So…did anything interesting happen in the film industry this year? 

Sheesh, what a mess the sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood heavyweights have become, casting a long overdue shadow on a business that has always been corrupt and nasty.

The allegations should not, however, over shadow the great films of 2017. Like any year we had our share of disappointments (“Downsizing”), but we were also riveted with many pleasant surprises (“Get Out”). What follows are the ten best movies of 2017:

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Here, from beneath the bottom of the barrel, are the worst films of 2017.  

You may remember them for their cloying, ill-advised messages or the emotions that felt oh-so forced. A small piece of my movie-loving self died while watching these, so here’s hoping you avoided all of the below.

“A Dog’s Purpose” is a pandering, manipulative mess of a movie. The controversy regarding the mistreatment of a German Shepherd that “conveniently” came out a week before the film’s release certainly did it harm (even though it was later proved untrue), but this hollow melodrama didn’t deserve an audience anyway.

Robert De Niro, what’re you doing in “The Comedian?” We’re past the point at which the two-time Oscar winner can do anything. He cannot. This includes stand-up comedy, as the delivery of his character’s jokes rarely connects. He also shouldn’t be singing “Making Poopy” in the style of “Making Whoopee” to senior citizens at a nursing home – the sequence is so bad it’s easily his new career low.

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Looking back at the films of 2016, there were precious few surprises and notably more disappointments. Walking out of “The Jungle Book,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” among many others, didn’t leave me with the sense of cinematic satisfaction we all crave, but rather the feeling that movies now more than ever are overpromising and under-delivering.

Worse, it’s storytelling that’s being sacrificed – each of the three titles above were visual spectacles that were inept in terms of narrative, and this seems to be a trend throughout the industry. It’s not a coincidence, then, that the best movies of 2016 listed below are in many cases examples of great stories that were strengthened by splendid visual palettes.

10) Hacksaw Ridge
Summit Entertainment tried to keep Mel Gibson’s name out of its promotional material for this film, and given what the media has relayed regarding his personal history, that’s understandable. There’s no denying, however, that Gibson is one of the finest directors working today, and “Hacksaw Ridge” was an excellent reminder of that. It’s not just the powerful WWII story of the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor that was so engaging, nor the slow-motion action or tremendous performances. Really, it was this: That main character Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) is driven by his religious beliefs, but it never feels like a religious movie. Instead, it’s about a man who sticks to his virtuous principles and ends up being 100 percent correct in doing so. In limited theaters now; home video availability TBD.

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In a year of letdowns and total flops (“Inferno”), a select few movies emerged as notably more terrible than the rest. Here are the movies I reviled the most, in no particular order until the end, because it makes sense to save the worst for last.

“Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” was certainly one of the biggest movies of the year in terms of scale, and given that it’s such a cluttered mess, it’s just as big a disappointment. The title promises a showdown between the two comic book icons, and their fight finishes with…the realization that their mothers have the same first name, which makes them BFFs forever. I wish I were kidding. Add to this a poorly structured story and you have yet another reminder that Warner Bros. can’t get the DC Comics canon right (“Suicide Squad” was another example of this) while Disney’s Marvel movies don’t miss.

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