Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2017

There’s one good thing that’s come of me taking way too long to make these lists. A lot of the great 2019 movies are only just coming out now in the UK and it’s given me time to watch them before making my Top 10 of last year! In fact, if I wasn’t notoriously late for everything, you might even believe me if I told you that was my plan all along. We’re approaching the end though, and this has been a lot of fun to put together.

2017 was easier to be strict with, but I still had to cross 4 off my original list, and it took a lot of going back and forth before I could decide what 4 they were going to be. My original Best of 2017 list had 15 movies in and I’ve seen loads more since then! As always, you can find my other lists here.

2017 Movies Watched: 86
Movies that just missed out: Coco, It, Lady Bird, Logan

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#10 Dunkirk

I’ll forever be kicking myself for not watching Dunkirk in the cinema, but I’m glad I at least gave it a chance because it was the war movie that made me realise that I do in fact enjoy a good war movie! I’ve since finally watched Saving Private Ryan which was fantastic.

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#9 Beauty and the Beast

Here’s my unpopular choice thrown in for good measure. Yep, it was virtually a shot for shot remake, but the original is perhaps my all-time favourite Disney movie so that’s not a problem for me. The extra song, Evermore will forever be one of my favourite songs ever, too.

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#8 Baby Driver

Fun fact, Baby Driver was the last movie I watched at the cinema before giving birth to my little girl. I had to watch it again once it was out on DVD because I missed at least half thanks to running off to the toilets every 5 minutes!

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#7 A Ghost Story

I really want to watch A Ghost Story again. It’s not a horror, if you’ve never heard of it, but a quirky little mysterious movie with a cracking ending. Just be warned, you’ll be put off from eating pie for quite a while afterwards.

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#6 The Florida Project

Who knew that just a stone’s throw away from the most magical place on earth is…a very unmagical, sad place, where families struggle to get by and raise their children. Poor Willem Dafoe plays the manager of the Magic Castle Motel and despite the kids there making his life hell, he loves them still. It took me a while to warm to the movie but I haven’t forgotten it since.

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#5 Battle of the Sexes

I never expected to enjoy Battle of the Sexes so much. I find biographical movies can be quite dry sometimes, and I have no interest in tennis at all, but I gave it a go for Emma Stone and Steve Carell, both of which I’m a big fan of. I don’t know what to tell you, I just found the story absolutely fascinating!

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#4 I, Tonya

Speaking of biographical movies to do with sports…oh boy was I, Tonya a lot of fun! Margot Robbie was the perfect choice here. I just love how her story was told, I laughed so much but at the same time, it’s really quite emotional. Just excellent performances all round, here.

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#3 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

A fantastically dark story about how a mother uses any means necessary to solve the case of her murdered daughter when the police fail to come up with an answer. Three Billboards is a must-watch.

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#2 Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Yeah, I put The Last Jedi up here. You didn’t expect anything less of me, did you? I’ll always have a soft spot for The Last Jedi, just like a have a soft spot for any Star Wars movie. We were blessed with unmasked Kylo Ren, the most beautifully shot lightsaber fight/team-up ever, and a whole host of galactic creatures and beings.

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#1 The Greatest Showman

Is the soundtrack for The Greatest Showman the most sold album of all time yet? I think it was #1 in the UK album charts for over a year! I didn’t realise until recently that it got quite mixed reviews, but for me it’s everything I want in a movie, and I honestly couldn’t fault it!

Bad Boys for Life (2020)

bad-boys-for-life-movie-review-2020Director: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime

Runtime: 124 Minutes

Main Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Nuñez, Kate del Castillo, Nicky Jam

Plot: Marcus has just become a grandparent and wants to retire from the force to be with family, must to the shock of his long-time partner Mike. Things change however when Mike is gunned down on the street by a man on a motorcycle. Mike pulls through, just about, and the two team up with a newly created elite team to find justice.

My Thoughts: So, confession time. I’ve never seen the original Bad Boys movie. Or the sequel. I was actually quite shocked to find this is the 3rd Bad Boys movie? I always thought it was like the Fast & Furious franchise. Anyway, when you have a monthly pass for the cinema, the month is depressing and the bestie is offering a lift, you go to see Bad Boys for Life! And although it doesn’t stand a chance of making my Top 10 of the year list, it was still a fun ride.

I hope that Bad Boys fans enjoyed this, because there was a girl sat behind me who was a fan and she was loving every second. Bless her. I liked it for the most part, but the most interesting moments were when Marcus and Mike were together and they spent too much time apart really. The AMMO squad were a lot of fun, though. Especially Alexander Ludwig playing the beefiest guy in the room who’s only interested in being the tech guy.

