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This column offers “10 Top Performances of 2017.” It does not present the “Top 10 Performances of 2017” nor the “Best 10 Performances of 2017.” I want to highlight ten performances (without making actor/actress or lead/support distinctions) that have lodged in my memory.

Run Time: 1:38
U.S. Release Date: 2017-10-13
MPAA Rating: "PG-13" (Disturbing Images, Drugs, Brief Nudity)
Genre: Adventure/Drama
Director: Scott Waugh
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Mira Sorvino, Sarah Dumont, ...

The adventure/survival aspectsare presented with workmanlike efficiency but the secondary story elements are at times cringe-worthy.

Run Time: 1:34
U.S. Release Date: 2017-08-18
MPAA Rating: "R" (Violence, Profanity)
Genre: Thriller
Director: Toa Fraser
Cast: Mark Strong, Jamie Bell, Abbie Cornish, ...

Works not only as a portal into what happened 37 years ago but as an understanding of the difficulties of handling hostage situations.

Run Time: 1:29
U.S. Release Date: 2018-04-13
MPAA Rating: "PG-13" (Profanity, Sexual Situations, Violence)
Genre: Drama
Director: Brian Shoaf
Cast: Zachary Quinto, Jenny Slate, Jon Hamm, ...

A hard-to-swallow drama about sibling rivalry, mental illness, and bad therapy, it's cobbled together using clichés and contrivances.

Run Time: 2:02
U.S. Release Date: 2017-05-19
MPAA Rating: "R" (Violence, Gore, Profanity, Sexual Content, Nudity)
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, ...

"Alien: Covenant" has enough of what made Alien great to deliver two hours of big-budget sci-fi/horror entertainment.

Run Time: 2:12
U.S. Home Release Date: 2018-04-10
MPAA Rating: "R" (Profanity, Violence, Sexual Content, Brief Nudity, Drugs)
Genre: Thriller/Drama
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, ...

It’s a serviceable thriller at best although Christopher Plummer’s late-to-the-party performance is worthy of praise.

Run Time: 1:45
U.S. Release Date: 2018-03-16
MPAA Rating: "R" (Violence, Profanity, Sexual Content, Nudity)
Genre: Drama
Director: Carlos Sanchez, Jason Sanchez
Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Julia Sarah Stone, Denis O’Hare

The screenplay doesn’t rise to the level of the behind-the-camera craftmanship or the acting.

Run Time: 1:52
U.S. Release Date: 2017-09-15
MPAA Rating: "R" (Violence, Torture, Profanity, Sexual Content, Nudity)
Genre: Action/Thriller
Director: Michael Cuesta
Cast: Dylan O’Brian, Michael Keaton, Taylor Kitsch, ...

"American Assassin" is as generic an espionage thriller as you’re likely to find.

Run Time: 1:55
U.S. Release Date: 2017-09-29
MPAA Rating: "R" (Violence, Profanity, Sexual Content, Nudity, Drugs)
Genre: Thriller
Director: Doug Liman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Domhnall Gleeson, ...

"American Made" is breezy and fun and makes its points without subjecting the viewer to a browbeating.

Run Time: 1:29
U.S. Release Date: 2017-08-04
MPAA Rating: "R" (Violence, Profanity)
Genre: Thriller
Director: John Stockwell
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Anne Heche, Dave Annable

The lack of a clear direction and vision leads to something haphazard, sloppy, and not remotely viscerally compelling.