We’re a little way away from the end of the year, but most of the major films of the year have already been released and made their splash. If you haven’t had time to get to grips with this year’s biggest releases, we’re going to count down the top five you should keep an eye out for when you decide to do some catching up!
Fans of Edgar Wright’s distinctive style will immediately recognise his signature attention-to-detail and slick editing in Baby Driver. His most popular projects before this were 2007’s Hot Fuzz and 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, each cult-classics in their own right and likely to be joined by Baby Driver shortly. On the surface, it’s a quirky and hilarious heist movie that quickly proves to be a bit of a romantic drama underneath the fantastic soundtrack and exhilarating car chases. Besides being massively entertaining its biggest accolade is how balanced and fulfilling it is, incorporating a mass of genres into an incredibly enjoyable 2-hour ride.
John Wick 2
People were skeptical when former stuntmen for The Matrix franchise, Chad Stahelski and Derek Kolstad, moved from in-front of the camera to behind it when 2014’s John Wick came out – but it ended up being a massive hit. It grossed over four times its $20m budget at the box office, so the sequel was almost guaranteed right off the bat, and it didn’t disappoint at all. While the first had smaller action set-pieces the second (probably due to its increased budget) went up in scale in every sense, making John Wick 2 one of the most exciting and well executed action movies in recent history. Whether it will end up being a franchise that continues remains to be seen, but action enthusiasts should definitely make time to check out both entries if they haven’t yet.
While it isn’t a feel-good movie or necessarily a film for all moviegoers, Dunkirk deserves its plaudits because of its impressive execution. Fans of Christopher Nolan’s style know very well that he’s a gifted storyteller, but due to the non-fiction nature of the source material, there was some hesitation on whether he’d manage to pull off a WWII semi-documentary film. Safe to say, after reviews came in, he knocked it out of the park, creating a suitably tense and claustrophobic atmosphere with its cinematography and score that perfectly immersed viewers in the harrowing escape from Dunkirk in 1940. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those interested in war epics, this is probably one of the best topical WWII films to come out in some time. It’s being touted for Academy Award nominations (and potentially certain to win at least one), so expect Dunkirk to make some waves when award season comes around in a few months.
Due to the volatile reception of Warner Bros’ DC cinematic universe, not a lot of hope was reserved for the quality of Wonder Woman, but surprisingly, it ended up being a standout performer. It got not only invested comic-book fans raving but also the general audience, which is primarily down to how director Patty Jenkins set out to direct the movie. Rather than work in the realm of this being a comic-book movie first and foremost, she set about creating an engaging narrative as her priority and worrying about whether or not it fit in the genre later. While we’re used to massive CGI-laden spectacles when it comes to our superhero adventures, Wonder Woman pleasantly flipped the script and delivered a fun and balanced movie that did justice to the iconic character’s first solo silver-screen outing.
Blade Runner 2049
Sadly for Blade Runner fans, 2049 hasn’t been a commercial success, but perhaps in a symbolic metaphor, it has garnered the same reception as its predecessor did way back in 1982 – and that film is now considered one of the best in modern times. It’s a darkly introspective sci-fi that mirrors all the themes and questions of its predecessor, but offers an even more involved plot and possibly even better protagonist. Denis Villeneuve meticulously crafted this sequel, applying his moody and solemn atmosphere to amazing effect and closing the loop (presumably) on what was a riveting narrative in 1982 and has become only more relevant today. Fans of the original have no doubt already seen it, but those unfamiliar with the franchise but who enjoy science fiction, thought-provoking storytelling, or detective thrillers may be surprised at how enthralling both films are – it’s definitely a worthy successor to the Blade Runner name.