15 Best Movies and Performances of 2017 Sundance Film Festival

From fringe-movement docs to a baker's dozen of Cate Blanchetts – these were the films and unforgettable turns that made our festival

'Wind River'
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'Wind River'

An experienced hunter, an inexperienced Fed, a cantankerous lawman, an unforgiving landscape, a dead body – actor-turned-screenwriter-turned-filmmaker Taylor Sheridan may stack his directorial debut with some familiar elements. (And any trace similarities to his socially informed scripts for Sicario and Hell or High Water are not necessarily coincidental.) It's what he does with this procedural material, however, that makes all the difference, turning the story of an FBI agent (Elisabeth Olsen) and her sharpshooting-guide (Jeremy Renner) tracking down a killer in the wintry Wyoming mountains into a taut, tightly paced thriller – as well as a crack modern Western, complete with stoic heroes and bullet-ridden showdowns. Few working screen scribes have such a knack for this kind of jagged-edged dialogue; no one has used Renner's rugged, disaffected persona this well since The Hurt Locker.