Mr. Reed’s Metaphysical Neighborhood Presents the Best and Worst Films of 2017

[For an explanation of my blog post title, check out my “best of” list from 2013.]

Below you will find lists of my favorite films of the year, divided by documentary (nonfiction) and narrative (fiction) formats. Not all the movies mentioned have received a significant theatrical or online release in 2017, though most of them did; a few may still be looking for distributors after making their festival rounds. Where I have previously written reviews of a movie (whether for BmoreArtFilm Festival TodayHammer to Nail or this blog), the title of that movie is hyperlinked to my original review. In the case of one film (noted, below), I only wrote a brief capsule review of it within a film-festival recap, and I link to that write-up, instead. Where I have not (yet) reviewed a film, I have hyperlinked the title to the movie’s Rotten Tomatoes page. If I later write a review (for films not yet out in wide release), I will change that link to my own review.

If a film that you, yourself, saw and liked is nowhere mentioned here, then it is possible that I did not see it (or saw it and liked it, but not enough to include among my favorites, or saw it and, of course, did not like it). As many films as I watch every year, I cannot possibly see everything. If you have questions about any omissions, feel free to comment and/or send me a note. And really, what separates the “Top 10” from the “runners-up” is very little. If you’re in my Top 20, in other words, I like you very much.

Enjoy! Over the next week, I will continue to publish other “best of” lists, for acting and technical/artistic achievements of the year.

Top 10 Documentary Films of 2017 (in alphabetical order):

Top 10 Narrative Films of 2017 (in alphabetical order):

2017 Documentary Film Runners-Up (in alphabetical order):

2017 Narrative Film Runners-Up (in alphabetical order):

*Note from 1/9/18 – recent allegations about Franco’s sexual misbehavior now complicate such a nomination. It’s still a really solid movie, however compromised the director.

2017 Documentary and Narrative Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order):

Worst Films of 2017 (in alphabetical order):

Stay tuned for more posts in the week ahead …

More AFI DOCS Pieces – Interview (“Strad Style”) + Review (“ACORN and the Firestorm) – and Criterion Blu-ray (“Cameraperson”) @hammertonail & Review of “Dunkirk” @filmfesttoday

Last week, Hammer to Nail published three more articles of mine: another review from the recent AFI DOCS festival, this time of ACORN and the Firestorm; an interview (also from AFI DOCS) with Stefan Avalos, director of Strad Style; and a review of Criterion’s new Blu-ray release of Cameraperson.  In addition, Film Festival Today published my review of Dunkirk (I seem to be one of the rare film critics who did not adore the movie, though I liked parts of it). Here are links to all four pieces:

Enjoy!

All 10 of My @hammertonail @slamdance @sundancefest Film Reviews

slamdance-sundance-2017

Here are the 10 reviews from my remote coverage of the recent Slamdance and Sundance film festivals, written for Hammer to Nail. I couldn’t attend, but I was able to watch some great movies, nonetheless. From Slamdance, we have three documentaries – The Modern Jungle (which analyzes the relationship between filmmaker and subject among dirt-poor peasants in Chiapas), Strad Style (about an unlikely violin maker and his quest to recreate a renowned 18th-century instrument) and Supergirl (a tale of the strongest 12-year-old girl in the world) – and three narratives – Dave Made a Maze (a demented fantasy about an out-of-control labyrinth), Future ’38 (a clever sci-fi look forward from 1938 to the year 2018) and Weather House (a hypnotic meditation on the end of the world). From Sundance, we have two documentaries – Plastic China (an exploration of China’s position as the number one importer of recyclable plastic) and Tell Them We Are Rising (a chronicle of our nation’s historically black colleges and universities) – and two narratives – Bad Day for the Cut (an intense revenge thriller from Norther Ireland) and Free and Easy (an engagingly offbeat dramedy about misfit criminals in China). Below are the links to the reviews:

Enjoy!