12 Get Out
Be it the early sight of a car pulling up alongside an African-American man, or a photo of an angry dog being held on a tight leash, the color white spells doom in Jordan Peele’s social-commentary horror hit Get Out—albeit ultimately in unexpected ways. Surrounded by his white girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) Obama-loving family and their friends during a weekend getaway at their rural estate, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) finds himself increasingly uncomfortable, especially after a series of encounters with fellow African-Americans (the household’s staffers, a young boyfriend of a much older white woman) make him suspect that something is scarily amiss.
Even if it didn’t conclude with a gasp-inducing twist that forces one to reconsider everything that’s come before it, Split would stand as a triumphant return to form for director M. Night Shyamalan, the former The Sixth Sense wunderkind who’d lately fallen on tough studio-for-hire times. Unlike his sturdy 2015 found-footage thriller The Visit, Shyamalan’s latest boasts the menacing, meticulous widescreen beauty of his signature hits. Here, his sinister style is used in service of a story about three young girls (Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, and Jessica Sula) who are kidnapped by James McAvoy’s Kevin—and then learn that they actually have many captors, considering that Kevin boasts 23 distinct personalities.
10 Alien: Covenant
Blending the body horror of his 1979 Alien, the gung-ho combat of James Cameron’s 1986 sequel Aliens, and the philosophical grandiosity of his 2012 prequel Prometheus—not to mention the man-and-machine musings of his 1982 Blade Runner—Ridley Scott delivers a biblically scaled interstellar nightmare with Alien: Covenant. Scott’s latest spends its first hour setting up a familiar battle between human colonists and angry xenomorphs, after the former decide to investigate a mysterious distress signal from a nearby planet. Yet after expertly going through the tried-and-true monster-movie motions, the director then shifts gears by turning his prime attention to Michael Fassbender’s android David.
9 John Wick: Chapter 2
Rarely has a film seemed less in need of a sequel than 2014’s John Wick, a self-contained bit of action-cinema perfection. Nonetheless, John Wick: Chapter 2 manages to justify its own existence through a constant barrage of masterful gun-fu carnage, with bullets flying at a jaw-dropping rate courtesy of Keanu Reeves’ nattily dressed assassin. Director David Leitch’s follow-up is a symphonic orgy of frenzied firearm warfare, with violence here depicted as a culinary art form performed by stylish Zen badasses with philosophical souls
8 ‘Personal Shopper’
Kristen Stewart hits a career peak as an American in Paris who buys clothes, shoes, jewelry and fashionable accessories for an entitled celebrity – meanwhile, in her spare time, she’s trying to make contact with the spirit of her twin brother
7 Wonder Woman’
Patty Jenkins and her skill at keeping focus on the spectacular Israeli actress Gal Gadot. She plays the title role with a bracing blend of physical grace and feminist fire, the kind that might just make her an Oscar contender in the Best Actress race. Why not? Female empowerment is as rarely celebrated in the comic-book universe as it is in Hollywood’s macho spin on reality. Wonder Woman, your time is now!
Not since Disney’s Aristocats has there been so much anarchic, kitten pageantry committed to the big screen. Infiltrating the free-roaming feline population of Istanbul, Kedi squats down to see the world from the eyes of mama cats, young furballs, and fuzzy loners.
5 Cars 3 (2017)
4 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.
3 Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
Autobots and Decepticons are at war, with humans on the sidelines. Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth
3 Beauty and the Beast (2017)
An adaptation of the fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.
Hugh Jackman bears his adamantium claws one last time as Marvel’s Wolverine in James Mangold’s Logan, which—after 2013’s samurai-themed The Wolverine—relocates the character in dusty, downbeat Western terrain. Set in a 2029 in which mutants are rare specimens thought to be extinct (as well as the stuff of comic-book legend), Mangold’s film finds Jackman’s famed hero hiding out in remote Texas, caring for a dementia-addled Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and trying to forget how he got all the scars that now mar his body, failing to heal the way they did during his youthful heyday. His recluse life is forever upended by the arrival of a young girl (Dafne Keen) with whom he shares a mysterious connection, and who’s wanted by mercenaries led by Boyd Holbrook’s Donald Pierce