable as the once great Charles Xavier.  At the end of the day though, he’s still the same old Charles, still trying to help Logan, no matter how much of a lost cause he seems to be.

Everything that needs to be said about Logan has been said, but it can’t be said enough.  It’s the emotionally, gripping Wolverine story you’ve been waiting to see since Hugh Jackman took on the role in 2000, but aside from that, it’s just a damn good movie.

The film couldn’t have ended with a more powerful image.  It cements Logan as not only the best movie of 2017, but one of the best movies of the last ten years.

Honorable Mentions:

2. Blade Runner 2049

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

4. Dunkirk

5. The Disaster Artist

6. Split

7. Phantom Thread

8. Lady Bird

9. Get Out

10. I, Tonya


BEST ACTOR: James Franco (The Disaster Artist)

Never in a million years did I think James Franco would be on this list.  While I’ve been “meh” on this guy’s career, Tommy Wiseau was the role he was born to play.  He’s appropriately weird, funny, odd and mysterious.  I’ve said it a hundred times, but the best performances are always when nobody else could have played the role.  Much like Jim Carrey in Man on the Moon, I can’t envision another actor in this part.  Franco also does a great job in the directing chair.

Aside from totally engrossing himself in the role, what cements Franco’s performance is the end of the film when they actually screen The Room.  For ninety minutes, Wiseau was a character, but in that scene, he became truly human, as Franco shows complete vulnerability at the reaction to his screening.  To transition from such emotions on a dime like that earns Franco the winner in this spot.  He won’t win the Oscar, but he sure as hell better be nominated.

Honorable Mentions:

2. James McAvoy (Split)

3. Hugh Jackman (Logan)

4. Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread)

5. Ryan Gosling (Blade Runner 2049)


BEST ACTRESS: Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)

This was a very tough call between Ronan and Margot Robbie.  Ronan gets the edge because she was able to pull something off that other movies like Juno and Ghost World, in my opinion, don’t achieve.  Ronan plays the quirky teenager who actually feels like a real person.

She’s not the cliché “I love the indie rock bands that nobody but me has heard of, and I always have a sarcastic comeback” type teenager we’ve seen a hundred times.  Even though the character wants to go by the name Lady Bird, she felt real.  She can be selfish.  While a very smart character, she can be downright stupid at times.  Whenever Lady Bird did have that sarcastic bite that typically comes with these characters, Ronan was seamlessly organic at it.  It’s an extremely well-crafted performance that is also thoroughly entertaining.

While much of the credit goes to writer/director Greta Gerwig, Ronan took a character trope we’ve seen many times over and finally perfected it.

Honorable Mentions:

2. Margot Robbie (I, Tonya)

3. Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

4. Rooney Mara (A Ghost Story)

5. Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Rockwell gives one of the most layered performances I’ve seen in years.  This is an ugly character who was utterly fascinating to watch.  In the first half hour, Rockwell is just this throwaway, intolerant side character.  He’s truly pathetic.  As the movie goes along though, they develop him to the point where he’s unrecognizable at the end.  While it’s impossible to forgive the character of Dixon due to some of his transgressions, the change in the character is top notch screenwriting.  Rockwell is like a chameleon, beautifully showing turmoil and regret as he changes.

Three Billboards has its problems, but where McDormand and Rockwell end up at the film’s conclusion sums up the movie nicely.

Sam Rockwell has been underrated for years.  This is finally the performance where everyone took notice.

Honorable Mentions:

2. Patrick Stewart (Logan)

3. Idris Elba (Molly’s Game)

4. Mark Hamill (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

5. Dave Franco (The Disaster Artist)


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Dafne Keen (Logan)

In a movie where Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are arguably giving the performances of their careers, in comes Dafne Keen who is right there with them.  She’s fierce, childlike, vulnerable and flat out incredible.

