The 150 Best Films of 2017

2010 was the year I became a cinephile. Seven years later, and 2017 has been my favourite year yet for movies; find below my pick of the best 150 films released in the UK this year (and that includes VOD and home entertainment, too).

150. Certain Women

149. A Quiet Passion

148. T2 Trainspotting

147. A Monster Calls

146. Spider-Man: Homecoming

145. Jackie

144. John Wick: Chapter 2

143. Patriots Day

142. The Levelling

141. Miss Sloane

140. Endless Poetry (Poesía Sin Fin)

139. Without Name

138. Their Finest

137. Jungle

136. David Lynch: The Art Life

135. Goodbye Christopher Robin

134. The Party

133. Gifted

132. The Eyes of My Mother

131. Life

130. Berlin Syndrome

129. My Cousin Rachel

128. The Belko Experiment

127. Cars 3

126. The Beguiled

125. Borg vs McEnroe

124. The Lego Ninjago Movie

123. Loving

122. Marshall

121. The Love Witch

120. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

119. Detroit

118. Hacksaw Ridge

117. The Ritual

116. The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (Hymyilevä mies)

115. First They Killed My Father

114. Whitney: Can I Be Me

113. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

112. The Incredible Jessica James

111. The Fits

110. The Limehouse Golem

109. Una

108. Zoology (Zoologiya)

107. To the Bone

106. Elle

105. Dancer

104. Jawbone

103. It Comes at Night

102. Baby Driver

101. The Untamed (La región salvaje)

100. Camp X-Ray

99. Ingrid Goes West

98. Happy Death Day

97. 20th Century Women

96. Toni Erdmann

95. Handsome Devil

94. LoveTrue

93. Creep 2

92. A Dark Song

91. Patti Cake$

90. Heal the Living (Réparer les vivants)

89. 78/52

88. Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2

87. Raw (Grave)

86. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

85. Win it All

84. I Am Not a Witch

83. Gleason

82. The Big Sick

81. Moonlight

80. Who’s Gonna Love Me Now

79. Beach Rats

78. Blade of the Immortal (Mugen no jûnin)

77. God’s Own Country

76. Fences

75. The Disaster Artist

74. Mudbound

73. In a Valley of Violence

72. My Life as a Courgette (Ma vie de Courgette)

71. War for the Planet of the Apes

70. Loving Vincent

69. Clash (Eshtebak)

68. A Silent Voice (Koe no katachi)

67. Hounds of Love

66. The Transfiguration

65. A Man Called Ove (En man som heter Ove)

64. Manchester by the Sea

63. The Florida Project

62. Maudie

61. Marjorie Prime

60. 1922

59. Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond — With a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton

58. Better Watch Out

57. Thor: Ragnarok

56. The Death of Stalin

55. The Lego Batman Movie

54. Good Time

53. Human Flow

52. Blade Runner 2049

51. Tramps

50. Boy

49. American Made

48. In Between (Bar Bahar)

47. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.

46. Christine

45. Get Out

44. Frantz

43. Thelma

42. Logan

41. Split

40. Pawn Sacrifice

39. Catfight

38. Gerald’s Game

37. Tanna

36. City of Ghosts

35. Logan Lucky

34. The Meyerowitz Stories: New and Selected

33. Nocturama

32. Graduation (Bacalaureat)

31. Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

30. The Age of Shadows

29. After the Storm (Umi yori mo mada fukaku)

28. Lady Macbeth

27. It

26. Girls Trip

25. Harmonium (Fuchi ni tatsu)

24. Hidden Figures

23. Aquarius

22. Colossal

21. I Am Not Your Negro

‘What I do is not up to you.’

20. Wonder Woman

Diana Prince’s optimism shines like a beacon as she steps onto No Man’s Land — but this sequence is only one of many spine-tingling moments in the best superhero flick in recent years.

‘He looks for the good in all of us.’

19. Paddington 2

Who ever thought a computer-generated bear could inspire such warm humanity? Paddington 2 will easily go down as one of the best sequels ever made, further evolving its predecessor’s themes of kindness, diversity, and understanding.

‘I’m sick, aren’t I?’ ‘I wish everyone was as sick as you.’

18. Call Me by Your Name

How many films out there truly ‘get’ the ache at the heart of so many romances? Call Me by Your Name offers a feast of sensuality and emotion, yet all of it overshadowed by the inevitability all great love stories possess.

‘Why did your wife open the door?’

