My Favorite Films of 2017

Last year I listed my favorite films of 2016 and I thought I'd do this again for 2017. I revisited by 150+ films I saw and reviewed in 2017 and here are the films I enjoyed the most. The listing is in order of when I saw them in 2017. Julieta: Pedro Almodovar created a thoughtful and wonderful film about a woman’s life. Using flashbacks and her daughter's absence, Almodovar shows us how life becomes complicated and filled with new questions the older she gets.

Paterson:  A very sweet story about a bus driver, his wife and the small town they live in. Jim Jarmusch wrote and directed this effort.

The Founder:  This is the story about Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), the founder of McDonalds. Keaton brought an energetic style that was very engaging.

Hidden Figures:  A powerful film about how women, black women, helped solve the complex problems of our space program while pushing for racial equity.

Get Out:  This film starts out one way, and lo and behold, it turns out to be a great horror mystery. Jordan Peele made this very interesting film with crystal clarity. Daniel Kaluuya as the main character Chris was phenomenal.

I Am Not Your Negro:  The most powerful documentary this year. James Baldwin was a man with an amazing ability to articulate race.

Land of Mine (Under Sandet):  Extremely tense and strong story about how after WWII, the Germans were made to de-mine 2,000,000 on Denmark’s beaches.

Gifted:  I liked the thoughtful engagement of the roles in this wonderfully acted film.

The Zookeeper’s Wife:  Jessica Chastain shines in this great story about how she and her husband saved Jews from being killed by the Germans.

Their Finest:  Another WWII film that shows yet another aspect of how the British fought for their island against Hitler.

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent:  I loved this one especially because I ate at his "Stars" restaurant numerous times and watched the Jeremiah show while eating some of the best food that passed my palet.

Norman:  I loved Richard Gere as a New York fixer, who tries to put people together hopefully to make a profit in the end.

Megan Levy:  Being a dog owner, how could I not love this story.

My Cousin Rachel:  Rachel Weisz is powerfully convincing in this role of deceit.

I, Daniel Blake:  This heart filled story is about how a working bloke can get screwed by a system that is supposed to help him.

Dunkirk:  My best film of the year. This tells the story of escape in a way that fully engages the audience. The power of the story over the character, makes the audience feel the danger.

City of Ghosts:  If you want to know how some Syrians fought ISIS (Desh), watch this film and learn.

The Last Dalai Lama:  Having met his holiness in Dharamsala, I was captured by this story from the opening title till the end credit.

The Big Sick:  Great acting telling a funny and deeply touching story.

Baby Driver:  I love films that have good driving and this one was great to watch.

Wind River:  Superb acting brings this crime and mystery film alive.

Brigsby Bear:  Very odd story brought to life with poignant acting.

Detroit:  One of the best films this year. Kathryn Bigelow brings this true story to life. I'm saddened that Bigelow didn't get a director nomination for this superb effort.

Battle of the Sexes:  Loved the story and how pulled back the curtains of they very public true event. Emma Stone and Steve Carell made this film live.

Polina:  I love the ballet and dance, and here we get to see a young women find her way the world of dance all the way from Moscow to the the west..

The Florida Project:  This film is shot so realistically, it felt more like a documentary. Powerful story.

Goodbye Christopher Robin:  Although I’ve never been a Winnie the Pooh fan, this film made the story powerful. Touching dialogue all the way through.

Horn from the Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story:  Having listened to and seen Paul play, I fell in love, again, with this enigmatic man’s ability to make music.

Lady Bird:  I love watching Saoirse Ronan act in anything, and here she is nothing short of amazing. This performance shows, yet again, why Ronan is the best young actress we have today.

Novitiate:  This film was barely seen. This is sad because it was fantastic. The look into how a young woman chooses to become a nun is insightful. There are so many powerful scenes played out by amazing performances, it is a must see.

I, Tonya:  This was one of the joys of 2017 was watching this film. Great acting by Margo Robbie and Allison Janney.

The Shape of Water:  Excellent performances bring this darkly sadistic green tinted film to life in full color.

The Disaster Artist:  Who knew that a film about the worst film ever made, would be so good.

Darkest Hour:  This film includes the finest performance by a male actor in a leading role, Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. I would rank his performance as one of the best I've ever seen.

Wonder:  This was one of the most emotionally touching films this year. I saw this film twice and cried more the second time than the first.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri:  Dynamic performances by Francis McDormand and Sam Rockwell are only part of the reason why this film is so talked about.