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10 Great Movies From 2017 You May Have Missed

27 November 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Mike Gray

Wind River

2017 has seen a great number of films released: big-budget blockbusters, sleeper hits, indie masterpieces, and (of course) a few truly terrible films. But there is only so much time in the day to watch movies, and watching new films, in particular, can end up being rather expensive.

But which films truly deserve your hard-earned money and time? After all, going into a film blind is always a dicey prospect, and–more often than not–films end up being only so-so instead of living up to one’s expectations. To help steer you in the right direction for which latest films are worth your time, here are 10 great movies from 2017 you may have missed so far this year.

 

1. A Ghost Story

A musician dies and finds himself as a ghost taking the form of a white sheet with two eye holes, like a low-budget Halloween costume. Instead of moving on to the afterlife, he returns to his home and watches over his grieving wife. But time moves faster for ghosts relative to the living, and soon enough the wife moves out of the house and new occupants take over.

The ghost watches their lives in the house as time moves forward at an accelerated rate. Eventually it’s the distant future and the ghost is suddenly back in the 19th century, in the same spot where his house would be built. Standing there for decades, he waits until he and his wife move into the house, where he watches their relationship play out.

A Ghost Story is a fascinating, unique film that hasn’t quite been done before. With the narrative following a mute ghost in the shape of a featureless white sheet (played by Casey Affleck) and speeding back and forth through time, A Ghost Story is a meditation on loss, love, and time. Having garnered critical acclaim and making a tidy profit at the box office, this low-budget indie is something unexpected and terrific to watch.

 

2. Lady Bird

Coming-of-age films are practically their own genre: stories that detail the awkward ups and downs of adolescence and growing up have been around for decades and often become variations on a theme. But Lady Bird is unique in many respects. Christine (who demands to be called Lady Bird) is a high school senior struggling with poverty and her difficult family as she tries to find a way out of her unsatisfactory situation in life.

Tinged with a bittersweet sadness, Lady Bird’s emotional core is the strained relationship between mother and daughter, who love each other but are both similarly strong-willed, coming into conflict between Lady Bird’s ambitions for her future and her mother’s realistic and even bitter realism. Portraying a poverty-stricken teenager in coming-of-age films is a rarity, Lady Bird deals with the socio-economic realities teenagers commonly find themselves in but are scarcely portrayed on-screen.

Lady Bird is actress Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut and on her first try she made one of the most memorable films of the year. With a winning performance by Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird and Laurie Metcalf as her mother, and featuring bracing scenes of drama that highlight the strain economic circumstances can put on a family’s relationships with each other, Lady Bird is a coming-of-age drama unlike any other before.

 

3. Mudbound

Mudbound

Starting in 1939, Mudbound is the story of two men—one white, one black—and their experiences before, during, and after World War II in rural Mississippi. While in Europe during the war, Ronsel Jackson appreciates how he is treated as an equal by the white population, while Jamie suffers from PTSD from battle.

Upon returning home, Ronsel is disgusted by how he’s treated as a second-class citizen once again while Jamie struggles to readjust to life, becoming an alcoholic in the process. He and Ronsel become friends, which displeases Jamie’s racist father, while Ronsel learns his girlfriend in Germany has given birth to their child. These events culminate in both tragedy and release.

Mudbound is a detailed snapshot of a particular period in American history, the post-WWII South, where returning black soldiers found themselves facing the same discrimination and hatred they had left behind, only now with the experience of being treated as an equal in wartime Europe. Well-acted and directed with first-rate finesse, Mudbound is a drama that uncovers some unsettling truths of recent American history that most would rather forget entirely.

 

4. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

the-killing-of-a-sacred-deer-trailer-social

A cardiac surgeon develops a mentor-like role to Martin, a troubled young man whose father had died a few years before. Although the surgeon does not know much about the boy, he seems driven to help him in some way.

As Martin becomes more familiar with the surgeon’s family, including beginning to date his daughter, the members of the family all begin to suffer from odd symptoms, including losing their ability to use their legs and suddenly being unable to ingest food. Martin then reveals that his father died during surgery that the surgeon had performed on him, and that the surgeon must choose one of his family members to die to “balance” things out. This leads to the disintegration of the family as the choice is made.

