The 25 Best Movies of 2017

We polled our team of passionate movie-watchers to see what are the real 25 Best Movies of 2017. It’s a pretty good list.

It’s about time to put a bow on the movies of 2017. In a week, the media cycle will have moved on to the movies of 2018. To be honest, we’re not even waiting that long, so stay tuned. But before we look at all the happenings on the silver screen next year, we wanted to put together our annual definitive list of the best movies of the past 12 months. To do so, we polled the entire Film School Rejects and One Perfect Shot team: from the editors to the regular contributors to the interns and the social media specialists. We asked everyone to submit a Top 10 and then tabulated from there.

What we’ve come up with is the list below, our 25 best movies of 2017. It’s a snapshot of the year we’ve had sitting in dark theaters, gathering in moderately lit living rooms, and occasionally (though not with Dunkirk, of course) catching up on a movie via the wonders of our smartphones. We’ve been accused in the past of being a very populist site, which shows in our list. There’s plenty of popular mainstream stuff (like Wonder Woman, IT,  Thor Ragnarok, and even John Wick: Chapter 2) to go along with more traditional awards contender fair (like Call Me By Your Name, The Florida Project, and Three Billboards). There are surprises, like Koganada’s Columbus and, if we’re being honest, Darren Aronofsky’s mother!. There may not be a lot of foreign films on the list, but the ones that are (The SquareThelma) are exceptional. And at the top are three films that were runaway candidates to make the top of any list. For our team, Jordan Peele’s Get Out showed up somewhere on 77% of our ballots. Out of the 21 ballots counted for this list, it was in the 1 or 2 spot on 13 different ballots. It was roundly lauded as one of, if not the best film of the year. It’s no surprise that it ended up being our Movie of the Year.

Below you’ll find our list. A lot of hard work went into it and we’re extremely proud of the year our team has had. You’ll also find individual lists further down the page accompanied by a paragraph of explanation from each author. Chances are that you’ll find at least one member of our team whose list is pretty close to yours. If not, feel free to tell us what you loved this year on Facebook or Twitter.

The 25 Best Movies of 2017, according to our team:

  1. Get Out
  2. Dunkirk
  3. Lady Bird
  4. A Ghost Story
  5. Logan
  6. Baby Driver
  7. Call Me By Your Name
  8. The Big Sick
  9. Good Time
  10. The Shape of Water
  11. IT
  12. The Florida Project
  13. Thelma
  14. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  15. I, Tonya
  16. Thor Ragnarok
  17. Columbus
  18. Phantom Thread
  19. Coco
  20. John Wick: Chapter 2
  21. Wonder Woman
  22. The Square
  23. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
  24. Blade Runner 2049
  25. mother!

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Individual Lists

Get Out

Liz Baessler

  1. The Big Sick
  2. Get Out
  3. Baby Driver
  4. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  5. Dunkirk
  6. Blade Runner 2049
  7. Good Time
  8. John Wick Chapter 2
  9. Logan
  10. Lady Bird

If there’s a common thread to be found in my picks, it’s discomfort. Whether it’s Robert Pattinson’s desperate race to keep his head above water in Good Time or Daniel Kaluuya’s conversations with his girlfriend’s white parents in Get Out, the top films of 2017 are best watched peeking through fingers, curled up in agony. The message may not always be the same (it’s hard to imagine two more different films on this list than The Big Sick and The Killing of a Sacred Deer) but the thrill of the cringe is still strong. Of course, it’s not a continuous thread. Dunkirk and Blade Runner are more technically well-executed than anything, while Baby Driver and John Wick are alluring for their unadulterated cool. But whether with life-or-death situations or awkward family problems (and often with both), my favorite films this year were the ones that caused me the most distress. Now, what does that say about me?

