2017 was an interesting year for film, as quite a few blockbuster films came out to be disappointments, while some surprised many with their quality. In the midst of the blockbuster madness, many films, both good and bad, flew under people’s radars. The good ones were either overlooked or underrated as time went on throughout the year. I’ve compiled a list of the top 7 most underrated films of 2017 so you can catch up on some of the best films you may have missed. To check out our review for a film, click on the its name above the photo (if available).
7 – Split
M. Night Shyamalan has had a recent history of making not-so-great films *The Happening*, but he has seemingly make his big comeback with 2017’s Split. Although the film starts out as horror/thriller about a kidnapping, it turns into one of the most interesting takes on split personalities put on film. James McAvoy is the villain of the film, a person struggling with 23 different personalities but things get even stranger than that. By the end of the film, you’re wondering how any of this is even possible. The very last-minute has a reveal that is as good as the one in The Sixth Sense, so be sure not to skip.
McAvoy’s performance alone makes this film worth checking out, while actress Anya Taylor-Joy also delivers an exceptional performance. The film isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s Shyamalan’s best film in years and it’s definitely worth watching if your a fan of his work.
6 – The Florida Project
The Florida Project is probably one of the most realistic films to come out in 2017. Based in Orlando/Kissimmee Florida, the film follows a six-year-old girl Moonee and her mother Halley as they live in a motel. They’re extremely unlikable duo, but there is something very raw and realistic about it. It’s certainly not for everyone so be sure to give the film time to grow on you like it grew on me. Willem Dafoe has a supporting role here, the voice of reason in the film, and he knocks it out of the park.
In fact, all of the performances great, but Brooklynn Prince (Moonee) is the true star here. She’s apologetically childish and authentic, while also portraying the fact she’s a product of a bad environment. The ending will throw you for a loop, but if you give it time I think you’ll really appreciate what the film is trying to express.
After premiering at Sundance early last year, Netflix bought Mudbound to release it on the streaming platform. It was finally dropped on November 17, but it was buried under other major debuts like TV series The Punisher and blockbuster Justice League. This is unfortunate, as one of the best films of the year was suddenly pushed out with little to no momentum.
From director Dee Rees, Mudbound is an adaption of a book of the same name. This one is probably the hardest film to watch on this list, but not for bad reasons. It follows two families in a farm in rural Mississippi, taking place during and post-World War II. The film deals with racism, life after war, and family dynamics. It’s powerful and tense, with award worthy performances from the whole cast. It’s beautifully shot and extremely well-directed, to me Dee Rees is not only one of the best female directors of 2017, but best director period. It’s on Netflix right now so the decision is literally at your finger tips, I implore to check it out.
The sequel to he mega-hit that was James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy arrived earlier in the year, and it was met with mostly positive reviews and reactions. It was widely said that it was significantly weaker than the first one and that it relied more on the jokes, but I beg to differ. After watching and rewatching it, I can say it’s not only one of the best CBMs of the year, but close to first film in terms of quality. Yes it does stumble a bit during the first half, but the last hour is extremely emotional and satisfying. It’s as hilarious as it is personal, as the members of the team are most important here.
3 – Gerald’s Game
Netflix has a had an impressive slew of shows over the past couple of years, but their original films have not seen as much success. This year alone saw disappointments like Death Note and most recently Bright from the streaming service giant, while lower budget films went under people’s radar. One of those being Gerald’s Game, an adaption of Stephen King’s novel of the same name. The film follows a middle-aged couple on a retreat to a cabin to try to fix their marriage, but all goes wrong when the husband dies of a heart attack…while the wife is handcuffed to a bed. Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood play the titular roles, and they give Oscar worthy performances.
It’s tense, dark, scary and will ultimately leave you thinking about it for hours on end upon watching it. If you’re a horror fan you’ll definitely appreciate the dark direction that director Mike Flanagan takes with this story. The scares and tension are done masterfully by using horror movies tropes but turning it on its head. Chances are you have Netflix and a spare hour or two, so I really advise you to see it and enjoy the craziness. Tip: Try not to watch this while eating, or before going to bed…like I did.
2 – Wind River
After writing some of the best films in the past decade with Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan made the jump to both screenwriter and director with last year’s Wind River. Set in the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, the film follows a FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) that teams up with a local game tracker (Jeremy Renner) to investigate a murder of a young girl. Its tense and superbly directed, coupled with Oscar-worthy performances from the main cast. Especially Jeremy Renner, as he gives the performance of his career here.
It’s available on Digital HD and I can’t recommend this film enough. It’s a very dark and sometimes depressing film so keep that in mind before watching it. Definitely not the easiest watch, but I think there a lot of things said here that needs to be known by many.
1 – A Ghost Story
Probably the simplest and lowest budget film on this list, A Ghost Story by David Lowery is a haunting tale of a recent ghost hanging on to his connection with his wife. That’s all you need to know as the trailer shows a bit too much, and I believe viewers will benefit from avoiding it. It’s dark and depressing, yet full of love and life. It’s an emotional roller coaster that will take your soul and run with it. This is not a horror movie by the way, so do not expect anything of the sort. The movie earns the top spot as it’s not only an extremely overlooked film, but one that some have seen but didn’t like due to it not being what they thought it was. I only caught the film extremely late in the year, but I’m glad I did anyways.
If you guys see these films be sure to tweet at SuperBroMovies with your thoughts on them!