The Best of 2017

With contributions from Josh Weisfeld and Mahad Farah, this is a guide to the best movies, music, and journalism of 2017

Photo courtesy of Youtube

Photo courtesy of Youtube

2017 was an overwhelming year for many of us. 

First there was Trump. Then there were the natural disasters. Followed by some more Trump. Then the sexual assault scandal that rocked Hollywood. And finally, more Trump.

But in the midst of all the troubling news there were bright spots. Perhaps as a result of all the suffering, 2017 caused us to question the status quo and it inspired some remarkable content. Content, in the form of movies, music, and journalism, that is both inspirational and memorable. And because I am such an optimist, instead of recalling the bad I'd like to highlight some of the good 2017 had to offer. Put together with the help of my musically-woke friend Mahad Farah and movie buff brother Josh Weisfeld, the following is a guide to our favourite movies, albums, and articles of 2017. 

Top 10 Movies of 2017 - By Josh Weisfeld

I don't remember the moment that I fell in love with film, but I remember those that followed. I remember racing to watch two movies a day through my ZIP membership. I remember forcing my parents to take me to every film with the slightest bit of "Oscar Buzz." I remember rerouting every date during awards season to the nearest cineplex. I even remember starting my own, quickly abandoned, film blog.

Today, I rarely watch movies outside of the theatre. While I have still managed to watch 40 to 50 films this year, in 2011 I watched 17 during the 10 days of TIFF alone. As a result, there are a lot of great films I have not yet seen and this list, like all, is likely to change. With that being said, these are my favourite films from 2017. 

Note: the difference between each tier is much more significant than the difference between films within each tier.

The best of the bunch / the movies that I loved:

1. The Florida Project
2. Call me by your name

The best of the remaining bunch / the movies that I almost loved:

3. Shape of water
4. Dunkirk

The great, not greatest / the movies that I really enjoyed:

5. Baby Driver
6. Blade Runner 2049
7. Lady Bird
8. Get Out

Because it needed to be 10 deep / some of the movies that I enjoyed:

9. Raw
10. The Big Sick

Key films I have not yet seen that could one day end up on this list: The Post, Phantom Thread, All the Money in the world, Detroit, The Beguiled, Lost City of Z, Mudbound, Okja, Good Time, mother!, Downsizing, The Killing of the Sacred Deer, most foreign language films and documentaries.

Top 25 Albums of 2017 - By Mahad Farah

I’m Mahad Farah, the creator of Mahad’s Playlist on Apple Music (@mahadsplaylist). 

Apple Music is a platform I use to create genre-free playlists accessible to my friends and followers on social media. For years, friends were asking me for music recommendations and playlists for upcoming parties, studies, and even workouts. I’ve created a space where you can access different types of energy in just one simple playlist, with the genre-free nature allowing you to access several different energies at once. 

My friends and I always argue about the same thing at the end of each year: "who had the best album?" Because I listen to all kinds of music, it is extra difficult to compare vastly different albums from different genres, but for the past three years I’ve tried to do just that. I ask myself: Does it flow from the beginning to the end? What type of energy is it giving off? Is this something I will be listening to for the next few years? How personal is the album to the artist?  I've put many hours into listening to these albums over the year and these are my favourite from 2017. Hope to argue about it with you soon. 

25. Aminé, Good for You
24. Kelela, Take Me Apart
23. N.E.R.D, No One Ever Really Dies
22. Daniel Caesar, Freudian
21. Vince Staples, Big Fish Theory
20. Syd tha Kyd, Fin
19. Mura Masa, Mura Masa
18. Big Sean, I Decided
17. Goldlink, At What Cost
16. Kodak Black, Project Baby 2
15. Future, Future
14. Drake, More Life
13. A Boogie wit da Hoodie, The Bigger Artist
12. Playboi Carti, Playboi Carti
11. 21 Savage, Issa Album
10. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
9. Meek Mill, Wins & Losses
8. Future, Hndrxx
7. Brent Faiyaz, Sonder Son
6. SZA, Ctrl
5. Calvin Harris, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1
4. Sampha, Process
3. Migos, Culture
2. Stormzy, Gang - & Prayer
1. Jay-Z, 4:44

Top 10 Articles of 2017 - By Oren Weisfeld

As the creator of this blog, week after week I get to express my own opinions but I rarely get the chance to highlight the journalism that influences me and drives my passion for the industry. A number of interesting topics informed my reading in 2017, including Trump, Colin Kaepernick, the sexual assault scandal in Hollywood, Israel and Palestine, the evolution of journalism, and more. Although I’m not a total millennial, meaning I also read books and the newspaper, the majority of my reading is done on the web. My favourite websites are naturally the places my favourite writers reside, including The Ringer, ESPN, New York Times, and The Atlantic. The following list is made up of my favourite articles from the past year; important journalism that stuck with me and are as contextual to the 2017 as anything else. 

10. Raja Shehadeh for the New Yorker, The Power and Politics Behind Trump's Jerusalem Declaration

9. Micah Peters for The Ringer, Colin Kaepernick Stakes a New Claim

8. Franklin Foer for The Atlantic, When Silicon Valley Took Over Journalism

7. Kristen Roupenian for the New Yorker, Cat Person (short story)

6. Salma Hayek for the New York Times, Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too

5. Micah Peters for The Ringer, The Life, Death, and Legend of Joe McKnight

4. Jean M. Twenge for The Atlantic, Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

3. Claire Dederer for The Paris Review, What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men? 

2. Stephanie Zacharek, Eliana Dockterman and Haley Sweetland Edwards for TIME, Person of the Year: The Silence Breakers 

1. Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic, The First White President


More content to come in 2018. Stay tuned! 

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