Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

I could say that Blade Runner 2049 was one of my most anticipated movies of 2017, that I couldn't wait for it but I'd be lying since I saw the original Blade Runner for the first time only last June and, while I loved it, I didn't care much about this one. But people seem to be so divided how this - some says it's great, some says it's awful -, I decided to give it a try myself and I think it's somewhere in between of being great and awful. 

30 years after the events of the first film, LAPD officer K (Ryan Gosling) is a Blade Runner retiring old rogue replicants. One day while on a job, K discovered a long-buried secret which leads him to track down former Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) who has been missing for decades.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

I saw the original Jumanji in its entirety only about 2 years ago. It was enjoyable but I didn't love it so I didn't care much for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. But then I read good things about and decided to give it a try. And you know what, it wasn't half bad.

About 20 years after the first film, four different teenagers, a geek (Alex Wolff), a sports jock (Ser'Darius Blain), a popular girl (Madison Iseman) and a shy girl (Morgan Turner), are sent to detention where they discover an old video game console and decide to play with it. When they plug the system in they are sucked into the world of Jumanji, where they become the avatars they chose and must work together to complete the game and escape from it.

The Post (2017)

Political thrillers are easily my least favourite of the genre, but I do love Spielberg and it's basically impossible to pass a movie of his when it stars both Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, and it's praised by everyone. So expectations were sky high and The Post, while it still is a pretty good film, didn't meet them.

Set in the 1970s, the film tells the true story of the journalists from The Washington Post and their attempt to publish the Pentagon Papers, classified documents which detail the United States government involvement in Vietnam even prior to the war.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017)

I grew up playing with LEGO (and I probably still would if I wasn't busy all the time and their stuff wasn't so expensive -- a thing is having your parents paying it, a thing is paying it yourself) and, on my teen years, I occasionally stumbled upon the series Ninjago on TV. I didn't love it but it was okay when there wasn't anything else interesting on TV. I guess I watched The LEGO Ninjago Movie for the same reason, I didn't have anything better to watch and although I had very little expectations, the film managed to disappoint me. 

It's a hard knock life for Lloyd (Dave Franco), the 16-year-old estranged son of Garmadon (Justin Theroux), the evil warlord who keeps trying to take control of Ninjago City and keeps failing because of a secret gang of ninjas. Turns out Lloyd is the leader of those ninjas but this time the battle against his father will be much harder as the ultimate weapon is unleashed.

Darkest Hour (2017)

I remember seeing the trailer of Darkest Hour about a month ago and thinking it looked good. My expectations soon lowered when I was told the performances were good but everything else was average. In support of that theory, I learnt that Joe Wright directed it, the same guy who directed Pan. Thank goodness Darkest Hour wasn't that dreadful, but it wasn't great either.

In the same year of Nolan's masterpiece Dunkirk, Wright's movie depicts the events that led to the Dunkirk evacuation. In specific, the film follows newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) as he must decide whether to negotiate a peace settlement with Hitler's Germany or fight against the odds.

The Disaster Artist (2017)

About a month ago I watched The Room for the first time and as expected it turned out to be the worst movie ever. I didn't care much though, after all I only watched it to really understand James Franco's The Disaster Artist, the comedy of the year, according to lots of people. The film is based on Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell's novel of the same name and is pretty much The Room's behind the scenes. 

In 1998, Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), an aspiring film actor, meets Tommy Wiseau (James Franco), a weird and mysterious guy, in an acting class. Greg is immediately drawn by Tommy's fearless and the fact that he just doesn't care about what other people think of him. They soon become friends and they move to Los Angeles to pursue their dream of becoming famous movie stars. Rejection after rejection, they decide to make a film together, The Room, but it won't be all roses.

A Bag of Marbles (2017)

More than 10 years ago I bought Joseph Joffo's A Bag of Marbles. I was supposed to read it for school but I never finished it because I wasn't a big fan of reading at the time and I didn't like the book at all. I've given it another try a couple of weeks ago and, while I finished it this time, it wasn't anything special. Just an average novel about the horrible fate of Jews during World War II and therefore I didn't have high expectations for A Bag of Marbles (French: Un sac de billes). Somehow it still managed to let me down.

The film tells the story of 10-year-old Joseph (Dorian Le Clech) and 12-year-old Maurice Joffo (Batyste Fleurial), two Jewish brothers, who are forced to separate from their family in order to escape Nazi-occupied Paris. On their journey, they meet all kinds of people, good and bad, and in a way or another, they'll help them reunite with their family.

Good Time (2017)

Most people (girls) love Robert Pattinson for having played Edward, the vampire in the Twilight Saga. I love him (okay, maybe love is too big of a verb) for him choosing to work in movies like David Michôd's The Rover, or David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, or the Safdie brothers' Good Time. These are the movies that allow him to showcase his acting skills. And that's the reason I decided to watch Good Time.

