Each month, Renegade Cinema will rank the best movies of that month in order, from worst to first. We are unable to see all the movies for a given month during that month, but we will return and adjust the rankings when we see the movies missed that month. The only movies guaranteed inclusion are only the wide releases of the month but when limited releases without a wide release are seen, we will go back and add them to the months they originally came out in.
With that said, here are the best movies from January 2017. Click on the movie’s title to read my full review.
Movies we have not yet seen: The Bye Bye Man, Sleepless, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Gold
Monster Trucks wanted to be an E.T. for the new generation but it failed on every level and was far from one of the best movies of January 2017. The movie was about creatures from deep within the Earth’s surface forced to the land by an EVIL oil man. They are intelligent and one of them befriends a teenager with angst problems thanks to an absentee dad, living in a crappy oil town, and being a basic jerk. Together, they dodge the authorities who want to dissect the monster to cover up their misdeeds. Monster Trucks was not good in any way. See the 2016 release of Pete’s Dragon for a movie that does the story much better.
Look, I love the Underworld movies but something happened with the last one and this one that has kind of taken the sheen off the franchise. Last movie saw Selene and vampires on the run from the government who wanted them dead (with a twist at the end) and the fact that it was no longer vampires vs. werewolves for much of the movie really made it lackluster. At least this one is better thanks to the werewolves returning to the forefront. However, this saw a dime store Lucien wannabe and a very poorly executed writing out of Michael’s character from the story. It had very fun moments but wasn’t up to the level of the first three movies in the series.
Also, see my ranking of all The Underworld movies, from worst to first here.
Do you love dogs? You might have a love/hate relationship with this movie. A Dog’s Purpose isn’t one of the best dog movies ever made but it might be the most depressing for the first 2/3 of its running time. If seeing a dog tortured and dying over and over is your idea of a good time, this is a movie to see. However, the movie almost redeems itself at the end with a very satisfying conclusion that almost makes sitting through over an hour of sad dog scenes worth the time. Almost.
This month saw the release to two of the most successful female-led action franchises in recent memory with the latest Underworld movie and this, the final Resident Evil movie. This movie had some real positives, mainly in the story and how they tied up the entire series in this movie in a really creative and interesting manner. Of course, there are also plot holes big enough for Nemesis to plow through, and the action scenes were shot with all fast cuts and little competence. In a relatively weak month, the story alone helps this stand out although it was nowhere near the levels of the better films in the series.
Also, see my ranking of all the Resident Evil movies, from worst to first here.
M. Night Shyamalan is back to form with his best movie in years. While The Visit proved that Night was back to making good movies again, this was probably his best effort since Unbreakable. James McAvoy is at the top of his game in this movie as a man with 24 different personalities who kidnaps three young girls with evil plans in mind. He really carries this movie to amazing levels and Night keeps it tense and claustrophobic throughout the entire running time. Plus, it has the best ending that an M. Night fan could ever dream of.by