The Top 10 films of 2017 (so far)
(Photo: Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood in I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore. Courtesy of Netflix)
10. Get Out
Jordan Peele’s hyper-intelligent directorial debut is understandably slotted higher on many critics’ lists. While I’m not going to let peer pressure adjust its placement, I will say that other than a certain animated superhero film, it’s the 2017 title I’m most excited to revisit.
Japanese writer/director Hirokazu Kore-eda takes the slice-of-life pleasantness of his 2016 winner Our Little Sister and fortifies it with a story in which something — quite a few things, actually — are at stake. It’s the current frontrunner for the year’s most soulful film.
Woody Harrelson’s big year got off to a rousing start by playing the titular cantankerous loner in Craig Johnson’s laugh-rich take on Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel.
7. Baby Driver
Edgar Wright puts his blessing-in-disguise Ant-Man dismissal behind him and returns to what he does best: making blisteringly funny original films.
Ritesh Batra follows up his thoroughly charming The Lunchbox with this humane, time-hopping take on Julian Barnes’s award winning novel. Other than my No. 2 film, it’s the year’s most underrated offering to date.
Is it really better than The Lego Movie? Really? Yes — yes, it is.
4. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
Student Macon Blair becomes the master in his first feature, taking the realistic violence encountered by average folk in mentor Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin and Green Room and refusing to let its darkness overwhelm his story’s similarly authentic dark comedy.
The year’s most ambitious film at the halfway point, James Gray’s epic Amazonian adventure inspires top-notch performances from actors not known for greatness and produces one of our great villains in Angus Macfadyen’s James Murray.
In his first English-language film, Israeli writer/director Joseph Cedar proves he can wrangle a cast of Hollywood stars as well as anyone. It’s his mastery of visual metaphors, however, that places him in the ranks of the elite.
Everyone involved in the making of Trainspotting has improved at his or her craft in the past 20 years, and while that math doesn’t always add up in cinematic history when it comes to seeing if those pieces still fit together, under Danny Boyle’s guidance, it damn well does.