The best movies of 2017 - from Logan to Star Wars: The Last Jedi

10. Thor: Ragnarok

What is it? Thor's third (and best) solo outing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe finds the Avenger a long way from Asgard, stripped of his legendary hammer and fighting for his life as an imprisoned gladiator on the colorful, scrap-covered planet of Sakaar.  

Why should you watch it? Ever since the first Iron Man, the MCU films have been known for their ample use of wise-cracking levity to lighten up all the world-saving heroics. But Thor: Ragnarok goes for broke with the jokes, making it the funniest and most wonderfully weird movie in the franchise. Half mystical hero's journey and half neon cyberpunk adventure, Ragnarok's goofy, fun-filled tone is made possible thanks to director Taika Waititi and his knack for drawing out the silliness in even the most casual conversations. When the film isn't making you laugh, it's serving up an entrancingly explosive set-piece or fight scene, with Cate Blanchett stealing the show whenever she's on screen as the seething, blade-summoning Hela. Along with Chris Hemsworth's lovable machismo as Thor, the supporting cast is packed with great debuts and cameos, with Tessa Thompson as the conflicted Valkyrie and Mark Ruffalo as a discombobulated Bruce Banner perfectly complementing Thor's heroic shenanigans. And if you're at all partial to the comedic stylings of Jeff Goldblum, his turn as the flamboyantly narcissistic Grandmaster is simply magnificent. Lucas Sullivan 

9. Okja

(Image: © Netflix)

What is it? A Netflix original film about a giant pig and a little girl, who get caught in the crossfire between the meat trade, greed, ethics, and animal activism. 

Why should you watch it? If there’s ever been a movie that will make you feel bad for eating sausages, it’s Okja. Written by the author Jon Ronson - a vegetarian with a dark sense of humour - and directed by Snowpiercer’s Bong Joon-ho, it’s a goofy concept for a anti-meat satire that packs some serious emotional punch courtesy of the adorable giant pig, Okja. Thanks to the fact it’s been bred purely for meat, young girl Mija has to go find her stolen pet after it’s taken by a multinational food company, fronted by Tilda Swinton who plays her eccentric character brilliantly. In fact, the only thing that lets Okja down is Jake Gyllenhaal’s overplayed TV animal show presenter character, Mr Johnny, who’ll make you cringe more than crack up. Expect twists, turns, jabs to the emotions, and to really, really not want a hot dog after watching. Sam Loveridge

8. It

What is it? The first of a two part adaptation of Stephen King’s horrifying tome that pits a group of children against a monstrous shape-shifting entity. Yes, one of those shapes is a clown.

Why should you watch it? If you’re a sufferer of coulrophobia - aka a crippling fear of clowns - it’s probably because you were subjected to the hokey Tim Curry It adaptation at a far too young age. Well, Andy Muschietti’s It certainly won’t fix that but it will give you a better calibre of things to be mortally afraid of. While it does deliver some beautifully executed theatrical scares, the heart of this horror is in its heroes. The self-titled ‘Losers Club’ are a perfect motley crew with genuine charm and wit, with Sophia Lillis as Beverley Marsh a  particular stand out performance. A skin-crawling turn from Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the Clown seals the terrifying deal, making 2017 an unmissable year for horror with brains as well as truly squirm-inducing scares. Bring on Chapter 2. Louise Blain

7. John Wick: Chapter 2

What is it? A sequel to the 2014 cult hit starring Keanu Reeves as an unstoppable hitman with a penchant for killing anyone who dares raise a gun at him in anger. This time, it’s personal. Again.

Why should you watch it? Gone are the pacing issues that dogged (sorry) the original, John Wick: Chapter 2 ups the ante by going globetrotting in what is essentially a Bourne film with actually good gunfights, as well as being home to one of the greatest shootout set-pieces in cinema history. Sure, it’s ridiculously silly in places but the sequel manages to tease out just enough of its lore and mythology to keep those here for the story (seriously, anyone?) satiated whilst the rest of us can hook the kill-a-minute – and then some - chaos into our veins. The original John Wick is made to feel relatively restrained and intimate by comparison, which is some feat. Barely a scene goes by where your jaw isn’t hitting the floor because of a ludicrously brutal kill or pulsating chase across locales ranging from Rome to a hall of mirrors (The Man With the Golden Gun, eat your heart out). And don’t worry, no animals bit the bullet in the making of this film. Plenty of generic gangsters, though. Bradley Russell

6. Spider-Man: Homecoming

What is it? The short answer: the third cinematic version of Marvel's most iconic character in 15 years. The longer answer: a not-quite origin story that shows a young Peter Parker just coming into his own as a hero and facing down a dangerous thief called The Vulture.

Why should you watch it? Aside from the fact that it's Spidey's biggest role in the ever-expanding MCU? For starters, Tom Holland nails both the vulnerable, shy nerd persona of Peter Parker as well as the quick and quippy Spider-Man alter ego. He's believable and wears a heart of gold on his sleeve. This version of Parker may be more naive than his predecessors, but he's still every bit a hero, and you can't help but cheer him on. Michael Keaton meanwhile gives the MCU its most nuanced and sympathetic villain with his portrayal of The Vulture, and the movie in general is filled with equal parts drama, laughs, and excitement. Everyone knows that Spider-Man is Marvel's biggest hero; Spider-Man: Homecoming will remind you why. Sam Prell

5. Get Out

What is it? Probably 2017’s most talked about horror movie, Get Out deals with the seriously dark side of meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time.

