top ten//BEST FILMS OF 2017

TOP TEN



It's no surprise when saying 2017 has been quite a year of nuisance; a strange balance of hope and fear. As the political world unravels in shambles around us, forcing us to face it at every turn, the idea of entertainment as a whole has quickly adapted to becoming one of sustenance and importance, even when mixed with laughs or frights or genre-bending special effects.

Films like the surprise critical and box office hit Get Out show that we're perhaps on the cusp of cinema's most important shift. The film, directed by Jordan Peele, was strict genre, fancifully dipped in satire but played out with edge-of-your-seat thrills. The tongue-in-cheek script was rich enough to illicit powerful conversations after the credits rolled. As an early release in the year, the film has powered through as a strong awards season contender, picking up numerous critics groups awards and notable nominations, including Best Picture, Comedy at the Golden Globes.

The film's discussion on race is stark and not hidden, but the underlying themes translate beyond just one societal conversation. 2017 was the year people had enough, despite living in the first year of a White House run by a former reality television star and real estate mogul. The Trump era will go down in history for many reasons, many of which relate to how American society used its shock and awe as power and creative motivation.

Female-driven pictures were eaten up by audiences, with films like Wonder Woman topping the box office charts. A late player, Steven Spielberg's The Post gave us Meryl Streep's best work in years, plus a reason to celebrate the shifts in perspective that have led to the current gender wars and the constant fight for journalistic freedom, a battle still prevalent today. Lady Bird, a coming-of-age tale of a high school senior figuring out her life, her relationships, and her identity, could have easily been regarded as a unique voice in the story of women. Instead, Greta Gerwig's indelible screenplay and direction gave a voice to adolescence as a whole, sparking narratives to which any viewer, regardless of gender or race, could relate.

Call Me By Your Name may have been a story of unrequited love between two males, but instead was a burning look at young infatuation and first love that just so happened to be between two males. Luca Guadagnino's intimate portrait of a summer tryst is easily the year's most beautiful tale.

2017 was also the year of newcomers and breakout stars. Timothee Chalamet broke onto the scene with his awards-worthy turn in Call Me By Your Name, as well as small but noticeable roles in Lady Bird and Hostiles. Daniel Kaluuya delivers Get Out's most striking moments with visceral power and quiet honesty. Vicky Kreips steals every scene of Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread. And Gerwig and Peele are Hollywood's newest must-see auteurs.

Comedy was king with hits like The Big Sick breaking ground. True stories also ruled: I, Tonya took tabloid fodder and gave us a compelling new insight. And, we couldn't escape reality as a race to the finish unfolded in the headlines for Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World. Upon the revelations of Kevin Spacey's rocky past, Scott replaced him in the twilight hour with Christopher Plummer, opting to reshoot and reedit the picture in time for its scheduled December release.

Each year feels like a mixed bag of surprising hits and surprising misses. 2017 should go down as one of the decade's best years in film. The theme of #TimesUp will undoubtedly carry through 2018, as the shift between what kind of art is made and how it shapes our societal view continues to adapt and change, for the better.

Here are the 10 motion pictures which spoke to me the most in 2017.
What were your favorites? Share in the comments below.

1. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Directed by Luca Guadagnino


2. LADY BIRD
Directed by Greta Gerwig



3. THE POST
Directed by Steven Spielberg



4. LOGAN LUCKY
Directed by Steven Soderbergh



5. PERSONAL SHOPPER
Directed by Olivier Assayas



6. A GHOST STORY
Directed by David Lowery



7. I, TONYA
Directed by Craig Gillespie


8. THE SHAPE OF WATER
Directed by Guillermo del Toro



9. GET OUT
Directed by Jordan Peele




10. MOTHER!

Directed by Darren Aronofsky















Honorable Mentions:

11. HOSTILES
12. PHANTOM THREAD
13. IT
14. DUNKIRK
15. THE BIG SICK
16. MUDBOUND
17. BEACH RATS

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