1. Get Out
Dir. Jordan Peele | USA-Japan
Jordan Peele’s debut film is a brilliantly inventive horror that skewers the insecurities and injustices of modern America.
Read our review Film of the week: Get Out, a surreal satire of racial tension
Read Kelli Weston’s new essay That Sinking Feeling in the Sight & Sound January 2018 issue
2. Twin Peaks: The Return
Television | Creators Mark Frost and David Lynch | USA
David Lynch’s epic, mind-altering anti-detective TV series gave us exactly what we expected, by giving us nothing that we expected.
3. Call Me by Your Name
Dir. Luca Guadagnino | Brazil-Italy-France-USA
In Luca Guadagnino’s intimate romance, Armie Hammer and
Timothée Chalamet play young lovers who fall into each other’s arms during a sun-baked summer in rural Italy.
Dir. Lucrecia Martel | Argentina-Brazil-Spain-The Netherlands-Mexico-Portugal-USA
Lucrecia Martel’s adaptation of Antonio de Benedetto’s existential 1956 novel is a rich work of visual tapestry, of 18th-century Latin American colonial life as self-mythologising fable. A haunting work that gets into your bones.
Read our feature Breaking time’s arrow: Lucrecia Martel and Zama at the 2017 LFF
Dir. Valeska Grisebach | Germany
Valeska Grisebach’s stunning existential study of masculinity tips its hat to classic genre cinema even as it casts an extraordinary troupe of non-professional actors as its grizzled migrant construction workers in a foreign land.
Read our review Western: once upon a time in modern-day eastern Europe
6. Faces Places
Dir. Agnès Varda | France
Serendipities fly as cinema’s greatest gleaner goes rambling in the cine-van of Magnum muralist JR, and pits her memories against her thirst for new faces.
Read our review Faces Places: Agnès Varda and JR big up the country byways
Read Philip Concannon on late works by veteran filmmakers in the Sight & Sound January 2018 issue
7. Good Time
Dir. Josh and Benny Safdie | USA
Robert Pattinson’s lone sibling desperado rampages nocturnal New York in Benny and Josh Safdie’s streetish 70s-throwback bungled-heist thriller.
Dir. Andriy Zvyagintsov | Russia-France-Belgium-Germany
The Russian director’s fifth feature is an enigmatic, and very rewarding, film about a missing child, a dissolving marriage and a country in crisis. At its best, it’s cinematic poetry.
Dir. Christopher Nolan | USA-UK
Breathtaking realism, sterling performances and distinctly restrained direction combine to make Christopher Nolan’s World War II drama a wrenching spectacle.
=9. The Florida Project
Dir. Sean Baker | USA
A mischievous mother and daughter run merry rings around Willem Dafoe’s weary motel manager in Sean Baker’s effervescent chronicle of a summer in the strip malls and swamps that skirt Disney’s empire.
11. A Ghost Story
Dir. David Lowery | USA
Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and a crisp white sheet haunt the screen in David Lowery’s beautifully crafted, risk-taking film about deadly loss and deep sadness.
Read our review Film of the week: A Ghost Story explores the delirium of grief
=12. Lady Macbeth
Dir. William Oldroyd | UK
In William Oldroyd’s compelling psychological drama, Florence Pugh delivers an unforgettable performance as a chattel bride seeking revenge and sovereignty at all costs.
Read our review Film of the week: Lady Macbeth pares the period film back to its bones
Read Nick James on the year in British cinema in the Sight & Sound January 2018 issue
=12. 120 BPM
Dir. Robin Campillo | France
Robin Campillo’s drama gives life, joy and distinction to the struggles of France’s ACT UP AIDS activists of the early 1990s.
Read our review 120 Beats per Minute (BPM): queer lives honoured
=12. You Were Never Really Here
Dir. Lynne Ramsay | UK-USA-France
A bulked-up Joa Phoenix carries the weight of the world into nightmarish terrain in Ramsay’s hardboiled, sharp-edged, audacious adaptation of Jonathan Ames’s novella.