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The Phantom Thread Trailer Efcf Ff Bb Aecabdb

Christopher Campbell

  1. Phantom Thread
  2. Get Out
  3. A Ghost Story
  4. Kedi
  5. The Florida Project
  6. mother!
  7. Dunkirk
  8. School Life
  9. Dawson City: Frozen Time
  10. I Don’t Feel at Home in the World Anymore

All 10 of my top movies of this year were extraordinary experiences. Not as in the way I saw them (though making a point to drive a good distance to see Dunkirk in immersive 70mm IMAX impacted my appreciation of that one) but for the journey they took me through narratively and cinematically. They all surprised me all the way through, sometimes in ways I didn’t love but at least respected. There was audacity and brilliance and complexity abound in each. That’s not that common in movies these days so to encounter 10 examples spread out over the course of the year kept me excited about film again and again. And one of them even made me enjoy watching nothing about cats, despite my dislike for cats, so that’s pretty incredible (it’s also worth noting that I also don’t usually care about fashion, the Bible, or Christopher Nolan, but three of my picks had me enraptured with stories involving those things). In contrast with the last title on my list, these movies helped me feel at home in the world.

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Good Time

Chris Coffel

  1. Good Time
  2. Get Out
  3. It
  4. John Wick: Chapter 2
  5. Logan
  6. Dunkirk
  7. El Bar
  8. The Big Sick
  9. The Lego Batman Movie
  10. The Forest of the Lost Souls

Making a year-end top 10 list of new films has been a struggle for me in recent years. I don’t get out to theaters too much for new movies these days; in fact only 4 of the movies on my top 10 list are movies that I actually saw in theaters. Most of my new release viewing comes when films hit Blu-ray and even then I still spend more time watching genre fare from the 70’s and 80’s. Despite these self-imposed obstacles I was able to put together a top 10 list of movies from 2017 that I genuinely love. Movies like Dunkirk, John Wick: Chapter 2 and Logan I knew would likely make my list well before I saw them, but it’s the movies that caught me off guard that will likely make the greatest impact. The Forest of the Lost Souls is a wonderful little indie out of Portugal that hits you hard and then hallway through takes a turn that flips everything upside down. The Lego Batman Movie showed that silly Batman can be great Batman. The Big Sick burst onto the scene and became one of the best rom-coms in years. El Bar is a bloody fun horror-comedy about paranoia and survival. Get Out and It proved to the rest of the world what horror fans have known for years – the genre rules. Easily the best and most surprising film of the year for me was Good Time. This whole movie plays out like 90 minutes of Mr. Toad being drunk and along the way we all realize Robert Pattinson is one of the best actors working today. I may not have seen a lot of new stuff, but what I did see was pretty great.

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Call Me By Your Name

Max Covill

  1. Call Me by Your Name
  2. The Shape of Water
  3. Okja
  4. Blade Runner 2049
  5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  6. The Post
  7. Phantom Thread
  8. Your Name
  9. The Lost City of Z
  10. The Florida Project

There isn’t one giant theme that ties the films I’ve selected together, but they are all great on their own merits. Certainly, films from del Toro, Villeneuve, Spielberg, and Anderson were going to make the list. That was almost a given when I first learned they were being made. No, it is more important for me to list directors that have made some of my favorite films of 2017 and I’m recognizing their talents for the first time. Sean Baker made a film that could very much be a documentary of the living conditions that some families have to live within The Florida Project. Few films in 2017 have the sense of journey that The Lost City of Z managed to convey, reminding me of equal parts Embrace of the Serpent and Barry Lyndon. Your Name was a worldwide anime sensation, one that I’m looking forward to Makoto Shinkai topping. Three Billboards is perhaps the most controversial film on the list, but I’m a great admirer of the performances Rockwell and McDormand put on. Okja was the bizarre little movie that no one would’ve financed outside of Netflix and I’m sure glad it exists. And finally, I hardly expected Call Me By Your Name to top my list, even though the initial impressions out of Sundance were great. There is such an aura of beauty in the movie that you wish you could live there. Not to mention some fantastic performances from the whole cast. Some might complain that there weren’t many standout films in 2017, I’d argue as always, that perhaps they just weren’t looking hard enough. There are plenty of gems that would top a list in any given year.  