It was just a bit too long to keep me entertained for the full runtime. If the final action sequence could have been merged with the penultimate one, that would have been much better. It needed that little bit more banter between Marcus and Mike, too. The story was alright, the twisty reveal towards the end surprised me but probably because this was my introduction to all these characters. All in all, a semi-decent watch. It seems we’re getting a Bad Boys 4 whether we like it or not, too.

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Best Bit: Something you definitely don’t need to hear a passenger say to his friend sat next to you on a flight? “We fly together, we die together!”

Worst Bit: When that guy got shot in the head with a rubber bullet and it swelled up to the size of an orange…cringe! I’m actually shuddering just thinking about it! Blergh.

Fun Trivia: This will be the first Bad Boys film not to be directed by Michael Bay. However, he has a cameo in the film as a wedding master of ceremonies.

My Rating: 2 and a half boxes of Midnight Cocoa Bean hair dye, in case you want/need to dye your goatee like Mike.

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Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2016

In the words of Geralt of Rivia, f**k. I thought when it came to doing 2015’s list that it was getting easier to whittle these yearly lists down to 10 but my preliminary list for 2016 is currently 19 movies, and I really don’t want to cross out any of these, let alone 9 of them! 2016, you were clearly an incredible year for movies.

The end of 2016 was when I set up Often Off Topic so I had a quick glance at my original Top 10 of 2016 list in the hopes it would help but it looks like it was hard enough to write at the time, let alone now.

Well, here goes nothing. If you haven’t seen my other Top 100 Movies of the Decade lists you can find them here.

2016 Movies Watched: 93
Movies that just missed out: Rogue One, Moana, Bridget Jones’ Baby, Lion, Hacksaw Ridge, Colossal, Midnight Special, Tallulah, Swiss Army Man

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#10 Hidden Figures

Most of us know the story about the race to the moon between the US and Russia, but not many know the story of the 3 female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in that race. I knew I wanted to see Hidden Figures, but I never expected it to be such an entertaining watch.

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#9 Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange might just be my favourite Marvel character, you know. Maybe it’s because of Benedict Cumberbatch, but it’s probably more to do with the fact that Doctor Strange’s origin story felt so different to the other Avengers. I love how he’s still likeable, even though he’s a bit of a jerk, and only Iron Man gets away with that most of the time.

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#8 Nocturnal Animals

There may come a day that I stop mentioning the jump scare in Nocturnal Animals, but today is not that day. Damn it, movie! Anyway, Nocturnal Animals is terribly dark and gritty, but it has such a good story, and an ending that will really get you talking. It has one hell of a cast, too!

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#7 Kubo and the Two Strings

I love animated movies, and stop motion movies in particular. 2016 was the year I realised Laika Studios are brilliant, and that I’d happily watch anything they produced. It’s just incredible, the amount of work that gets put into every second of footage. Kubo and the Two Strings is a delightful story full of twists and turns, and it was surprisingly emotional, too.

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#6 I, Daniel Blake

Oh man, just thinking about this movie is making me upset. I wrote it off as another copy-cat piece highlighting how people in the UK on benefits exploit the system for more money, but it’s the complete opposite. It’s probably not a widely known movie but its so worth a watch!

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#5 Deadpool

How long were we waiting for the Deadpool movie in the end? The marketing behind this movie was legendary and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one terrified the movie would be awful after all the work that went into getting it made. Safe to say, it was hilarious, and everything it should have been.

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#4 Arrival

Arrival is one of those movies I want to erase from my memory so that I can watch it again for the very first time. Nothing beats that moment towards the end where your mind is fitting all the pieces together. What a year for Amy Adams, eh?

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#3 The Nice Guys

Making this list reminded me that quite a few bloggers told me to watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang after I raved about how much I loved The Nice Guys. I guess that makes it 4 years that it’s been sat on my watchlist, then. Whoops. Maybe 2020 will be my year for tackling the ever-growing watchlist?

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#2 La La Land

We’re surely due another Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling movie by now, right? Honestly, the pair of them have so much chemistry on screen it’s unreal. Add them to a beautiful movie set in LA with a glorious soundtrack and an ending that will rip your heart out and well. What more can I say?

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#1 Hunt for the Wilderpeople

I’m so glad Jojo Rabbit is doing so well right now, with critics and casual movie fans alike. Hopefully, it makes director Taiki Waititi more of a household name, and more people end up watching Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which is just fantastic in every sense. It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s serious, it’ll make you cry!

1917 (2019)

1917-movie-review-poster-2019Director: Sam Mendes

Genre: War, Drama

Runtime: 119 Minutes

Main Cast: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Claire Duburcq, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch,

Plot: 1917 is the retelling of a real mission given to two young British soldiers during the First World War, to deliver a message deep within enemy territory to give the order to stop a planned attack which would lead to the death of 1,600 men, as well as one of the soldier’s brother.

