All the Movies I Saw 2017

All the Movies I Saw in 2017

For the my 6th Annual “All the Movies I Saw Last Year” tweet-a-thon, I tweeted once every five minutes, from 9am to 6pm, on January 5, 2018. Since I believe limitations spur creativity—and because the old character limit was still in place when I began composing my tweets early in 2017—all my tweets are 140 characters. Before the tweets began, I added some context, which I will repeat here, in paragraph form. The rest will be as originally presented, with a handy link to the original tweet for good measure.

I ended 2017 with a movie on December 30. I began the year with a movie on January 1. In between, I watched 106 others, for a total of 108 films. (That’s 195 hours of movies, by the way.) I saw 41 movies in a theater, 61 at home and 3 elsewhere. I’d seen previously 11 of my 108, and watched one twice this year (both times in the theater, no less). Of my 66 movies not seen in a theater, 31 were on disc, 31 were streamed, and 4 were televised. (Basically, I will watch a movie however I can get my hands on it.)

The oldest movie I watched was from 1942. The newest, obviously, was from 2017—I saw 52 of those. Overall I saw movies from 30 different years. For the first time, I’ll be tweeting about shorts. I saw 7 of them, and they were all animated. Unrelated, but still interesting to note: I watched 10 documentaries.

While these summaries/reviews/musings existed in draft form via a simple text document, I would not have been able to track my movie-watching year without the indispensible Letterboxd, who, in addition to collecting my year-end rankings has a great statistical outlook on my 2017 in movie-watching.

Without further adieu, here is my year in movies, as I tweeted them, with one additional piece of detail left out of the tweet-a-thon, month markers:


  • Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) … An incomprehensible mess that’s far too long but also might make more sense if it were longer. #
  • Jackie (2016) … A story that’s sneakily, in the way it was told, about its subject—which isn’t Jackie, but the power of myth she understood. #
  • Titanic (1997) … I once said I liked it—and maybe loved it it from “Iceberg, right ahead!” on—but getting to the good stuff TAKES SO LONG. #
  • Hidden Figures (2016) … Rounds off some harder edges & gooses some facts, but it’s rousing/refreshing to see this story told, esp. in 2017. #
  • Fences (2016) … As claustrophobic as you’d expect from a stage adaptation—but also because the story and acting makes you feel that way. #
  • 20th Century Women (2016) … Like how the blind men can’t know the whole elephant without each other, we can’t make it through life alone. #
  • Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids (2016) … Concert films are a dime a dozen, but director Jonathan Demme consistently raises the bar. #


  • Groundhog Day (1993) … Had the pleasure to gather friends to watch with me this time; as expected, the experience was entirely different. #
  • Casablanca (1942) … Finally saw the classic months after visiting the titular city, w/ an added backdrop of present day immigrant concerns. #
  • Schindler’s List (1993) … I put it off for years, thinking it too much to bear—its relevance is, sadly, probably greater now than in 1993. #
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) … I saw some of my HS self in the title character, which is probably why I found the film too maudlin. #
  • The Handmaiden (2016) … Twisty & twisted, Chan-wook’s adaptation is all male-gaze, all the time, but knowingly—it dares you to be offended. #
  • The Wrong Man (1956) … Based on a true story—a rarity for Hitchcock—and at times lacking his signature pacing, yet still an unsettling tale. #
  • The Lego Batman Movie (2017) … A spin-off somehow more frenetic than The Lego Movie, this giddy flick is indebted to decades of Bat-lore. #


  • Get Out (2017) … @JordanPeele’s tightly scripted, superbly acted “social thriller” hits your brain more than your gut but skimps on neither. #
  • Logan (2017) … Inspired move by James Mangold to remake the classic western as a comic book tale—both are similarly derided populist forms. #
  • The Duke of Burgundy (2014) … A quiet, detail-heavy rumination on repetition being one of the chief ways to discover a relationship’s truth. #
  • I Am Not Your Negro (2016) … Unsure on whether Peck’s visual juxtapositions disrespect the film’s audience or leaven Baldwin’s words. Both? #
  • Sausage Party (2016) … Comedic audacity alone is not enough to make me laugh nor enjoy what turns out to be a one-joke premise, twist & all. #
  • Mustang (2015) … A crushing yet vaguely hopeful tale of young Turkish sisters struggling to topple their familial and national patriarchy. #
  • Captain Fantastic (2016) … A little too quirky to be taken seriously, and a little too serious to be laughed at, but Viggo finds a balance. #
  • The Asphalt Jungle (1950) … The classic noir left me sleepy, but I’m not going to count that against it. A tragic tale of greed & grit. #


  • Win It All (2017) … Johnson/Swanberg’s ending is far too tidy, but the title gives it away, so maybe that’s not the point? A fun journey. #
  • The Lost City of Z (2017) … An old-fashioned, beautifully-crafted epic jungle adventure that manages to feel far less magical than it hopes. #
  • Paterson (2016) … Daringly quiet & small. There is an arc here, but it’s so relatable in its mundanity that you wonder how it’s a movie. #


  • The Fate of the Furious (2017) … A profoundly dumb action movie that is paradoxically enjoyable in its almost-heroic/admirable vapidity. #
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) … The consistency of the MCU is impressive but also numbing. I think I really liked it? But also meh. #
  • Armageddon (1998) … The @Criterion edition (!) of this—w/ a 4-track Bay/Bruckheimer/Willis/Affleck commentary (!)—is better than the movie. #
  • Stranger Than Paradise (1984) … I can see now, decades later, how this presaged a new indie film culture, but also, sorry, I didn’t love it. #
  • The Big Sick (2017) … Touching, true-to-life & truly hilarious. Proof, as “Four Weddings…” fan @kumailn knows, sad/funny rom-coms are best. #
  • Lemon (2017) … Off-kilter comedy is Brett Gelman’s bread & butter. This absurdist breakup tale takes that aesthetic to a whole new level. #
  • Brigsby Bear (2017) … Your mileage may vary in this Be Kind Rewind-meets-Room black comedy from SNL’s Kyle Mooney, but I liked it a lot. #
  • Escape From New York (1981) … Cheap and mostly unmemorable, though I do appreciate its place in the early-‘80s-NYC-as-future-dystopia canon. #
  • Person to Person (2017) … Series of semi-connected NY tales feels slower/older than its contemporary setting. Funny-ish but mostly lacking. #


  • Landline (2017) … Robespierre & Slate re-team for a solid, if a tad underwhelming, ’90s-inspired—in style and setting—family dramedy. #
  • Wonder Woman (2017) … Rides high on the charms of its leads, who make the most of a movie whose best qualities lie in flipping gender norms. #
  • Oh, Hello: On Broadway (2017) … Not so much a movie as a filmed stage play, but whatever, it was hilarious, and @letterboxd counts it, so… #
  • Rough Night (2017) … Seeing this comedy w/ just 3 strangers late on a Friday at an Eau Claire mall theater was is what I’ll remember most. #
  • Masterminds (2016) … Was anticipating it pre-release, then it sat on the shelf for awhile, lessening my interest. Good plane movie, though. #
  • Baby Driver (2017) … Basically a series of music-videos-turned-movie, interspersed w/ dialogue & the slightest bit of story. SOOO much fun. #


  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) … Easily the most effortless of recent Marvel stories. Holland might be my fave Spidey. Also: Zendaya is great! #
  • The Beguiled (2017) … Controversial for some in its omission of the novel/previous film’s slave character, but I found it… well, beguiling. #
  • A Ghost Story (2017) … Not a horror film, but instead a scary-good treatise on impermanence & the oft-paradoxical endurance of a human life. #
  • Little Men (2016) … Quiet, sneaky story of what it means to live in a society, which is to say sometimes to survive someone else must lose. #
  • Lost in America (1985) … Expertly lampoons the ennui of the rich suburbanite—aka the classic “yuppie“—but 30 years on, it feels much sadder. #


  • The Circle (2017) … Takes the hokey & unbelievable elements of the novel—which I liked!—and turns them to 11, losing all nuance AND satire. #
  • Dunkirk (2017) … Cliché-but-true review: Dunkirk is a pulse-pounding, relentless, often-terrifying reminder of why war sucks forever always. #
  • Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk (2017) … Cut 20 minutes of patter & you’ve got a winning doc for more than just a niche fanbase. #
  • How to Steal a Million (1966) … A charming caper that holds up as entertainment even as it fails my modern desire for a romance of equals. #
  • Girls Trip (2017) … The latest in a line of post-Bridesmaids “bawdy ladies” comedies, its casual boundary-pushing is its best asset. #
  • The House of Small Cubes (2008) … Stunning animated short tells a more heartfelt tale in its 12 min than most full-length movies do anymore. #
  • Logan Lucky (2017) … The best summary of this movie comes from a character in it: it’s “Ocean’s 7-11” aka a droll, down-home heist comedy. #
  • Ghost in the Shell (2017) … Proof that live-action anime adaptations never work, especially when you whitewash all the main characters. #
  • American Heart (1992) … Jeff Bridges struggles in a ’90s Seattle that hardly resembles the one I remember & definitely looks different now. #
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) … Frightfully dull story that doesn’t expand the Wizarding world, but makes it feel smaller. #


  • Alien: Covenant (2017) … Fills story gaps betw. Prometheus/Alien while also splitting the tonal difference: neither as think-y nor as scary. #
  • The Last Picture Show (1971) … A friendly reminder that teenage listlessness & small-town malaise are tragically beautiful in black & white. #
  • Kicking and Screaming (1995) … With a better soundtrack, Noah Baumbach’s debut would sit alongside the more famous Reality Bites & Singles. #
  • Hype! (1996) … A zeitgeisty document of Seattle’s first rise to fame feels more poignant 20 years on, seeing all we’ve lost along the way. #


  • mother! (2017) … A jarring, discombobulating piece of theater that inspires question after question, even as you think you’ve got it pegged. #
  • Battle of the Sexes (2017) … Tonal problems—what movie is Fred Armisen in?—dull the impact of this important landmark in sport & culture. #
  • Blade Runner 2049 (2017) … Stunning audio-visual work that takes—but doesn’t waste—its time continuing a decades-old man vs. machine story. #
  • James and the Giant Peach (1996) … Like most Dahl adaptations, it softens the edges too much, and cuts too many potentially great visuals. #
  • Let’s Play Two (2017) … Pearl Jam & Eddie Vedder’s ode to the Cubs falls short of the highs provided by the team itself, but still soars. #
  • The Florida Project (2017) … An unflinching yet vibrant tale of a very specific kind of poverty, it doubles as an ode to the bliss of youth. #
  • Colossal (2016) … A clever idea spoiled by poor characterization and awkward leaps in motivation; nothing anyone does makes much sense. #


  • Strange Weather (2017) … The always-amazing Holly Hunter & Carrie Coon can’t quite save this sad mystery/drama from feeling incomplete. #
  • Cameraperson (2016) … A series of seemingly unrelated documentary outtakes (shot by one person) reveals itself as a deep portrait of a life. #
  • The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017) … Baumbach’s milieu is more cloistered than ever despite a newly humane, mature approach. #
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017) … Waititi is so good at finding humor everywhere; even the gratuitous Dr. Strange cameo works. A delight throughout. #
  • Finding Frances (2017) … Nathan for You’s feature-length season—series?—finale is the show’s zenith: an expert blend of awkwardness and awe. #
  • War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) … A satisfying end for a trilogy that never needed to exist. They should stop here. I bet they won’t. #
  • Margot at the Wedding (2007) … Baumbach at his dourest and least sympathetic. I couldn’t find one likable character in this entire movie. #
  • Five Came Back (2017) … Reading the book was one thing, but seeing the films—and especially the war footage—described therein was thrilling. #
  • Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (2017) … More a memoir than a simple documentary, with Jim Carrey as unreliable a narrator as Andy ever was. #
  • Wind River (2017) … Writer/director Sheridan goes ultra-spare in this wintry Western crime drama whose twist is that there’s no twist. #
  • Lady Bird (2017) … Writer-director Greta Gerwig’s tidy, assured storytelling is anchored by fabulous performances and an off-kilter wit. #
  • 48 Hrs. (1982) … A pat, old-fashioned crime story—even for ’82—is livened by the jarringly fresh screen presence of a young Eddie Murphy. #
  • Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017) … 21 min long but feeling like twice that, I resent Disney for shoving this before the FAR superior Coco. #
  • Coco (2017) … Stunningly animated, brimming with color, music & life (also death!), it covers familiar Pixar ground in a new way. ¡Muy bien! #
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) … As Yoda once said, “anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” But laugh, I did. #
  • Kong: Skull Island (2017) … Unabashed in its B-movie aspirations, bolstered by an A-list cast, it’s plenty fun. Especially John C. Reilly. #


