The best 2017 movies you probably haven’t seen

They may not get the hype that studio blockbusters do, but often it’s underrated films we love the best
Hundreds of films hit Aussie cinema screens every year, so it’s easy to miss a few gems. Here are several 2017 movies that deserved a lot more box office love.

When a critic calls your film ‘spectacular’ or ‘original’, that’s pretty high praise in a sea of seen-it-all-before storylines we watch year on year. Part indie drama, part monster movie, Colossal is a kooky tale of an alcoholic facing her demons – but critically acclaimed performances by Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis suggest it deserved more than the US$3 million it made in the global box office. Put it on your Weird Movie Watch-List.

The Girl With All The Gifts 
It’s about a group of kids who are immune to a flesh-eating disease, which turns its victims into ‘hungries’. And while this troubling zombie film hasn’t found much of an audience since its limited October release in Australia, it’s one to catch on the big screen if you can. Critics hailed it an intriguing take on the genre and “a film for people who thought they never needed to sit through another zombie flick”. Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Glenn Close make up the solid ensemble cast.

A Monster Calls 
Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson and Lewis MacDougall star in this coming-of-age story. In the film, 12-year-old Conor deals with his mother’s illness, the bullies at school and a less than sympathetic grandma. His rescue of sorts comes from a beast, who appears at his bedroom window and takes him on a mystical journey. Unfortunately, A Monster Calls didn’t set the Aussie box office on fire, but it scored a not-to-be-sniffed-at 87 percent at Rotten Tomatoes with some very positive reviews. 

The Big Sick
Chances are, this Judd Apatow-produced Sundance favourite crossed your radar when it hit cinemas earlier this year, but if you missed it (and many did), it’s well worth a look. Many relationships start off rocky, and this real-life romance of comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gordon is a case in point. Expect terrific performances and lots of laughs.

It Comes At Night
Joel Edgerton has taken Hollywood by storm in recent years, and this year he starred in this very well reviewed apocalyptic horror. Premise? Contagious disease outside, husband, wife and son barricaded in their cabin to ride it out… only to have another desperate family turn up at their door seeking refuge. Unsettling, very scary and one not to watch alone!

Manchester By The Sea
Casey Affleck’s Oscar-worthy indie drama is far from an easy watch which probably accounts for audiences’ lack of interest in it, but it’s worth seeing for the performances alone. It’s about a guy forced to take care of his nephew after his brother dies – and move back to the home town he ran from after suffering an immeasurable tragedy. Affleck and Michelle Williams star and we recommend having tissues handy.  

Many called it the film of the year and Oscar certainly agreed: the life story of a young gay black man growing up in Miami took home Best Picture at 2017’s Academy Awards, amongst other accolades. For those who only gravitate to the cinema for check-your-brain-at-the-door blockbusters, Moonlight might not appeal – but if you’re seeking a beautifully told story that’s visually stunning to boot, this is the kind of film that you shouldn’t skip.

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