56 Movie Moments We Loved in 2017

2017 moments

The /Film team sat down to make a list of the 50 best movie moments of 2017. We ended up with a list of the 56 best movie moments of 2017 because the year was just that great.

These are the moments, the scenes, the sequences, the lines of dialogue, the lingering glances, the jokes, the reaction shots, the grand gestures, the spellbinding action beats, and the tiny kernels of humanity that stand out for us. As we look back on cinema in 2017, these moments linger in our minds, reminding us why we love movies so damn much in the first place.

Join us, won’t you?

If you’re in more of a listening mood, we discussed the highlights of this list on the latest episode of /Film Daily and you can check it out via the embed below:


Willoughby Sneezes in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Mildred (Frances McDormand) and Sheriff Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) have every reason to hate each other’s guts. He failed to find the man who raped and murdered her daughter. She’s gone and paid for three billboards that publicly call out local law enforcement for not doing their job. They’re both angry, witty, endlessly patient people and their big meeting in the police station’s interrogation room is an exchange of entertaining barbs, two talented talkers and quick thinkers looking to get the better of the other, to win the squabble. But then Willoughby sneezes. And within that sneeze is a cloud of blood, which paints Mildred’s face. Because he is dying of cancer. In an instant, this cocky charmer is shamed, reduced to apologizing profusely to the woman he wanted to break. In an instant, Mildred forgets about her vendetta and rushes to get help. In an instant, these two adversaries become, well, people. People who ultimately care about each other. And in this dark, dreary, and blackly humorous world created by writer/director Martin McDonagh, reclaiming your empathy from a pit of despair is the first step (or is it a stumble?) toward grace. Or something like it. (Jacob Hall)

Diana Enters No Man’s Land in Wonder Woman

Every superhero has their moment of “becoming.” The decision they make to rise above their station, to embrace their responsibility to wield their extraordinary power for good. No Man’s Land in Wonder Woman was that moment for Diana. The scene itself is relatively simple: Diana merely storms across No Man’s Land, drawing gunfire and leading the charge toward the village that had been taken by German soldiers.  There’s no triumphant yell of “I’m Wonder Woman!” — in fact, her superhero nom de plume is never spoken once. But when Diana ignores Steve Trevor’s frenzied insistence that she “can’t save everyone,” shedding the restrictive clothes that hide her true identity, no words need to be spoken. As Diana slowly makes her way across the stretch of land separating the Allied troops and the German troops, deflecting bullets with her bracelets, this was the moment where she realizes who she truly is. “It is the birth of Wonder Woman,” director Patty Jenkins said of the scene, which was famously nearly cut from the film. Gal Gadot gives a winning performance as Diana during the scene, her face transforming from bullish conviction, to nervous uncertainty, and finally to unflagging determination.

And there are levels to this scene. First, it’s monumental to see a that empowered moment of “becoming” for a female superhero on the big screen — something we’ve rarely seen unless it’s oozing with vampy sensuality (Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman in Batman Returns) or deep, dark trauma (Jennifer Garner in Elektra). There’s the added nuance that Diana is rebuffing the rules of the patriarchy, of a man literally telling her that it cannot be done, by throwing off her impractical outfit made to restrict women. And then there’s the particularly on-the-nose title of the scene: “No Man’s Land.”

But there’s an added importance to this scene: it’s the first where Diana embodies Wonder Woman’s ability to inspire. It may seem like a given that once Diana stepped out onto No Man’s Land that everyone else would follow, but it’s truly a miracle that the soldiers do. Steve and his group of hired hands are the first to follow Diana, but when the other soldiers timidly make their way past the trenches before breaking into a full charge across a stretch of land that they had manned for months, that’s the true extent of Wonder Woman’s power. It’s awe-inspiring, and…a little cheesy? But don’t tell that to Jenkins. “Cheesy is one of the words banned in my world,” Patty Jenkins told the New York Times ahead of Wonder Woman‘s release. “I’m tired of sincerity being something we have to be afraid of doing. It’s been like that for 20 years, that the entertainment and art world has shied away from sincerity, real sincerity, because they feel they have to wink at the audience because that’s what the kids like. We have to do the real stories now.” The lack of a core action sequence and the abundance of sincerity may be offputting to some, but there’s no room for cynicism in Wonder Woman. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Deckard Shaw Saves Dom’s Baby in The Fate of the Furious

