So here we are casting our minds back on both the shining sensations and rotten corpses floating around what feels like a pretty vintage year in the cinema. Looking back to 2016 - HMBW's first official year in action - we endured many fantastic flops and some wonderful hidden gems. Fast forward 365 days and whilst 2017 may have disappointed the moguls in terms of box office takings, this year has been a triumphant procession of creative delights, highlighting the talents the all new diverse Hollywood has to offer. It's been, for me, one of the most successful years of recent times - making this final list of 2017's best all the more challenging!
15. Alien: Covenant
Once again Ridley Scott delivers a brilliant, terrifying work of cinematic gold that props itself nicely between the shoulders of past Alien films even though it may not be launching the series into new grounds. Covenant's unsettling atmosphere matched with Scott's timeless world building capture the idea of isolation and terror, that which made the original so iconic. Resulting in the finest Alien sequel since the 79 original.
14. Hidden Figures
The industry's latest space bio-pic aims high with a perfect launch and landing whilst incorporating some exceptional star power throughout. Hidden Figures is a shining example of how bio-pic's should be made, reimagining a story that everyone knows but the women we don't. As the film gets's its message across, showing us the inequality of the racial divide at the time it never becomes forceful or overly preachy.
13. Paddington 2
Stuck together as firmly as a marmalade sandwich, this is inspiring, uplifting and often dreamlike - driven by magical cinematography. Paddington 2 easily offers this year's most exceptional family outing.
12. War for the Planet of the Apes
Reaves capture the emotional significance of the apes, and underlines what the series - since 68 - has always really been about. With its brilliant range of non speaking acting and the exhilarating yet thought provoking finale, War for the Planet of the Apes visualises a uncomfortably believable look into a world we hope will never to come.
11. The Big Sick
A bitter sweet story of budding relationships, dynamic individuals and cultural obligations. Combined with exceptional star power and sprinkled with the perfect marriage of heart and humour, The Big Sick applauds the modern generation and their admirably in vogue views on race and racial tradition - winding up in a credible, intelligent and beautifully made modern cinema delight.
10. Thor: Ragnarok
Initially Ragnarok was in my opinion the very bottom of the marvel roster however upon second viewing I loved almost everything about it. By no means is it a perfect film; the moronic humour continues to feel incredibly forced and cringeworthy - preventing serious moments to have any of the emotional heft they should. Yet the dazzling, 80's inspired Thor: Ragnarok plays like a Saturday morning cartoon exploding full of colour, character and action. Though Marvel is at its best when it treats its characters more seriously - Ragnarok is easily Marvel's most fun outing yet and quite possibly their best since Civil War.
9. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The Last Jedi is gorgeous, it's complex, it's purposeful and in every way the quintessential Star Wars movie. Admittedly it's challenging, uncovering its many layers - asking more of you than previous episodes but the result is a reward worth reaping. Compelled by the phenomenal Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is an iconic space sensation, blasting the four decade long series on a new course.
One week, one day, one hour, Nolan returns to the silver screen with his record breaking war thriller Dunkirk. His ingenious element of time dominates ever key aspect; whether its the heart thumping clock tick or the fusion of land, air and sea. This has to be Nolan's most sophisticated and original work yet.
7. Battle of the Sexes
There's no hiding from this terrific tennis drama's powerful backhand. The inspiring light of the LGBT community shines in this tennis drama portraying one of the sport's most important events. Battle of the Sexes presents a touching and inspiring story of challenges to gender and sexual prejudice in 1970s America.
6. Wonder Woman
The first ever female led and directed superhero picture, Wonder Woman is - by a stretch - the most poignant, empowering and important Super movie in recent years. Buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman is a rare cinematic phenomenon that sets to shake up the conventional hollywood formula.
An unhinged look into the mind of a broken American sweetheart. Natalie Portman blossoms in one of her finest performances and quickly creates one of those famous 'nobody else imagined in the role' situations. Splashed with complex and sumptuous 60's cinematography, intricate costume design and edited with original period footage, Jackie is a modern work of art.
4. Baby Driver
An adrenalin kick of high speed action, Baby Driver boasts a sharp, slick and snappy style. Stellar direction, ice cool acting and a devilish story all make for a fantastically fun time. Brought to life by an iconic 'less chat more music' style, Baby Driver is an unmissable, high octane, toe-tapping adventure.
3. Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner and 2049 are both hugely ambitious films, both celebrations of movie making outside the box, both pushing the envelope visually and conceptually. 2049 carries on the legacy with pride and pomp, joyously opening the lid for the current generation. Transportive, purposeful and richly complex - in the same way of its predecessor - 2049 hints at many possibilities, once again leaving us to make our own minds up about the possible outcomes.
Moonlight ever so quietly kept its head down, hiding in the crowd until one day making a huge all conquering entrance. This racial coming of age drama is poignant and powerful, cataloguing a young boy's journey into manhood through broken home, street crime and sexual discovery - delicate in its film making and rich in its cinematography. Moonlight is an instant classic, the powerful use of silence and entrancing sound track make this triumph all the more impressive.
