The 50 top films of 2017 in the US: the full list

The 50 top films of 2017 in the US: the full list

A heartrending coming-of-age love story tops our assessment of the best films on US screens over the past year, pipping a kid’s-eye view of Florida, political intrigue, dystopian futures and nightmarish presents


Call Me By Your Name

Beautiful, sundrenched romance directed by A Bigger Splash’s Luca Guadagnino, chronicling the affair a teenager (Timothée Chalamet) and a visiting American grad student (Armie Hammer) in 1980s Italy. Read the full review


The Florida Project

Follow-up to Tangerine by director Sean Baker, here offering a kids’-eye-view of unconventional family life in a motel on the outskirts Walt Disney World. Read the full review


Get Out

Politically inflected horror film featuring Daniel Kaluuya as the African American boyfriend whose trip to meet his Caucasian girlfriend’s family becomes a gruesome nightmare. Read the full review.


Phantom Thread

Magisterial (and possibly final) turn from Daniel Day Lewis as a postwar British fashion designer, directed with customary grandeur by Paul Thomas Anderson. Read the full review.


Lady Bird

Much-admired directorial debut by Frances Ha’s Greta Gerwig, starring Saoirse Ronan as a high-schooler looking to escape dreary California for the Big Apple. Read the full review

Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.
Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird. Photograph: Moviestore/Rex/Shutterstock


The Post

Spielberg’s heavyweight discussion of media ethics and whistleblowing, with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep as Washington Post bigwigs agonising over the publication of the celebrated Pentagon papers. Read the full review


The Shape of Water

Surreal fantasy from Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro, in which lowly lab worker Sally Hawkins befriends and falls for a strange amphibious being kept captive at a military installation. Read the full review


Blade Runner 2049

Hugely ambitious, wildly atmospheric sequel to Ridley Scott’s influential 1982 sci-fi noir, with Ryan Gosling the cop charged with hunting down rogue replicants. Read the full review

Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049. Photograph: Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock


A Ghost Story

Bizarrely and brilliantly conceived “post-horror” film in which car accident victim Casey Affleck haunts his old house (occupied by wife Rooney Mara) wearing a crude white sheet with eyeholes. Read the full review


Lady Macbeth

Superbly realised reimagining of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, with Florence Pugh outstanding as the 19th-century wife who falls for a lowly, mixed-race estate worker. Read the full review



Extraordinary fever dream of horror and dismay, starring Jennifer Lawrence and directed by Darren Aronofsky, that practically defines the term “critically divisive”. Read the full review



Christopher Nolan’s massive-scale take on the Dunkirk evacuation of the “little boats”, filmed with panache and heartfelt national pride. Read the full review

Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard and Fionn Whitehead in Dunkirk.
Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard and Fionn Whitehead in Dunkirk. Photograph: AP


God’s Own Country

Raw, unsentimental gay romance set in the Yorkshire dales, in which an unhappy farmer’s son begins a relationship with a Romanian seasonal worker. Read the full review


The Meyerowitz Stories

Enjoyable pseudo-literary comedy drama from Noah Baumbach, with Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler attempting to shore up their ageing artist dad’s fragile ego. Read the full review



Gruesome arthouse horror from French first-timer Julia Ducournau, in which a vet student is subjected to hazing rituals which repel then fascinate her with flesh. Read the full review

Garance Marillier in Raw
Garance Marillier in Raw Photograph: Allstar/UIP


Good Time

Robert Pattinson shows off his indie chops as a New York street hustler in this thrillride of a 70s-referencing crime yarn from the Safdie brothers. Read the full review


Heal the Living

Mysterious, beautifully-shot film from French director Katell Quillévéré, about a mosaic of lives connected and affected by an organ transplant operation. Read the full review


Personal Shopper

Kristen Stewart is outstanding in her second collaboration with French director Olivier Assayas, playing a fashion industry gofer who thinks she is being haunted. Read the full review


I Am Not Your Negro

Eye-opening, Oscar-nominated documentary from director Raoul Peck, focusing on writer James Baldwin’s role in the 1960s civil rights struggle. Read the full review

James Baldwin, centre, from I Am Not Your Negro
James Baldwin, centre, from I Am Not Your Negro


The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman star in the latest bizarre fable from Yorgos (The Lobster) Lanthimos, about a heart surgeon who becomes obsessed with a teenage boy. Read the full review



Keenly observed, brilliantly performed account of back-scratching and petty corruption in Romania by 4 Months director Cristian Mungiu. Read the full review


The Lost City of Z

Interestingly paced account of real-life explorer Percy Fawcett’s obsession with the Amazon jungle, and his quest for the fabled city during the imperial shenanigans of the period. Read the full review

The Lost City of Z
The Lost City of Z Photograph: Allstar/Studiocanal



Angry and euphoric account of French activist group ACT UP, campaigning to increase awareness of Aids in a complacent and homophobic 1980s. Read the full review



Bleak, heartfelt account by director Dee Rees of racial division and segregation in the immediate postwar years, snapped up by Netflix. Read the full review

Rob Morgan and Jason Mitchell in Mudbound.
Heartfelt … Rob Morgan and Jason Mitchell in Mudbound. Photograph: Allstar/Netflix


I, Daniel Blake

Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winning fable of the benefits labyrinth afflicting the UK’s poorest people, with a superbly authentic performance from Dave Johns at its centre. Read the full review


War for the Planet of Apes

Unexpectedly impressive third instalment in the Apes reboot series, with Andy Serkis’s Caesar facing off against human warmonger Woody Harrelson. Read the full review

