The movie world is always ripe with movies that are destined for greatness (think Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and movies that are destined to fail (think The Emoji Movie). But some movies break the mould by being either such highly anticipated and buzzed about productions that fall flat, or movies that end up being better than anyone could have expected.
This past year has been no exception to this rule. In fact, 2017 may have had more anticipated movies fall flat than any other year in the last decade. On the other hand, there were some movies this year that had us flocking to cinemas multiple times to sit on the edge of our seats and enjoy a movie that exceeded our expectations. This year was a rollercoaster for movie lovers with all of the ups and downs of the year from having the worst summer box office in over a decade to having the highest grossing horror movie ever.
We have compiled a list of 8 movies that disappointed us this year along with 8 movies that turned out way better than we had expected. Movies such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Emoji Movie did not make this list because, as stated above, they have performed exactly how anyone would have thought they would.
16 Disappointing: Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets
At one point in the marketing for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the hype was built up so much that people were predicting that this would be the next Star Wars. And it is, as long as the only criteria there is for being the next Star Wars is that a movie involves space. This movie has some beautiful visual effects akin to Avatar, unfortunately, it seems that the movie leans into these visuals to distract the viewer from a weak storyline. This film puts aside any of the classic elements that make a good movie, such as writing or acting, and places all of its eggs in the basket of CGI. The character development is not spent on screen developing the main characters but instead in a computer room designing the look of aliens that you will see for a short period of time. It is because of this that Valerian falls short. Based off of this film and Battleship, one thing can be concluded; don’t put Rihanna in movies.
15 Blew Us Away: Spiderman Homecoming
Spiderman has had his fair share of movies throughout the years. Some of them have been great while others were Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spiderman 2. It seemed as if everyone was just kind of tired of the wall-crawler until he showed up in Captain America: Civil War. This cameo was a fun introduction into the MCU but when it was announced that he would have his own movie with the MCU is was not met with universal enthusiasm. Some fans were happy to see the web-slinger home with Marvel but were curious about how villains and side characters would be handles since they are all still owned by Sony. Homecoming ended up being an amazing Spiderman, as well as Marvel, film and set the bar for Spidey’s future. Michael Keaton was one of the few well-developed villains within the MCU and we hope to see him, along with Spiderman, back again soon.
14 Disappointing: King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword
Director of movies such as the Sherlock Holmes movie series starring Robert Downey Jr., Snatch, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Guy Ritchie tried his hand at European lore this year with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The film stars Charlie Hunnam and looked as if the film would give new life to the age-old tale. Unfortunately, something seems to have just went wrong. The pacing of the film just seems wrong and at times the CGI feels as if we are watching someone else play a video game instead of watching a high budget movie. The classic story is also interesting enough without having to add so many new elements into it. All in all this film felt like a bad edit of Lord of the Rings and we felt every minute of the 126-minute runtime. Let’s hope Guy Richie’s next outing, the live action Aladdin movie, can bring more success.
13 Blew Us Away: Thor Ragnarok
Thor Ragnarok is the seventeenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which has been filled with some marvellous films. Thus, nothing Marvel puts out should really blow us away at this point. Well, this movie didn’t get the memo. Director Taika Waititi brings his charm and whit into this film giving it a fun, fast-paced feel that the previous Thor films were missing. Marvel was smart to allow Waititi to have control of this film and do it his way which allowed for the story to unwind while keeping us on the edge of our seats simply to hear the next line that would crack us up. The fun of the film did not take away from other feelings of loss and overcoming obstacles though. This film is well paced and clever and sets up Marvel’s next stage with amazing precision. We are thoroughly awaiting more movies by Waititi.
