This list consists of films that came out in 2017 and which all, for quite different reasons, hold up or even evolve with repeat viewings. Generally, the list includes different types of genres since the quality of ‘rewatchability’ can come from an array of things: small details you only notice a second or third time watching, difficult and thought-provoking storylines, themes and characters that truly resonate, or because the film is simply entertaining and continue to be when rewatched.
It doesn’t mean these are the best films of 2017, but they do share a similar attribute of giving the audience something that they want to go back to, which is a quality worth noting. This list will therefore try and detect some of these qualities in the chosen films and try to explain what elements make these films the ones that the audience seems to want to revisit again and again.
1. Loving Vincent (Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman)
“Loving Vincent” follows the story and life of painter Vincent van Gogh, with a focus on the circumstances that led to his suicide. It does so by introducing Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth), the son of the local postman, who, about a year after van Gogh’s death, reluctantly sets out to deliver a letter from the deceased painter to his brother, Theo. However, when Armand learns that Theo too has died, Armand sets out on a journey to find out what really caused the artist’s untimely death.
“Loving Vincent” was created entirely by oil paintings on canvas, and thereby every one of the 65,000 frames of the film is a painting in a similar technique as the one van Gogh used. It was done by a team of 125 painters, and is very reminiscent of the late painter’s unique style.
“Loving Vincent” has a rather straightforward narrative that, in this case, gives room for the visuals to speak for themselves. Not only is the intricate work of each painting and movement of a character extremely detailed and beautiful, the play with light and colours gives the paintings and the film a captivating feeling of life.
It’s not to say that the characters and performances of the actors aren’t worth coming back to, but it’s the immensely difficult and successful work of piecing detailed paintings and stunning colours together that truly makes the viewer want to come back to this artwork of a film.
2. Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve)
In 2049, 30 years after the events of the first film, we’re welcomed back into the universe of “Blade Runner.” This time we follow K (Ryan Gosling), a LAPD officer and a so-called blade runner and replicant who “retires” older replicants who have gone rogue. But K discovers a secret that could potentially change the already fragile world they live in, and he sets out to find Richard Decker (Harrison Ford), from the original film.
This film, like “Loving Vincent,” has absolutely engaging and beautiful visuals going for it, and although it is a loose adaptation of, and not quite as ambiguous as, the original “Blade Runner,” “Blade Runner 2049” captivates its audience with the world it has created.
Although it seems difficult, if not impossible, to live up to the original film, the sequel does do a great job of setting up a world not unlike the first, but with important and interesting changes in characters, plotlines, details, and innovative creations, which makes it highly rewatchable on its own.
3. Logan Lucky (Steven Soderbergh)
This heist comedy follows the Logan family, who, when Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) loses his job he got playing football, plans to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a race. Jimmy’s brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), is also a war veteran with a missing arm, and together the brothers start a partnership with an imprisoned explosives expert, Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), so they can complete their heist. Although the brothers both seem quite dim-witted, it is actually a family curse that in the end seems to give them most trouble.
It’s one of those comedies that is unpretentious and, with its simple set-up and funny characters, just simply works. The combination of comedic banter and suspenseful scenes, as well as a continued uncertainty regarding whether or not the brother’s actually are as dumb as they seem, makes it great to go back to. With this film, there’s no elaborate hidden meaning, but the characters bounce off of each other brilliantly and it’s simply an enjoyable watch – even the tenth time.
4. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)
“Mother!” follows the character of Mother (Jennifer Lawrence), who lives with her husband, Him (Javier Bardem) in their seemingly serene life. However, as Mother goes around their country home renovating it, she starts to get unsettled by visuals she can’t get out of her head, such as a beating heart within the walls.
This is followed by the disruption of an enigmatic couple that turns up at their doorstep, asking for a room, and slowly one event takes over the other, and a series of mysterious and sometimes violent scenes follows.
Even though the film is highly controversial and has had mixed reviews, with some critiques being concerned with its “superficial need” to be artistic, “Mother!” is still quite an interesting watch that definitely doesn’t get less enticing on repeat viewings.
It is the type of film that can be analysed thoroughly with biblical allegories in between violent and grotesque visuals, and it’s obvious that Aronofsky with it tried to explore themes that can take more than one viewing to comprehend.
5. Ingrid Goes West (Matt Spicer)
Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) is a mentally unstable young woman and an extreme social media stalker. So, after having crashed a wedding and pepper sprayed the bride in the eyes because she wasn’t invited, Ingrid goes for a brief stay at a mental hospital.
However, after being released, things don’t seem to have changed much for Ingrid, so when she discovers that her latest obsession, a famous Instagram “influencer” with a seemingly perfect life, lives in Los Angeles, Ingrid follows her and goes west. She does everything in her power to get closer to the social media star, and as it turns out, there’s quite a lot Ingrid is willing to do.
This black comedy is extremely rewatchable not only because of its current themes and characters, but also because of its extremely dark humour and sometimes absurd extremities. Ingrid has quite a few layers that are best discovered through repeat viewings, and then, of course, the film is just very entertaining for its crazy but also very real characters and how scary relatable it feels.