With 2017 nearly behind us, and 2018 quickly approaching, it's that time of year again where we get to celebrate the best (and, yes, the worst too) in cinema of the prior 12 months or so. So, here is my best of 2017 list.

It has been such an incredible year for cinema, perhaps one of the best in recent memory, with the quality of films higher than ever before. As always, the indie scene has been strong - A24 has been slaying the game harder than ever and we've seen other darlings the likes of My Pure Land, Brigsby Bear all prove quite tour-de-forces - but the superhero genre has been solid too, with all the MCU films and even the DCEU proving to be very enjoyable and even mid-tier films like The Big Sick, Their Finest, and Free Fire have all been remarkable too. There really have been too many great films in 2017 to count, which made whittling down a best of the year list harder than previous years. I've tossed and turned for a while, but having seen everything I felt should be in for a fighting chance to qualify, I've managed to cherry-pick my 20 films of the year - personal favourites of mine from the past 12 months. These films are great and are all worth your time and attention if you haven't seen them already.

It's worth noting that all the films in my list were released in the UK between January 1st, 2017 and December 31st, 2017 so the likes of Lady Bird, Three Billboards, The Shape of Water - which I was lucky to catch at LFF - as good as they are, aren't in contention until next year's list. But, here are my picks for my films of 2017, kicking off with my 20-11 choices, if you will - or the honourable mentions.



Sean Baker's Tangerine follow-up was an ode to life and youth, and easily one of the best films ever made about the joys and innocence of childhood.


Paddington 2 is the most charming film you'll see for some time.


Oh hi, best of the year list. The Disaster Artist was the funniest film 2017 had to offer us but, moreover, it was a sincere and touching character study of the man, the myth, the Tommy Wiseau. And far from a disaster.


This is easily the most controversial film to release in years but I found myself to be on team mother! - I have never seen anything like this. It was uncomfortable to watch - purposefully so. Yet I found it to be simply astounding.

Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name is a sweeping, mesmerising and gorgeous story of love and coming-of-age; it's a gentle, sun-kissed masterpiece that will leave you stunned and with a tear in your eye.

21 years since the original Trainspotting hit cinemas and Renton, Spud, Begbie and Sick Boy all returned to our screens in a dark and fittingly "out-there" manner.


This was an epic and emotionally charged conclusion to the Planet of the Apes trilogy that cements Rise, Dawn and now War, as one of the greatest trilogies of all-time.


A celebration of imagination, creativity, friendship and movies. Brigsby Bear was "dope as shit" (there's a wee reference for those of you that saw it) and such an unwavering delight and what a surprise too!


Barry Jenkins delivered a character piece that was so raw and full of emotion, yet just as equally as tender and beautiful at the same time too. It won the Best Picture, and deservedly so because it is ASTOUNDING.


Over 20 years in the making, Martin Scorsese's passion-project is a very different film for the acclaimed director known for his grandiosity and his mobster flicks... But, by god, it is staggering and triumphant and jaw-dropping.

So, there you have my runners-ups/honourable mentions. It's worth saying that they are incredible films; films that, any other year, would probably make my actual top 10 - they were THAT good. But, in a year so stacked with incredible movies, they fell just a hair behind my top 10 that follows. Here it is.

TOP 10:


Rian Johnson's behemoth follow-up to The Force Awakens pulled off the impossible: it lived up to the insurmountable hype. This is an epic film in scale, ambition and audacity and it pulled it off with such conviction and aplomb. Most of all, it's such a surprising and NEW entry into the franchise, that is intelligent and nuanced and all the more commendable and genius as a result. I love Star Wars. It's no secret. Of course this was going to make the list. Who do you think I am? 


Jordan Peele's directorial debut was a superb blend of dark humour and seething tension, to create such a brilliant and vastly unique horror film. More importantly, though, its socio-political relevance and importance are more timely than ever too. Get Out has such a unique voice that makes it not only stand out in the horror genre but makes sure it stands out from all of this year's great films.

In between Deadpool and now Logan, Fox have really been pushing the boat out for the comic-book genre. Acting as Hugh Jackman's swan song as our eponymous and much-beloved mutant, Logan finally gave us the violent, gritty Wolverine film we - as fans - have been clamouring to see done for years. It was dark, sombre and bloody. And we could not have asked for a more perfect finale for Jackman's near-2-decade cinematic run as Weapon X. Talk about going out with a bang.


We knew Dunkirk would be good because it's a Christopher Nolan film. But this may be one of his best films to date. As far as cinematic experiences go, getting to witness this thrilling behemoth in 70mm might just be one of the tensest, most stress-inducing experiences I've ever had watching a film. But that's a testament to just how successful and immersive Dunkirk managed to be; it's an exercise in nerve-shredding tension, I'll tell you that. As far as war films go, it's up there.


Ah, good old A24. They've already appeared on my list for Moonlight and The Disaster Artist and Good Time joins them. This is an esoteric thrill ride - it's filthy; it's raw; it's grungy. But it makes for such a captivating, nuanced and absolutely outright insane journey and character study. Robert Pattinson's career-best performance alone makes this one to watch. You're damn right this is a good time!


This was one of my most anticipated films of this year, and for good reason, because it did not disappoint. Edgar Wright is such an incredible director and Baby Driver is just another awesome addition to his already impressive filmography. This was one of the most satisfying and enjoyable films of the year to watch. It was just such an epic and fun spectacle. Oh, and what a soundtrack.


Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool is one of the most emotional films I have seen in a long time. Director Paul McGuigan has crafted a love-story here that is just so sincere and superbly realised that it makes for such enamouring viewing... until it hits. Because when it hits, it HITS. But it's not just a tear-jerker; far from it, this is just masterful storytelling and cinema at its finest.

Back in 2015, director Damien Chazelle made an impression on many with the masterpiece that is Whiplash. For that reason alone, I was excited for La La Land. Well, Chazelle has gone two for two because this is ANOTHER masterpiece. It won a lot of awards and quite deservedly. It is an effervescent, dazzling work of art that will sweep you off your feet and leave you in awe - feeling elated, inspired and quietly heartbroken by its sheer beauty. I. LOVE. LA. LA. LAND.


As soon as I saw Prisoners and Enemy, I was sold on director Denis Villeneuve. He then followed those two great films up with Sicario and Arrival, which were also great. Those are 4 pretty ambitious films. If there was one director that could do a sequel to the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner (a film no one wanted at all, let alone asked for) justice, it was Villeneuve. Well, he did just that. Blade Runner 2049 is that rare film that surpasses its predecessor. Keep in mind, it's predecessor is a CLASSIC. 2049 is the greatest science-fiction film of the decade. It is now the gold standard that not only sequels but films in general, should aspire to. It's staggering.


If you follow me on Twitter or are just a close friend of mine, A Ghost Story being my film of the year shouldn't come as a surprise. What is there to say about this film that hasn't been said already? How can I gush about it EVEN more? Yes, Blade Runner 2049 is truly incredible and has cemented itself as one of my all-time favourite sci-fi films. But, after watching this film several times now, and having a few months to let it marinate, A Ghost Story has rocketed into my all-time favourite films, period. It's a lyrical and poetic journey that is genius. It's unlike anything you've ever seen and not a day has gone by since I saw it where I haven't thought about it. It really will stick with you for time to come. Superlatives and hyperbole are redundant. It's utterly transfixing and crushing, and most definitely the best film of 2017. But who am I to say? I'm just a guy that loves movies. Go out and watch it and experience it for yourself. Because I can almost guarantee that you will love it.

About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

Related Posts