December was chock full of films that were looking to both entertain and contend for awards. Luckily for all of us, that meant that there was plenty of opportunities for films to charm in just about every sense of the word. Here are MovieBabble’s best movies of December 2017:
#3: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Episode 8 has proven quite controversial in the weeks following its release. Some outlets have claimed The Last Jedi as one of the best films of the year. Others have called it complete garbage. As for this critic, I’m somewhere in the middle.
The film boasts some unbelievable cinematography that ranks among the best of the year. However, the greatness of The Last Jedi lies within the relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren, pushing the powers of the force to new levels while also turning downright weird. In an era where blockbuster films are becoming increasingly generic, this feature certainly deserves some credit.
But, the story construction of The Last Jedi is a bit of a mess. Disney started this new trilogy without a plan, allowing Rian Johnson to act as he pleased when writing the script to the movie. While it allowed for new, inventive directions for the franchise, it was a tad sloppy in its execution, breaking away from the core story for side stories that don’t necessarily add to the film’s bloated two and a half hour run time.
And yet, it’s quite possible that this initial backlash subsides and The Last Jedi becomes a beloved film.
*To check out my full review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, please click here.
#2: The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water isn’t without narrative flaws, but it might be Guillermo del Toro’s best English language film to date. There’s an immense attention to detail in the film with its production design and color scheme that speaks to some of its core values. At its center, the film has a lovely message regarding forbidden love and the inclusion of groups of people.
Despite limited dialogue, Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones managed to create a relationship between a mute woman and a water creature feel real, allowing audiences to enjoy the film to an even higher degree, making it the most unusual and lovely item among the best movies of December 2017.
*To check out my full review of The Shape of Water, please click here.
#1: The Disaster Artist
Amazingly, James Franco created a film that isn’t a spoof of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. Instead, The Disaster Artist is an earnest, hilarious look into one of the most curious cases of filmmaking ever put to the screen, easily becoming one of the best movies of December 2017.
While capturing the essence of the enigmatic Wiseau, James Franco injects true drama into the story, blending humor and heart to create a film that is truly satisfying in almost every way. Patrons might find more enjoyment in it if they’ve seen The Room in advance, but there’s still plenty of juicy material to bite off.
In fact, the film has performed so well among audiences that The Room is receiving a wide release to 500 theaters around the United States.
*To check out my full review of The Disaster Artist, please click here.
In Case You (Or I) Missed It
Many of the great films in the month of December release to a very limited amount of areas, causing many critics like myself to wait until January to finally see them. So, let’s take a look at some films that might show up as the best movies of December 2017 for more fortunate critics:
Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film marks the final performance from Daniel Day-Lewis and is already garnering serious praise from critics. The general consensus of the film is that it is filled with tension, romance, and a surprising amount of humor.
Steven Spielberg alongside Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep have put together a film that many have praised for its timely themes and great energy. Some have noted that it may feel somewhat Oscar-baity to some viewers and that it would have benefitted from some more grit, but there’s no denying that a Spielberg-Hanks-Streep team-up is sure to have its moments.
Supposedly containing Margot Robbie’s best performance, I, Tonya is said to boast a ton of visual flair and energy akin to Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas in feel and story structure. That comparison seems a little silly for a film centered around ice skating, but when you factor in that Robbie is playing Tonya Harding, that notion may just work perfectly.
Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut released over the Christmas holiday to a number of theaters and will continue to expand in January. Centered around the true story of Molly Bloom’s high stakes poker games, Molly’s Game includes more of Sorkin’s great dialogue and structure that cinephiles have come to love. Buzz is also swirling for Jessica Chastain to earn an Oscar nomination for her work in the lead role.
Thanks for reading! What do you think are the best movies of December 2017? Comment down below!
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Completely agree with you! Star Wars is definitely in my top 3
I think a lot of the backlash is misguided. The Last Jedi will age nicely!
Great list, Nick. Though I thought The Shape of Water was good, and the visuals were stunning, there was something about it that kept me from completely connecting, so it didn’t quite crack the top 3 for me. Both Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Disaster Artist did, though, but I had them switched. As for number two, despite some of its flaws, I had great fun with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and thought all of the actors had great chemistry and played well off of each other while playing people completely opposite them. My top 3: 3) The Disaster Artist; 2) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; 1) Star Wars: The Last Jedi
I really enjoyed Jumanji too! It’s nice to have a relaxing film that accomplishes its goal of pure entertainment in the middle of heavy hitting Oscar films at the end of the year.
It’s sad that I have to be laying in bed while this December in films passes me by. I look forward to watching these three films in particular now. I’ve been looking forward to Franco’s Disaster Artist since it was announced and I’m glad its getting the praise it has. Same with Guillermo as his visual mastery needs to grace us with more oddities over the next few years.
Totally agree! Movies are better when they’re weird!
Usually… until they get a little too weird… (coughmother!cough).
Although I do agree with you that it got out of hand, I think mother! is more of a singular occurrence since it was so obviously fueled by Aronofsky’s ego and personal biases. Honestly, I’d rather see more films like it (but done better) because it creates some discussion. I saw over 100 films in 2017 and I talked about mother! almost as much as any other film I saw. The one thing I can’t stand these days is generic film. I can only take so many Valerians before I snap ???
That’s a good point. When done well, weird is always better than generic, stale and cliché!
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