Was 2017 a great year for movies? Of course it was. There were some excellent films to be released in 2017. There were also some bad ones for sure, but the focus on this article are some of the Best films that stuck with me long after viewing. Most people will give you their Top 10 list, but this is no Top 10, because there are just so many movies that I loved and feel passionate about, that I find it difficult and unpleasing to rank them.
Instead, these are my favorite movies of 2017, which I hope you’ve seen already. If you haven’t yet, you’re in for a real treat and I can’t wait for you to see them. Some of these films are still in theaters, while some are on Netflix, 4K UHD, and Blu-ray, so you’ll be able to quickly see any of these if you haven’t. I watched over 270 movies that were released in 2017 and these are my absolute favorites. I hope you get to see all of these, because I know you’ll love them. In no particular order…..
Get Out (Dir. Jordan Peele)
Who would have predicted that one half of the ‘Key and Peele’ show would direct a movie that would be talked about and remembered for many years to come. It’s half horror and half comedy with an excellent satire behind it all. This movie was so perfectly made, that you can’t help but watch it over and over again to catch all the little details throughout. With ‘The Stepford Wives’ and ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ mixed into this sharp, witty, and scary movie, Peele navigates some hot topics that resonate still almost a year later. It’s smart, entertaining, and fun on all counts. Plus the ending is completely satisfying.
The Big Sick (Dir. Michael Showalter)
Kumail Nanjianai, who is mostly known for his role on ‘Silicon Valley’ has a great story behind his relationship with his wife. Just so happened, that he and his wife, along with Judd Apatow made it into a film. This is the story of how Kumail met his wife to be, how she got sick and recovered, and how they re-kindled. It’s expertly written and stars Kumail himself, along with award winning performances by Ray Romano and Holly Hunter. This is a sweet, warm-hearted movie that is full of laughs and perhaps a tear or two. It’s rare that Hollywood makes movies like this these days, but I’m happy to have this movie for the rest of my life.
Baby Driver (Dir. Edgar Wright)
From the director who brought us ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Scott Pilgrim’, we now have ‘Baby Driver’, an action packed getaway driver movie that could be considered a musical of funk, soul, and rock music. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion “Bellbottoms” song hasn’t been this good since its initial release all those years ago. With an all-star cast of criminals, robbing banks, there waits a young getaway driver named Baby, who wants to just live a simple life with his girlfriend. The way Wright used music to choreograph his action sequences is magnificent and is definitely some of the most fun you’ll have watching movies.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Dir. Rian Johnson)
The 2nd installment in the newly imagined ‘Star Wars’ franchise since Disney purchased them. This film takes off right after ‘The Force Awakens’ and is one of the best ‘Star Wars’ movies yet. It’s right up there with ‘Empire’ for sure. in fact, ‘The Last Jedi’ feels like a cross between ‘Empire’ and ‘Jedi’, or at least the best parts of both of those movies. We learn more about the way of the Jedi, our favorite characters, and some excellent action sequences. There are some true twists that I didn’t see coming here, which made it all the better to watch this movie. There were also some nostalgic elements and great uses of the force like we’ve never seen. I can’t wait to watch this movie a million times in the future.
The Transfiguration (Dir. Michael O’Shea)
First-time director Michael O’Shea is a filmmaker we all need to encourage and watch for in the future. In fact, give him any opportunity and amount of money to make anything he wants. He won’t let us down, as evident from his vampire film called ‘The Transfiguration’. We’ve never quite seen a vampire movie like this one, which is set in a bad part of town and focuses on a young black kid who may or may not be a vampire. It mixes the movie ‘Fresh’ with vampire lore in the most subtle way, or shall I say HBO’s ‘The Wire’ with vampires, and it delivers on all levels. The performances are all excellent and the script is fantastic. What an amazing first film. I want more please.
The Shape of Water (Dir. Guillermo Del Toro)
From the director of ‘Hellboy I & II’, ‘Crimson Peak’, ‘Pacific Rim’, and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ comes this new fantastical tale of true love. Guillermo Del Toro certainly has a unique vision and way in telling a love story full of creatures and eccentric characters. This film is no different and is perhaps his most ambitious film to date. The effects, story, and characters are those you want to watch forever. Del Toro is one of the most important filmmakers out there today. He never sacrifices his creativity and beliefs for his films and characters, and it shows in this film.
Split (Dir. M. Night Shyamalan)
Don’t call it a comeback. Well, maybe you can call it a comeback, because Shymalan is on a roll with his last two films, with a sequel to this on the way. ‘Split’ was a fantastic movie about a guy with multiple personalities, but in the most Shymalan type of way. As a whole, it’s a fun, scary, and whimsical film with an award winning performance by James McAvoy. Then there comes the final minute of the movie that just took everything to a whole extra level that had my stand up and clap. You’ll never look at multiple personalities again in the same way, and M. Night Shyamalan is back in rare form.
