The 55th New York Film Festival kicked off on Thursday night and the response is unanimous. With 99 feature films and 69 short films hailing from more than 40 countries, critics have been taking note of the exemplary program and boundless opportunities to be found at the historic 55th edition.

The New York Times Manohla Dargis addresses this year’s well-deserved main slate: “It’s notable that the 2017 edition includes a substantial number of female directors — a third of the main slate — which can be read as a political statement, but is fundamentally an acknowledgment of excellent work.” She continues on to say that the 55th annual festival—which “retains a near-holy belief in cinema as art” —”gives movie lovers the chance to roam widely, to affirm their taste and sometimes to have it challenged.”

“The city’s most important film festival,” says Bilge Ebiri of The Village Voice. Ebiri makes a point to name this year’s timely theme as “the concept of community, of finding your people.”

Joe McGovern from Entertainment Weekly affirms the NYFF “has always favored quality above everything else,” in his roundup of 10 must-see films in the festival that includes Lady Bird, Call Me by Your Name, Mudbound, and more.

IndieWire asserts the festival is “impeccably programmed and intimately aware of what its audience wants,” calling the Robert Mitchum retrospective “unmissable” and the talks “eclectic and exciting.”

Variety’s Dade Hayes says the festival “serves as a cinephile’s cauldron of competing ideologies, storytelling traditions and global perspectives” and declares it “a remarkably essential event on the movie calendar.”

“The cherry-picked New York Film Festival is the most elegantly curated film showcase of the year,” with “the finest that world cinema has to offer,” according to Time Out New York‘s Joshua Rothkopf. He continues on to recognize the films not to be missed this year, such as The Florida Project, BPM, Zama, and Caniba.

“At 55, the New York Film Festival is still setting the bar” says Metro‘s Gregory Wakeman.

Critics aren’t the only ones speaking up about this year’s extensive lineup. Fans have been passionately expressing their delight over the 55th NYFF across social media:

@mawoee: “NYFF line up is looking GOOD”

@styleschalamet: “the nyff line-up is crazy good, i wish i could go – someone get me a plane ticket please”

@iamPitman: “This will be my 5th year straight attending @TheNYFF/@FilmLinc, easily my favorite film festival. Can’t wait!”

@joshua_bronk: “I am living for the #NYFF lineup. @FilmLinc is still my favorite place in New York City”

@TomiLaffly: “Almost passed out when I read about the upcoming Robert Mitchum retrospective at #NYFF55. 🔥”

@unseenfilms: “please stop with the embarrassment of riches- the documentary slate is beyond words”

@BRM: “Settling in for a morning of screenings @TheNYFF … so grateful to be able to attend. This festival just feels like home. #NYFF”

@weevic18: “Another fun film filled day #NYFF”

@IanBoolocklock“#thesquare: what an insane and ambitious movie. I really dug it! #NYFF”

@aysegul_ersin: “Agnes Varda is sitting in front of me at the screening of one sings, the other one doesn’t. What a day #NYFF”

@ivezquint: “Got to see #Callmebyyourname at #nyff last night & with Luca, Armie, Timothee present – what an honor what a pleasure what a gorgeous film”

To learn more about screenings, talks and all things NYFF, visit the official website here!

As more coverage of the festival comes along, we will continually update this write-up so stay tuned!