2017 was a fantastic year for movies, and we wanted to celebrate by sharing the moments we loved the most. Whether they made us cry, gasp in awe, or both, here are the moments that reminded us why we love movies.
No Man’s Land (Wonder Woman)
If 2017 as a whole could be condensed into a movie scene, it would be something from the last 20 minutes of mother! However, this seminal sequence from Wonder Woman is the scene I want 2017 to be remembered as. Amongst conflict, there’s at least one person who takes a stand and leads charge against what is wrong, or what is seen as impossible. And that person isn’t a dude.
Father and Daughter (Logan)
I SAID SPOILERS! After years of torture, pain, and suffering, the Wolverine finally lays to rest. Besides the overbearing weight of Hugh Jackman’s decade-spanning portrayal of Wolverine coming to an end, this scene perfectly carries the character’s legacy and concludes Logan’s story through stellar performances from Jackman and Dafne Keen. It’s both Keen’s heartbreaking delivery of “Daddy,” and Jackman’s sorrowful and illuminating pronouncement of “So this is what it feels like,” coming from a man who couldn’t die and now finally experiences death, that cements Logan as not only one of the best comic book movies, but best character endings ever.
Making a Memory (Blade Runner 2049)
This is a tough scene to describe due to how this sequence fits into 2049 as a whole, but man o man THIS SCENE. I could watch Dr. Stelline make a birthday cake all day. Outrageously incredible effects aside, it’s the subtleties of this scene that makes it so beautiful. Stelline’s little smile, K’s eyes as they swell with realization, and the eruption of emotions from both of them that follows. It’s these little details that stick in our head and form what we remember, real or not.
Speaking of memories…
GRAB THE KLEENEX. Coco is one of Pixar’s strongest recent efforts, and undoubtedly the film’s music plays a big role. “Remember Me,” is the movie’s most important song, and it’s how the melody is used throughout the film that is most powerful. In its final variation (link to audio), Miguel plays the song for his great-grandmother to try to stir memories of her almost forgotten father. Like most scenes in the movie, you’ll start crying from sadness and end crying from happiness. It’s the culmination of everything Coco is about, and it’s the gut-punch of emotions Pixar knows how to deliver.
Father and Son (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)
There’s enough moments in Guardians Vol. 2 to fill up this entire list, but the film’s final sequence is what elevates this movie into true greatness. Peter listening to the Zune with Groot. Gamora and Nebula sharing a hug as sisters. Kraglin seeing the Ravengers arrive. Rocket’s tear. THE SONG. In a movie that is laser-focused on character development, it’s truly amazing to see a finale that encapsulates so much, and still everything Vol.2 was about. Family, love, and realizing you are never alone.
Take Me Home, Country Roads (Logan Lucky)
2017 was, oddly enough, the year of John Denver. The beloved folk singer’s music showed up in a number of movies last year, and interestingly, “Take Me Home, Country Roads” was featured prominently in three films released over the summer. Despite this very strange coincidence (I call it The Great Country Road Conspiracy), this is not what makes the song’s use in Logan Lucky so memorable. The song functions here as an immensely powerful climax illuminating the love between a father and daughter, and ultimately a shared sense of unity that 2017 desperately needed. Suck it Alien: Covenant and Kingsman: The Golden Circle!
Meet the Parents (Spider-Man Homecoming)
I’ve never heard an entire theater audibly gasp during the reveal of a plot twist…until I saw Spider-Man Homecoming. Sure, the reveal that Liz’s dad is Vulture isn’t necessarily a twist, but the way this scene plays out with Peter’s restrained yet horrified reaction, and the extremely tense car scene that follows, plants this as one of the greatest shockers of the year. And no, that wasn’t a Shocker pun.
¡Tequila! (Baby Driver)
It may not be as intricate as the first or second scene, but the “Tequila” shootout in Baby Driver is very emblematic of the film as whole. It’s Edgar Wright doing what he does best: rhythmic editing gleefully matched with over-the-top violence. However, it’s the precision of each gunshot timed to each blare of the horn or pronouncement of “Tequila!” that vividly shows the viewer that is more than just a regular movie: it’s a concept album come to life and cranked up to 11.
Holdo’s Sacrifice (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
The Last Jedi succeeds in breaking conventions and offering numerous fresh surprises to the Star Wars formula; and perhaps what is most memorable from simply an aesthetic standpoint is Vice Admiral Holdo’s final command. In a brilliant flash of light, the Resistance cruiser rams through the First Order’s Dreadnought in complete, bone-chilling silence. Holdo’s heroism aside, this is a breathtaking visual and the most jaw dropping sequence in the film. Besides Kyswole Ren.
You’ll Never Know Just How Much I Love You (The Shape of Water)
Guillermo del Toro’s latest film is a beautifully captured love story/fairy tale that masterfully blends fantasy with reality, and no better is this illustrated than the film’s dream sequence. As Elisa, the film’s mute protagonist, imagines an idyllic future for herself and her hot frogman lover, the harsh lightning of her apartment dims, and a spotlight focuses on her. Inexplicably, Elisa begins to sing, as she and her beloved appear in an old Hollywood set, complete with black and white picture. The couple elegantly dance as Elisa sings “You’ll Never Know, Just How Much, I Love You” from the 1943 film Four Jills in a Jeep. The sequence is breathtaking and gleaming with hope, but as quickly as it begins, the fantasy ends, and Elisa is once again mute. Although Elisa has found love, she is still incapable of verbally expressing this feeling to her lover, who in return cannot do the same. It is both stirring and haunting, and one of many reason’s why this film is among 2017’s best.
Anything we miss? Let us know, and cheers to the films of 2018.