Awww yeah, baby! It’s time for the Scriptshadow Worst of Best of 2017 List! Believe it or not, The Last Jedi is NOT my least favorite movie of the year. So I’ll keep you in suspense about that for awhile. Full Disclosure, I haven’t seen every movie of 2017 yet. I didn’t see Mother or Lady Bird. I haven’t seen the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie. Not Coco, Molly’s Game, or Call Me By Your Name, or The Florida Project. I suspect of those films, Molly’s Game and The Florida Project might have made my Top 10, and that Mother and the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie had a good chance of making my Worst Of (for those new to the site – I’ve always thought PTA was a terrible writer and that his last two movies prove that in spades).

As for bubble films, Get Out, whose script you all know I loved, didn’t transfer as well as I was hoping for. There was something I didn’t like about the actor playing the lead. But it’s still a solid movie. Colossal was a huge surprise for me. I really liked that movie and it almost made my Top 10. Logan was cool. Ingrid Goes West was a sliver away from making the cut. What killed that movie was the actor who played the brother. Worst performance of the year. Oh, but guys, check out that film for Ice Cube’s son’s performance. This guy is about to break out and become a superstar. He’s amazing. Blade Runner was Snore Runner. I tried so hard to get into War of the Planet of the Apes but it was just meh. The Beguiled started off strong then fell apart when they (major spoiler) chopped Colin Farrel’s leg off. Bitter much Sofia Coppola!? Have I forgotten anything?

Feel free to attack my sanity in the comments. But I’d also LOOOOOVE it if you guys suggested any great smaller movies that went under the radar this year. I’m always looking for the next hidden gem. Enjoy the list!


10) The House
Coincidence that two of my least favorite films of the year have casinos as a major plot point? Hmmmm…. I went on record as soon as this project was announced that it sounded like a dumb idea. Which was strange because the writers launched their careers with such a clever idea in Neighbors. When I finally read the script and saw that the first 40 pages were exposition, I knew the project was dunzoes. If you’re writing 40 pages of exposition into a comedy, you’re no longer writing a comedy. You’re writing an obituary.

9) Raw
This is that French film about… actually I have no idea what it’s about. I think chef college? A vegetarian in chef university? In typical French film fashion, the script seems to have been written by a 12 year old on shrooms. There’s no central narrative. No point. No goal. The director erroneously believes this makes the movie “daring” and “artistic.” No, it just makes it lame. The movie has some memorable visuals, such as characters smearing each other with paint in a paint orgy. But these high points get lost in a discombobulated plot of nothingness. Someone needs to introduce France to Scriptshadow.

8) The Lost City of Z
I am not a Lost City of Z hater. In fact, I read the book the movie is based on. What made the book great was this celebration of adventure and discovery. Some of the stories the author tells about treasure-hunting are wonderfully entertaining. What I didn’t know is that before movies came around, newspapers and magazines chronicled the adventures of real-life treasure hunters. Everyone was racing to the newspaper stand to find out what happened to [insert cool treasure hunter of the time]. They were the “movies” of that period and treasure hunters were the “movie stars.” Well director James Gray seems to have studied at the Rian Johnson School of “Suck all Joy Out of the Past,” turning the film into a dismal elongated meditative piece of crap. Everything about the main character, the side characters, and their missions, is dim, gray, and sad. Way to kill happiness.

7) The Dark Tower
One need only watch the first scene of The Dark Tower to know how bad it’s going to be. We’re in some maybe-future/maybe-past place. With children. And a tower. And a Harry Potter slash Hunger Games school. Before we have any understanding of this time or place or the characters, everything is destroyed by an outside force. One of the primary rules of storytelling is that you have to build the variables up before you tear them down – whether that’s in a scene, sequence, or the entire movie. Without any build-up, we feel nothing when the destruction comes. This is basic Screenwriting 101 stuff. If you can’t get that right, why would I believe you can handle an entire screenplay? Boy was I proven right.

6) The Mummy
I wish I could tell you what happened here. The original script for this movie was good. I swear it! I think once Tom Cruise got involved, nobody knew what to do. On the one hand, Tom Cruise didn’t work at all for what they were imagining. But do you really turn down the star power of Tom Cruise? It’s a little like if Tom Cruise asks you out. You have to go out with him. I mean, he’s Tom Cruise! But then you end up having to endure everything that comes with Tom Cruise. The whirlwind of his career, the media infatuation, his freaky religious views. The Mummy could never figure out if it was a Mummy film or a Tom Cruise film. I so wanted to enjoy this but it imploded quickly. Hash tag bring back Brandon Fraser.

5) Valerian
Poor Luc Besson. This one is hard for me. You’ve wanted to make a movie for 50 years. 50 years! And when you finally do, it’s not just bad. It’s horrible. This is why art is so frustrating. You’d think that having that much time to build something and think about something and write the backstories and the ideas and all of that – you’d come up with something incredible. Maybe this is an example of someone having so many ideas he got lost in the weeds. And then of course there’s the argument that Luc Besson is simply a bad writer. Fair. Whatever the case, everything with this movie was wrong. Worst casting of the year didn’t help matters.

4) It Comes at Night
It Comes at Night might have worked better if something had actually come at night.

3) Alien Covenant
The best thing about Alien Covenant is listening to post-film Ridley Scott’s interviews where he speaks about making eight more Alien movies. Dude, Ridley. It’s over, man. This movie was soooo bad. It was like the studio gave them 100 million dollars, they shot the first act, and then realized they only had 20 million left. So they cobbled together a single set and made a student-film where the main character, an android no less, made love to himself with a flute. Let’s be honest. This franchise died awhile ago. But can we finally say this is it? Oh wait. Disney just bought Fox. Never mind.

2) The Last Jedi
I’ve never seen a more selfish act by a film director in my life. Rian Johnson never had any intention of making a Star Wars movie. He only ever intended to make a Rian Johnson movie. Everything he does in this film is meant to serve his own interests. He never once considers the most faithful audience in the history of film. Listening to him defend his choices (In response to Luke throwing the lightsaber over his shoulder: “It was the only honest choice available.”) shows us just how limited his writing skill is. It’s funny. Two years ago I tried to warn everyone that Johnson was a terrible choice for a Star Wars film. But I just thought he was going to make a bad Star Wars movie. I had no idea he would destroy the most iconic hero in movie history in the process. (this movie is starting to implode at the box office btw – it’ll be interesting to see how Kathleen Kennedy spins it)

1) Beatriz At Dinner
How is it, you ask, that there’s a movie out there you actually hated more than The Last Jedi, Carson!? Welcome to Beatriz at Dinner. This is a movie that had a great setup. Great movies are about contrast, conflict, juxtaposition. Beatriz at Dinner had all of that. A poor Mexican masseuse-healer gets stuck at a rich client’s home for the night, which happens to be the night a Rupert Murdoch like figure is coming over for dinner. The movie starts off perfectly. I’m telling you. I was watching this and thinking, “Why isn’t this film being mentioned in the Oscar race? Why aren’t John Lithgow and Salma Hayek getting Oscar noms?” And then…. I can’t even tell you what happened. A brilliantly crafted screenplay turned into a giant pile of garbage. This film has one of the worst endings to the best beginnings that I’ve ever witnessed. I’ve never felt more betrayed and frustrated by a film.


10) Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot is the greatest actress of our generation. Okay, maybe that’s pushing it. But she’s so damn charming. And Chris Pine is so damn charming also. And together they’re charming squared. They have the kind of chemistry you get once a year in Hollywood. Was the plot perfect? Nah. Was the villain perfect? Nah. But the setting was unique and the movie was fun, dammit. I love that this is only going to give us more Gal Gadot, starting with the number one script on this year’s Black List, Ruin.

9) Kingsman 2
You guys are probably looking at me and going, “I’m sorry-scuse-me-whaaaa?” I’ve never mentioned this franchise on the site before. But I just watched this film and holy bonkers! This is the craziest movie you will see all year. It’s absolutely NUTS! You have Julianne Moore grinding people up to make burgers. In a hidden Aztec enclave with a 50s movie theater and diner. I threw this on for background watching and it quickly turned into a marquee showing at the Casa de Carson. Loooovvvvved it!

8) The Disaster Artist
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been listening to a lot of James Franco interviews promoting this film. Here’s a fun fact. When Franco came to General Hospital and said he wanted to be on a season of their show, they moved planets to appease him. But scheduling was tough. Franco was filming a movie in New York at the time. So what they did was they flew Franco in every Friday after his movie shoot, and Franco would shoot ALL OF HIS GENERAL HOSPITAL SCENES for the next month in one day/night. He said that he would routinely shoot over 100 script pages A DAY. That’s an entire feature in a day, lol! Anyway, who better to direct and star in a movie about the worst movie ever made, and spend the production in character as the character he’s playing, than James Franco. I love everything about this movie, both the movie itself and all the stories surrounding it. Oh, and get this. The Room is finally getting a wide release! After 15 years, Tommy Wiseau’s dream is finally coming true!

7) Dunkirk
Dunkirk is the most bold studio release of the year. It tells its story out-of-order and with little dialogue, yet manages to be captivating throughout the majority of its running time. I went into this film grumbling about the setup, which didn’t seem that interesting for a war film (compared to, say, storming the beaches of Normandy). But the film taught me that the real war is often fought in between the big battles. And it captured one of World War 2’s biggest “in between moments” with some beautiful cinematography and sound design. The film I’d most recommend on this list seeing in the theater.

6) Donald Cried
One of the things I’ve become great at over the years is sniffing out all the movies that have a chance of being good. If I haven’t at least heard of it, chances are it’s terrible. I’d never heard of Donald Cried. And I only checked it out because of Itunes’ “Filmmakers to Watch” feature. This film probably has the best character of the year in it. Donald is like a grown up version of Napoleon Dynamite, but with more edge. The movie takes place when Donald’s childhood best friend, who’s now rich and successful, comes home for the weekend and gets stuck hanging out with Donald. If you’re into quirky dark humor, I DEFINITELY recommend this.

5) Spider-Man: Homecoming
Everything they did wrong in the previous Spider-Man films, they did right here. They brought a youthful enthusiasm back to the main character. They gave us a villain we actually liked for once in a Spider-Man movie. They flipped some of the characters on their head. They had some cool set-pieces, like the Washington Monument sequence. Oh, and let’s not forget that twist. Spider-Man is so back I wanna wrap myself in a peanut-butter flavored web and eat my way out. No idea what that means.

4) Thor: Ragnarok
If you would’ve told me at the beginning of the year that I’d have three super-hero movies in my Top 10, I’d tell you you were Girl Interrupted insane. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve finally come around to the genre or that there are so many comic book movies being released that I don’t have a choice. But this is another super hero film that I loved. You can probably spot a theme here. All of these super-hero movies on my list were fun, made you feel good, and honored their fan base. Probably the best thing to come out of this movie is the unlimited talent that is Taika Waititi. Taika proved that you can both bring your own vision to an established franchise and satisfy the fan base at the same time. Now come make a Star Wars movie, Taika! #Taika4Yoda

3) Columbus
You guys have heard me talk about this film already. If Thor: Ragnarok is non-stop thrills and action, Columbus is non-stop shots of buildings and quiet conversations. Sound boring? I suppose it could be to some. But if you love cinematography and minimalism, want to meet one of the best young actresses around, and escape for a couple of hours from the 24 hour bombardment of family/work/news/internet, Columbus is your film.

2) The Big Sick
I resisted The Big Sick for as long as I could. It was the only movie in my Top 10 list that I felt there was a good chance I’d hate. It just felt like another one of those, “Oh, my culture is different from your culture, yuk yuk yuk” romantic comedies. But it wasn’t that at all. The writer, Emily Gordon, cleverly switches the female lead out, replacing her with the parents, giving the story an unexpected jolt. They say that it’s impossible to replicate great films because every great film is lightning in a bottle. Well, they caught the 1.21 gigawatt version of a lightning bolt in this bottle. The movie doesn’t have a single flaw.

1) Good Time
I didn’t think filmmaking like this happened anymore. I thought it died in the 90s. But that kinetic risk-taking let’s push the boundaries style that brought us filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Danny Boyle is back with the Safdie Brothers. The hardest thing to do in any movie is to consistently surprise the audience, yet make every one of those surprises feel like they couldn’t have gone any other way. Good Time embodies that philosophy throughout. There are so many scenes in this movie that are better than all of the best scenes you’ve seen this year. The directing is great. The acting is great. The soundtrack is superb. I loved this movie so much! Go watch it!

  • Poe_Serling

    Wow. List time.

  • Justin

    For me, “The Big Sick” was my favorite film of 2017. Honestly, couldn’t find a single thing wrong with it. Couldn’t find a single scene I had gripes about. Best film of the year.

    • Branko Maksic

      How odd, I failed to laugh a single time. I’m not a disciple from the Judd Apatow school of comedy, though.

      • Justin

        I don’t remember laughing that much, honestly. Maybe I did, maybe I didnt. But what I do remember is that because it was based off real events, it came across as a very pure and genuine film, which I appreciated more than anything. No bravado, no bullshit. The story and characters were perfectly written and portrayed, and because they were based off real people, they were completely relatable and downright honest.

        …Or something like that. I’m typing this out during my walk home so it’s a bit rushed.

      • Stephjones

        I left the theater utterly depressed by that movie. I’m bewildered by the response to it.

        • Justin

          I’m curious what you didn’t like about it? I’m always interested to view movies from other people’s perspectives.

    • RO

      I’m glad you liked it. I’ve seen some of Kumali’s stand up and he’s not bad, but I found that him in this movie was kind of boring and I was extremely distracted by the fact he looks in his mid 40s and his love interest looks like she’s about to graduate high school. It was really jarring casting IMO. I couldn’t get in the flick because of it. If they got an older looking woman to play opposite Kumali, I think I would have been more receptive.

      • carsonreeves1

        She did look like a clone of his real-life wife though.

      • Justin

        Hmm… Very good point, but to me, their chemistry was so on point that their age difference didn’t even cross my mind.

        And what Carson just posted — I googled Kumali’s wife, and the actress (Zoey, I think?) is pretty much a near-perfect clone of her.

  • Branko Maksic

    Wind River gets my vote for best film. Taylor Sheridan is developing quite a nice portfolio of work for himself. The final shootout is a little out of place in terms of tone, but I was completely engrossed the entire time.