My Thoughts: Phew. It’s taken me days to get around to writing down my thoughts on 1917, it’s taken me that long to get over it. War movies aren’t my usual go-to, but I loved Dunkirk (2017) and Hacksaw Ridge (2016) and 1917 is on everyone’s minds right now so I definitely wasn’t going to miss it. I didn’t realise until the day before that it was shot/edited to look like one continuous take, the last time I saw that technique was in Birdman (2014) and it was so, so effective, so I was genuinely really looking forward to it!

Oh boy, though. I mean, you’re really just thrown into the situation with those two soldiers. It’s such an effective way of telling their story. What was so great was that our screen was almost full, so everyone was gasping and jumping at the same moments. Yes, that scene in the bunker with the tripwire? I don’t think I’ve jumped that badly during any actual horror movie. The guy next to me? I swear I saw his arse come out of his seat!

It’s a tough movie on your emotions. It’s no spoiler to say there are moments (one big one in particular) that are quite gut-wrenching, and I definitely needed a hug and a good nights sleep afterwards! I think it’s going to do really well at the BAFTAs next month, my money is on it winning Best Picture but we’ll see!

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Best Bit: The scene set in the town left mostly in ruins was the standout for me, forgive me for not remembering its name. It was stunning, the darkness of the sky with the contrast of the fires? Honestly quite breathtaking. Every fibre of my body was tensed up during that scene, not knowing when a gun was going to be fired, or when someone would leap out from the shadows. I was a nervous wreck!

Worst Bit: That feeling when you remember that everything you just watched actually happened in real life. Also, having to watch a struggling baby crying in a cabinet drawer as a makeshift bed. Anything involving sad babes or children just sets me off now. I’m weak!

Fun Trivia: Over 5,200 feet of trenches were dug for the film (just under one mile).

My Rating: 4 and a half giant rats, twice the size of our British rats!

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Jojo Rabbit (2019)

jojo-rabbit-movie-review-2019-posterDirector: Taika Waititi

Genre: War, Drama, Comedy

Runtime: 108 Minutes

Main Cast: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Taika Waititi, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Stephen Merchant,

Plot: Jojo is a 10-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a Nazi, aided by his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler. When he discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their house, his world is turned upside down.

My Thoughts: What are you watching at the cinema tonight Allie? A movie I’ve been waiting months for about a little Nazi boy and his imaginary friend, Hitler! Yeah, there’s no way to explain the plot of Jojo Rabbit without it sounding batshit crazy, but then again, it IS batshit crazy in all the best ways! Only Taika Waititi can pull off a movie like this and make it so darn good. The absurd plot has definitely drawn in a wide crowd, I only wish Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) did the same.

I came for laughs and I was not disappointed. We only got brief glimpses of imaginary Hitler which works perfectly because too much would have been obnoxious. It’s one of those movies that needs to be seen at least twice because I’m sure there are some cracking jokes I missed the first time around. Scarlet Johansson was surprisingly not annoying and the bit where she calls her own kid ‘Shitler’ made me laugh a lot. Not quite as much as a canine-related joke, though.

You know what I didn’t come to the cinema for? For my heart to be ripped out of my chest and stamped on. No spoilers but there’s a moment halfway through that the tone turns drastically, and I didn’t even notice it happen for too long. Sam Rockwell was an absolute gem too, his character arc was superb. Like Waititi’s other movies, this might be too wild for the casual movie fan but it’s without a doubt one of my favourites of the year.

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Also – I really need to show some love for little Roman Griffin Davis. The kid is 11 years old, and this is his first-ever professional acting gig. Like, that’s mental, is it not?! He was SO GOOD.

Best Bit: How could I actually pick one moment? Sam Rockwell’s incredible costume? Jojo accidentally blowing himself up? The book Jojo makes, an expose about Jews? How about Stephen Merchant somehow being creepier than his character in Good Boys (2019) in front of a child? I could pick 10 at least!

Worst Bit: I love Rebel Wilson, don’t get me wrong. But she felt ever so slightly out of place here and her accent was terribly bad. I did love her gang of clones, though!

Fun Trivia: Taika Waititi said that in the scene when the Gestapo come to Jojo’s house “Heil Hitler” is said 31 times in one minute. He wanted a funny moment and also wanted to illustrate how ridiculous and unnecessary Nazi protocols were.

My Rating: 4 and a half German Shepherds…not German Shepherds…!

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Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2015

Past the half-way point and we aren’t half-way through January yet, okay, I can do this! 2015 has been an easier year strangely enough. There were a lot of movies I really liked, but not as many that I loved so I didn’t feel as bad striking movies off my list like I did with 2014’s list. Does anyone else feel the same about 2015 or was I grumpy that year? Perhaps I’m just toughening up by making all these lists.

