The silver screen’s best (and worst) of the year

2017-12-17 00:00
beyond the river

What graced the silver screen this year and what flopped? #Trending rounds up our picks of the best and worst movies of 2017 on the local and international front.


Movie of the year: Inxeba. No other local film has made the kind of impact that John Trengove’s debut, Inxeba (The Wound), made this year. Exquisitely made and starring openly gay singer-songwriter Nakhane, it’s controversial for its setting in a Xhosa initiation school, but nevertheless gathered international awards on the festival circuit. It’s got a good shot at the foreign language Academy Award, despite a necessary conversation around cultural appropriation.

Special mentions: Vaya, the tales of homeless people in Joburg, is another piece of Akin Omotoso’s social justice magic. Big props also go to two local genre blurrers that debuted internationally: Michael Matthews’ post-colonial Western called Five Fingers For Marseilles and Jenna Bass’ High Fantasy about woke, body-switching students on a camping trip.

Flops: Charlie Vundla’s The Tribe only made R18 828 at the box office and was one of the biggest disappointments of the year. Even more cringeworthy was John Warner’s Indoda, about the adventures of a boy going to initiation. But in the end it was the Serpent that flopped hardest, not even making it to circuit.


1. Keeping Up with the Kandasamys

2. Vaselinetjie

3. Kalushi

4. Beyond the River

5. Krotoa

6. Kampterrein

7. Jagveld

8. Nul is nie niks nie

9. Tess

10. Pop, Lock ‘n Roll


Movie of the year: Get Out
Against the backdrop of a Donald Trump world, first-time director Jordan Peele’s Get Out turned US racial tensions into the premise of a full-blown horror movie. It introduced audiences to the idea of “the sunken place”.

Special mentions: Wonder Woman, It, War for the Planet of the Apes
Let’s be honest, Gal Gadot’s face is about as expressive as a plank, but as a cultural phenomenon, Wonder Woman was a hit. The first big-budget comic-book film with a female lead, it finally gave little girls (and big girls) everywhere a female superhero to look up to.

It, the remake of Stephen King’s clown chiller, was well received by critics. The last instalment of the Planet of the Apes rounded off one of the best sci-fi sagas in recent years.

Flop: All Eyez On Me
This messy biopic was lambasted for its shallow portrayal of rap icon Tupac Shakur. – Grethe Kemp


1. The Fate of the Furious

2. Despicable Me 3

3. Beauty and the Beast

4. Fifty Shades Darker

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming

6. The Boss Baby

7. Thor: Ragnarok

8. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

9. Transformers: The Last Knight

10. Baywatch

* Stats according to

Read more on:    movies publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.