    From a technical point of view, Blade Runner was stupendous, too.

    • carsonreeves1

      Also, that Sicario 2 trailer looks pretty badass.

  • Andrew Parker

    I strongly disagree on Raw. I thought it was one of the best films of the year.

    It’s absolutely ridiculous for you to champion MEAT, and then say this movie had “No central narrative. No point. No goal.” I would say it had more of each of those than MEAT does. (no offense to MEAT)

    • carsonreeves1

      I thought Meat’s narrative was intensely focused. A wife agrees to join her husband off in the middle of nowhere – off the grid – only to realize that she made a mistake. As she emotionally pulls away, tension builds, and we know all of this is going to come to a head.

      Maybe I missed something but Raw felt like a bunch of college kids running all over the place. What was the plot?

      Cool that the titles of the films in this argument could spawn their own movie.

      Raw Meat


      • Andrew Parker

        Yeah, I don’t think you read the subtitles very closely.

        (Extreme Spoilers)

        A 16 year old girl heads away from home for the first time to veterinary school. A lifelong vegetarian, she’s forced to eat meat for the first time as part of a hazing ritual. She then starts having weird urges. And weird stuff starts happening. And she really starts craving meat!

        It’s basically a really well-filmed, well-acted, well-scored coming-of-age zombie film, heavy on allegory and visual flourish.

        It’s got a nice bit of original gore for horror fans. But it’s best as a character portrait of the difficulties of moving away from home for the first time and feeling like you don’t fit in.

        Whoever the actress is that played the lead… she’s the next Marion Cotillard.

        And the director, was a 33 year old first-time feature female filmmaker. If she was male and American, she’d have a 2 picture deal at Marvel already lined up.

        • carsonreeves1

          Maybe meat’s the hot new subject matter. :)

          • klmn

            You should watch The Corpse Grinders immediately.

          • klmn

            I’ll even give you a logline. The owner of a struggling cat-food company needs to cut costs, so he turns to grave-robbing for his raw materials. Only problem – the kitties develop a taste for human flesh and attack people.

          • Justin

            Holy shit, that’s pretty terrifying… I could see someone writing a remake of that film.

          • klmn

            The execution was not great. Checking IMDB, there were a couple sequels over the years and a recent remake that looks to be stuck in post production.

            The director, Ted Mikaels made a bunch of low budget movies over the years. I was surprised to learn that he died in 2016.


    • Justin

      I see where you’re coming from regarding “Meat.” While I’m an incredibly huge fan of the script, I did think that the script (plot and whatnot) didn’t have enough… “meat.”

      It felt a bit like a short masquerading as a feature, but the script was so good (especially the ending) that all the other flaws can be overlooked.

  • punee94

    Hey C, are you going to check out Lady bird or did the trailer not interest you?

    • carsonreeves1

      I will watch it eventually for sure. I probably won’t pay 20 bucks to see it though.

      • Midnight Luck

        Don’t believe the hype.
        It seriously isn’t worth it.
        Greta Gerwig has just managed to get a ton of hype around this, yet it is as navel gazing, plodding, and vague as any of the Sundance movies you haven’t liked are.
        I was shocked, because I actually believed all the hype, and left the theater quite saddened that it was, yet again, another meandering, pointless, self important movie about, well, not much. (except maybe the author)

      • Ninjaneer

        MoviePass yo.

        $10 / month for up to one movie a day at the theaters. I go at least once a week now because of it. Works at basically all theaters.

  • Raza Rizvi

    Just for a comparison of taste here are my top 10 of the year:
    1. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    2. Lady Bird
    3. Call Me By Your Name
    4. The Square (Sweden)
    5. A Ghosty Story
    6. Raw (France)
    7. Blade Runner 2049
    8. 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
    9. Personal Shopper
    10. Thelma (Norway)

    I have yet to see Phantom Thread and I’m a huge PTA fan, so I expect that to be in contention for my top 10 of the year.

    • carsonreeves1

      What’s The Square about? I’ve been hearing some good things about that.

  • Midnight Luck

    I see a shitton of movies.
    Yet I only saw like 2 of these.

    My List:

    Get Out
    Kong: Skull Island
    Baby Driver
    #3 J.Wick: Shit Part 2
    Blade Runner
    A Dog’s Purpose
    Atomic Blonde
    The Dark Tower
    Going In Style
    The Big Sick
    Ghost In The Shell
    Fist Fight
    Logan Lucky
    Home Again
    Lady Bird
    Meagan Leavey
    #2 The Cure for Wellness
    #1 A Ghost Story
    Personal Shopper

    Inbetween: Couldn’t create a list, they were all about average
    Happy Death Day
    All Eyez On Me
    The Foreigner
    The Circle
    The Glass Castle
    The Disaster Artist
    It Comes At Night
    Before I Fall
    Roman J. Israel Esq.
    The Space Between Us
    Beatriz At Dinner
    Table 19
    Ingrid Goes West
    T2: Trainspotting
    Patti Cake$

    #1 ***The Founder (though technically should’ve been a 2016 film)
    #2 Wind River
    #3 (tie) Detroit
    #3 (tie) Battle of the Sexes
    American Made
    The Mountain Between Us
    The Zookeeper’s Wife

    That’s my list, and I’m stickin’ to it.
    Rather a crappy year.
    I LOVED THE FOUNDER, which was supposed to be a Summer 2016 release, and then an Oscar release, but McDonald’s shit a brick and had the Hollywood pansies shove it off into mid January graveyard zone out of fear it would bring a negative feeling to the Golden Shower Arches of bovine pink slime and cowberry utters.

    Wind River and Detroit and Battle of the Sexes were all really solid 2017 releases, and great movies in their own right. But….
    Every year there’s typically one movie that just blows me away and stands far above every other film, so much so that nothing will come even close.
    There was no film like that this year.

    I hope this holiday season brings the goods, because so far, it has been DONUT when it comes to movies I’ll never forget. (***except THE FOUNDER, but again, a 2016 movie, so I’m not quite counting it as a real 2017 best of)

    Better luck next year.

    • carsonreeves1

      lol, Midnight, whoa! I thought I was hard on some well-liked movies. You Rian Johnson’d that lineup.

      • Midnight Luck

        Yeah, I understand I can seem really tough on movies, scripts, and writing.
        Honestly, All I want is for everything to be the absolutely best it can be.
        I hope and wish for greatness with every page and scene, and I absolutely believe it is possible.

        (My reviews and coverage tend to come across differently, i fear)

        • E.C. Henry

          You come across just fine.


    • Justin

      Aw man, sad to see “Logan,” “Baby Driver” and “John Wick” on the list. And “Split”… and “Fist Fight” (which was moderately entertaining). I thought of Logan as the most satisfying ending to a comic book character ever — the perfect comic book film every other Marvel and DC film should be trying to emulate.

      Still, I respect your choices.

    • klmn

      I liked Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.

      • Midnight Luck

        Still haven’t seen 3 Billboards.
        I feel like I should, but my heart isn’t in it.
        I’m really not a fan of the Coen’s, and this has their handwriting all over it.
        I loved Fargo, but otherwise I haven’t liked any of theirs (well, I do really like parts of Burn After Reading).
        So, it has kept me away.
        Maybe video at some point?

    • DaChoppa

      The Founder? Wow. It had an asshole character who was just an asshole throughout the film. I felt no empathy for him at all. No wonder it tanked. The script was good, though, wonder what happened? Croc was not even fascinating to follow.

  • carsonreeves1

    The one by me is $17 for the film and $3 for parking. :(

    • Matt Bishop

      Lady Bird is funny but it’s a rental for sure.

  • Doug

    “And then of course there’s the argument that Luc Besson is simply a bad writer.”

    There’s a technical term for that. It’s called Franco-Anglo-Mangulation. It’s what happens when Europeans try to write movie dialogue in English. It always ends up sounding like something Inspector Clouseau would say. Or a drunk person at a party doing a bad impersonation of a French person.


    WHAT DA FUQ???

    BRIGSBY BEAR is not the top movie of the year?

    This is a terrible review site and all the commentators have bad underarm body odor!

    • klmn

      Mark Hamill! He finally got another part.

      • BMCHB

        He’s great in it.

    • carsonreeves1

      I wanted to see this but the second I went to rent it, it was gone. I realized it was one of those weird “day and date” release thingeys where it’s on Itunes to rent but only for a couple of weeks. I’ll see it though.

      • BMCHB

        It’s kooky and very indie but very sweet at the same time.

        * THE Mark Hamill role of 2017! :-)

      • klmn

        You didn’t address the issue of underarm odor.

  • E.C. Henry

    E.C. Henry’s favorite films of 2017:

    1. “The Last Jedi” Easily the best film of the year, nothing else comes close.
    2. “Wonder Woman”. Gal Gadot is a a-mazing in this one.
    3. “Disaster Artist” Mostly because of the Scriptshadow fun we had with it.
    4. “Baby Driver” Fun move, wayyy better I thought it would be.
    5. “3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” Sam Rockwell steals the show. Most interesting character in ANY movie released in 2017.
    6. “Alien: Covenant” It’s Ridley Scott! Can’t not show the man my love. HUGE fan of sir Ridley Scott.
    7. “Lucky Logan” Backwater charm got to me.
    8. “Daddy’s Home 2″ Funny at times.
    9. “Logan” Better than I thought it would be, BUT that ain’t saying much.
    10. “Spiderman: Homecoming” Michael Keaton as the villain was a GENIOUS move, AND he pulls out a fine performance in an otherwise SHIT movie.

  • Midnight Luck

    I could told you that!

    First big Netflix movie listed as worst movie of the year.
    Trailer looked painfully bad.

    ‘Bright’ Review: Netflix’s First Blockbuster Is the Worst Movie of 2017

    • BMCHB

      “There’s boring, there’s bad, and then there’s “Bright””


      • RO

        I couldn’t get through the script when I was sent a copy. I think I got to the point where Will Smith’s partner is criticizing his live in girlfriend and I checked out.

    • BMCHB

      Okja is Netflix and that is my second favorite film of the year.

      • Midnight Luck

        I still haven’t seen Okja. I really need to.

        • Justin

          Please do. The director is my absolute favorite, and his previous films have all been spectacular so far.

          Fair warning, a few scenes are a bit strange, but fun to watch.

        • Marija ZombiGirl

          Yes, you do. You will love it to bits. If I know you at all ;)

          • Midnight Luck

            Yes, I have a feeling I will love it. I just keep forgetting. (Plus, I don’t really have Netflix)

      • Marija ZombiGirl

        OKJA isn’t pure Netflix – it’s made by an extremely talented director who took the money they offered him and maybe a better deal than the distributors.
        Anything purely Netflix is just plain bad. They have proved that over and over and over.

        • brenkilco

          All made for Netflix movies are bad. Well, almost all. I think they produced Mudbound and that Steven King thing 1922, while no great shakes, at least wasn’t embarrassing.Their batting average with series is better.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Someday hope to make the worst movie.

      • Midnight Luck

        Me too!

        $3 million payday, and they just keep making your scripts into movies.
        Sucky problem to have.

    • Andrea Moss

      In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a photo of Max Landis appears besides the definition of “box office poison”…

      • E.C. Henry

        Ouch, that is mean!

      • Matt Bishop

        His first movie made money.

    • elmos

      Listed as worst movie of the year?

      Yeah, by one person. One person’s opinion hardly constitutes a fact.

  • HelTek

    I’ll add another plug for Wind River. I saw most of the Best and Worst on the list.
    Loved Good Time and Columbus. And also The Florida Project and Mother!.

    But, Blade Runner 2049 would definitely be on my list of the best too.

    As for a couple that might make my top 10 or 20 that I haven’t seen listed yet:

    Hounds of Love
    Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realises she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive.

    I, Olga Hepnarova
    “My verdict is: I, Olga Hepnarová, the victim of your bestiality, sentence you to death penalty.” Those were the famous words of the 22-year-old mass murderer Olga Hepnarová, who in 1973 drove a truck into a group of innocent people in Prague.



    #2 FILM 2017: OKJA

    The others need to try harder.

    • Justin

      Shit, I forgot about Okja. And the director is a fellow Korean — makes me proud to be one :)

      Great film, though. Loved the heck out of it.


    It’s a sad state of affairs when I won’t even attempt to encourage you to watch any of the above…

    *Gal Gadot is stunning in Wonder Woman but if you type her name into Google search bar and click “Images” you can see a lot more for free.

  • Andrea Moss

    What Rian Johnson has done with The Last Jedi is the worst type of narcissism I’ve ever seen. He spits in the legacy of ore talented artists, like JJ Abrams, Kasdan and Lucas. He burns to the ground every plot point, every character created by Abrams and Lucas, every artistic choice made in the previous installments of the saga. He agrees with every studio note. More escatologic jokes! More Porgs! The children will love that! And more Porgs! Porgs are the new Minions!

    I hope in Episode IX Abrams give a taste of his own medicine to Johnson, killing the new characters he has created for The Last Jedi. Killing DJ, Rose and the fucking Porgs in the fist scene of the movie. With extreme prejudice.

    • Brandon

      Also how is it spitting in JJ’s eye when he stated numerous times he loved the script and in fact said when he read it he regretted he was not the one directing ep 8

      • Thaddeus Arnold

        Would you really expect JJ to be any less than complimentary about another director picking up the reins? I recall Spielberg had some glowing words to say about The Phantom Menace prior to its release.

  • unclejam

    I love Carson’s lists every year, mostly because they’re baffling to me in a way I find oddly joyous. There are movies on his Worst list that are personal favorites of mine. (Mainly The Lost City of Z.) There are movies in his Favorites list that I would consider for my personal worst.

    But then his Favorites list has both Good Time and Columbus, the latter of which I thought Carson would hate with a fiery passion (both of which I personally enjoyed a great deal, particularly the former) and I can’t help but smile, what with those movies being the complete opposites of one another.

    I’ve been coming to this site for years. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pin Carson’s tastes down, and I hope it stays that way. Keep doing you, Carson. Keep doing you.

    • carsonreeves1

      I have weird taste for sure. :)

      • E.C. Henry

        That’s true of most people who have an artistic bend. Our minds work differently than the general public. PLUS, you gotta figure in all the script reading you do. That affects your judgement.

