Top 17 Films of 2017: A List by Ashley Menzel

Top 17 Films of 2017: A List by Ashley Menzel

In 2017, I’ve seen so many wonderful, inspiring, and amazing films that cutting it down to only seventeen films is extremely difficult, but I persevered. The following is a list of my Top 17 films of 2017 in order.

17. A Cure for Wellness

Not a film that a lot of people expect to be on the best of the year, but for me, it was spectacular and has stuck with me since the first time I saw it. The film is visually striking and has incredible music by Benjamin Wallfisch that creates a truly unique and enchanting atmosphere. Dane DeHaan is spectacular and thrilling in A Cure for Wellness. Check out the trailer, and if you’re the least bit intrigued, you must check it out!

16. Their Finest 

A beautiful nod to the magic that is cinema, Their Finest combines two of my favorite topics, filmmaking, and World War II history. Their Finest is a playful nod to filmmaking with performances that are intriguing, emotional and on point. The humor hits best with people who know about the business but is a true joy to watch.

15. Beauty and the Beast 

I can’t deny that Beauty and the Beast (1991) was one of my favorite films of all time so the anticipation I had for this remake was extremely high and it didn’t disappoint. The film perfectly captures everything that is Disney magic and transports me back to the years I spent as a child watching the 1991 version.

14. Colossal

Colossal is a spectacle with fantastic filmmaking, storytelling,  performances, and humor. It is beautiful and heartbreakingly raw, while still managing to make you laugh and take a look inward at ourselves.

13. Catfight

Catfight is an unapologetically satirical film that is certainly not for everyone but is creative, stunning and a total blast. The bias presented in the film will be a turn-off for some, but if you have a good sense of humor about the ridiculous society in which we live, take a seat and enjoy Catfight.


12. Baby Driver

Easily one of the most fun films of the year, Baby Driver is meticulously crafted to create a spectacular film that is both riveting and an incredible cinematic experience. Edgar Wright has made pure magic with Baby Driver which is a non-stop thrill ride from beginning to end.

11. Tragedy Girls 

Tragedy Girls is not for the faint of heart, but the payoff is huge. A pointed message about our social media obsession, it is both hilarious and horrifying in its presentation, and I’ve seen nothing else like it.

10. Darkest Hour

Home to one of the year’s best performances, Darkest Hour is both tense and inspiring chronicling a critical point in world history and the life of Winston Churchill.

9. Band-Aid

Band-Aid is a wonderful, relatable and realistic story of the struggles a couple must face together after a loss. Adam Pally and Zoe Lister-Jones are pure magic together on screen. They give us the story of a married couple in all their beautiful and flawed glory, solidifying that it is not just you, all marriages are insane. Zoe Lister-Jones as the triple threat, director, actress, and writer is a force and gives us one of the best romantic comedies in years!

8. The Big Sick 

The Big Sick is a love story for the ages with the perfect amount of humor and heart. Kumail Nanjiani carries a lot of the story with ease, and the humor is spot on.

7. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women 

A film unlike any other, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women takes an unconventional relationship and handles it with such care and consideration. It is a love story at its core with intelligent characters and writing. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is spectacular, emotionally riveting, and a beautiful tribute to unconventional love.

6. Lady Bird 

There are few films that I have watched more than once this year, but somehow I’ve watched Lady Bird three different times and every time it gets better and better. At the core, it is a story about a young girl growing up in the early 2000s, but it has so many layers that reach beyond that to mothers and daughters and fathers and so much more. Greta Gerwig has created a spectacularly intelligent and beautiful film that is sure to stand the test of time.

In the Fade

5. In the Fade

Films like In the Fade are why I always tell people to deal with subtitles and watch a foreign film. The story is heartbreaking and poignant and begs to be felt. It is emotional and enticing and will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The honest and blunt dialogue along with spectacular performances by Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell make Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri a must-see film.

3. The Greatest Showman 

A late watch of this film has left me shocked that it cracked the top 10 of my films of the year. The Greatest Showman hits the ground running from the first 30 seconds until the very end. It is an inspirational pull yourself up by the bootstraps story coupled with fantastic music and dancing. The Greatest Showman needs to be experienced!

2. The Shape of Water 

Every aspect of The Shape of Water works together to create a memorable and fantastical world with rich characters and a classic story. Del Toro takes a fairy tale theme and makes it 100% for adults. The Shape of Water is visually spectacular, and a gift to the world of cinema and a beautiful must-see treat for Del Toro fans.

1. Molly’s Game 

Molly’s Game is a fantastic film with the perfect mélange of smart writing, directing, and phenomenal acting.  Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut is a triumph and has solidified his place in Hollywood as one of the best writers of our time. Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba give electrifying performances and make Molly’s Game the best film of the year!

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