2017 was a fantastic year for movies, and I saw a lot of them. I’ve included at the bottom of this list a list of films I have seen from this past year and films I missed as a helpful reference for those who like to ask why something isn’t in my favorites. I couldn’t narrow it down to just 10, so here’s my 15 favorite movies of 2017 (plus some honorable mentions):
A Silent Voice, Colossal, Dunkirk, Get Out
15. A Ghost Story
A quiet reflection on grief and loss as well as the enormity of time and our place in it. Atmospheric and poignant, I can’t wait to what else David Lowery has in the works.
Not exactly a horror movie—more of an allegory for Darren Aronofsky’s interpretation of the Bible. Definitely not for everyone, but I appreciated the artistry and the thought-provoking effect of the film. More for contemplation than “enjoyment.”
13: The Founder
This biopic about Ray Kroc is a compelling period piece and character study sold by one of Michael Keaton’s best performances.
12: The Disaster Artist
This shouldn’t have worked. But it did. An account of the making of the cult film The Room and the relationship of the two men behind it, The Disaster Artist could have devolved into your standard comedy and made Tommy Wiseau the butt of the joke, but instead became an inspirational tale about not giving up on your dreams.
11. Baby Driver
Pure class. Edgar Wright is the king of editing, and at this point, he’s just showing off.
10: Brigsby Bear
A quirky film about an ex-kidnappee who finds himself in the joy of creating. An ode to wonder and creativity despite challenge and hardship.
A complex film about two Jesuit priests who go on a mission to Japan and find their faith challenged in ways they did not expect. Stellar cinematography superb acting from Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver. A contemplation about words versus actions, this film should only be watched by those that are theologically prepared.
8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
A provocative tale concerning a murder investigation with no leads and the intertwining relationships of people in a small town. Darkly comedic, this film has some relevant social input and is held up by fantastic performances, especially by Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell.
7. Thor: Ragnarok
The finest action-comedy to grace screens in 2017. This film had me laughing out loud for the majority of the runtime. Props to director Taika Waititi for his mastery of comedy.
6. My Life as a Zucchini
A bittersweet, yet heartwarming tale about kids in an orphanage, their struggles, and their relationships.
5. Your Name
Makoto Shinkai has proven himself to be a director to watch in the coming years with this film about the intertwining connections between people and the significant impact we can have on others even through the most seemingly trivial interactions.
A beautiful film about family that just might be my favorite Pixar movie.
3. Blade Runner 2049
This layered sci-fi story has some of the best directing, cinematography, and visual design I’ve seen. Takes the world of the original Blade Runner and goes deeper with its messages about our humanity and our technology.
2. Wind River
A murder mystery with impeccable writing, stunning cinematography, social insight, and Jeremy Renner’s best performance.
This film is now one of my all time favorites. An exploration on the themes of loss, death, and the end of things, but also belonging. Excellent world building and fantastic performances by Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and newcomer Dafne Keen. I could talk for hours about this film; every time I watch it I find something I hadn’t noticed before.
And there you have it, my favorite films of 2017. If you would like to see longer reviews of any of the films mentioned above (or below) please leave a comment! Now on to my most anticipated movies of 2018…
Movies I’ve seen that had their widest US release in 2017: A Cure for Wellness, A Ghost Story, Alien: Covenant, All the Money in the World, A Silent Voice, Atomic Blonde, Baby Driver, Band Aid, Beauty and the Beast, Before I Fall, Blade Runner 2049, Blame!, Brigsby Bear, Carrie Pilby, Coco, Colossal, Darkest Hour, Dave Made a Maze, Death Note, Dig Two Graves, Downsizing, Dunkirk, Ferdinand, Get Out, Ghost in the Shell, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, I Am Michael, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore., It, It Comes at Night, John Wick: Chapter 2, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jungle, Justice League, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Kong: Skull Island, Lady Bird, Little Evil, Logan, Mother!, Mudbound, Murder on the Orient Express, My Life as a Zucchini, Okja, Only the Brave, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Pitch Perfect 3, Power Rangers, Roman J. Israel, Esq., Silence, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Suburbicon, Super Dark Times, Table 19, The Bad Batch, The Beguiled, The Big Sick, The Blackcoat’s Daughter, The Circle, The Disaster Artist, The Foreigner, The Founder, The Greatest Showman, The LEGO Batman Movie, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, The Red Turtle, The Shape of Water, The Star, Thor: Ragnarok, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, War for the Planet of the Apes, What Happened to Monday, Wind River, Wonder, Wonder Woman, and Your Name
Movies I planned to see in 2017 but haven’t yet: After the Storm, A Monster Calls, Anna and the Apocalypse, A Quiet Passion, Bad Genius, Battle of the Sexes, Birdboy: The Forgotten Children, Brawl in Cell Block 99, Call Me By Your Name, Columbus, Detroit, Free Fire, Good Time, Goodbye Christopher Robin, Hidden Figures, I Kill Giants, I, Tonya, Ingrid Goes West, Lady Macbeth, Last Flag Flying, Lion, Logan Lucky, Loving Vincent, Marjorie Prime, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, Marshall, Molly’s Game, My Friend Dahmer, On the Beach at Night Alone, Personal Shopper, Phantom Thread, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, Raw, Song to Song, Split, Stronger, The Breadwinner, The Florida Project, The Glass Castle, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Lost City of Z, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), The Polka King, The Villainess, Thoroughbreds, You Were Never Really Here and many others