You can see 11-6 right here
5. CAPTAIN AMERICA – CIVIL WAR
I wrote a review for it here and can only say repeat viewings only further impress me as to just how well this movie works, when really – it shouldn’t.
4. THE NICE GUYS
I love Shane Black as do all right thinking people (IRON MAN THREE is the best IRON MAN movie. Yes it is. Yes. It is.) and THE NICE GUYS is none more Black. Wise cracks, Christmas, and idiots. All present and correct. I thought this was the funniest film of the year, and an inspired pairing for the leads. Guys, I really love this movie and stuff.
What Ryan Coogler did with CREED is nothing less than astonishing to me. He took a beloved franchise that had already milked itself to the point of utter exhaustion (though thankfully ended on a good note with ROCKY BALBOA) and gave it brand new life. And he did it by both reminding us what we loved about it so much, as well as make it utterly his own. Stallone hasn’t been this good in years and his chemistry with the wonderful Michael B Jordan is a delight. Why does CREED succeed? Because Adonis has his own path, his own insecurities, and his own arc. This movie would have worked even if Rocky had appeared here for the very first time. As it is, Coogler uses the stallion to augment his hero’s journey and they spark something within each other. The result is a thrilling, moving, redemptive movie which hits the same themes as the first Rocky movie (“what am I worth?”) and lands them perfectly. Virtually flawless.
2. MIDNIGHT SPECIAL
Sometimes a movie comes along that speaks to you in ways you might never have expected. It could be timing, it could be subject matter, or for me – in the case of MIDNIGHT SPECIAL – it could be both. I won’t go into why this movie hit me so hard or why it meant so much to me because the reasons are very personal, all I can say is I felt like this movie was on my side. That it understood something I don’t really understand myself.
ARRIVAL pushes all my buttons. An atmospheric science fiction movie about humanism, communication and parenting, with striking visuals and a happy clappy borderless message? And it stars Amy “why is she not regularly referred to as a genius” Adams? Right up my street. But even so, I found ARRIVAL to be a profoundly moving and provoking experience. It’s appropriate that a movie which focuses so much on language would then use the language of cinema to reveal itself to you. Watch the movie twice, and you will see that no tricks were played on you. Your brain simply interpreted the film according to a common tongue, and as Dr. Banks learns to change her perception, so have we. But even without that – this is a movie about shared experiences. About finding meaning and love even in the worst pain. It’s about the journey of memory and the value of our time. Our perception shapes us more than we know.
Ah, I’m not making sense and this is terrible writing. All I can tell you is that if this was a “best of the last 5 years” list, ARRIVAL would still be number 1.
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