Connie (Robert Pattinson) involves his mentally disabled brother, Nick (Benny Safdie) in a bank robbery that is supposed to be a clean and easy job. Instead, things go wrong, Nick is arrested and ends up in Rikers Island prison. Driven by the love for his brother, Connie embarks on a nightmarish quest to get Nick out of prison.

Logan Lucky (2017)

As I've said many times before, I love heist movies. There's something about them I just can't say no to. The problem with heist movies is that they are usually terrible. There are a few exceptions here and there and Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven is one of my favourites. That's why I decided to give Logan Lucky a chance, same director and a promising cast.

When he's let go from his construction job, Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) decides to put in motion a robbery plan that has been on his mind for quite some time and he convinces his one-handed bartender brother Clyde (Adam Driver) and his hairdresser sister Mellie (Riley Keough) to help him pull off the heist. But they need the help of Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), a convicted criminal and demolitions expert who is currently doing time. That's only the first snag of many as the Logan family seems to be cursed.

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

If you though Live Free or Die Hard was bad, you gotta make sure to stay the hell away from A Good Day to Die Hard, or as I like to call it, A Good Day to Forget, a dreadful action flick as well as the last entry (hopefully) of the franchise. 

After making a fool of himself in the previous film, an even older John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to Russia to help his estranged wayward son Jack (Jai Courtney). Turns out his son was in no danger and that he's a CIA agent working undercover to protect a Russian (Sebastian Koch). And guess what, they get caught up in a terrorist plot and they must overcome their differences to save the world.

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

I can't call myself a fan since I have seen only four of his movies, but it doesn't take a genius to acknowledge that Hayao Miyazaki is a genius. He doesn't simply make movies, he makes art while addressing some important themes. Howl's Moving Castle is no different than his other movies.

The film follows Sophie (Chieko Baisho), a sweet but unconfident young woman who is cursed by the Witch of the Waste (Akihiro Miwa) and transformed into an old lady. Unable to continue living her life, she sets out to find Howl (Takuya Kimura), the handsome and narcissistic wizard who is her only chance of breaking the spell.

Molly's Game (2017)

If I had to pick a favourite screenwriter, I'd definitely pick Aaron Sorkin. I haven't seen all the film he's written but I loved The Social NetworkMoneyball and Steve Jobs. It goes without saying that I was pretty excited about Molly's Game, not only written but also directed by Sorkin. 

The film tells the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain). She is a promising freestyle skier but one day while competing, she suffers a terrible accident and her career is over. After this, she moves to LA where is soon introduced to the world of underground poker and later ends up running the whole thing. Eventually, she does business with the wrong people and becomes an FBI target.

Bright (2017)

I got to the point where I don't care anymore about what critics say. I want to be the one who decides whether a movie is crap or isn't. On Bright, well, I'm with critics and I wonder how it's possible Netflix makes such good films as I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore, Gerald's Game and Okja and something as bad as Bright. 

In Los Angeles, in a future where fantasy creatures live side by side with humans, human cop Daryl Ward (Will Smith) is forced to work orc police officer Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton). When he gets shot by an orc and Jakoby fails to capture him, Ward questions whether Jakoby let the orc escape on purpose. As Internal Affairs investigate this, the magic department of the FBI learns that the Dark Lord is coming back and will soon destroy the world. It will be up to Ward and Jakoby to save the world.

Diary of a Nymphomaniac (2008)

After watching Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac years ago, a movie website (I don't recall which one) suggested I'd watch Diary of a Nymphomaniac (Diario de una ninfómana). And here am I, almost 3 years later, writing about a movie that was nothing like von Trier's movie.

Val (Belén Fabra) is a young woman with an insatiable sexual appetite meaning she has sex with every single man she meets and she just can't get enough. Her whole world revolves around sex basically. Then one day she meets Jaime (Leonardo Sbaraglia) and she falls in love. The relationship is far from being perfect and it eventually leads Val on a very dark path. 

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Yorgos Lanthimos's The Lobster is one of my favourite movies and Dogtooth, his directorial debut, is quite brilliant. That's why I was very excited about The Killing of a Sacred Deer (that and Colin Farrell, of course).

The film follows Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), a skilled heart surgeon who befriends a teenage boy, Martin (Barry Keoghan), whose father died in one of his surgeries, and brings him home to meet his wife Anne (Nicole Kidman) and his children, Kim (Raffey Cassidy) and Bob (Sunny Suljic). 

Lady Bird (2017)

Except for Frances Ha which I found dull and whose main character was annoying to say the least, I liked that little I've seen from Greta Gerwig and I couldn't wait to see Lady Bird, her directorial debut, especially since the high praise the film received.