Though it was full of ludicrous (and Ludacris) moments, The Fate of the Furious couldn’t quite reach the insane highs of Fast Five or even its direct predecessor, Furious 7. But one of the times it came closest resulted in one of our favorite movie moments of 2017: a scene in which Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw fights off a dozen armed guards on a high-security plane, all while protecting a baby that’s strapped into a car seat. It’s an homage to John Woo’s action classic Hard Boiled in the only way the Fast & Furious franchise knows how: completely over the top. Statham’s asides to the baby (who’s wearing headphones during the whole thing to muffle the copious gunshots) are pretty close to perfect – there’s a particularly fun bit with him wondering whether a foul smell is emanating from the baby’s diaper or a guy he just dispatched. Director F. Gary Gray utilized the actor’s dry, tough guy delivery to its full comedic effect here, just as Paul Feig’s Spy did two years beforehand. (Ben Pearson)

The “Bellbottoms” Chase in Baby Driver

There’s a reason the entire six-minute opening heist and chase from Baby Driver was released online to promote the movie, and that’s because it sets the stage for the glorious, synchronous action musical that follows from director Edgar Wright. Not only does it illustrate how integral music will be to the rhythm of the film, both in the action and the editing, but it introduces us into the charming character of Baby and his obsession with living his life to the beat of his own iPod. Combine that with the fact that this chase, with perfect practical driving stunts, is one of the most exciting sequences put to film in 2017, and it’s clear why this is one of our favorite moments. (Ethan Anderton)

The Silencer Shootout in John Wick: Chapter 2

John Wick: Chapter 2 features some of the most finely staged and unique action scenes to come out of Hollywood in…ever? It is, quite frankly, one of the best action movies ever made. But the film isn’t just a parade of shootouts and brawls – the action complements the characters and the rich, often hilariously complex world they inhabit. There is a sense of humor on display here that gives every action beat personality. And that brings us to the best moment in the film: John Wick (the expectedly great Keanu Reeves) returns to New York City and finds himself attacked by assassins on literally every street corner, each of them attempting to claim the bounty on his head. Soon, he encounters the vengeful Cassian (an unexpectedly great Common) and the two engage in a cat-and-mouse chase through a subway station, casually firing silenced pistols at one another as they navigate a crowd of people who don’t notice the brutal battle happening in their midst. It’s a clever scene and a funny scene and a thrilling scene, the most satisfying moment in a film that seems to be composed entirely of satisfying moments. (Jacob Hall)

I Tonya - Allison Janney

A Confrontation With Mom in I, Tonya

Tonya Harding has already had a difficult enough life, starting with an abusive childhood where her mother (Allison Janney) expected the best from her ice skating, belittling her at every turn, and even throwing a knife at her during her formative teenage years. But when the shit really hits the fan and the press is swarming her house after she’s suspected of being involved in the attack on fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, it appears there might be redemption as Tonya’s mother comes to comfort her daughter. However, it turns out that this is nothing more than one more betrayal as Tonya discovers that her mother is only there in an effort to get a confession on tape. There’s no redemption for Tonya’s mother at all. She’s a scheming opportunist who doesn’t have a good bone in her body. Tonya doesn’t have anyone in her corner, and it’s heartbreaking. (Ethan Anderton)

Oliver Dances in Call Me By Your Name

For 40 glorious seconds in Call Me By Your Name, Armie Hammer danced badly in dad shorts. And a meme was born.

But Oliver’s dorky dancing was more than just a moment of levity in an achingly gorgeous, slow-burning gay love story. This is a scene replete with yearning, with the melancholy of wanting what you can’t have. Oliver has been invited to a night out on the town by Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and his friends, and he spends the evening blissfully unaware of the effect that he has on everyone — except for perhaps the local girl Chiara (Victoire Du Bois) with whom he dances seductively and kisses. As this happens, everyone giggles knowingly, except for Elio, who leans forward in his chair, a tumult of emotions crossing over his face. Is he happy? Jealous? Turned on? The brief scene disappears in a few seconds, seeming instead to shift its focus to the raucous night itself as Elio hops onto the dance floor himself. But as fun and near-silly as it is, the ephemeral moment becomes rife with subtext, and a turning point for Elio’s grappling with his attraction to Oliver. And hey, who doesn’t love watching Armie Hammer dance? (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Rooney Mara Eats a Pie in A Ghost Story