  • Jarrean

    Check out: Gook

    The camera work could’ve been better, but I thought it was worth the viewing.

  • Tyler Givens

    Okay, I pretty much agree with both lists. With a couple of exceptions. I actually loved the Dark Tower and The Mummy. I think they’re fun. Haven’t seen The Last Jedi yet, it seems people either love it or hate…and that’s not a bad thing. I mean any reaction is better than ‘meh’. As for Spiderman Homecoming…I can’t understand why people love it so much! It’s soooo fucking laaaaaaame!

  • MrMcGuffin

    On the smaller movies to catch list: Super Dark Times, Always Shine, Una (for the leads), and Newness are worth checking out. Not sure if they’re all 2017, but I believe so.

    Super Dark Times, especially, caught me totally off guard.

  • brenkilco

    Have sort of avoided Good Time because though the reviews are generally good and it’s definitely the kind of thing I like, something just told me it was going to disappoint. Action too frantic, characters too dumb. Something. But if C says it’s the best movie of the year, guess I’ll check it out. At the worst it’ll give me something to rant about.

    Still processing Dunkirk. Technically impressive but slightly chilly, anonymous and remote. I somehow think Christopher Nolan would be better off as a producer. He comes up with grand concepts, big dramatic constructions and amazing technical innovations. But when it comes to the nuts and bolts of action direction and the nitty gritty of scriptwriting he frequently falls short. The fanboys can’t understand the lack of mainstream worship for him. But there is a reason.

    • Kirk Diggler

      ‘but slightly chilly, anonymous and remote.’

      A valid criticism. The film is almost too English in that stiff upper lip kind of way. Still, beautiful to look at.

      • brenkilco

        The cinematography is wonderfully crisp. But could somebody repeal the law that requires all period pieces have their color desaturated. Dunkirk isn’t as big an offender as some others that try to convince you the war years were one big heap of grayish sepia grunge. Would these movies be any less authentic if somebody wore bright green?

        • Kirk Diggler

          Well…. was the sun ever out? According to history, the Luftwaffe only had 2 1/2 days of clear flying conditions out of 9 total days. So it would have looked a little gloomy but yeah I agree overall with your comment about films of this nature with their muted color palette.

          I’m going to watch the film again this weekend on Blu-Ray and note what I see.

          • brenkilco

            Missed it in theaters, alas, but the UHD stream from Vudu with nicely judged HDR will make anybody a 4k believer.

          • Kirk Diggler

            You love your 4k don’t you? Did you buy when it first hit the market?

          • brenkilco

            No, and I’m happy about that. Got a modestly priced but very well reviewed one several months ago with both HDR and WCG. Won’t bore you with the reading I’ve done but color and contrast matter as much as all those extra pixels, and until this year you would have paid through the nose for em. But yeah, video happines is watching Lawrence of Arabia in 4k.

  • MrMcGuffin

    Quick side note – been catching up on all the awards-mentioned movies so far. And this year seems to be the year of very well made, expertly crafted… good movies. There’s nothing with that extra element to it. At least, nothing recent that goes above and beyond being very good at being good at what it wants to be good at. There’s only one movie that is going to resonate with voters as having that extra element to it and that’s… GET OUT. Get out is going to win Best Picture. Book it. It’s not what I would pick, but then, I’m not sure what I would pick, so consider some of the contenders:

    Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri – this is an acting/writing showcase. Not a total package.

    Lady Bird – the type of movie that’s good and talked up to the point people believe it’s great, then see it, and get mad at it for not being great. This is a good movie. That is all.

    The Shape of Water – this movie is very good to excellent across the board – but I just can’t see the voters circling the movie that opens with vigorous masturbation as the best picture of the year. It’s a fairy tale. An adult one, and a good one, but I don’t think it’s destined to be remembered.

    Darkest Hour – acting showcase. Joe Wright always seems to get his movies to the race (forget Pan), but never across the finish line.

    The Big Sick – I love when there are small movies each year that get in the race. They always win a smaller award (screenplay/supporting actor) and their real prize seems to be the nomination.

    The Florida Project – see above

    so that leaves us with Get Out’s three biggest pieces of competition

    Call Me by Your Name – I haven’t seen it. I don’t know. This one just *looks* closer to falling into the Big Sick/Florida Project category than the big player category.

    The Post – We made this movie in like, a month, just to get it out this year and say, Fuck you, Mr. Trump. Stacked cast, stacked technical talent, timely subject. Haven’t seen this one, but it feels like the type of movie that once it gets going, can run the table.

    Dunkirk – a big budget/big studio (there is a difference – Valerian) that took a chance and had it pay off in spades. If you want to talk about movies that you absolutely should have seen in the theater, it’s this one. This is the entire “movie experience,” which is something that’s hard to pin down and explain. But it takes advantage of everything “the movies” provides to the audience and pays them back with it. Big moments, big sound… a big sweeping, DIFFERENT kind of movie. The more I think about what this was able to accomplish in terms of the kind of moviegoing experience it gives you, the more I want it recognized.

    And then we have… Get out – the only other movie this year that was an absolute must-see in the theater. I’ve never seen so many different reactions to the same moments, or heard so many different types of laughter and oohs and ahhs than the opening night screening of Get Out. And that whole experience, and everythig that came after it is something that hasn’t gone away. Couple that with the fact that Jordan Peele literally created a new subgenre, The Social Thriller, one that’s going to be aped for years, and you have something that will have stuck with voters for the better part of a year by the time they vote. That’s crazy to me and pretty cool. So if I were a betting man, unless the Post comes out and absolutely lays waste to everything in it’s left-leaning path, then I really do think Get Out is going to win the Best Picture Oscar.

    • brenkilco

      Social thrillers go back many decades: Crossfire, No Way Out, The Defiant Ones, In The Heat Of The Night. Peele’s movie is a mashup of horror thriller, horror comedy, B movie scifi and social satire with a bit of relationship drama thrown in. Don’t see others aping it successfully.

      And smart and enjoyable as it is, the B movie elements- mad scientist and brain transplants- and the muddled social satire- why exactly does this coven of old surburban pyschos want to be reincarnated as young black men?- make it a hard sell for Best Picture. Though with ten slots I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets a nomination

      • Poe_Serling

        “… enjoyable … B movie elements … scientist and brain … ”

        The Brain from Planet Arous

        A giant brain from the above-mentioned planet takes over the
        body of a scientist (John Agar) in its first step of controlling the
        entire planet.

        And I’m pretty sure this one would’ve been in consideration
        for a possible Best Picture nod if there were an extra five
        slots back in the ’57 Oscar race.


        • brenkilco

          John Agar, the crown prince of grade Z fifties sci fi.

          Fandango was selling a streaming HD version of Creature From The Black Lagoon for four bucks a couple of days ago so I broke down and bought it. Now the iconic gill man and Julie Adams’ bathing suit aside, Creature is not exactly citizen Kane, but I read something interesting. The Lagoon was not a location. It was a man made lake on the studio back lot. Honestly wouldn’t have guessed that. Sort of impressive. All the underwater stuff was apparently shot clear across the country in Florida.

          • Poe_Serling

            I’ve read that some of the Creature from the Black Lagoon was filmed at Franklin Canyon Park (featuring a small lake and the usual hiking trails) just off Mulholland Drive.

            From my own experience, the film locations from Creature don’t match up with the landscape of the park.

            Some might counter with it’s been 60 plus years since the filming
            of Uni’s horror pic.


            Like I mentioned here before, Franklin Canyon is the original site of the familiar opening of The Andy Griffith Show. It also doubled as the Myers Lake area in the long-running TV series.

            Even today, a visitor to the park realizes the terrain hasn’t changed
            very much from the classic TV show.

  • Jim

    It’s interesting with all the spilt-milk over the Last Jedi and ballyhooing about Rian Johnson not following through on any of JJ’s set-ups that people are forgetting Luke’s entire trajectory is predicated on what JJ did. He’s a broken and miserable for what be believes he did, yet he goes through an arc of redemption. Is it really that big of a stretch of imagination to see a whiney “I can do it” farm boy in the first movie turn into a disillusioned man?

    The Force Awakens had so many issues with coincidences (Rey just happens to be on the same planet as the Falcon, which she just happens to know how to fly, which just happens to cross path’s with Han Solo first in this big, vast, galaxy, and Han Just happens to have a friend who just happens to have Luke’s lightsaber… the bits and humor in that effectively worked to cover-up the lazy writing, though I’m not sure if one is to give JJ credit for obviously not knowing how to answer how Luke’s Lightsaber got there in the first place (that’s a story for another time.)

    The biggest question The Last Jedi left for me is… what happened to C3PO’s red arm, which is unfortunate because at least JJ set up a lot of questions for The Last Jedi and I don’t think Rian passed the torch quite effectively. That being said, when asked what I thought when I first saw The Force Awakens, I shrugged and said “eh, it alright.” When asked what I thought when I first saw The Last Jedi, I said “Surprised.” I’d take surprised over indifference any day.

  • hickeyyy

    Here are my top 10 of the year:

    01: Get Out
    02: Star Wars The Last Jedi
    03: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    04: Disaster Artist
    05: It
    06: Split
    07: Killing of a Sacred Deer
    08: Spiderman Homecoming
    09: mother!
    10: I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore

    Honorable mention: Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor Ragnarok

    The true story of the year? How many movies I completely missed! I want(ed) to see John Wick 2, A Cure For Wellness, The Girl With All The Gifts, Logan, Raw, Personal Shopper, Colossal, Your Name, Lost City of Z, Free Fire, Alien Covenant, Wonder Woman, It Comes At Night, The Beguiled, The Big Sick, Baby Driver, Okja, A Ghost Story, War for the Planet of the Apes, Dunkirk, Valerian, Detroit, Brigsby Bear, Dark Tower, Wind River, Good Time, Ingrid Goes West, Logan Lucky, Blade Runner 2049, The Florida Project, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, Lady Bird, and Call Me By Your Name. That’s a huge list of movies that I just never got to.

    Still to come for me this year though: Shape of Water, I Tonya, Downsizing, The Post, Phantom Thread, and Molly’s Game

    One thing I’ve found invaluable? Moviepass! That thing has bumped up my theatrical movie-going since I got it. I’m sure you can tell, as a lot of my movies were from later in the year. I’ll be continuing down this path until the wheels fall off.

    • E.C. Henry

      Great list!

      • hickeyyy

        Thanks. Was a fan of yours as well. Glad there is someone else out there who loved the new Star Wars. I feel overwhelmed by the dark side.

        • E.C. Henry

          There are a lot of people who loved “The Last Jedi”. Something you have to remember about these screenwriting sites is how contrarian a lot of “creatives” are. What really matters is being real, and saying what you really feel. “The Last Jedi” was great, period!

          • Avatar

            Yeah, it’s a darn good ride….I think people should just make up their own minds. The propaganda/controversy made me go and see it for myself.

        • Avatar

          It’s WAY BETTER than it’s being given credit for. I think some of the reviewers are probably just spam bots.

    • Ninjaneer

      Duuuuude, MOVIEPASS is the best thing eva!

      Now that I have MoviePass I go to the theaters at least once a week :)

      • hickeyyy

        I feel like a shill for them. I’ve gotten a handful of friends to sign up. But it’s such an amazing thing. I’d recommend it to anyone who still cares about the theater experience. If you even go just once a month, it’s worth your money!

        • Avatar

          What do you think of the restriction of only being able to see a movie once? I like it too…but was bummed to find that restriction.

      • Avatar

        The problem is you can only watch the same movie once. Say you love Last Jedi or whatever movie you love and you want to see it again, you can’t use movie pass for that movie.

  • lonestarr357

    Still waiting on The Shape of Water, Molly’s Game and I, Tonya, but here’s my top 10 list:

    1. Your Name.
    2. Coco
    3. Guardians of the Galaxy – Vol. 2
    4. War for the Planet of the Apes
    5. The LEGO Batman Movie
    6. Logan
    7. It
    8. The Disaster Artist
    9. Murder on the Orient Express
    10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

  • RS

    Josh and Benny Safdie were students of mine (not directly so much), but they were students at BU when I was teaching there. I actually appeared in a short where Benny was the cinematographer. I was a guy who woke up in Hell and didn’t know why he was there. I never really could get into their Mumblecorps style of filmmaking and just did not get why anyone thought it was meaningful, but hats off to them for the places they have gone. I will have to check this one out, however, if it is your #1. Still, I think you are crazy for putting WW on the top ten of anything involving writing. This is a writing blog, and though you may have liked the action or chemistry between leads, as a screenplay it’s a travesty.

    • Dan B

      I think the list is a movie list, not necessarily a screenplay list.

  • Scott Serradell

    Not to be contrarian here:

    But “Wonder Woman” is easily one of the year’s worst; a hackneyed effort all around. Which is shame because Gal Gadot just radiates charisma.

    * (I also caught the “Batman V. Superman Ultimate Edition. Vastly superior to the theatrical version and wholly underrated.)

    “Baby Driver” was insipid. “King Kong Skull Island” was an amateurish embarrassment. “Valerian” was goofy (but not terrible). I liked “Blade Runner 2049″. “Spider Man: Homecoming” was a joy.

    Best theatrical experience: Double feature of “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Devil’s Backbone” (I’d never seen either before.)

    Best thing I saw all year: (still) “Twin Peaks: The Return”

    • RS

      Amen is all I can say on WW. Putting everything else aside the writing is so bad I shudder to think some people got paid very well for turning out those scripts (though I’m sure producers and the studio was probably telling them what to do).

    • Elloie

      I finished BvS. I got a little past halfway through Suicide Squad before checking out. I couldn’t even make it to the halfway point of WW.

    • Midnight Luck

      It always shocks me when people go crazy for movies like Wonder Woman. And there are a ton of them. From Captain A to Avengers and on. All I have to do is watch the preview (or three) before the movie comes out and I can understand everything the movie will (and won’t) be.
      WW had troubles from the very first trailer I saw. It looked incredibly forced, some B- effects, poor dialogue, and just obvious uninspired and mediocre to poor writing.

      Yet everyone went gaga over it.

      Truly upsetting.
      That moviegoers seem to care zero about if a story is well told, well written or has believable dialogue.
      Instead everyone’s like a bunch of Starlings jumping around excitedly about all the shiny plastic stuff.

