As I've been doing the last few years I have too many great films not to have a really long list (you see over a 1000 films a year and try to go down to 10 or so). these are the first round of truly great films I saw this year.
IP MAN 3- Donnie Yen returns in a a film that has him fighting Mike Tyson. Imperfect but damn entertaining
JERUZALEM- one of the best found footage films has a reason to exist and is scary to boot.
THE CUT- Short film with great advice from a hairdresser
STARLESS DREAM- a crushing look at Women in Prison
ALMOST SUNRISE- Two Vets walk across America to make people aware of the dangers of PTSD
TICKLING GIANTS- Portrait of an Egyptian comedian who tried to do a version of the Daily Show and almost got killed for his troubles. Such is the dangers of an unfree society
WIN- Wonderful portrait of the first year of the New York City Football Club that goes in unexpected directions
MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART- a search for answers in the past doesn't have easy answers. Gloriously uncertain.
GREEN ROOM- Ugly nasty portrait of people trying to flee white supremacists. Chilling in all the right ways.
OFF THE RAILS- Great portrait of a man who loves to ride the subways so much he's a better driver than the real ones....
SHIN GODZILLA- Wonderful rethink of Godzilla is also a biting social commentary
LONG WAY NORTH- one of the best animated films of the year needs to be shown to every little girl....and anyone who wants a great adventure
The first half of NERUDA is a cinematic delight. Its a film in love with the movies. The second half is nowhere near as good as it has to actually do something. Still the first half haunts me,
MOONLIGHT - wonderful portrait of a man questing to find himself and that which his heart desires most. (Intellectually one of the best of the best of the year but emotionally its half a step off, though I will be delighted if this gets a Best Picture Oscar)
PATERSON - wonderful off kilter portrait of a poet where nothing happens and everything does
ART BASTARD/BURDEN/MAURIZIO CATTELAN ...I'LL BE RIGHT BACK- trilogy of art films I'm clumping together because they made me love art and their subjects even more.
Jerry Lewis in MAX ROSE is Oscar bait. Wow.
FOURTH PLACE- what will you do to succeed when that requires you to win at any cost. This film rocked everyone at NYAFF and I can't believe it hasn't hit anyone's radar outside of that.
WINDOW HORSES- wonderful portrait of a young woman trying to find her identity and her home. Amazing. Why isn't this better known? Why wasn't this at NYFF? WHy hasn't GKids picked it up?
DESERT CATHEDRAL- haunting true story of a man who films everything going off the rails while his wife tries to find him. This film is burned into my brain
CITY OF JOY- Moving film about a place where women can go to find strength and life. Truly moving and amazing
ARRIVAL One of the headiest science fiction films in years is also a portrait of a woman coming to terms with life. Wow.
MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI - A review will come when it hits US theaters but this film is an atypically dark and heart warming look at childhood. Thank GKids for picking this up
The photography in THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES is as beautiful as I've ever seen- Wow.