It's way past that time of the year again, and part of an annual TMD tradition going back nearly a decade now. Our "best films of the year thread."
Last year's: http://themanadrain.com/topic/927/best-films-of-2016
I'm starting so darn late this year on account of the fact that there were so many more films I needed to see in January from '17.
Here's how this goes. First I list out all of the films released in the year that I've seen, then I list my Top films list. Then you join in and we debate our lists.
Reference for '17 releases: http://www.firstshowing.net/schedule2017/
In chronological order, I saw:
I am Not Your Negro
Lego Batman Movie
Beauty and the Beast (live action)
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
The Big Sick
Despicable Me 3
War for the Planet of the Apes
Blade Runner 2049
The Florida Project
Murder on the Orient Express
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing
The Shape of the Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
All the Money in the World
The Phantom Thread
Not a bad list. I made it to quite a few films this year, especially during the holidays. I probably missed listing a few as well.
Yet to see, but planning on it:
There were very few weak or even bad films I saw in 2017.
Last year I really struggled to select my best film of the year. It was basically a tie with three films: Captain Fantastic, Hell or High Water, and Loving, and Arrival not far behind. This year, my top film was a cut above the rest. After that, it's more of a free-for-all.
Based upon what I've seen, here's my top films of the year:
- Three Billboards
Utterly compelling from the first scene. Emotionally riveting. Unforgettable film, and brilliant throughout. There are a number of cultural critics of this film, but I don't share their share their concerns. I believe this should win - and deserves - best picture Oscar.
- The Florida Project
This is was a compelling drama that really captured the deep problems - and resilience - in our society.
- The Last Jedi.
You already know how I feel about this, if you listened to the SMIP Podcast last month. I loved it, and it's in my top 3 Star Wars films.
- Get Out
The Zeitgeist film of the year. Brilliant, funny, dramatic, and heartening all at once.
- Blade Runner 2049
This was a true cinematic experience. Reminded me of when I saw Lord of the Rings in the theater for the first time - the sense of awe and wonder and mystic experience of being in a theater when the film - the sound, the lights, and colors just wash over you. I can't imagine trying to enjoy this the same at home, even if you have a very high quality home system. Wouldn't be the same.
- Spiderman: Homecoming
I'm not a big Spider-man fan (and I generally hate films set in high school), but this was truly amazing. I think it was the best Superhero film of the year, although I realize most don't agree. Michael Keaton is still amazing. He was insanely good in the Founder, Spotlight, etc. But his career renaissance really shined here. The entire cast was fantastic.
- Baby Driver
Great premise, incredibly well executed, and riveting from go. Great film. Really entertaining and good.
- War for the Planet of the Apes
Probably the weakest link in the trilogy, but that only goes to show how amazing these films were. Outstanding closing entry.
I'm not sure that any of the films I saw really merit rounding out the top 10, but if required to do so, I'd probably say:
- Lady Bird
Another fantastic coming-of-age story.
- The Big Sick
The Promise was an epic in the mode of David Lean cinema. I also enjoyed Murder on the Orient Express quite a bit. That cast was insane. Logan was also really good. It also deserves an honorable mention.
The Post, Dunkirk, and Marshall were good films, but a bit to formulaic for me to really get behind. The Shape of the Water and the Phantom Thread were weird in the right ways, but not quite compelling enough to make my top 10 list.