      I never saw WW, and doubt I ever will. Looks like 2 hours way better spent watching CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM instead.

      • Justin

        In defense of those moviegoers’ (I’m one of them), there are films I watch to appreciate the story, dialogue, structure, etc., then those I watch for pure entertainment (that’s when I get into my eight year old mindset, back when I used to sit in front of the TV with my little brother early Saturday morning, watching Justice League and JLU), which are Marvel and DC films. I don’t think it’s a terrible thing — it’s just my pure nerdy inner fanboy coming out.

        • Marija ZombiGirl

          We all love entertainment and blockbusters but I still believe that those should have a decent script and not seem like they’re purposely made for the braindead :) To me, the fact that it’s “only” entertainment has always sounded like a bad excuse. Then again, we shouldn’t forget how these movies work on a production basis what with 27 execs giving notes and ever writer being expendable… Too many cooks will always spoil the food.

          • Justin

            Exactly. Studios always interfering, writers having to follow strict storylines based off comics, (sometimes) extremely short deadlines (Suicide Squad, for example). And we have to remember that pretty much every comic book movie is a prequel or sequel, so the writers don’t exactly have total creative freedom.

            But honestly, aside from most DC and few Marvel films, I never had an issue with the writing. Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Winter Soldier had pretty well-crafted stories from what I remember.

        • Midnight Luck

          It is ABSOLUTELY possible to make both a movie that’s pure entertainment and one that’s done well.
          So many people just seem to want to go to the movies and “unplug” their brain.
          I have no idea what this means.
          Why would anyone want to pay $20 to go to something that has no thought put into it, is littered with bad dialogue, bad jokes, lazy writing, empty plot?
          The skill at writing “entertainment” comes from the fact that, if someone wants to make an easy on the brain movie, they need to have immense skill in writing invisibly. They can make the movie seem easy on the mind, easy to take in, not seem like “work”, yet is so masterfully done that people don’t even notice how much skill it took to create something which seems easy on the viewer.
          Seriously, this idea that viewers just want to go watch some “mindless” whatever as an argument against good writing or creative story, or well thought out movies, doesn’t hold any water. (IMO)

          • Justin

            Fair points, but we gotta consider the fact that a majority of moviegoers aren’t aspiring (or established) writers, directors or anyone else in the film industry, for that matter. They have no idea that scripts exist, they don’t know anything about plots, characters arcs, conflict, tone, etc. I’ve actually asked dozens of people about this, and 90% respond the same way to me — “Script? Plot? Arcs? Conflict? Pacing? Dialogue? The fuck are you talking about? Just watch the movie and stop trying to dissect and analyze everything. It’s entertaining, so big whoop.” Some are avid movie-lovers who spend most of their paycheck watching every movie that comes out on theaters. But they do have their own definition of entertaining, and we have ours. Both are somewhat biased, but neither are wrong.

            For example, the old me before I stumbled onto screenwriting would have found Batman v Superman to be the greatest movie in history, simply because it had… well, Batman v Superman. Superheroes beating criminals to a bloody pulp, throwing cars around and so on. Movies like Wind River or Three Billboards would have put me to sleep.

            But now, I really appreciate screenwriting and the art of filmmaking, simply because now, I’m aware.

    • Scott Serradell

      Something I find interesting: Marvel’s treatment of the Black Panther (from his appearance in “Captain America: Civil War” and the trailer to his solo outing) is closer in tone to the traditional portrayal of Wonder Woman than what Warner Bros. has cooked up.

      Because the Amazons of Themyscira were not some remote island of primitive women warriors that time forgot; they were an advanced civilization that evolved over thousands of years. William Marston, the character’s creator, molded it as the penultimate Matriarchy — a race of women who could be as nurturing as they were fierce.

      And Diana Prince was the product of this environment: Not only was she a superlative fighter but also a scientist, a doctor (or healer), an ambassador, and a philosopher; she is as head-strong and intelligent as she could be ruthless. These dichotomies, IMO, make her infinitely complex and interesting.

      But did the movie tap into this history? I saw little evidence of it.

      I can only imagine the whole ‘fish out of water’ angle to her storyline was a way to humble or humanize someone who is essentially a God-like character (“Thor” did the same thing.) But in service of needing a ‘flaw’ for her she was also portrayed as naive to our world and customs, which not only undercuts her character entirely but makes her kind of ridiculous.

      What a missed opportunity.

      • Midnight Luck

        Did you watch Dr. Marston and the Wonder Women a few months back?
        I love that a main part of Wonder Woman originally was a *wink**wink* bondage and S&M backdrop.
        I found the movie rather fascinating.
        The Dynamics of him, his wife and his student, all having an alternative family together, and how it all tied in to his creation and the storylines behind Wonder Woman.
        If you didn’t see it, you should check it out.
        I put it as my favorite of the year.

        • Scott Serradell

          Given your high level of standards (a compliment; as evidenced by your lists) I’ll certainly give it a whirl.

          Just returned from another dud (“Murder on the Orient Express”) and, brother, I am so fucking tired of crap movies.

    • Justin

      I think Wonder Woman got over-hyped because it was (I think) the first female-led superhero film, and because the other DC films were so terrible, Wonder Woman ended up looking like the savior in comparison.

      • Scott Serradell

        Yeah, there was definitely a socio-political component to the hype that boosted it beyond the confines of rational criticism — as though just the existence of the film itself was a kind of victory to be celebrated. And in some respects I can agree with that…

        But what if the movie had genuinely been good? What if the studio sought the best director (George Miller would’ve been my first pick) to draw out the best of the character’s story and mythology? To me, that would have been a ‘victory’ for everyone.

  • ScriptChick

    I’m just putting my top 5 because I feel there’s a lot of other movies I haven’t seen that would fill out the rest of my Top 10:

    1. Coco
    2. Get Out
    3. Thor: Ragnarok
    4. The Big Sick
    5. Annabelle: Creation / It (I saw them the same day so the experience is kind of fused together for me. It had better character development but in terms of scares, Annabelle won out for me)

    • Justin

      As someone who gets easily scared (to the point I can’t watch horror movies because I’ll have mild hallucinations), I found “It” to be a well-crafted story and beautifully shot film, but definitely not as scary as I expected it to be.

      “Scariest” moments for me: Flute lady, egg boy & projector scene.

      • ScriptChick

        Trailers prepared me for the projector scene but damn that flute lady!

    • Poe_Serling

      I just watched Annabelle: Creation last weekend.

      You’re right – a ton of chills/thrills moments and a lot of creepy atmosphere
      to boot.

      The one minor issue for me: the story line kept bopping from one character
      to the next without much rhyme or reason.

      I felt like the filmmakers wanted to give everybody on screen equal scare
      time, but it kinda had a way of pulling the viewer out of the overall flow of
      the narrative due to so many different POVs of the various characters.

      • ScriptChick

        Thinking back, I wonder if they bopped around so you wouldn’t feel the characters were safe. By focusing on others, it increased the chance of losing one?

        • Poe_Serling



  • Randy Williams

    My favorite movie of the year was GIRLS TRIP.I thought the screenwriters brought it. Funny for me from start to finish.

    My favorite 2017 line of dialogue from the same film,
    “Today is the last day that we will ever be this young”.

    Worst was Transformers. What a mess.

  • Eldave1

    Fairly close to my won’t watch list as well. My general framework for don’t watch includes:

    1) I hated the original.

    I only give franchises one chance. As an example, the original Kingsmen was just horrible!! So, could give a sheet about a sequel.

    2) The entire joke/plot is in the title. See Baby Boss as an example.

    3) It’s based on any game or a toy I played with as a child. These seem to be universally horrible.

    4) Almost any Super hero movie. I will never understand why a billion dollar movie can’t have a quality script – like it’s a requirement the story has to suck. I gave the genre a chance. Wasted too much money and I’m out. I am guilty of seeing one Ape thing movie this year but I plead guilty with an explanation – both daughters were in town and they wanted to see it – so I acquiesced. Of course I spent the entire time overwhelmed by plot holes – like – Geez, the army doesn’t have airplanes of drones that they could have used to just bomb the shit out of (a) the Apes, or (b) the villains fortress????

    Films are pretty much done for me. 99% of what I find good turns out to be a television series.

  • deanb

    Recently I’ve gotten sucked into the Conjuring universe. I remember watching The Conjuring in 2013 and thinking it compared well to The Shining.

    But holy shit, The Conjuring 2 scared me to death. That scene with the painting I am convinced will be seen as a classic in five years (if not already). I love the retro 70s set design and costumes. Farmiga and Wilson have exceptional chemistry. I went into it thinking it’d be an Exorcist clone. While it conveys some familiar tropes, James Wan (a favorite director of mine) pushed it into new, terrifying territory.

    But not having suffered enough, I plunged into Annabelle: Creation. Again, another frightening up-all-nighter. Now I can’t wait for The Nun to come out this July.

    I’ve not seen IT yet, and the reviews I’ve heard range from scary to silly, so I don’t know about that. But Get Out is a fucking masterpiece of horror and exceptional screenwriting. Between the Conjuring universe, and the those other two films, I’d say this was the Year of Horror.

    Thor: Ragnarok. Yeah, this was a pass for me. The set design was pretty cool, but the bizarre tonal shift, needless vulgarity, and relentless silliness just made it increasingly obnoxious. Guardians of the Galaxy gets away with it somehow because the whole team is so likable and charismatic. But Thor is not an inherently funny character. Loved Jeff Goldblum, though. Hopefully this film doesn’t signal where the whole Marvel franchise is headed.

    Spider-Boy: Homecoming: Funnish, but then I’m not a Spider-Guy fan whatsoever.

    Dunkirk: Great cinematic experience, but pretty cold otherwise.

    Looking forward to The Nun but mostly Ant-man and the Wasp next summer. Still not sold on Infinity War.

    • ScriptChick

      YES! That painting! And for all the effects, that one seemed so simple and terrifyingly effective!

  • Kirk Diggler

    Best – Wind River, Dunkirk, Get Out, Ingrid Goes West, Battle of the Sexes (slim pickings!)

    Films that might make my best list once I watch them – Lady Bird, The Disaster Artist, I Tonya, All the Money in the World, Molly’s Game

    One that I strangely have no interest in despite the raves – The Shape of Water

    Just stop already because audiences are catching on and the use of a colon in your title says it all – Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Transformers: The Last Knight, Kong: Skull Island, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Underworld: Blood Wars

    Superheroes that didn’t let down and where use of the colon didn’t hurt – Spiderman: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnorok

    Worst – Split, The Space Between Us, Ghost in the Shell, (none of which I watched in the theater…)

    Good King – It
    Bad King – The Dark Tower

    Such Disappointment – Guardians of the Galaxy 2

    Don’t Care enough to be disappointed – The Last Jedi (which did not suck but I can clearly see why people are not happy and Luke tossing the light saber aside was the dumbest fucking thing ever and Mark Hamill should have REFUSED to film the scene….. wait a second, maybe I do care.)

    Could have been so much more if only… – Wonder Woman, Bladerunner 2049

    Over-hyped – Logan, John Wick 2, Baby Driver, although each film had it’s very good moments

    Still unsure if I liked it but at least it was different – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

    Stay retired if you can’t do better – Logan Lucky

    Simply did not give any phawks – Justice League, The Fate of the Furious, War for the Planet of the Apes

    Landed with a thud (comedy is hard) – Baywatch, Rough Night, CHIPS, The House

    Starring the guy who still insists he’s a movie star but his domestic box office grosses say otherwise – The Mummy, American Made

    Dumb Fun -The Belko Experiment, Life

    So bad it’s just bad – mother!

    Only the Coens can do Coen Bros films – Suburbicon

    Was good the first twenty minutes then the same note over and over – Free Fire

    A Cure for Insomnia – A Cure for Wellness, The Great Wall, Fifty Shades Darker

    Intrigued to watch – The Berlin Syndrome

    • E.C. Henry

      Love the passion, Diggler. But what about “Daddy’s Home 2″? Given you handle I thought you’d have a vested interest in that one.

      • Kirk Diggler

        Wahlberg was great in Boogie Nights…. now he just makes studio drivel.

    • pmlove

      Hey KD. Comprehensive list! I just saw 3 Billboards the other day (finally) — I thought this was one of the best films I’ve seen in a while.

      What didn’t do it for you? Hope all is good.

      Need to check out Wind River.

      • Kirk Diggler

        First, let me say In Bruges is one of my favorite comedies in recent years. So I really dig the writer/director Martin McDonagh when he’s on.

        I felt the movie gave a free pass to Rockwell’s character. He truly was despicable. The film seemed too concerned with rehabilitating his behavior before movie’s end without him having to do much to earn it. It might have helped if the black characters in the film had a bit more heft but not to be.

        The tone was more or less consistent but only in the sense it never quite nailed whether it was a drama or a comedy, it teetered on the edge of both thus to me it was never funny enough but at the same time the drama felt a bit forced, this made more noticeable by Frances McDormand’s somewhat flat performance in the lead. I know she is being praised and will be up for all sorts of awards but she was a tad subdued seeing how she’s playing a woman who should be in substantial pain but we never get deep into how she truly felt about what happened to her daughter.

        I didn’t dislike this film and it always had my attention but it never quite delivered on its premise, more content to give us occasionally amusing little vignettes but not necessarily tying it all together.

        Let me know what you think of Wind River when you see it. That was a film that gave dignity to it’s minority characters.

    • Poe_Serling


      You could tell the filmmakers didn’t skimp on the productions design, special effects, and other such stuff. Plus, they rounded up a solid cast to headline it.

      As I mentioned in my Top 10 countdown, I was just surprised by how routine the
      overall story turned out to be.

      And did you happen to notice how strangely subdued the Ryan Reynolds’ character
      was in it?

      Almost distracting in its own way when compared to the usual energy he brings to the table.

      In fact, all the characters sort of whispered their lines for some unknown reason.

      I guess in this particular case the classic tagline ‘In space no one can hear you scream’ doesn’t apply.


  • Midnight Luck

    A lovely quote in time for Christmas:

    “it was like watching “two octogenarians kicking absolute ass.””

