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Believing Movie Hype

Movie hype in the first half of 2017 has been spot-on.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Some people say you shouldn't listen to the hype. You should see the movie and judge for yourself. However, I have to take a moment here to praise movie hype in the first half of 2017 because it has been spot-on.

If you've never been to the movies and all you did was go on Rotten Tomatoes, Twitter, and Facebook, you would have a pretty good idea of the best films you aren't seeing, because all of the films that were being talked about are the smartest, funniest and most original films of the year. Despite a lot of lamenting over the invasion of summer blockbusters, the public's taste in film feels like it's at an all-time great.

Looking at animation alone, the American releases with the most positive buzz and highest ratings were The Lego Batman Movie, Your Name, and Oscar nominees The Red Turtle and My Life as a Zucchini (although The Lego Batman Movie and Your Name are both equally as deserving of an Oscar nomination). All beautiful and sophisticated movies that are unlike most U.S. animated features because of their style and themes.

Other 2017 movies that got the most positive reviews from critics and social media include John Wick: Chapter 2, Get Out, Logan, Wonder Woman, The Big Sick and Baby Driver. Read that list again. Those movies are all anyone would talk about in the past six months. This gives me comfort in a strange way because, with all the talk about fake news and the distrustful media, news in the entertainment world remains reliable and therefore respectable, mainly because the point of Hollywood is to present your work to the public. There's no hiding in this industry like in politics. That may be why rumors are relatively easier to squash (and why our Hollywood president may be such a terrible liar. He cares too much about being in the spotlight to divert the attention off of himself the way someone like President Clinton would during his scandal).

Another great thing about that list of films I showed you is how original all those movies are. Get Out, Logan, Wonder Woman and Baby Driver all broke new ground for what could be done in cinema. The Big Sick may be the only comedy hit of the year (I don't know what happened to this genre, but leave it to Judd Apatow to help resuscitate it).

Even superheroes like Wolverine and Spider-Man have managed to stay relevant with movies that many are calling Wolverine and Spider-Man's best films, and Wonder Woman may be the most important and groundbreaking film of the decade because it gives more confidence in studios to let women control normally male-dominated blockbusters behind the camera and in front.

Many people who have seen these movies will agree that they are the best of the year. If you care about quality cinema you should always listen to the buzz. Movies like John Wick would have slipped under my radar completely if I didn't hear people rave about how great it is, and for great movies that are not being talked about as much, Rotten Tomatoes is the best at spotting hidden gems like the British comedy slasher Prevenge, which had no advertising but deserved to be talked about way more than Beauty and the Beast, Power Rangers and Ghost in the Shell.

Read next: 'Split'
Eli Sanza
Eli Sanza

Eli Sanza is a media critic and film historian from California. He posts film and TV news on Twitter and discusses Hollywood history on his podcast and his blog. He is also a Disney geek and currently stuck in the '90s.

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