Being an Indian student it becomes really difficult for me to catch up with every Non-Indian movie that comes to the screen. One reason is, of course, I’m busy as hell with my academic activities and the other is the unavailability of foreign films in my country. By the second fact I mean to imply that movies that released back in November of the previous year might get released in India in January or February of the current year. Moreover, not all such films are released all over India and are in fact done so in a few selected cities where the distributors can hope to gain audiences. Fair enough! The reason I’m telling you all of these is because I want you to know that I didn’t intend to make this list without watching the best of the films of the previous year (though there still are a few movies that I need to watch) and hence this delay for this listicle.
2017 may not have been the best of years across the globe but movies outside India did exhibit magnificent qualities. Films ranging across various genres made a positively profound impact on the audience and some even turned out to be masterpieces. There were movies which defied their genres and there were also many films which lured the audiences’ likeness by staying true to their category. Before the Oscars are awarded, let’s visit the 10 best films in the English language that were released in 2017 (that doesn’t take into account their release date in India).
Movies That I Need To See: –
All The Money In The World
Honourable Mentions: –
The Killing Of A Sacred Deer
Our Souls At Night
John Wick Chapter 2
10. Get Out
A completely trailblazing take on the issue of racism, Jordan Peele’s directional debut Get Out was the nail-biting experience lovers of the horror genre were thirsty for. Although the atmosphere of the film is eerie (not ghastly) from its very beginning, the fact that this feeling gets deeper and better with the passage of time is what makes Get Out even more entertaining and engrossing. I won’t be surprised if with the passage of time this flick will be named as one of the best of its genre even surpassing supernatural and ghost-oriented horror films.
9. The Shape Of Water
Well thought, beautifully directed, skilfully acted and wonderfully presented – is something that I’d like to use to convey my feelings for this film in a single phrase but if we go to the depths, The Shape Of Water has a lot more to it. It’s not just emotionally riveting but philosophically enriching as well and the excellent production values along with the terrific performances of the cast make it even more worthwhile. What makes this film great is its ability to enthral the viewer while convincing him/her about the innovativeness that the makers have incorporated to create this splendour.
Kathryn Bigelow might or might not ensure that her name and fame sells her film but it’s guaranteed that she provides the viewers with something unique every time. Probably this is the reason why I look forward to her directorial ventures and Detroit didn’t disappoint me in that respect. Portraying the brutality of racism in 1960s America during the Detroit riots, this film will make you go awe and cringe to its premise concurrently. Immaculately written, boldly directed and excellently acted, it can easily get on your nerves and have a tremendous effect as a result of its unabashed vicious portrayal of race discrimination in the society.
7. The Florida Project
It isn’t just the portrayal of the underrepresented population of America but the connection it makes to the viewer’s heart is what makes The Florida Project beautiful. It’s realistic ameliorates its impact is the performances of the cast typically Willem Dafoe, Bria Vinaite and the kids. It’s really difficult to explain what you like or don’t about this flick because its magnificence can be understood only upon viewing it. Now it might make you wince at times but it’s a film that you’ll remember for long for being humane and heartfelt.
There’s no doubt that Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is a masterpiece and is widely considered to be one of the best sci-fi films of all times. Given its stellar reputation, I had extremely low expectation from this sequel and I got to admit that Blade Runner 2049 didn’t just prove me wrong but also left me startled. A perfect continuation of the 1982 classic, its breath-taking cinematography, compelling plot and of course flawless direction, make it a visual spectacle and more connective to the audience. It’s easily one of the greatest sequels to have ever been made and even better than the original film as well.
5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
We rarely find movies where there’s no clear line between the good and the evil and the audience, sympathises with both the sides at different times. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is one of such gems which not only captures the pain of the denial of justice but articulately convinces about its reasons while touching the imperfections in human characters with perfection. No character is white or black or right or wrong in the film and everyone showcases different aspects of theirs in shades of grey. Its writing is impeccable and so are its performances but its strength lies in its philosophical undertones which makes you question your conscience and ideologies at times. Its impact is guaranteed to stay longer on the viewer’s mind long after it concludes.
4. Lady Bird
Simplicity can easily touch the heart of millions and when movies are real-to-the-world, the audience finds several moments which they profoundly connect to their lives. Lady Bird isn’t just a tale of the disturbed relationship of a rebellious daughter and her strong-headed mother, it’s an insight to the struggles that every person faces on a day to day basis in different stages of life. The turbulence that the protagonist and her mother share is very true to our real world and debutant director Greta Gerwig has shown the generation gap perfectly which becomes even better by the performances of Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. Sweet as well as bitter at times, one can relish this film for perfectly portraying what it means to grow up and what it means to help someone grow up.
Christopher Nolan and his mastery of what he does need no introduction. I remember watching this film in the hall and at the end, every audience member gave it a standing ovation and rightly so! With Dunkirk, Nolan defied the generic way of making war movies and gifted us an unprecedented experience by doing away with melodrama and politics of war. The film was a technical extravaganza and not only Nolan but the entire team impressed us with their excellence in their respective fields. It keeps tension at the screaming point till its end and is easily one of the best war-thrillers that have ever been made.
2. Darkest Hour
The kind of premise Darkest Hour has, it’s understood if it were a bit draggy and boring at times which I had even expected it to be. But I don’t know why I didn’t even budge while watching it and was hooked to my seat for its entire 125 minutes’ runtime. As obvious Gary Oldman has given a spectacular performance which is arguably his career-best but the film’s magnificence doesn’t stay limited to just its protagonist. Its pacing, storyline, dialogues and of course direction, were spotless and the justice it imparts to various other important historical characters is praiseworthy. What probably makes Darkest hour great is its ability to get the audience more and more involved with its narrative as the story unfolds without the usage of any elements of thrill. That’s something most movies (even most great movies) can’t accomplish.
Every year we come across movies that we like or dislike, love or hate but very few times in our entire lives are we introduced to films which entirely change our perception of cinema – Logan is one of such movies to me! It’s hard to plan as to where to start and what to write about Logan because it’s more than just a movie; it’s a bundle of emotions that we deal with every aspect of life. Never had I ever thought that superhero movies could go realistic and none have been as humane as this James Mangold directorial, not even The Dark Knight series. Its all-around excellence in almost every department, be it acting, directing, writing, cinematography, actions, editing, score, etc is not the only thing that makes it awesome. What renders it even more powerful is the fact that in spite of being a part of a well-defined and popular cinematic universe, Logan defies the rules of its very genre and stands on its own feet far away from this universe. Every time we see a superhero film, we wish to have superhero powers and save the world but Logan is probably the only film that had me wishing otherwise because of its brutal portrayal of the consequences of violence (as contrary to the glorification of the same in other superhero films) and the irreversibility of death. Logan is not about saving the world but about accepting the imperfections of life and love. It’s not just the greatest superhero movie of all time but is hands down, one of the best films ever made.