Cinema, Lists

Top 10 Movies of 2017

Out of the 94 movies I watched in 2017 (including 43 new releases), Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is easily the worst. It is also the most nominated movie, with 13 nominations, at this year’s Oscars and will likely win a lot of them—including Best Picture.

I’ve tuned into the Oscars as long as I’ve been watching movies “seriously” but this seems like a good year to stop. To be clear, this isn’t for any important moral reasons (though there are plenty of #campagins going around to warrant it), but because the two likeliest winners (The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri) are really bad and I don’t want to spend four hours watching an awards show that I know will annoy me. (I’ll watch the viral highlights on Twitter, thanks!)

Rather than just complain about it, however, I started handing out Alternative Oscars last year—including all of the major awards that the Real Oscars hand out, as well as some awards I made up for my own amusement—to go along with my ten favorite movies of the year. Here they are for 2017:

1. 그후 (The Day After) 

Hong Sang-soo / 2017 / South Korea

180301 Top 10 Movies of 2017 The Day After

  • Best Picture
  • Best Actress In Two Movies In The Same Year (Kim Min-hee, The Day After and On the Beach at Night Alone)
  • Best Original Screenplay Adapted From Real Life

2. Personal Shopper

Olivier Assayas / 2016 / France, Germany, Czech Republic, Belgium

180301 Top 10 Movies of 2017 Personal Shopper

  • Best Actress (Kristen Stewart)
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Texting Scene
  • Best *Invisible* Ghost

3. Phantom Thread

Paul Thomas Anderson / 2017 / USA

180301 Top 10 Movies of 2017 Phantom Thread

  • Best Director
  • Best Original Screenplay
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Actress Who Is Being Billed As Supporting But Is Actually The Lead (Vicky Krieps)
  • Best Breakfast, Lunch, And Dinner Foods
  • Best Kinky Shit

4. Song to Song

Terrence Malick / 2017 / USA

180301 Top 10 Movies of 2017 Song to Song

  • Best Supporting Actress (Rooney Mara)
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Best Sequel To La La Land, Which Is Bad

5. A Ghost Story

David Lowery / 2017 / USA

180301 Top 10 Movies of 2017 A Ghost Story

  • Best Short Film (Rooney Mara eating pie in an uninterrupted shot)
  • Best Original Song (Dark Rooms, “I Get Overwhelmed”)
  • Best Instagram Aesthetic
  • Best *Visible* Ghost

6. Nocturama

Bertrand Bonello / 2016 / France, Germany, Belgium

180301 Top 10 Movies of 2017 Nocturama

7. Good Time

Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie / 2017 / USA

180301 Top 10 Movies of 2017 Good Time

  • Best Actor (Robert Pattinson)
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Movie I Don’t Want To See Again

8. John Wick: Chapter 2

Chad Stahelski / 2017 / USA, Hong Kong

180301 Top 10 Movies of 2017 John Wick Chapter 2

  • Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Best Production Design
  • Best Sound Editing
  • Best Sound Mixing
  • Best Undervalued National Treasure (Keanu Reeves)
  • Best Homage To Buster Keaton

9. Visages, Villages (Faces Places)

Agnès Varda, JR / 2017 / France

180301 Top 10 Movies of 2017 Faces Places

  • Best Documentary
  • Best Visual Effects (lol get it?)
  • Best Undervalued International Treasure (Agnès Varda)

10. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Noah Baumbach / 2017 / USA

180301 Top 10 Movies of 2017 The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

  • Best Supporting Actor (Adam Sandler)
  • Best Father-Daughter Duet
  • Best Self-Indulgent Title Besides mother!

Honorable Mention (alphabetically):

  • Call Me By Your Name / Luca Guadagnino
  • Columbus / kogonada
  • I Am Not Your Negro / Raoul Peck
  • Lady Bird / Greta Gerwig
  • mother! / Darren Aronofsky
  • On the Beach at Night Alone / Hong Sang-soo
  • The Florida Project / Sean Baker

*Some 2016 films were included because of their U.S. release date in 2017.


When thinking back on 2017 in cinema, one thing stands out: It’s the first year in a while that critics, Oscar voters, and the general public largely agree on the same movies being great. Take a look at various Best of 2017 lists (IndieWire, Rotten Tomatoes, Village Voice, your cinephile friend, etc.) and you’ll see the same handful of movies—Get Out, Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name, The Florida Project, Phantom Thread.

I liked all of these! But as great as it is to see an overall consensus, it’s also kind of boring. These homogeneous lists lack the flavor and peculiarity that I usually enjoy with these subjective lists and, you know, art in general.

I guess it was one less thing to get worked up about in 2017 though. /shrug



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