The Best Films Of 2017

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Best Films Of 2017

Across all genres, from documentary to horror, action to romance, 2017 has been a fantastic year for cinema. Reviewing each movie category, it is a real challenge to narrow down the must-see films.

 

However, I have managed to create a top five list (top ten in drama because it was too hard to stick to a top five!) in the following genres:

I love all of these films but the top movies in each of these categories really do deserve a watch (or even a re-watch!)

 

The Must Watch Movies Of 2017


Best Documentary - Cameraperson

Synopsis

Kirsten Johnson is one of the most respected cinematographers working in documentary cinema. Her impressive filmography includes Citizenfour, Fahrenheit 9/11, The Invisible War and Audrie & Daisy. 

 

After 25 years behind the camera, Johnson decided to take pieces of memorable footage and edit them together to form a memoir, an exploration of human connections and a look at what it means to film and be filmed.

 

What I Said

Cameraperson is a cinematic collage - a series of film moments selected from a truly illustrious career. There is no voice over, nothing to tell you what to make of the footage you are watching. An introductory title card explains that, while Johnson “originally shot the following footage for other films”, she would like us to see this new film as "my memoir. These are the images that have marked me and leave me wondering still”.

 

Click Here For My Full Review

 

Best Animation - My Life As A Courgette

Synopsis

Icare is nine years old. He prefers to be called Courgette, the nickname his mother gave him.

After her sudden death, Courgette meets a policeman called Raymond who takes him to a foster home. There, Courgette meets a group of children who, like him, believe they have nobody left to love them. Together they form a strong bond, supporting each other - becoming a family.

 

What I Said

This is a movie with huge emotional power. I left the cinema deeply moved by My Life As A Courgette. However, while he does not shy away from many difficult issues, Barras aims to capture your heart not your tears.  

 

Click Here For My Full Review

 

Best World Cinema Film - Heal The Living

Synopsis

It all starts at daybreak as three young surfers take to the seas. A few hours later, on the way home, a terrible accident occurs and 17 year old Simon (Gabin Verdet) is left hooked up to life-support machines in a hospital in Le Havre. Meanwhile, in Paris, a woman awaits the organ transplant that will give her a new lease on life.

 

What I Said

Heal The Living is a stunning film about life and death, hope and loss. I loved it - even as it moved me to tears. 

 

Click Here For My Full Review

 

Best Action Film - Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Synopsis

After discovering the world of the Jedi and realising her potential place within it, Rey (Daisy Ridley) joins Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as the Rebels - lead by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) - seek to stop the evil agenda of Supreme Leader Snoke (Any Serkis)'s First Order.   

 

What I Said

From the stunning, action packed opening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I knew we were all in safe hands. Director, Rian Johnson, has created an exciting and gripping film that is both a natural progression in the Star Wars story and also takes that story in new and unexpected directions. 

 

Click Here For My Full Review

 

Best True Life Movie - Dunkirk

Synopsis

During World War II, 400,000 Allied troops found themselves surrounded by the German army and trapped on the coast of Dunkirk. With their backs to the sea and the enemy closing in, the chances of survival were bleak.

 

However, just when all hope seemed lost, a flotilla of small boats - manned by both military and civilians - came to their rescue. Against all the odds, 338,226 soldiers were saved.

 

What I Said

Dunkirk is a breathtakingly intense thriller. Dunkirk is both visually and aurally stunning - a deeply moving story brought to life by a superb cast and told via tales of land, air and sea.  

 

Click Here For My Full Review

 

Best Romantic Movie - Call Me By Your Name

Synopsis

During the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a precocious 17-year old American-Italian boy, spends lazy days in his family’s 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel). 

 

However, Elio’s summer is transformed by the appearance of Oliver (Armie Hammer), a charming American scholar who arrives to assist Elio’s father (Michael Stuhlbarg) with his work. Elio and Oliver soon discover the beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will change their lives forever. 

