Deciding which movies to review and which ones to skip is one of the toughest decisions The A.V. Club makes on a weekly basis. Seriously, it can be quite agonizing. In a perfect world, we’d review a much larger percentage of the sometimes couple dozen new releases that hit theaters or streaming platforms every week. Instead, we have to prioritize, starting with the wide-release studio films, moving down to the major indies, continuing to festival favorites and new work from name directors, until we’ve reached maximum capacity of what we can reasonably cover. It’s a tough, mercenary process, and while it often just means that we end up ignoring some Z-grade curiosity that’s never heard from again, there are plenty of times when we miss the boat on a genuinely good movie—on something, in other words, that we should have reviewed.
And so to right our wrongs and address our blindspots, The A.V. Club finds time every December to single out some of the best movies of the year that slipped through the cracks in our coverage. Every one of the movies listed below opened in theaters or premiered on a viewing platform in 2017. None of them received an official review from the site. And all of them are worth seeing and writing about, better late than never.