Our Top 10 films of 2017

The Gold Knight presents our Top 10 films of 2017 by our correspondent Jake and editor James.

Before the Academy announces its winners for 2017, it’s our turn to honor the best of the year.

The Gold Knight presents our Top 10 films of 2017. Per tradition, we each present a Top 10 list, which we find to be a great conversation starter. Join in on the discussion and share your thoughts and favorite films from 2017 by commenting on this post, on Facebook or by interacting with us on Twitter.

Jake Howell
TGK Correspondent

10. "Lady Bird"
The great Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is a wonderful film for many reasons, but perhaps the most astonishing is its insistence in remaining uncynical. Even as our titular hero (Saoirse Ronan, who is an absolute joy) mourns a breakup, worries about her parent’s fiscal issues or fights with her mother, there is never a moment that isn’t imbued with optimism.

9. "Dawson City: Frozen Time"
One of the purest expressions of passion for the movies that has ever been put to film, "Dawson City: Frozen Time" is a fascinating look at the discovery of hundreds of silent films thought lost in a Gold Rush era Alaskan town. Their discovery opened windows into history, ones we are still trying to reconcile today.

8. "Personal Shopper"
The grieving process has never seemed as abstract as it does in "Personal Shopper." Director Olivier Assayas’ recent muse Kirsten Stewart is great here as a quietly forlorn sister trying to communicate with her recently deceased twin. The supernatural is a new realm for Assayas, and he handles it deftly.

7. "The Killing of a Sacred Deer"
A near impenetrable psychological thriller from Greek Weird Wave auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (he of "Dogtooth" and "The Lobster"), "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" offers one of the most fascinating characters in a movie this year in the form of Brendan Keoghan’s vaguely godlike Martin. Besides being a peculiar new addition to the creepy kid class of horror films, "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" could equally be called a pitch black comedy, a family drama, a mystery thriller and so much more.

6. "Good Time"
An unrelenting buddy heist movie of sorts, "Good Time" features a breakneck pace that doesn’t undermine it’s almost touching story of the lengths one man will go to guarantee the safety of his autistic sibling. Robert Pattinson gives his best performance to date as the former, a deeply flawed, habitually detestable thief whose first priority is, nevertheless, the wellbeing of his brother.

5. "Columbus"
First time South Korean director Kogonada’s striking debut has drawn comparisons to the minimal family dramas of Yasujiro Ozu. While warranted, "Columbus," a closely-observed exploration of unrecognized grief, unexpected friendship and growing up, and a love letter to its titular sleepy Indiana architecture mecca reminded me more of the work of Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasathekul, whose eye for mise-en-scene and restrained cinematography are called to mind during certain sequences here.

4. "It Comes at Night"
Poorly marketed and thus unfairly censured by a certain portion of the movie going audience, "It Comes at Night" is indeed a horror movie, but one so tonally deliberate one could easily mistake it’s thoughtfulness for a tepid lack of scary movie tropes. Director Trey Edward Shults instead opts for an overarching dread that permeates each frame, a style that may seem familiar to anyone who’s seen his 2016 film "Krisha." The power of "It Comes at Night" lies in its ability to take advantage of a deep terror that lies within all of us; that fear of the unknown, the other we can’t identify, much less trust.

3. "Wind River"
Further proof of the perpetually underused Jeremy Renner’s Oscar-quality talent, "Wind River" is a slow-burning Native American murder procedural and an important window into an often marginalized community.

2. "Brawl In Cell Block 99"
A deliberately measured tour-de-force for Vince Vaughn punctuated by moments of brutal (and brutally movielike) violence, director S. Craig Zahler’s first film since 2015’s "Bone Tomahawk" is just as much fun as his previous work, and probably the best piece of grindhouse cinema since at least the ’80s.