You can find my other Top 100 Movies of the Decade lists here.

2015 Movies Watched: 93
Movies that just missed out: Room, Brooklyn, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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#10 Anomalisa

Not going to lie, I forgot all about this movie until I checked my Letterboxd list for 2015. There was no way I couldn’t mention it, though. I’ve always had a love and appreciation for stop-motion animated movies and Anomalisa is one of the greater ones. It’s quite a dark tale but very thought-provoking and definitely a must-watch for fans of the genre.

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#9 Mad Max: Fury Road

It’s forever a thing that the movies I watch unwillingly turn out to be some of the best ones. I remember clearly seeing Fury Road at the cinema with my guy pals, ready to roll my eyes at it. I hadn’t seen any other Mad Max movie then (and still haven’t, whoops) but it’s hard not to get swept up by the beauty of it all. This was my best-rated action movie until John Wick 3 came along.

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#8 The Martian

Never will I ever take a bottle of ketchup for granted after watching The Martian. I rarely understand space movies but this was the exception, and I never expected it to be so funny as well as nerve-wracking! I told myself 4 years ago I would read the book and still haven’t. Ah, the best-laid plans…

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#7 The Gift

If you’ve never seen The Gift, do me a solid and give it a go. Just don’t look at a poster or watch a trailer, because the marketing team behind it are idiots. I thought this was a horror and it couldn’t be further from it. Jason Bateman plays a dark and serious role which was a first for me. It’s the kind of story where you don’t know who to root for… because you don’t know who the bad guy is.

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#6 Sicario

I’ll never forget making the mistake of putting Sicario on the TV after just sitting down with my dinner. That opening scene…ergh. Anyway, the sequel wasn’t that great but Sicario is still a fantastic movie as a stand-alone. It’s gritty, it’s dark and some of the scenes made me feel almost as tense as the closing scene of Whiplash (2014).

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#5 The Dressmaker

We don’t get enough movies like The Dressmaker, seriously. What looked to be a dull drama is actually a fascinating drama, romance, black comedy and murder mystery movie all in one. It’s quirky, odd and just downright entertaining from start to finish. One of those movies I wish I could watch again for the very first time.

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#4 The Hateful Eight

I still stand by the fact that the first hour of this movie drags like a bitch but after that, I was glued to my seat. My experience was probably helped by the fact the UK was having a snowstorm of its own when I went to the cinema so I felt fully immersed, but I just love a whodunit and so The Hateful Eight ticked all the boxes for me.

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#3 Inside Out

Who would have thought a movie about emotions could be so good? This came out in the cinemas during a really tough time of my life and maybe that aided my enjoyment of it, but it’s still an absolutely stunning movie. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me want to watch it over and over, and it doesn’t get much better than this.

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#2 Spotlight

You know you’re a movie blogger when you can say one of your favourite movies is about a team of reporters uncovering the scandal of child molestation within the Catholic churches. Definitely feels weird to say. Still, Spotlight is just a downright fantastically well-made movie and fully deserved the Best Picture Oscar.

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#1 Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Not going to apologise for any Star Wars sequel movie making these lists! The Force Awakens deserves extra love because it was the movie that finally converted me into a Star Wars fan. It also kicked off my Adam Driver obsession, which I guess I should be grateful for!

Thursday Movie Picks: Steven Spielberg Films

Happy first Thursday of the year, everyone! Oh wait, I missed that, because I was still in a red wine & chocolate coma not knowing what day of the week it was. Good way to start the year, Allie! It’s the thought that counts though, so I’m throwing myself into Wandering Through the Shelves’ 2020 Movie Picks with as much enthusiasm as possible. This week’s theme is Favourite Films by Steven Spielberg – a theme I worried would be difficult but crickey the man has made a lot of brilliant movies!

Here are my three favourites:

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The Terminal (2004)

I love Tom Hanks, so I’ve watched The Terminal a few times over the years now. Hanks plays an Eastern European tourist who’s government collapses whilst he’s at the airport, leaving his documents unusable and him stranded in JFK airport. I always remember it as a funny story but forget about how moving it is at the same time.

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A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

It’s been years and I have no idea if A.I. Artificial Intelligence still holds up but at the time it felt revolutionary and raised so many thought-provoking questions. A mother’s son was stricken by an incurable disease, and, thinking she had lost him forever, commissioned a realist robot to replace him. The problem is, her son miraculously recovers. I can’t even count the number of times I watched that movie when I was younger.

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Jurassic Park (1993)

Have you ever asked anyone if they like dinosaurs and been told no? I guess you don’t go around asking strangers that question often but my point is, who doesn’t like dinosaurs? To me, Jurassic Park is just one of those movies that’s impossible not to enjoy. I can’t say for sure if I saw the older sequels when I was a kid, but I should make the effort to!