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Busters Mal Heart

William Dass

  1. Get Out
  2. Thor: Ragnarok
  3. Buster’s Mal Heart
  4. The Shape of Water
  5. Star Wars: Episode VIII
  6. The Bad Batch
  7. Lucky
  8. Mother!
  9. Better Watch Out
  10. Ingrid Goes West

“What you see is what you get. But, what you see is not what I get.”

I felt like Harry Dean Stanton’s Lucky was speaking directly to me. Those words resonate with me to my core. Not because they validate how unique my experience is, but rather because implicit in them is the value of understanding the experience of others. In fact, that message might well be the common thread running through my picks. The world would be a lot cooler is we would spend our time building empathy for the truths of the humans around us. We live in a system ultimately indifferent to us, willing to take everything from us without a second thought. We defeat that by embracing connection. This year, I was trapped, just looking for traction. I fell in love with somebody all over again who saw me for me. I got a little too obsessed with social media. I worried about the excesses of capitalism. I threw off the destiny expected of me. I woke up a fire demon. I got a little older, and a little wiser. I’ve had a great year at the movies and I’m looking forward to my next.

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A Ghost Story Rooney Mara

Valerie Ettenhofer

  1. A Ghost Story
  2. The Florida Project
  3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  4. IT
  5. Whose Streets?
  6. Casting JonBenet
  7. Dunkirk
  8. Good Time
  9. The Lost City of Z
  10. Get Out

This year at the movies, I sought humanity above all else. Humanity writ large, as in A Ghost Story, which cycled through all of time from a single vantage point in a way that cracked open my heart and left me in awe, praising the daylight that met me outside the theater as if I’d never really noticed the sun before. Humanity done small, as in Good Time, which cycled through a single desperate night, crackled with energy like a live wire and left me equally stunned by the specificity of its devastation. Humanity as a word has many meanings–camaraderie, generosity, benevolence–but when considered as an inescapable condition, there’s also something tragic about it. Feeling life in all its myriad emotions is the hardest thing a human being will ever do. There’s anger, an all-consuming, righteous emotion which can either inspire–as in Whose Streets?–or stagnate–as in Three Billboards. There’s fear, a paralyzing, visceral experience that’s impossible to beat back into the shadows if faced alone (IT), and envy, an ugly, poisonous feeling that leaves you hollow, grasping at what others have and you want (Get Out). There’s unquenchable curiosity (The Lost City of Z), begrudging sacrifice (Dunkirk), innocent joy (The Florida Project), hidden sadness (Casting JonBenet)…being human is a mixed bag, but it’s all we’ve got. We can’t overcome it, but we can at least make some damn good movies about it.

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Brawl In Cellblock Guide Large

Kieran Fisher

  1. Good Time
  2. Brawl in Cell Block 99
  3. John Wick: Chapter 2
  4. Baby Driver
  5. Headshot
  6. Dunkirk
  7. Get Out
  8. Kong: Skull Island
  9. Colossal
  10. Mom & Dad

This has been a great year for movies, so picking a mere 10 which encapsulate just how exciting the last 12 months have been for me as a film fan wasn’t easy. It’s also going to be a couple of months before I get to see Lady Bird, The Shape of Water, Coco, and a few others my groovy colleagues have raved about during our end of year coverage. That said, as my taste tends to favor the visceral and bloody side of cinema, 2017 has catered to my preferences and then some. Good Time and Brawl in Cell Block 99 were the grimy hard-hitting genre flicks I always crave, while John Wick: Chapter 2, Baby Driver, Headshot, Dunkirk, and Kong: Skull Island each blew me away, albeit for different reasons. Get Out addressed the issues that needed to be addressed and it did so in a way that was inventive and original, while Colossal redefined my beloved giant monster movies with a moving, human tale. Of course, one of the most magical moments of my life so far was seeing Nic Cage smash up a pool table while singing “The Hokey Pokey” and that’s why I love Mom and Dad more than most.

