Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category


2014 in Film

January 23, 2015

Another year in the books. A lot of good, a lot of bad, and a lot of whatever. Found myself watching less from other years due to my TV critic gig (100 titles or so viewed in theaters), something I’ll look to strongly rectify in 2015. Once again, TIFF was marvelous, not only did the festival produce a number of films seen in my top ten, and some truly great memories (everyone once in their life must witness an Abel Ferrara Q & A), but the cinephile camaraderie present at the festival was at an all-time high for me. Not many cinematic regrets in 2014 save for the fact that I skipped Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 and It Follows during TIFF in favor of more sleep. All in all, I got away pretty clean. But before I unveil my list for 2014, let’s take a look back at my favorites from 2013.

1. Under the Skin
2. Bastards
3. Upstream Color
4. Inside Llewyn Davis
5. The Immigrant
6. The Wolf of Wall Street
7. Drug War
8. Before Midnight
9. Jealousy
10. Stranger by the Lake
11. Manakamana
12. Our Sunhi
13. 12 Years a Slave
14. Closed Curtain
15. A Touch of Sin
16. At Berkeley
17. Side Effects
18. The White Reindeer
19. I Used to Be Darker
20. Her
21. The Strange Little Cat
22. This Is Martin Bonner
23. The Conjuring
24. Bullet to the Head
25. The Counselor

Now, for my 2014 favorites (list based on international premiere dates). Click on highlighted titles for fun stuff when applicable.

Honorable mention:
Force Majeure
Welcome to New York
Edge of Tomorrow
Still Alice
John Wick
Black Coal, Thin Ice
Step Up: All In
Beyond the Lights
Love Is Strange
The Babadook
Life Itself
Journey to the West

listen up philip
10. Listen Up Philip

9. Actress

goodbye to language
8. Goodbye to Language 3D

7. The Homesman

6. Inherent Vice

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel

4. Heaven Knows What

3. Boyhood

two days
2. Two Days, One Night

1. Horse Money


2013 in film

January 18, 2014

The Bling Ring

While I don’t think 2013 rivaled the quality seen in 2012, it was a pretty fantastic year nonetheless. Not only did I acquire a few new writing gigs, not to mention a fantastic weekend TV critic job, but TIFF was once again the highlight of the year. In regards to how I compiled my list, any film that premiered in 2013 in any capacity made the cut. For extended thoughts on my 2013 list, check out the latest episode of Almost Arthouse. Before I get to my favorites from 2013, below is a reminder of what I adored in 2012.

1. Spring Breakers (Korine)
2. The Color Wheel (Ross-Perry)
3. Frances Ha (Baumbach)
4. The Master (Anderson)
5. The Unspeakable Act (Sallitt)
6. Moonrise Kingdom (Anderson)
7. Holy Motors (Carax)
8. Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami)
9. 4:44 Last Day on Earth (Ferrara)
10. Magic Mike (Soderbergh)
11. Post Tenebras Lux (Reygadas)
12. Viola (Piñeiro)
13. Leviathan (Castaing-Taylor/Paravel)
14. To the Wonder (Malick)
15. In Another Country (Sang-soo)
16. Girl Walk // All Day (Krupnick)
17. Paradise: Love (Seidl)
18. Zero Dark Thirty (Bigelow)
19. Tabu (Gomes)
20. Dredd (Travis)

The worst films of 2013 (in alphabetical order)
August: Osage County (Wells)
Blue Caprice (Moors)
Dallas Buyers Club (Vallée)
Delivery Man (Scott)
Gangster Squad (Fleischer)
A Good Day to Die Hard (Moore)
The Internship (Levy)
Killing Season (Johnson)
Lone Survivor (Berg)
Man of Steel (Snyder)
Pacific Rim (Del Toro)
The Purge (DeMonaco)
The Way, Way Back (Faxon)

Honorable mention
25. The Counselor (Scott)
24. Fast & Furious 6 (Lin)
23. This Is the End (Rogen/Goldberg)
22. Bullet to the Head (Hill)
21. The Conjuring (Wan)
20. This Is Martin Bonner (Hartigan)
19. The Strange Little Cat (Zürcher)
18. Her (Jonze)
17. I Used to Be Darker (Porterfield)
16. The White Reindeer (Clark)
15. Side Effects (Soderbergh)
14. At Berkeley (Wiseman)
13. Stranger by the Lake (Guiradie)
12. Manakamana (Spray/Velez)
11. Our Sunhi (Sang-soo)

And without further adieu, the best films of 2013 (click on highlighted titles for links to reviews):

10. Closed Curtain (Panahi)

9. A Touch of Sin (Zhang-ke)

8. Before Midnight (Linklater)

drug war
7. Drug War (To)

6. 12 Years a Slave (McQueen)

Inside Llewyn Davis
5. Inside Llewyn Davis (Coen)

