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Cinema

The 25 best films of 2017 released in Hong Kong, from Thor: Ragnarok to Blade Runner 2049

It’s time to look back at our critics’ favourite films of the year. See if you agree with their choices

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 December, 2017, 8:20am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 December, 2017, 2:48pm

Did our list of the year’s 25 worst films bring back some traumatic memories? The good news is that 2017 also offered many more great films than we could have asked for. Here are the 25 best films that Post critics reviewed this year (up until December 14). Tell us your favourites in the comments.

25. Thor: Ragnarok

Marvel’s God of Thunder is back for his third – and easily his best – stand-alone film. Directed by New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), this latest adventure is by far the funniest Marvel film yet. Read the full review

24. Things to Come

Mia Hansen-Love delivers her most mature and accomplished work to date with her fifth feature. Isabelle Huppert’s subtle portrait of a woman trying to stem the flow of a life crisis remains engaging, humorous and powerful until the very end. Read the full review

23. Split

Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who hasn’t made a film this compelling since 2002’s Signs, Split sees a sensational James McAvoy take on all 23 of the characters swimming around inside the head of a person who suffers from multiple personality disorder. Read the full review

22. A Silent Voice

Based on the manga by Yoshitoki Oima, Naoko Yamada’s bold, respectful anime tackles themes of bullying, disability and isolation with a degree of intelligence and sensitivity seen all too rarely in mainstream media. Read the full review

21. Their Finest

War, love, death, the power of cinema and the under-appreciated contributions of women to society: Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (An Education) had a lot of boxes to tick with Their Finest, but she pulls it off with aplomb. Read the full review

20. Lady Macbeth

Based on Russian novelist Nikolai Leskov’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, this startling debut feature by British director William Oldroyd is a beautiful examination of passion, cruelty, manipulation, and downright nastiness. Read the full review

19. Land of Mine

Combining the nerve-shredding tension of The Hurt Locker with Dead Poets Society’s compassion for wilful adolescence, Land of Mine tells a powerful, moving story of young men sacrificed to war and its equally violent aftermath. Read the full review

18. The Salesman

An Iranian man’s convoluted attempt to track down his wife’s assailant morphs into an unexpected struggle to find his own moral centre in this riveting human drama. The film won its writer-director, Asghar Farhadi, his second foreign-language Oscar. Read the full review

17. Midnight Runners

Writer-director Kim Joo-hwan strides confidently into the commercial arena with this fast-paced buddy cop thriller, which proves the perfect star vehicle for young heartthrobs Park Seo-joon and Kang Ha-neul, who play a charismatic pair of police officers. Read the full review

16. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII, the longest instalment since the sci-fi phenomenon began in 1977, is an emotional ride and an incident-packed epic that introduces new characters, reacquaints us with old friends, answers some questions and throws up some more. Read the full review

15. Harmonium

A slow-burning feature about crime and punishment, Koji Fukada’s thematic sequel to Hospitalité (2010) sidesteps easy catharsis to stage a serious and emotionally intense inquiry into the unknown shades of human nature. Read the full review | Read our interview with director Koji Fukada

14. Graduation

Romanian director Cristian Mungiu’s striking drama rigorously deals with themes of corruption and moral decline. A hugely complex work, it holds a real spell over the viewer. Read the full review | Read our interview with director Cristian Mungiu

13. Baby Driver

Edgar Wright has lampooned the horror and action genres in the past, but Baby Driver proves he is a legitimate action director in his own right. Recalling True Romance and Walter Hill’s The Driver, his first truly American film is witty, romantic and shocking. Read the full review

12. Our Time Will Come

With this fact-based drama, Ann Hui On-wah adds her signature humanistic sensibility to an espionage thriller set in occupied Hong Kong during the second world war. This is, unsurprisingly, an unapologetically human drama. Read the full review | Read our interview with director Ann Hui

11. The Other Side of Hope

Despite being instantly recognisable for Aki Kaurismaki’s deadpan wit, the Finnish director’s take on Europe’s refugee crisis feels like the angriest film of his career. For all its quirky touches, the narrative doesn’t spare its ire when it comes to the plight of refugees. Read the full review

10. A Taxi Driver

Veteran actor Song Kang-ho delivers an award-worthy performance as a taxi driver who, in 1980, risked his life to drive a foreign reporter across the country to cover violent clashes in the South Korean city of Gwangju, which left more than 600 civilians dead. Read the full review

9. Good Time

Good Time sees British actor Robert Pattinson work with little-known New York filmmakers Benny and Josh Safdie in a suffocating, anxiety-fuelled crime drama. A feverish head trip that seizes you by the throat, this could be one of the best performances of his career. Read the full review

8. Moonlight

Moonlight is a poetic coming-of-age tale about a largely overlooked demographic: gay, black and living in poverty. Barry Jenkins has made known publicly his admiration of Wong Kar-wai, and his feature is reminiscent of the Hong Kong filmmaker’s work in both cinematography and feel. Read the full review

7. I, Daniel Blake

A stinging look at the British welfare state, every bit as significant as his TV homeless drama, Cathy Come Home, made 50 years ago, I, Daniel Blake shows Ken Loach is as angry as he’s ever been. If you care one iota about your fellow man, this will make you incandescent with rage. Read the full review

6. Blade Runner 2049

It has been 35 years since Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner changed science fiction filmmaking forever. So all credit to Denis Villeneuve for having the sheer brazen courage to take on this belated sequel, surpassing even his own 2016 sci-fi Arrival with this stunning visual masterpiece. Read the full review

5. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Director Angela Robinson’s film on the origins of Wonder Woman is not only a beautiful love story, but a lesson in non-judgmental acceptance and psychological exploration of the creative process. It is also the best superhero origin story yet to be put on film. Read the full review

4. La La Land

La La Land is Whiplash writer-director Damien Chazelle’s joyous, exuberant tribute to everything he loves: Hollywood, Los Angeles and, of course, jazz. Now also remembered as an almost winner of the best picture Oscar, the film is undoubtedly cinematic magic in its purest form. Read the full review

3. Toni Erdmann

A 162-minute German comedy may not sound like an appetising prospect, but Maren Ade’s film is a rule breaker. Surreal and bawdy, it blends familial drama, comedy of embarrassment and a social critique of sexism in the workplace into a unique comic cauldron. Read the full review

2. The Third Murder

In Hirokazu Koreeda’s intricate legal procedural, a twice-convicted murderer faces execution for a third killing. The thriller offers no simple resolutions, highlighting the intangibility of truth as much as the questionable motivations of Japan’s legal system. Read the full review

1. Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan’s film is an astounding achievement. The second world war drama about the 1940 evacuation that saw allied forces retreat from the French beaches of Dunkirk in northern France is a relentless, big-scale experience. No war film you’ve seen before comes close to what Nolan has created here. Read the full review | Read our interview with director Christopher Nolan

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