Perhaps it was just a fluke that in 2014 and 2015, all the short films were in summer and the long ones in winter. This year there wasn’t much of a pattern, although we didn’t get any really short (sub 100 minutes) movies in the depths of winter. The histogram is pretty noisy, but doesn’t look especially interesting either. I think next year for the 5th anniversary of Sneak stats, I’ll combine them into one big graph and see if any patterns are visible. The shortest film was Table 19 at 87 minutes, the longest was Wonder Woman at 141. But were they any good?
Overall, a mixed but mostly decent bag. The best rated films were Moonlight and The Big Sick on 98% each – two extremely different stories about romance and the minority experience. The lowest rated was the Flatliners remake, which I think is the most critically-detested film we’ve ever had at Sneak on just 5%. Three films (Patrick’s Day, Crawlspace/Within and Alien Invasion: S.U.M.1) didn’t have enough reviews for a rating.
So what were they about?
Poor Dove. No fan of horrors, this year she had to put up with 10 of them. Biopics are apparently on their way out, and you can see Oscar-bait season (as ever, shifted by the German release schedule) totally shrivel up in the second half of the year. Between La La Land and Baby Driver, this was our most musical year yet.
Where were the films set?
The only thing that stopped this being the most American year yet is that I decided to class Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk as Iraq even though it’s probably more USA, and because I don’t fully get US tribal sovereignty (which says Native American reservations are technically “domestic dependent nations”), I classed Wild River Reservation separately. Germany put in a good showing, but literally no other country was represented more than one – the same as Jumanji. India gets a shout-out for sort of being the topic of two movies, but Victoria & Abdul mostly took place in Scotland, while Pakistan was a major theme (but not setting) of both Viceroy’s House and The Big Sick. This was actually the best year for British movies yet, with over 10% of films set there. As for decades, you can see the nostalgia effect clearly: lots of films set between the 60s, 70s and 80s, but few (so far) for the 90s and 00s. Earliest set film was The Limehouse Golem in the 1880s, most recent period-piece was Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
Where did these ideas come from?
As ever, Sneak didn’t give us too many remakes or sequels (those it did give us were universally bad – no 22 Jump Streets this year). With 11 movies based on novels (plus more true story movies inspired by non-fiction books), Dove’s plan to read every book we watch a film of was pretty difficult this year.
Finally, did women get to talk?
About three quarters of the time, yes! But… often, only for the most fleeting moments, and there were lots of edge cases (almost as if filmmakers now deliberately include a couple of lines of dialogue just to push a movie over the edge). See bechdeltest.com for a soul-sapping conversation about whether IT passes based solely on one girl calling another a slut.
Some misc stats:
Films about Groundhog Day-style loops: 2 (Before I Fall and Happy Death Day)
Films where Will Ferrell played an insecure father, which were also both named after residences: 2 (The House and Daddy’s Home 2)
Films in which It comes, usually at night: 2
Films in which a sacred deer is killed: 0
Here’s the full table for your reading pleasure:
|Date||Film||Length||Genre||Setting||Year Setting||Bechdel?||RT||Based on?|
|02/01/17||La La Land||128||Musical||USA||Present day||Yes||92||Original concept|