Laura was made to be like Wolverine.  I’ve talked about this scene ad nauseam, but when you watch how she eats corn flakes when the Reavers start coming in, watch the way Keen moves her eyes.  It’s identical to Hugh Jackman from the first X-Men movie when he’s at the bar.  This is just one example where Keen and director James Mangold go that extra mile to make Logan the best movie of 2017.

While she’s scary and tough as nails in all the fighting scenes, it’s those real moments she has with Logan where Keen shows a maturity beyond her years.  When Logan is at his lowest moment, she talks to him about how he wants to die, but she won’t let him.  She’s now taking care of this guy, not the other way around.  There are moments like that all throughout the final half hour.

As awesome as Hugh Jackman is, he wouldn’t have given the performance he did had it not been for how equally good Dafne Keen was.  She enhances his performance, and that’s really saying something.

Honorable Mentions:

2. Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)

3. Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

4. Holly Hunter (The Big Sick)

5. Hong Chau (Downsizing)


BEST DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)

Much like Logan being the Best Movie of 2017 by a decent margin, Nolan is in a league of his own when it comes to directing this year.  As great as Denis Villeneuve and James Mangold were, this category is all Nolan.  I said back in July he will win the Oscar.  In watching Dunkirk again, he needs to win it.

If you’ve seen Dunkirk, there is literally nothing else I can possibly add.  The movie speaks for itself.  The film has a runtime of 106 minutes.  You are nervous for all 106 of those minutes.  As someone who worships the altar of Christopher Nolan, and all those masterfully heavy dialogue scenes he’s crafted over the years, he’s equally impressive at creating compelling characters who barely speak.

While Nolan creates pure tension and unease on land, sea and air, he’s still able to squeeze in a short story psychological drama with Cillian Murphy’s character who stumbles upon one of the civilian boats.

As spectacular and awe-inspiring as everything is, it’s those aerial sequences that is filmmaking in its purest form.  I could watch Tom Hardy take down planes all day.

With the Oscars, my top choice doesn’t need to win.  I just want someone worthy of the award and I’ll be happy.  With Best Director this year, there is only one choice, and he better win.

Honorable Mentions:

2. Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049)

3. James Mangold (Logan)

4. Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

5. Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)


BEST SCREENPLAY: Hampton Fancher/Michael Green (Blade Runner 2049)

Science Fiction is the hardest genre to write, but when it hits, it hits big.  Much like how I gave this award to Arrival last year, I have to do the same again with Blade Runner 2049.  When you get high minded Sci-Fi right, there’s nothing better.  Simply put, this is just a brilliant screenplay.  It’s the type of movie I will watch a hundred times and always find something new.  This screenplay has it all: Layered characters.  Twists and turns.  Emotionally gripping.  Genius sequences galore.  It’s a masterpiece.

While Logan left the strongest impression on me in 2017, Blade Runner 2049 might be the movie I think about for years to come.  To even attempt this sequel was flat out lunacy.  The original Blade Runner is one of the smartest films ever made.  The fact they were able to make a film that some will argue is even better than the original speaks for itself.  And for that, it all begins with this impeccable screenplay.

P.S. Michael Green co-wrote this movie and Logan.  If I were Michael Green, I would just drop the mic and retire after 2017.  Wow.

Honorable Mentions:

2. Scott Frank/James Mangold/Michael Green (Logan)

3. Scott Neustadter/Michael H. Weber (The Disaster Artist)

4. Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)

5. Jordan Peele (Get Out)


THE SCENE OF THE YEAR: Luke Skywalker’s Last Stand (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

Out of all the movie decisions I’ve ever had to make, deciding between this and Logan’s death as my favorite scene of the year was one of the hardest.  I must have changed my mind five or six times.  As emotionally gripping as Logan’s final words were, I had to give it to Luke Skywalker.  Why?  It’s Luke Skywalker.

There are so many reasons as to why this scene is so impactful.  It comes with an exceptional amount of emotional baggage between Luke and Kylo Ren.  The dialogue is incredible.  The reveal that Luke was never there and on Ahch-To all along was one of the greatest movie reveals I’ve seen in a while.

