I believe 2017 will go down as one of the best years in film history. While it may have been an anxiety-inducing year for most, film and art in general were there to make things slightly better.
There were too many movies to pick from for this list and I haven’t even seen everything I wanted to see. Somehow, I came up with a selection of movies I’m proud to showcase, but know that there are probably 20 other movies I’d love to put on this list.
While 2017 was the year for bold choices in filmmaking, nothing compares to the celluloid atom bomb Darren Aronofsky dropped into theaters. Wrongly advertised as a psychological horror flick, “mother!” is an environmentalist sermon portrayed as an infinitely upsetting nightmare. This was one of the most unique films I saw all year and the near panic attack I had while watching it will stay with me for a long time.
- Baby Driver
Edgar Wright is one of my favorite directors, so I was bound to like anything he was going to do with “Baby Driver.” What I did not expect was how much I would love this tightly constructed musical action film. While an average heist movie on the surface, Wright elevates the material with charming characters and a killer soundtrack matches the film almost perfectly, down to the gunshots and body movements.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Despite recent controversies at the Golden Globes, I still believe “Three Billboards” is one of the year’s most well written films. Frances McDormand gives the performance of her life, playing a complex, and at times unlikable, mother searching for answers and justice in a cruel world. The dark comedy and themes of personal justice elevate this movie from a simple revenge flick into an award worthy film.
- The Post
Spielberg reminds audiences why he is one of the greatest directors with his expert eye for visuals and camera movements. The plot is relevant to modern concerns with the freedom of the press, but Spielberg and company manage to keep everything from getting too preachy, turning “The Post” into an effective and exciting drama.
Coming out early in the year, “Logan” set the bar for how mature superhero movies should be made. It is at once melancholic, yet narratively satisfying and exciting. Disappointment is a main theme explored in almost every aspect of the film. By the end, there is still hope, not for a sequel, but for these characters and for the superhero genre in general.
5.The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro is a modern master of filmmaking and his creature love story proves his relevance in our time. A tale of love through adversity, “The Shape of Water” also celebrates diversity and acceptance in the face of toxic oppression in 1950s America. This dreamily shot film is so pure in its expressions of love and empathy that it’s impossible not to be charmed by the end.
- I, Tonya
Tonya Harding’s story of rising success as a figure skater and subsequent downfall after a brutal misunderstanding is undoubtedly entertaining. “I, Tonya” takes what could have been a stale biopic full of nostalgic ‘90s references, instead making a wonderfully acted exploration of the cycle of abuse in Harding’s life and how mass media perpetuated her suffering.
- Get Out
When people look back on the year 2017, Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” will be remembered as the most 2017 thing that happened all year. A horror-comedy with scathing political commentary, this film is nearly perfect in execution. The script is full of brilliant foreshadowing and jokes, the actors are phenomenal and the editing and pace are masterful.
- Lady Bird
I went into this coming-of-age story with low expectations, as I usually hate stories set in high school. However, “Lady Bird” managed to punch me right in the gut with its relatable themes of maturity and generational learning. It also helps that it’s wickedly hilarious and sweet, turning it into an instant classic that I can’t wait to re-watch.
1.Blade Runner 2049
No other film this year has captured my imagination like “Blade Runner 2049.” A sci-fi movie with wonderfully explored big ideas, engaging characters and a slowly deliberate pace. I’ve never been bored the three times I’ve seen this movie and that may have something to do with the gorgeous visuals and fully realized world.
Samuel Goodrich Staff Writer