The following was originally posted in December 2017.
It’s been a great year for movie lovers, but even ardent screen aficionados would have had a hard time catching all the goodies that were released.
Whether it be international non-English language pictures, independent films, movies that fell victim to distribution woes, or documentaries that failed to get the spotlight they deserved, there were a number of 2017 releases that weren’t anywhere near the mainstream radar. We’ve gathered a list of titles that, for one reason or another, went overlooked in 2017.
From underseen Aussie-produced horror, to must-see U.S. indies, to feel-good French drama, to South Korean action mayhem, here are 15 great movies from 2017 you may have missed…
‘BETTER WATCH OUT’
This Aussie-American co-production is an unapologetic and surprisingly twisted nasty. It’s an unusual and refreshing entry into the Christmas horror genre that flaunts with tradition and throws conventions out the window.
Raw, honest and poetic, Lucky is not only a film that should be embraced by all, it is without doubt a fitting tribute to one of America’s greatest actors.
An Australian cult is exposed in this enthralling documentary. Horrific tales of abuse, control, delusion and brainwashing punctuate this superbly researched and edited film… The Family is deeply enthralling, challenging and alarming.
‘THE VILLAINESS’ – Watch it on NETFLIX
Reminiscent of Gareth Evans’ The Raid and Ilya Naishuller’s Hardcore Henry, director/co-writer Jung Byung-gil throws his audience head first into a ballet of destruction, which effortlessly taps into the sweet spot of our brain that rightfully abhors violence and yet can’t help but rubberneck. It’s both energising and alarming.
‘DAVID STRATTON: A CINEMATIC LIFE’
David Stratton: A Cinematic Life is the latest documentary to examine the unique and privileged profession that is being a cinema critic, and it is a wonderful exploration of a life lived, celebrating one of Australia’s most iconic figures.
‘WHEELMAN’ – Watch it on NETFLIX
With a tight plot and short run time, this Netflix action-thriller is lean and rangy. First-time feature writer-director (and the appropriately named) Jeremy Rush knows exactly what he’s after and does not hesitate to get it. Despite the familiarity, Wheelman uses its formula to great effect, giving us some genuinely surprising developments, tightly wound action, and at the end of it all, a movie more than worthy of your time.
‘GOOD TIME’ – Watch it on NETFLIX
A sweaty, kinetic and brilliant assault on the senses, with Pattinson again proving himself to be an actor who truly inhabits the characters he’s given. Good Time is an absorbing and powerful crime caper.
‘GOD’S OWN COUNTRY’
Josh O’Connor gives a fearless performance in this sincere and uncompromising depiction of sexual repression, forbidden love and sacrifice. God’s Own Country is a wonderful, compelling and fulfilling film.
‘A MONSTER CALLS’
A touching fantasy, a therapeutic fable that demonstrates the power of stories. The film boasts excellent performances, strong visuals and a sense of wonder, but it’s more than that – A Monster Calls works as an indispensable lesson on the nature of grief.
‘HOUNDS OF LOVE’
While it is unlikely to be an experience many will want to repeat, it is a worthwhile experience nonetheless. Hounds of Love is a confidently intense Australian horror movie that will reward audiences with the constitution for it.
Kedi is a thoroughly enjoyable, fresh and tautly crafted documentary that knows exactly what it wants to achieve, and does so with flying colours. It is essential viewing for cat lovers, which – based on the internet – appears to be around 94% of the world’s population, and highly recommended for anyone who is interested in expanding their minds and worlds.
‘THE COUNTRY DOCTOR’
A heartwarming story that celebrates the power of community and the triumph of will. At times sombre, yet often amusing, The Country Doctor is an enchanting character study that is sure to leave viewers with an infectious case of the ‘warm & fuzzies’. Highly recommended.
‘A WOMAN’S LIFE’
Replete with stunning and authentic costume design and settings, A Woman’s Life is told in telling snapshots of Jeanne’s life and is, as a whole, pretty mesmerising. An utterly moving and engaging adaptation of a French classic, and a film that skilfully portrays the troubles and struggles of an ordinary life.
‘IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD’ – Watch it on NETFLIX
A wonderful piece of storytelling, backed up by exquisite visuals. Sombre in some moments and bursting with joy in others, In This Corner of the World is a treat for the eyes and heart.
‘TOWER’ – Watch it on NETFLIX
A profound, creative look at a dark day in US history. The riveting entertainment factor is matched by its heart and creativity, delivering something different for what is surely a difficult subject to portray well. Tower is a must watch for fans of the documentary genre.