It’s that final moment though that not only cements this as the best scene of 2017, but one of the greatest Star Wars scenes of all time.  To see Luke exert himself into the force, achieving the most powerful act we’ve ever seen a Jedi do, was the ending Luke Skywalker deserved.  We get the John Williams score.  The dual suns.  He disappears as his robes fall to the ground.  It’s perfect.

While Logan’s death was beautiful, this scene wins because of the amount of pressure and expectation that comes with ending the story of Luke Skywalker, the quintessential hero in cinema.

Rey put it best – he went out with peace and purpose.

Honorable Mentions:

2. Logan’s Death/Funeral (Logan)

3. The Room Premiere (The Disaster Artist)

4. Deckard Meets his Daughter/K Dies (Blade Runner 2049)

5. Rooney Mara Eats a Pie (A Ghost Story)


MOST OVERRATED FILM: Thor: Ragnarok

I say this every year, but I really should just call this the Marvel Cinematic Universe award.  I don’t want to beat a dead horse.  You can read my review for Thor here.

Again, I don’t hate this movie.  I get emotional about it because of how overly praised these films get.  The idea that Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming have a higher critical rating than Blade Runner 2049, among many other films this year, just irritates me.

To bring it back to Thor: Ragnarok, I find this film utterly obnoxious.  That’s all I have to say.  Please leave me alone.

Honorable Mentions:

*Note: Please understand when you read these honorable mentions that I don’t think any of these movies are bad.  With the exception of Spider-Man: Homecoming, these movies are actually really good.  When I say overrated, I just don’t think they are “Best Movies of the Year,” which some believe them to be.  That’s all.  Everybody relax.*

2. The Florida Project

3. The Shape of Water

4. Spider-Man: Homecoming

5. Call Me by Your Name


MOST UNDERATTED FILM: Last Flag Flying

This movie just missed out on my top ten of the year, as well as many other categories.  This is a great film, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why it got completely buried.  Richard Linklater is a director with a big following who is extremely well liked.  Add in the stellar cast, and I’m puzzled.  Having said all that, I may know the answer.  The trailer was not good.  Even I said this movie would be f orgettable.  As I’ve talked about ad nauseam though, trailers these days blow bags.

Putting that aside, I urge people to check this out.  It’s an emotionally gripping story, but has that light Linklater touch that puts a smile on your face.  The three leads are outstanding, in particular Bryan Cranston, who just missed out on my Best Supporting Actor list.  Him and Laurence Fishburne have a riveting, contentious back and forth throughout the entire movie, but it’s Steve Carell who is the true emotional core of the film.

The last twenty minutes are particularly effective and had my audience weeping.  It’s a powerful film about fathers, sons and friendship.

Go see it.

Honorable Mentions:

2. American Made

3. Brigsby Bear

4. Mudbound

5. Hostiles


MOST DISAPOINTING FILM: Mother!

There are two options: You either love it or hate it.  That’s it.  Mother! is one of those movies.  Can I be the guy in the middle?  I don’t hate it, but definitely don’t think it’s very good.  It’s easy to understand why this film has an “F” Cinema Score.  If you’ve seen the movie, it’s pretty obvious why.  Having said that, when I read how Mother! is one of the worst films of the year, I can’t go that far.  Yes, it’s a repulsive movie at times, but as pure filmmaking goes, there are factors to admire.  The performances are impressive, in particular Michelle Pfeiffer.  While Jennifer Lawrence is “meh” in the first half hour, she certainly makes her presence known later on.

While I put this in my Most Disappointing category, it sounds like I’m defending the film.  This wins the award though because of how much respect I have for Darren Aronofsky.  I expect better.  Aronofsky is one of those artistic, outside the box directors, but unlike a Terrence Malick, he makes sense.  This was more Malick.  The last act of this movie flat out sucks.  Don’t talk to me about how it’s all misunderstood.  It’s a chaotic mess that’s simply unpleasant to watch.

