The 50 Best Films Of 2017
25. Dunkirk | Director: Christopher Nolan | Language: English
Christopher Nolan’s monumental war-film “Dunkirk” is actually a tense, gripping, cinematic marvel that drenches you in a fight for survival. Without even showing an ounce of blood being spilled or ever getting a peek at the monster in hiding, the film replicates what it feels like on a battlefield. Technically sound, humane and rib-ticking tense this is filmmaking at it’s absolute daring best.
Highly Recommended: 10 Films To Watch If You Love Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk
24. Blade Runner 2049 | Director: Denis Villeneuve | Language: English
Existential questions get a fitting answer in Denis Villeneuve’s visual splendor – “Blade Runner 2049.” A cyberpunk odyssey that retells us the importance of memories, love & our existence in general. Seen through the eyes of someone who doesn’t truly understand why he is put on the planet, this beguiling sequel takes a cue from the original and builds walls, cells, and replicants of fakeness until all of them come crashing down on themselves.
Read The Complete Review of Blade Runner 2049 Here.
23. Good Time | Director: The Safdie Brothers | Language: English
Imagine Martin Scorsese’s terribly underrated “After Hours” with flickering neon dreams leading to a bad acid trip that wakes you up every 30 seconds. The Safdie Brother’s “Good Time” is an anxiety-inducing nightmare that is truly sensational for what it does to your nerves. Featuring Oneohtrix Point Never’s blistering musical score and an insane central performance by Robert Pattinson, the film is a chaotic experience that is hard to shake-off.
Read The Complete Review of Good Time Here.
22. A Quiet Dream | Director: Zhang Lu | Language: Korean
Focusing on a whimsical, almost-dead pan rom-com narrative, Zhang Lu’s “A Quiet Dream” investigates the quotidian lives of a group of people living in the poorer suburbs of Seoul. Shot in black-and-white and occasionally boosting a melancholic undertone, the film follows people who cope up with their social and geographical displacement only to live a life that doesn’t echo with their dreams. With minimalist visual motifs, realistic humor and an ideal social comment, the film becomes a lyrical ode to the everyday people. This ponderous comedy about misfits resonates deeply when you are willing to consider dreams as part of reality and reality as part of dreams.
Read The Complete Review of A Quiet Dream Here.
21. 120 Beats Per Minute | Director: Robin Campillo | Language: French
Well-acted, bold, brave and poignant to an extent of complete speechless numbness, Robin Campillo’s “120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)” is a moving portrayal of a time in history that changed the face of a community still fighting for the right to live as normal human beings. The activist in the film snap their fingers when they strongly agree or support an opinion, I snap my fingers to support this film, which, if not relevant enough, does happen to be extremely important.
Read The Complete Review of 120 Beats Per Minute Here
20. Princess Cyd | Director: Stephen Cone | Language: English
I would like to think that one of the essential parts in the process of growing up is, in fact, learning to understand that people have their own different taste, their own different pride and their own different and unique kinds of happiness. Chronicling the life of a 16-year-old visiting her author aunt, Stephen Cone’s “Princess Cyd” gets that feeling of understanding exactly right. Which makes this little film – A quite little wonder.
Related To 50 Best Films of 2017: 75 Best Movies of The 2010s Decade
19. Raw | Director: Julia Ducornau | Language: French
French film-maker Julia Ducornau’s Raw is a chilling body horror about the compromises of growing up. Filmed inside the walls of a veterinary school, the film juggles complicated matters faced by a young girl from the likes of presenting themselves to the world to discussing contemplative questions which differ a human from an animal. The social commentary is however wrapped deep under a cannibalistic horror fantasy that will soon be hailed as a modern horror masterpiece.
Read The Complete Review of Raw Here
18. By The Time It Gets Dark | Director: Anocha Suwichakornpong | Language: Thai
We have seen the very fabric of reality being turned upside down in films. Anocha Suwichakornpong’s “By the Time it Gets Dark” turns the reality in the film into a mystical, magical and meditative contemplation of film-making itself. With visual nods to well known contemporary Asian filmmakers like Wong Kar-wai & most importantly to Thai master filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Anocha’s film questions if it’s possible to make a historical film about a place that doesn’t have any history, whilst also providing a trippy, bewildering answer with her creation itself.
17. Western | Director: Valeska Grisebach | Language: German
Meinhard (Meinhard Neumann) who plays the protagonist in Valeska Grisebach’s slow-burning clash of male testosterone & cultural ideologies resembles the mustached stoic main-man in most Sergio Leone films. Riffling its title to encompass a varied number of juggling themes, genres and a sidelined border that still prevails in contemporary Europe, Grisebach’s film is a subtle, life-like documentations of a set of men (composing both sides of the language barrier) and the quotidian life that faces a cross-over when a horse, water-distribution & a young woman come into the mix. Refiguring the classic western motifs into a minimalistic story about masculine tension without losing so much as an iota of realism, Valeska Grisebach’s “Western” roots itself in a kind rootlessness that can only be witnessed and not explained.