12 Disappointing: Suburbicon
A movie that is written by Joel and Ethan Coen, directed by George Clooney, and stars Matt Damon, and Julianne Moore sounds amazing on paper. Well, this film far from delivered. Although it was advertised as a horror/thriller movie, Suburbicon managed to be a crime movie with irritating characters, plot holes that an airplane could fly through, the world’s worst firetruck driver, and a vague critic of society that will leave you scratching your head wondering what the writers were actually trying to say. Clooney has his worst outing yet as a director and Damon delivers what may be the most forgettable performance of his career. Suburbicon will leave you wondering what you just watched and why you spent money on it, which is the worst possible feeling you can have while walking out of the theater. If you are looking for a murder mystery go see Murder on the Orient Express and if you are looking for a movie that tackles race go see Marshall. Watching two movies is still a better use of your time than watching this one.
11 Blew Us Away: Get Out
On the other end of the spectrum from Suburbicon, we have Get Out. This film is a social commentary that actually works. Although it did not make the money that IT brought in, Get Out was a thrill ride that kept our hearts beating faster and faster. Being written and directed by Jordan Peele also allowed for the movie to have very funny moments to cut the tension and suspense and allowing us to breathe for just a moment. The comedy also made us connect with the character all the more causing the tension to be that much more palpable through the film. For being Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out is an amazing view on race and society and sets the bar high for anything else he creates. We are hoping he does not disappoint.
10 Disappointing: Baywatch
If there has been anything the movie world has taught us over the years it is that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can save any movie. Just look at the Fast and Furious franchise, G.I. Joe, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and even this year’s Jumanji which was better than expected (but isn’t on this list because it didn’t blow us away). It seemed like Dwayne Johnson could do no wrong. This along with the recent success of 21 and 22 Jump Street had many people excited for a Baywatch reboot. That excitement was not met when the movie hit theaters and earned an 18% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film seems to go out of its way to put in bad jokes and poor writing just for the fun of it giving the entire experience the feeling that no one who worked on this production really cared how the movie turned out. If any good came from Baywatch it was that it lowered our expectations for the C.H.I.P.S. reboot (which were already pretty low).
9 Blew Us Away: Logan
As hard as it may be to believe, superhero movies are no longer a new concept. The first X-Men movie came out seventeen years ago and with it, we saw the theatrical debut of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. This year we saw that character retired in a fashion that swept us off of our feet. Logan was a genre-breaking film that is only the second R-rated superhero outing to date. Since the first film’s release in 2000, the X-Men series has had several misfires including Wolverine solo films that have ranged from okay at best to almost laughable at times. All that to say that Logan was something we were cautiously optimistic about as we walked into theaters. However, Logan left us all a bit upset that this would be the last time we saw Jackman as Wolverine with the outstanding performances, the groundbreaking storytelling, the marvellous visuals, and the killer soundtrack. Even if in the end it was the old superhero trope of fighting someone else exactly like the hero; we were there for every minute of it.
8 Disappointing: The Circle
In a post-Facebook and Google world, a movie like The Circle is almost inevitable. The film is about a girl hired to work at a huge technology company but soon finds that the company she works for is continuously pushing the boundaries of encroaching on individuals’ privacy and freedom. The film stars Emma Watson, John Boyega, Patton Oswalt, and America’s sweetheart Tom Hanks. The Circle is yet another film that is amazing on paper. The film throws out so many ideas that it fails to capitalize and fully realize any of them and tries to address the entirety of what could go wrong with the internet in a runtime of 110 minutes. This leaves the dark and mysterious tone of the film that is supposed to be frightening and thought-provoking as little more than laughable and forgettable.
7 Blew Us Away: The Disaster Artist
Is it possible to make one of the best movies of the year based on one of the worst movies of all time? The Disaster Artist takes a look at the movie-making process, specifically the process of Tommy Wiseau. With a cast that is spot on throughout the entire movie and a storyline that leaves us wanting for more, we are given a behind the curtain peek at the making of The Room which has been dubbed the worst movie ever made. The Disaster Artist currently has a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and it earns every bit of it. This movie took us by surprise with its charm and attention to detail. We only plan to see the popularity of The Disaster Artist grow as we get closer and closer to award season. The only issue we have now is that we need to know more about the shadowed figure behind it all; Tommy Wiseau.