1. La La Land
A love letter to old school Hollywood, La La Land is in every way possible the perfect movie. The design and focus of each single frame, colour or mood are tailored to convey the harsh realities of our hopes and dreams. It's near impossible to not loose yourself in this world of eager eyes and cotton candy clouds, of rich cinematography and vibrant Technicolor. To quote one of the movie's pinnacle moments A little madness is key and certainly gives us new colours to see. La La Land is a modern masterpiece of sheer cinematic perfection.
Let's be truthful we all enjoy sinking our teeth into a little slice of negativity - indeed its part of human nature to occasionally relish in failure rather than always celebrate success. That said 2017 has proven such a positively delightful year that rummaging through the cinema scraps has been a harder challenge than in previous years. Although there aren't many contenders for Worst of the Year, the few that find themselves on this list were pretty abysmal. As always a purely personal and completely biased view - a few are certain to rattle your cage - but please bear with!
Kong: Skull Island
Undoubtedly, Kong: Skull Island is one to watch on the big screen. The relentlessness impact of the repeatedly short and action packed scenes is exhausting. It plays very much like a theme park ride, ups and downs with exhilarating and energetic moments throughout, but at the cost of its characters which are corny and sterotypical - ironically feeling like the one dimensional animatronics we see along the ride.
Cheap and cheerful, Power Rangers flew well under the mainstream radar. Aside the team's uneven development and a number of poorly edited scenes, 2017's Power Rangers undoes the cheerful childlike cheesiness of the original and goes the complete opposite direction. Ultimately - and unexplainably - this movie has me wanting more of the ridiculous Power Rangers Dino Charge, something I never thought I would find myself saying.
10. Atomic Blonde
Charlize Theron carries the weight of Atomic Blonde almost singlehandedly during this routine and humdrum outing - unfortunately the big name supporting cast can't atone for the poorly told story. It brags an all too familiar, if not overused soundtrack and an over complicated plot line - either I'm just stupid or something about this cumbersome spy flick doesn't add up.
9. The Mummy
No, unlike every moviegoer/critic this year I couldn't find a strong enough reason to absolutely despise Tom Cruise's The Mummy. That being said, this Scooby-Doo spoof missed almost every mark that could've made it an exciting launch into Universal's Dark Universe. Wasted talent and a meringue storyline, the result a goofy theatrical re-imagining of Michael Jackson's Thriller video.
8. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Welcome to the Jungle launches a weak plot and hints at a handful of game levels that are never set in stone, unlike the superior, tense and much loved 1995 original, making it very hard to compare the two in any meaningful way. An all new cast and an all new concept; yet Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle feels like a huge missed opportunity. Boasting the same game just from the inside, Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle runs primarily on star power and certainly not creativity.
Has anyone even heard of this one? Mindhorn is dull and generic - a bit like the faded star its based upon. It may offer the odd laugh and some acceptable performances, but no matter how much get up and go Mindhorn has it can't escape the fact its so unbearably boring.
6. Fast and Furious 8
Furious 8 delivers in areas but ultimately runs out of fuel. The three recent predecessors in the series helped shift gears (as it were), focusing not only on the cars but the people driving them. Fast and Furious 8 takes all that fans have learnt to love about the series and shatters them into a ridiculous, senseless and cringeworthy mess - or one spectacular car crash.
5. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Cheap script writing and less than mediocre acting turn this into one giant romp, making the Legend of the Sword very hard to swallow. An utter embarrassment not only itself as a movie, not only to the reputation of the great Guy Richie, but also to the Arthurian legend it has used as inspiration. Looks like this sword should have been left in the stone...
4. The Greatest Showman
Aside from The Greatest Showman's entrancing premise, this is a cheap, offensive musical that is built upon the lies of its lead character - making money from the vulnerable and marginalised. Though its charming cast and incredible soundtrack lure you in, don't be fooled by this schmaltzy circus and its deceiving show - this picture promotes the rise of one of the nastiest characters in show business.
3. Transformers: The Last Knight
At one point in the distant past Michael Bay may have wanted to create a genuinely entertaining spectacle, however Transformers has become Hollywood's biggest cash cow, and Bay is has clearly be commissioned to carry on milking until it's dry. Unfunny, unoriginal, uninteresting, Transformers: The Last Knight is a fifth instalment of an artistically dead franchise that shows no sign of heading off to its grave.
2. The Emoji Movie
Sony's desperate attempt to recycle any current animation for a quick cash grab. Hitting the exact same notes as Inside Out, Wreck it Ralph and The Lego Movie, The Emoji Movie is the laziest, most uninspired kids caper in the industry so far. Sadly this is an entire story fuelled by product placement and bombarded at the younger generation of consumers. The Emoji Movie is a toxic phenomenon and a cinematic disaster - luckily I was able to glaze over, making the experience a tad less excruciating.
Essentially Flatliners isn't an ambiguous film it's just plain stupid. It boasts to be an updated reimagining of the eerie 90's original, yet is too afraid to explore either the scientific or religious possibilities for the afterlife. Was it worth reviving Flatliners? No, it really wasn't. Flatliners is by far the cheapest, most irrelevant of Sony's recent concoctions - don’t even bother with the difibularator this ones dead upon arrival.