TOP 50 of 2017 (#50 – #26): KEVIN RAKESTRAW

Here is a list of what I believe to be the best films of 2017; or, more specifically, the first half of my list of best films from 2017 along with one honorable mention for a grand total of 51 films. A mix of features and shorts, theatrical and online releases, anywhere from Mubi, Festival Scope, NoBudge, Vimeo, Flix Premiere, Topic, or Refinery29 (including one from our own website). Streaming links provided in some instances.


Obscenely silly and ridiculously absurd with a DIY creativity to match; fun with befuddlement.

#50: AFTER THE STORM directed by Hirokazu Koreeda

#49: AVA directed by Léa Mysius

In her feature-debut, Mysius takes a familiar young-lovers-on-the-run narrative and injects it with some experimentation and playfulness.

#48: BEACH RATS directed by Eliza Hittman

A thoughtful portrait of a young man trying to navigate two different worlds at once with wonderful cinematography from Hélène Louvart.

#47: DRIFTWOOD directed by Paul Taylor

A dialogue-free feature-debut that remains wholly unpredictable until its (essentially) predetermined end.

#46: JELLYWOLF directed by Alma Har’el

A short film featuring strong visuals inspired by Chanel Nº5 L’EAU starring Lisa Bonet & Kiersey Clemons.

#45: MUDBOUND directed by Dee Rees

#44: LUCIA, BEFORE AND AFTER directed by Anu Valia

A simple yet effective short about a woman traveling hundreds of miles in order to obtain an abortion only to have to wait another 24 hours.

#43: BLADE RUNNER 2049 directed by Denis Villeneuve

#42: PRINCESS CYD directed by Stephen Cone

#41: I HATE MYSELF 🙂 directed by Joanna Arnow

Refreshing and daring in its candor, Arnow’s hyper-personal doc is as honest as it gets.

#40: BAD AT DANCING directed by Joanna Arnow

A sullencentric short about, perhaps, the worst roommate but also, perhaps, the best roommate.

#39: LEFT directed Christopher Jason Bell

DIY experimentation about a woman navigating an airport and a future free from abuse.

#38: ALL SMALL BODIES directed by Jennifer Reeder

A semi-futuristic take on the Hansel & Gretel tale from one of America’s underrated directors.

#37: DISCO INFERNO directed by Alice Waddington

A highly-stylized short about Mephistopheles, human sacrifice, and workplace boredom.

#36: THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED) directed by Noah Baumbach

#35: LADY BIRD directed by Greta Gerwig

#34: GOOD TIME directed by Benny & Josh Safdie

#33: LÉTHÉ directed by Dea Kulumbegashvili

A beguiling black-and-white short with a meandering camera traversing a bewildering landscape.

#32: HOW HEAVY THIS HAMMER directed Kazik Radwanski

A man’s life becomes overrun by a video game obsession which pushes him to greener pastures to only learn that the grass isn’t always greener.

#31: VALERIA directed by Erin Vassilopoulos

A 35mm short of ghostly lowlight wherein haunter and hauntee are one in the same.

#30: COLOSSAL directed by Nacho Vigalondo

#29: SOME BEASTS directed by Cameron Bruce Nelson

A bittersweet tale occupying the margins of the in between, in between the dusk of unrealized, cast off dreams and the threshold of promise and new beginnings.

#28: TORMENTING THE HEN directed by Theodore Collatos

A thriller with no crime, no victims, and no perpetrator yet through paranoia and misreading, the actuality of all three coming into existence is always one action away.

#27: OKJA directed by Bong Joon-ho

#26: THE SALESMAN directed Asghar Farhadi