Top 5 Favorite Movies of the Year (So Far)- With a Special Guest Writer

The following article is the transcript of a previously recorded exchange between main writer Nate and special guest writer Rob, as they talk about their top five favorite movies of 2017 so far. This was recorded on Sunday, July 16th. Therefore, films like Dunkirk or The Big Sick were not taken into consideration yet. 

Nate: Hello, and welcome to "The Movie Paradise". I am Nate, the chief writer here on this website, and this is our top five favorite movies of the year, so far. It is only July, but we figured this was a good point in the year to see what we're looking at for movies. I'm joined today by our special guest writer, Rob.
Rob: Hey, what's up?
Nate: So we're not into the Oscar season yet. We're midway through the summer. We've had some of the big blockbusters. We've had some really good smaller films. A lot of great movies, so far. And some not so good movies, but this is our top favorite movies of the year so far. How it's going to work is that we'll each do two honorable mentions. Then I'll do my #5-2, you'll do you're #5-2, and then we'll both say our favorite movie of the year so far is. And I have a feeling it may be the same movie. But we'll figure that out later. 

Nate's Honorable Mentions:

Nate: I have two honorable mentions. One them you haven't seen yet, is Atomic Blonde. I got to go to an advanced screening for Atomic Blonde; I was really lucky to be able to go to that. And it's a great movie. It could've been just a stereotypical action film, like one of the later Taken movies, or any other Liam Neeson action movie. Where it's just kind of subpar. But what really makes this one stand out is just how well shot it is, how well directed it is, the editing, the coloring... everything on the technical level makes this stand out to be something more than just a stereotypical action movie. The performances are great as well. If you're watching this to see if David Leitch is going to do a good job with directing Deadpool 2... I have no worries now. So Atomic Blonde is one of my honorable mentions. [Read our review for Atomic Blonde here]

Nate: And my other honorable mention is Split. I really liked this movie a lot. M. Night Shyamalan has kind of disappointed me with most of his movies as of late. But with Split, he's really back on his A-game. And I'm not going to spoil what the twist is, but it's a fantastic twist! It really makes the movie... it's probably my second favorite Shyamalan twist, with The Sixth Sense being the first. [Read our review for Split here]
Rob: I see dead people!
Nate: So those are my honorable mentions. Rob, what are your honorable mentions?

Rob's Honorable Mentions:

Rob: One of my honorable mentions is also Split.
Nate: Oh yeah?
Rob: Yeah, well, I mean it was in my top five. But as the year went on, more and more great movies came out. What surprised me the most was that it was a January movie that was awesome, which is strange since we usually get a lot of crap in January. 
Nate: Yeah, that was the most surprising thing about it, honestly. 
Rob: And I think what made this movie was James McAvoy's performance. As of right now, I think he should be nominated [for an Academy Award]. I thought he was just awesome! 
Nate: Yeah, I don't think he will be nominated. But he definitely gave an Oscar-worthy performance. Or performances, rather.
Rob: Was he good in Atomic Blonde too?
Nate: Yeah, he was. I wouldn't say it was Oscar worthy, but he was really good in that movie. He stood out as one of the best parts of that movie. 

Rob: And my other honorable mention is a little movie that I don't think a lot people saw, but Colossal, with Anne Hathaway. The reason this stood out to me because there was... it wasn't really a twist but more of a reveal, towards the middle, that shocked me so much, that I just didn't see coming, that... I don't know. I ended up really loving the movie, and it just got better and better from there. I thought it was a very funny and clever movie, and the visual effects on the monsters looked pretty good. The story was solid, and Anne Hathaway gave a pretty powerful performance. 
Nate: Good. So I'll do my #5-2, then you'll do your #5-2, and then we'll get into the #1s. 

Nate's #5-2

#5 Wonder Woman

Nate: My number five is Wonder Woman. I know for Rob, you have a little different opinion on the DC Cinematic Universe than I do. But I really liked Man of Steel a lot, was disappointed by Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and hated Suicide Squad. So, going into Wonder Woman, I was a little apprehensive. I thought the trailers were great, but I thought the trailers also looked great for Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad, and those films didn't live up to my expectations. So, Wonder Woman, I was a little nervous as to what was going to happen, and it's a great movie! Gal Gadot... if you were nervous about her as an actress, those worries dissipate. She carries the film, and she gives a very good performance, one that I didn't think she was capable of. And I was a critic of her [as an actress] up until I saw this movie, and she was great. But the best part of this movie is Patty Jenkins. She directs the sh*t out of it. She does such a great job in bringing that action elements with the story elements, and bringing that great performance out Gal Gadot. It's a really well-rounded movie, and I was just very pleasantly surprised by it. [Read our review for Wonder Woman here]