    Ridley Scott Explains The Difference Between Christopher Plummer & Kevin Spacey’s Performance In ‘All The Money In The World’

    • E.C. Henry

      In card terms, that’s tough hand. A challenge that ONLY someone of Ridley Scott’s stature can make look so easy. #respect, #thatswhatprosdo

  • E.C. Henry

    Buddy, you’re about two posts to late. Carson already had a “Last Jedi” post earlier this week. Shit, a couple Scriptshadowodians even came up with some killer ideas for the next movie in the series. That’s how we roll here, boy; screenwriter who CREATE things. Something to ponder…

  • jbird669

    My faves so far, in no particular order:

    The Last Jedi
    Wonder Woman
    Baby Driver
    Get Out
    John Wick Chapter 2
    Thor: Ragnarok
    Spiderman: Homecoming

    I haven’t seen enough of the films that were made this year to compile a Top 10 list.

  • Ninjaneer

    Liked a lot:
    – LadyBird (I live in Sacramento so might be biased)
    – Dunkirk
    – Thor: Ragnarok
    – Ingrid Goes West
    – Wonder Woman (beginning was not great but the rest was fun &enjoyable. )
    – Blade Runner 2049
    – Wind River
    – Happy Death Day (stupid by really fun)
    – American Made

    – Suburbicon (though there were some good elements)

    Most Awkward Viewing Movie:
    – Ingrid Goes West

    Should have been good but wasn’t:
    – Alien Covenant
    – Ghost in the Shell
    – A Cure for Wellness
    – Split (wasn’t all bad though. Still believe Shyamalan will knock it out of the par again eventually)
    – The mummy
    – Murder on the orient Express
    – Kingsman the Golden Circle (I really liked the first one but this script sucked)

    Loved by others but no interest from me:
    – The Shape of Water
    – Planet of the Apes 9
    – Okja

    Awesome moments but also sucky moments / plot but still liked overall:
    – Last Jedi (Had some of my favorite moments from the year though)
    – Guardians of the Galaxy 2

    Not awesome but better than I thought and enjoyable:
    – King Arthur
    – Logan Lucky

    Really want to see but haven’t:
    – The Disaster Artist
    – Good Time
    – Hell or High Water

    Good but overhyped:
    – Baby Driver
    – Get Out (Bonus points for being an original and different)

    Good production was horrible mess of a script:
    – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

    Cool Indies:
    – I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore
    – Ingrid Goes West

    Good TV:
    – Ozark
    – Stranger Things S2
    – Halt and Catch Fire S4

    Enjoyable but not great:
    – Free Fire
    – Justice League
    – Geostorm (yeah it’s dumb but it’s cool to see the world end)
    – Kong Skull Island
    – American Assassin
    – Hitman’s bodygaurd

    Not as bad as the 3% RT score but still not great:
    – Flatliners

  • E.C. Henry

    Picky picky picky.

  • klmn

    OT. Just got the Beverly Cinema email and I see that on Dec. 28 they’ll be showing Waterhole #3. I saw that once on television and remember it as a fun movie. Don’t think I’ll drive in to see it, but I might watch on video.

    Here’s the trailer.

    • brenkilco

      Never seen it but always been slightly curious about this Blake Edwards effort. Although Roger Ebert described it as about as hilarious as a pail of limp grits.
      Parody/farcical/facetious westerns were a generally lamentable subgenre in the latter half of the sixties. Director Burt Kennedy who had once penned some superb, tough B westerns for Randolph Scott specialized in them. His particularly awful Dirty Dingus Magee may not have single handedly ended Frank Sinatra’s movie career. But the movie and the wig Sinatra wore in it sure helped.

      • klmn

        James Coburn had charisma, and the Roger Miller soundtrack that ran through the movie added to the charm.

        Here’s a bit of the soundtrack.

      • Poe_Serling

        Two quick thoughts after reading your comment…

        Before Blake Edwards went full-tilt comedy/slapstick with most of his
        later flicks, I still recall watching quite an effective thriller with him in the
        directors’s chair:

        Experiment in Terror

        Starring Glenn Ford and Lee Remick…. with Ross “Wild Wild West’ Martin
        in the role of his life.


        “Parody/farcical/facetious westerns … subgenre in the latter half of the

        The one that still stands out for me and you just don’t often see
        mentioned in any Western threads:

        There Was a Crooked Man

        Starring Douglas and Fonda. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Written
        by David Newman and Robert Benton.

        • brenkilco

          Crooked Man is really too smart and thoughtful to be put alongside stuff like The Good Guys and The Bad Buys and Support Your Local Gunfighter. One of the very few movies I’d label dark comedy that works. Although I don’t believe either critics or audiences much took to it back then. One of the more cynical Hollywood movies ever. Everybody has his price. And a good man is just one who hasn’t been offered enough. Douglas is the charming sociopath happy to sacrifice a buddy or even shoot him in cold blood if it gets him what he wants. And Henry Fonda the reform minded prison warden who wants to rehabilitate him. Great supporting cast. Talky and long but well worth a watch. A movie that announces it’s ending is a happy one. And from its jaundiced pov I guess so.

          • Poe_Serling

            Plus, the pic boasts a parade of familiar faces in secondary roles from Burgess Meredith to Alan Hale Jr. and …

            Barbra Rhoades

            And anybody that has ever watched the Don Knotts’ vehicle The Shakiest Gun in the West will remember her as his co-star and love interest Penelope ‘Bad Penny’ Cushings.

          • brenkilco

            Yes the attractive and talented Rhoades whose comic New Yawk bray was both her meal ticket and her curse.

  • Orange Pop

    Reviews for Bright coming in are awful… Hopefully… Carson does a review on the movie considering how much he liked original script. I hated the script, but it did sell right after the positive review from Carson — whether a coincidence or not.

    • brenkilco

      Absolute swill by all accounts. Is anybody but Carson surprised?

      • klmn

        29% on the tomatometer.

      • Branko Maksic

        What’s the gauge on Ayer? After Fury he delivers two frightfully average films. Success making him complacent in terms of quality checking his work? That’s the difference between him and a David Fincher / Spielberg I guess.

        • Avatar

          Ayer made his actors box each other in previous movies, which I thought was pretty silly and pretentious.

        • brenkilco

          Used to write his own stuff and now he’s adapting Max Landis? As a writer he’s pretty good. As a director a journeyman/craftsman, nowhere near Fincher or Spielberg’s level. Hasn’t had a big hit and so at this point not above going where the money is I guess.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Hard to live up to a near perfect rating on Rotten-tomatoes.

  • Jake N. Asher

    It’s been an up and down year. I don’t think I have ten favorites. I haven’t seen the disaster artist, but really looking forward to it. So…

    Thor Ragnorak. Taika Waititi is quickly becoming one of my favorite writer/directors.

    The Big Sick. Romantic Comedy is my favorite genre. And it desperately needed a surge. It finally got one with this.

    Brigsby Bear. I usually don’t go for these quieter dramedy movies. But this one is really good.

    Better Watch Out. Won’t say anything else besides OMG!!!

    Spider-Man Homecoming. Finally did Spidey right. It’s about time.

    Kingsman Golden Circle. Carson said all that needs to be said. Wild.

  • Nathan Labonté

    Having not seen Call Me By Your Name, Three Billboards, Shape of Water, Florida Project, Phantom Thread, The Post, Loveless, Wonderstruck, and many others…

    10. Get Out
    Brilliant and subversive horror-thriller-satire. Daniel Kaluuya is perhaps the performance of the year, reflecting through his ever-expressive face a detached besument which eventually turns to pure horror. Jordan Peele is a confident director, a true natural.

    9. Personal Shopper
    Kristen Stewart plays a woman who, in search of a ghost, has reduced herself to the essence of a ghost. Much has been made of the truly excellent subway texting sequence, but the key is the moment where she tries on her wealthy client’s clothing. A fascinating examination of the lasting effects of grief.

    8. Good Time
    I’m so glad this came to a theatre near me, because that was the best venue to experience the consuming auditory trip this movie puts the viewer through. Tense, claustrophobic 16mm cinematography adds heaps of atmosphere to this armrest-clencher of an After Hours-like thriller led by an all-time Robert Pattinson performance.

    7. Nocturama
    Over the course of the first hour, Bertrand Bonello methodically shows us the steps leading to calamity… and in the second half, we witness the perpetrators, idealistic but naive, live out their materialistic fantasies as the city burns. A riveting and controversial picture about terrorism, where terrorism is the last thing on its mind.

    6. Song to Song
    Terrence Malick at his most experimental. Like the central water imagery, images and words flow into each other, time and space folded over to tell a story of love and grace. Might also be Malick at his New Testament. Many point and cry “pretentious drivel!” but I think Malick’s really locked into something here.

    5. Lady Bird
    An all-timer coming of age story. Gerwig and her editor have crafted a sharply-told film, and we are all blessed to have had Saoirse Ronan cast as Lady Bird. This movie has a much more mature rhythm than lots of debuts. There’s so much goodness bursting from this movie, all over the place.

    4. The Meyerowitz Stories
    Noah Baumbach’s best, it’s safe to say. Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller give sharp performances with plenty of depth, while Elizabeth Marvel proves to be the stealth MVP. The script is witty and wise, understanding how time and hubris can drive a wedge between people to a point perhaps beyond repair.

    3. A Quiet Passion
    Cynthia Nixon gives the performance of the year. There’s nothing I can say here that would be nearly as elegant as Richard Brody’s review in The New Yorker, which made me seek this film out immediately. It’s intelligent but not condescending, and examines sans pity what it’s like to live restricted by your own stupid (but brilliant) self.

    2. Columbus
    A little bit of Ozu in my life… Kogonada has crafted something special, precious, pure, untainted. John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson are quietly brilliant in their roles, both struggling with time and place in their lives. Perhaps the most best compositions in a film this year. I don’t think I’d change a thing.

    1. The Lost City of Z
    A Heart of Darkness-style narrative that subverts the trope by having our hero go from a place of colonial madness to inner peace in the middle of the jungle. James Gray is a major talent, and this film poises him to potentially be one of the great American filmmakers. Darius Khondji’s cinematography is the best of the year, rich and sumptuous; somehow each shade of green and brown is better looking than the last. Gray also manages to one-up his closing shot from The Immigrant with a bit of imagery that made my jaw drop and elevated this movie beyond what it had been (the last half hour is pretty much transcendent). In short, I disagree with just about everything Carson said about this.

    Just beyond 10: Baby Driver (plays better second time through)
    The Last Jedi (Much to my surprise. Every character choice in this is beyond solid)
    Princess Cyd (a warm hug of a movie)
    The Red Turtle (best animated movie of the year by a mile)
    First They Killed My Father (Jolie finally made a good movie)
    After the Storm (slice of life that allows characters’ decisions to be small but feel monumental)
    A Ghost Story (all gold up until that dreadful monologue. Then mostly gold)
    The Big Sick (I smiled all the way through I think, except when I cried?)
    Mudbound (uses literary techniques cinematically to great effect)

    Dreadful: Tulip Fever, Woodhsock, The Discovery, Beauty and the Beast, Brigsby Bear, Justice League, Wind River

    Meh: Cars 3, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marjorie Prime, Lego Batman, Atomic Blonde, Brad’s Status, Landline

    Just fell short of being good/great: Logan Lucky, Logan, mother!, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Super Dark Times (worth seeing though), The Beguiled, Okja, Alien: Covenant

    Really need to revisit Dunkirk. It fell a little flat for me, but maybe it was the overwhelming 70mm IMAX experience.

    • carsonreeves1

      Avid cinema lover in the house!

      • Poe_Serling

        “As for bubble films … The Beguiled started off strong then fell apart
        when they … ”

        S. Coppola had a bit different perspective from a character standpoint, but the overall story was almost identical to the ’71 version with Clint Eastwood as the soldier and Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, Invasion of the Body Snatchers) directing.


    • Adam McCulloch

      I really liked Dunkirk but kind of felt that the sea portion of the story could have made a heartbreaking and wonderful feature without the other story-lines.

    • Avatar

      Yeah, Lost city of Z was a good movie. Robert Pattinson is a much better actor than I thought. And I don’t know why Charlie Hunaan isn’t doing better at the box office…he’s a very good actor.

  • scriptfeels

    Films i liked in no paricular order:
    get out
    star was the last jedi
    The killing of a sacred deer
    thor ragnorock
    Spiderman homecoming
    lego batman
    50 shades darker
    lights out
    wonder woman

    Films i disliked:
    the big sick
    it comes at night

    Films i want to see:
    the disaster artist
    good time

    Films i wouldnt reccomend:
    the house

    • Avatar

      I missed Killing of Sacred Deer. What are your thoughts on that movie (without giving the spoilers). I wanted to see that movie, but it literally was out of the theaters in less than a week or two.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Most films should be watched with your emotions
    not your intelligence.
    — William Friedkin
    1. barely graduated from high school
    2. never attended college
    3. never had a lesson in film making

    • brenkilco

      But as Hitchcock and others demonstrate it takes a lot of intelligence to construct a film that will generate emotions. Friedkin is a smart guy as anybody who listens to his commentaries will know, with or without a GED. And clearly he had talent. But also as one can tell from his commentaries bottomless chutzpah. Which he may have needed most starting out where he did. Also had the luck to hook up with some brilliant collaborators early on, esp. Roizman. Still, let’s not treat him as a font of wisdom. He was the biggest director on earth in the mid seventies. And by the early eighties he was out in the wilderness. And despite staying relatively active in the ensuing decades, he never got back to the high table. Although Live And Die in LA has its champions.

  • Mercutio

    Best: Mindhorn
    I can’t believe a Neflix movie was the best of the year for me. It’s hillarious! Made with real charm, it doesn’t cater the anything but an audience who loves this character. The lead is fantastic, and the movie is so intelligent and warm underneath the surface. It’s completely absurd in the best way, which are small details as well as in important scenes(“the jenga”, “I don’t have a driving license”, “shoes on”). This resonated with me hard.

    note: I very much disagree with Carson’s review of Valerian. I loved it! It’s crazy and must be understood in the context of european/french comics and culture. The leads are perfectly cast. They are basically models and they are kids. That is with purpose. And that is hillarious, but not in the way that these can’t be taken serious as fighters and lovers. The american big hunk is not actually a womanizer type. Secondly comparing the real world social norms to this is to misunderstand it’s nature. If you have any insight into french movies and culture you’d know that silly stereotypes and charicatures are the norm, but i’m not going to write a book for you to understand it.

