Liberty at the Movies: Best of 2017

Here is my list of the top ten movies of the year:

  1. Get Out— Horror comedy that pays homage to the classic movies like The Stepford Wives and Rosemary’s Baby while  making  a statement about race relations in America. The bad guys are not what you expect from Hollywood. Instead of conservative and libertarian racists the villains in this movie are progressives motivated by admiration for African-Americans. The film thus illustrates how progressives social engineering damages the people progressives claim to help. Download Get Out here.
  2. Spider-Man Homecoming— Best super-hero movie of the year. Spider-Man comes home to Marvel Studios and returns to his roots as a needy high-schooler. Homecoming has strong performances, particularly from Michael Keaton as the Vulture. Keaton’s Vulture is the most sympathetic villain in a Marvel movie, as he turns to crime when he is bankrupted because of a crony deal between the government and Tony Stark. Download Homecoming here.
  3. Wind River—Murder mystery taking place on a Native American Reservation in Wyoming. Great performances from Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olson as, respectively, a game tracker and a rookie FBI agent who team up to solve a murder. Those who enjoyed the chemistry Renner and Olson displayed in Age of Ultron and Civil War will enjoy their performances here. The film also illustrates why James Watt, Ronald Reagan's former Interior Secretary, once said anyone looking for an example of socialism’s failure should visit a Native American reservation. Download Wind River here.
  4. Wonder Woman— DC’s crown jewel. Great action plus a compelling story that raises interesting questions about war and peace, good and evil, and the nature of humanity. Download Wonder Woman here.
  5. Roman J. Israel, Esq.— Another fantastic performance by Denzel Washington. Washington plays the title character, a criminal defense attorney who fights against the injustices of our system—such as the pressures put on defendants by both prosecutors and defense attorneys to accept a plea deal instead of receiving a jury trial— who finds his idealism and principles tested when his partner dies and he is forced to work with a large law firm. The movie may still be showing at some theaters near you, and you can pre-order download here.
  6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi—  It’s too long but the last third of the film has some of the most suspenseful, exciting and moving moments of the entire franchise. It also raises questions about whether the pursuit of power can blind even the best to the rise of evil. This is going to be in theaters for a while, so you have plenty of time to check it out.
  7. Lady Bird— A coming-of-age comedy-drama about a high school senior’s turbulent relationship with her mother and her peers. Since the film takes place in 2002, the spectate of 9-11 and the  Iraqi war hang over everything— the lead character even says she has a better chance to get her into school in New York because less people will apply dues to fears of terrorism. Lady Bird may still be in the theaters near you but you can also pre-order for download here.
  8. Thor Ragnarok— Best of the Thor movies. The film takes advantage of star Chris Hemsworth's comedic talents by ramping up the humor even though the theme of the movie is the destruction of Thor’s home-world Asgard by Hela, the goddess of death. Hela is actually Thor’s older sister and helped their father Odin conquer other realms before he decided he would rather rule as a benevolent king than a bloody dictator. Ragnarok features strong performances by Hemsworth, Kate Blanchett as Hela, Tom Hiddleston as Thor’s brother/arch-enemy Loki, Tess Thompson as newcomer warrior Valkyrie, and Mark Ruffalo as Thor’s fellow Avenger the Hulk/Bruce Banner. One of the delights of this film is the return to “classic” Hulk dialogue. Ragnarok is still in theaters and you can pre-order it here.
  9. Logan— A fine farewell to the foundation of the X-Men franchise as Hugh Jackman (who plays Logan the Wolverine) and Patrick Stewart (who plays X-Men Leader Professor X) have said that they are done with the franchise. Logan and Professor X must find sanctuary for a girl who befriends Wolverine while protecting her from the military-Industrial complex. The film also takes a shot at big agribusinesses. Download the film here.
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy 2– Not as good as the original but fun with Kurt Russell playing a great villain in Ego the living planet. Also introduces the Sovereign, a genetically-engineered race of self-described perfect people who might form the basis of future big bass in Marvel films. Download Guardians two here.

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