Best Of

Best Movies of the 2010’s

Happy New Year everyone! This new year as you have probably heard a million times already is a little more interesting in others in that it’s the start of a new decade! Which honestly when you think about it, it’s really not that big of a deal, but hey it’s an excuse to make a list and reflect on the same number we can count up to with our fingers. So yeah, of course I’m going to have my own top ten movies of the year. Now with this list I don’t really have an order. These movies are all really damn amazing in their own right that it is impossible for me to rank them. (Well that might be a lie for the two movies that I go back and forth as my favorite movie period, we’ll get to that don’t worry). Alright let’s get started!

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is the most movie movie I have ever watched. It doesn’t tell you a story, it takes you on a damn ride through one. It’s a stunt masterpiece, a work of art in every frame, and world building at its finest. Did I also mention that it has strong male AND female leads? Oh and a score that you could close your eyes and watch the whole movie in your head? I have never been more gratified watching a movie than this one. It’s a must watch last decade and should be from every decade forward.

Blade Runner: 2049

Blade Runner: 2049 is probably the most expensive “indie” movie ever made. Somehow, someway, the excellent director Denis Villenueve was given a massive budget to make a drama mystery sci-fi movie that was more concerned with it’s central characters identity than huge action set pieces. Make no mistake they are there, but what makes this movie sing is watching Ryan Gosling’s blade runner K try and solve a missing person’s case that shatters his world. It’s haunting and powerful with an ending that punches you in the gut. Oh and just like Mad Max, the movie is a moving painting with a score to match. Seriously, I think I need to get some canvas paintings from scenes in this movie.

Logan

There have been a lot of great superhero movies in the last decade, like really great ones, Logan is the best. Figures it would come from the studio that typically can’t figure them out to give us the best. Director James Mangold was given the opportunity to tell the most grounded and human story I have ever seen in a movie about people more than human. It’s less about saving the world, and more about saving your soul from depths of great great pain. This Western tinged movie contains the best performances from Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart along with a stellar bout from up and comer Dafne Keen. It’s the best sendoff story I have seen for a character, and out of all superhero movies, likely one of the very few that will still feel just as powerful for years and years to come.

Drive

Drive is a dark dark movie mixed with the colors and sensibilities of an artsy film student. That combination typically doesn’t come out too well, but this getaway heist gone wrong tale of the nameless Driver just works. Make no mistake, it’s very arthouse like. Many scenes lack more than a couple lines of dialogue, the movie is lit with this 80’s neon flair and it has a soundtrack to match. The few driving scenes are a tense ride along, but it’s the absolute brutality that Ryan Gosling’s character unleashes upon his foes that this movie focuses on. It’s not a Fast & Furious movie, it’s quieter story about one man trying to do the right thing for those he cares about, no matter the costs.

Nightcrawler

If you thought Drive was a messed up movie, do I have a movie for you. Nightcrawler is disturbing. It highlights the type of terrible things many would do to advance their careers and status in life. It does so by showing the rise of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Louis Bloom from nobody to successful crime journalist. Gyllenhaal was robbed for not getting awards for this movie. His performance is chilling and frightening. Yet somehow his energy keeps you watching as the story spirals further and further down the going to hell toilet. It’s that performance that makes this one of my favorites of the last decade.

Parasite

I had never seen a film by Bong Joon Ho. After seeing Parasite, I’m going to have to correct that mistake. This movie is a masterpiece unlike any other I have seen. The way it dances between black comedy satire, to a dark drama about class inequality is insane. It feels as natural as breathing when watching this movie and it’s damn perfect. It’s script is top notch, performances that keep you glued, and shot in such precise detail. Parasite goes past any language barrier and gives us a movie that leaves you stunned and a loss for words by the end.

A Quiet Place

I’m not going to lie, when I saw the first trailer for this movie, I thought the idea was super dumb. A movie where you can’t make sounds or you’ll get murdered by monsters. How can you possibly live in a world like that? Well A Quiet Place answered. Sure there are points where you could poke fun at the logic, but the movie makes its rules and creates a magical horror movie of tense moments and a real story of normal family issues. Kids acting out, parents doubting they can actually protect and teach their kids to survive in the world. It was excellent stuff and also gave me one of my favorite memories of ever watching a movie in theaters. It was actually quiet! People shushed and told others to shut up even if they were eating food like a loud animal. It was glorious.

1917

1917 is a cinematography marvel. A continuous one shot from start to finish (with a little clever trickery to make it work). It’s amazing, and created an experience I haven’t had in a movie, I felt like I was with those soldiers. A shadow wishing I could give them the strength to keep moving. Couple that with the film having a powerful story that shows the horrors of the first world war and you have a movie I won’t forget.

War for the Planet of the Apes

The 2010’s Planet of the Apes trilogy is the best trilogy I have ever seen. Each movie builds on the last, and tells an extraordinary tale of Caesar’s infancy all the way to a messiah like leader for his people. I chose War specifically because this is where we finally get the full on human versus ape storyline, but because of the masterful performance from Andy Serkis we are clearly rooting for the apes to triumph. These movies are visual stunners that show just how amazing that motion capture technology has come. Yet it won’t be the visuals themselves that will make this movie and it’s two previous entries stand the test of time. It will be the stories of struggle between our dark and light sides in the face of adversity that Caesar’s journey so perfectly captures.

