- The Pearl of Africa (dir. Jonny von Wallström)
“Yesterday my balls were hard.” “The mic is on.”
It seems unbelievable to me that a film with such a capacity to warm hearts as this has been seen by so pitifully few.
- OJ: Made in America (dir. Ezra Edelman)
“I’m not black, I’m O.J.”
It’s long, and long, and long, and long, and enthralling for every second, and while I struggle with the notion of it being cinema (particularly as I’ve found in the months that followed my viewing, I’ve thought of it less as a complete, revisitable package), it’s certainly a glorious thing.
- 20th Century Women (dir. Mike Mills)
It’s definitively a man trying out feminism, but also… it makes no bones about literally being about a man trying out feminism. Hooray for hangout movies!
- Colossal (dir. Nacho Vigalondo)
“Hi. She’s the monster, I’m the robot.”
Literally the most amount of metaphors that have ever been squeezed into a single movie, yet somehow it doesn’t explode into a fiery mess – it coheres into something definitely true.
- I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (dir. Macon Blair)
“That’s not your lawn tiger”
Like Jeremy Saulnier, if he in any way cared about his characters – perhaps because it’s made by one of his characters.
- Christine (dir. Antonio Campos)
“Why can’t you all just listen to me?”
Criticise its worth all you want, but sometimes a painfully accurate portrait of mental illness is valuable simply because it’s a painfully accurate portrait of mental illness.
- Wonder Woman (dir. Patty Jenkins)
“What I do is not up to you”
Just like everybody else: I never thought I’d cry at an action scene.
- Their Finest (dir. Lone Scherfig)
“Authenticity, optimism, and a dog!”
Lone Scherfig movies are like cuddling up with a blanket by a fire, and in this case that blanket was stained with floods of tears.
- Always Shine (dir. Sophia Takal)
“We’re gonna die out here, and it’s your fault
I don’t know what the fuck happened, but it was good.
- Cameraperson (dir. Kirsten Johnson)
“Is it ok if I film you?
A piece of work that is vital and all encompassing in ways I cannot even begin to describe.
- Free Fire (dir. Ben Wheatley)
“Watch and Vern”
2017 made me believe again in the power that action movies have to sweep me off my feet in glee.
- Catfight (dir. Onur Tukel)
“My spirit is broken. My heart is filled with hate. I have nothing left but to destroy you.”
The most 2017 of 2017 movies. It’s like, so 2017. 2017.
- Okja (dir. Bong Joon-ho)
“Such a shame we had to tell all those little white lies”
A film so harrowing that it had me – on the verge of tears – whimpering “Okja?” to pieces of raw meat on supermarket shelves.
- Baby Driver (dir. Edgar Wright)
“You’re either tough as nails, or scared as shit. So which is it?”
BELLBOTTOMS!!!!! BELLBOTTOMS!!!!! BELLBOTTOMS!!!!!
- John Wick: Chapter Two (dir. Chad Stahelski)
“A fucking pencil”
Yeah, a fucking pencil.
- The Fits (dir. Anna Rose Holmer)
“Must we choose to be slaves to gravity?”
Each frame, beat, look, is some kind of perfection.
- Certain Women (dir. Kelly Reichardt)
“I just knew that if I didn’t start driving I wouldn’t see you again. Didn’t want that.”
Three unconnected stories that complement each other simply because they are about three people experiencing similar loneliness who would never notice that in the other if they were to meet, and never reach out. They are weary, and unable to steer away from an inevitable path.
- LoveTrue (dir. Alma Har’el)
“You’ve got your whole life ahead of you baby. That’s what I would have told myself if I was 25.”
You’ll probably miss this, but DON’T MISS THIS.
- Tower (dir. Keith Maitland)
“One of the truths I learned… is that there are monsters that walk among us”
A startling experience that grows from a single seed into a web of artistry and humanity that is impossible to look away from.
- Raw (dir. Julia Ducournau)
“Don’t start the year by chickening out. They’re watching.”
Julia Ducournau is here, and she’s ready to party.
- Silence (dir. Martin Scorsese)
“Am I just praying to silence?”
I will probably never watch this again, and I’m fine with that. My experience with Silence is preserved in amber.
- Manchester by the Sea (dir. Kenneth Lonergan)
“I can’t beat it”
- Personal Shopper (dir. Olivier Assayas)
“Or is it just me?”
Ghosts are killing it this year (just you wait for the Rooney-Mara-eats-a-pie movie).
- La La Land (dir. Damien Chazelle)
“I guess I’ll see you in the movies”
Don’t get me started on the over-simplified view of La La Land espoused by the film watching masses. No, really, don’t get me started. This whole ordeal is over and we should be grateful never to talk of it again.
- Moonlight (dir. Barry Jenkins)
“In moonlight, black boys look blue”
The decade’s greatest cinematic achievement thus far.