Well, not every film. Just all the ones I’ve seen so far, which has racked up to a sizeable 25 films so far this year. I’ll be ordering them by earliest release date (according to Letterboxd so trust their judgement, not mine), and if you want the same list but instead ranked from best to worst, click here.
Julia Ducournau’s directing debut offers up a haunting story of lost innocence, in a fascinating take on the coming-of-age format. Prepare for some gruesome scenes, but enjoy it more for its lasting impression, as you struggle to figure out if the protagonist is really that sympathetic.
The crowning achievement of Free Fire is how it manages to have the most simplistic story of the year, yet also managing to be among the most engaging films this year. It’s no work of cinematic art, but goddamn if it isn’t fun as hell.
What seems like quite a neat idea on paper sadly turns into a messy mishmash of decent concepts, either never fully realised or cut short by an oversimplified antagonist. The performances are okay, but at times feel somewhat held back, especially the otherwise good Jason Sudeikis.
The wonderful thing about The Levelling is how deeply personal it is. Due to the film’s tight focus, a lot can be gathered about the main character, and her relationships with everyone else in the film, in very few words. An excellent debut feature from Hope Dickson Leach.
M Night Shyamalan’s undisputed return to form. Undoubtedly one of the most entertaining films this year, the script constantly subverts horror expectations, going to places very few writers would dare go. James McAvoy gives the performance of his life, and his co-stars mostly do a good job too.
I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore
One of the weirder films this year, IDFAHITWA excels in its consistent comedic tone masking a rather tragic tale of bad luck and generally terrible circumstances. All the characters are assholes, which helps the film feel fresh, even when it becomes a bit sloppy towards the end.
The biggest waste of potential this year. On paper, this could have been such an excellent, thought-provoking film, but in its 102 minute runtime, it feels as though nothing of significance happened. Still, the production design and aesthetic of this film are rather excellent.
Probably my favourite film of the year so far, and a brilliantly unique take of the documentary genre. Casting JonBenet has such a wonderful style that evokes every emotion from joy to sadness to unease. Director Kitty Green had an excellent idea and executed it perfectly.
One of the most original takes of racism and cultural differences I have seen in a while, and a great directorial debut for Jordan Peele. The film manages to create a constant sense of unease in the viewer, as it culminates in a truly batshit insane conclusion.
As Trainspotting is one of my favourite things in the universe, this was a film I was (perhaps rightfully) skeptical of. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my gargantuan expectations, but the film still manages to capture the crazy fun and games of the original. Begbie did nothing wrong.
John Wick: Chapter 2
Did this live up to the excellent John Wick? No. Is it still a damn good action movie? Definitely. Keanu Reeves is as badass as ever in this worthy successor to one of the best action films of the 2010s (yes I know Fury Road exists shut up).
My first film festival experience was certainly a good one. The Midwife isn’t anything particularly impressive, but what it sets out to achieve, it achieves successfully. Nothing groundbreaking to be found here, but it’s great for what it is.
The best superhero film since The Dark Knight. Hugh Jackman gives one of the best performances of the year as an aged Wolverine on the brink of death, in this excellent post-genre piece, as well as being a wonderful love letter to westerns.
Kong: Skull Island
I’m not sure what to think of the monstrous monkey’s return. On the one hand, its utterly gorgeous camerawork and visuals help it stand out, but on the other hand, its so completely all over the place. I understand the praise, but also agree with the criticisms.
Song to Song
I may well be the only person on the planet who actually likes Terrence Malick’s gorgeous love story. Well shot and certainly well acted, this acts as a lovely, enjoyable, and sometimes downright beautiful portrayal of love, loss and the flaws of humanity.
Perhaps my most disappointing film of the year, and definitely Edgar Wright’s weakest film, but that doesn’t make it bad. What Baby Driver sets out to do, it achieves with near perfection, but lacks in its character writing, especially Baby and Deborah the main characters.
Vampire Cleanup Department
This film may never release in the west ever again, and that’s a real shame because this is the funniest film I’ve seen this year. A parody of 1980’s kung-fun films from Hong Kong, it hits every beat, including intentionally poor translation and dubbing. An absolutely hilarious romp.
What an aggressively forgettable film. Life takes inspiration from various sci-fi films, but never quite figures out what made them good in the first place. The film is a total mess from start to finish, with the funniest ending of 2017. A fun movie, but nothing special.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Another great superhero film and a decent follow-up to its utterly magnificent predecessor. The writing is quite ham-fisted at times, but these sloppy moments are appreciated anyway as they give the characters some much-needed depth. The music is particularly good too.
It Comes At Night
One of the most engaging and tense features in years, and certainly the best horror film of the year. Its choice to withhold information from the viewer makes the story even more fascinating, as everything comes to a harrowing conclusion that stuck in the mind for days.
What an all-around stain on one of the most iconic horror franchises ever conceived. How Ridley Scott went from one of the best films of the 70s to Prometheus-lite (not that Prometheus was too great to begin with). A travesty that should be ashamed of its existence.
You know, for a film that everyone says is finally free of the studio interference in Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman sure feels held back immensely by a goddamn studio. Maybe people should question if they only like it because they thought it’d be garbage.
Boon Jong-Ho expertly handles tone in this fascinating commentary on capitalism. While the film deals with heavy themes of death, loss and greed, there are moments of cheerfulness to mask them, just like the constantly positive attitude of advertisements from companies. Definitely check this one out.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
The worst movie of the year so far. What a pile of trash. The only time the film illicits any emotion other than cringe or disgust is during one of the opening set pieces which was admittedly quite good. Everything else is inconceivably terrible. Miss this one.
Homecoming has absolutely no right to be as great as it is. What everyone expected to be a horribly forced, uninteresting slog ended up being one of the funniest and most entertaining films of the year. Almost as good as Spider-Man 2, and a welcome addition to the MCU.