1. "Get Out"
Scary, funny, smart and awesome, 2017’s best movie is also its most appealing, grabbing your attention from the opening sequence and never letting go, not even after its heart-stopping finale. Jordan Peele, formerly of "Key & Peele," proves himself an unexpected auteur and a vital voice on race in America. The film’s sleeper success not only proves that word-of-mouth and good marks from critics can drive a film to box office platinum, but that American audiences are in need of something smarter and deeper than what they typically get out of the Hollywood blockbuster. "Get Out" is an instant classic horror film, and absolutely essential viewing.

Honorable Mentions
"Brigsby Bear," "Super Dark Times," "The Big Sick," "Your Name," "mother!," "Baby Driver," "Dunkirk," "Wonder Woman," "Kong: Skull Island," "The Beguiled," "Blade Runner 2049," "Thelma" and "The Square."

James A. Molnar
TGK Editor

So many great films. So little time. While I wasn't able to see as many films in theaters as in the recent years, the ones I did see were engaging, memorable and revelatory.

The list I have compiled features some incredible films, but it is far from comprehensive.

My favorite films of the year brought in nostalgia and featured characters and relationships we will not soon forget. My favorite of the year spoke of finding someone with whom you can completely connect, but also spoke to just how fleeting life's experiences and opportunities can be.

Here are my Top 10 films of 2017:

10. "Lion"
While not released in 2017, I wanted to include this film because I deeply connected with it. "Lion" is an incredible journey from beginning to end that touches on the human spirit and weaves themes of home, identity and resilience, along with some incredible acting. Just make sure you bring the tissues.

9. "The Shape of Water"
What a beautiful, visual stunning story with heart and soul. While I cannot agree on some of the directorial choices, the art presented and story told will stay with you after the credits end.

8. "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
In what seems like a very divisive installment of the Star Wars saga among some fans, "The Last Jedi" stands out as one of the best. I loved all the twists and turns and the emotions were strong with this one.

7. "The Post"
I’ll never turn down a film about journalism, the freedom of the press and newspapers. My two favorite parts: Meryl Streep and the scenes featuring the printing press and typesetting.

6. "Spider-Man: Homecoming"
I have always enjoyed the Spider-Man story. He's a superhero that can have fun and with a little teenage drama, we get to see him grow up. This was so much fun and the villain is relatable, human and understandable.

5. "Blade Runner 2049"
I saw this film after an almost three-month hiatus from movie theaters courtesy of grad school. What I found was a sequel more thought-provoking than the first. I loved everything about this follow-up to the 1982 classic: the music, the visuals, the story, the acting. It’s worth all 164 minutes.

4. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
This film is not for everyone, but this deeply dark comedy features phenomenal performances, worthy of the awards their winning.

3. "Wonder Woman"
A gripping story with fantastic visuals and good heart, this was the superhero movie we needed. Gal Gadot shines as the titular character.

2. "Get Out"
What a twisted, well-crafted story! I avoided seeing this film for the longest time, fearing it would be too scary for this easily scared viewer. What I found was a compelling story where I couldn't look away, even if that cup of tea made my spine tingle.

1. "Call Me By Your Name"
Every year there is a film that reaches my emotional core and within the past year, there was one that really hit me. A European film with splashes of French and a quixotic countryside, "Call Me By Your Name" is simple in concept and complex in its execution. The film is set in an idyllic time and place without cell phones and constant distractions, a summer of sun, reading and culture. The coming-of-age drama features phenomenal performances and a sensuality on full display. There is a certain rapturous nostalgia about this film that stays with me and I can't wait to return to the Italian village of Crema for another viewing.

Thanks for reading! Join in on the discussion and share your thoughts and favorite films from 2017 by commenting on this post, on Facebook or by interacting with us on Twitter.




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The Gold Knight - Latest Academy Awards news and insight: Our Top 10 films of 2017
Our Top 10 films of 2017
The Gold Knight presents our Top 10 films of 2017 by our correspondent Jake and editor James.
The Gold Knight - Latest Academy Awards news and insight
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