The first superhero movie of the year was also one of its best. Director James Mangold's Logan was billed as Hugh Jackman's final go at Wolverine, and promised to offer a compelling conclusion along with a hard-R rating that the character had always demanded. While we expected the movie to be good, we had no idea how great it was going to be. Nothing could have prepared us for the sheer brutality on display, both graphic and emotional. Every scene in the film was loaded with intensity and heartbreak, and the dystopian setting only helped highlight the loneliness the characters felt.
Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart gave career-defining performances as Logan and Charles Xavier, the two of them making us feel every hardship their characters were going through. This is not a movie that is easy to watch, and it might not even be one you will keep coming back to to experience all over again. It stays with you and haunts you. It makes you cry, and yet it inspires you. The only weakness the film may have faced was in its villains, who were a bit vaguely defined. In the end, that was a forgivable slip since Logan's true nemesis turned out to be himself.
2: Wonder Woman
Many fans agreed that Gal Gadot's Diana was the highlight in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. For that reason, and more, there was a lot of excitement surrounding the release of Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman. As a female-led superhero movie, the film meant a great deal to many people. The movie was a big step forward in a superhero landscape that is traditionally male-driven.This fact made it even more gratifying to see how truly wonderful the film was. A period piece set in the days of the first World War, Wonder Woman is about self-worth, heroism and love. It's a movie that embraces the strength of its main character, as well as her gender.
Thanks to Gal Gadot's incredible performance, Wonder Woman's status as an icon was renewed, and the character's stock rose immeasurably. The rest of the cast, led by Chris Pine, was compelling, helping make the movie a breathtaking adventure from start to finish. The weak link of the film was once again the villain of the piece, Ares, who only briefly appeared at the end of the film, and who didn't get much in the way of character development. But Diana's feats of strength were not lesser because of it. In Wonder Woman, we had DC's best movie to date, a star-making turn that positioned the Amazon Princess as a true symbol of hope, peace and power.
1: Spider-Man: Homecoming
Spider-Man made his grand entrance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, but 2017 was when the wall-crawler would get his own solo movie set in the MCU. Similarly to solo Avengers films, Peter Parker's world was truly a part of the shared universe, but it was still all about the webbed hero at its core. Tony Stark may have appeared from time to time, but his presence was devised to support Peter's character development and growth. Tom Holland proved without a doubt that he's not just a great Spider-Man, but a great Peter Parker.
In Homecoming, director Jon Watts employed humor better than most MCU movies. Unlike Thor: Ragnarok, which bordered on the side of slapstick comedy, the humor at play in Watts' movie felt natural. It was never out of place or forced, and it was true to Spider-Man's comic book origins. The movie also had an ace up its sleeve in Michael Keaton's Vulture, a villain that had ample amounts of screen time, characterization and depth. Vulture was easily the best on-screen supervillain of the year, making the confrontation between hero and villain all the more compelling and personal. Spider-Man: Homecoming was a movie filled with heart. The best superhero film of 2017 let its dramatic moments have weight, all while showcasing the true strength of its main character.