The film is set in Sacramento in 2002 and revolves around Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) who has given herself the name of Lady Bird. She is a teenager who wants to get as far away as possible from her hometown, who struggles to get along with her overbearing mother (Laurie Metcalf) and isn't having it any easier at school or boys.

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Die Hard is arguably one of the best action movies ever made and has one of the best villains ever. Die Hard 2 isn't that good but it's still an entertaining flick. Die Hard with a Vengeance is a tense action movie with a good villain and an incredible sidekick. Live Free or Die Hard is the point of no-return, the moment the franchise started drowning. 

12 years after he stopped Simon Gruber, John McClane (Bruce Willis) joins forces with a young hacker (Justin Long) to take down Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant), the leader of an Internet-based terrorist organization who is trying to take over America from their computers.

Coco (2017)

The first time I saw the Coco's trailer I thought it was a copy of The Book of Life and I told myself I would not watch it. But I do really love Pixar and everyone was saying how great it was and I couldn't resist.

Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez) is a 12-year-old boy who wants to follow his hero Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) and become a famous musician. Music, however, is banned in his family of shoemakers and they just won't allow him to pursue his dream. But nothing can stop him and, along the way of achieving his dream, Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead and, with the help of Héctor (Gael García Bernal), a down-on-his-luck skeleton, he must find his great-great-grandfather to return to the Land of the Living.

The Florida Project (2017)

So many people I follow on Letterboxd seemed to love The Florida Project so I decided to give it a try myself. My expectations though lowered quite a bit the day before watching it as I learned that this film basically is 2 hours of kids running around and being kids, and somehow the movie managed to disappoint me.

The film follows the summer of Moonee (Brooklynn Prince), a six-year-old girl living day to day in a motel in Orlando, not much far away from Disneyworld, with her drug abusing, prostitute mother (Bria Vinaite) as they try to stay out of trouble and make ends meet. 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Dark comedy is my favourite genre and probably the most difficult to accomplish. It's not easy to keep an audience interested in the dramatic elements of a story while making them laugh. There's a man though, his name is Martin McDonagh, who has proved a couple of times (In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths) his ability to do such a thing. That is the man behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a twisted, dark, thought-provoking comedy as well as the best film of the year, in my humble opinion.

Seven months have passed since her daughter (Kathryn Newton) was raped and murdered and there's still no culprit so Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) makes the bold move to purchase three billboards with words written on them directly accusing chief of police William Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) of having done nothing to catch the killer. Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), a fuckhead/immature momma's boy, gets involved and a war begins between Mildred and the law enforcement.

Tanna (2015)

Continuing my quest of watching as much Oscar-nominated foreign language movies as possible, I stumbled upon Tanna, the Australian-Ni-Vanuatu romantic drama nominated in 2017.

On the island of Tanna, Wawa (Marie Wawa), the granddaughter of the shaman (Albi Nagia), have a secret love story with Dain (Mungau Dain), the grandson of a chieftain (Charlie Kahla). But their tribe, the people of Kastom Road, is at war with their neighbouring tribe, the Imedin tribe, and, in order to make peace, Wawa is promised for marriage into the Imedin tribe. Despite the arranged marriage, Wawa and Dain continue their affair and when the elders learn of this, they plead her to give up the relationship and Wawa and Dain run away.

The Snowman (2017)

As you probably know, I'm a huge fan of Michael Fassbender which basically consists in watching all the crappy movies he has made. The Snowman is one of those. Thank god I didn't waste money to see it in the movie theater.

In a cabin in the middle of nowhere, a man (Peter Dalle) visits a boy (Leonard Heinemann) and his mother (Sofia Helin) so to test the boy and slap the mother every time the kid gets a wrong question. Then the kid sees his mother having sex with Uncle Jonas and the man runs away which leads to the kid's mother drowning in a lake inside her car (I'm still trying to figure how what the hell did even happen here). Then there's a temporal leap of 20-something years and alcoholic cop Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) is sleeping in a bus shelter. A little later on, with the help of a new recruit (Rebecca Ferguson), he starts investigating a series of murders: the victims are all women and a freshly built snowman is always nearby.

Mother! (2017)

I'm going to start by saying that I didn't have high expectations for Mother! to begin with. I remember watching the trailer when it dropped out and being like, wow, this looks so not good. Watching it was the confirmation.

A young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) is living a happy and peaceful life with her writer husband (Javier Bardem) at their country home. Then one night a stranger (Ed Harris) knocks on the door and the husband invites him to spend the night without asking for her permission. Turns out he's a huge fan of the husband, he is soon joined by his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer), and his whole family really, and they bring havoc in the woman's life. The husband doesn't care though, the more chaos, the better for his ego and his imagination.

Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

Although it didn't quite live up to its predecessor, mainly because it lacked in originality and a strong villain, Die Hard 2 was a good action flick. Third entries, on the other hand, have the tendency to suck really bad and since I didn't remember anything but some bits of the plot of Die Hard with Vengeance, I was worried it was going to be terrible. Turns out it's better than Die Hard 2.

Finally not set on Christmas Eve, John McClane (Bruce Willis) is now an alcoholic and is suspended from the NYPD. But then a man calling himself "Simon" (Jeremy Irons) threatens to detonate bombs around the city unless McClane accepts to play his game. McClane obviously accepts and must join forces with Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson), a Harlem shop owner who saved John's life during one of the tasks assigned to him, to stop this new threat.

Loving Vincent (2017)

I'm a lover of van Gogh. To that add the fact that Loving Vincent is the first fully hand-painted on canvas feature film (it took a team of 125 artists to make it). In other words, I was very excited about this animated film. I'm glad it turned out to be such a successful experiment. 

The film is set a year after van Gogh's (Robert Gulaczyk) death, and it follows the journey of Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth), a young slacker who is tasked by his father (Chris O'Dowd), a postman, to hand deliver van Gogh's final letter to his brother, Theo van Gogh, but ends up investigating the mysterious death of the artist.

Gerald's Game (2017)

2017 has been a hell of a year for Stephen King adaptations. From big to small screen, they were everywhere but I didn't care for most of them. Gerald's Game sounded intriguing though, and, after reading Dell's review, I added it on my watchlist. 

Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) are a married couple who decides to spice things up/save their marriage in their remote lake house. He handcuffs Jessie to the bed and decides to role play. Only things get too intense, Gerald has a heart attack, dies and Jessie, still in cuffs, must find a way out of this impossible situation while confronting the demons of the past with her own mind.

Dunkirk (2017)

It's undeniable that Christopher Nolan is one of the best directors of our time. Over the years, this man has given us masterpiece after masterpiece, and Dunkirk is another of those. And I say that as someone who isn't a fan of war movies.

Yes, Nolan's latest is a war movie that depicts the Dunkirk evacuation that took place during World War II as hundreds of thousands of British and French soldiers were surrounded by the German Army and their only way out was the sea, and it's told from three different perspectives, that of a soldier (Fionn Whitehead) waiting to be rescued, that of two RAF fighter pilots (Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden) and that of a group of civilians on their boat that is sent to help in the evacuation.

Loveless (2017)

After criticizing Russian society and making a strong commentary on government corruption in Leviathan, Andrey Zvyagintsev delivers Loveless, a depressing portrait of a family in crisis that works as a commentary on the world we live in. 

The story is that of a married couple, Zhenya (Maryana Spivak) and Boris (Aleksey Rozin), going through a divorce. They both have new partners and can't wait to start their new lives but there's something in their way, their 12-year-old son Alyosha (Matvey Novikov). During one of their arguments, they start fighting over who should have the boy's custody, Alyosha overhears that neither of them wants him and runs away. It's only two days later that they realise the boy is missing and they team up to find him.

I, Tonya (2017)

I've never heard of Tonya Harding (in my defence, I was born in 1994 after all the drama happened) and I couldn't care less about figure ice skating, and yet I was pretty excited about I, Tonya and I had quite high expectations, expectations the movie didn't live up to. It exceeded them. 

As I was saying, the film tells the story of US figure skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), the first American to complete a triple axel in competition (apparently, it's a huge deal in ice skating), focusing on the key moments in her career, her abusive relationship with her mother (Allison Janney) and her husband (Sebastian Stan) and the infamous attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver).

Sweet Virginia (2017)

I don't know whether you are aware of it, but there are a lot of girls, myself included, in the blogosphere who fangirl over an actor, Jon Bernthal. Obsessed is actually the word I was looking for. Anyway, that's how I discovered Sweet Virginia (and watched it as soon as I could because of my post-The Punisher abstinence) and, Bernthal lover or not, you have to watch this. 

In a small town, a mysterious man (Christopher Abbott) walks into a bar and kills three people. Turns out he is a hitman and, waiting to collect the payment, he checks into a motel run by Sam (Jon Bernthal), a former rodeo champion. They bond over their Virginia backgrounds and soon become friends. This friendship though is doomed to fail as Sam is romantically involved with Bernadette (Rosemarie DeWitt), the widow of one of the victims.

Die Hard 2 (1990)

"How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?" John McClane asks himself a little into Die Hard 2. Well, I know the answer. It's because a successful action flick is usually doomed to become a franchise. But at least this second entry is still good. 

And still set on Christmas Eve. Only this time John McClane (Bruce Willis) is in Washington at Dulles Airport waiting for his wife (Bonnie Bedelia) to land when a group of terrorists, led by Colonel Stuart (William Sadler), takes over the landing system to have a drug lord freed.