The Up All Afternoon 10 Best Movies of 2017
10. Call Me By Your Name
A lush, humanist love story that is deceptively complex in its construction. Obviously the performances are stellar across the board, and director Luca Guadagnino operates with an incredible amount of restraint.
9. Personal Shopper
Ten years ago, had you told me that Twilight stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart would be two of our finest actors delivering exquisitely specific and varied performances throughout the rest of their careers, I'm not sure I would have believed you. Pattnison is top notch in Good Time, but Stewart provided my single favorite performance of the year in Personal Shopper. She plays the titular role in a movie that combines a haunted house tale with a techno thriller (with a little dose of capitalistic satire—it is French, after all).
8. Lady MacBeth
I'm a sucker for costume dramas—give me any adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. This one takes the corset-and-filth genre and pushes it one step further into a psychological revenge thriller. Star Florence Pugh is a captivating revelation.
7. Phantom Thread
There's a moment that pops up in Paul Thomas Anderson's latest movie that I cannot stop thinking about. Controlling, self-involved couturier Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) is staging a fashion show at the posh brownstone that serves as both his home and office. The energy is electric—people are packed in, and models move through narrow aisles in a carefully choreographed dance. So obsessed is he with the movement of his latest object of affection Alma (Vicky Krieps) that he darts away from his staging area and presses his eyeball up against the peep hole to catch a fleeting second of her pass across his field of vision. It's tiny, but it's also indelible, and there are a hundred other moments like that in Phantom Thread.
6. Lady Bird
I've never been a teenage girl, but despite the specificity of Greta Gerwig's screenplay, I found Lady Bird surprisingly relatable and universal. It probably helps that Saoirse Ronan is so unfailingly charismatic and emotionally honest.
5. Beatriz at Dinner
Salma Hayek is stellar in this subtly haunting story about the physical and psychological gap between the haves and the have-nots.
4. Blade Runner 2049
Here's a long movie with a slippery plot that plays fast and loose with a beloved mythology and also looks jaw-droppingly gorgeous. It's pretty much a movie designed in a lab specifically for me.
3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
I get why this movie is so polarizing, but my appetite for Martin McDonagh's belief in the fundamental darkness of the human spirit can rarely be sated. The glimmers of hope—and the sharp collection of characters supporting the three principals—deliver just enough of a salve to keep the demons at bay.
2. The Shape of Water
A pure cinematic thrill about the bond between outsiders that also crams in a heist and a handful of exquisitely rendered fantasy sequences. Michael Shannon is the best villain.
1. Get Out
Somebody pointed out recently that when people look back on the cinema year that was, they'll point to Get Out as the first spark in the coming anti-Trump genre. But we know now that Get Out is ahead of its time as a social allegory. That alone would make it quite the accomplishment, but it also happens to be a thrilling horror film that also has a lot to say about race, class, and how the perception of those things shifts depending on what side of the divide you were born on. Plus, it has one of the most satisfying endings of any film in recent memory, and the experience of living through that finale with a tuned-up audience that was entirely on board with and fully manipulated by what was flickering on screen is a charge I will not soon forget.