I’d also like to give a shout out to The Devil’s Candy, Hounds of Love, and Our Evil for providing horror that goes for the jugular and making my jaw drop. I want to thank Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Justice League Dark, and Thor: Ragnarok for reigniting my spark for superhero movies again just when I thought they were getting dull and repetitive. Meanwhile, The Florida Project, Wonder, Captain Underpants, and Monster Trucks (yes), all touched my feels in their own special ways. Finally, I’d like to go on record and say that The Mummy kicked ass and I’m sad that the Dark Universe is probably dead. Time will be much kinder to that movie — you’ll see… YOU’LL ALL SEE.

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Meyerowitz Stories

Sarah Foulkes

  1. Lady Bird
  2. Get Out
  3. The Meyworitz Stories (New and Selected)
  4. A Ghost Story
  5. The Florida Project
  6. Beach Rats
  7. Logan Lucky
  8. Good Time
  9. A Quiet Passion
  10. I, Tonya

At first glance, there is a lot that these 10 films have in common. They’re all American (this is more a product of poor distribution of foreign films in my city than it is my preference for American cinema), most of the films are centred around the family (whether focusing on siblings, mother/daughters or the nuclear family as a whole) and a lot of the films take on the white American working class at a time when it feels ignored. But the reason these films all made my top 10 is their use and disruption of genre. Lady Bird revives the coming-of-age story, honing in on Lady Bird‘s relationship with her mother to tear-jerking effect. Get Out uses horror to tell the story of racism in contemporary America. And at the surface, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is just another witty family drama. But it’s use of the short story collection format provides structure to a chaotic family. Above all, these films prove that genre in cinema cannot be used simply as a vessel to tell your story. How we tell our stories might be more important than why we tell them.

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Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Karen Gómez

  1. Baby Driver
  2. Get Out
  3. Thor: Ragnarok
  4. Dunkirk
  5. T2: Trainspotting
  6. IT
  7. Logan
  8. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
  9. The Girl With All the Gifts
  10. Coco

British film critic Mark Kermode boldly claimed in the middle of the summer: “It’s been a terrific year. Don’t listen to anybody who tells you that cinema is in a state of decline. No, it isn’t”. While it could have been five months too early to be calling 2017 a great year for cinema, ultimately he was right. 2017 movies were some of the best in the last few years: Get Out, It, and The Girl with all the Gifts breathed new life into horror and suspense, while also honoring the genres’ long-standing tradition of delving into contemporary fears. Logan gave a proper farewell to one of the most beloved heroes of the past decade, and Taika Waititi gave the Thor franchise its thunder back, by way of zany humor and neon colors. Dunkirk reminded us just how immersive cinema can be, even in the age of streaming, and T2: Trainspotting — while criminally overlooked in most end of the year lists — proved, as few have, that sequels can be as poignant as the originals. Captain Underpants and Coco were kids’ cinema at its best: colorful and full of good-hearted humor, yet smart. Finally, there’s Baby Driver. It is not only Edgar Wright’s finest hour up to date, but a thrilling and elegant display of what modern original movies can be. All of them are just a small sample of all the cinematic goodness that the powers that be rained upon us in 2017: everything from delightful, fun little movies to legendary game-changers. I can only cross my fingers and hope that 2018 is just as good. But since cinema is definitely not in decline, the only way is up.

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Brad Gullickson

  1. Lucky
  2. Get Out
  3. The Shape of Water
  4. War for the Planet of the Apes
  5. Dunkirk
  6. Baby Driver
  7. Colossal
  8. Brawl in Cell Block 99
  9. A Ghost Story
  10. Blade of the Immortal

I cried a lot in the theater this year. I needed it. We all did. It will probably continue well into 2018 and beyond. Granted, I’m an easy mark when it comes to flickering light manipulation. I always fall into the shoes of the protagonists, and I’m often mocked for sniffling through the final moments of Michael Bay’s Armageddon or that last conversation between Bruce and Alfred in The Dark Knight Rises. However, this year, more than any other in recent memory, we’ve been put through the wringer. If not for my wife’s therapeutic wisdom and the gluttony of exceptionally fabulous cinema than I’m not sure I would have made it to Auld Lang Syne. I’m not crazy, right? The world may be racing to match The Running Man timeline, but it has been a banner year at the movies!

