Ethan Anderton’s Top 10 Movies of 2017

the post top 10

5. The Post

At a time when the current presidential administration is attacking the media at every turn, The Post could not be any more important. This isn’t a movie about the power of the press, but rather one of the importance of the press. There’s a reason that the freedom of the press is guaranteed by the First Amendment, and it’s to help keep our government in check by ensuring that are fulfilling their responsibilities to its people. Steven Spielberg doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to selling this message, fueled by masterful performances by Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Bob Odenkirk and more.

While today’s media landscape has become convoluted with infotainment, pundits, talking heads and bias, it’s important to remember that there are countless reporters out there doing exactly what they’re supposed to do, even in the face of unnecessary, unfounded criticism from the Commander-in-Chief. The Post reminds us of this by dramatizing the moment when The Washington Post decided to run the classified documents known as The Pentagon Papers in an effort to alert the American people to the poor decisions made by our officials during the Vietnam conflict.

It would be easy to acknowledge that the importance of the media in the early 1970s is wholly different when compared to today’s standards. But that’s covered by the fact that there’s a clear parallel between Richard Nixon trying to block the media and Donald Trump trying to delegitimize the entire industry, unless they’re Fox News. The Post might feel like it’s a little on the nose, but that’s because it’s exactly the kind of movie that we need right now to remind certain people why we need the media.

Call Me By Your Name

4. Call Me By Your Name

This is just one of several movies that has stuck with me since catching the premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last year, and when a movie has the power to stay in your mind for that long, there’s a reason.

Call Me By Your Name is one of the most sexually tense coming of age movies I’ve ever seen, and it’s also one of the most harrowing. Timothée Chalamet turns in a breakthrough performance as a young teen coming to terms with his sexuality in Italy when his father brings a handsome and charismatic doctoral student (Armie Hammer) into the house. What follows is an electric summer romance that is sexy and stirring.

For much of the movie, there’s this unspoken tension between Chalamet and Hammer that you can cut with a knife. They’re each always on the verge of ripping each other’s clothes off and kissing each other into oblivion. Luca Guadagnino creates an lush, gorgeous environment for this relationship to blossom in, only for it to be a fleeting moment in both of their lives, almost as if it’s been built up in each of their minds as this temporary fairytale. The linchpin is a tear-inducing monologue given by Michael Stuhlbarg at the end of the movie that is the icing on a positively magnificent cake.

The Big Sick Alamo Drafthouse

3. The Big Sick

It’s rare that a romantic comedy breaks new ground. Most of these movies tread water and don’t bring anything new to the table. But in the case of The Big Sick, this is a romantic comedy that is on par with the greatness of When Harry Met Sally.

Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon wrote the screenplay, which adapts their real life meet cute into a movie that is as unique love story that has never been told before. Nanjiani plays himself, a rising Pakistani stand-up comedian who falls in love with white girl named Emily (Zoe Kazan), which has the potential to wreak havoc on his traditionalist family. It’s his role as both writer and star that lends an authenticity that is often never seen in studio romantic comedies. Drawing from his own life helps create a story that feels as true as the real story that inspired it.

Along with the romance comes ample laughs. Rarely has a movie ever made me laugh so hard, especially with one of the funniest 9/11 jokes ever told, before making me cry. Helping in both regards are Holly Hunter and Ray Romano as Emily’s parents, who are responsible for plenty of big laughs themselves, but also some of the more tender moments. It all makes for a perfect storm of love and laughs.

the florida project

2. The Florida Project

“You know why this is my favorite tree? ‘Cause it’s tipped over, and it’s still growing.”

That quote alone in Sean Baker’s latest film is enough for me to love this movie to bits. But The Florida Project in its entirety is a beautifully devastating slice of life that is somehow full of so much love and hope in the face of despair. A story about a poor young girl and her destitute mother could have been easily been overly sappy and sentimental, but The Florida Project presents the world of Moonee and her mother in an almost documentary fashion as they live each day of their life to the best of their ability.

What’s most heartbreaking about The Florida Project is the pure glee and fancifully clueless nature of Moonee and her friends living in poverty without really knowing it. That makes the revelation of her situation all the more shattering when the life that she knows and loves is nearly upended. This movie is somehow uplifting and totally heart-wrenching all at once, and it’s pretty much a perfect movie.

Get Out

1. Get Out

The fact that this movie came out in February and ended up as my favorite movie of the year is an achievement in itself. But the fact that it’s held up and only gotten better on repeat viewings since then is even more impressive.

Comedian Jordan Peele announces his arrival behind the camera with a movie that is thrilling, intense, provocative and truly original. It’s the kind of horror that is more relevant than ever as the terror at the center of this movie isn’t a monster, a ghost, a serial killer or anything like that. It’s racism and the rich white people who perpetuate it. That makes the moment when Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) makes a run for it by incapacitating his captors with a bocce ball and a deer head (the two whitest things imaginable) that much more satisfying.

Rife with social commentary that is perfectly blended with a genre that is often lambasted for its insignificance and lack of creativity, Get Out takes horror tropes that have been present for years and turns them on their heads by making them part of a plot that resonates with today’s society in a way that you might not expect.


That’s all for my Top 10 Movies of 2017. It was nearly impossible for me to whittle this down to a definitive ten, and there are still several movies I’ve yet to see that could shake this up. But for now, I’m confident with these being my favorite of the year.

For those curious, here are some other honorable mentions and the movies I haven’t seen yet:

Other Honorable Mentions: Dunkirk, Blade Runner 2049, Molly’s Game, Coco, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri The Darkest Hour, Thor: Ragnarok, John Wick: Chapter 2, The Discovery, Colossal, Ingrid Goes West, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Battle of the Sexes

Movies of Note I’ve Yet to See: Killing of a Sacred Deer, Detroit, The Beguiled, Good Time, Phantom Thread, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), Mother!, The Square, Personal Shopper, The Square, Victoria & Abdul, Wonderstruck, Stronger, Breathe, Last Flag Flying

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