Ranking my top 10 films was hard this year. There were many great films, and some I flip-flopped on all year. But I finally came to a solid conclusion.
There are a couple of blockbuster hits from my #10 to #1, and there are some smaller films that really challenged me as a critic. For my top 10 films, I’ll add a little blurb about why I chose each film in their spot.
In the famous words of the Joker: “Here, we, go.” Oh, and for a complete list of the films I’ve seen and ranked in 2017, click here.
Side note: Using Letterboxd has helped me keep a diary. If you’re a moviegoer, it’s something you should be using.
I’m sticking to my guns when I say The Last Jedi is the strongest Star Wars film. Director-writer Rian Johnson provided a fresh approach to an age-old saga. He didn’t rehash Empire Strikes Back — he gave fans and moviegoers alike a unique Star Wars film that, yes, has flaws but ultimately kept me intrigued. The score, visuals and action sequences were wonderfully crafted. Plus, the surprises along the way only aided in the experience.
I just couldn’t stop listening to Coco‘s wonderful soundtrack after leaving the theater. This Disney-Pixar tale takes everything Dia de los Muertos and paints a heartfelt picture of what it means to love family and friends. Did I cry? No, but I jumped for joy at how satisfied I was with another beautiful representation of what it means to hone my inner child once more.
#8: A Ghost Story
This ain’t your average movie. Director David Lowery went from Pete’s Dragon to a mature tale of life and what happens afterward. Rooney Mara is amazing in her role and delivers one of the most memorable cinematic moments of 2017 with her pie-eating scene. This is a film that rewards patience and attention. Another strong A24 outing.
#7: Wind River
Here’s a film I knew virtually nothing about prior to sitting in my seat. I was not the biggest fan of Hell or High Water, written by Taylor Sheridan who also directed Wind River. However, Sheridan added a gripping film with Wind River. The shootout scene alone makes it worth the price of admission, but it’s the story told along the way that’s a well-crafted adventure for anyone looking to dive into a murder-mystery.
Guillermo del Toro remains one of my all-time favorite filmmakers. The Shape of Water is his best work since Pan’s Labyrinth. Here, we get another adult fairytale that tell the tale of love and loneliness. It only helps that Sally Hawkins delivers one of the best performances of the year alongside Michael Shannon, who’s as devious and sinister as ever. Bravo, del Toro. I cannot wait to see this film once more.
#5: Baby Driver
All Spacey controversey aside, this is a remarkable Edgar Wright film. The way it plays with sounds and music culminates in such a fun ride. It only helps that Jon Hamm delivers arguably the best supporting performance alongside the film’s leading man in Ansel Elgort, who was surprisingly not annoying and a pleasure on-screen as Baby.
#4: Good Time
Sensory Overload:The Film! At first, I was conflicted as to how this film would play out. The Safdie brothers really delivered a most-unique film with Good Time, which is Robert Pattinson’s best role that I’ve seen him in. This is a film in which you must throw out expectations, strap in and witness what goes from a basic bank heist to a story about people and society.
#3: Get Out
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut couldn’t have gone any better. This film’s social commentary combined with horror and comedy equated to one of the best films I’ve seen in quite some time. Get Out is nothing short of genius with its fun screenplay and concise storyline.
Denis Villeneuve really understood the source material much better than Ridley Scott, and 2049 is much better for it. This is clearly Ryan Gosling’s film and, boy, do I love him in this role. Sci-fi is at its best here with this near-perfect film.
#1: Lady Bird
Gosh — what else can I say about this breathtaking coming-of-age tale? Director Greta Gerwig based Lady Bird off some of her personal experiences, which helped make this film feel so real. It’s fleshed out, fun, engaging, funny, emotional and it’s the best film of 2017. I could write much more, but that’s what my review is for. A24 made yet another film that I deem the best of 2017. That’s two in a row, A24. Maybe 2018 will make it three?
I’m ready for you, 2018. ❤