Knives Out

Knives Out is one of the most fun movies I have watched in a long long time. It has a stellar cast, with one of my favorite performances from Daniel Craig. Hell all of them gave great performances. The plot is witty, stratifying, and has plenty of twisty twists that make for a great two hours. The strength of the cast and the well crafted direction of Rian Johnson makes this a movie that even after you have seen it the first time, it’s still just as fun if not more the second, third, and twentieth time.


Wow! Those are some fine ass movies there. Seriously, if you haven’t seen these movies, and like a good one, give them a watch, you’ll get something out of them all I promise. That said, I did want to list some honorable mentions of movies that just missed top ten glory of the 2010’s.

The Cabin in the Woods
Ready or Not
Baby Driver
Arrival
Wind River
The Martian
Skyfall
Looper
Avengers: Endgame
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Inception

Best Of

Best Movies of 2019

We made it everyone! 2019 is in the books at that means a time of movie reflection. What made this year more interesting for me is that this was the first year that I focused on seeing as many movies as I could. I kind of fell off at the end of this year (moving takes up a lot of time folks) but I made sure to make time for ones that really caught my eye. Anywhoooo, this year was pretty damn fantastic in terms of top notch movies that I left impressed with. In fact several will be in the running for my favorites of the decade. But let’s get to this year first. BEHOLD!

Parasite
If you follow film circles you have at least heard someone say that you should go see Parasite. Yeah you should listen to them, and to me. Parasite is the best movie the year and one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It’s blending of genres and switch from dark comedy to a disturbing drama is top notch. The writing is masterclass, and it’s an experience that by the end will leave you with a lot of feelings to unpack. This isn’t a movie you see every day or even every decade. Go watch this as soon as you can.

Knives Out
Knives Out is a modern murder mystery whoduunit that packs a great cast, excellent humor, and beautiful cinematography to make one of the most entertaining movies of the year. Even after you have watched it the first time, know the twists and turns, it’s the performances that will keep you coming back over and over.

1917
Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins gave us all one final present this year with 1917. The World War I drama takes us all on a tense, emotionally heavy journey through the trenches in a way that I haven’t seen committed to so beautifully on film. The entire movie is designed to appear as one continuous shot and it creates an experience unlike any movie I have seen before. That alone would have been enough to through this on my list, but it’s also a great story performed by excellent actors that makes this one of the best.

Ready or Not
It’s taken 8 years, but not since The Cabin In The Woods have I seen a satirical horror movie that is both frightening and hilarious all wrapped into one. Like Knives Out this is a movie of a great performances playing a cast of one F-ed up family. It’s the lead Samara Weaving though that makes this movie such a fun ride. She’s funny, she’s badass, and by the end you’ll want her to kill every one of those psycho family members.

Booksmart
If there’s one comedy that I would recommend to see this year it’s Booksmart. Booksmart is one of those end of high school have to have one big night before college stories. You have seen them plenty of times, but this one is by far the best. It’s humor is smarter, the situations are funny yet realistic, and the messages feel more in tune with today’s sensibilities. The cast, crew, writers, and director Olivia Wilde knocked this one out of the park.

Us
Us is another original horror concept from Jordan Peele and it’s amazing. He carefully blends horror, with science fiction, and splashes of comedy to give us an experience that you haven’t seen before. It’s also a blast to watch as every actor plays two roles of the same character. That alone is something that begs to be watched, but the fact that the performances are wrapped around such an entertaining story only adds to the reason that this is one of the best movies of the year.

Avengers: Endgame
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is like the most expensive long running TV show that only plays in theaters, and Endgame was the season finale. It’s insane what they were able to pull off. It’s both an entertaining movie by itself but for those who have seen all the movies, it’s a masterpiece like no other. The callbacks, the remixes, the joy, the sadness, this movie tackles so many emotions and it ends in such a satisfying way. I don’t think we are ever going to see something like this again, and Mavel Studios deserves all the praise and heaps of cash for giving us this 11 year journey.

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino movies have always been hit and miss with me. When they are good, they are damn good, when they are bad, I can’t even finish them. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is one of the good ones, one of his best actually. It may run a little long, but it has the genius pairing of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. They both bring their A game to this one and are up there as my favorite performances from both actors. And then there is that one thing that Tarantino is really good at with climaxes that insanely fun to watch. This one has one of those.

Joker
The Joker is a heavy messed up movie. It’s not a movie that everyone can handle but for those who can it’s a very deep character study of a disturbed man that is looking to be the hero of his story even if it is only in his head. It’s the haunting performance from Joaquin Phoenix that makes this a movie that any movie fan should check out, just be prepared for a story that won’t make you feel too jazzed by the end.

Zombieland: Double Tap
There are some movies that you know aren’t for everyone and you can’t justify that it’s something everyone will find value in, but I really loved this movie. I was a fan of the first, and this one is somehow a funnier movie. Yeah it has some callback jokes, which only land some of the times. But the new characters they add in steal the show. The cast looks like they are having a blast, and it’s just fun to see a sequel to a movie from last decade that’s actually good. This is one of those movies that I’ll be watching again and again in the October season and that means it deserves this slot on my list.


