Our favorite movies and TV shows of the year

Saoirse Ronan, left, and Laurie Metcalf star in 'Lady Bird.' (Merie Wallace/A24 via AP)
Saoirse Ronan, left, and Laurie Metcalf star in "Lady Bird." (Merie Wallace/A24 via AP)

The Day's writers discuss the movies and TV series they liked most in 2017.

MOVIES

Get Out

In his feature-film directorial debut, Jordan Peele creates a culturally relevant thriller that expertly mixed sinister creepiness, outright scares and dry wit. Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), who is black, is invited by his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to her family's house — where, it turns out, something very bad might be going on. Let's just say you'll never look at Catherine Keener the same way again.

— Kristina Dorsey

Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig, in her directorial debut, attentively depicts a high school senior navigating the divide between childhood and adult life in a story that is as much about mother-daughter relationships and family as it is about class relations and growing up. Besides having all the threads essential for a great film — convincing actors, relatable yet complex characters, wonderful cinematic devices, small revelations throughout and a satisfying ending — it is, above all, an inherently relatable story.

— Mary Biekert

It

The much anticipated remake of Stephen King's novel "It," was terrifying and nostalgic (think "Stand by Me," also by Stephen King, or "The Goonies" crossed with "Nightmare on Elm Street"). Many parallels between the remake and the Netflix show "Stranger Things" can also be drawn — not the least of which is child actor Finn Wolfhard, who starred in both productions.

— Mary Biekert

The Big Sick

Was this the best film of the summer? Quite possibly. It's inspired by the real-life romance of comic Kumail Nanjiani and his now-wife, Emily Gordon. Nanjiani plays a version of himself, a guy who can't tell his traditional Pakistani-American family that he is dating a Caucasian woman (played by the winsome Zoe Kazan). They break up, but, when she falls ill and ends up in a coma, he returns to her side. It sounds horribly treacly, but "The Big Sick" is actually funny and emotional. Shout-outs, too, to Holly Hunter and Ray Romano as the woman's parents.

— Kristina Dorsey

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The newest installment of "Star Wars" delivered on everything a "Star Wars" fan could hope for — new worlds, lovable characters, adorable creatures and fast-paced excitement. Similar to Star Wars Episode V, the film also explores some darker and more philosophical aspects of the Force, aspects of which are most prominently displayed through Rey's ongoing journey as a Jedi and through Kylo Ren who seems to constantly teeter between bad and good.

— Mary Biekert

The Trip to Spain

I missed the first two "Trip" movies, but, boy, was I happy to get onboard for "Spain." Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are just a gas to hang out with, as they bicker and banter their way across gorgeous landscapes.

— Kristina Dorsey

Murder on the Orient Express

A great work of art? No, but this is the movie equivalent of comfort food, and there's something to be said for that. Nothing too deep, nothing too distressing: just a traditional Agatha Christie mystery all dolled up with A-list stars and with costumes and sets to die for. Having Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe and Kenneth Branagh onscreen together is a good time.

— Kristina Dorsey

TV

Stranger Things 2

Netflix

By far, one of the year's biggest shows was "Stranger Things 2." Released just days before Halloween, the series, which is part science-fiction, part ode to the 1980s, continued along with its already intriguing plot line, tying in new characters and revealing an "upside down" that was far more menacing than anyone could have ever imagined. The character development in the second season was memorable. We watched Eleven and Hopper, played by Millie Bobby Brown and David Harbour, form an unexpected father-daughter relationship, and those performances have since earned the two actors Screen Actors Guild award nominations. And, of course, we can't forget about the development of Dustin either, played by Gaten Matarrazzo (who had local fans in a frenzy when he was visiting family in Mystic over Thanksgiving). There were moments of laughter, moments of fear and moments of tears, all set in the wonderfully nostalgic world of a 1984 small-town Indiana — truly making for a magical experience that swept the world off its feet.