#4 Get Out

Nate: My number four is Get Out. When I heard that Jordan Peele, the comedy guy from Key & Peele, was doing a horror movie, I had to kind of do a double take on it. I was like "Really? Jordan Peele is doing a horror movie?" But then it got 100% for the longest point on Rotten Tomatoes, and then I think it went down to 99%, because of one asshole. 
Rob: F*cking trolls.
Nate: [Laughs] But Get Out was so good, because Jordan Peele was able to... the budget was only $3.5 million dollars, and he was able to do so much with it. He nailed the horror elements, and then simultaneously there's a lot of great comedy in there. But it never felt forced or contrived. It went perfectly with the horror. You have great performances all across the board, a very original idea, and a ton of racial and social undertones in it that never felt preachy, but came across in such an organic way. You have all of these elements working together simultaneously, where it could've just been a complete mess, but it all works together perfectly. It's a real testament to how talented Jordan Peele is as a director, and this is his directorial debut. So I was really taken back by it. I know you loved the movie, and for a while it was your number one. 
Rob: It was till Logan, and then something else came after that.
Nate: Yeah, so I'm sure you'll be talking about it in a couple minutes though, right?
Rob: I will be. 
Nate: Okay, so we'll get back to that in a little bit. [Read our review for Get Out here]

#3 Logan

Nate: My number three is Logan. For a while, Logan was my number one, until a couple other movies got thrown in there. So much has been said about Logan now that I don't think I can really add anything different to it. Just... Hugh Jackman, I think, gives the best performance of his career in this movie. Not just as Wolverine, but the best performance he's ever given. He's fantastic in this movie. Patrick Stewart, phenomenal. Dafne Keen, excellent. The movie itself... I talked about how well directed Wonder Woman is. James Mangold did an excellent job directing this movie, and this film was really a risk. We talk about how much of a risk Deadpool was, I think this movie was equally as much of a risk. Not just because of the R rating, but also the type of story it was. How it's a noir western kind of movie that is just very different from any other kind of comic book movie that we would get today. It was just so different, and it excelled. It exceeded expectations, and it was just a fantastic movie. I saw it a second time when it came out with the black and white version, and the black and white really does enhance the movie, making it a richer experience. Did you see it in black and white?
Rob: Yeah, when it came out on Blu-Ray.
Nate: Did you think it was better in black and white, or did you like it more in color?
Rob: I liked it, but I'm glad I saw it in color, because that's the version to watch.
Nate: I'm glad I saw it first in color. If I had seen it only in black and white... because it has very rich color grading in the original theatrical cut of it, so I'm glad I saw it first in color and then in black and white. If I were to see it a third time, I don't know honestly which one I would watch. I'd have to see what I was in the mood for. So, anyways, Logan is my number three. [Read our review for Logan here]

#2 Spider-Man: Homecoming

Nate: My number two, and I know a lot of people would not put this above Logan, is Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Rob: [Gasps]
Nate: I loved that movie, and this is coming from a person who has been a Spider-Man fan since they were four years old. He's my favorite comic book character of all time, and I grew up reading the comics, watching all the shows, watching all the movies. So he has a very special place for me, and I think they nailed the character in this movie, just in terms of how they adapted him. Doing the high school element of him. Doing the comedic element of him. But also nailing the duality of the character, and am I the high school kid or am I a superhero? I thought was so well done, and so excellently infused into it was the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, where it never felt like they were forcing it on you, or doing it too much. They did it so it felt organic and natural, and then let Spider-Man play itself out within that world. I thought Michael Keaton was one of the best MCU villains. He was just fantastic as the Vulture, and what they did with the character was great. Tom Holland is now my favorite Peter Parker/Spider-Man. I just loved this movie, had such a good time with it. I'd say it's the second funniest Marvel movie to date, behind the first Guardians of the Galaxy
Rob: I agree.
Nate: It's such a great time at the movies, and it's such a great Spider-Man film. I had a great time with it. So that's my number two. [Read our review for Spider-Man: Homecoming here]

Nate: We'll flip it over to Rob now, for his #5-2. Take it away. 

Rob's #5-2

#5 Sleight

Rob: Alright, number five is a very small film that I don't think a lot of people say, but I think everyone should go see it, and it's Sleight. It stars Jacob Latimore as a street magician, but there's some secrets in the movie that I won't reveal about how he got those powers. I thought, for a small movie with a small budget, Jacob Latimore basically took the movie on his shoulders. I thought it was a great time at the movies, and it really kind of blended superhero with crime, sort of. I thought this honestly could be a superhero franchise, but we'll probably never get that. But I absolutely loved it. I found it to be incredibly refreshing, and different from your normal superhero movie.
Nate: So was it kind of like a Chronicle kind of superhero movie? In terms of how they take the ideas but go in different directions?
Rob: Yeah, that's a perfect example of it.
Nate: Okay. 

