Year In Review: Eight Of The Best Films You May Have Missed In UK Cinemas In 2017

on Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Words: Saam Das

We're approaching that time of the year when the "best of [insert year here]" lists come out and in light of this, we figured it would be a good time to also showcase some of the underexposed movies that might get missed off those lists. These films each made it to the big screen in the UK in 2017, but may have only been on a limited release.

'Split' (Release date: 20 Jan)

Probably the most well-known film on this list, but one that may have been somewhat buried by its Oscar-season release date, coming out on the same day in the UK as the emotionally powerfully Dev Patel-led 'Lion'. Writer-director M Night Shyamalan has long been considered a hit-or-miss talent but his horror-drama was very much a success, with James McAvoy delivering wonderfully distinct split personalities and Shyamalan teasing a sequel to one of his earlier films.

'Tower' (3 Feb)

Keith Maitland's incredible part-animated documentary found a deserved place on the shortlist for nominations in the Best Documentary category of this year's Academy Awards, although sadly missed out on a final nomination. Unique and affecting, Maitland captures the story of America's first campus mass shooting fittingly.

'We Are X' (2 March)

Having filmed documentaries on the likes of The Rolling Stones and Backstreet Boys, Stephen Kijak turned his adept eye to one of the biggest rock bands to have ever emerged from Asia, X Japan. Led by the charismatic Yoshiki, this music documentary engagingly showcases the tragedy and triumph of the band's story to newcomers and seasoned fans alike.

'All This Panic' (24 March)

Jenny Gage and Tom Betterton's impressive documentary immersed us into the lives of a variety of teenage Americans, beautifully capturing the highs and lows of the adolescent journey. As blink-182 once said in their early hit, 'Dammit', "I guess this is growing up".

'Neruda' (7 April)

An unusual biopic from Chilean auteur Pablo Larrain, who teamed up again with Gael Garcia Bernal and Luis Gnecco, who both appeared in his Oscar-nominated 2012 film 'No'. Gnecco, in particular, is on fine form as poet/politician Pablo Neruda, pitted against a somewhat bumbling detective amusingly portrayed by Bernal.

'Spaceship' (19 May)

A stylish teen drama that brings the possibility of alien abduction to the sleepy town of Guildford. Alex Taylor's debut feature has been one of the most fascinating films of the year, and a showcase of fresh young talent both acting-wise and musically - with the likes of Annabel Allum and East India Youth appearing prominently on-screen and on-soundtrack respectively.

'Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets' (2 August)

We'll always have a lot of interest in Luc Besson's sci-fi forays purely because of how amazing 'The Fifth Element' is. His latest effort falls short of that seminal movie, although 'Valerian' does provide some similarly bonkers aspects, with some especially avant-garde cameos partly responsible. The film is certainly mixed, with questionable elements such as the dialogue and the casting, but visually, it is an utter delight.

'Una' (1 September)

The most recent film to be released, and one of several on this list that we caught at the BFI London Film Festival last year - including unusual Hungarian action movie 'Kills On Wheels' due out in the UK this Friday. 'Una' is a gripping drama, starring Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn, and is one of those films where the less you know, the better.

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