I finally saw the last movie I was waiting on yesterday, and I’ve adjusted my list accordingly. I saw a lot of 2017 releases, and I’ve decided that instead of doing a top ten, I’ll just rank them all. I hate it when the critics lists come out and half the movies no one has seen because they only played in NY and LA. I’m fortunate to live somewhere that gets most movies, but even I sometimes have to wait until they’re available on Amazon or iTunes to watch them.
First, here’s a quick list of movies I didn’t get to see. I’m not counting A Fantastic Woman, because I’ll be seeing it soon at the Music Box Members screening next month.
Battle Of The Sexes
The Glass Castle
The Killing Of A Sacred Deer
All The Money In The World
The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Collected)
Brawl In Cell Block 99
Most of these are available streaming in some way, but I haven’t had time to view yet. I’m most upset about The Square and The Killing Of A Sacred Deer. I love the work of both directors and I’m sure I will enjoy these movies once I see them.
Now onto my list:
60. Song To Song
Directed by Terence Malick, starring Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Natalie Portman.
Directed by Seth Gordon, starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron
58. A Ghost Story
Directed by David Lowery, starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara
57. The Little Hours
Directed by Jeff Baena, starring Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Katie Micucci, and Dave Franco
56. The Bad Batch
Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, starring Suki Waterhouse and Jason Momoa
55. Killing Gunther
Directed by Taran Killam starring Killam, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Colbie Smulders
Directed by Gillian Robespierre, starring Jenny Slate, John Turturro, and Edie Falco
53. Atomic Blonde
Directed by David Lietch, starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy
52. War For The Planet Of The Apes
Directed by Matt Reeves, starring Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson
51. Kong: Skull Island
Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, starring Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson
50. Thor: Ragnarok
Directed by Taika Waititi, starring Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo
49. Ingrid Goes West
Directed by Matt Spicer, starring Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen
48. The Dinner
Directed by Owen Overman, starring Steve Coogan, Laura Linney, Richard Gere, and Rebecca Hall
47. The Discovery
Directed by Charlie McDowell, starring Jason Segel, Robert Redford, and Rooney Mara
46. How To Be A Latin Lover
Directed by Ken Marino, starring Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, and Rob Lowe
45. The Zookeeper’s Wife
Directed by Niki Caro, starring Jessica Chastain and Daniel Bruhl
44. The Beguiled
Directed by Sofia Coppola, starring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Colin Farrell
Directed by Craig Johnson, starring Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern
42. The Florida Project
Directed by Sean Baker, starring Brooklynn Prince and Willem Dafoe
41. Girl’s Trip
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee, starring Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, and Queen Latifah
40. The Hero
Directed by Brett Haley, starring Sam Elliot and Laura Prepon
39. I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore
Directed by Macon Blair, starring Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood
38. The Lost City Of Z
Directed by James Gray, starring Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, and Sienna Miller
Directed by M. Night Shymalan, starring James McAvoy and Haley Lu Richardson
36. I, Tonya
Directed by Craig Gillespie, starring Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, and Sebastian Stan
35. Marjorie Prime
Directed by Michael Almereyda, starring Lois Smith, Jon Hamm, Geena Davis, and Tim Robbins
34. Free Fire
Directed by Ben Wheatley, starring Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, and Sharlto Copley
33. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Directed by Martin McDonagh, starring Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Lukas Hedges
32. Beatriz At Dinner
Directed by Miguel Arteta, starring Salma Hayek and John Lithgow
Directed by Dee Rees, starring Jason Clarke, Mary J Blige, Carey Mulligan, Jonathan Banks, Rob Morgan, and Jason Mitchell
30. Good Time
Directed by The Safdie Brothers, starring Robert Pattinson and Benny Safdie
29. Jim And Andy: The Great Beyond
Directed by Chris Smith, starring Jim Carrey
Directed by John Carroll Lynch, starring Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, and Ron Livingston
27. T2: Trainspotting
Directed by Danny Boyle, starring Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, and Ewen Bremner
26. The Trip To Spain
Directed by Michael Winterbottom, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon
25. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Directed by Jon Watts, starring Tom Holland and Michael Keaton
24. Logan Lucky
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig
23. Wonder Woman
Directed by Patty Jenkins, starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, and David Thewlis
22. Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol 2
Directed by James Gunn, starring Chris Pratt, Kurt Russell, and Zoe Saldana
Directed by Nacho Vigalondo, starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis
20. The Last Jedi
Directed by Rian Johnson, starring Daisey Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and John Boyega
People love to nitpick the Star Wars movies. It’s almost as fun as the movies themselves. However, I think some missed the point of The Last Jedi. It’s the anti-Star Wars. Rain Johnson was brought in to tear the franchise down and rebuild it. That may not be what everyone wanted, but it provided a fresh Star Wars movie that didn’t just follow the same formula like Force Awakens.
