Another year has come and gone and it’s time for me to put up my lists for favorite films from the past year!
This year though I have to make a confession. I didn’t see as many movies as I normally do. Something about actually getting a social life managed to eat into a lot of my movie-going time. Unlucky I suppose, but friends are also nice as well.
Still, though, I did end up saw quite a few movies and need (yes need) to talk about them, even though most of them I already talked about. I’ll be going from 5-1 because I can’t give away the secret of my favourite right away, can I?
#5: First Reformed
This is definitely a movie a lot of people didn’t go see, it was a small production with a pretty limited release, but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to watch it. Ethan Hawke gives one of his best performances as the tortured priest of a small congregation in upstate New York. I’m not afraid to admit that I have a lot of personal bias towards liking this film. It deals with subject matter very close to me as Hawke’s character struggles to reconcile his faith with the tragedies of the world around him. There are sections of this film that are deeply uncomfortable, but I appreciate this movie for having the gall to go there.
#4: Love, Simon
Yeah, the campy teen rom-com about a gay kid is in my top five of the year. What are you gonna do about it? This movie is spectacular, it’s fun, heartfelt, and well-crafted. It manages to stay relatable to an older audience without making it’s characters feel out of place. They feel like high schoolers, I mean don’t get me wrong there are a few moments that are just spectacularly cringy, but I think that was intended, because high school as a whole is a pretty cringy experience. It’s got big goals for itself and it meets those goals almost effortlessly.
#3: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
Gah! This movie was just awesome. The animation is almost perfect, (there are a couple of times that it didn’t really vibe with me, but that’s mostly me nit-picking) the casting is beyond brilliant, the story is engaging, heartfelt, and really funny. Into the Spider-verse, along with Guardians of the Galaxy, is proof that with love, care and skilled filmmakers even the weirdest parts of superhero stories, like the existance of alternate dimensions and corresponding spider-mans can be made into a fantastic films.
Alright, back to the kind of movies you’d expect me to rate really highly. Upgrade is a dark, gritty and violent revenge thriller that absolutely no one saw. It’s a surprisingly great performance by the lead, Logan Marshall-Green who blends the line between grief-stricken husband and curious avenger remarkably well. The plot stays just interesting enough that you don’t get bored without getting too convoluted to confuse you. It finds this nice happy place so that people focus on the incredible action and camera-work rather than getting caught up in the nitty-gritty details of the story.
#1: Green Book
I’ve pointed out a few times on this list how impressed I was with the performances given by these films. Green Book stands out to me in part because it presents not one, but two phenomenal performances. Can we all just agree that Viggo Mortenson is just the best and that Mahershala Ali just oozes brilliance on screen? This movie just works so well and it’s mostly because of the brilliant chemistry between these two actors. Not to also mention that it’s got a tight well-written story that keeps things going at a wonderful pace. If I were to make any complaints about this movie it would be that it ended.
Ok that’s my list. Hopefully you haven’t seen some of these movies you’ll go check them out. I really think they’re worth your time. Later!