17. The Salesman (Forushande)

Farhadi always knows how to plunge his characters into pits of moral uncertainty, before throwing more ideology-shredding events on top of them. He understands humans more than any other director — and The Salesman further proves it.

‘What hurts me the most is that I wasn’t enough.’

16. mother!

A paranoid four-hander morphs into a disturbing rollercoaster to Hell — figuratively, literally, or both. It’s like navigating the squelchy pathways of Aronofsky’s troubled brain — and witnessing the creation and destruction lurking within.

‘Luck don’t live out here.’

15. Wind River

Thrillers always focus on the chase; in Wind River, the victim is always at the centre. The hunt for the killer is an exploration of profound grief, and of the bleakest areas of human nature — and the everyday good that rises to meet it.

‘Is it okay if I film you?’

14. Cameraperson

Splicing together unrelated footage from one woman’s career as a cinematographer doesn’t sound like it would yield great results — yet Cameraperson blends subconscious concepts to make an indelible statement on how we look at the world.

‘Where’s that fat communist?’

13. Neruda

Jackie was only the second-best movie directed by Pablo Larraín this year: Neruda is a hugely entertaining mix of Noir, Conspiracy Thriller, and even Western that burrows deep into a nation’s turbulent history.

‘I will bring it back, I promise.’

12. The Olive Tree (El olivo)

The best film you (probably) didn’t watch this year: a simple tale, elegantly told, that concerns family legacies, cultural divides, corporate appropriation, and at the middle of it all, the love of a young woman for her grandfather.

11. The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge)

Not a single word is uttered in The Red Turtle, yet a thousand life experiences flow from its unforgettable images. It’s all here: birth, anger, joy, regret, melancholy, death. When the credits roll, you will not be the same.

‘Whoever died first would send the other a sign.’

10. Personal Shopper

To attempt describing Assayas’ latest is admirable, but ultimately pointless. Discarding most horror tropes yet employing others at full strength, the film haunts like the spectre circling Stewart’s tragic, multi-layered Maureen.

‘One of the truths I learned… is that there are monsters that walk among us.’

9. Tower

The events it depicts are sadly more relevant than ever, but Tower uses the medium in aesthetically beautiful (and deeply moving) ways to make a plea for more decency in the world — not just from those behind awful acts, but from each of us.

‘It’s all edible. All edible, except the squeal.’

8. Okja

A gruesome fairytale about a Girl and her Superpig; if Guillermo del Toro dropped acid and suddenly had the greatest eye for action scenes in the world, it might look like Bong Joon Ho’s heartfelt, rousing and hilarious dystopian parable, Okja.

‘My Tamako, my Sookee.’

7. The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi)

A sweeping epic that paints sex as the most compassionate act there is — and also the most terrifying. A weapon, or a salve; the choice is ours regardless of the boundaries, be those of the era or of the body.

‘How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist?’

6. La La Land

Musicals will never be cool — and La La Land doesn’t care. Allow its sun-drenched earworms to work their magic, and Gosling and Stone will transport you to a technicolor promenade where dreaming is the only day job worth having.

‘Nobody’s ever really gone.’

5. Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi

Huge franchises are rarely this idiosyncratic, fresh, or genuinely thrilling: trading in stale lore for bona fide drama, Rian Johnson breaks the mould — and somehow still delivers a classic Star Wars picture.

‘Am I just praying to silence?’

4. Silence

Silence is an astounding accomplishment that pays off Martin Scorsese’s 28-year patience. The reason he’s still one of the best directors working today is because he understands that, at its best, cinema can offer its own religious experience.

‘A writer writes a novel. A songwriter writes a song. We do what we can to endure.’

3. A Ghost Story

The ethereal A Ghost Story slinks gracefully from heartbreaking meditation on grief and loss, to enraged denouncement of nothing less than the cosmos itself. Utterly original and relatable, it’s everything speculative fiction aspires to.

‘A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?’

2. The Lost City of Z

Watching The Lost City of Z is like walking through a dream. A beautiful, scary dream about family, love, ambition; a manifestation of man’s belief in something greater. Above all, it’s a dream you won’t forget upon waking.

‘I’m not black. I’m O.J.’ / ‘You know about death - that it’s just a change, not an end.’

(1. OJ: Made in America / Twin Peaks | Season 3)

‘What do you see?’ ‘Home.’

1. Dunkirk

Epic in scope, visceral in detail: Nolan’s WWII movie sees him striving for what could only be described as undistllled cinema. We learn time is our ultimate enemy — but Dunkirk also teaches that through our deeds, we can hope to transcend it.

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