Read The Complete Review of Wstern Here.
16. Suntan | Director: Argyris Papadimitropoulos | Language: Greek
“Suntan” is about a man who is disappointed with his life. Apart from seeing all his friends race past him and become successful, his life has become a sorry chore. Argyris Papadimitropoulos’s Suntan will burn your skin with darkness. A loaded, unforgiving portrayal of a man destroyed by a single passionate experience. A devastating character study where desire turns to obsession and loneliness beseech into destructive insanity. Featuring an Efthymis Papadimitriou at his best as a paranoid man who loses his sense of understanding to the excess of booze and another chance at youthfulness.
Related to 50 Best Films of 2017: The 50 Best Films of 2016
15. The Killing Of A Sacred Deer | Director: Yorgos Lanthimos | Language: English
Cementing himself as one of the greatest directors working today, the Greek New Wave solicitor Yargos Lanthimos’s latest outing is a bizarre, twisted & deader than deadpan comedy that questions traditional Greek mythology against the ever-nervous contemporary human condition and its veil, unpredictable nature. “The Killing of Sacred Deer” is about the shiny world that is hollow, horrific and horrendous from the inside.
Read The Complete Review of The Killing of Sacred Deer Here.
14. A Fantastic Woman | Director: Sebastián Lelio | Language: Spanish
Featuring one of the greatest central performances of 2017 by Daniela Vega, “A Fantastic Woman” is one of the most (if not the most important) films for the queer cinema canon. Disguised as a tender tale of seeking what is one’s own, Leilo’s film is about the essential need of bringing the gap between ignorance and understanding a little closer. It’s essentially a film about the struggle that its heroine has to face when grief-stricken, but at the end of the day, it’s about the love that holds her together.
13. Columbus | Director: Kogonada | Language: English
Video-essayist-turned-film-maker Kogonada’s “Columbus” is really about understanding the aesthetics of life. About understanding what holds us back and what really keeps us going. In only his first film, Kogonada beautifully orchestrated a film that understands how and why empty spaces & architectural backdrops are just as important as a single line of dialogue. The kind of humane, realistic portrayal that he shows with his two lost characters evokes the mastery of modern masters like the Japanese humanist film-maker Hirokazu Kore-eda & the warm sensory feeling of a Jim Jarmusch film.
Read The Complete Review of Columbus Here.
12. The Florida Project | Director: Sean Baker | Language: English
Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” shows the other side of America. The one that is poor and has a short-lived life with the rent always on due. Which makes it almost unbelievable when he shows it with such magical purity that you can’t help but feel rainbows floating above your head. Shown through the eyes of Little Moone, the film is a poignant and gorgeous coming of age drama in a place that is just 100 meters away from the Happiest Place on Earth.
11. All These Sleepless Nights | Director: Michal Marczak | Language: Polish
In Michal Marczak’s “All These Sleepless Nights”, two polish twenty-something are seen fleeting through Warsaw trying to fit into the vibrant youthful malice where loneliness feels like a curse. Playing himself, Krzysztof Baginski is Marczak’s trigger point into the lucid dreamlike life of the young. The twenties are mostly about a lot of things. Figuring life out and falling in and out of love is merely a part of it. Premiered at the Sundance film festival 2017, time seems to float seamlessly in Marczak’s film. Which is why these breakups, patch-ups, and fuckups feel more than just trivial things, they are essentially the times when we grow up.
Read The Complete Review Review of All These Sleepless Nights Here
10. Hotel Salvation | Director: Shubhashish Bhutiani | Language: Hindi
The film sheds a spiritual light on the seemingly dark path to inevitable oblivion. Shubhashish Bhutiani presents such a vivid sense of love, regrets, understanding and leaving things behind that, without much ado, you shed your soulless being and instantly lighten up. The film doesn’t just provide you with salvation, it gives your life and possible death a new meaning. A meaning that should be left to the understanding of the conscience and nothing more than that. “Mukti Bhawan” is an instant classic that will remain in my mind till I find myself in my own weary days.
Read The Complete Review of Hotel Salvation Here
9. White Sun | Director: Deepak Rauniyar | Language: Nepali
Satirizing the traditions and beliefs where the old are set against the new, “White Sun” observes the dilemma of well-rounded characters and their baggage with each other through death and change. It also observes the guilt, transformations, and freedom that something as stark as war can bring into some people’s life. With a light touch and absurd comic situations, Rauniyar’s film slowly and assuredly becomes an important piece of cinema which gives us an opportunity to look into the world we live in or should know about.
