So I've still not seen quite as much as I'd have liked to see - in particular I've not yet managed to see any of the prominent foreign language films from last year - but I'm still happy with my overall list.
Darren Aronofsky's film tops my list with its brilliant intensity. Following a fantastically desperate performance from Jennifer Lawrence almost entirely with medium close-ups, this film paints a compelling and crystal-clear allegory - if only any two people could agree which of the many possible allegories it is. This is a film that people will still be talking about decades down the line.
Blade Runner 2049
Denis Villeneuve is a director it has been a pleasure to watch mature over the past few years, and he turns in another spectacular film this year. Exquisitely shot and scored, Blade Runner 2049 delves back into the world Ridley Scott created for a compelling exploration of what it means to be alive and what it means to have consciousness.
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro turns in another fantastical masterpiece, this time about the barriers that love transcends. A fable about a great love and a monster that seeks to destroy it, The Shape of Water demonstrates the love del Toro has for life and the boundless enthusiasm he has for his monsters and for cinema.
An unconventional love story, Phantom Thread is crafted with the care and precision we've come to expect from Paul Thomas Anderson. It's exquisite in its performances, and in its depth exploring the difficulties of being in a relationship with someone of strong will and what it takes to break into their routine. This negotiation between its leads over how much each will bend the other to their will is an extreme version of what happens in every relationship, and it's a brilliant last note for Daniel Day-Lewis to retire on.
Greta Gerwig's first time solo in the director's chair gives us one of the finest films of the year in this coming-of-age tale of a young girl looking to go beyond the mundane life she's always known. If this is where Gerwig starts, I can't wait to see where she'll go from here.
Call Me By Your Name
Summer romances seem so eternal, yet so ephemeral. Those idyllic days and nights passed with a lover are the sweetest treasure, and Luca Guadagnino's adaptation captures that beauty and that feeling.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Last Jedi
If Rian Johnson's film is not the finest entry in the franchise, then it's very close indeed. Where JJ Abrams paid homage to the past and brought our nostalgia for the original trilogy to the surface, Johnson reminds us that the past is past and we must make our peace with it and put it to rest if we are truly to move into the future.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The first Guardians took a bunch of broken, abandoned, and lost people and showed them how to put together a family. James Gunn's followup tears them back apart and asks what being a family truly means.
I keep thinking I should bump this up the list (and I already have once), but this is where it is for now. Get Out is another debut on this list - from Jordan Peele - and exquisitely shatters the myth many well-meaning white liberals have created for themselves about their own social consciousness.
The Florida Project
Filtering the plight of poverty through the boundless excitement and wonder of a small child, Sean Baker's film is a powerful call for empathy for the most vulnerable among us. This is another one that should maybe be higher on my list; I only just recently saw it and I keep finding myself thinking about it.
Personal Shopper is Kristen Stewart's second work with Olivier Assayas, and demonstrates just what a great actress she is when given good material to work with.
The Lost City of Z came out too early in the year to get much awards attention but should not be overlooked, particularly for its great cinematography.
Atomic Blonde pairs the high-octane action we're accustomed to in modern spy films with the le Carré-esque ideas about how much it sucks to be a spy, giving us one of the best and most brutal one-take action sequences in film history.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a bit of a mess with a screenplay that could have used a couple more passes, but still delivers a magnificent spectacle. Its Big Market sequence in particular shows us something we have never seen before.
Logan Lucky, in addition to its deep compassion for subjects other films would mock ruthlessly, has the best Game of Thrones joke I've seen yet.
Downsizing takes a great, truly intriguing concept and throws it out the window to ask if Matt Damon can learn to love.
Life.... don't talk to me about Life