Each year when it’s time for me to reflect upon my favorite movies of the past 12 months, I feel compelled to remind people that these are the movies I liked the best, which is different from the movies I thought were “the best” overall from an achievement-in-film standpoint.
My list below includes some movies that might not be up for any awards, but still stayed with me long after I saw them. To me, that is what movies are supposed to do — really affect you in some way.
So without further ado, here’s my list!
- A Ghost Story – Back in October I wrote that A Ghost Story was my favorite movie of the year so far, and it did in fact hold its position at the top of my list. While its first half might drag a little, once it switches gears it sucked me in like no other movie has in a long, long time.
- Colossal – In August I sang the praises of this quirky dramedy that features a unique storyline and standout performances from Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis. It’s fun, it’ll make you think, and you won’t forget it.
- Mudbound – This movie is simply amazing, even if deeply unsettling in parts. It intertwines the stories of multiple characters from two families in rural Mississippi during World War II, and is simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring.
- Blade Runner: 2049 – Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford team up in a dystopian but incredible-to-look-at future? Oh, yeah. I felt like all of the mindblowing technology the characters use in this movie could really exist one day, and I did not see any of its plot twists coming.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – This is an extremely dark comedy about a kick-butt woman (Frances McDormand, in what is my favorite performance of hers ever — yes, even topping Fargo) who is determined to hold her local sheriff (Woody Harrelson) accountable for the fact that her daughter’s murder has gone unsolved. (Add this one to your redbox.com wishlist!)
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi – I’m a huge Star Wars fan and have seen this newest installment twice so far. While I could’ve done without one of its throwaway subplots, the rest was so awesome that it still earns a place on my list. And I’ll probably see it again soon.
- The Shape of Water – I wrote a review of this gorgeous fantasy drama here, and expect that it will earn several Academy Award nominations in the new year!
- Dunkirk – This one is a little surprising because I am normally not a fan of war movies — they’re just not my thing. BUT director Christopher Nolan really pulled me in by mixing up multiple character storylines and timeframes in this depiction of what happened when British and Allied troops were trapped on Dunkirk beach in France during World War II. (If you want to complement this film with an understanding of what was happening over in England at the exact same time, try to catch The Darkest Hour, which was just released in theaters on December 25 and is also fantastic.)
- Wonder Woman – I reviewed this one here, and still feel a stirring in my chest when I think about Wonder Woman and her fellow Amazon warriors throwing a smackdown to World War I troops who dare to attack their secret island home.
- The Disaster Artist – This comedy about the making of what is considered “the worst movie of all time,” The Room, requires at least a little familiarity with that now-cult-classic film. Once you understand how truly awful it was, brothers James and Dave Franco will wow you with their turns as the director/star Tommy Wiseau and his friend and supporting actor Greg Sestero.
Honorable Mention time! Here are a few other films that I really enjoyed and would feel bad not including in some way:
- Cars 3 – So thrilled this franchise is back on track.
- Coco – I sing its theme song “Remember Me” to my kids every night!
- Lady Bird – A lovely, moving coming-of-age indie starring Saoirse Ronan.
- Kong: Skull Island – An unexpectedly fun thrill ride.
What were your favorites this year?
Check out Redbox On Demand for even more of the 2017’s best movies. (Bonus: Some On Demand movies are on sale through January 4, so don’t wait until it’s too late!)