(The Best Scenes of 2017)
5. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – Lady of the Lake
Arthur being pulled through the mud and muck by the Lady of the Lake to reclaim Excalibur is one of the standout thematic moments of the year. As a literal interpretation of the personal struggle of humanity in the face of loss and self-doubt, Ritchie’s scene serves as Arthur’s rebirth, his true coronation scene and furthers the relatability of the character.
4. The Last Jedi – Throne Room Battle
Rian Johnson’s film signaled several shifts in the beloved franchise and turned many of our expectations against us. Chief among them was breaking away from the traditional Sith vs Jedi dichotomy and ensuing lightsaber battle. Rey and Kylo’s team-up against Snoke’s Praetorian Guards is not only an awesome action sequence, but a character driven moment that affirms the connection between the two force-wielders struggling to find their place.
3. The Shape of Water – Black and White Dance
Leave it up to Guillermo del Toro to seamlessly blend Old Hollywood romance and monster movies for a gorgeous black and white sequence that could have been comical in lesser hands. But del Toro’s love shines through this film, perhaps strongest in this sequence, that allows us to see the grace and purity of the love between two outsiders.
2. It – Clown in the Storm Drain
Any Muschietti wastes no time in letting audiences know they’re in for something special, and that Bill Skarsgard is going to make Pennywise the face of nightmares for a new generation. Sticking almost exactly to the words of King’s novel, Skarsgard makes the clown even scarier with his drooling eagerness, and an initial childlike approach that shifts, along with his eye color, to become something more monstrous. The rest of the film is spectacular as well, but that opening quelled many fears by actually giving us something to fear.
1. Wonder Woman – No Man’s Land
The No Man’s land sequence didn’t just cement the arrival of a new cinematic icon in Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, but became one of the most cheer worthy sequences of the year because it celebrated female power in a year where such a celebration was a little more than overdue. Patty Jenkins crafts a standout action sequence that allows Diana to show off all of her wondrous abilities while also showing off her own, creating a new battle cry for women in film.