Dunkirk (dir. Christopher Nolan) – The Arrival of the Little Ships
Let’s be honest, Christopher Nolan’s technical symphony could fill this list on its own; the opening calm of the cobbled streets and propaganda fliers, the escape from the depths, or the bullet peppered boat hull.
However, because of the meticulously constructed, inner workings of a clock set-up, there’s little-or-no time to deal with battlefield humanity, so the heart of the film arrives in the form of Mark Rylance and his band of vessels, who ride a tide of emotion towards the beaches of Dunkirk.
In a sea of filmmaking bravura and that ticking mechanical score from Hans Zimmer, the appearance of the fleet is such an overwhelming moment in which the audience can finally unclench their sweaty fists for the briefest of moments.
Wonder Woman (dir. Patty Jenkins) – No Man’s Land
Few scenes will have you run the full gamut of emotions in the way that Diana Prince’s journey into No Man’s Land did. Narratively triumphant in a fist-pumping, eye misting way, it’s that cathartic moment the story has been building towards.
More than that though, it’s the kind of sequence that will inspire a generation of kids to want to be Wonder Woman, whether that’s in the playground or the workplace as they get older, and in today’s climate, you cannot underestimate that kind of imprinting. Plus, it’s just a ridiculously cool sequence.
Split (dir. M. Night Shyamalan) – The Diner
The cinema is my church, so I consider it a place of worship, where you don’t talk through the trailers, and eat food from packaging that makes less noise than Hooks from Police Academy. The end of M. Night Shyamalan’s Split was an exception to the rule.
Having thoroughly enjoyed the cat-and-mouse thriller, anchored by an award worthy James McAvoy, the credits threatened to roll. But wait, what’s this? Cut to a diner, and a coda which felt completely unnecessary and tonally out of place, until Bruce Willis was revealed, and years of bottled up Unbreakable fandom burst out in an inappropriate “OH MY GOD”! I can’t have been alone in the impact of that moment, because in just over a year’s time we’ll get the trilogy capper Glass.
Logan (dir. James Mangold) – X Marks the Spot
Logan was a blood and dust American roadtrip epic, that gave Hugh Jackman the chance to embody the character in a way that his cameos and crap films (X-Men: Origins, The Last Stand) hadn’t done him justice. It was also a chance for the actor, and us, to say goodbye. We just didn’t realise how bloody spectacular it would be.
So much about James Mangold’s film approaches perfection; the incidentally heartbreaking way in which we say farewell to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, Dafne Keene’s film stealing performance, or the casino hotel set piece. We always knew that Old Snikt Snikt might not be long for this world, but the way in which it happened was beautiful, surprising, and capped by that iconic headstone.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (dir. Rian Johnson) – Rey and Kylo Ren Lightsaber Battle
While the Internet continues to fall out with each other about Rian Johnson’s addition to a galaxy far, far away, rather than give each and everyone of them a Porg in the hope it will calm them down, we’re going to finish our list by focusing on a positive [among many] from The Last Jedi.
Avoiding massive spoilers, some of which made your heart skip a beat in a joyous geekgasm, we’ve opted to focus on something that’s integral to a Star Wars movie; a lightsaber battle. Heck, even The Phantom Menace had The Dual of Fates.
The one at the crescendo of plot twists and revelations in The Last Jedi is layered with so much character subtext that it elevates it above your standard clashing of coloured beams. Not only is it set against the backdrop of Johnson’s stunning colour palette, just look at the way those sparks hang in the air, but it’s also brimming with tension between Rey and Kylo Ren, who must join forces to take on Snoke’s henchmen, straight off the back of some pretty huge plot developments. It also helps that it’s brilliantly choreographed and includes some of the most badass uses of a lightsaber in franchise history.
So there you have it. The Top 10 Moments in 2017, as selected by me. If you have your own, or want to bring some balance to the force by politely shooting down mine, then please agree or disagree in the comments below. Just don’t tell me that any of the poo jokes from The Emoji Movie belong on here.
Happy New Year!