An average year with some very enjoyable films but at the top, three stood out. best picture went to The Shape of Water, which was cool and interesting but not a best picture and not a lot of people saw it. 2017 also gave us one of the great acting performances of all time. Read on.
Number of 2017 films I viewed: 43
Top 10 Critically Acclaimed Films
(Source : criticstop10.com – a site that take a weighted average of about 800 lists, 350 of which are considered “Top Critics”)
- Get Out
- The Florida Project
- Call Me By Your Name
- The Shape of Water
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
- Phantom Thread
- Bladerunner 2049
- The Big Sick
Winners of The Major Oscar Categories
Best Picture The Shape of Water
Best Actor Gary Oldman, The Darkest Hour
Best Actress Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actor Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actress Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Best Director Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water
Original Screenplay Jordan Peele, Get Out
Adapted Screenplay James Ivory, Call Me by Your Name
Best Animated Feature Coco
Top Grossing Movie: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (Domestic )
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (Worldwide)
(Box Office Mojo, the source of my data here, recently changed how it ranks the #1 movie of the year. It used to be the highest grossing film released in the year. Now it’s the movie that grossed the highest within that calendar year, regardless of date of release).
Really Good Films from 2017 You May Have Missed:
The Florida Project
Victoria & Abdul
Movie from 2017 to avoid at all costs:
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (if this was an allegory, I missed it)
Transformers: The Last Knight
The Fate of the Furious
Baywatch (saw this on a date, my date’s choice, worst movie I have paid to see in a long long time)
Honorable Mention Excellent films just outside the Top 10
The Shape of Water, The Post, Baby Driver, Roman J. Israel, Equ., Marshall, Coco
Here are my Top 10 films of 2017
10. War for the Planet of the Apes
The best “Apes” movie since the original with Charlton Heston. Perhaps most amazing because of the CGI creation of Cesar, played by Andy Serkis in a motion capture suit. It’s a movie about war and genocide, as thoughtful and interesting as anything you will find in theatres.
9. Darkest Hour
There are a lot of movies that are elevated by their main subject and the performance that goes along with it. (Capote, Last King of Scotland, The Iron Lady to name a few). This is one. A very good World War II movie, made great by Gary Oldman’s Oscar winning performance as Sir Winston Churchill.
8. Wonder Woman
One of two movies this year to defy and redefine a genre. Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins who made the extraordinary “Monster” in 2003. Its an origins story but so much more than that. Gal Gadot was brilliant. And overall, this movie is a lot of fun. Sequel coming next year.
7. Lady Bird
A great coming of age story and a very snappy, witty script. Lady Bird is a great tonic for viewers tired of explosions and super hero fights. A story of real people with real hopes, desires, longings and relationships. Saoirse Ronan rightly received great acclaim for this movie but Laurie Metcalf, for me, makes the film.
6. Molly’s Game
A great Aaron Sorkin script with two wonderful actors bantering dialogue at a rapid-fire pace. It tells the story of Molly Bloom, the would-be Olympic skier and how she started then ran one of the highest-stake poker games in Manhattan.
5. Bladerunner 2049
Finally, an Oscar for the brilliant cinematographer, Roger Dean. Blade Runner 2049 is a worthy sequel to the Ridley Scott original. Visually, the best movie of the year.
Christopher Nolan only makes excellent movies. Very much a different kind of war movie. A retelling of the true story of the evacuation of 400,000 British soldiers trapped in a beach town in France. It is told from three perspectives, a Royal Air Force pilot, a trapped soldier and a civilian on his personal boat aiding the rescue effort.
This movie took Jordan Peele from sketch comedy to Oscar winner. A great horror thriller movie about which the less said, the better. Oscar winner for best screen play. To date one of the five most acclaimed movies of the decade.
Best super hero movie since the Dark Knight and one of the best ever. Logan and Professor X have battled and defeated many enemies, but time might be the one that gets them. This movie earns is R rating and is the most viscerally violent of the genre. It’s a game-changer, relying on character, true fight choreography and less on CGI. Could be the best movie of the year if not for …
1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Three Billboards is the tale of Mildred (Frances McDormand), a grieving mother whose daughter was murdered. But this is no ordinary grieving parent. She rents three large billboards outside the town and uses them to question the police’s lack of progress in bringing her daughter’s killers to justice. That’s the first six minutes of this incredible film. Sam Rockwell plays a racist, somewhat incompetent local cop with, domineered by this mother. It’s a flawless script, with wit, anger and reality combined with a stellar cast. But the centre of this movie is McDormand who delivers a performance for the ages. Not just the monologues, the glances at her feet, the pent-up rage at every moment. It was followed by one of the great Oscar acceptance speeches ever. One of the best movies of the decades.