Detroit is easily the most socially relevant film I saw last year. Directed with tense precision by Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit tells the story of the events at the Algiers Hotel in Detroit during the 1967 riots when racist cops respond to shots fired at the hotel.
What follows is almost a real-time, white knuckle reenactment of the events that took place and the people involved. Few movies stuck with me this year, but Detroit is one of them — it made me angry for all the right reasons. How this wasn’t included for literally any awards is baffling. Not only could it easily have taken the tenth spot, but the spot of another, much less deserving film.
War for the Planet of the Apes
It’s no secret that the Academy shies away from genre films whenever possible, but I can’t think of a film more deserving of the ‘Return of the King treatment’ than War for the Planet of the Apes. By that, I mean an excellent film that’s no so much being rewarded for its own merit, but for the achievement of the whole trilogy.
What Matt Reeves and company achieved with not only War for the Planet of the Apes, but the entire trilogy, is what these awards should be about: outstanding achievements in the art of filmmaking. While Reeves didn’t direct the first film of the trilogy, he directed the best two of them, and War for the Planet of the Apes wraps up what I would consider to be the best trilogy since The Lord of the Rings.
The script, the direction, the acting and especially the special effects all combine to make a haunting meditation on the effects of war and bigotry. If this series wasn’t about intelligent primates I assume it would have fared better.
Look, in all honesty, Logan didn’t quite make my personal top 10 for the year, but that says less about the quality of the film and more about just how strong 2017 was for movies.
What Logan achieves has only been truly bested by The Dark Knight; it’s a movie that transcends its comic book source material and becomes a downright great film in its own right. It has great performances by the three leads, has something to say about mortality and our legacy, and is more human than any of the previous X-Men films.
Maybe one day the Academy will get their “too good for comic book movies” head out of their collective arses, but hey, at least it received a Best Adapted Screenplay nod. Progress!