For a certain slice of the moviegoing audience, today is a great day: Indiewire senior film critic David Ehrlich has released his supercut of 25 of the year’s greatest films, an annual cinephile tradition since he started putting it together in 2011.
As in past years, the video starts with a musical montage of quick shots from many of the year’s movies — not just the ones that made his list — that serves as both an overture and a reminder that even when 2017 felt like an uncommonly terrible year, great things were happening in movie theaters across the country nearly every weekend. Then the countdown begins in reverse order, from 25 to 1. (You’ll have to watch to find out which movie took the top slot.)
Ehrlich and I don’t always agree on the precise number and ordering of the year’s best films — no two critics ever do — but I get excited for his video every year. It’s an immense pleasure to revisit some of the year’s best films, not just in the kind of written list that I and every other critic are putting together right now, but in a form that celebrates what makes cinema great: the full sensory experience, with images and sounds and, especially, music. Songs from some of this year’s top films take on new meaning juxtaposed against Ehrlich’s choices: Can you beat Chaka Khan crooning “I’m Every Woman” over a sequence that moves from Mother! to Lady Macbeth to A Fantastic Woman? (There’s one fantastic musical joke in there too.)
Of course, there are bits I’d quibble with in this year’s ordering. That’s the fun. A few of the films slated for my upcoming list — Princess Cyd, Ingrid Goes West, and The Square — don’t make it into this list, but I’m delighted to see some others, like A Quiet Passion, Personal Shopper, and Columbus, included.
Whether you love Ehrlich’s list or you’d turn it on its head, pull out the headphones and take a few minutes to watch. It’s been a great year at the movies.