 

What I Said

Truly great cinema is transcendent - able to take us to another place or another time. Luca Guadagnino’s beautiful film, Call Me By Your Name, does both. We are transported to the stunning landscape of Northern Italy and also to the intoxicating emotional landscape of first love. 

 

Click Here For My Full Review

 

Best Comedy Film - The Big Sick

Synopsis

Pakistan-born aspiring comedian, Kumail (Nanjiani), connects with grad student Emily (Zoe Kazan) after one of his stand-up sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. 

 

When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, Kumail has to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano), while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between family obligations and his heart. 

 

What I Said

The Big Sick is an utterly charming, brilliantly funny film based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Directed by Michael Showalter, the movie was written by Nanjiani and Gordon with the assistance of producer, Judd Apatow. The result is one of the most satisfying and heartfelt romantic comedies that I have seen in years.  

 

Click Here For My Full Review

 

Best Drama Film - Moonlight

Synopsis

Chiron (Alex Hibbert) is a young boy growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. Bullied at school and neglected at home, he seeks the refuge offered by local drug dealer, Juan (Mahershala Ali) and his partner, Teresa (Janelle Monáe).  

 

 However, this respite cannot protect him from the pain in his life. Alienated by a sexuality that marks him out as being different, teenage Chiron (Ashton Sanders) finds himself on the brink between love and violence, acceptance and suppression.

 

Adulthood brings no easy answers for Chiron (Trevante Rhodes). His new, tougher exterior hides an overwhelming vulnerability as he faces another heartbreaking choice.

 

What I Said

Beautifully shot and featuring a host of powerful performances, Moonlight is a deeply intimate story with undeniably universal themes. Based on director Barry Jenkins’ own experiences and inspired by Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, Chiron’s journey feels like an important tale for our times.

 

Click Here For My Full Review

 

Best Superhero Film - Wonder Woman

Synopsis

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons (Gal Gadot), trained to be an unconquerable warrior. However, after American pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes on the shores of her sheltered island paradise, Diana learns of a massive conflict raging in the outside world. 

 

Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home. Fighting in the war to end all wars, she discovers her full powers and her true destiny.   

 

What I Said

Wonder Woman is a thrilling, entertaining and immensely enjoyable ride. I defy you to watch this movie and not leave the cinema excited, energised and (perhaps) tempted to try some slo mo twisty kicky moves (technical term).

 

I also defy you not to feel relieved (particularly after previous DC disappointments) that this female led action movie not only exists but also kicks some serious butt - because it’s about darn time.   

 

Click Here For My Full Review

 

Best Horror Movie - Get Out

Synopsis

Five months into his relationship with Rose (Allison Williams), Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is about to meet her parents Missy (Catherine Keener) and Dean (Bradley Whitford) during a weekend visit to their rural home.  

 

Despite Rose's assurances, Chris is nervous about her family’s reaction to their interracial relationship - an anxiety that only grows as the weekend progresses, especially after Chris makes some disturbing discoveries. 

 

What I Said

Written and directed by Jordan Peele, Get Out is surely set to become a horror classic. Both gripping thriller and provocative social commentary, the movie explores the legacy of racism and the insidious bigotry that exists within sections of the (outwardly progressive) liberal elite.

 

Click Here For My Full Review

 

What Are Your Favourite Movies Of 2017?

Well, that is my list... what movies would make your list of the best movies of 2017? Let me know! Leave me your selections in the box below or let's talk must see films over on Facebook or Twitter (@500DaysOfFilm). 

Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    David Grice (Wednesday, 10 January 2018 13:14)

    10) The Lego Batman Movie
    9) T2 Trainspotting
    8) Dunkirk
    7) Bad Genius
    6) Mother!
    5) Baby Driver
    4) Detroit
    3) Blade Runner 2049
    2) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    1) Brigsby Bear

  • #2

    Jane (Wednesday, 10 January 2018 18:59)

    Great list David. I also loved Brigsby Bear! I haven’t seen Bad Genius. I’m going to add that to my watch list...