Best Movies of 2017 – Golden Flask Awards

by Tim Barley

Our first annual Golden Flask Awards include some fun times golden flask awards

As the Oscars are upon us this weekend, I thought I’d take a look at what I thought were the best movies of 2017. No slight meant to great movies like Dunkirk, The Shape of Water and others, but they didn’t make my list. They are great movies. But, there are reasons that I go to the movies and created and they weren’t always to see the “it” movie. No pun intended. It’s to be entertained, to laugh and to wonder, and on a very rare occasion, shed a tear. So, not necessarily the best artistically or overall best picture, these movies were the ones that were the best for Cocktails and Movies.

Awards first, but the rest are in no order but the way I wrote them down on a cocktail napkin in my office…

Thor: Ragnarok –  our pick for BEST PICTURE of 2017. Now, bear with us. Yes, some movies are possibly better. BUT, but, but, but, Thor: Ragnarok was perhaps the most fun, entertaining, silly, action-packed and furthers-the-Marvel-Cinematic-Universe title yet. Taika Waititi’s amazing handling of humor in this movie makes it one of the funnest times we have had in years at the movies (unless you count a Valentine’s Day date with Ms. and Deadpool…). It’s absurd and you can see shades of the humor in What We Do In The Shadows all over this movie. Chris Hemsworth sheds his golden main, loses his hammer, teams with the Hulk and it’s got an amazing intensity. It’s got action. It’s also got a great story and great new characters to keep it fresh.

Get Out -This is our pick for BEST SCREENPLAY. Tense, funny, and a great social commentary, Jordan Peele’s first writing/directing of a feature was a smash ($250+ million on a $5 million budget), cementing him as a film auteur. The movie makes great use of all the tropes and social tensions in this day and age without beating you over the head (ahem, Downsizing)  or relying on too many stereotypes, except when to make commentary. So, Jordan Peele, here’s to you.

The Disaster Artist – This is our pick for BEST ACTOR/DIRECTOR (yes, we cheated). It’s fun for me to think back to the days of going to see this mysterious movie at the Sunset Laemle theater on the corner of Sunset Blvd and Crescent Heights, rubbing elbows with A-list celebrities at midnight screenings once a month. There was a always a sense of “what was this guy thinking?” when Tommy Wiseau came to the screenings. How did this man of so little capability actually make a movie so bad it was good fun that sold out theaters years after it opened to little fanfare? The adapted screenplay from Greg Sestero’s book is perfect fodder for James Franco to direct and star opposite his little brother. This movie is all about just believing in yourself and not letting anything get in your way. Kind of like this little enterprise…

Other movies that I loved in 2017:

cocktails and Movies Bladerunner 2049Blade Runner 2049 – I had my doubts about making a sequel to my #1a favorite movie of all time (tied with Casablanca). But, Denis Villenueve’s artistic style and handling of the script evokes much of the original Bladerunner. It’s visually stunning and retains a bit of the hard-boiled noirish style of the 1982 film. It’s a bit long at almost 3 hours, but well worth your time to sit down and watch it with some smooth Johnnie Walker Black.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi –  I always have fondness in my heart for all things Star Wars, and this movie did not disappoint, although it did border on silly and “no, way” moments. Still, that galaxy far far away is an amazing draw in this penultimate installment of the Luke Skywalker saga.


Logan – dark, gritty, heavy – yes, the last Wolverine movie was all things. Not for your parents, but for comic book lovers who wanted to see Logan unleashed with all the violence, language, emotional drama, etc., this movie was a great treat.

 It – okay, this movie had me squinting my eyes shut and putting my hands up because. It. Was. Fucking. Scary. It’s hard to forget Tim Curry’s Pennywise, but Bill Skarsgard (yes, that family) did a phenomenal job of inhabiting the dancing clown. The movie is tense and grips you tight, setting you up for the sequel in 2019.

John Wick: Chapter 2 – sequels are hard. But, JW2 picked up right after the first movie and doesn’t stop. With no Deadpool 2 yet this last year, this was our Valentine’s Day movie.


Jumanji 2 – a latecomer to the list at the end of December, this movie struck a huge chord with us as it made us laugh so hard. Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart have worked together before in the amazingly funny Central Intelligence. Add Jack Black channeling his best 17 year old popular high school socialite and the amazing Karen Gillan, and you’ve got a fun, light-hearted, action-packed movie.