|09/01/17||Why Him?||111||Comedy||USA||Present day||No||38||Original concept|
|16/01/17||Hidden Figures||127||Biopic||USA||1960s||Yes||93||True story|
|23/01/17||Live By Night||129||Crime||USA||1920s||No||35||Book|
|30/01/17||Billy Lynn’s Long Half Time Walk||113||Drama||Iraq||2000s||No||46||Book|
|06/02/17||The Girl With All The Gifts||111||Horror||UK||Near future||Yes||84||Original concept|
|13/02/17||Patrick’s Day||101||Drama||Ireland||Present day||?||N/A||Original concept|
|27/02/17||The Founder||115||Biopic||USA||1950s||No||83||True story|
|06/03/17||Moonlight||111||Drama||USA||Present day||No||98||Original concept|
|13/03/17||Within / Crawlspace||88||Horror||USA||Present day||Yes||N/A||Original concept|
|20/03/17||Bleed for This||117||Biopic||USA||1980s||No||71||True story|
|03/04/17||The Last Word||108||Dramedy||USA||Present day||Yes||38||Original concept|
|17/04/17||A Monster Calls||108||Fantasy||UK||Present day||Yes||86||Book|
|24/04/17||Before I Fall||99||Drama||USA||Present day||Yes||63||Book|
|01/05/17||Berlin Syndrome||116||Horror||Germany||Present day||No||74||Book|
|08/05/17||Table 19||87||Comedy||USA||Present day||Yes||26||Original concept|
|15/05/17||Born to be Blue||97||Drama||USA||1960s||No||88||True story|
|29/05/17||The Dinner||120||Drama||USA||Present day||Yes||50||Book|
|05/06/17||Trespass Against Us||99||Dramedy||UK||Present day||Yes||56||Original concept|
|12/06/17||Wonder Woman||141||Action||Belgium||1910s||Yes||92||Comic book|
|19/06/17||Everything, Everything||96||Drama||USA||Present day||Yes||45||Book|
|26/06/17||The Promise||134||Drama||Armenia||1910s||Yes||50||True story|
|03/07/17||The House||88||Comedy||USA||Present day||Yes||16||Original concept|
|10/07/17||Baby Driver||113||Musical||USA||Present day||No||93||Original concept|
|17/07/17||Hampstead||103||Drama||UK||Present day||Yes||43||True story|
|24/07/17||Wish Upon||90||Horror||USA||Present day||Yes||17||Original concept|
|31/07/17||Viceroy’s House||106||Drama||India||1940s||No||76||True story|
|07/08/17||Atomic Blonde||115||Action||Germany||1980s||Yes||76||Comic book|
|14/08/17||What Happened To Monday?||123||Action||European Federation||Near future||Yes||63||Original concept|
|21/08/17||Annabelle: The Creation||110||Horror||USA||1950s||Yes||69||Sequel|
|28/08/17||The Limehouse Golem||105||Mystery||UK||1880s||Yes||73||Book|
|04/09/17||American Made||115||Crime||World trip||1970s||No||88||True story|
|11/09/17||Wind River||111||Mystery||Tribal Reservation||Present day||Yes||87||Original concept|
|25/09/17||Victoria and Abdul||111||Dramedy||UK||1890s||Yes||65||True story|
|02/10/17||Home Again||97||Romcom||USA||Present day||Yes||32||Original concept|
|09/10/17||American Assassin||111||Action||World trip||Present day||Yes||34||Book|
|16/10/17||SUM1||91||Action||Germany||Near future||?||N/A||Original concept|
|23/10/17||The Big Sick||117||Romcom||USA||Present day||Yes||98||True story|
|30/10/17||It Comes at Night||91||Horror||USA||Near future||Yes||88||Original concept|
|06/11/17||Happy Death Day||96||Horror||USA||Present day||Yes||71||Original concept|
|13/11/17||Battle of the Sexes||121||Comedy||USA||1970s||Yes||76||True story|
|20/11/17||Girls Trip||122||Comedy||USA||Present day||Yes||90||Original concept|
|04/12/17||Daddy’s Home 2||100||Comedy||USA||Present day||Yes||19||Sequel|
|11/12/17||The Killing of a Sacred Deer||121||Horror||USA||Present day||Yes||79||Original concept|
|18/12/17||Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle||119||Comedy||Jumanji||Present day||Yes||75||Sequel|
|25/12/17||The Sense of an Ending||108||Mystery||UK||Time skips||No||75||Book|
* I started last year’s post with this phrase as well, totally unaware it would be a key catchphrase in a 2017 movie (The Limehouse Golem)