Read The Complete Review of White Sun Here.
8. On The Beach at Night Alone | Director: Hong Sang-Soo | Language: Korean
What’s really interesting about most Sang-Soo films is their meta nature of documenting and fixing what he possibly couldn’t fix in his own life. Which not only enhances the personal touch of the narrative but also make it a universally connective tissue for anyone who has gone through the ups and downs and the beginnings and ends of a relationship. With “On The Beach At Night Alone,” Sang-Soo makes us go through the most terrible heartbreak and leaves us with the feeling of being lost and found at the same time.
Read The Complete Review of On The Beach At Night Alone Here.
7. Thelma | Director: Joachim Trier | Language: Norwegian
Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier’s “Thelma” blends supernatural elements with human conflicts, existential dilemmas and the horrors of growing up. Tattered up with enchanting imagery and a great understanding of the dead bird inside every person who was forced to undergo normalcy, the film is a tale of female sexual awakening & constant repression due to religious ethics.
Read The Complete Review of Thelma Here.
6. Mother! | Director: Darren Aronofsky | Language: English
A chamber piece of biblical proportion, Darren Aronofsky’s maddeningly daring “mother!” is an allegory for the life of a creator and his grappling journey of creating, destroying and recreating while a search for loveable perfection takes a rundown towards the cults looking for their own interpretations. A heart-throbbing, pulsating and truly horrific comedy of errors, mother! is creative independence put into a barrel that is made by the same stuff that nightmares are made of!
Read The Complete Review of Mother! Here.
5. Loveless | Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev | Language: Russian
“Loveless” wanders helplessly in the hearts and consciousness of the characters in search of a sense of belonging and love. Andrey Zvyagintsev seeds the heart-wrenching drama in the modern day society plagued with impatient & pseudo love that is entirely consumed by selfish motives. Just like Leviathan that takes a closer look at the socio-political crack paving the path for eternal human suffering, Loveless delves into the shallow & superficial human consciousness where “love” exists only in Instagram posts.
Read The Complete Review of Loveless Here.
4. The Square | Director: Ruben Östlund | Language: Swedish
Weird for the sake of being weird, calm for the sake of being calm and absolutely stunning and batshit crazy for the sake of being stunning and batshit crazy, Ruben Östlund’s “The Square” is peculiarly well timed as it truly understands the state of an audience in the present times. Since the modern world is losing its time span to completely divulge in the cinematic medium, Östlund provides and feeds the onlookers with pieces of puzzling calamities – each of which is detailed to an extent of absolute clarity if noticed carefully.
Read The Complete Review of The Square Here.
3. A Ghost Story | Director: David Lowery | Language: English
David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story” is the single most unique film of 2017. An enchanting, endearing and heartbreaking film that provides an unforgettable sensory experience down a memory that we will probably never visit if this film didn’t exist. It’s about life, death, loss, tragedy, afterlife and all that can be stuffed in between it all. It’s a film that tells us that nothing matters but we still search for something wandering through every place that allows visitors.
Read The Complete Review of A Ghost Story Here.
2. Call Me By Your Name | Director: Luca Guadagnino | Language: English
Wildly hailed as a ‘Queer Masterpiece’, Comfort, elegance and a beautiful sense of sadness seep through every frame of Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name.” Which only makes us wish to stay with these sensually romanticized set of men, even longer. It is the type of romance that makes you want to believe in romance and a love story that carries that essential blessing out of every love story – self-growth. A film that dares you to desire the things that actually matter. A true achievement.
Read The Complete Review of Call Me By Your Name Here.
1. Phantom Thread | Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Language: English
This is not ‘chic’ Anderson, nor is just a display of elegant dresses and acute perfections. It’s a dreamy, fairytale-esque, fever dream that trends so close to being absolutely ordinary that you just might fall into its poisonous edges. This is not a traditional romance because none of the characters are traditionally simple. Woodcock is married to his work or as he puts it – to his dresses. Cyril is the one who is the boss and is in no shape or size seems to be interested in Reynolds’s moaning about not being able to concentrate on his work. And Alma – the seemingly straightforward waitress who is probably PTA’s most subversive, strong and fascinating female character till date. Coming to the film itself, PTA’s “Phantom Thread” strips down the idiosyncrasies of any person who claims to be absolutely strong – a possible concrete wall of workaholism and plays with the importance of love and the idea of settling down before exhausting oneself. A charming, beguiling and majestic ghost tale about love in the time of stubbornness.