6 Disappointing: Justice League
If Justice League would have been the next outing following Batman vs Superman then it may have been a more enjoyable movie. It at least would not have made this list because we would have expected it to be bad. The downfall of this movie is that it came out after Wonder Woman, which was a surprise in the DCEU. Justice League forced in five heroes, only three of which had been in previous films, along with a new villain and gave us a story in 120 minutes. This left for little character development for heroes and villains. The lack of character development coupled with the fact that the plotline seemed like a worse version of Avengers: Age of Ultron left critics and fans with a bad taste in their mouths. There are a few fun moments throughout the film and judging against other DCEU movies it isn’t bad, but compared to other movies in its genre Justice League feels like a letdown from which we are really hoping DC learns.
5 Blew Us Away: Wonder Woman
In a cinematic world alongside Man of Steel with a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice with a 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, and the Oscar-winning Suicide Squad with a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes, Wonder Woman had an uphill climb, to say the least. Relative newcomer Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins shocked the world with the success of this movie. Gal Gadot showed that she does have some acting chops that previous films had not allowed her to show off in full extent and Patty Jenkins developed a world that audiences wanted to be a part of. This all with Chris Pine’s outstanding supporting performance showed us all that female heroes are capable of their own movies. The film did suffer from the usual DCEU issues such as the development of secondary characters and the villain simply being a grey CGI monster saturated in smoke, but the film holds up. Wonder Woman is a beacon of hope for us to hold on to going forward in the DCEU.
4 Disappointing: The Mummy
Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy started a trilogy despite having mixed reviews from critics. Even with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 57% the movie has a strong fan base and opened a path for the return of Universal monster movies. Maybe it was this type of thinking that went behind Universal Studios building an entire franchise known as the Dark Universe on the shoulders of a reboot of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise in the summer of 2017. The company had slated several more movies connected to The Mummy and had brought on Javier Bardem, and Johnny Depp to join the already cast Tom Cruise and Russel Crowe with talks of bringing in Angelina Jolie to play the Bride of Frankenstein. Their universe quickly came tumbling down, however; as critics and fans alike despised this film causing the film to lose nearly $100 million and get a 16% on Rotten Tomatoes. This caused the production to immediately halt on an interconnected monster universe.
3 Blew Us Away: Logan Lucky
How good could a movie about a bunch of rednecks that decide to rob a Nascar track be? Well, it turns out to be great! Steven Soderbergh comes out of retirement for this fun film and he does not disappoint. The director of the Ocean’s franchise shows he still has it by taking these five backwoods guys and developing a vault heist that will entertain and excite for the entire ride. Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig give outstanding performances throughout the film and keep you on your toes trying to guess what they will do next. Logan Lucky changes the way we look at heist movies and the characters that are in them all while keeping a smile on our faces which earned it a certified fresh 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
2 Disappointing: The Dark Tower
One thing can be certain. We never have a shortage of Stephen King adaptions. 2017 was no exception to this rule. With the knowledge of the fact that IT would be hitting theaters the very next month, The Dark Tower illuminated the big screen in August of this year. The Dark Tower is a series from Stephen King that ties together all of his novels making them take place within the same universe. The movie also boasted a cast starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. How could we not get excited? The film’s casting director should get a promotion, or maybe even a medal. The acting was the only redeemable quality of this film. Idris Elba once again proves that he should get better films by giving his all in this poorly executed movie. It would seem that the studio knew what they had before the film even released as the marketing for the movie that should be the biggest in the Stephen King universe was almost nonexistent.
1 Blew Us Away: It
The Dark Tower left something to be desired for those who actually saw it. After seeing it the steam in which we had going into the Stephen King universe was a little lackluster. Then, after the smoke had settled from a disappointing summer we were left staring face to face with a demented alien disguised as a clown. The unsettling performance by Bill Skarsgard coupled with the amazing performances of all the kinds in the losers club made for one thrill ride that was beyond enjoyable. Although the movie was not keep-you-up-at-night scary, it had its moments that seemed to crawl under your skin. On the other hand, the film was also quite funny and heartfelt. The story and character development along with the beautiful vivid color and visuals pull you in and make you feel like you are part of this world.