At the end of the day, this doesn’t change my opinion on Darren Aronofsky.  While I consider this a miss, I’m always going to be curious as to what the guy does next.

Honorable Mentions:

2. Battle of the Sexes

3. Detroit

4. Atomic Blonde

5. The Hitman’s Bodyguard


THE MOST IRRIATING STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI CRITICISM

Every Criticism Involving Luke Skywalker

This one really, really baffles me.  What the hell where you all expecting?  Did you really come into this movie thinking Luke was going to be the ultimate Mentor/Mr. Cheerleader Jedi Knight?  Are you kidding me?  Did you not watch the teaser trailer?

“It’s time for the Jedi to end.”

Of course Luke was going to be bitter and isolated, no longer wanting to be part of the Jedi life.  Even putting the trailers aside, the fact that he ran off to an island to be by himself, as explained in The Force Awakens, should have been your first clue.  This was the Luke Skywalker they’ve been preparing you for all along!

Maybe it’s just me, but don’t people want to be challenged in movies?  Why would I want to watch a boring Luke Skywalker who has all the answers?  What’s compelling about that?  That’s the entire point of the movie.  Luke has to accept failure.  He was never perfect.  That’s what makes the ending so impactful!  Come on!

Honorable Mentions:

2. Leia uses the Force in Space
–Yoda can lift a giant ship out of the swamp with his mind, but Leia using the force to protect herself in outer space.  That’s where we draw the line?  Cut me a break.

3. Rey’s Parents
–Your theory didn’t pan out.  Get over it.

4. Snoke Dies
–Get over it.

5. Benicio Del Toro Sucks in this Movie
–With Benicio Del Toro, we expected the Star Wars character to end all Star Wars characters.  While he wasn’t that, he was perfectly solid in the role.


THE MOVIE “I THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE THE END OF ME, BUT TURNED OUT TO BE OKAY” AWARD: Snatched

I have no choice but to put this as the winner, as I predicted this would be the Worst Movie of 2017.  I gave this movie a positive review.  There’s no going back.  If I watched it again, I’m not sure I would enjoy it as much, but because of expectations that were bottom of the barrel, I probably liked it more than I normally would have.

While Amy Schumer’s comedy can certainly be irritating at times, in an age where the genre is so putrid, I respect how fearless she is.  In a weird way, comedy needs more comedians like her.

Honorable Mentions:

2. Kong: Skull Island

3. The Lego Batman Movie

4. The Great Wall

5. Rough Night


THE BEST MOMENT FROM WONDER WOMAN: No Man’s Land

I incorporated this category just because I felt like Wonder Woman needed to be mentioned in this article by law, and this scene in particular.  The No Man’s Land scene was easily one of the most talked about sequences of the year.  There’s nothing real complicated about it.  It’s simply just a quintessential superhero moment, akin to Superman saving Lois Lane from the helicopter in 1978, or Batman diving through the window of the art museum in 1989.  Classic.

The score is also fantastic here.

Honorable Mentions:

2. “I am…above average.” -Steve Trevor

3. Robin Wright

4. Diana berates the Generals for not wanting to fight

5. Diana eats ice cream


BREAKOUT STAR OF THE YEAR: Jordan Peele/Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)

I felt compelled to give these guys a dual award.  For someone who doesn’t love horror, Get Out was a breath of fresh air.  It’s a horror movie that is reliant on character.  How often do we see that?  Yes, the big bang of Get Out is certainly morbid and clever, but the concept doesn’t work without digging deep into the character of Chris Washington, played by Kaluuya.

For this to be Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is astonishing.  It’s so crisp and perfectly edited, with beautiful music choices.  While it ends a tad abruptly, that’s really the only criticism I can levy at Peele’s direction.  He creates the perfect amount of mystery once Chris enters the home of Armitage.  As we meet certain characters, and observe just how odd they are, you know something is going on, and you desperately want to know what it is.  That speaks to Peele’s great direction.

Let’s also not forget Kaluuya’s subtle performance as Chris.  While it’s downplayed at the beginning, as the movie ramps up, his performance rises with it.  He’s perfectly in sync with the mood, which builds to a crescendo in the climax when his emotions and demons of the past are on full tilt.

There’s no question these guys are the breakout stars of the year, and we’ll all be waiting to see what they do next.

Honorable Mentions:

2. Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver)

3. Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick)

4. Timothee Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name, Lady Bird, Hostiles)

5. Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: Last Jedi)


THE “PLEASE GO AWAY” AWARD: The Alien Franchise (Alien: Covenant)

Ridley Scott is a director I’ve admired for a long time, and I’m glad he got his mojo back with All the Money in the World, which is a damn good movie.  These Alien films though need to stop.  Enough is enough.

Even though I detest Prometheus, I can respect it to some extent, as it was striving for something grand.  Alien: Covenant strives for nothing.  The direction is sloppy.  Everything is telegraphed.  The film simply has an air of boredom around it that puts you into deep sleep, much like its passengers.  By the third act, you just want to go home. You don’t care about anything.

This franchise should have stopped after Aliens.  Those first two movies are classics.  What else can you really do with this franchise?  Nothing.  Stop making them.

Honorable Mentions:

2. An Over Reliance on Music to Tell Your Story
–I understand it’s vital to the characters in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Baby Driver, but enough is enough.  We need a break from this gimmick.  Atomic Blonde is the worst offender at this.  It desperately tries to mask its horrific story with a barrage of 80’s pop songs.  Even with movies that I loved, such as Lady Bird and I, Tonya, the music is a little much.  I’m not saying movies shouldn’t have music, but it’s becoming too much of a trope.

3. Adapting Old TV Shows Nobody Cares About Anymore (CHIPS, Baywatch)
–Oy vey.

4. Bad Doug Liman/Tom Cruise Trailers (American Made)
–When I tell people American Made is a good movie, they look at me like I’m a crazy person.  I don’t blame them.  Those trailers couldn’t have done a more horrendous job of promoting the film.

5. George Clooney Directing Movies (Suburbicon)
–I’m not saying forever, but holy matza, George needs to take a few film classes.  While he does such a good job with Good Night, and Good Luck. and The Ides of March, The Monuments Men and Suburbicon are practically unwatchable.


THE BEST LINE OF THE YEAR: “Don’t be what they made you.” -Logan (Logan)

There are so many lines I could have picked from Logan, but this sums up the character in a neat little package.  Logan’s entire life has been trying not to give into his rage.  When he’s given the adamantium infusion, William Stryker practically feeds that rage.  They wanted to make Wolverine into a mindless killing machine.

To me, this is the best piece of fatherly advice he could have given to his daughter before he dies.  It’s perfect.

Honorable Mentions:

2. “Continuity is in your forehead” -Tommy (The Disaster Artist)

3. “See you around, kid.” -Luke Skywalker (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

4. “You go online, they hated Forest Gump.  The frickin’ best movie ever.” -Terry (The Big Sick)

5. “They’re gazebos!  They’re bullsh*t!”  -Eddie (It)


FUNNIEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR: The Disaster Artist

I go on this rant every year, but a movie that isn’t 100% a comedy ends up being the funniest movie of the year speaks to the state of the genre right now.  While there’s a lot more depth to The Disaster Artist, this movie simply made me laugh the most.  While it has a lot to say, it’s also flat out hilarious at times.

While James Franco gives a layered performance, his comedic prowess is on full display with a seemingly endless barrage of quirks.  Whether it’s the dramatic performance he has with Greg in the middle of a diner, or when he picks up Greg from his mom’s house on their way to Los Angeles, it’s all very funny.

