2017 was a fantastic year for movies and its time to count down my top 20 movies of 2017. This list isn’t just the 20 best movies of the year. This list is a mix of my favorites of the year and the best of the year. If your looking for strictly the best movies of the year, look out for the 2018 Griff’s Picks Oscars which is coming soon.
- The Disaster Artist
- Brigsby Bear
- Baby Driver
- The Big Sick
20. The Florida Project
Sean Baker brings the tale of living life out of motel to the silver screen. This film brings social commentary that no one seems to talk about in todays world. This film also brings a fantastic performance by Willem Dafoe & one of the greatest child actor performances I’ve ever seen by Brooklynn Prince.
19. Personal Shopper
One of the most unique ghost story tales you’ll ever see. This film features a career best performance by Kristen Stewart. This film is one of the most thought provoking films of the year that will be stuck in your head for days.
18. Molly’s Game
Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut shows that he just might have a future in this line of work as well. Sorkin also delivers with his great screenplay that helps set up the spectacular performances given by Jessica Chastain & Idris Elba.
17. Loving Vincent
The first ever oil painted animated film is one that will live on forever. “Loving Vincent” is more then impeccably gorgeous, it delivers on a story as well. I don’t think I will ever get over the fact that truly every frame of this film is a painting.
16. A Ghost Story
A film where Casey Affleck is under a sheet for about 90% of it. Yet this film is one of the most powerful films of the year. This film also features some fantastic visual storytelling direction by David Lowery. I can’t go without mentioning the “pie eating” scene where in one take you watch Rooney Mara eat an entire pie. It’s up there as one of the most unforgettable scenes of the year.
15. Lady Bird
A great directorial debut by Greta Gerwig, that features great performances from Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf & Tray Letts. Gerwig’s coming of age story is one that will compete strongly for Best Picture.
14. Wind River
Another directorial debut to make the list comes from one of my favorite screenwriters, Taylor Sheridan. This film features some hard-hitting commentary on Native American reservations. It as well features a career best performance by Jeremy Renner.
13. War for the Planet of the Apes
A conclusion to one of the greatest trilogies of all time. This film also features a great performance by Andy Serkis as the ape, Caesar. Caesar’s arc in this trilogy is one of the greatest I’ve ever seen. Also can’t go without mentioning the amazing CGI work here, that just might be the best cinema has ever seen.
The only foreign language film to make the list, Raw tells a coming of age tale through a girl who has a new hankering for flesh. Raw features great direction from Julia Ducournau & a physiological performance from Garance Marillier.
11. Get Out
A film about race relations in todays world, “Get Out” is a film that has something for everyone in it. The two things that standout most with this film is the screenplay by Jordan Peele & the performance by Daniel Kaluuya.
The final bow for Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine is something that will go down in the history of comic book films. This film is a lot more then your average comic book film. It tells a story about racism & immigration. This film isn’t just a comic book film its a flat out western. Can’t go without mentioning the great performances from Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart & Dafne Keen.
One of the greatest war films of all time, Christopher Nolan takes the helms of this swirling epic to places war films have never been. “Dunkirk” isn’t your conventional war film that features the camp fire soldier talks and them holding pictures of there loved ones close through battle. This film is an immersive experience like no other. “Dunkirk” is easily on the best directed films of the year & features some the best cinematography of the year from Hoyte Van Hoytema.
8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
One of the best ensemble casts of the year, this film delivers a hard-hitting story about a relentless mother who wants justice for her daughter. This film features one of the best screenplays of the year from Martin McDonagh. McDonagh’s screenplay continues his streak of strong dialogue filled films. This film also features three of the best performances of the year from Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell & Woody Harrelson.
7. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
A film about what you would do for your family, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is a film that is superbly directed & acted. The direction by Yorgos Lanthimos is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Lanthimos treats the camera as some sort of being in the way it moves and how it shoots the actors. This film features great performances from Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman & a standout performance from Barry Keoghan.
One of the directed films of the year, “Columbus” is tale of two people going through their hardships & relating it back to architecture. Kogonada’s direction here is indescribably amazing. The way he frames his shots is truly gorgeous. Can’t go without praising the great performances by Haley Lu Richardson & John Cho.
5. Good Time
The most pulpy & gritty film of the year, “Good Time” is a film that shows brotherly love through a heist film on acid. One of the biggest highlights of this film is the two great performances in it. Those performances come from Robert Pattinson & Benny Safdie. Pattinson is jaw dropping good here. He plays a such a terrible person, yet you will find yourself cheering for him to get his brother back.
4. Call Me by Your Name
One of the most powerful films of the year, “Call Me by Your Name” tells one of the most romantic stories of the year. This film captures the feeling of summer better then any film I’ve ever seen. This film also has some of the best direction of the year by Luca Guadagnino & some of the best performances of the year from Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer & Michael Stuhlbarg.
3. The Shape of Water
The most magical film of the year, Guillermo del Toro brings this fairy tale to life like one else can. This film along with “Call Me by Your Name” are the most romantic films of the year. This film features some great direction from Guillermo del Toro & some amazing performances from Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Shannon & Octavia Spencer. Also can’t go without mentioning the great cinematography from Dan Laustsen & a fantastic score from Alexandre Desplat.
2. Blade Runner 2049
One of the most gorgeous films you’ll ever see, “Blade Runner 2049” expands the Blade Runner world to something I couldn’t have even imagined. When they first announced they were doing a Blade Runner sequel I have to admit, I was quite nervous. But when it was announced that Denis Villeneuve would be directing it, all worries went away. Villeneuve’s direction here is masterclass, as he continues to ask the questions of “what does it mean to be human?” & “what makes you a human?”. This film also delivers with its stellar performances by Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Harrison Ford & Jared Leto. Also can’t go without mentioning the impeccable cinematography by the legend Roger Deakins, who is a lock to take home the best cinematography Oscar.
1. Phantom Thread
The final performance by the legend Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread” tells the story of fashion designer “Reynolds Woodcock” who has just found his new muse. This film is a masterpiece on every level. First you need to talk about the great performances from Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps & Lesley Manville. Day-Lewis as always inhabits his character to the fullest. You also can’t forget the hitchcockian direction from Paul Thomas Anderson that brings the fashion world of 1950s London to life. This film as well features one of the most amazing screenplays of the year by Paul Thomas Anderson. This film is a deep dive into masculinity & an artists obsession. That will stay in your head & make you wanting to come back for more.