Why should you watch it? Don’t dismiss Get Out as a dark version of Meet the Parents. It’s much, much more than that. It’s a film that tackles a huge variety of uncomfortable social situations with insightful commentary, playful freakiness and in a way that will regularly make you squirm. At face value, it’s a black guy meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time, but from the moment they say hello, it’s clear there’s something beyond racism going on here. Jordan Peele masterfully threads together enough tension and suspense to keep you guessing at what’s really going on until the closing moments, complete with the occasional jovial quip thrown in for good measure. It’s demented, great fun, and will definitely make you think. Intellectual horror at its finest. Sam Loveridge

4. Blade Runner 2049

What is it? A sequel 35 years in the making, following the android replicant K as he questions his programmed identity and seeks out the legendary blade runner Rick Deckard for answers.

Why should you watch it? Masterful director Denis Villeneuve has crafted a beautiful continuation of Ridley Scott's original vision of urban dystopia, somehow managing to pull off a sequel to a seminal movie that influenced entire generations of sci-fi cinema. From sweeping shots of a perpetual smog-blanketed nightscape in the densely populated metropolis of LA, to the choking orange haze of an irradiated Las Vegas, Blade Runner 2049 is full of breathtaking sights backed by a booming score and stirring roars of machinery. K's journey doesn't rehash Deckard's exploits - it's a smart continuation that balances characters new and old while leaving just enough ambiguity to keep you theorizing long after the credits roll. Every performance is top-notch, every close-up captivating, and every line of dialogue carefully delivered with the appropriate gravitas. In the midst of all the neo-noir mystery, 2049 even manages to tell a somber love story that's far more moving than the abrupt coupling in the original Blade Runner. All that worry over the possibility of a subpar sequel was for naught: Blade Runner 2049 is a fitting follow-up to one of the most legendary movies ever made. Lucas Sullivan

3. Wonder Woman

What is it? The best DC movie there is. After an American pilot washes up on the shores of Diana’s home, Themyscira, she travels back with him to try and stop WW1. 

Why should you watch it? Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman is invigorating. It’s empowering. It’s also a goddamn excellent superhero movie with enough heart to keep the hairs standing up on your shoulders days after seeing it. Unlike recent superhero movies (looking at you, Justice League), Diana isn’t a lazily gritty reimagining of Wonder Woman. Pushed onwards by the earnest belief that humanity can be saved, she genuinely believes that the war can be stopped if humanity is given a helping hand. The movie isn’t all action sequences either. It deals remarkably sensitively with refugees as they’re seen through Diana’s sheltered eyes, and the scene in No Man’s Land is simply astonishing. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is one of the first superheroes that doesn’t rely on wisecracks or slo-mo action sequences to wow the audience, and it’s quite possibly the best superhero movie to exist for years. Zoe Delahunty-Light

2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

What is it? The latest Star Wars movie, directed by Rian Johnson, which continues the story of the Resistance’s struggle against the First Order, and the ongoing saga of Luke Skywalker. To say anything else is a spoiler.

Why should you watch it? Because it’s one of the best Star Wars movies ever made, borrowing the best bits from much loved prior movies (mainly The Empire Strikes Back, Rogue One, and Return of the Jedi), adding a bunch of genuinely fresh ideas, and remixing them in a film that feels thoroughly modern. This is what a Star Wars movie in 2017 should be. It does a decent job of blending older characters and plots, providing sufficient fan service, while adding some plot twists and new heroes/villains that very often steal the show. It’s actually funny, genuinely thrilling in parts, and it looks spectacular. Even characters who were merely ok in The Force Awakens get a new lease of life in The Last Jedi, especially Kylo Ren and Leia Organa herself. There are a handful of neat cameos, a few cute new races, and sprinklings of Star Wars magic that makes the movie appeal across generations. It’s essential. Andy Hartup 

1. Logan

What is it? Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine is set in a near-apocalyptic future where the X-Men are gone, Professor X has dementia, and he’s finally started aging. 

Why should you watch it? This is a Wolverine movie like no other. Hell, this is an X-Men movie like no other. If, like me, you’ve been disappointed by Wolverine’s solo films before, hold onto your hats, because you’re about to be blown away by Logan. It feels like the character has just been waiting to age a bit and break loose of his X-Men comic book origins to star in his very own gritty western about pain and loss. Light-hearted and fun, this movie is not, but it deserves your time if only for two of the best performances by Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart as Logan and Charles Xavier we’ve ever seen. Oh, and did I mention the introduction of Dafne Keen as X-23 (AKA Laura) who breathes new life into the franchise just as Hugh Jackman is bowing out? Dark, bloody, and emotional, Logan proves that superhero movies can have hidden depths and they are well worth your time. Lauren O’Callaghan