The best movies of 2017 (so far)

We’re well over halfway through the year now which means it’s time to start talking (see: arguing) about the best movies of 2017. We might have some big new releases to come (Justice League and Star Wars 8 to name but a few), but we’ve already had some pretty amazing movies this year too. 

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From Logan to Wonder Woman, the superhero genre has been given new life, then there’s the surprising successes, such as Life and Baby Driver, not to mention the horror hits like Get Out and the It movie. Whatever you’re into, these are the movies you shouldn't have missed in the cinema and if you did, you should definitely watch before the end of the year. Read on for our definitive list of the best movies of 2017 so far (in order of release starting with the most recent) and make sure you check back throughout the year because we’ll be updating as and when new films are released. 

Want the most anticipated upcoming movies of 2017? Here you go!

Thor: Ragnarok

Prepare for the Asgardian beefcake to be your new favorite superhero. Marvel took a risk when it decided to go all in on the comedy for Thor: Ragnarok, but it paid off, rocketing Thor, Loki, Valkyrie, and the Hulk to the top of the Marvel power rankings. Cate Blanchett is clearly enjoying herself as uber-emo antagonist Hela who turns up to give Asgard a serious ass-kicking, and Tessa Thompson turns what could have been a severe case of sidekick into a starring role. Special honors also go to Jeff Goldblum, who was clearly born to play the capricious, game-obsessed Grandmaster who traps Thor and Hulk on the planet Sakaar. Much of the movie's success is down to director Taika Waititi who knows just how to make mischief with the Marvel canon without ever straying into snarkiness. Thor: Ragnarok embraces the ridiculous and invites fans to be in on the joke, rather than making them the butt of it. Rachel Weber

Read more: 5 questions I have after watching Thor: Ragnarok

Blade Runner 2049 

As the 35-year delayed sequel to one of the most distinctive and beloved films ever made, Blade Runner 2049 had no right to be this good. But Denis Villeneuve’s masterful follow-up doesn’t concern itself with the pressure. It simply focuses on delivering a continuation that understands, respects, and – crucially – feeds into the tone, philosophy, and aesthetic that made Ridley Scott’s original so damn important. No mere emulation or hollow tribute, 2049 is a film of belligerent bravery and intelligence, defined by an abject refusal to bow to commercial trends or modern fads. Using Blade Runner’s legacy to its advantage rather than breaking under its weight, the movie flexes its authority throughout. It’s not so much a sequel, more the second part of Blade Runner that you never knew was missing. David Houghton

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It

Troubled production be damned, the It movie almost single-handedly stole the summer this year, by managing to both delight and dismay swathes of audiences all at once. That's mainly thanks to the return of Pennywise, one of Stephen King's greatest horror icons, and Bill Skarsgård's skin-crawling performance as the child-eating clown has to be seen to be believed. As terrifying as he is, though, director Andy Muschietti never leans too heavily on the character for generating all of the film's biggest scares, so that when he does show up, we're left as flurried and afraid as his on-screen victims. Beyond the scares and screams, It's lasting appeal stems from the fact that, even once you remove its horror elements, you're still left with a fresh, charming, and downright hilarious coming of age movie, steeped in the Amblin-esque atmosphere of the 1980s. This is what makes It not just a great horror movie, but one of the best movies of 2017, period. Alex Avard

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

Ever since we got a glimpse of the MCU’s version of Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, we’ve been desperate for more, and this year saw our dreams come true with his solo outing, Spider-Man: Homecoming. To say it was well worth the wait is an understatement. Tom Holland expertly jumps between believable teenager and Avengers wannabe, with a Spidey suit like we’ve never seen before on the big screen, and a high school storyline just as engaging as its action sequences. Michael Keaton’s Vulture is one the best MCU baddies we’ve ever had and Tony Stark/Iron Man’s role is integral without being too overbearing. Homecoming somehow manages to include all the best things about a superhero origin movie, without actually being an origin movie, and although it couldn't exist outside the MCU, it manages to retain its independence too. Easily one of the best movies of the year… or ever! Lauren O’Callaghan

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Baby Driver

If you thought you didn’t need another car chase movie in your life, Baby Driver will prove you wrong. From director Edgar Wright - who made the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost - comes this superbly slick and fun-filled movie about Baby; a getaway driver who loves music more than most. Having suffered an accident as a child he has tinnitus in his ears and almost constantly listens to music to drown out the ringing and help him focus. He’s also one badass driver. Eagerly awaiting the day until he’s paid off his debt to Kevin Spacey’s Doc, he meets waitress Deborah (played by Lily James) and decides to call it quits. Of course, it’s never that simple but what really makes this movie special is Ansel Elgort’s performance as the quiet but charismatic Baby, and the way the soundtrack is blended into every moment. Lauren O’Callaghan

