Our celebration of the best of 2017 rolls on to this list of the best scenes from the year in film. ScreenCrush editors Matt Singer, Britt Hayes, and E. Oliver Whitney watched hundreds of movies in 2017 and eventually came to a consensus on the ten finest individual moments from those movies. (There may or may not have been some yelling involved.) In no particular order, here are their picks:

5. Michael Stuhlbarg for Call Me By Your Name
Sony Classics

The Monologue
From Call Me By Your Name

What does a father say to a son crushed by the absence of a lover? Parents best take a cue from Michael Stuhlbarg’s Mr. Perlman, a compassionate professor who understands the power of young love regardless of gender or orientation. “You had a beautiful friendship. Maybe more than a friendship. And I envy you,” Mr. Perlman says to the teary-eyed Elio (Timothée Chalamet), at once acknowledging and accepting his son’s romance with Armie Hammer’s Oliver. The Call Me By Your Name monologue is an emotional gut-punch, a rare moment of understanding that every queer person dreams they could share with a parent. The speech’s beautiful language is largely credited to book author André Aciman, but Stuhlbarg delivers those poignant words with a tender eloquence and sensitivity that will drain the liquid from your eyes.  — E. Oliver Whitney

Down in the Trenches
From Wonder Woman

“This is No Man’s Land, Diana! That means no man can cross it!” Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) tells his newfound ally in the trenches of World War I. But this ally is no man; this is Wonder Woman. And so Gal Gadot puts her hair down and gets down to business, deflecting one bullet after another with her magic bracelets, and then standing fast as machine gun fire rains down on her shield. Her display of bravery rallies the Allied troops to victory. It’s everything a superhero movie should be: Exciting, inspiring, and visually bold. Was there a single better image to summarize life in 2017 than Wonder Woman, steadily pressing forward through the battlefield despite the non-stop barrage? Reader, I submit to you that there was not. — Matt Singer

Two Fassbenders
From Alien: Covenant

It’s a shame that Michael Fassbender will not be recognized for his work this awards season. Fassbender gives two of the best performances of the year in Ridley Scott’s latest Alien prequel, reprising his role as the devious synthetic David and playing a new, more subservient bot named Walter. The best scenes in Covenant involve the former and his deranged attempts to create a new, organic life form, but the most breathtaking scene finds Fassbender playing against Fassbender in an unnervingly sensual tête-à-tête. The moment serves as a brazen metaphor for the contrast between bold, risk-taking visionaries (like Scott himself) and a newer generation of filmmakers whose eagerness to please the big corporation hinders their creativity. That intimate moment takes an exhilarating turn as David tries to help Walter unlock his artistic side by handing him a flute and uttering, “I’ll do the fingering.” — Britt Hayes


Someone Give That Woman a Hand!
From Gerald’s Game

The single most disturbing moment in any film this year came at the climax of Gerald’s Game, the surprisingly tense adaptation of a supposedly unadaptable novel by Stephen King. Jessie Burlingame (Carla Gugino) agrees to spice up her marriage to her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) with a little bondage play. Shortly after Gerald handcuffs Jessie to their bed, he has a heart attack and dies. Now Jessie is trapped with no food or water, and her cell phone is out of reach. Oh and a hungry stray dog manages to get into the house and keeps sizing her up as a potential meal. Jessie struggles to escape for the entirety of Mike Flanagan’s thriller, until she realizes the only way to get out of her predicament is to perform a truly horrifying act of violence upon herself. Will she do it? Can she do it? Rather than cutting around Jessie’s nauseating act, Flanagan keeps his camera trained on Gugino as she does the impossible. Anyone who who watched this entire scene without closing their eyes performed a similarly heroic act. I sure didn’t. — MS


The Hammer of the Gods
From Thor: Ragnarok

The trailers for Thor: Ragnarok made excellent use of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” but they didn’t prepare us for the awesome way director Taika Waititi incorporated the track into his vibrant and hilarious sequel. In the film’s opening, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) battles Surtur’s minions to that great Jimmy Page riff. Then in the climactic scene, as it looks as though Hela has the upper hand, the God of Thunder finally summons the full force of his power. As a massive battle — involving Loki, Heimdall and yes, our new BFF Korg — breaks out, we once again hear the familiar opening bars of “Immigrant Song,” and Thor goes totally bananas while Zeppelin’s viking anthem rages in the background. It is, in a word, epic— BH