Every single one of the films in my Top 10 had me weeping. Yes, even Brawl in Cell Block 99. For a film so engorged with its hardboiled hard-on, I found the final cell phone conversation between Vince Vaughn’s bruiser and Jennifer Carpenter’s pregnant wife to be pathetically moving. Brawl is an ugly film with a batch of troubling sensibilities that kept it right in tone with the crime stories it so idolizes. Blade of the Immortal and A Ghost Story used an extreme supernatural gimmick to tap into absolutely relatable but rather dull human needs. Likewise, Colossal and The Shape Of Water spun two of my favorite styles of creature features into two very different relationship sagas. I simply had no better time at the movies than I did with Edgar Wright’s action musical Baby Driver. Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk championed survival as a form of resistance, a message so 2017 it cracked my heart as almost as savagely as the IMAX subwoofers. War For The Planet Of The Apes concluded our single greatest cinematic trilogy by presenting the agonizing struggle for a chimpanzee’s soul. Get Out picked at our Country’s greatest sin while providing entertainment without betraying its own rage. However, the film that cut the deepest this year was John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut, Lucky. It’s a beautiful puzzle that constructs itself over its 88 minutes through cantankerous conversations irked on by Harry Dean Stanton’s title character. Would the film be as effective if Stanton still walked with us? Impossible to say, but I think so. When I log onto Twitter each morning to stare into the precipice of whatever new nightmare is brewing, I think of Lucky putting his concept of realism together. We’re all trying to reach an understanding before we check out.

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The Square

Andrew Karpan

  1. The Square
  2. Get Out
  3. A Ghost Story
  4. Majorie Prime
  5. mother!
  6. Mudbound
  7. Human Flow
  8. John Wick: Chapter 2
  9. Sweet Virginia
  10. Lady Bird

Lady Bird wants very much to be on this list and so there it goes and Sweet Virginia was a snore on first watch but on the second felt very vivid (would reverse ‘em when I watch LB again, obv). I caught the second John Wick the morning after watching most of Baby Driver and realizing that I didn’t give a shit about this Driver fella because he wasn’t Keanu. Keanu would also never listen to T. Rex or the Jon Spencer Goddamn Blues Explosion like I’m in some kind of sad bastard High Fidelity sequel. Human Flow, on the other hand, was this insane empathetic pound, a doc about the refugee crisis or what-have-you that you could hang in the Louvre. Ditto Mudbound, a bit further away (who cares—still the Louvre!). Mother! was a careful blow out, an idea about art that isn’t about itself, simultaneously gazing so far into his own navel that he can see himself rather well. Majorie Prime and A Ghost Story were both about the kick of death from the eyeview of the shoe and Get Out was about death as an institution, not very good! The Square not only takes the cake because the Europeans are always right (they are) but because it was about that moment when Kendall Jenner held that can of Pepsi and said that was murder and nobody believes in nothing no more, you can’t click through anything without having your eyes crushed, wanna buy you, and it’s nice to know that someone thinks it is criminal.

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The Big Sick

Emily Kubincanek

  1. Lady Bird
    2. The Big Sick
    3. Dunkirk
    4. The Lego Batman Movie
    5. IT
    6. Baby Driver
    7. The Disaster Artist
    8. Landline
    9. Thor Ragnarok
    10. Spider-man: Homecoming

No matter how hard I tried to keep up with all the good movies that came out in 2017, I inevitably missed a lot. That in itself is a testament for how great this year has been for moviegoers. I usually go for the typically emotional movies when picking what to see in theaters and The Big Sick, Lady Bird, and Landline delivered the tears I hoped for. However, most of my favorites took me out of my indie/drama comfort zone. I had more fun in the theaters seeing Baby Driver, The Disaster Artist, Thor: Ragnarok, The Lego Batman Movie, and Spider-man: Homecoming than I ever expected to. I even enjoyed nearly peeing my pants watching IT and yes even Dunkirk. As a classic film fan, I spend most of my time watching older films but 2017 made me want to keep up with what was coming out now. The theater experiences I had this year will get me out of the house a lot more next year instead of waiting to stream them. I’ll be trying to catch up on all the amazing movies that came out in 2017 far into 2018!

