Find the best movies and show to watch from the year 2017. These handpicked recommendations are highly-rated by viewers and critics.
This is a hilarious political comedy starring the ever-great Steve Buscemi. Set in the last days before Stalin's death and the chaos that followed, it portrays the lack of trust and the random assassinations that characterized the Stalinist Soviet Union. Think of it as Veep meets Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator. Although to be fair, its dark comedy props are very different from the comedy that comes out today: where there are jokes they're really smart, but what's actually funny is the atmosphere and absurd situations that end up developing.
Adam Sandler doesn’t suck here.
This is a beautiful family comedy directed by Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha, The Squid and the Whale).
Sandler plays a recently divorced man (as he tends to do) called Danny (as he’s usually called). Danny moves in with his father, played by Dustin Hoffman, who himself is dealing with feelings of failure.
Both of them are joined by other members of the family, including Danny’s half-brother, played by Ben Stiller. Their family dynamics are portrayed in a beautiful and sometimes moving way. Director Baumbach proves he’s so good, he can make even Adam Sandler sound and look genuine.
Director Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer) does something quite amazing with the $50 million budget Netflix gave him: he makes a simplistic movie. But man, is it good. Okja tells the story of a “super pig” experiment that sends genetically modified pigs to top farmers around the world. In Korea, a farmer’s granddaughter forms a special relationship with one of these super pigs (Okja). When the company who originally ran the experiment want their pig back (performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton) – the two find an ally in an animal advocacy group led by Jay (Paul Dano). This is a straightforward movie, but nevertheless it is entertaining and full of thought-provoking themes and performances from an excellent cast.
The Fabella Hospital in the Philippines is clearly overburdened and understaffed, and though it offers some of the lowest pregnancy delivery rates in the country, it remains unaffordable to most of its patients. It has been dubbed the world’s busiest maternity hospital because of this, and its boundless flurry of activity is what Ramona Diaz tries to capture in her cinéma-vérité film Motherland.
What’s interesting and ultimately heartening about the documentary is that despite the difficulties the subjects face, they are always presented with warmth and humanity. We don’t observe them from a strict or stylized distance, but rather, we move with them when they laugh, befriend each other, worry about their babies, curse their partners, and eventually leave. Indeed, the film is a land of mothers, filled with their authentic stories before anything else.
Sometimes, nothing beats the easygoing entertainment of watching two attractive characters flirt and fall in love on screen, or seeing a group of ride-or-die friends get into trouble together. HBO's Insecure, which ran for five successful seasons, knows that it doesn't need to exaggerate or put a subversive twist on the romantic comedy to find relatable and affecting storylines. The series stays mostly locked in to South Los Angeles, California as it follows Issa (Issa Rae) navigate the modern dating scene, try to settle on a career path, and manage her friendships as an ambitious and somewhat awkward thirtysomething Black woman.
Even if you don't have much in common with Issa, Insecure is a massively comforting watch. Rae and co-creator Larry Wilmore have an impeccable eye for the messy, unspoken rules of social and romantic interaction that other shows might write off as too trivial. But this show lives and breathes in the ordinary, realistic problems—while still indulging in the warm and fuzzy feelings brought about by meeting someone new or seeing yourself grow up just a little more.
This bittersweet comedy centers on Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon), a single mother and working actress doing her best to get by in LA. In between juggling the pressures of both parenthood and Hollywood, Sam lets loose in brave and funny ways. Things often get the better of her and her three young daughters, but her bold, funny, and always loving approach to life is what makes Sam—and indeed the show—a true knockout.
Better Things is a semi-autobiographical story, with Adlon also having daughters of her own, so it's no surprise that many things ring true in this big-hearted show about single motherhood.