- Blade Runner 2049
- The Killing of a Sacred Deer
- Phantom Thread
- The Shape of Water
As with my personal list of the bottom 10 films of the year, this list is solely determined by what happened to end up as the 10 highest-ranked films on my personal list. It wasn’t as if I started with a list of films I liked and had to pick 10 – this is just what fell into place over the course of the year.
I’ve decided to do something different this year and list my top 10 alphabetically rather than in ascending order of quality. First, because I don’t want to diminish the suspense regarding the outcome of my upcoming Film Awards, but second, because this is a very tight group of films, especially my top 5 (which you’ll discover soon enough). I could see several films ending up as my #1 of the year, given enough time and repeat viewings.
So I’ll do as King Arthur did (the actual King Arthur, not Charlie Hunnam and Guy Ritchie’s idea of Arthur) and invite these 10 films to sit at my table as equals. The point isn’t which one is the best – the point is that they’re all great.
The BAFTAs announced today. No major upsets (one mild surprise, though), but this awards race is getting interesting for reasons I’ll delve into…
Two film quotes come to mind:
One is from a good film. The other is from a film on this list. And this list represents the darkest cinematic nights of 2017…at least those I bore witness to.
I should note, I saw a lot fewer films this year than in previous years, and a lot fewer bad or even mediocre films. But a bottom 10 there had to be, and here they are.
The same rules apply to this list as to yesterday’s list. These are subjective choices, rooted in my perception of how well a film was received, and how well it should have been received. Many of these films got good reviews (there weren’t many films this year where I seriously diverged from the critical consensus, honestly), and a few of them were widely seen to one degree or another, but all of them, I think, deserved to be embraced more fully than they were.
It might be a less forceful word, but “underappreciated” might be more accurate for what these films are. And I hope you’ll either take a chance on them and appreciate them too…or you already have and will share them with someone who will.
The key word here is “my.” This list is purely subjective; these are the films which were praised, honored, and loved by others, but which left me cold, disappointed, or simply scratching my head. This was a trickier year than usual to compile this list, in part because I saw fewer films, but in part because there wasn’t a major critical/awards juggernaut I was itching to take down – there wasn’t a La La Land for me to vent about.
The overrated films of this year, for the most part, frustrated or disappointed in more complex ways, and so I hope this list is relatively light on bile; I felt most of these films were overrated because I saw how I felt they could be so much better – and too many fellow viewers didn’t see that or let it slide.