Best Of

Best Movies of 2018

Well folks, 2018 is finally over. Over the last few days I’ve been combing through the movies I’ve seen this year. Before doing so I thought really hard on what I liked this year, and how I felt overall. After going back and actually looking at what came out my opinion stayed pretty much the same. This year was decent with a few gems that I really loved. Enough idle chat though, let’s get this party started! 

A Quiet Place

This was the first movie this year that I couldn’t get enough of. It surprised me so much because when I saw the first trailers I thought the concept was a joke. How could anyone survive in a world where you can’t make sound? My logical end of my brain couldn’t get past it, but then I watched it. Yes, you could still logically destroy this movie if you wanted, but the craft put into this world, and these characters, it drew me in. It was beautiful. I loved watching this tragedy play out, this family get tested, and the inventiveness at play to make this world work. This movie also gave me a theater experience I will never forget. I’ve never been in a more silent theater in my life and that is a memory that will always stick with me.

Upgrade

Upgrade works because of a great performance from Logan Marshall-Green. His reactions to the messed up carnage that his body is performing is such fun to watch. It takes the simple revenge story and amps it up by having a conflicted man deal with losing control to something more sinister. Honestly it’s the better darker version of what Venom could have been, and I like it all the more for it.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

The latest Mission is the best by far. The action is top notch, and Henry Cavill is the steroids that just launches this entry into overdrive. If you have seen any of the other films in this franchise and thought how could they possibly top that? Watch this one. The insane stunts of Tom Cruise will answer your question. I was able to see this in Dolby Cinema and I don’t think there has been a movie to match this in terms of just pure action insanity. I don’t how Tom Cruise keeps pulling it off, but keep it up Mr. Hunt.

Searching

Another pleasant surprise movie. Searching uses the gimmick of each view point is a camera or a computer, or a phone screen. Going into the movie I wasn’t sure about that approach. Well in the first fives minutes the movie sold me on the concept, think of the opening sequence from Pixar’s Up and you’ll get an idea of what I mean. From that point on I was in on the mystery of what happened to David Kim’s daughter. This also happens to be my favorite performance from John Cho. It’s heartbreaking watching this father just lose more and more of himself as he gives into the despair that his daughter might actually be dead. Plot wise it also had some twists that kept things interesting and it has a lot to say on how important communication is within any relationship. If you like a good mystery thriller, you should definitely check this out.

A Star Is Born

Wow. This movie was just so damn good. Between the direction of Bradley Cooper AND the stellar performances from both himself and Lady Gaga, this was such a great watch. Oh and the music is pretty good too. This movie dances around themes of relationships, self-confidence, and depression so so well. It’s such a sad story, but one that feels so important in this day and age as we as a society are still trying to come to terms with mental illness. This was one of my favorite movies of the year and I would not be shocked in the slightest if this wins some Oscar gold next year.

Bad Times at the El Royale

Drew Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods is one of my favorite movies ever. It’s spin on the horror genre was just so refreshing. Goddard’s follow up is just as good but for very different reasons. This film brings back my feelings of good live stage plays. One main location and lots of mysterious players. The cast in this one is staked. Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Chris Hemsworth. Those are names you know, and they are all amazing but it’s the addition of these other actors that just takes things up a notch. Cynthia Erivo, and Lewis Pullman. Every single actor pulls their weight in this one and matches what the next brings to the table. Beyond just the pure fun of these performances, the story is told in a unique fashion following each character’s view points arriving at the hotel before all these story lines converge into a powder keg waiting to blow in the finale. Out of all the movies on this list, this is probably going to be the one I return to the most.

First Man

October 12th did not only have the release of Bad Times at the El Royale, it also gave us the extremely tense tale of Neil Armstrong and his life through the astronaut program all the way to taking those first steps on the moon. Director Damien Chazelle nails the pure horror and terror of what these families went through to achieve something that many at the time argued the value in doing at all. Through all of this the movie visually is such a treat for the eyes. It appears that this may be more of a movie critic film over a general audience one based on audience scores, but if anyone has ever wanted to understand the mental struggle that was getting to the moon for the first time, I can’t think of a better way than watching this movie.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Like some other movies on this list, when I first heard this movie was getting made, I was confused. What in the world was Sony doing? After how they proved they couldn’t handle the live action franchise without Marvel they were going to make a cartoon one instead? Well it makes all the difference when you get the geniuses of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller involved. For those who don’t know here’s a small list of what these two helped bring into this world: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Lego Movie, 21/22 Jump Street. They know their stuff, and wow is this movie pure Spider-Man bliss. The unique animation, the soundtrack, the voice cast, the story. Just everything about this movie comes together to create a smart, hilarious, heartfelt adventure that anyone can be hero. Anyone can be what Spider-Man stands for.


Well that’s my list everybody! This year might not have had a heavy string of above average movies but the ones that did, were a blast. I can’t wait to see what filmmakers bring for us in 2019. Till then, I hope everyone has a great end to their 2018!