Phantom Thread

Pass the Asparagus
From Phantom Thread

With its sophisticated cinematography, posh costumes, and exacting production design, Phantom Thread exudes the aura of Oscar bait from every single frame. And to some extent, that’s what it is. But it’s also one of the most dryly funny movies of 2017. Exhibit A: The asparagus scene, where irritable fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) returns from his daily constitutional to discover his entire staff has been sent home so that his muse and lover Alma (Vicky Krieps) can serve him a fancy dinner. Most men would be flattered by such a gesture; curmudgeonly Reynolds hates it. He tries to fake a smile and choke down Alma’s asparagus, which looks as beautiful as one of Reynolds’ wedding gowns. But it’s cooked with butter, and Reynolds only eats asparagus with oil and salt. It’s an extreme example of something anyone who’s spent significant time in a relationship will recognize: That sinking feeling when you’ve tried to do something special for the person to love, only to realize far too late that you’ve screwed it all up. (And also your significant other might be a total jerk store.) — MS

The Stairway Fight
From Atomic Blonde

Let’s be real, Atomic Blonde makes no damn sense. But I will happily sit through its convoluted plot and on-the-nose needle drops all over again for the action, and especially, for its totally bananas stairway fight sequence. For seven whole minutes, Charlize Theron’s Lorraine Broughton relentlessly battles her way through a barrage of bad dudes down a staircase, back up again, and into an apartment for a woozy face-off with a henchman. Single-take sequences are often gimmicks, but Atomic Blonde’s deserves every scrap of the praise it’s gotten. The camerawork, fight choreography, and sound design make this scene straight-up exhilarating. Most incredible of all, Lorraine isn’t an invincible heroine, like so many action stars – you feel every kick, crunch, and jab as Theron fights until she’s bloody and bruised. It’s a killer performance that leaves you as breathless as she is by the end. — EOW

The Beguiled Nicole Kidman

The Anatomy Book
From The Beguiled

Sofia Coppola’s Civil War-era thriller thoroughly explores misogyny and all its nuanced forms via a handsome Union soldier (Colin Farrell) who seeks refuge at a Confederate school for girls managed by Nicole Kidman’s headmistress. Wounded and relegated to a bed for most of the film, Farrell’s charismatic, manipulative defector weasels his way into the hearts of the school’s residents until his hubris gets the best of him. When Kirsten Dunst’s hopelessly smitten school marm catches her wounded soldier in the act with a student, the confrontation takes a violent turn, yielding the film’s best moment, as Kidman — disheveled and splattered with his blood — breathlessly demands, “Bring me the anatomy book!” You just know that whatever comes next will be unsavory, and yet you can’t help but delight in this opportunistic moment of revenge. — BH

“I Did Naaht Hit Her!”
From The Disaster Artist

The best part of The Disaster Artist is every single minute James Franco is onscreen, but if I had to pick one, it’d be the moment that made me laugh the hardest this year: Tommy Wiseau’s rooftop entrance. Now I could watch the original scene from The Room where Wiseau busts out of a door to (randomly) deny his girlfriend’s claims of abuse all day. But the behind-the-scenes version? Somehow, it’s even better. Franco, completely transformed here, perfectly encapsulates what makes Wiseau so weird and fascinating. He’s a guy who literally needs to rehearse the line “Oh, hi Mark,” purposely wears a mismatched wardrobe, then repeatedly forgets the dialogue he wrote. Franco’s committed performance and the scene’s sharp pacing and the supporting characters’ growing bafflement turns the infamous line delivery into comedic gold. But Franco and his screenwriters don’t just recreate the original moment, they give it such believable context that you feel as if you’re standing on set beside Tommy himself.  — EOW

Friends Are Family
From The LEGO Batman Movie

My daughter is two years old and she loves superheroes. On a whim a few months ago, I showed her The LEGO Batman Movie thinking she might sit still through maybe 15 minutes. Instead, she watched the entire thing from start to finish then asked to watch it again. And again and again and again. I liked The LEGO Batman when it opened in February, but repeat viewings with my daughter have made it one of my favorites of 2017. I particularly love the song that plays over the closing credits, “Friends Are Family,” in which the entire cast, heroes and villains, dance together in a celebration of friendship and teamwork. It’s a big, beautiful thumb in the idea of the idea that Batman has to be grim and gritty (in that way, it’s the entire movie in miniature) and the song is even more of an earworm than “Everything Is Awesome” from The LEGO Movie. Plus, Will Arnett’s Batman even raps in it. If my child is going to make me watch the same movie over and over again, I feel extremely fortunate this is the one she wants to watch. — MS

Gallery - The Best Movie Posters of 2017:


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