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The Top 25 Films of 2017

12 Mar

For some reason I thought I posted this a while back, but it looks like I didn’t. So here are my top 25 films of 2017, several months late.

25. The Babysitter

24. I, Tonya

23. Thelma

22. Wind River

21. The Belko Experiment

20. Logan Lucky

19. The Disaster Artist

18. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

17. The Greatest Showman

16. Life

15. War for the Planet of the Apes

14. Ingrid Goes West

13. Raw

12. Molly’s Game – Jessica Chastain blazes her way through this film like only she can, holding up some of the weaker parts and crafting a sympathetic yet flawed protagonist. It maintains its liveliness at an impressive rate, and it also features a slew of great supporting roles.

11. Stronger – One of the few stories of this kind that actually earn their inspirational messages. Respectful and nuanced, with two powerhouse performances at its center.

10. The Shape of Water – A heartwarming and imaginative film with a vision that helps negate the impact of some of its narrative problems. The performances are wonderful across the board, and the craft and passion behind the film are undeniable.

 

9. Lady Bird – A simple story told in a short and sweet manner. It straddles the line between one’s ties to the past and one’s hopes for the future, and it finds its emotional truths in the relationship between a mother and a daughter. It’s also quite funny.

8. Kong: Skull Island – I will defend this movie to my grave. It’s a hell of a spectacle that knows exactly what it’s doing, and it succeeds because it commits to its premise with aplomb. Reilly and Jackson are also so damn fun to watch (I forgot to list them in performances of the year and I committed a grave sin in doing so).

7. Good Time – Loses some steam in the middle, but delivers the most nail-biting opening of the year and a gut punch of an ending. Stylish but harrowing, and Pattinson is superb.

6. The Florida Project – A fascinating portrayal of humanity that utilizes a heartbreakingly ironic framework to observe the ups and downs of life. It’s a vibrant but somber film in equal measure, and Brooklynn Prince is the anchor holding it all together. The final scene is the best of the year.

5. Get Out – A satire that works so well because it delves into the subtleties of everyday racial bias. Some have argued that the final twenty minutes undercut some of that satire, but either way, they’re so damn exhilarating that it ends up being worth it. It’s a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions.

4. Detroit – Has some structural weaknesses, but the second act is so horrifying that it delivers an impact unlike most films have in recent memory. It’s extremely difficult to watch, but Bigelow directs the film with ferocious and angry intensity. She’s my Best Director of 2017.

3. Baby Driver – A ridiculously entertaining joyride with a killer soundtrack and an energy that is purely Edgar Wright in nature.

2. Phantom Thread – PTA has done it again. Led by a trio of magnificent performances, the film mesmerizes you in an almost seductive way. It’s a sexy, twisted, and darkly comedic experience that boasts the best score of the year and one of the most interesting structural developments of the year. The final few scenes are powerful and achingly beautiful.

1. A Ghost Story – A challenging film in all regards, but a thoroughly rewarding one at the end of the day. It explores time, memories, and legacies in a lyrical, hypnotic fashion. It’s slow moving, but it understands when to linger for an un-cinematic amount of time. It also features some really gorgeous scenes that work together to craft something so profoundly moving–and perhaps less nihilistic than apparent at first–that I have to label it the best film of 2017.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Okja, Battle of the Sexes, Princess Cyd, Faces Places, The Meyerowitz Stories, Call Me By Your Name, Blade Runner 2049, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Happy Death Day, Columbus, The Big Sick, The Lego Batman Movie, Berlin Syndrome, Split, Your Name, Coco, Lady Macbeth, Before I Fall, mother!

SUPREME HONORABLE MENTION: The Space Between Us for simultaneously being the best, worst, and most average film of the year. Gary Oldman was better in this than in “Darkest Hour”.

MOST DISAPPOINTING: Dunkirk

OTHERS CONSIDERED: Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Girl With All the Gifts, Tour de Pharmacy, Downsizing, Song to Song, The Beguiled, Nocturama, The Blackcoat’s Daughter, Win It All, Personal Shopper, My Life As a Zucchini, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, In the Fade, The Lost City of Z, Mayhem, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Human Flow, The Founder, Thor: Ragnarok, The Post, The Salesman, I Am Not Your Negro, T2 Trainspotting, Mudbound, Brawl in Cell Block 99, Brigsby Bear, John Wick 2, Last Flag Flying, Wonderstruck, Marjorie Prime, Logan, LA 92, Loving Vincent, The Layover, It Comes at Night, An Inconvenient Sequel, Dunkirk

HAVEN’T SEEN: Some big blind spots for me this year, including acclaimed documentaries “Jane”, “Icarus”, “Ex Libris”, as well as foreign films like “Loveless”, “BPM”, “The Square”, and “Happy End” . Would also like to check out “Only the Brave”, “Lucky”, “Novitiate”. I’ll get around to some of these sometime.

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