2017 was a tough year. I can leave that sentence as is, with no further explanation, and you’ll likely agree with it. Whether it’s for personal or political reasons, it’s the one we thing we can all agree on as we move into 2018 – last year was terrible.
However, one of the many things we can all continue to disagree on is our favorite movies from the year that we wish wasn’t. In year’s past I’ve made Top 10 lists that I regretted within seconds of them being published, and it was the overall shitty nature of 2017 that made me realize it was because I was overly concerned with making a “definitive” list that others would recognize as “good” and “right” and thus garner me the respect of my peers.
That’s dogshit. As I said before, we all disagree on what we like and don’t like in our annual media every single year, so what does a “definitive” list even mean in that context? Wouldn’t I be happier making a list of the movies that I had the strongest reactions to, whether they line up with the general critical consensus or not?
While this all may seem obvious, I think it points to the thematic link I found in 2017’s movies, and it’s what allowed me to see the light and just make a list that delights me and only me – all we have are our choices and the responsibility we take for them. There is no greater architecture at play in life. We are not destined for or to be anything. We are only the sum of the decisions we make; good, bad, and otherwise. And we need to take responsibility for those actions if we’re to achieve any kind of greatness, personally or as a community.
While 2017 was difficult, it has left me with a renewed energy, ready to feel in control of my future once again. And in that spirit I present my Top 10 Movies of 2017 without any explanation or defense of my choices other than these are the ones I unabashedly loved and had the biggest reactions to. These are the movies that, for me, reflect 2017’s gift of wisdom.
10. mother! (dir. Darren Aronofsky)
9. Brawl In Cell Block 99 (dir. S. Craig Zahler)
8. Okja (dir. Bong Joon-ho)
7. Good Time (dir. Benny Safdie, Josh Sadie)
6. I, Tonya (dir. Craig Gillespie)
5. The Florida Project (dir. Sean Baker)
4. Get Out (dir. Jordan Peele)
3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (dir. Rian Johnson)
2. Blade Runner 2049 (dir. Denis Villeneuve)
1. Baby Driver (dir. Edgar Wright)
Happy New Year folks, let’s choose to make it a good one.
Author: Garrett Smith
Garrett is a writer and podcaster living in Philadelphia that spends too much time debating the difference between kinetic and frenetic filmmaking. He likes cheese, in both food and movies. Check him out on twitter and letterboxd and give his podcast, I Like To Movie Movie, a listen.