15. God’s Own Country
Dir. Francis Lee | UK
Both post-gay and pre-Brexit, Francis Lee’s debut feature is anything but a straightforward coming-out tale. Instead it’s an eerily beautiful love story between two men, and the wild Yorkshire landscape.
Read our review Film of the week: God’s Own Country unites males in the Dales
=16. Personal Shopper
Dir. Olivier Assayas | France
A medium-cool Kristen Stewart shops and drops in with the dead in Olivier Assayas’s modern mystical Paris.
Read our review Personal Shopper – first look
=16. The Shape of Water
Dir. Guillermo del Toro | USA
Guillermo del Toro conjures a cinematic extravaganza teeming with high notes, from Sally Hawkins’ mute, dreamy musical-loving cleaner to the B-movie creature from the deep she sides with against the worst of 1960s US military-industrial iniquity.
=16. Strong Island
Dir. Yance Ford | USA-Denmark
Yance Ford’s documentary feature is an intimate investigation into the death of his brother, and the legal injustice that followed, as both a family tragedy and an index of wider American malaise.
=19. I Am Not Your Negro
Dir. Raoul Peck | Belgium-Switzerland-France-USA
Raoul Peck’s fluid documentary uses the timeless anger of James Baldwin to animate his history of the black experience in America, from Hollywood stereotypes to police brutality.
Read our review I Am Not Your Negro: race, rage and the American Dream
=19. Lady Bird
Dir. Greta Gerwig | USA
Saoirse Ronan gives as good as she gets as the rebel heroine of Greta Gerwig’s first film as solo writer-director: an honest, surprising and screwball-funny coming-of-age portrait that encompasses a snipey mother-daughter relationship and a faltering female friendship.
=19. Let the Sunshine In
Dir. Claire Denis | France
In Claire Denis’ low-key rondo, archetypal romantic situations elicit subtle yet surprising transformations in the character of Juliette Binoche’s newly divorced painter as she returns to the romantic fray.
Read our review Let the Sunshine In: Juliette Binoche rings love’s changes
Dir. Barry Jenkins | USA
Barry Jenkins’ three-ages portrait of a queer black youth comes bearing a weight of significance, but its nuanced ensemble performances and agile formalism give it a rare beauty and tenderness.
Dir. Darren Aronofsky | USA
Brash and bombastic it may be, but the Black Swan director’s latest, starring Jennifer Lawrence as a poet’s wife beset by escalating horrors, has a berserk bravura it might be too easy to mock.
Read our review Mother!: Darren Aronofsky’s symphony of domestic disquiet
Dir. Dee Rees | USA
In Dee Rees’s mythic and superbly acted family saga set in the Mississippi Delta in the 1940s, two young men return from the front only to find bigotry and poverty tearing their community apart.
Read our review Mudbound: families at war on home soil
=25. The Other Side of Hope
Dir. Aki Kaurismäki | Finland-Germany
The latest from Finland’s deadpan morose-romantic master is a Chaplinesque fable of two disparate strivers commingling in Helsinki.
Dir. Martin Scorsese | USA-Mexico-UK-Taiwan
With an interiority even stronger than its historical sweep, Scorsese’s epic portrait of the trials and temptations of a Jesuit missionary in seventeenth-century Japan gives us one of the director’s most tortured accounts of spiritual exile.
THE INTERNATIONAL FILM MAGAZINE
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Our current issue
Read select contributors’ votes and comments; Nick James’s introduction to our poll; and essays on Get Out, Twin Peaks: The Return and the year in American independent cinema, British cinema, blockbusters and franchises, and late works by veteran filmmakers in the Sight & Sound January 2017 issue. Plus Frances McDormand, Gary Oldman, Miike Takashi, The Disaster Artist, The Deuce and much more.