The Best Movies of 2017 (So Far)


This list has been updated to include July releases.

This year has already seen one attempt at crowning a best film go awry, but we won’t be deterred: With 2017 more than halfway over, it’s time for us to take stock. Here are the best movies Vulture has reviewed, according to our movie critics David Edelstein and Emily Yoshida.

(A quick note about our methodology: We’ve restricted this list only to films that have had an official release in the first seven months of 2017, though we will continue to update it throughout the year.)

Baby Driver
“As he proves yet again in his thrillingly syncopated heist movie Baby Driver, the 43-year-old U.K.-born Edgar Wright is just about the perfect 21st-century genre director. He has a fanboy’s scintillating palette — flesh-eating zombies, righteous vigilante cops, stoic bank robbers in sunglasses — without a fanboy’s lack of peripheral vision.”

Beatriz at Dinner
Beatriz at Dinner may not stick the landing, but its central clash between healers and destroyers maintains its choke hold long after the credits have rolled.”

The Beguiled
“[Sofia] Coppola’s The Beguiled doesn’t have the southern-gothic kick of its predecessor. It’s not a horror movie. Its power is in its undercurrents, in the sense that what we’re seeing isn’t inevitable but a sort of worst-case scenario of genders in opposition.”

The Big Sick

“Like many long-term relationships, [the movie is] the kind of thing you relax into, certainly not thinking at the outset that you’re in for anything monumental. Maybe you even take for granted all the things that aren’t difficult or frustrating about it, until two years (or two hours) have passed and you look up and realize you’re in love.”

”In Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan has made a stark and harrowing war movie muddled by his signature ‘Nolan Time,’ that arty temporal scramble that he thinks is more illuminating than it is.”

Get Out
Get Out is a ludicrous paranoid fantasy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not alive in the unconscious. Having it out there in so delightful a form helps us laugh at it together — and maybe later, when we’ve thought it over, shudder.”

A Ghost Story
“But even at its most self-conscious, there’s something lovable about A Ghost Story. Lowery’s boxlike frame deepens the poignancy, and he evokes the passing of days, months, or years with real lyricism. Above all, the image of Affleck under that sheet while the movie goes on around him is indelible.”

Girls Trip
“It’s a shiny, female-dominated hard-R comedy starring at least two big-name stars (and one future household name, if there’s any justice in the world) that somehow feels as fast and loose as an impromptu viral video, and it would feel like a modern miracle if it wasn’t so busy being, well, funny. Like Bridesmaids, it makes no more promises than an actual night out: These people will be there, and the goal is to have a good time. And while it may not quite have the undergirding pathos of the former, Girls Trip is a very good time.”

John Wick 2
“The body count of John Wick: Chapter 2 is stratospheric, but the assailants aren’t weightless and interchangeable, as in a video game. [Director Chad] Stahelski is a former stunt double, and he choreographs the action in breathtaking long takes, as if to create a Rite of Spring for gore-hounds, each kill more convulsive than the last, each attacker a nastier gag sprung by sonofabitch gods.”

Lady Macbeth
“The movie’s larger point — which I find irrefutable — is that some people who have been victimized for life are not just inclined to speak truth to power but to abuse what power they have over people with less of it. August Wilson knew that, which is why his plays resonate far beyond melodrama. So does Lady Macbeth. It eats into the mind with its vision of evil as a contagion that transforms victims into oppressors.”

Last Men in Aleppo
“You should — you must — see Last Men in Aleppo to witness an ongoing tragedy. But you should also see it to learn humility. We — meaning Americans — ain’t seen nothin’. Yet.”

“Hard to believe it has been 17 years since the first X-Men movie with [Hugh] Jackman as Logan, and in middle age he’s still muscled-up and ropy — maybe even ropier, given how alarmingly the veins stand out in his arms and chest. You can believe there’s something corrosive in those veins, like battery acid. He’s being eaten alive before your eyes, and in what could be Logan’s last stand, Jackman brings everything he has, from animal rage to mute despair.”

Nowhere to Hide
“Some great documentaries cut through the inessentials and help you make sense of an apparently senseless world. Others have the opposite effect: They shock you into an even greater confoundment, demonstrating, moment by moment, how irrational the world really is. Nowhere to Hide is in the latter camp.”

The Little Hours
“The movie is not camp. It’s deliciously deadpan sex farce played by some of the deftest clowns in the English-speaking world. The more matter-of-fact it is, the more screamingly funny.”

The Lovers
“With its waltz-like score and farcical symmetry, The Lovers is about as full as a movie can be with a premise so thin.”

Personal Shopper

“The story, like its titular gigantic pig-hippo, is a hybrid, nodding to kid-creature teams from E.T. to My Neighbor Totoro, while also dabbling in both farcical and sincere ecodrama. It might be considered an out-and-out family film, were it not for co-writer Jon Ronson’s way around a

“If you have a penchant for mood pieces that flirt with genre but are too pretentious to deliver the full climactic payload, Personal Shopper is for you. I loved nearly all of it, disposed to forgive [director Olivier] Assayas his arty withholding for the pleasure of watching [Kristen] Stewart through his eyes.”

The Salesman
“Almost from the beginning of his career, [director Asghar] Farhadi has aimed for a middle ground between intimacy and detachment. Sometimes he gets close to his characters, but often it seems as if he’s photographing specimens in a terrarium — the terrarium in this case a city in which artists have to watch their backs because of hovering censors.”

Wind River
”Although the resolution to the mystery wouldn’t do credit to a third-rate thriller, it’s crazily powerful — sudden and bloody but with no real catharsis, just a sense of waste and a feeling of, ‘What now?’ I’m not sure how Sheridan would answer that — not that an artist really needs to. He has a soft spot for vigilantism, which I’m guessing he sees as a necessary evil — or perhaps a Western genre convention that he’s loath to pass up. (Renner wears a cowboy hat.) In any case, long after the gunshots of Wind Riverfade, you might think you hear the cries of the dead.”

Your Name
“What this film has to say about how we experience time and loss overpowers the demands of logic. Perhaps a less uplifting ending may have seemed more honest. But [director Makato] Shinkai’s a romantic at heart, and it’s infectious.”