— Mary Biekert

Mr. Mercedes

Hulu

Faithful and tension-accelerating miniseries version of the Stephen King crime novel of the same name. Brendan Gleason as retired cop Bill Hodges and Harry Treadaway as serial killer Brady Hartsfield lead a wonderful cast. I'd read the book and my wife hadn't and we were both delighted. King never gets enough credit for complexity of characters, and this production illuminates the humanity — in all of its light and darkness.

— Rick Koster

Sherlock

Netflix

A three-episode — and possibly the last — season continuing the witty, craftily written and stunningly performed modern-day adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The plots and subplots multiply and dazzle and, while there's probably nothing new to say about Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson, respectively, they're fantastic.

— Rick Koster 

Game of Thrones

HBO 

Season 7, which debuted on HBO in July, finally proved that there is a light at the end of the immensely long and complex tunnel that is "Game of Thrones." Zig zagging plotlines finally began to tie together as family houses made and broke allegiances to one another. And as White Walkers encroached beyond the wall, we, for the first time, were left pondering whether the "throne" would be "won" by anyone after all. It seems that we won't find out until 2019 though, when the show's next and final season is rumored to begin.

— Mary Biekert

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Amazon

This is the perfect binge show as I found out while confined to the couch by a stomach bug. Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan, “House of Cards”) is an Upper West Side Jew with a luxurious apartment, beautiful wardrobe, two kids and a hard-working husband. Life seems perfect until husband Joel (Michael Zegan) walks out. She then stumbles into a career as a stand-up comic (it comes across much more plausible than it sounds here). Mrs. Maisel is hilarious, whether on stage, arguing with her ex or trying to handle the expectations of her parents and in-laws. Add outstanding performances by Alex Borstein as her manager and Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”) as her father, and the laughs are pretty much non-stop.

— Tim Cotter

Bosch

Amazon

Michael Connelly has made a career of writing page-turners and the TV series based on his Harry Bosch series is just as impossible to stop watching. Season 3 was based mostly on “Black Echo,” the novel that introduced us to, and got us hooked on, the L.A. police detective. Thankfully, season 4 is on the way.

— Tim Cotter

Fargo

FX

Season 3 of this quirky drama was very good. Ewan McGregor did a great job playing brothers Ray and Emmit Stussy (yep, both brothers) but David Thewlis was chilling as bad-guy V.M. Varga. Creator Noah Hawley hasn't committed to doing a fourth season yet. But go back and watch a great Season 1 and an even better season 2. You'll be happy you did.

— Dave Davis

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers

Having to live in the Trump era, Colbert and Meyers went all in. They turned their acerbic focus on the President, and their shows were all the better for it, as they dismantled every half-truth and every "can you believe that actually happened???" event.

— Kristina Dorsey

Chance

Hulu

Hugh Laurie stars as San Francisco-based forensic neuropsychiatrist Eldon Chance. One of his patients, Jacklyn Blackstone, portrayed with foreboding seduction by Deep River, Connecticut, native Gretchen Mol, draws him into a labyrinth of police corruption, mind games, betrayal and violence. Chance needs guidance through this creepy underbelly of society, and the cryptic "D," an Afghan war vet of black skills nuanced to eerie perfection by Ethan Suplee, is just the weirdo to help out. Season One debuted late last fall; the sophomore season is now underway.

— Rick Koster

Longmire

Netflix

After odd delays and little publicity, the sixth and farewell campaign for this modern Western is now streaming, and we're on Episode #4. Set in Absaroka County, Wyoming, where Sherriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) and his support crew, including best pal Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) and deputy Vic Moretti (Katee Sakhoff), they deal with Western-related felonies, shady casino dealing, Native American mysticism, the schism between life off and on the Rez, and sundry other delightful threads. Walt, I'm gonna miss you. Please don't die. If you've never seen "Longmire," now's the time.

— Rick Koster

Daniel Kaluuya in a scene from 'Get Out.'  (Universal Pictures via AP)
Daniel Kaluuya in a scene from "Get Out." (Universal Pictures via AP)
David Harbour in 'Stranger Things.' (Netflix via AP)
David Harbour in "Stranger Things." (Netflix via AP)

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