My favorite films of 2017

Published 4:22 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Since Shelf Life is technically a library column, most of my articles are about books. However, I also love movies and going to see films in the theater is one of my favorite pastimes. Here are my eight favorite movies from 2017. The first four are already at the library for you to check out and the last four will be there in the next few months as they are released on DVD.


The most recent remake of Stephen King’s 1986 novel is now the highest grossing horror movie of all time. Echoing the current cult sensation Stranger Things, It features a group of teenage misfits riding their bicycles around a small town in the 80s. In this case, the kids are searching for Bill’s missing brother Georgie, who was taken by the evil clown Pennywise.

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The Big Sick

This romantic comedy is based on the real-life relationship of writers Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani. The young couple breaks up after Emily realizes that her Pakistani-American boyfriend Kumail is expected to one day enter a marriage arranged by his parents. Shortly after, she develops a lung infection and is placed in an induced coma. Kumail and her parents rush to her side and develop a relationship of their own as they deal with Emily’s illness.

Wind River

A modern day Western, Wind River stars Jeremy Renner as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracker Cody and Elizabeth Olsen as FBI agent Jane. The two work together to solve the mysterious murder of a young Native American woman in Wyoming. A tense nail-biter!

Get Out

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is one of the few horror movies that have been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and it has also been critically acclaimed for its socio-political commentary on race. After African-American photographer Chris reluctantly agrees to meet the family of his white girlfriend, he soon realizes that something is not quite right at their countryside estate.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Widely predicted to win the Best Picture Oscar this year (we shall see on March 4), this film has a local claim-to-fame as it was filmed in Sylva, North Carolina. You can find this story of a mother who rents three billboards to call attention to her daughter’s unsolved murder on DVD February 27.

Lady Bird

This coming-of-age comedy-drama broke records on the popular movie review site Rotten Tomatoes for being the highest rated movie of all time. And in my opinion, it is a perfect movie. Set in 2002, Lady Bird is a high school senior dealing with the typical teenage issues of love, college applications, and her pesky parents. Available on DVD March 6.

I Tonya

I was pretty young when the Tonya Harding scandal occurred in 1994, although I definitely remember the hatred everyone felt towards her. Based on recent interviews with Harding and her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, I Tonya is a hilarious yet heartbreaking account of Tonya’s life up to the incident that caused national outrage and changed lives forever. Check it out on DVD March 13.

Molly’s Game

This crime drama is based on Molly Bloom’s memoir about her involvement in the world of underground poker. Starring Jessica Chastain, the film follows Bloom as she goes from a world-class moguls skier with Olympic aspirations to the target of an FBI investigation.The DVD comes out on April 10.

We are having an Academy Award film series at the Columbus Library over the next three Fridays. This week is Dunkirk (nominated for Best Picture and Best Director, rated PG-13), next week we will show Get Out (nominated for Best Picture and Best Lead Actor, rated R), and on February 23 is Roman J. Israel, Esq. (nominated for Best Lead Actor, rated PG-13). Come at 3pm to watch them on the big screen in our community room!

Jen Pace Dickenson is the Youth Services Librarian for Polk County Public Libraries. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call (828) 894-8721.