    • Ashley Sanders

      You can’t handcuff the wind …

    • RedWhiteBlue

      An American not liking something not meant for Americans to understand? How bizarre. And as another American, I also thought Valerian was horrendous and completely miscast. They’re two young dorks and only one of them is mildly attractive.

    • Avatar

      I liked Valerian a lot. But, of course, I saw it in Imax 3D and was dazzled by the visuals and Cara Delevigne. It was much better received internationally than in the US.

  • Derek Robertson

    Good list, but I am confused what you’re basing the claim that Star Wars is starting to implode at the box office on? Second highest grossing opening of a film, nominal rates of decline, 600 million worldwide a week in…

    Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Deadline all make it sound like it’s still performing really well and haven’t reported any unexpected drop-offs. Is there other coverage saying something different that I am missing?

  • brenkilco

    For what it spent on this, it could have financed 3 or 4 smart midrange projects. When it comes to movies Netflix seems to gravitate toward dumb quasi-exploitation features. As if they’re taking the place of old drive-ins. Oddly Amazon seems the opposite. They financed Lost City of Z and The Big Sick.

  • andyjaxfl

    A special thank you to the blackout at the Atlanta airport as I was able to watch TEN MOVIES while waiting for my plane.

    BYZANTIUM (2012). Not sure why this one stayed unwatched on my queue for so long. One of the better vampire movies that I’ve seen in years, and Saiorse Ronan and Gemma Arterton are fantastic.

    WHEELMAN (2017). The collaboration between Joe Carnahan (who produced) and Frank Grillo churns out another very good thriller about an ex-con who took out loans to help his family pay the bills while he was in prison. I believe this script placed high on the SS250.

    SAVAGE DOG (2017). Scott Adkins flick taking place in Indochina in the late 1950s. This flick has a higher production budget than your average DTV as there are some prolongated gun fights and, since its an Adkins’ flick, some solid hand-to-hand fights as well. Much of the observations about life are our place in the world are riddled with cliches, but let’s face it, people are tuning in to watch Adkins (who is 41!) kick some ass. And he delivers.

    THE TRUST (2015). Nic Cage and Elijah Wood as disgruntled LVPD crime scene analysts who come across a secret vault hiding drug money. Highly recommend. Cage is fantastic and Wood is equally good the stoned-out partner. Some nasty twists in this one.

    KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE (2017). Skip it.

    TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016). Enjoyable zombie movie with some very impressive set pieces and an interesting take on the “dad works too much and alienates his kid” trope. The physical movement of the zombies, especially after they turn, is creepy. The movie also serves as a stark reminder of Hollywood overspending on budget as this movie cost between $10-15 million, and looks like a $150 million production.

    IT FOLLOWS (2014). The first act was great, but the second act was a bit of a struggle to get through. Full disclosure: Tarantino’s comments on the movie never fully exploiting its concept likely tainted the experience for me.

    SWORD OF VENGEANCE (2014). The plot is a simple revenge story, but that doesn’t mean one can’t throw some hard curve balls at the audience to keep us on our toes. Unfortunately, this clanking swords flick is all cliche and imitation. The cast is fairly strong, and with a better script we may have had a nasty cult classic on our hands, but it ultimately falls victim to cliche and the “300-izing” of every fight scene.

    MOONRISE KINGDOM (2012). I loved this movie. While I’ve enjoyed nearly all of Wes Anderson’s films, the quirkiness of his movies has always pushed his movies into the “will see one day” section of my Netflix queue instead of “see ASAP”. I am kicking myself for not seeing this movie earlier.

    BAAHUBALI: THE BEGINNING (2015). I’m sure most people have heard of the phenom that was the Baahubali movies. There’s a lot to like here. It has all of the tokens of Bollywood cinema, and while it’s very interesting for the first hour, it completely shits the bed for the final 90 minutes of the movie by becoming a flashback. The story so far followed a young man with the strength of a dozen men as he yearned to explore beyond his isolated paradise village. Turns out he is the presumed-dead son of a national hero, and he’s soon brought back into the fold to avenge his father’s betrayal and death, and save the kingdom from the evil hordes looking to overtake.

    Fairly standard stuff, but it’s riveting for the first hour until they abandon the story of the main character to jet back in time to tell the story of his father. It’s a show-stopper. Apparently, part two sticks with the father’s story until the massive battle in which the son returns to the screen, but the flashback was jolting. The father’s story was interesting, but the son’s story was riveting. A frustrating viewing experience (I’ll still check out Part 2, just not anytime soon).

    • Poe_Serling

      At least you’re doing something fun with your time as you wait. Plus, your
      list is a nice mix of everything from director Anderson to zombies.

      Oh hey…

      I know you’re a fan of the sword-and-sandal pics and no doubt watched
      more than a few of them with Steve Reeves leading the way during the
      genre’s heyday from the mid ’50s and beyond.

      Just wondering if you ever had an opportunity to check out Reeves last flick
      before he retired to his ranch in southern California:

      A Long Ride From Hell

      A spaghetti Western. Reeves also produced and wrote it.

      Just kinda of curio as a cap to his rather short but busy leading man career in
      films (15 pics or so in ten years).

      • brenkilco

        Tough to know whether Reeves could act because he was dubbed in virtually everything he did. No idea who the anonymous voice actor was who supplied that perfect, basso profondo Hercules voice but chances are he looked more like Steve Buscemi than Steve Reeves.

        • Poe_Serling

          Years ago…

          I was down on the Venice Beach Boardwalk and taking in the
          usual sights.

          On that particular day…

          Over next to the the outdoor Muscle Beach Gym facility there was some kind of bodybuilding contest in full swing.

          One of the featured guests/speakers at the event just happened to
          be Steve Reeves.

          By that time, he had his share of gray hair. But his speaking voice
          sounded perfectly fine to me and he seemed to be a pleasant enough guy on top of that.


      • andyjaxfl

        First time I’ve heard of A Long Ride from Hell, which is an amazing title. It’s been years since I watched any of SR’s movies but I believe most of them are on Amazon Prime, so might be time to revisit, especially since I just cleared ten movies out of my queue!

    • Kirk Diggler


      Never heard of this movie. But you had me at Gemma so it’s in my queue now.

      • andyjaxfl

        She gives a great, nuanced performance as what amounts to a mother willing to do anything to protect her child (who just so happens to be 200 years old).

      • Ashley Sanders

        Just for balance. I’m a huge Gemma Arterton fan and I couldn’t get through Byzantium. I would highly recommend Gemma Bovery if you haven’t seen it, and obviously Tamara Drewe even if you have.

  • Utmk

    May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.

    • BMCHB

      If that really is you, Max, then stay bright. Fuck reviews.

      “There is a light that never goes out.”

  • michaeljonesy

    Whilst I don’t mind SS reviews of movies, I think you’ve taken Star Wars’ quite personally. Much too personally. The character choices made sense in the way they were presented. Luke could have ended up like this. It makes sense in context of the films. You have barely reviewed the film and have only discussed it against the story that you have clearly been imagining since the end of ROTJ. Of course it could never stack up.

    Just because you didn’t imagine it or want it, doesn’t mean that it isn’t right.

    • RO

      “Just because you didn’t imagine it or want it, doesn’t mean that it isn’t right.”

      Fair points.

      However objectively there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ just perspective, and that seems to be where the controversy comes from.

      I think the angst for those disappointed stems more from Luke (as well as ghost Yoda) being out of character (Hamill himself referring to him as Jake Skywalker). Some have argued that Yoda and Obi-wan went into exile, but that’s a misinterpretation as the reason they hid away was to bide their time until they could find a way to train Luke and/or Leia. It’s also hinted at in Revenge of the Sith. Why would Yoda inform Obi-wan of more training unless there was an intention to use it at some time? (A big mistake Lucas made with the prequel trilogy is not having Ben Lars take Luke from Obi-wan, arguing that Obi-wan would make another Darth Vader) I mean, Luke knew who Old Ben Kenobi was on Tatooine. He wasn’t some mythic hero or anything, just a crazy “wizard”. He was clearly a character that had interactions with Luke in his youth at some point. If anything, it’s not like Obi-wan gave up. I mean, he’s watching Luke. Rescues him from the sand people and then the second he sees that message from Leia, he’s telling Luke that he has to go to Alderaan with him. That doesn’t seem to me like a character that has given up. Luke also being a character that doesn’t give up for three consecutive films; when he is re-introduced again has given up and the reason being is more of a script contrivance than a character building one.

  • E.C. Henry

    I’m off work until the January 2nd, BUT in the next three days I have to buy all my Christmas presents for the people in family: my brother, his wife, their two kids (9 and 5), and my mom and dad.
    What should I get ‘em?
    What’s hot and trending this year?
    Seems like there’s no buzz about any new products this year.

    • RO

      Get them The Last Jedi tickets. ;)

      • E.C. Henry

        We already went as a family to see it. Little Riley (the 5 year old) didn’t make it through the whole movie. My mom and dad weren’t interested, they only wanted to see “Just Getting Started” (Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones). Besides getting some movie tickets as a Christmas morning presents seems lazy. Would YOU get someone movie tickets as a on-Christmas-morning gift?

        • RO

          Yes. My friends love that stuff. One of which is a professional film critic. His obsession with movies is borderline unhealthy.

        • Midnight Luck

          All anyone has to do is give me movie tickets, or movie money for Christmas, and I am a high-as-a-kite happy camper.

          So I do the same for everyone else. ‘Cause who doesn’t love Movies?

          Well, it turns out most people don’t love movies. Or at least they don’t care much. Or they actively have literally no interest.

          So sometimes, I end up back with the same movie tickets. And I get to spend them on ME! and whatever movie I want to see.


          • E.C. Henry
          • Malibo Jackk


          • E.C. Henry

            What?! Not even close. Brycen is 9, Riley is 5. And if you think I’m twins to one of them… well, thanks, I’m flattered.


          • Malibo Jackk

            The kid in the middle is my kinda guy.

          • E.C. Henry

            That’s Riley. And he is ADORABLE. Totally fun kid to be around. Knows how to have fun.

    • Poe_Serling

      Who let the sasquatch out?! t-shirts.

      There are the real deal… check it out.

      The perfect gift that combines alien/bigfoot mischief in various colors
      and form-fitting sizes.


      • E.C. Henry

        While we were at Toy-r-us yesterday I saw some of the scariest and demonic Sasquatch doll toys: red eyes and Frankenstein arms out ready to abduct someone. Dont-cha know that when I found it I had to chase little Riley and Brycen around the store with it. Remember, I am the guy who penned “The Commune.” Sometimes that comes out in the weirdest places.

  • Andrea Moss

  • andyjaxfl

    This may only interest me, the resident clanking swords fool, but last week, The Washington Post hosted a roundtable discussion with the cast of THE POST. Steven Spielberg was also onboard, and he gave an update on one of the most interesting projects in development: his film based on Dalton Trumbo’s scripts about Montezuma and Cortes (Trumbo wrote one script from Montezuma’s POV and another from Cortes’s). Poor Steve Zaillian was tasked with combining those two scripts into one about four years ago.

    During the roundtable, Spielberg said that he’s working on the project with Amazon as a 12-part mega-budget limited series. Tom Hanks follows and says that, in his opinion, the place for these big sagas has shifted to TV and streaming services.

    The roundtable is pretty interesting and worth the read if you have the time. Of note, it’s really cool to read everyone praising the screenwriter early and often throughout the session.

  • Poe_Serling

    As a casual observer of all things Star Wars, I have to agree with your
    thoughts – especially about the prequels.

    Like I said the other day, you don’t need an hour backstory to explain
    what made the Grinch so grinchy in the first place.

    The proof?

    The twenty minute plus cartoon from Chuck Jones and featuring the
    voice talent of Boris Karloff.

    Even Jones recognized that he was part of making a classic when he
    wrote this condolence letter to Karloff’s wife:

    “… [the Grinch] will be a Christmas feature on television as long as
    anyone can envisage… the major reason for this is [Mr. Karloff’s]
    thoughtful and understanding reading of the script… I think…
    generations will find joy and a deeper understanding of Christmas
    through the skill of your husband.”

  • brenkilco

    I can take or leave Star Wars and don’t think its B grade structure- half old time serials and B westerns and half mythic tropes for dummies- really supports elaborate exegesis. But if we’re going to play, then I agree that the sequels and prequels are wholly unnecessary. But the prequels didn’t have to be as lousy as they were. The twin descents of Anakin and Palpatine might in more skilled hands have approached the form of classic tragedy. Michael Corleone after all was just trying to hold things together and protect his family, or so he told himself. And there was considerable pathos generated by his journey to the utter isolation that was his damnation. If Palpatine had genuinely believed that he was all that stood between the galaxy and chaos, ignorant of his own pathological ambition. If Annakin, like a loyal Wehrmact officer, had placed honor and duty above all else, well, you might have made something of the whole thing. But the emperor was a cardboard thin snake from the gitgo. And Annakin went from peevish teenager to mass killer in about five minutes of screentime. Beyond the absence of arcs the scripts, even on their own comic book terms, just sucked.


    Happy Christmas // Hannukah // Holidays

    Thanks to Carson for reviews and articles for 2017.

    Thanks to the Scriptshadow faithful for the the comments, the banter, and the AOW submissions.

    May we all meet here next week, next year, or next article.

    • -n8-

      Well said.

      I always appreciate your insight

  • DougW

    Agree with you re: “Beatriz at Dinner” which I just watched last week. I was actually loudly booing at my screen at the end.

    • carsonreeves1

      lol. I know. I was like, “What the hell happened here???” It was like they just gave up.

      • BMCHB

        Happy Christmas, C.

        P.S. There’s a rebellion, a resistance, starting here…

        Rebel against those that claim they do not like TLJ.

        I LIKED TLJ, I believe Scott C. did too.

        Your Avatar is a Sith Lord. Are you? ;-)

  • HRV

    You guys check out Bright yet? Thoughts? Hard not to think of Alien Nation.

    • Justin

      Gonna watch it tonight in an hour or so. Will let you guys know what I think of it.

      Prediction: It blows.

