At the beginning of each month I recap the movies I watched the previous month. You can find December’s log further down this post (with some comments on P.T. Anderson’s “Phantom Thread”) but before we get to that here is a wrap-up of everything I watched in 2017. According to my Letterboxd diary that came to a grand total of 191 movies. That beats my 2016 total by five and averages out to just under sixteen a month, a pace I credit to my continued adherence to a largely television-free diet. I’m going into my third year doing this now and I don’t miss TV much at all, especially as eschewing it has afforded me the time to watch and re-watch so many great or obscure or fondly remembered movies that I’d never be able to otherwise. Television is a waste of time, people.
I tried to make a list of the top ten movies of 2017 but when I did so I realized that I didn’t really see ten films that I would consider truly great, just a lot of pretty good ones. That said, there are some notable awards contenders, including “I, Tonya,” “Ladybird,” and “Call Me By Your Name” that I haven’t been able to log yet, and it’s reasonable to say that at least one or two of those would’ve made the list. Nevertheless here are the top six best films from 2017 that I saw.
You can see the running inventory of every 2017 movie that I saw and how I ranked them in this Letterboxd list. For more insight into how I spent my movie time in 2017, have a look at this “annual report” of my movie watching activity. It includes this grid of posters from all 191 movies.
I also saw twenty films in December, making it out to theaters four times. The highlight was “Phantom Thread,” the latest by P.T. Anderson and, reportedly, the last screen appearance that Daniel Day-Lewis will ever make. Anderson’s films tend to be about the courts that men of power convene around themselves and this is one of his best explorations of that milieu. It’s hilarious and chilling and rapturous and deeply, deeply messed up all at once. Don’t read anything about it; just go see it.
For the record, here’s the full list of everything I watched, including December’s twenty movies.
If you’re interested, you can peruse the 186 movies that I watched in 2016 in this blog post. You can also follow along with my film diary over at letterboxd.com. Here’s wishing you a happy new year of movie watching!