2017 Year in Review

This is it. The moment when all your ratings throughout the year elevate a select few films above all others.

Our heartiest congratulazioni to Luca Guadagnino and Call Me by Your Name on taking top spot in 2017 as the highest rated film on Letterboxd. Congratulations also to Edgar Wright for Baby Driver being our most popular film, an honor bestowed upon the film that most members interacted with during the year.

How do we arrive at these results? Read on for details, or jump straight in:

The 2017 Letterboxd Year in Review

Hot tip: on devices with keyboards, we recommend navigating via your up/down arrow keys for the most satisfying experience.

The numbers

The results are based on our community’s combined ratings as at January 1, 2018. We use the same method every year to calculate the results: films must be feature-length (sorry, Twin Peaks: The Return*), narrative or documentary, and have been watched by at least 500 members.

If they meet the above criteria, all films that had at least a limited theatrical (or exclusive streaming) run in the US during 2017 are eligible for inclusion—we used Mike D’Angelo’s exhaustive NYC release list to help us keep track. This explains why some films that premiered at festivals in 2016 are in, and why the sublime Paddington 2 didn’t make it, despite its justifiably high placing on Jack Moulton’s Unofficial Top 50 (look for it this time next year).

The only sections for which the release window rule does not apply are “Ones to Watch”, highlighting the highest rated films watched by a smaller number of members, and “Most Obsessively Rewatched”, which can include films released in any year.

As on the site, we differentiate between popular films (a measure of the amount of activity a film receives regardless of rating) and highly rated films. Rankings in the “Highest Rated” categories are based on the same weighted average used on the site (the ‘weighted’ part refers to a mechanism that ensures a more accurate average for films with a low number of ratings).

We’ve compiled longer lists for the main categories and published these under the yir2017 tag, or you can visit them directly: Highest Rated Films, Most Popular Films, Highest Rated Films by Women Directors, Most Popular Films by Women Directors, and highest rated Action, Animation, Horror, Sci-Fi, Documentary and Foreign Language films. We’d like to thank Jack Moulton for casting his eagle eyes over these lists and spotting a couple missing films that had limited US releases, but not the full week required to get them onto Mike’s list. Cheers, Jack!

So much can change in a single year in film. At the halfway point of 2017, Baby Driver was in pole position, with Lady Bird (our number two film) yet to make its festival debut, and eventual winner Call Me by Your Name sitting quietly in the corner after its Berlin premiere way back in January. Phantom Thread? We’re not sure we even knew the third-place winner was on the horizon back then!

Also worth checking out: The Film Stage’s Most Overlooked Films of 2017; well-reviewed movies that made less than $1 million at the US box office.

You’ve been busy

It’s been yet another huge year on Letterboxd. Collectively we passed the 100 million films marked watched way back in May and now we’re sailing towards 140 million. You marked more than 51 million films watched in 2017, a 77 percent increase over 2016. In fact, numbers were up across the board: almost 3.8 million more diary entries; almost a million more reviews written; more than 150,000 more lists created (here’s a favorite involving Harrison Ford and flying vehicles); more inventive community challenges by you; and a brilliant reception to our Showdown series.

We launched our Android app this year, which now sits alongside our iPhone and Apple TV apps (universal iPad support is being tested by our Patrons, for release early this year). And we featured conversations with directors Sean Baker, Jane Campion, Anna Biller, the people behind the #52FilmsByWomen challenge and others.

About the winner

Like last year’s highest rated film, Call Me by Your Name plays with structure, allowing viewers to get lost in its narrative, and as book adaptations go, fans are mostly happy with Guadagnino’s treatment of André Aciman’s beloved novel (side-note: Aciman appears in the film; no more spoilers about that).

During our audience with director Luca Guadagnino at the 55th New York Film Festival, we learned that the film was in gestation for a long period—with Guadagnino attached only as producer and other versions of the script floating about—until finally the dream duo of Guadagnino and legendary writer James Ivory pared it back and brought it to the screen.

This turned out to be perfect timing for the film’s star, Timothée Chalamet, who might otherwise have been too young had Call Me by Your Name been made any earlier. And we may yet see him as Elio again—Guadagnino has hinted at a sequel (squeal!).

We also want to point out that Chalamet is a double winner in our Year in Review, with roles in both the first and second highest-rated films of the year—he plays one of Saoirse Ronan’s love interests in Lady Bird.

The return of Twin Peaks

But is it a television series or a film?!

MoMa curator Rajenda Roy has waded into the debate, saying it’s “simply unclassifiable” but, in giving all eighteen hours of Twin Peaks: The Return a theatrical run in the museum’s The Contenders program this month, Roy has ensured David Lynch’s cinematic series has a permanent place on Letterboxd. (If your TP:TR has previously been removed, check your Export file in Settings, we include all your writings there, even for removed entries.)

With that, we’d like to end this news update with our hearty congratulations to Lynch and his team for a spectacularly high rating on Letterboxd. It is, officially, the most highly rated entry on Letterboxd at time of writing.

Now kindly please go and plaster this page all over your favored social media!

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