Dan-Dream (Dir. Jesper Rofelt)
This Danish movie has the same charm and wit as ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ did, but with more gross out humor in the silliest and most innocent of ways. This film caught my eye at Fantastic Fest and is the true story about a group of Danish guys who built the world’s first electric car. The characters are off-beat, the script is hilarious, and there is so much heart and soul that you just want to spend years with these characters. What a wonderful, feel-good movie with tons of laughs.
War For The Planet of the Apes (Dir. Matt Reeves)
The end of the trilogy that went beyond my most wild expectations in a good way. This third film ties everything together in this Apes saga and is at times, very difficult to watch with such similarities to slavery and the holocaust. Andy Serkis in motion capture is out of this world and definitely deserves best Actor for his role. The emotional tone throughout and the very subtle comic relief was spot on. Plus Woody Harrelson was phenomenal here too, but when is he not? For a big budget blockbuster film, this is top notch filmmaking and story telling.
Logan (Dir. James Mangold)
I didn’t think I would ever cry in a Wolverine movie. Well, I did here. This is the end of Wolverine, well at least with Hugh Jackman. It was a send off in the most perfect way as we’ve seen Jackman play this character in like 140 films prior. With this one, we finally get the Rated R version of Wolverine and get to see how he’s aged and what he will pass on to future mutants. It’s ultra violent, bloody, but also endearing and heartfelt. Sir Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman really go the extra mile here and deliver all the emotions. If you loved or cared for any superhero film ever, you’ll want to check this one out.
Killing of a Sacred Deer (Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)
So the director of ‘The Lobster’ made a movie that Stanley Kubrick would have enjoyed. In fact, this film could be the sibling to Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ film from 1999, as the two share tons of similarities. You have a family, one of them being Nicole Kidman, set at Christmas time with sex, betrayal, and something haunting in the background. It’s even shot like a Kubrick film. If you want a slow burn type of horror movie that will leave you on the edge of your seat without having to really try, then see this. This is a new holiday movie for me for sure. Perfectly executed in every way.
Raw (Dir. Julia Ducournau)
I saw this film in 2016, but it was released in 2017, hence it needs to be on this list. This is a wonderful French film that is a beautiful coming-of-age story about two sisters going to university to study to be a veterinary physician. The two sisters experience parties, sex, being away from home, and oh yeah….cannibalism. There is nothing like this out there and director Julia knows exactly how to make a film with fantastic characters that you connect with. It’s funny, gross, and so intriguing that you’ll want to become part of what’s taking place. I cant recommend this highly enough.
Colossal (Dir. Nacho Vigalondo)
Anne Hathaway like you’ve never seen her before as recovering alcoholic who moves back to here small hometown from the big city of New York, where she re-kindles with old friends at a bar, including Jason Sudeikis. What’s Colossal about this movie? Well, at certain times, when Hathaway is standing in a playground, a giant monster the size of a skyscraper appears in Japan and mimics her every move. What’s the correlation and relationship? You’ll have to find out, but there are many layers that dive deep into the human psyche here and is perfectly presented in this sci-fi masterpiece.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (Dir. Martin McDonagh)
From the director of ‘In Bruges’ and ‘Seven Psychopaths’ comes this new film that just blew me away. With a great cast, including Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Peter Dinklage – this film follows a mother who is grieving after her daughter was raped and murdered some months prior. She purchases three billboards by her house on the highway, stating that the police have not caught the killer yet. From here, there is revenge, acceptance, and loyalty with some amazing characters and performances. You’re gonna love this script and how everything plays out. I sure hope there is a sequel.
mother! (Dir. Darren Aronofsky)
Holy shit! This is movie is bat-shit insane on all levels. I’ve never seen anything like this before. It was as if Aronofsky said, “Fuck It”, I’m doing whatever the hell I’m going to do – and this what we got. The result is the worst movie and the best movie all rolled into one. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. There’s not much to say about this, other than that two people, living in a remote house where things go straight to hell real fast. There are so many theories and interpretations on this movie that we could be here for months discussing them. It’s up to you on what you want to make of this. Rest assured, there is nothing like this movie at all.
T2 Trainspotting (Dir. Danny Boyle)
A sequel some twenty years later doesn’t look well on paper. However, everyone returned for this 2nd time around and it was fantastic. An excellent sequel that evoked the power, charisma, and charm of the first film, along with some of the gross-out scenes. There were some great winks to the original film, while taking itself seriously in other moments. These actors rally fell back in easily into their iconic roles and it was great to see them in this world again. If you’re a fan of the original film, you’ gonna love this one. Plus, it’s very difficult to do a sequel as well as the first film. Boyle did it right here.
Dunkirk (Dir. Christopher Nolan)
A World War II movie that has no nazis or World War II in it, or at least in the way that we’ve seen before on the big screen. This is the true story of Dunkirk, where French and British soldiers were stranded on the beach by the thousands, waiting for someone to come pick them up, before the enemy closed in on them. Trying to avoid bomber planes, several war ships, as well as tons of civilian fishing boats set out to rescue these soldiers. This is their story and it’s told in three different time lines, which is all edited perfectly. It’s intense, beautiful, scary – all with barely any dialogue. This is some of the best filmmaking you’ll see in the war genre.
Written By: Bryan Kluger