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Sinead McCausland

  1. Get Out
  2. Columbus
  3. War for the Planet of the Apes
  4. I Am Not A Witch
  5. The Florida Project
  6. Wonder Woman
  7. Dunkirk
  8. Most Beautiful Island
  9. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
  10. The Party

If there’s one thing 2017’s year in film proved it’s that cinema is thriving. The films in this list represent the diversity with which filmmakers from around the world explore issues we face today. Sally Potter made her return to the screen after five years with The Party, a darkly comic look into the nightmares of upper class public and private lives. In Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, the filmmaker expertly explored the difficulties of working-class life without over-aestheticizing the events onscreen. And Rungano Nyoni’s wonderful and hilarious I Am Not A Witch provided some much needed fairytale charm to the big screen, and to its credit with strong elements of surrealism. However, despite the emotional integrity and craft that’s at the center of Columbus and Most Beautiful Island, it’s the blockbusters that made the biggest impact this year thanks to the scale onscreen. Patti Jenkins made history with Wonder Woman, fighting not only the evils that face Princess Diana but also the trolls in real life who wanted to see Jenkins and Wonder Woman fail. Paired with Angela Robinson’s  exaggerated backstory of the superhero herself, Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman serves as a perfect double bill to witness wonderful women both real and fictional. Equally, Dunkirk is a masterclass in creating visceral reactions for the audience through the language of the camera, and War for the Planet of the Apes was a welcome shock of a gem — an intelligent film that deserved more attention than it got. Finally, even though it wasn’t a blockbuster, Get Out felt as though it had the biggest reach and playing times of all the films. Jordan Peele’s film not only mirrors our current political state but comments on it and invites the viewer to think critically too, all masterfully crafted within a timeless horror/thriller genre film. Let’s hope 2018 brings us more welcome surprises, in both the art house and blockbuster worlds.

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Tonya Harding Margot Robbie

Neil Miller

  1. Get Out
  2. I, Tonya
  3. Lady Bird
  4. Logan
  5. Dunkirk
  6. Thelma
  7. Call Me By Your Name
  8. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
  9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  10. Blade Runner 2049

When you stop and think about it, it’s been an interesting year. Some of the best films I saw this year were at Sundance in January, including Get Out and Call Me By Your Name. Others spread out across the calendar, from Logan to Professor Marston to Blade Runner 2049. And then there are the ones that snuck in at the end, like I, Tonya and Three Billboards. On the whole, it’s been a very solid year from end-to-end. At least when it comes to sitting in a dark theater and being swept away. I’ve also noticed that with only one potential exception (Dunkirk) each of my Top 10 this year come without the baggage of toxic fandoms. And even with Dunkirk, the online conversation was fairly tame. I wonder about myself and whether part of getting old is enjoying films more when the conversation around them is more civil. That’s usually not my thing. I also wonder about myself when there’s at least one film on my list that’s way into BDSM. These are all questions I’ll be working out with my therapist in 2018.

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Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2

Natalie Mokry

  1. Lady Bird
  2. Coco
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy V.2
  4. Wonder Woman
  5. The Disaster Artist
  6. The Big Sick
  7. Thor Ragnarok
  8. The Shape of Water
  9. Get Out
  10. Spider-Man: Homecoming

2017 felt like the year where movies of all genres began to let loose and embrace authentic storytelling. Superhero films were funny and familial and romantic relationships were portrayed on screen as nitty and gritty as they are in real life. We got a coming-of-age story that felt real and relatable, a female superhero who was the star of her own story, a Pixar film centered around Mexican culture, an interracial relationship dilemma in the form of a rom-com, and a revamped Thor that worked so well I’m actually excited to see it again. It was great. Of course, I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to this year. There was so much. But the fact that there was so much great work being made is a good thing. Each of these films made my list because they made me feel strongly about something. Having experienced leaving home and starting college within the past few years, Lady Bird came at the perfect time. Watching the Guardians movies always makes me feel like I’m revisiting old friends, while Coco made me think so much of my grandmother. The others also either made me cry, laugh, get angry, kept me on the edge of my seat, or all of the above. They were entertaining and thought-provoking. Personally, the best part about watching a movie, whether by myself in the comfort of my home, or in a theater with a crowd of people, is that strong shared experience I feel with what’s going on screen, and this year had an abundance of films to connect with on that level.