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Wonder Woman

No one could have predicted this. At time of writing, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman has broken the $700 million barrier at the box office and is now one of the top 100 highest grossing movies ever to be released. The reason why? Because it’s brilliant. It’s not rocket science. Performance-wise, Gal Gadot is spectacular as the Amazon herself, deftly giving a true hero a very human heart while at the same time delivering jaw dropping and rousingly emotional action sequences. You can’t say you felt nothing when Diana climbed that ladder to no man’s land - oh you liar, you. Gloriously sincere, funny, and genuinely heartfelt, Wonder Woman is the true star of the DCEU. Who needs Justice League when we can just wait for a sequel to this? Louise Blain

Read more: 8 questions I have after watching Wonder Woman

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

This movie was never going to be anything but great. While the original set the bar ludicrously high, the sequel does top it in most respects - the action is bigger, the cast more star-studded, and the jokes slightly funnier. While it was never going to be the surprise success its predecessor was, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 delivered exactly what fans demanded of a sequel. Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord is still a genuine matinee star pressed from the Indiana Jones mold, and the introduction of Kurt Russell as his ambitious father / living god only gives him extra depth and substance. The supporting cast continues to provide wonderful friction throughout, and the bombast is joyously Marvel-high. Go watch it for 2+ hours of pure, light-hearted sci-fi entertainment, and an ace cameo from a CG duck. Andy Hartup

Read more: 9 questions I have after watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Logan

While Wolverine has been a much loved character ever since Hugh Jackman took up the mantle of the stubborn superhero in 2000’s X-Men, his solo films have missed the mark time and time again. All that changed this year however with the release of James Mangold’s Logan. Loosely based on the Old Man Logan comic book storyline, it seems Wolverine finally finds his place as an aging hero in a post-apocalyptic world without the X-Men. Who knew? Jackman and Patrick Stewart (as a very old and unwell Charles Xavier) turn in the best performances of their characters we’ve ever seen, and are joined by impressive newcomer Dafne Keen as Laura/X-23. Gritty, poignant, and cinematically beautiful, it’s more of a western than a superhero movie but that’s part of why it works so well. Lauren O’Callaghan

Read more: 5 questions I have after watching Logan

Life

In a world full of sequels, reboots, and massive movie universes, Life is a welcome breath of fresh air. A horror movie masquerading as a sci-fi, it’s part Gravity, part Alien, and director Daniel Espinosa took influences from both to create a familiar yet original film. Although the alien-hunts-spacemen narrative is one we’ve all seen before, Life is a good reminder that sometimes the simplest storylines work the best, and unlike Alien: Covenant, it’s actually scary at times. Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and the rest of the cast turn in effortless performances and the special effects enhance the threat of the alien to suitable proportions. While the ending is predictable, the 90 mins of thriller beforehand more than make up for it. Blood, sweat, and scares... Life has it all. Lauren O’Callaghan

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John Wick: Chapter 2

The inherent problem with making a sequel to John Wick is that it’s a goddamn perfect action movie. It’s tight, economical, and paced with ruthless efficiency. So John Wick: Chapter 2 doesn’t even try to beat it. It respects the precision of its original foundation, preserving its finesse, while exploring the bigger ideas around it. And it does so with the same witty craftsmanship with which it does everything else. Travelling out into the intriguingly strange (but strangely reasonable) assassin society around John in order to push him into a wider, higher-stakes story, John Wick 2 fleshes out both mythology and action with equal creativity and discipline. The result is a sequel that doesn’t dilute or bloat its precursor’s vitality, but rather concentrates it into something even more potent. Dave Houghton

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Get Out

It’s official. More comedy directors should make horror movies. Perfectly walking the precarious tightrope between genuine horror and laugh out loud moments, Jordan Peele, one half of comedy writing duo Key and Peele, has crafted a deeply satirical but ultra tense modern horror movie. Visiting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time, Chris expects a certain degree of accidental racism but what he finds is something quite different. The razor sharp script of searingly awkward social commentary is exceptional but Peele effortlessly wraps it around a genuinely tense and true horror movie. Once again proving that the issues of the day are perfect fodder for the darker side of cinema, Get Out is a seat clenching must watch that’ll have you giggling even when you feel like you definitely shouldn’t. Louise Blain

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The Lego Batman Movie

“No, I don’t want to do that. NO. NO. NO.” 2017’s unlikely to serve up a funnier, or more insightful, 20 seconds than Batman – in a smoking jacket and cowl – shuffling across Wayne Manor like a grown baby, at being asked to attend his oldest ally, Jim Gordon’s retirement party. Physically, it’s hilarious, but exposes the tension that drives Batman’s 13th movie outing. Yeah, Bruce Wayne’s tortured, the Joker is his star-crossed lover, yadda, yadda… but The Lego Batman Movie skewers both these concepts, while embracing them, to reveal The Dark Knight’s greatest foe: his own outrageous narcissism. Man-baby morality aside, the opening 30 minutes deliver the most delirious, gut-tightening, action this side of RockSteady’s Batman video games, fetishising his strategic mastery and combat skills to a level where it’s all you can do *not* to shout “I AM BATMAN!” and flex some shapes. Unsurprisingly, the movie never quite reaches those heights again, but crackles with more energy, invention, and one-liners than the master detective can stuff into a utility belt. Dan Dawkins

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