The number of movies made each year continues to grow, but how many great ones come out stays about the same.
So far, 2017 hasn’t produced as many remarkable films as I’d hoped for, but the ones that made my mid-year top 10 are some of the best I’ve seen in a long time.
When it comes to family movies, the pickings have been slim (by this time last year, we already had “Zootopia” and were a couple months away from “Moana”), but the horror genre has had an unusually strong showing.
As always, my list is rounded out by a few of the kind of oddball titles I love so much, and I’ve included information on where to find them if you’re feeling adventurous (or just burned out on the same old things).
10. MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA
Equal parts teenage comedy drama and violent disaster picture, this PG-13 animated feature is just as funny and relatable as it is shocking and surreal. The soundtrack album by Rani Sharone was released back in April to coincide with its limited theatrical run, but an official date for digital and DVD hasn’t been set.
Not quite as lurid as the title sounds, but every bit as entertaining. This comedic drama starring Anne Heche and Sandra Oh as former college friends whose feud picks up into adulthood is structured around three bloody, epic fist fights with unbelievable consequences. Currently available on Netflix.
8. BABY DRIVER
The first car-obsessed action movie musical hybrid I’ve ever seen comes courtesy of “Shaun of the Dead” director Edgar Wright and prominently features the city of Atlanta (where it was filmed) as well as an absolutely chilling performance by Jamie Foxx as one of the many villains. Now playing in theatres.
7. THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS
When it comes to zombie stuff, I’m really picky about what I’ll watch. Thankfully, this British production based on the novel by M.R. Carey is just as special as its young protagonist, a highly evolved flesh-eater who is the result of a government experiment. Currently available on Amazon Prime.
It’ll yank at your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone, but it might also make you angry or even turn your stomach. “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon Ho’s unique handling of tone and genre makes this story of a little girl and her genetically engineered “super pig” unforgettable. Currently available on Netflix.
College hazing and cannibalism collide in this French language thriller about a girl who arrives at veterinary school only to discover a horrible family secret and embark on a disturbing odyssey of self-exploration. Available for digital download or streaming rental. DVD release date is September 5.
4. THE RED TURTLE
Nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, this wordless PG-rated drama tells the poetic story of a shipwrecked man who learns to survive on a deserted island after his repeated attempts to leave are thwarted by a giant red sea turtle. Available for streaming rental, DVD, and Blu ray.
3. WONDER WOMAN
Leave it to a 75-year old Amazon princess to save us from the rapidly tiring superhero movie trend. With battle scenes that’ll make your heart race and bring a tear to your eye at the same time, director Patty Jenkins gave the iconic character the grand and exciting entrance she deserved. Still playing in theatres.
A wild and wacky concept gives way to dark and upsetting social commentary in this unforgettable indie anomaly starring Anne Hathaway as a recovering alcoholic who finds out she is in full control of a giant monster that appears in Seoul, South Korea. DVD and Blu ray release date is set for August 1st.
1. GET OUT
Thanks to the note-perfect genius of writer-director Jordan Peele, we just might see the first serious Oscar attention for a horror movie since “The Silence of the Lambs” won Best Picture in 1991. Even if the Academy doesn’t recognize it, film historians certainly will. Available for streaming rental, DVD, and Blu ray.