My Top 5 Favorite Movies of 2017

The beginning/end of the year seems to be the time when all the good movies come out and there have been some good ones this year. I'm still on my "see all the Oscar noms" quest (failed twice before - wish me luck for this year!). These are the top 5 movies I've loved so far this year: 

The Florida Project 

This little film caught me by total surprise. I went into it like I tend to do with movies around this time of year - knowing nothing about it. But right away I knew it had to be directed by the same guy who did Tangerine. This movie feels like the second piece of Sean Baker's oeuvre of stories of the overlooked. The Florida Project follows a group of children and their parents living in a motel on the outskirts of DisneyWorld. As their parents struggle with addiction, prostitution and scrounging up money for their weekly rent, the children amuse themselves with mischief. The color palette and cinematography are magical and sublime when contrasted with the rough lives of the characters. A gorgeous film and a must watch.

Lady Bird

I've been a fan of Greta Gerwig since I saw her in Frances Ha and her directorial debut did not disappoint. I'm a sucker for a coming-of-age story and this one about a complex girl (played beautifully by Saoirse Ronan) growing up in Sacramento is touching and hilarious. What I connected most with was the mother/daughter relationship dynamic - it felt real. So real in fact that I burst into tears right after the movie ended. I also love a film that not only explores a character's story but also explores a place and the love letter to Sacramento aspect of the film was equally moving. 

The Disaster Artist

I'd heard about The Room for years but never saw it until I saw an ad for this film and knew I couldn't see it in good faith without first watching the movie that started it all. The Room is a bizarre movie and Tommy Wiseau is a bizarre guy. Based on the book by The Room co-star Greg Sestero, The Disaster Artist showcases both Tommy Wiseau's problematic, delusional behavior and the earnestness of his dreams with equal measure - you end up rooting for Tommy without knowing really if you should. James Franco is incredible in this role and it's fun to watch him and Dave Franco play off one another. Even if you haven't seen The Room, see this film. 

Baby Driver

Never have I cared about a car chase movie until Baby Driver. Ansel Elgort plays Baby, a getaway driver trying to pay off a debt by participating in criminal heists. His plans get derailed when he falls for a local waitress and his cohorts make it impossible for him to escape his life of crime. This film is fun, action-packed and has a great soundtrack. You root so hard for Baby the whole way through. Just ignore Kevin Spacey - he gets his in this film. 


This simple documentary about free-roaming cats in Istanbul, Turkey captured my heart. Seeing how the people of Istanbul respect and love the multitude of cats that come in and out of their lives is inspiring. There's nothing particularly investigative or earth-shattering about Kedi, but that's why it succeeds. It's a meditation on how the lives of cats and city-dwelling people intertwine. 

Honorable mentions: Wonder Woman, Atomic Blonde, Coco, Girls Trip, The Big Sick

Disclaimer: I still haven't seen several movies that could have potentially made this list, including Get Out, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Call Me By Your Name, I, Tonya, Logan, Molly's Game and The Shape of Water.

photo sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

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