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Daniel Reynolds’ Top Films of 2017

by Daniel Reynolds

10) Lady Bird/The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

It feels fitting to couple Greta Gerwig’s vibrant debut with the oldhead mastery of Noah Baumbach (given their real life connection). Both films deal in hyper-specifics, and yet create something effortlessly universal.

9) Baby Driver

The ending falls apart, but before then Edgar Wright has treated us to some of the most fun and wildest sequences in years. As a lover of good car chases (but not necessarily the biggest fan of musicals), this is the film I didn’t even know I wanted.

8) Get Out

Multi-layered in its metaphor, visually assured, and sharply acted, Jordan Peele’s singular debut works perfectly as incisive socio-political commentary and as a great horror thriller.

7) Jane

As he did with his Kurt Cobain doc, director Brett Morgen matches subject to tone, conducting a stirring visual symphony as tribute to a truly remarkable woman: Jane Goodall.

6) Lady Macbeth

Led by Florence Pugh’s star-making performance and William Oldroyd’s ruthless direction, this film feels wholly of a piece, each element pushing into the next as it thunders towards its conclusion.

5) Faces Places

If this were to be Agnes Varda’s final film (doubtful), it would be a wonderful grace note to end on. As it is, the film unspools as a beautiful ode to art, everyday people, the passage of time, and making peace with life (and death).

4) Columbus

The camera barely moves in Kogonada’s debut feature, but with such well-composed shots it doesn’t need to. Filled with breathtaking imagery and emotion — brought to life by great performances from John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson — we are moved instead.

3) Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I’m a sucker for Star Wars to begin with, but watching Rian Johnson take the franchise in new and bold directions makes for something special. The ninth (!) entry into the series has something for everyone — even the anti-Star Wars crank.

2) Dunkirk

The biggest twist here is Christopher Nolan scaling down (in his way) and creating the purest action film of recent memory. This is war at its most basic, but filmmaking at its most kinetically poetic.

1) Good Time

An absolute ripper of a film from the Safdie brothers, one that shreds nerves by design while highlighting both the genius of star Robert Pattinson and the true power of white privilege in its most elemental form.

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