Faces Places is the best-reviewed movie of 2017
|2017||95 Faces Places|
|2013||97 12 Years a Slave|
|2012||95 Zero Dark Thirty|
For the first time in the 21st century, a documentary has taken the title of Metacritic's highest-scoring movie of the year.
Faces Places, which finds 89-year-old director Agnes Varda roaming the French countryside with 33-year-old photo-muralist J.R., outscored all other releases in 2017. It's the first time in five years that no film has exceeded a score of 95. And the year's highest-scoring, English-language narrative film, Dunkirk, scored "only" 94.
That said, 2017 marked the third consecutive year that the number of truly outstanding films—marked by Metascores of 90 or higher—was in the double digits. There were 11 such films in the past year, down just slightly from a record-high 12 in 2016. (See chart below.)
In all, 603 films released during 2017 received at least seven reviews from top professional critics. Of those, 357 received positive reviews (scoring 61 or higher). That's an almost shocking 59% approval rate, well up from 2016's figure of 53%.
A total of 69 of those films received a Metascore of 81 or higher, the cutoff we use to indicate "universal acclaim" from reviewers. That is also significantly higher than the number for 2016. And the average Metascore for all film crept up from 60.3 in 2016 to 62.3 in 2017. Either we just experienced a boom year in terms of cinematic quality, or grade inflation is on the rise. (It probably helps that only four 2017 releases scored lower than 20, compared to seven such horrendous films in both 2016 and 2015 and 14 in 2014.)
The year's best films
Below are 2017's highest-scoring overall films regardless of genre, followed by separate lists of the year's best movies in a variety of categories.
Highest-Scoring Movies Released in 2017
Best 2017 Films in Selected Genres
What about the year's worst movies?
Well, they were bad, for starters—though not quite as bad as 2016's worst. Find the 15 most awful titles released in 2017 in the gallery below:
What are your favorites?
What are your selections for the best and worst movies of the past year? Let us know in the comments section below.