As I mentioned in my brief update post, due to personal matters I didn’t end up seeing anywhere near as many films this year as I have in previous years. As such, this top ten will probably lean a little harder on the big, mainstream blockbusters of the year than it has previously, though that’s also partly due to there being a far superior selection of them this year. As usual, I must begin with a few caveats; I’m choosing not to count last year’s big Oscar-contender movies that weren’t released worldwide until 2017 as there seems to be little point to it (though I feel the need to make a small exception). So there will be no Moonlight, no Manchester by the Sea, no Jackie, no Toni Erdmann and so on. They’ve had their due.
Similarly, the trend that seems to increase with every year I’ve been doing this is that so, so many of the critical darlings populating professional ‘best of the year’ lists simply have not been released outside of the US it would seem. It always happens. Without fail. I glanced at a post on Indiewire before writing this which compiled ‘The 50 Best Movies of 2017, According to Over 200 Film Critics’ – of those 50, almost half are completely unavailable to me. Here’s a sampling; Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Florida Project, The Shape of Water, The Post, I, Tonya, The Disaster Artist, and most importantly; Paddington 2. You get the idea. Some of these films are out in February for me, others not until April. On occasion I feel like these best-of lists are just taunting me, reeling off a load of supposedly brilliant films that you would only have been able to see if you were a professional US film critic. It sucks but, what can you do? Let’s look at what I actually was able to see.