ENTERTAINMENT
01/30/2017 05:22 pm ET Updated Jan 31, 2017

8 Sundance Movies You'll Want To See This Year

Including a gay romance, a WWII race drama and Kumail Nanjiani's big moment.

At first, this year’s Sundance Film Festival lineup seemed bereft of many must-see titles. Thankfully the clouds parted and the indie-film gods shone down on Park City, where another Sundance came to an end on Sunday. Based on what I saw during my time at the festival, here are eight movies that should be on your radar as 2017 continues. 

  • "Call Me by Your Name"
    The closest we came to cinematic perfection in Park City was "Call Me by Your Name," an adaptation of André Aciman's a
    Sundance
    The closest we came to cinematic perfection in Park City was "Call Me by Your Name," an adaptation of André Aciman's acclaimed novel of the same name. An aria about first love and perfect weather, the movie stars Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet as housemates turned unlikely lovers during an all-too-brief Italian summer. Director Luca Guadagnino, whose previous credits include "I Am Love" and "A Bigger Splash," earned a standing ovation at the premiere, signaling bright things to come for this sensual romance, which sold to Sony Pictures Classics before the festival.
  • "Thoroughbred"
    In Cory Finley's directorial debut, Anya Taylor-Joy ("The Witch," "Split") and Olivia Cooke ("Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,
    Sundance
    In Cory Finley's directorial debut, Anya Taylor-Joy ("The Witch," "Split") and Olivia Cooke ("Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," "Bates Motel") play wealthy suburban teenagers who hatch a plan to murder the former's vicious stepfather. "Thoroughbred" is delicious and bitingly funny, with a killer ending that lives up to its twists. The movie also features the final screen performance from the late Anton Yelchin. 
  • "A Ghost Story"
    Nearly wordless and relentlessly captivating, "A Ghost Story" is a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mudbound-revi
    Sundance
    Nearly wordless and relentlessly captivating, "A Ghost Story" is a feat of storytelling and production design. Casey Affleck plays a deceased phantom haunting his wife's (Rooney Mara) home wearing a bed sheet. It's a stunner of a "Pete's Dragon" follow-up for director David Lowery, who mines prolonged silence to raise questions about time, grief and the way we float in and out of one another's lives.
  • "Mudbound"
    A searing racial confrontation set during World War II, "Mudbound" seemed like Sundance's surest Oscar contender. So it was a
    Sundance
    A searing racial confrontation set during World War II, "Mudbound" seemed like Sundance's surest Oscar contender. So it was a surprise when Netflix outbid traditional theatrical distributors for rights to the movie, Dee Rees' directorial follow-up to "Pariah" and "Bessie." Featuring an ensemble that includes Carey Mulligan, Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund, Mary J. Blige and Jonathan Banks, "Mudbound" blends horror and hope to chronicle a snippet of America's domestic turmoil.
  • "The Incredible Jessica James"
    Jessica Williams: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-big-sick-review-sundance_us_588439dce4b070d8cad31d26" targ
    Sundance
    Jessica Williams: a hero for all seasons. "The Incredible Jessica James" marks Williams' first big-screen starring vehicle, giving the former "Daily Show" correspondent a movie that complements her comedic voice. It's a delightful, progressive romantic comedy about an aspiring New York playwright reeling from a recent breakup.
  • "City of Ghosts"
    For the Oscar-nominated "Cartel Land," Matthew Heineman captured immersive footage of drug syndicates near the Arizona border
    Sundance
    For the Oscar-nominated "Cartel Land," Matthew Heineman captured immersive footage of drug syndicates near the Arizona border. Next up is "City of Ghosts," a moving documentary about a Syrian activism group fighting ISIS' invasion of their homeland. The results are vital, providing a torrid look at one of the globe's colossal crises.
  • "The Big Sick"
    Sundance brought good news for the romantic-comedy genre, chiefly in the form of "The Big Sick."&nbsp;Kumail Nanjiani and wif
    Sundance
    Sundance brought good news for the romantic-comedy genre, chiefly in the form of "The Big Sick." Kumail Nanjiani and wife Emily V. Gordon co-wrote this gem about a Pakistani comedian in Chicago navigating the dating scene despite his parents' instance on arranged marriages. Amazon bought the movie for a massive $12 million, so get ready to usher in Nanjiani's movie stardom.
  • "I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore"
    Meet your new favorite buddy duo: angry Melanie Lynskey and weird Elijah Wood. In "Green Room" actor Macon Blair's directoria
    Sundance
    Meet your new favorite buddy duo: angry Melanie Lynskey and weird Elijah Wood. In "Green Room" actor Macon Blair's directorial debut, Lynskey plays a nursing assistant who recruits her rat-tailed neighbor (Wood) to avenge a robbery. From there, the aptly titled "I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore" devolves into a demented, violent goose chase that never shies away from the central thesis of "people suck."
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2017 Sundance Film Festival
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