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pennywise

Sheryl Oh

  1. IT
  2. Get Out
  3. Coco
  4. Logan
  5. Dunkirk
  6. Blade Runner 2049
  7. Wonder Woman
  8. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  9. John Wick: Chapter Two
  10. Okja

Even though I’ve been unable to watch many of the films that really caught my eye in 2017 (like The Shape of Water and Call Me By Your Name), films like IT and Get Out ended up being particularly special anyway. IT took me by surprise, expressing such a pure sense of camaraderie and presenting a simple yet deeply profound commentary about growing up. Get Out is uproariously funny yet terribly scary, and left me ruminating long after I watched it. I rarely come across films with that kind of staying power anymore.

In general, an overarching theme in my list is rebirth. Well, save for John Wick: Chapter Two, which is just frankly my ideal action movie. But Logan allows us to find hope in a new generation. The men who lose hope in Dunkirk — who believe they will be shunned upon returning home — become unexpected heroes. I cried throughout Wonder Woman because, yes, that’s a woman, she’s a superhero and she’s starring in her own movie. Peter Parker’s newly diverse narrative celebrates teenagehood in a very sincere way. Family is another big theme: Coco finds the perfect balance between family and ambition, Blade Runner 2049 is really a father-child story underneath all that noir-ish identity crises, and Okja emphasizes a love and respect for animals that love us so effortlessly in return.

None of these movies present a simple path to hope. But that’s okay, because they are the perfect mix of reality and escapism. To put it simply, these movies inspire me with their optimism and were the perfect antidote in as messy a year as this one.

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Cooper Peltz

  1. Brigsby Bear
  2. Lady Bird
  3. The Big Sick
  4. Nathan for You: Finding Frances
  5. Baby Driver
  6. Dunkirk
  7. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
  8. Spiderman: Homecoming
  9. Wonder Woman
  10. War for the Planet of the Apes

2017 was the year of the moral comic—in film, anyway. The outing of Louis C.K. is a signpost that a new wave of comedy is being created by a young and diverse group of filmmakers. Kyle Mooney, Greta Gerwig, Kumail Nanjiani, John Francis Daley, and Nathan Fielder (yes, I am counting Finding Frances as a film because it is one) all embraced authenticity and honesty over cynicism and irony—but most of all they embraced hope. During a year mired in regression, these filmmakers and writers showed us what it looks like to make something sweet and beautiful which is very lacking right now. As far as the rest of my picks, they have one common through line: family. Again, feeling disenfranchised by social and political trends, people could look to the movies this year to find encouragement and an image of what selflessness looks like and what family feels like. Looking back, I think I just needed glimmers of light at the movie theater this year, and with these ten films, I found them.

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Shape Of Water

Meg Shields

  1. Get Out
  2. The Shape of Water
  3. Call Me By Your Name
  4. The Disaster Artist
  5. The Big Sick
  6. Thor: Ragnarok
  7. The Lost City of Z
  8. Dunkirk
  9. Baby Driver
  10. Dawson City: Frozen Time

