Best movies we watched in 2017, from 'Lady Bird' to 'Dunkirk'

Despite dire prognostications about the future of cinema, a lot of great movies were released in 2017.

The best evidence of that fact is that excellent films ranging from “Get Out” to “The Disaster Artist,” “Faces Places” and “Foxtrot” couldn’t even make the cut for our list of the best 10 we watched this year.

Use this as a weekend movie marathon guide.

1. ‘The Florida Project’

This is the movie of the moment, capturing something essential about childhood in its story of a 6-year-old girl living a happy and carefree existence in a rundown motel on the outskirts of Disney World, blissfully unaware of the dire circumstances facing her and her mother. It's a naturalistic masterpiece from writer-director Sean Baker that also serves as a searing indictment of the ever-worsening income inequality that defines life in 21st century America.

3. ‘Dawson City: Frozen Time’

Here is a documentary about nothing less than the illuminating, timeless power of cinema itself and, specifically, decayed nitrate stock as a vessel for experiencing the past. It's constructed out of long-forgotten silent film clips discovered in the Yukon Territory.

4. ‘The Post’

Steven Spielberg's radical rejoinder to the Trump administration -- a tribute to the power of journalism and a strong, independent woman able to make a big decision her male colleagues can't.


6. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’

An extraordinary movie from writer-director Martin McDonagh that's infused with a deep and hopeful belief in the human capacity for redemption, mixed with scenes of gruesome violence and unchecked anger.

7. ‘Stronger’

A story of personal growth and amazing physical recovery in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, without a single false note of cheap patriotism or sentimentality, David Gordon Green's best film in years also features one of Jake Gyllenhaal's finest performances, as survivor Jeff Bauman.

8. ‘Personal Shopper’

A Paris-set ghost story that trades in notes of isolation and sadness rather than obvious scares, Olivier Assayas' film starring Kristen Stewart as a woman mourning her dead brother resonates on a deep emotional level.

9. ‘Call Me By Your Name’

This is the year's finest romance, a beautiful, heartbreaking story of first love that unfolds in the dreamlike setting of Northern Italy, circa 1983 and captures so much that's true in the romance between a young man (Timothée Chalamet) and the older student (Armie Hammer) spending the summer with his family.

10. ‘Lady Bird’

Greta Gerwig's lovely, Sacramento-set coming of age movie stands out for two reasons: It's made with a specificity of vision that's the mark of a major director and it captures the understated complexities of the mother-daughter relationship at its center with aplomb.