As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to rank the top movies of 2017. Although 2017 has lacked one title that has been considered the runaway favorite by most critics; the quality and diversity of titles have been outstanding. In the interest of full disclosure, we have yet to screen Phantom Thread, and I reserve the right to adjust the list down the road.
15. Girls Trip
One of the most surprising movie-going experiences of the year. Went in with the lowest expectations and was treated to a hilarious film that focuses on empowering woman. The thing the still stands out is the performance of Tiffany Haddish. Check out our review.
14. Brigsby Bear
A movie that was underrated by most and praised by who saw it. This heartwarming tale of childhood and the perils of growing up should be near the top of everyone’s must-watch list. Check out my review.
Logan ends up being ranked higher because the quality of the ensemble outweighs the individual performances found in Brigsby Bear and Girls Trip. Hugh Jackman gives his character the sendoff it deserves while leaving superfans begging for a comeback now that Disney has acquired the rights to the X-Men universe. Check out my review.
12. Wonder Woman
Logan and Wonder Woman were seriously neck and neck in my final rankings. While Logan has a better ensemble, Wonder Woman saved DC from a cinematic implosion. If you are one of the tens of people who have yet to see Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, then please rectify that soon. Here’s my review.
11. Baby Driver
Edgar Wright’s latest film hits it out of the park with this high octane thriller. Baby Driver is impeccably edited and full of pulse-pounding action. Had the acting been any better this release would have cracked the top ten. Here’s my review.
10. The Big Sick
Where is the love for The Big Sick during awards season? The film is well written and is incredibly heartwarming as well. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano are fantastic in this movie. Check out our review.
9. The Post
Streep and Hanks are fantastic in this timely look at the power of journalism. This film will end up nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and stands a good chance at winning. Check out my review.
8. All The Money In The World
With all the drama surrounding this release, it was easy to assume that All The Money In The World would have been average at best. However, Ridley Scott defied expectations by recasting Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer and reshooting all of Spacey’s scenes in 9 days. The outcome is a fantastic film which will likely garner a nomination for Christopher Plummer. Here’s my review.
It may seem baffling to everyone that Dunkirk is only ranked 7th at the end of the year, but it makes sense. All of the movies that are ahead of it on this list have fantastic performances combined with elements of technical/directorial merit. Dunkirk cracks the top ten based on how superior this film was technically. This maybe Christopher Nolan‘s most exceptional effort in the director’s chair. Check out my review.
6. The Disaster Artist
James and Dave Franco capture the essence of two gentlemen who defied Hollywood and accomplished their dream of making a movie. Mind you The Room is widely considered one of the worst movies ever made, but at least they achieved their goal. This film is well worth seeking out just to watch James Franco alone. Check out my review.
5. Get Out
It feels like an eternity since Get Out was released, yet this film still resonates with critic groups around the country. The OFCS (Online Film Critic Society) and SEFCA (South Eastern Film Critics Association) named it the best picture of the year in recent weeks, and it received multiple SAG (Screen Actor Guild) awards as well. Above all else, the film resonates socially. Check out my review.
4. I, Tonya
The top four on this list aren’t separated by much. I, Tonya could have easily been the #1 film on this list. Margot Robbie and Allison Janney are truly fantastic and deserve all the awards season praise they are currently receiving. The strength of the ensemble in this film on top of the writing was enough to place this movie in the top 4. My full review of I, Tonya will post soon.
3. Lady Bird
What separates I, Tonya and Lady Bird is the strength of the writing and direction. Greta Gerwig’s words are able to capture the angst of growing up so beautifully. Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf give compelling performances that indeed will be recognized during awards season. The opening sequence alone is well worth the price of admission. Check out my review.
2. Call Me By Your Name
Call Me By Your Name is a soaring tale of discovery and the pain of lost love. Timothée Chalamet’s performance is just one of the many reasons audiences should give this release a shot. Sony Picture Classics is rolling this release out slowly and expanding the number of theaters the deeper we get into awards season (like A24 did with Moonlight). My advice is when this film makes it to your town go see it ASAP. Check out my review.
1. The Shape Of Water
The Shape Of Water is my best film of 2017 and with good reason. While Call Me By Your Name is a powerful film, Del Toro’s latest film is just superior. The cinematography is outstanding, the writing is magnificent, the technical aspects of the film are impeccable, and the performances (especially Sally Hawkins) are jaw-dropping. Check out my review
Overall, the quality of releases in 2017 has either been fantastic or painful to watch. Here’s hoping that the movies in 2018 are far more balanced and provide audiences with even more options.
What do you think of my rankings? Do you agree with them? Be sure and leave a comment below.