#4 Spider-Man: Homecoming

Rob: And my number four is one you talked about, and that's Spider-Man: Homecoming. Marvel always gives us good movies, but the last couple, Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, I thought they were good movies, but they weren't something I was raving about. So, going into Spider-Man, I thought it should be good or whatever, but after leaving it I wanted to see it right again because, like you, I thought it was one of the funnier Marvel movies. I thought Tom Holland played Spider-Man perfectly, and I thought Michael Keaton was the best Marvel villain we've gotten in a while, because, frankly, a lot of them suck. He was a villain you could actually care about, and say "Wow, he was good". 
Nate: Yeah.
Rob: So that took my number four. 

#3 Get Out

Rob: My number three is another one you talked about, Get Out. Ever since I saw the first trailer, I've been super excited to see this. I'm a big fan of horror movies, and I was not disappointed. It was my number one for a while, and until two others surpassed it. But yeah, I thought, for a movie that came out in February and had a smaller budget... all the performances were fantastic. Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams and Bradley Whitford, I thought they were all great. I can't wait to see what Jordan Peele does next, because I know he has a new horror/suspense thriller coming out.
Nate: 2019, I think.
Rob: Yeah, something like that. So that should be good. 

#2 Logan

Rob: And my number two is another movie you spoke about, and that's Logan. In my opinion, I think this is the best comic book movie to come out this year, mainly because it felt like the most realistic comic book movie this year. It doesn't really feel like a comic book movie; it feels more like a Western, or like just an old film that's basically somebody's swan song, their last hurrah. And I thought they did a great job with it. I loved Dafne Keen, and I loved Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. I thought they were all great. Yeah, so that's my number two. 
Nate: Alright, and I'm pretty sure we have the same number one of the year so far.
Rob: Yeah, we do. 

#1 Baby Driver (Nate and Rob)

Nate: It's Baby Driver. We got to see it about a week early, we both went to an advanced screening of it. And, just to speak for myself, I was just blown away. Leading up to this, just to give a little background context, before I saw Baby Driver, I had seen a lot of movies that came out that I found personally to be underwhelming. I had not had an experience at the movies in a while where I came out saying "Wow, that was a fantastic film!" So when I went into Baby Driver, I had heard all the buzz about it, but a little part of me was thinking "What if I don't love this movie?" That would just crush me, because I needed a movie that I just loved, and luckily, Baby Driver was that movie. I came out of that movie just ecstatic. Both of us were just walking down the street after seeing it, just quoting the movie, thrilled, and just freaking out about how great that movie was. It's an adrenaline ride! What's so great about it is that it feels like a giant blockbuster movie, but just within the body of this small, kind of more independent film. All the performances are fantastic. The soundtrack is great. The action sequences... Edgar Wright does an incredible job directing this movie. What're your thoughts on Baby Driver?
Rob: My expectations were already through the roof, since I'm such a big Edgar Wright fan based off of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Shaun of the Dead. What ended happening was that he met my expectations, and took it even higher than that! I thought this movie was an absolute blast. I ended up seeing it three times in the theaters. 
Nate: You lucky son of a bitch!
Rob: It's my favorite movie this year, and it's going to be hard to top. I honestly just loved it. The performances are great... Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey...
Nate: Jamie Foxx! I think he gave, not just the best performance of the movie, but I think the best performance he's ever given, and he's won Oscars!
Rob: Have you ever seen the movie Ray?
Nate: No, I haven't though, so that's the one exception.
Rob: You have to see that. But other than that, you may be right, though. And Edgar Wright definitely is almost be in my top three directors of all time now. I can't wait to see his next movie. If he knocks that one out of the park, he might honestly be my favorite director. 
Nate: Really?
Rob: Yeah, cause I love Scott Pilgrim. I love Shaun of the Dead. I love Hot Fuzz. I love Baby Driver now. I need to see The World's End
Nate: Yeah, but Baby Driver is just a fantastic film. I feel like, later on this year, some Oscar movie is going to sneak in there and dethrone it, but it's definitely going to be in my top five [by the end of the year], and will probably be in my top three, or something like that.
Rob: Yeah, I agree with that. [Read our review for Baby Driver here]

Nate: Alright, well that's our top five of the year so far. Come back and make sure to check out our worst three, which we'll have up a little bit later. I'd like to thank my guest writer, Rob, for joining us today.
Rob: No problem.
Nate: Okay, take care everyone. 

What do you think? Do you agree with our picks? What are you favorite movies of the year so far? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Written by: Nate and Rob
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