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, whose previous films Dogtooth and The Lobster had placed him firmly as the lead director in the “weird wave” of Greek cinema, The Killing of a Sacred Deer continues to follow the director’s idiosyncratic style, with the family suffering from some sort of degenerative curse that’s put on them and the extreme choice the surgeon father has to make to save the rest of his family.

The film’s odd style, which includes strange patterns of speech and the series of bargains and transactions that the characters communicate through, is unnerving, which is appropriate for one of the most unnerving films of the year.

 

5. God’s Own Country

God’s Own Country

Johnny is a young man that works his family’s farm in Yorkshire, England. With his friends away at university, he has little to do but work, drink at the local pub, and engage in random sexual encounters. But this all changes when his family hires extra help for the upcoming lambing season and a Romanian man named Gheorghe comes to work on the farm. The two strike up a romance, with Gheorghe breaking down the emotional walls Johnny had built up around him. However, Johnny’s father doesn’t approve of the relationship, and Johnny is also conflicted at the prospect of love in his life.

God’s Own Country was the only UK-based film represented in the world drama category at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and it’s one of the year’s finest films. Quiet and meditative, God’s Own Country takes its time detailing loneliness and intimacy, creating a moving film and–a relationship worth giving a damn about to watch–in the process.

 

 

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  • Mortimer

    Good list.

    I’ll (probably) say something unpopular here but… I’m getting a bit tired of coming-of-age movies. Yeah, some of them turn out to be very good (even great) but do we really need them like…every year ? Sometimes I feel like I’m watching a different package but the same story all over again. It’s probably the most relatable of all genres to the general audiences but also the most cliché-ridden at the same time.

    • AmazingAmy

      Minority opinion, I felt Lady Bird quite average…
      My best film this year so far are Shape of Water, Mother! , BPM, Fantastic Woman and Three Billboards.

      I Tonya, Wonder Woman and Blade of Runner are most overhyped and overrated one.

      CMBYN is good but i always prefer BB or Moonlight ( i dont like the actors beside Sthulbarg)

      And marvel movies boring and same old recipe as usual

      • Mortimer

        Haven’t seen ‘Lady Bird’ yet but many people online share your opinion about it (4 out of 5 at most).

        I actually like ‘Blade Runner 2049’; I’m only not sure why this movie exists in the first place 😀 And some people calling it better than original is hilarious.

        What is BB ? As a coming-of-age drama I prefer ‘Moonlight’ over ‘Boyhood’. Not seen CMBYN yet but idk…Armie Hammer was always kinda “meh” actor (with his “goofy” style of acting) to me in everything I’ve seen him in.

        • AmazingAmy

          Brokeback Mountain sire

        • AmazingAmy

          Brokeback Mountain Sir

          • Mortimer

            Ah yes, I expected BM initials for it instead of BB 🙂

        • grootrm

          It is hilarious to see fanboys of the original Blade Runner claim the original is better.

          In every possible metric, the sequel exceeds the original.

          • espaguetialabolognesa

            LOL no.

          • grootrm

            Prove it wrong.

            Good luck!

          • espaguetialabolognesa

            They are work of arts. How can you measure an ideological product as such to decide better/worse relations? Nonetheless, the second part is a sequel, a derivative product, so it wouldn’t exist without the first, thus, through a strictly materialistic approach, the second part is inferior.

      • X Y

        *can you please effin write the titles of the movies in full?! Thank you.

        • AmazingAmy

          Call me by your name
          BB : Brokeback Mountain
          BPM :Beats Per Minute

  • Zwei

    Estiu 1993

  • Very good list. So many films I still need to see.
    Goddman I love Wind River. I know it’s not perfect, but it holds a place in my heart

    • Andrey Edward

      i have the same feeling, is not perfect but this film makes me remember why i love movies and i always will.

  • Andrey Edward

    Paint It Black
    Super Dark Times
    The Villainess
    M.F.A.
    Shortwave
    Brawl In Cell Block 99

    • espaguetialabolognesa

      Villainess is one of the best action films in recent years.

  • Chrisychipz

    Raw, Good Time, A Taxi Driver, The Square, Brawl in Cell Block 99. All great films

  • grootrm

    God’s Own Country was boring

  • Bergkamp

    Have any of you guys seen DETROIT, from miss Bigelow? It’s on my pending movies list from this year.

  • Heber

    The Wizard of Lies with De Niro and Pfeiffer was great