I’m writing this from the backcountry of British Columbia. It’s -20ºC and I have a glass filled with good bourbon. In some ways, I think that’s what I wanted from film this year: a bit of a break, some smooth escapism. Baby Driver was the latter-day Gene Kelly drag race I didn’t know I wanted. Thor: Ragnarok took me to church and made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt. Meanwhile, The Big Sick and Call Me By Your Name were romantic, bittersweet, gut-punches that left my solar plexus shattered and bruised in the best way. This year also had its fair share of dreamers. With grace and tenderness, The Lost City of Z and The Disaster Artist unspooled portraits of self-destructing romantics, ready to lose it all in pursuit of their big dream™. Dunkirk traced the shape of the wire-thin hope that can be salvaged from calamity; how even the darkest of disasters can be brought back from the brink. We were also blessed with the latest offering of one of cinema’s greatest dreamers in the form of The Shape of Water, a film in love with love, and in love with cinema. But this year, Get Out left me obliterated. It is not about dreamers, and it is not about escapism. The call is coming from inside your racist house. Get Out is funny, terrifying, thrilling, and so devastatingly familiar that it makes its home under your skin. It haunts me, and that’s for the best. Back to bourbon.

Red Dots

Baby Driver Movie

Bethany Wade

  1. Get Out
  2. Baby Driver
  3. The Big Sick
  4. Lady Bird
  5. Coco
  6. Logan
  7. Wonder Woman
  8. Atomic Blonde
  9. Ingrid Goes West
  10. Girls Trip

It’s so hard to narrow down a top ten list because there are so many different films that were good for different reasons. Movies like Atomic Blonde and Wonder Woman show that women can kick ass and take names in their own movie. Baby Driver, Ingrid Goes West, Lady Bird and Get Out show original filmmaking hit a new high in 2017. In a year where The Emoji Movie actually came out in theaters, Coco reminded us that there’s still good children’s animation out there.

I tend to lean toward movies full of action and suspense, hence why there’s two highly praised superhero films on here and two action flicks. But then came the unexpected indie hits for me, like Ingrid Goes West, Lady Bird, and The Big Sick. These movies didn’t seem like they’d be my favorites, yet I couldn’t help but fall in love after watching. They gave funny yet real performances that I could relate to, especially after living a personally low year for myself. I’m a Pixar fangirl, so even if Coco wasn’t as good as it is, I’d still end up with it in my top 10. It blew my expectations away, mainly because I was convinced this film would be a Book of Life knockoff yet I left loving this more than that film. Then comes the surprise film that I was NOT expecting to put on this list, but I just had to while thinking about it. I saw Rough Night and after seeing how terrible of a film that was, I was assuming Girls Trip would be the same quality. Oh, boy was I wrong. Girls Trip ended up being one of my favorite comedies of the past few years, as it offered more than just the overplayed “women go wild to relive their young days” trope.

I should acknowledge that I haven’t seen The Shape of Water at the time this goes up, otherwise, that would probably have ended up on this list. These films are just a selection of the things I loved over 2017. Seeing the film trend set by this year’s darling favorites, it’s hard not to be excited for what’s to come in 2018. If this trend of deep, realistic and diverse storytelling sticks around, I’ll be one happy girl.

Red Dots

Three Billboards

Ciara Wardlow

  1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  2. The Florida Project
  3. Dunkirk
  4. Logan
  5. Good Time
  6. Lady Bird
  7. Casting JonBenet
  8. Mudbound
  9. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  10. Your Name

The more movies I watch, the more I come to value movies that take me by surprise. I appreciate films that challenge me, that engage both my brain and my emotions–even when that sometimes means feeling uncomfortable. While there were some dull stretches here and there, overall 2017 was a pretty damn good year for cinema. The Marvel Cinematic Universe faced its fear of heavy emotional content and hit a high point (Logan). A true crime documentary presented a fascinating meditation on our obsession with true crime in a cinematically fascinating way (Casting JonBenet). Martin McDonagh kept on asking tough questions with no easy answers (Three Billboards). Sean Baker managed to imbue a story about the ordinary with the quality of the extraordinary (The Florida Project). Yorgos Lanthimos stayed disturbingly yet fascinatingly weird (The Killing of a Sacred Deer); Christopher Nolan stayed visually masterful and incredibly polished (Dunkirk). Your Name managed to appeal to my inner hopeless romantic without setting off my outer cynic. And Good Time, Lady Bird, and Mudbound introduced me to new cinematic voices that leave me excited to see what the future will bring.

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