For all of the shit that's been slung at us over the course of 2017, it's been an absolutely incredible year for cinema, and it was nearly impossible to whittle the over-175 movies I've seen this year down to 10 favorites. Normally people put phrases like that at the start of a year-end list, but it's not just bullshit. From The Disaster Artist to Logan to Mudbound to Dunkirk to Professor Marston and the Wonder Women to Star Wars: The Last Jedi to Blade Runner 2049 to Stronger and plenty more, there were some great fucking movies that I left off this list and I'm so grateful to have seen them all. But here's 10 that I think are the truly essential and interesting films of the year, and are my personal favorites from 2017.
Brawl in Cell Block 99
This prison film, written and directed by Bone Tomahawk creator S. Craig Zahler, is probably the closest thing to a true exploitation film released in the past 10 years. It’s pulpy as all hell, chock-full of its creator’s repugnant politics, and contains a few scenes of violence so crazy and intense that you’ll probably whimper much like I did at Fantastic Fest this past September. But Vince Vaughn’s brilliant and understated performance causes Brawl in Cell Block 99 to be something just a little bit greater than what I think people expected from a film like this. It’s a damn shame that this didn’t get a crazy-wide theatrical release, but I still have hope that it’ll play as a midnight movie somewhere later on. It’s utterly stunning, brutal and shocking in all the ways you’d want.