Somehow, Rooney Mara had never eaten a pie before filming A Ghost Story. I don’t know how this is possible; maybe wealthy people only eat flan? Either way, the script for A Ghost Story required Mara’s grieving widow to eat an entire pie in two very long shots: one where she eats the pie while standing, one while she’s slumped on the floor against a cabinet. “The first one, we did two takes of, and she took a couple bites in each one,” A Ghost Story director David Lowery said of the scene. “Then she sat down, and that [shot] was one take. We were like, ‘Keep going until you can’t eat anymore.’ The script said she eats the whole thing. I think she had a couple bites left, but we’d tortured her long enough.”

On one level, the scene is memorable because it’s literally us watching Rooney Mara eat (almost) an entire pie. But once you get beyond the somewhat silly nature of such a thing, there’s also a sadness to it all. Mara’s character has just returned from the funeral of her husband (who now haunts the house decked-out in a bedsheet), and in an attempt to feel something, anything, other than grief, she scarfs down the nearest item of food; it’s the very definition of “comfort food.” After she’s finished, she rushes into the bathroom and vomits it all up. Even the briefest moments of comfort are fleeting in the presence of death. (Chris Evangelista)

The Last Jedi Holdo

Holdo’s Lightspeed Gambit in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Hate or love The Last Jedi, it did something that we’ve never seen done in a Star Wars movie before. It provided us with an indelible image, a moment of stunned shock that was so unexpected that theaters had to put up warning outside its screenings to assure audiences that yes, the sound is supposed to cut out for more than 10 seconds. The moment happens near the end of the film, when the Resistance are fleeing to the salt planet Crait, under cover of the Resistance cruiser, the Raddus, which continues to lead the First Order’s Supremacy on a merry chase. But thanks to the information leaked by the immoral hacker DJ (Benicio del Toro), the diminishing Resistance find themselves under fire by the First Order, with Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) watching helplessly from the sidelines. Until she decides to do the unthinkable — and until now, the implausible.

Holdo slowly turns the Raddus toward the Supremacy and makes the jump to lightspeed, demolishing Snoke’s flagship and fleet and creating a breathtaking, watershed moment in the process. In a movie replete with “OMG” moments, this one takes the cake. Not simply because it is shocking, but because Rian Johnson pulls it off masterfully: the two ships split in half, suspended in their moment of destruction, red and blue fume streaks hanging in suspense. There’s oppressive silence from the screen, but also from the audience itself, with everyone holding their breaths in a stupor. It’s a cinematic accomplishment underscored by the weight of Holdo’s noble sacrifice, and her contribution to the Resistance’s undying cause. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Yondu’s Funeral in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

If you would have told me that the character from the original Guardians of the Galaxy that I would come to care about the most in the sequel would be Yondu Udonta, I would have laughed in your face. But here we are, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 not only makes you sympathetic to the blue-skinned, floating arrow-wielding Ravager, but it even pulls a tear from your face with his death. If the line, “He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn’t your daddy,” didn’t do the trick, then Yondu’s funeral with a touching eulogy from Star-Lord should do it. Plus, his fellow Ravagers return to sound the horns of freedom and display the colors of Ogord. Yep, there go those waterworks again. (Ethan Anderton)

the blackcoat's daughter trailer

Pleading with the Devil in The Blackcoat’s Daughter

We spend the bulk of The Blackcoat’s Daughter wondering what the hell is going on…only for the film to pull the rug out from under us in a third act revelation that rewrites everything we’ve seen. Much of Oz Perkins’ film feels like another demonic possession film, albeit a very clever and very creepy demonic possession film that takes its sweet time and lulls you into its grasp with a deliberate pace that leaps between two timelines. And then, late in the film, young Kat (Kiernan Shipka) is exorcized by a helpful priest, removing the devil from her soul. Mission accomplished! But then we see the scene from Kat’s perspective. We see the shadowy figure that has been lurking within her body leaving the room. The young girl, tears in her eyes, begs for the presence to not go, to not abandon her. We haven’t been watching the story of a girl possessed against her will – we’ve been watching the story of a girl willingly entering the arms of Satan himself…and missing him terribly when he’s ripped away from her. (Jacob Hall)

Continue Reading The 56 Best Movie Moments of 2017 >>

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5Next page

Cool Posts From Around the Web: