Where do I begin to talk about what type of year 2017 has been? It was a year that delivered some big surprises, shocking moments, and intense backlash throughout the filmgoing community. And yet, for a year which saw a lot of folks talking about record lows when it came to box office returns, there was an embarrassment of riches when it came to content, both in wide release and more limited platforms. While the ticket sales may not always have said so, we were gifted with a lot of cinematic wins this past year.

My top 10 was hard to put together, because there were some films I really loved this year, but didn't manage to crawl past the 20 mark. But, as one finds themselves doing in such a situation, I weighed all of the films I'd seen this year, and assembled what I feel are the 10 best. It's an eclectic mix, for sure, but 2017 was an eclectic year. I highly recommend you seek all of these films out, but if there's three I really felt I needed to put a button on, it'd be numbers 9, 6 and 5 (for the record). Anyhow, submitted for your approval, here are my top picks for this past year in film. There are some minor spoilers in some of these paragraphs, so you have been warned!

Wind River Elizabeth Olsen Jeremy Renner hunting down a lead

10. Wind River

I really didn't know anything about Taylor Sheridan until he kicked some awards-season ass last year with his dark horse film Hell or High Water. So, by time I was hearing about Wind River coming to theaters, I didn't hesitate to jump on that train the moment it arrived in the station. I'm so glad I did too, because Sheridan once again displays his fixation with how people of different backgrounds and opinions get along, and in some cases fail to. His leads played by Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen navigate such a web of hatred and impulsively macho behavior that by time the film's over, you're almost surprised anyone's left alive at all.

Most importantly, Wind River is a testament to Sheridan's mastery of the western noir genre. We've seen it have a bit of a resurgence since No Country For Old Men won best picture back in 2007, but the genre still has some growing pains to work out. Throughout the entire film, we see what was once the "wild west" in its current state: isolated, disconnected, and washed out from its former glory. Yet if you listen closely in the wind, you can hear that the danger is still in Wind River's setting. I've been afraid that this film may be lost in the shuffle, due to its earlier release than most awards contenders, as well as the fact that it was a product of The Weinstein Company, pre-collapse. But much like his protagonists, Taylor Sheridan's dour murder mystery still stands as a landmark product from 2017's bountiful crop.

Read our review here.

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