4. The Wolf of Wall Street (Scorsese)

3. Upstream Color (Carruth)

2. Bastards (Denis)

1. Under the Skin (Glazer)


My Month in Films: November ’13

December 6, 2013


Best first time viewings
1. Bigger than Life (Ray, ’56)
2. 12 Years a Slave (McQueen, ’13)
3. At Berkeley (Wiseman, ’13)
4. U.S. Go Home (Denis, ’94)
5. Neighboring Sounds (Filho, ’12)
6. The Black Dahlia (De Palma, ’06)
7. In the Mouth of Madness (Carpenter, ’94)
8. This Is Martin Bonner (Hartigan, ’13)
9. The Truth About Charlie (Demme, ’02)
10. A Hijacking (Lindholm, ’12)

Worth mentioning
They Live by Night (Ray, ’49)
The Lone Ranger (Verbinski, ’13)
All the Light in the Sky (Swanberg, ’13)
The Punk Singer (Anderson, ’13)

Best rewatches
Frances Ha (Baumbach, ’12)
To the Wonder (Malick, ’12)

At Any Price (Bahrani, ’12)
Last Vegas (Turtletaub, ’13)
Thor: The Dark World (Taylor, ’13)
Frozen (Buck/Lee, ’13)
Delivery Man (Scott, ’13)
Homefront (Fleder, ’13)

Titles without a home
The Best Man Holiday (Lee, ’13)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lawrence, ’13)


My Month in Films: October ’13

November 1, 2013

magic magic

Best first time viewings
1. White Reindeer (Clark, ’13)
2. A Perfect Getaway (Twohy, ’09)
3. Wolf Creek (Mclean, ’05)
4. Magic Magic (Silva, ’13)
5. Night Moves (Penn, ’75)
6. Captain Phillips (Greengrass, ’13)
7. The Counselor (Scott, ’13)

Worth mentioning
Computer Chess (Bujalski, ’13)
Escape Plan (Hafstrom, ’13)

Hamilton (Porterfield, ’06)
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Tremaine, ’13)
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (Lowery, ’13)
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (Levine, ’06)
The Internship (Levy, ’13)
Blue Caprice (Moors, ’13)
The Way, Way Back (Faxon/Rash, ’13)


My Month in Films: August ’13

September 2, 2013

closed curtain

Best first time viewings
1. Closed Curtain (Panahi, ’13)
2. Ghosts of Mars (Carpenter, ’01)
3. Stories We Tell (Polley, ’12)
4. Life According to Sam (Fine/Nix, ’13)
5. Europa Report (Cordero, ’13)
6. Drinking Buddies (Swanberg, ’13)
7. The Canyons (Schrader, ’13)
8. The World’s End (Wright, ’13)
9. 2 Guns (Kormakur, ’13)
10. Lore (Shortland, ’12)

Elysium (Blomkamp, ’13)
Prince Avalanche (Gordon Green, ’13)
Short Term 12 (Cretton, ’13)
The Butler (Daniels, ’13)


My Month in Films: July ’13

August 1, 2013


Best first time viewings
1. Drug War (To, ’13)
2. House of Tolerance (Bonello, ’11)
3. Viola (Piñeiro, ’12)
4. Sexy Beast (Glazer, ’00)
5. Twixt (Coppola, ’12)
6. The Conjuring (Wan, ’13)
7. Repo Man (Cox, ’84)
8. Bestiaire (Côté, ’12)
9. Mud (Nichols, ’12)
10. Cassandra’s Dream (Allen, ’07)

Worth mentioning
The Wolverine (Mangold, ’13)
Red Flag (Karpovsky, ’12)
13 Going on 30 (Winick, ’04)
Within the Eye of the Storm (Hermon, ’12)

Only God Forgives (Refn, ’13)
The Attack (Doueiri, ’12)
The Heat (Feig, ’13)
Simon Killer (Campos, ’12)
Pacific Rim (Del Toro, ’13)
Vessel (Ciancio, ’13)
Killing Season (Johnson, ’13)
Trance (Boyle, ’13)


My Month in Films: June ’13

July 1, 2013


Best first time viewings
1. Before Midnight (Linklater, ’13)
2. Post Tenebras Lux (Reygadas, ’12)
3. Passion (De Palma, ’12)
4. Sparrow (To, ’08)
5. The Happening (Shyamalan, ’08)
6. This Is the End (Goldberg/Rogen, ’13)
7. You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet! (Resnais, ’12)
8. Dark Skies (Stewart, ’13)
9. Uncle Kent (Swanberg, ’11)
10. The Strange Little Cat (Zurcher, ’13)

Worth mentioning
Sun Don’t Shine (Seimetz, ’12)
Stoker (Park, ’13)

V/H/S/ 2 (Various, ’13)
Silver Bullets (Swanberg, ’11)
Man of Steel (Snyder, ’13)
The Purge (DeMonaco, ’13)
World War Z (Forster, ’13)
Gangster Squad (Fleischer, ’13)

Best rewatches
The Color Wheel (Perry, ’12)
Upstream Color (Carruth, ’13)
Spring Breakers (Korine, ’12)
Side Effects (Soderbergh, ’13)
Captain Ron (Eberhardt, ’92)