10.) “Good Time”
Ben and Joshua Safdie deliver a huge hit with “Good Time.” This film was extremely well directed, and I thought the score in “Good Time” was also tremendous. Robert Pattinson comes through with arguably his best performance to date. The whole plot is based around Pattinson’s character, Connie. He does a fantastic job in every single scene, and even though Connie is not necessarily a likable character, he makes this film what it is. We may look back on “Good Time” as a career-defining performance for Pattinson.
9.) “Lady Bird”
Saoirse Ronan is Lady Bird, and she absolutely nails it. One of my favorite performances of the year came from Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird.” This is a very witty film that moves along extremely well and left me wanting more. You will become fully immersed Lady Bird and her story. It’s a great film about the troubles one will face while transitioning into adulthood with a great balance of humor and emotion.
8.) “Baby Driver”
Maybe the most fun I’ve had at the movie theater this year was at Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver.” Right from the opening scene, I was enthralled with this film. Edgar Wright’s directing is outstanding, and I hope that he gets some recognition for it. It’s an action movie that plays like a musical, and Wright did such a great job putting it all together. And it’s not just that the film was set to music, but the tracks were carefully selected and the soundtrack is great. It’s an extremely original film with a lovable main character, Baby.
7.) “The Florida Project”
Following the story of seven-year-old Moonee and the children that grow up in the motels outside Orlando’s Walt Disney World, Sean Baker does an incredible job bringing “The Florida Project” together. “The Florida Project” shows just how tough it can be getting by and raising kids when you are a poor family in America. Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) is as adorable of a character that you’ll find in a movie this year. The movie is extremely impressive because outside of Willem Dafoe, most of the cast does not have much experience. I think a star is born in Brooklynn Prince in this movie.
6.) “Get Out”
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut could not have gone better, as “Get Out” is one of the most memorable films of the year. It was one of the first movies I saw this year, and it still has left a lasting impression on me. Peele does a great job handling the issue of race, as it is a serious message, but Peele handles it tremendously knowing when to be funny, scary, or anywhere in between. I wasn’t sure what I thought about the idea of a movie being classified as a horror movie and a comedy, but I really loved it. I would call it more of a psychological thriller than anything.
5.) “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is maybe the most unique film of the year. It’s a movie about how anger can take over people’s lives, and how much anger can destroy. It takes on some serious topics of race and police brutality and is perfectly blended with the right amount of comedy. I cannot explain enough how good I thought Frances McDormand is in “Three Billboards.” She is perfect for her role, playing an understandably hardened woman who lost her daughter to a murder. It’s not just McDormand who shines brightly in this movie, as Lucas Hedges, Sam Rockwell, and Woody Harrelson all come through with great performances.
4.) “Wind River”
The most underrated film of the year is hands-down “Wind River.” This movie is extremely haunting and includes some brutal violence, but it is all delightfully done by the fantastic writer and director Taylor Sheridan. Jeremy Renner is stellar playing Cory Lambert, the local wildlife agent. When he finds a body on the Wind River Indian Reservation, FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is sent in. Renner and Olsen are a great duo on screen in “Wind River,” and the film is so brilliantly done, as you’ll be shocked to see how everything comes full circle with the body that was discovered. I urge everyone to go see this movie not only because I think it is great, but I don’t think it’s getting the respect it deserves.
3.) “The Big Sick”
A sparkling script that is one of the best of the year is about the love story of Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon, “The Big Sick” is truly touching. It is full of heart and soul. Along with quite a bit of well-timed humor, this movie makes for a great romantic comedy. Usually, I wouldn’t love a romantic comedy as much as I loved this one, but this one is different. This film just feels so real and genuine throughout, and Nanjiani plays himself tremendously. Ray Romano and Holly Hunter are very good in their roles as Emily’s parents and bring a great deal of the humor to the table.
2.) “Call Me by Your Name”
It was so hard for me not to put “Call Me by Your Name” at number one, because I genuinely loved it. It’s an absolutely beautiful film about the relationship between two young men. Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer are so, so good in this film. I think Chalamet’s performance in this movie is my favorite performance of the year. He is spectacular in “Call Me by Your Name.” Wonderfully directed by Luca Guadagnino, this film takes some pretty big risks and all in all, I think they worked. There is a scene at the end of the movie that was by far my favorite of the year. Not only does this movie have great performances and directing, the cinematography is just gorgeous. I loved every second of “Call Me by Your Name.”
Slightly edging out “Call Me by Your Name” for number one on my list is Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece, “Dunkirk”. I heard many complaints that this movie did not have enough dialogue or character development, but that was not the point. The point was to portray the battle as a whole, not one certain heroic act. Nolan’s direction in this movie is fabulous, and in large part due to the fact that he took a relatively unknown cast and made them into stars. This is another film that is tremendously shot and is visually stunning. I loved “Dunkirk” so much that I saw it twice the night it came out, it’s that good of a movie.
What was your favorite movie in 2017? Comment below with your thoughts.