Directed by James Mangold, starring Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart
I saw both versions of this movie-in color and black and white. I prefer the black and white because you can really see the age on Hugh Jackman. I never thought I’d get emotional at a Wolverine movie, but this one is far and away the best in the X-Men universe and probably the best comic book movie to date.
Kathryn Bigelow’s film seems to have been lost in the shuffle of 2017 awards season. It’s a suspenseful couple hours, with most of the runtime taking place in one spot while white cops interrogate and beat a group of African-American men found hanging out with white women.
17. Call Me By Your Name
Directed by Luca Guadignino, starring Timothee Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg
The performances are amazing across the board in this movie. Armie Hammer goes beyond what I thought him capable of doing. Timothée Chalamet lives up to the hype as a young star-in-the-making. And of course Michael Stuhlbarg shines as the best thing in the movie. A few too many bike rides to town slowed this one down or it would’ve been higher on the list.
Directed by Kogonada, starring John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson
If you can make Columbus, Indiana into an interesting movie, you must be a great filmmaker. That’s my conclusion for Kogonada. John Cho delivers the best performance of his career. Haley Lu Richardson (who also showed up in Split this year) is also great as his resident tour guide and friend.
15. The Shape Of Water
Directed by Guillermo del Toro, starring Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, and Michael Stuhlbarg
The first hour of this movie is great. Really great. Richard Jenkins and Sally Hawkins are spectacular. Del Toro goes a bit too far with Michal Stuhlbarg’s character and makes the story more convoluted than it needs to be, but other than that it’s good.
14. American Made
Directed by Doug Liman, starring Tom Cruise and Domnhall Gleeson
People love to hate on Tom Cruise, but the fact is he generally makes good movies. This film, based on a true story, gets pretty crazy. Flying jets for the CIA, he gets mixed up with the cartel in Colombia and makes millions. Then things go south.
13. Personal Shopper
Directed by Olivier Assayas, starring Kristen Stewart
I never knew what to expect next in this one. It’s a thriller with some paranormal stuff going on that drifts in and out of the movie.
12. The Big Sick
Directed by Michael Showalter, starring Kumail Nanjiani, Holly Hunter, and Ray Romano
Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon wrote a script about their own lives and it actually turned out really good and didn’t seem self-serving at all. Michael Showalter directed my favorite film of last year, and came close to repeating in 2017.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, and Harry Styles
More spectacle than substance, honestly. It’s a great film to look at, but would’ve worked better with no dialogue.
10. The Post
Directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Bradley Whitford, Bob Odenkirk, Carrie Coon, David Cross, and Jesse Plemons
The Post is a lot more than just Hanks and Streep. The whole ensemble does great work. A relevant work for our times about the importance of journalism and freedom of the press.
9. Lady Bird
Directed by Greta Gerwig, starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalfe, and Tracy Letts
Laurie Metcalf is fantastic. Saoirse Ronan is great. The script is really good. You’ve already heard everything about Lady Bird, so I don’t need to say any more.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer
The last half-hour of this movie is some of the most insane stuff I’ve seen put on film. Aronofsky is going to get looked over at the Oscars for a couple people who did nothing as director except point and shoot, and it drives me crazy.
7. Your Name
Directed by Makoto Shinkai, starring Ryunosoke Kamiki and Mone Kamisharaishi
This anime film about teenagers who switch bodies when they fall asleep is weird and funny.
6. John Wick: Chapter 2
Directed by Chad Stahelski, starring Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves as John Wick is one of the best acting jobs ever. The guy spends months training and what you get is a seamless film about a hitman with skills you’ve never seen before.
Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, starring Anthony Gonzalez and Gael Garcia Bernal
Pixar’s film about the Day Of The Dead is so well done that it’s hard to imagine people aren’t putting it up there with some of their best works. Finally a major studio puts out a movie celebrating Latin culture and gets it right.
4. The Disaster Artist
Directed by James Franco, starring James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Paul Scheer, and June Diane Raphael
The decision to have the Franco brothers play best friends in this was the best thing they could have done. Their chemistry is perfect and really makes you believe that Greg and Tommy love each other.
3. Baby Driver
Directed by Edgar Wright, starring Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Eliza Gonzalez, and Jamie Foxx
Edgar Wright finally put it all together and made a movie loved by critics and fans alike. It’s a musical car-chase movie like nothing that’s ever been seen.
2. Phantom Thread
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, and Lesley Manville
Paul Thomas Anderson is the greatest American filmmaker of our generation. But we already knew that. That he continues to experiment and take us on these adventures through the human psyche is revealing of the darkness that sleeps in his own mind.
1. Get Out
Directed by Jordan Peele, starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, and Lil Rel Howery
I can’t remember the last time a film with this kind of cultural relevance received such a glowing response from theater audiences. Its run lasted months and made a ton of money. Jordan Peele’s debut pretty much gives him a ticket to do whatever he wants next. Here’s hoping it’s even half as good as Get Out.