Andy Serkis’s Caesar in War for Planet of the Apes.
Unexpectedly impressive … Andy Serkis’s Caesar in War for Planet of the Apes. Photograph: Allstar/20th Century Fox


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Frances McDormand gives a towering performance as a mother frustrated by local cops’ inaction over her daughter’s murder. Read the full review



Much anticipated Kathryn Bigelow account of the 1967 riots and the gruesome Algiers motel incident that very much chimed with #BlackLivesMatter. Read the full review


T2 Trainspotting

Long-awaited Danny Boyle-directed sequel to the hit British film, with Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle and co mired in male middle age and disillusion. Read the full review

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in T2 Trainspotting.
Mired in middle age … Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in T2 Trainspotting. Photograph: Graeme Hunter Pictures


Faces, Places (AKA Visages, Villages)

Veteran documentarist Agnès Varda goes on the road with artist/prankster JR, and produces a humane, endearing portrait of French small-town life. Read the full review


The Beguiled

Sofia Coppola-directed remake of civil war-set yarn, in which injured soldier Colin Farrell finds himself holed up in a girls’ school. Read the full review


The Square

Swedish director Ruben Ostlund won the Palme d’Or for this coruscating satire on the art world, complete with an already-notorious set piece in which a performance artist pretends to be an ape. Read the full review

The Square
The Square. Photograph: MIFF



Furrowed-brow finale to the X-Men spinoff series, with Hugh Jackman Wolverine-ing it up for what we assume is the final time. Read the full review


Girls Trip

Crowd-pleasing surprise hit comedy following a group of African-American women on a raucously fun weekend trip to New Orleans. Read the full review


Logan Lucky

Steven Soderbergh’s return to the big screen, a starry heist comedy in which Adam Driver and Channing Tatum bust Daniel Craig out of jail to help them rob a race track. Read the full review

Adam Driver, Daniel Craig and Channing Tatum in Logan Lucky
Adam Driver, Daniel Craig and Channing Tatum in Logan Lucky. Photograph: Allstar/Trans-Radial Pictures


Baby Driver

Much-liked Edgar Wright pedal-to-the-metal crime caper, in which music-addicted getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) falls for waitress Lily James. Read the full review.


Strong Island

Moving, angry documentary from trans film-maker Yance Ford, about the injustice surrounding the death of his brother who was shot in 1992. Read the full review



A genuinely cult item that definitely divided the critics. Anne Hathaway plays a messed-up alcoholic who conjures up visions of monsters attacking South Korea. Read the full review

Jason Sudeikis and Anne Hathaway in Colossal.
Jason Sudeikis and Anne Hathaway in Colossal. Photograph: Allstar/Voltage Pictures


The Big Sick

Popular, fun romcom about a cross-ethnic romance that turns to more serious matters when the woman succumbs to a serious illness. Read the full review


The Disaster Artist

Entertaining film-about-the-worst-film-ever-made, with brothers James and Dave Franco playing the notorious duo who made the appalling 2006 cult clunker The Room. Read the full review

Dave Franco, left, and James Franco in The Disaster Artist.
Dave Franco, left, and James Franco in The Disaster Artist. Photograph: Justina Mintz/AP


Beatriz at Dinner

Smart, Trump-anticipating satire with Salma Hayek as a Mexican-born healer who confronts real-estate mogul John Lithgow at a dinner party. Read the full review


The Work

Extraordinary, gut-wrenching documentary about a group of outsiders who choose to take part in traumatic group therapy sessions with hardened convicts in Folsom prison. Read the full review


A Quiet Passion

Terence Davies’s exquisitely designed biopic of American poet Emily Dickinson, whose sedate home life belied her enormous literary talent. Read the full review

Behind the lines … Cynthia Nixon, left, as Emily Dickinson and Jennifer Ehle as her sister Vinnie in A Quiet Passion.
Behind the lines … Cynthia Nixon, left, as Emily Dickinson and Jennifer Ehle as her sister Vinnie in A Quiet Passion. Photograph: Johan Voets/AP


My Cousin Rachel

Commanding Daphne du Maurier adaptation with Rachel Weisz on top form as a mysterious and manipulative widow with designs on a country estate. Read the full review



Humane, sympathetic study set in Brooklyn’s orthodox Jewish community, following a father’s attempts to regain custody of his son after his wife’s death. Read the full review

A father’s moving quest … Menashe Lustig and Yoel Falkowitz in Menashe.
A father’s moving quest … Menashe Lustig and Yoel Falkowitz in Menashe. Photograph: Photograp/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock


The Salesman

A potent drama of marital discord from Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, echoing Arthur Miller’s American classic Death of a Salesman. Read the full review


Ingrid Goes West

Aubrey Plaza plays the social media stalker of Instagram celeb Elizabeth Olsen in a subtle and surprisingly humane investigation of dysfunctional online adulation. Read the full review


Marjorie Prime

Thought-provoking, melancholy sci-fi based on Jordan Harrison’s play, in which Lois Smith’s Marjorie acquires a hologram of her late husband at a much younger age. Read the full review



Jake Gyllenhaal pulls out all the stops for a moving drama directed by David Gordon Green, based around the aftermath of the 2013 Boston marathon bombing. Read the full review

Poker princess … Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba in Molly’s Game.
Poker princess … Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba in Molly’s Game. Photograph: TIFF


Molly’s Game

The West Wing’s Aaron Sorkin turns director for this character study of “poker princess” Molly Bloom, played by Jessica Chastain, with Idris Elba alongside as her lawyer. Read the full review

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