2017 was a great year for Hollywood. Not only did it bring big changes and a lot of talking points, but it also produced some of the most memorable films in recent memory.

The year began with the world premiere of the massive fantasy adventure film War for the Planet of the Apes, the highest-grossing film of all time, which then went on to break cinematic records around the globe. The dystopian film is set 30 years after a virus turns most of the population into superhuman zombies. It centers on a man who protects his son from the undead menace and strives to survive in a world that has become a hellish living hell.

This was followed in February by the epic fantasy adventure Black Panther, which became the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film to gross more than $1 billion worldwide. The film followed T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, as he battles it out in a magical community filled with dinosaurs and other mythical creatures. Along with Apes, this was one of the year’s biggest box-office smashes and generated a ton of critical praise.

The success of these films – along with the mega-hits Toy Story, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and The Greatest Showman, which broke box-office records in its first week of release – served as a massive testament to the fact that audiences were hungry for new stories in a world where everything is connected to the internet and digital life.

That’s not to say that there weren’t some pretty big disappointments too. One of the biggest flops of the year was December’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. The film was accused of whitewashing because of its casting of Filipino lead actress Dakota Fanning in the titular role of a white snowflake who journeys to Europe to save her kingdom. The backlash led to a major boycott by Filipino-American bloggers and Twitter users. In addition to being a major critical and commercial flop, the movie also faced ridicule for its poor historical accuracy.

The biggest sensation of the year, however, was easily the K-pop group BTS. The seven-piece act became the first Korean group to score a global number-one album with Map of the Soul: The Album. Their popularity culminated in a wildly successful year that included a Guinness World Record-breaking 16 million-plus views on their YouTube videos. BTS were also honored with an MTV Europe Music Award and an International Emmy Award. They are currently gearing up for a massive world tour in support of their latest album, which is due for release in the coming months.


The year began with a spectacularly unusual trailer for the upcoming arrival of a brand-new alien species in the form of an animated short film by the name of Arrival. The trailer – which became an instant cultural phenomenon when it was revealed in December – was so unusual in its combination of live action and CGI animation that it raised several questions about how the finished film would look. When it was finally released, in August, the general consensus was that it worked really well and was an improvement on what was previously seen. The film itself is about a mother (Mia Wasikowska) who, upon discovering that her child is an alien, decides to go on the run with him.

While the trailer showed off incredible creature design, the finished film didn’t look quite as good. This is most likely down to the fact that the film was made with a relatively low budget. As a result, parts of the CGI had to be replaced with practical effects, which in turn, took away from the overall look. The film itself wasn’t a total loss, though. It was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the category of Outstanding Hollywood Film (Movie), as well as an Annie Award in the category of Best Animated Feature.

The Dark Knight Rises

Another highly anticipated film from December is The Dark Knight Rises. The final installment in the Batman trilogy, it sees the Dark Knight (Christian Bale) return for one last stand against the villains he’s spent the past eight years battling. Along with returning villains like the Joker (Harrison Ford) and one of his many incarnations as the Riddler (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the film also introduces us to Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) for the first time. In an attempt to prevent an all-out war between the Joker and Batman, the two men must work together to stop a tyrannical mayor (Juliana Harkavy) and her gang of riot grrl terrorists.

The Dark Knight Rises broke several box-office records when it was released in December. It became the fastest film to reach $1 billion globally, the third-largest film of all time, and the highest-grossing film of the year. The fact that it was a critical and commercial smash meant that it really did sum up the year – and it made a memorable film outing all round.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Speaking of memorable film outings, Kingsman: The Golden Circle saw the Kingsman (Taron Egerton) travel back in time to recruit the famous outlaws of the Old West to help him save the future. The film, which follows the first two installments in the franchise, sees the secret agent recruit his own team of heroes as the Old West gangs fight to save the nation. While the film was relatively well-received, it underperformed at the box office, bringing its global total up to $569 million – a far cry from the nearly $1 billion it earned in its first two years in theaters.

One of the standout performances of the year came from Elsie Fisher in the form of her dual role as sisters Millicent and Matilda. Directed by Stephen Chbosky, the coming-of-age dramedy follows two estranged teenage sisters who must navigate the complicated world of dating in the modern day. Using her signature honeyed British accent, Fisher plays the dual roles of the spunky and lively Matilda and the more reserved Millicent. The film’s writing and directing led to praise from critics, who called it “a sweet and funny film about growing up”. Stephen Chbosky went on to say that “anyone who has ever felt awkward or isolated enough to wonder ‘what will my siblings think of me?’ can relate to [Fisher]’s character’. While the film underperformed at the box office, it still managed to accumulate $852 million in global ticket sales – not bad for a small studio film.


The fifth installment of the popular Doom series, DOOM follows the adventures of military scientist Dr. Gordon as he tries to save the Earth from an invasion by demons. Fans of the franchise will recognize that Dr. Gordon is played by actor and stuntman Karl Urban, who also happens to be the father of the Terminator actor John. Urban, who appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in December, talked about what it’s like to play a popular action movie father:

  • “It’s a lot of fun. It’s not easy, by any means. It’s a lot of run-and-gun, fight-and-shoot, and then there’s car chases. I mean, there’s just a lot going on. You’re in a room with lots of people, so you have to shoot a lot of stuff and move around a lot. It’s like being in a real-life video game, really.”
  • “[It] just takes a lot of practice, and you have to be in decent physical shape, as well. So, it’s not like flabbergasting the public or anything like that. You know, it’s just a lot of fun. It’s a great workout really.”
  • “[Playing Dr Gordon] is a lot of fun. It’s a good amount of exercise, too. You know, you do your job, and you throw some punches here and there.”

Overall, 2017 was a year filled with surprises. From the blockbuster success of Solo: A Star Wars Story – the first Star Wars movie not to feature any of the original cast – to the viral popularity of BTS and their album Map of the Soul, which overtook all others in the year’s key music catalogs. It was an incredible year for fans of all ages, and something to look forward to in the coming months.