    • JasonTremblay

      I liked it. It certainly kept my interest, even if it was heavy-handed at times. I can’t believe people are so negative about it. It’s not the greatest movie ever, but it doesn’t blow. And I don’t even like Will Smith.

      I think something else is going on here.

      • Justin

        Yeah, the incredibly low rating from RT is sketchy. No way in hell it should have received such a terrible score. I went into it with incredibly high expectations despite all that because I’m a huge fan of David Ayer, and I was only slightly disappointed with some things. Overall, it was a great movie.

        • Avatar

          I don’t trust the Rotten tomatoes audience sores anymore now that there are reports of groups using bots and first time fake accounts to lower the scores. The only opinion I trust are my own and those people I know.

    • 1st10

      I took it for what it is, mindless fun–and I enjoyed it. On RT it’s @ 30% “professional” critics vs. 90% audience. The pros hate Ayer, they were never going to like it.

      Ayer does need someone to do a polish on his scripts (just as he did on Max’s). Rolled my eye a few times: “We are the calvary,” “Drive it like you stole it,” a “Kick Me” note on Jakoby’s back??? C’mon, Ayer. You’ve never heard of “cliche?”

      And I wish Noomi’s role was bigger, I bet she didn’t even say 50 words (in English, anyway).

      • Scott Crawford

        Ayer is a former submariner (respect) but some have questioned his “Street” credentials, ie his claimed authenticity when writing about… Street things. I don’t go too far down that road; I think a writer should be able to write about anything. But I believe some of the resentment of Ayer is due to that.

        • Avatar

          I think people should just keep an open mind and see for themselves. My brother in law loved Bright, so you never know how different people react. And there’s also news that some alt right group’s sabotaging the Rotten tomatoes on Last Jedi.

      • Justin

        I never understood the hate with Ayer. I became a fan of his after “Fury,” and he did his best with “Suicide Squad” and stood by his work, not trashing it like other insecure directors trash-talking their own work (from what I recall, anyway).

        Great director, and I hope he directs the sequel for “Bright.”

      • andyjaxfl

        I read Will Smith ad-libbed a few of the one-liners. Some were pretty good, but yeah, a few were a bit cliche.

        I think it’s important to remember that most critics go into every movie with an open mind. Sure, there are some who profit in “click baity” reviews to attract attention, but most give every movie a shot, and none are paid off by rival studios (i.e. the conspiracy theory that Disney pays off reviewers to trash the terrible DC films).

        • 1st10

          “most critics go into every movie with an open mind.” I think they’d like to believe that but the problem is they’re human. They all have their prejudices, love/hates, likes/dislikes.

          There’s no way you’ll ever convince me the majority of critics are going into a Michael Bay film with an open mind. He’s the guy that blows shit up for a living. On the opposite end they’ll be more than happy to “experience 2 hours of art” by Wes Anderson.

          And I also think most of them are afraid of hurting their reputation by going against the grain. “I loved Michael Bay’s latest. All 87 explosions were truly majestic.” Or, “Who the hell is this Wes Anderson hack ? ALL of his characters sound EXACTLY the same, from the 13 year old girl up to the 73 year old man. They all come across like monotone robots.”

          They ONLY way not to prejudge a movie is by going in completely blind. Not knowing the story/plot, actors/characters, director, screenwriter, etc. But of course that’ll never happen.

          • 1st10

            They ONLY way… dammit, again!

  • brenkilco

    Well, we actually need all that stuff if a fifteen page, two hundred word Dr. Seuss book is going to become a two hour movie. The original Grinch needed several songs just to get to twenty five minutes. But leaving well enough alone is not a Hollywood virtue as you pointed out in your Star Wars post.

  • deanb
    • E.C. Henry

      Followed the link, read the article. Doesn’t sound bad at all. Their are degrees of misconduct. Doesn’t sound like Max Landis did ANYTHING that merits branding him with the other perverts who got their just due. I think his outlandish personality just rubs some people the wrong way, and that’s not sexual misconduct.
      We’re reaching the point of erroneous character assassination. You really got let the facts come out before you brand someone of being a sexual predator or abuser.

      Furthermore, there are DEGREES of misconduct, as I will now show in an escalating list of possible offenses.

      * Verbally making someone feel uncomfortable — Lena Dunham on a plane kind of STUPID SHIT
      * Taking an physical gratuity without the other party’s consent: what that DJ in Denver did to Taylor Swift in grabbing her derriere during a group photo
      * Getting someone alone in a room under the false pretenses of “work” when all they’ve got in mind is getting that other person in the sack
      * Making sexual, quid pro-quo offers of career advancement
      * Getting in a physical altercation which leaves the victim physically injured in some way
      * Exposing yourself to someone
      * Actual rape: the most serious of all offenses

      • Kirk Diggler

        Thanks Matt Damon.

        • E.C. Henry

          Matt Damon?! Hardly!! I just don’t believe in assassinating an INNOCENT man’s character UNLESS the ALLEGATIONS of improper behavior are verified, and the ones against Max Landis are NOT verified. It’s just HEARSAY.

          May the guilty pay, BUT if you’re not guilty of egregious sin, it’s not fair to lump someone in the same group of PROVEN offenders: Harvey Weinstien, Louis C.K, etc.

      • Dan B

        Don’t forget — destroying and blacklisting someone’s career or humiliating someone because they rejected your advances.

  • r.w. hahn

    I just recently saw Dunkirk. And while it is beautifully filmed I had no emotional attachment to the characters. I wanted to care for them but I didn’t know them well enough. For me, the out of order structure was not a plus, “bold” though it may be called. If I had been watching it on TV I would have changed the channel several times. For me it was a “FAIL”….Tried to watch The Big Sick….but couldn’t get past their initial bedroom scene where he picked the girl up from the bar…I haven’t seen a pick up scene in a bar in a million years in this kind of movie. So original…Boring…Up to that point the only interesting character was the guys roommate. I walked out because nothing to see here.
    I saw Thor:Ragnarok….While I liked it, I’m not so sure I liked the tongue in cheek humor and I felt like the Hulk talking and exchanging witty banter with Thor was totally out of character. Didn’t like it at all…plus it was just a copy of Guardians of Galaxy scenes where they sit around and make funny small talk, taking a break from the action to give us more human moments.
    Spiderman Homecoming was a homerun for me…Loved everything about it, from injecting youthful teenage angst and wisecracking back in the character and like Carson said, a likeable villian. The best of the lot. Looking forward to the next Tingly installment.

    Haven’t seen Kingsman 2 but I enjoyed the first one. Wonder Woman I just recently saw on an airplane but didn’t get to finish. It was much better that I thought it would be, so I look forward to watching the whole thing.
    The other ones on the Best list I haven’t seen.
    Cant argue much with the worst list…nothing special for me with any of those.

    I’m taking my boy to Jumanji and Coco today. Those look like the best movies of the Holidays.
    Still gotta see Last Jedi.

    • Avatar

      You’re better off seeing Last Jedi….that’s a way better movie than is being given credit for. I had no emotional attachment to Dunkirk either. While, I thought it was nicely staged and shot, I could care less about the characters and it felt like one long ordeal. Unlike with the movie Blackhawk Down where I felt the intensity of it in every frame.

      • r.w. hahn

        I did see Last Jedi and loved it. My boy loved it too. So it passed the kid sniff test. I don’t know why people cant just enjoy the heart of the story and see it as a kid like we all were when they first came out. Some people would find something wrong with heaven. Jumanji was great fun too.

        • Avatar

          I had pre-conceived notion that it was going to be bad because of some of the press….but, as the movie starting rolling, I started thinking hey this is very good….by the end of the movie, I realized that I loved it and was thrilled by the story. The audience clapped so I know they felt the same way. I think some of the people had an agenda trying to get everyone else to hate the movie….because there are some articles out there that say the rottentomatoes scores were targeted to lower the scores. 94% were fake first time accounts. I am pretty much just going to make up my mind on my own and check out every movie to see for myself. The criticism of this movie sounds bogus.

    • Matt Bishop

      Yeah I tried to watch it last night and turned it off after 30 minutes. It was just boring, Nolan or not.

    • Dan B

      I thought Dunkirk was great, though I agree with your assessment that it didn’t feel like I cared for any characters, but I felt like I was transported there. The action/direction put me in a state where I felt so close the what was going on that it felt like you could almost feel what those soldiers were feeling. That’s good film making.

  • Justin

    Watching “Bright” right now, more than 10 minutes in. In my opinion, it starts off solid, seems enjoyable enough. Nick (Joel Edgerton’s character) is the most likable character, and while his and Will Smith’s character (Daryl) doesn’t have great chemistry, they come across as bros.

    Mild Spoilers:

    A somewhat emotional scene between Daryl and his daughter occurs early on, which was a bit forced in. And there’s a scene with Daryl and Nick in a squad car that goes on a minute too long.

    Will keep updating as I go along. But so far — 7/10. Not too bad.

    • Scott Crawford

      I’d like to get around to seeing it… in my own time. I thought the advantage of being on Netflix was that one could take ones time getting to see it, but the critics seem to have responded like it was an opening weekend.


      An original spec screenplay, a (pretty) original idea (a fantasy take on Alien Nation).

      I just had a Proustian flashback: I once tried to write a script called Neanderthals about a world where the Neanderthals didn’t die out but exist alongside Homo Sapiens, but are considered inferior. A black cop teams up with a Neanderthal cop to investigate killings in the Neanderthal community. I think that was the idea. A treatise on race relations from a white male (me). Years and years ago, never did it.

      After Bright, I probably won’t.

      Still, fascinating I completely forgot that until now.

      • Justin

        I will say that it’s nothing you’ll regret not having seen sooner. Take your time.

        As for the critics… something ain’t right about it. And not because I’m a fan of the director or film, but because it’s just not conceivable.

      • klmn

        Of course Neanderthals didn’t completely die out. Anyone who is not of totally African heritage has a small percentage of Neanderthal genes. I haven’t seen any studies on the matter but I think a number of strength athletes (weightlifters, wrestlers, football linemen, etc) might have a somewhat higher percentage.

    • andyjaxfl

      I watched it last night. The hyperbole proclaiming it the worst movie of the year is ridiculous. It’s an enjoyable movie with a really interesting world that I’m curious to learn more about in the inevitable sequels.

    • Scott Crawford

      “whatever that means to you guys, right?”

      For what it’s worth (opinions vary)…

      9 or 10, A, ***** = Excellent, as in it EXCELS. One of the best of its type/genre. Would watch repeatedly.

      7 or 8, B (above average), **** = Very good. Not perfect, but what is? Fulfils its promise for the most part. Would watch maybe once a year or so.

      5 or 6, C (average), *** = Solid. Quite literally the middle ground, neither excellent not a disaster. Would watch again, every once in a while.

      3 or 4, D (below average), ** = Not very good. Some things work, most doesn’t. Not a total waste of time and may even rewatch it, but not a lot.

      1 or 2, F (fail), * = Disaster. Nothing works on ANY level. Doesn’t even seem to be trying or doesn’t know what it wants to be. Will avoid watching again.

      I don’t tend to score things much anymore, or rank them (I just feel the world is too much about scoring and ranking, can’t we just… I don’t know, live WITHOUT scoring and ranking?), but I’d be interested to know how other people rank films. My main criteria is whether I would watch the film again (and how many times and how often) plus whether the movie stays in my head.

      • Justin

        For “Bright,” it’s already a bit fuzzy in my head (no scenes I can name that stuck out especially for me), but definitely something I’m excited to re-watch in the future.

    • Scott Serradell

      Just caught it last night and was honestly preparing myself for so-called the “worst movie of the year” (check out David Ehrlich’s article over at IndieWire if you want to experience what scummy depths movie reviews have fallen to…)

      But I thought “Bright” was pretty damn entertaining. I particularly liked that it threw you into that world without some bloated prologue and instead just allowed the audience to figure it out as it unfolded. That was an intelligent choice, and it gave it all a little more conviction and grit.

      Curious what a sequel will entail.

      • lonestarr357

        ‘Scummy depths’? I thought it was poetry, and I don’t care one way or the other about BRIGHT.

        • Scott Serradell

          I would concede that Ehrlich has a inviting (or perhaps entertaining) lyrical quality to his wordcraft, but he arrogantly uses his powers for evil; is it to much to ask a film critic to keep his reviews free of political bias?

          A quick glance at the comments-section of his article tells me I’m not alone in thinking this.

    • Dan B

      I think the audience ratings/scores have been much higher as well, suggesting people actually found it entertaining rather than the critical hate.

      However — I thought they wasted an awesome moment.

      SPOILER —

      After they call their Sheriff, and he comes, he says he needs to have them cuffed for appearances. Once they get cuffed, the Sheriff gets blown away and they are on their own, but they are locked up. I felt like it would have been way cooler if they had to solve their next issue while cuffed together. Instead, Tika finds the keys right away and uncuffs them… bummer.

    • AstralAmerican

      Then I guess I’m in the minority because I found BRIGHT to be pretty stupid and uninspired. And one of the early scenes inside the cop locker room where every other word was eff this and eff that was unnecessary and frustrating, the cornball gangbangers next door to Will Smith, and yes like the critic mentioned this is the future yet it plays like a rip off of various present day tropes sprinkled w/ ALIEN NATION. Grade: C-

      • Justin

        While I enjoyed the film, I definitely understand why you or anyone else didn’t/wouldn’t. No judgement here.

        • AstralAmerican

          Fair enough!

  • Poe_Serling

    More end-of-the-year lists…

    I just saw one highlighting this year’s biggest box office draws. It also included a comprehensive list dating back to the ’30s.

    Just some random observations after looking over the lists from now to then:

    >>Shirley Temple held the top spot from the mid ’30s until the start of the new
    decade. Taking her slot? Mickey Rooney.

    >>Bing Crosby was the top dog through most of the ’40s. Abbott & Costello
    did squeak into the No. 1 position for ’42.

    >>the ’50s was more of a grab bag. Martin & Lewis and John Wayne swapped
    places on top a few times at the beginning of the decade… then followed by
    the familiar faces of Jimmy Stewart, Glenn Ford, etc.

    >>the major star power of the ’60s belonged to the trio of: Doris Day, Liz
    Taylor, and Julie Andrews.

    >>by the ’70s, the kings of the box office were Newman, Eastwood, Redford,
    and Reynolds.