  • Stripes (1981) … Was this the last time you could make a bawdy comedy set in a bumbling military? I think we’re too self-serious for it now. #
  • The Disaster Artist (2017) … Best way to see this movie? Among a raucous crowd filled with fans of Tommy Wiseau’s masterpiece of awfulness. #
  • Too Funny to Fail: The Life and Death of The Dana Carvey Show (2017) … I know I would’ve loved this crazy show, had I watched it in ’96. #
  • The Lost Weekend (1945) … 60+ years on, this harrowing tale of alcoholism has lost some weightiness, but Wilder’s direction remains spot-on. #
  • Ingrid Goes West (2017) … Smartly puts the vapidity of the Instagram generation on trial, but fails to ask tough questions of the witnesses. #
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) … America wants to be Bedford Falls, but in 2017 is probably more Pottersville… let’s vote George Bailey 2020? #
  • La Bamba (1987) … What’s sadder? That Ritchie Valens died at 17, or that he’s probably the least interesting character in his own biopic? #
  • The Shape of Water (2017) … Lush colors & lovely acting can’t quite pull together a ’60s-set parable for equality that’s also just Splash. #
  • The Disaster Artist (2017) … Among a smaller, far less in-on-the-joke crowd, it wasn’t quite as fun the second time, but its charms remain. #
  • Nerve (2017) … Frenetic and overly saturated in all the ways, yet some buzzy (and scary) fun—until the facile story resolution in act 3. #
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) … Embraces the entire franchise—even the prequels—yet tosses out everything in favor of something truly new. #
  • The Empire Strikes Back (1980) … Still the best movie in the saga, in part because it’s heavy on story & character, and light on effects. #
  • Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) … Still the worst in the saga, which is too bad—middle acts are ripe for high drama. #
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) … Sans the meta aspects of this rendition of the classic—always a Muppet strong suit—it kinda falls flat. #
  • Atomic Blonde (2017) … Fight sequences normally bore me, but these are attention-holding throughout, and Charlize is coolly spectacular. #
  • Prep & Landing (2009) … Cute but slight, it squanders its 22 minutes, rushing to a (well-worn, if welcome) moral finale before it’s earned. #
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) … The LOLs are infrequent and the pace slow, but the core trio—especially Glenne Headly—keeps this watchable. #
  • A Christmas Story (1983) … To quote BoJack Horseman’s friend Todd, “it’s not tradition because it’s good. It’s good because it’s tradition.” #
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) … More than 50 years on, it remains an indispensable reminder: Christmas doesn’t come from a store. #
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) … The older I get, the more I identify with Charlie’s seasonal ennui—and the more I need Linus’s wisdom. #
  • Columbus (2017) … An understated platonic love story of two lives intertwining at the perfect moment to move each other toward happiness. #
  • Personal Shopper (2016) … Do u want to watch K-Stew text? What about shop & try on clothes? Do u also like scary ghosts? THIS IS YOUR MOVIE. #
  • World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts (2017) … Trippy, heavy, cute, funny, thoughtful, devastating and GREAT. #
  • World of Tomorrow (2015) … Watching it again, especially after the sequel, I was reminded of the surprising/smart things my niece tells me. #
  • Stronger (2017) … The casualness of the visual effects are awe-inducing, but not nearly as much as dueling wonders Gyllenhaal & Maslany. #
  • Out of Sight (1998) … My first DVD purchase, and an all-time favorite. Hadn’t watched it in years but it holds up so well. Sexy and slinky. #