While The Disaster Artist is real, there are shades of This is Spinal Tap to it, which is never a bad thing.

Honorable Mentions:

2. The Big Sick

3. I, Tonya

4. Phantom Thread

5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


BEST SCORE: Hans Zimmer (Dunkirk)

If the job of a score is to execute the mood of your movie, Hans Zimmer’s music for Dunkirk is the text book example of that.  There’s no possible way to do it better.  Much like his Joker theme in The Dark Knight, Zimmer’s score for Dunkirk feels like one long note that lasts the entire movie, but dammit if it isn’t a great note.

Honorable Mentions:

2. Marco Beltrami (Logan)

3. John Williams (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

4. Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread)

5. Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water)


THE BIGGEST DEBACLE OF THE YEAR:  Justice League

Batman.  Superman.  Wonder Woman.  The Flash.  Yet, the movie couldn’t get to $700 Million Worldwide.  That is fail with a capital F.

While fans complain and kvetch about Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the people (like myself) who love those movies will passionately defend them.  They had an impact.  There is no impact with Justice League.  Warner Brothers made the safe, forgettable movie they thought everyone wanted.  What was the end result?  Nobody cared.

You can say what you want about BvS, but if they had made the Justice League movie that was intended all along, there’s a chance it may have gotten a spark from certain segments of film fans, and it could have done better.

Justice League won’t be a movie that will be debated for years to come.  We’ve already forgotten it.


THE COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD M. Night Shyamalan (Split)

Talk about a director who has risen from the ashes.  The days of snickering when M. Night’s name pops up in a trailer are long gone.  While the Shyamalan had a mini comeback with The Visit, Split was truly his return to mainstream form.  On a budget of $9 Million, Split cracked over $275 Million Worldwide.  Aside from that, Split is one of the best movies of 2017.  And to add the ultimate cherry on top, it turns out Split was a bridge to the sequel we’ve been waiting for since 2000.

M. Night went from joke to helming one of the most anticipated movies of 2019 with Glass.  The kid gloves are off now.  The low expectations are in the past.  In 2019, there will be actual expectations for an M. Night Shyamalan movie.  I’m confident the man will deliver.


BEST TRAILER FOR A 2018 FILM: Isle of Dogs

Not only will this be the best movie of 2018, but Wes Anderson will win his first Oscar for Best Animated Film.  Lock it down.  Also, that voice cast is the movie equivalent of combining the rosters from the New England Patriots, Golden State Warriors and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Honorable Mentions:

2. Deadpool 2

3. Black Panther

4. Alita: Battle Angel

5. Sicario 2: Soldado


THE WORST MOVIE OF 2017: Baywatch 

I put the caveat out every year that it’s hard to see all the bad movies in a given year, and I will freely admit I avoided more crap than usual in 2017.  That’s why I don’t think it’s fair for me to do honorable mentions.  Please keep in mind I haven’t seen the following films:

The Emoji MovieTransformers: The Last Knight9/11Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No TalesKing Arthur: Legend of the SwordThe MummyBrightFifty Shades DarkerThe Dark TowerFlatlinersGeostorm.

Despite all that, I’m not going to feel guilty about proclaiming Baywatch as the Worst Movie of 2017.  Certainly any of those films could be worse, but at the end of the day, Baywatch commits the worst sin of all.  It contributes to the biggest problem we have in cinema today:

Comedies suck.

I’m not going to get on a diatribe of why Baywatch blows bags.  You can read my review right here for that.

If there’s one thing I want more than anything in 2018 in film, it’s not for Aquaman to be awesome.  It’s not for me to love all the MCU films for a change.  It’s not for me to be surprisingly impressed by Ready Player One.  It’s not even for Disney to cancel the Han Solo movie.

Sure, I very much want all those to come true, but there’s one wish that stands above all that:

I want great comedies again.  Comedy is a dying genre.  We need great comedies.

Please, 2018.  Please.  I want to laugh again.

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.

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