    >>the ’80s through ’05 saw the two Toms (Cruise and Hanks) sitting at the top
    of the heap quite a bit.

    Since then, a mix of Depp, Smith, Bullock, Pitt, and so on.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Got to believe
      — there was a grendl complaining about Temple/Rooney movies in the 30s
      — a Midnight Luck dishing Crosby/Costello in the 40s
      — someone else complaining there was never a perfect movie made in the 50s
      — and so on…
      Yeah, the 70s were great, but where was the structure? — says still another.

      Could be that we’re living in the best times in history.
      (But you would never know it.)

      • Poe_Serling

        The best film decade ever…

        I guess it depends on the person … and whether they want to whittle it down to just one genre or two:

        For me…

        When it comes to flicks with sci-fi/horror elements, the gold standard decade
        would be the ’50s:

        The Thing from Another World, Them!, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, War
        of the Worlds, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Quatermass Xperiment,
        Forbidden Planet, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Incredible Shrinking
        Man, It Came from Outer Space…

        Had to stop due to my hands cramping up from typing in so many titles.


        • brenkilco

          A forgotten one, Fiend Without a Face. Hands down the best invisible flying brains with attached spinal cords monster movie ever.

          • Poe_Serling

            Floating Brains in Cinema

            The ultimate triple bill:

            >>The Brain from Planet Arous
            >>Fiend Without a Face
            >>Invaders from Mars (alien-like brain creature drifts through the air in that one too)

            A few more of these flicks and it will become its own subgenre.


          • brenkilco

            And you left out Donovan’s Brain starring future first lady Nancy Davis. This was a remake of the forties movie The Lady and The Monster and was remade again in the sixties as The Brain. It’s tough to keep an evil, disembodied brain down.

          • Poe_Serling

            The one ? that needs to be answered ASAP does the D Brain
            float or fly?

            If not, then it can’t really be included in this really serious
            cinematic conversation.


            We need to be careful … soon the Easter Island-size stone head
            from Zardoz will be drifting into this thread.

          • brenkilco

            Yes, my bad. I mean the D brain floats, but you know only in the liquid in its tank. It can’t like levitate or fly around or nothing. Lazy ass brain.

      • brenkilco

        TV yes. Movies positively no.

      • Midnight Luck

        I am not sure what you are referring to.
        When was I dishing Crosby/Costello in the 40’s?
        Is my short term memory getting even shorter?

    • Dan B

      I read that producers both believed that Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray were the only two comedic actors that could individually add $10-15M to a box office in the 80’s by simply putting the name on the poster. Part of the reason they still gave Bill M a good salary for Scrooged despite leaving the industry for a few years.

  • klmn
    • Midnight Luck

      I blame sequels and “similar-itis” regurgitation, not streaming.

      If Hwood actually made some interesting, good movies people would actually show up and pay for them (though prices have gotten ridiculous).

      • HRV

        And to a lesser degree, politics. One half of the country doesn’t want to be preached to by the other — by the “liberal” arts. More and more movies are having liberal views slipped into them. We should keep things as neutral as possible, especially in the entertainment realm, so viewers aren’t blind sided. If a film is straight up/open about a certain viewpoint, then patrons can make a beforehand decision not to go if they so chose.

        • Kirk Diggler

          It must be terrible to be triggered at the movieplex. Toughen up.

          • E.C. Henry

            HRV has a valid point, you shouldn’t dismiss his point to rudely. Try to show some decorum, Diggler. It’s Christmas. Liberal politics in the movies has turned off a lot of people and brought U.S. box office numbers down.

          • HRV

            Thanks E.C. Unfortunately there is no Christmas for haters. If everyone would share in and continue with the kind of spirit that only shows up at the end of the year it would make a world of difference. Merry Christmas to ALL.

          • E.C. Henry

          • HRV

            LOL. Yeah, that’s all we can do — and to treat others kindly.

          • Dan B

            I really felt like I haven’t seen much politics in movies, at least not enough to offend people. I mean, by the content at least. Certain people may be turned off by “Hollywood” the same way they are turned off by the NFL (which last been losing modest viewership). However, I feel like people turning off their interest in movies are people are probably not giving up much in the first place and didn’t enjoy them as much in the first place. just my opinion.

      • Citizen M

        I blame feminism.

        T&A for BOS (Bums On Seats).

    • Malibo Jackk

      “Look what happens when you have a good film…”

      Sounds reasonable. But then comes the tough part:
      “… that people want to see.”

    • andyjaxfl

      …and piracy, though a few studies in the past few years indicate that while it’s a factor, it may not even be a Top-3 factor in declining sales anymore, which I find fascinating because it was only three to four years ago that piracy killed the box office of Pacific Rim and Edge of Tomorrow (or whatever it is known by these days).

  • susanrichards

    ug. hated the big sappy sick.

    • Midnight Luck

      me too.
      I thought it was completely unfunny, and just syrupy drama.
      and boring.
      not a good combo.

      • Stephjones

        I took my Mom to see it. At one point she whispered to me that she wished she had her remote so she could fast forward. At first, I really couldn’t put my finger on what I found to be so depressing about it. But, in hindsight, I think it was that the male character, a lying sack of shit who played everyone, was ‘redeemed’ by his ‘devotion’ to his ex-girlfriend. I found that ‘devotion’ to be as inconsistent as the rest of his shit because he left her side, the night before her surgery, to go do a comedy gig for fuck’s sake. That just underscored that the guy was only able to give a ‘token’ commitment to something as long as it didn’t really interfere with things that mattered to him.
        I also hated how Apatow seemed to caricature the Pakistani characters. A funny, heartfelt version of this story is Meet The Patels.

        • Dan B

          To be fair, Kumail wrote this movie with his GF or wife — so if anything I think he created the caricature’s of the characters.

          Thought it was entertaining enough — really an anti-plot movie. Like one of those films that just about a group of different people going through some changes.

  • -n8-

    Really appreciate everyones lists. Just to see how varied viewing experiences are for the individual. Its fascinating.

    I will say that the movie which affected me most in 2017–

    Get me Roger Stone

    Ugh. Talk about an anit-hero/villain.

  • scriptfeels

    Tried watching good time lasy night, i stopped the movie when the brother was getting beat up in prison, didn’t want to watch a prison movie since it was too dark for me. I may try to watch it again and skip past those types of scenes though.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Decided to work on my Christmas script over the holidays.
    With any luck could make the worst list of 2018-19.

    • klmn

      I’m trying to decide what to write next year. Already considered and rejected some ideas.

    • Avatar

      Are you working on your script on Christmas eve/day and new years eve/day?

      • Malibo Jackk

        In the spirit. Best time to write.

        • Avatar

          Cool. Merry writing and Happy scripting.

  • klmn

    A little Christmas music.

    • Nick Morris

      Great song.

    • Kirk Diggler

      If you don’t make it through December, there’s always this Merle Haggard song.

  • Erica

    In keeping with the season,
    Merry Christmas all!

    • Erica

    • Nick Morris


  • Justin

    Well nowadays, we have to use a watered down version of “original” because anything that is original has pretty much already been done. (Save for Pixar films and a few others).

  • Nick Morris

    Happy Holidays, ScriptShadow nation! :)

    • PQOTD

      Couldn’t have growled it any better myself.

  • Logline_Villain

    Merry Christmas to Carson and the many wonderful commenters here for another incredible year at Scriptshadow.

  • klmn

    Merry Christmas, bitches!

    • PQOTD

      Et tu, britches!

      • klmn

        And Happy Life Day to Carson.

    • E.C. Henry

      Merry Christmas, klmn. I hope you get what you want this Christmas.

  • 1st10

    Read a couple good articles recently:
    Lessons from the Screenplay is one of the first channels listed. They’ve been mentioned here before but nothing wrong with doing it again.

    The Hottest Public Domain Properties for Writers
    Nothing really mind-blowing but you could twist them into a different genre for something new. Maybe a sci-fi Alice in Wonderland or a horror Peter Pan? Imagine the damage a hook could do to the human body.

    • 1st10

      Or combine them, like the 2017 Black List script Dorothy & Alice did. Have Allan Quatermain (#20) team up with Robinson Crusoe (#12) and they get shipwrecked on The Island of Dr. Moreau (#11).

  • Dan B

    The only scene that really bugged me with Training Day was the scene where he’s about to be “saved” by the kid he helped earlier (exact rip-off of the Training Day scene). However, I feel like they took a weird twist on it this time… they have the kid leave, and then the Dad shoots him anyways.

  • ScriptChick

    Don’t forget, it’s National Eggnog Day! Drink those libations with cheer! After baking for hours, I’m looking to settle down with a script and a drink!

    • Scott Crawford

      Looking for a script to read (anyone?)? You can’t do much worse than the Black List, after all Carson will probably be coming back to these scripts for reviews at least for a year:

      Want to stay one step ahead of Carson? Tricky, the guy’s very unpredictable. But I suspect he will be reviewing HUGHES, the John Hughes bio-script, before too long. There’s also the Hit List…

      … which is less complete, I’m sorry to say. These are the “best” SPEC scripts of the year (some of the Black List entries are assignments or commissions) so you may want to see what one of them looks like.

      Both the Black List and Hit List (particularly the Hit List) contain FIRST drafts, not rough drafts, but scripts before they have been rewritten, polished, lost their individuality, and in all probability been numbered. THOSE scripts you can find here, this year’s crop of FYC (For Your Consideration) scripts, so you can see what award potential scripts might look like:

      I think you can skip Downsizing now.

      Merry Scriptmas and a Happy New Draft!

      • Matt Bishop

        Yeah the Tracking Board has fallen off in posting their Hit List scripts.

        • Scott Crawford

          It’s THEIR list!!! But it’s been harder this year to get hold of a lot of scripts, I was surprised we got the Black List.

  • Matt Bishop
    • ScriptChick

      Nice! Apparently Ron Jeremy was on the same plane as my brother coming in to Houston…

      • Citizen M

        What touched down first — the wheels or his dick?

    • GoIrish

      So are we thinking he has 50 of the same blazers or just a go-to one that he’s getting a lot of miles out of?

  • Malibo Jackk

    Was reading about Elizabeth Banks online in the New York Times.

    Seems like all you need — good looks, friends with influence, talent, drive,
    commercial success, and a smile.

    • PQOTD

      Ha! There’s no hope for me then. :)

      • Malibo Jackk

        She has the drive, talent and the work ethic.
        Don’t want to take that away from her.
        But there’s also luck and good friends
        – all of which you could say she earned.

        (Work on that smile.)

      • klmn

        Me neither.

    • Midnight Luck

      That’s all?
      We should all have this whipped then.


    Okay, so it’s early Christmas afternoon here. The sun’s shining, the birds are singing, and I’m scoffing fresh cherries by the handful. :) Yum!
    Regardless of to whomever or whatever you put your faith in, I wish all of you peace and happiness, and stay safe on the roads, folks.

  • klmn

    “sleek, slobbering, bow-paunched, overfed, apoplectic, snorting cattle.”

    The story behind A Christmas Carol.

    Charles Dickens
    (dude looks like a lady)

  • Citizen M

    Happy Xmas from Cape Town, baking under cloudless skies, unfortunately. Day Zero (when the city runs out of water) will arrive sometime in March unless we get real rain, real soon.

    • PQOTD

      We were doing the baking under cloudless skies yesterday in Adelaide, too, Citizen, but because there’s La Nina conditions in the Pacific Ocean, we’ve done not too badly for rain this year.

      I hope Santa brings your city rain, and lots of it in time.


    Last (Christmas I gave you my heart) Bitches.

    I’ll probably give it again next year. #WaitingForTurkeyToRoast

  • E.C. Henry

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    Well-p, up here in the Pacific Northwest (the Seattle area) we’re actually experiencing a white Christmas, got about 7 inches of snow on the ground where I live.

    Crazy how times change. Used to be on Christmas morning I woke up early and couldn’t wait to open presents. Now, I’m up and seeing what’s new here, then doing some rewrite work on the novel. Presents can wait.

    Miss that spunk and spark of life I used to have. What is it about adulthood that jobs us of such joy?

  • Poe_Serling

    Happy Holidays to all the wordsmiths in the ScriptShadow universe… everywhere
    from the heart of the urban hustle/bustle to the ‘Bigfoot-inhabited’ edges.

    The perfect cinematic combo to watch or at least have on in the background
    during this time of the season:

    >>It’s a Wonderful Life (on NBC last night)
    >>Miracle on 34th Street (playing on Sundance today – twice)

    Back in the day, both of the yuletide favorites were released within roughly
    six-month period.

    Wonderful brightened up theaters in December of ’46 and Miracle brought
    its classic chill to movie screens in June of ’47.

    Each film went on to be nominated for several Academy Awards including
    Best Picture in their respective years.

    Miracle was a box office hit right out of the gate… Wonderful not so much
    (just made a little over its production cost during it initial run).


    • klmn

      Don’t forget the Steelers/Texans game on NBC this afternoon. Nothing says Christmas like helmet-to-helmet collisions.

      • PQOTD

        Yay, traumatic brain injuries…

    • PQOTD

      And for a more contemporary Christmassy flick, I’m rather partial to ‘Love, Actually’, although I feel a tinge of sadness that the wonderful Alan Rickman is no longer with us.

      • Midnight Luck

        Yes, for a romantic comedy, and a more traditional Christmas flick, LOVE, ACTUALLY is right up there.
        And I’m forever lost with Alan Rickman gone.
        He was a great.

  • Midnight Luck

    Happy Festivus for the Restivus! And Merry Christmas! to all you awesome fellow scribes out here in The Scriptshadow universe!

    • PQOTD

      Right back at ya, ML!

  • Erica

    Few more hours of Christmas left, so I think I’ll end this season with Die Hard now. I may have bought a hole couch but I’ll only need the edge…

    • Midnight Luck

      DIE HARD, Best Christmas movie ever!
      Along with SCROOGED.

      • Dan B

        Damn right

  • Dan B

    Yeah – was that scene in the Landis draft? Or did David Ayre add it, because i know it was at least in the Ayre draft.

    Landis could have been influenced by Tolkienn and Ayer when writing, hence the dedication — but to just trip off a deux ex machina like that was rough. I sort of understand why they changed it in the movie — but that was an awkward shift as well, it’s like they kept half the scene.