Typically, I do this careful exercise at the end of the year. But, thanks to Movie Pass, I’ve already watched close to 20 movies (even Uncle Drew) this year. Somehow, begrudgingly, I missed You Were Never Really Here. Outside of that blunder, I’ve seen all sorts of movies ranging from Game Night and Isle of Dogs to Incredibles 2 and Tully.
Surely, there will be movies, like You Were Never Really Here, that aren’t in theaters anymore, or not near me like Lean on Pete, I’ll watch the rest of this year that alters this list. The movie forecast this summer, and beyond, seems promising, too. Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade has been a movie I’ve been hopeful for since the trailer debuted earlier this year. It’s a coming of age story that’s realistic and potentially heartbreaking. The expectations for that movie, as well as Beautiful Boy, Christopher Robin, Sorry to Bother You, Searching, Creed II, remain sky high. There’s a probable chance this list changes drastically come December, but for right now I wanted to offer a snapshot of year in film through my lenses as June ends.
I try not to spoil any of the movies. I’m not a film critic, and I’ll never pretend to be one. I just like seeing movies.
Missing the cut (in no particular order): Love, Simon, Blockers and Avengers: Infinity War.
It’s a quick watch, certainly. It’s also Anton Yelchin’s final film, and he plays this creepy adult who sells drugs to high school kids in suburban Connecticut. Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Olivia Cooke) were childhood best friends, growing apart after Lily’s dad died. But they rekindle their friendship during tutoring sessions at Lily’s expensive house. That’s when Amanda meets Lily’s stepfather. Lily hates him, which prompts Amanda to suggest murdering him. It’s an incredibly acted film, despite some script shortcomings. It’s drawn comparisons to American Psycho. It’s a film that’s surprisingly funny, given the nature of the topic, while also diving deep into personality disorders.
4. First Reformed
Ethan Hawke plays a priest in upstate New York. You learn about crappy things that happened to Reverend Ernst Toller throughout the film, which led him to his present situation. He runs this old church that’s mostly used for historic tours and its gift shop. Sundays, however, a few attend mass. A couple, Mary and Roger, played by Amanda Seyfried and Van Hansis, befriend Toller early. Roger worries about how the human population treats the world, and that theme continues as Toller faces difficult questions, especially his relationship with the much larger and financially well-off church nearby. It’s a dark often disturbing movie that makes you think on a number of levels.
3. Black Panther
There’s truthfully not much to say about a movie that shattered box office records. I’m not this superhero fanatic, but I am a big Ryan Coogler fan, relishing over Creed and Fruitvale Station. It’s a near masterpiece of a film.
The expectations for this movie were through the roof. After screenings various outlets called it the “scariest movie ever.” The movie, the first feature by Ari Aster, is damn near perfect. But please don’t go into the theater expecting to be scared out of your mind. It’s not that type of horror movie. It’s certainly scary, though. It has one of the more messed up, unsettling scenes you’ll ever see. It’s unexpected, which makes it even better. Toni Collette kills in her role as Annie Graham, but it’s the son, Alex Wolff, who steals the show.
1. A Quiet Place
Movies that drag on become a nuisance. This movie is direct and clear and short, creating an ideal viewing experience. The story itself, creatures that can’t see but have enhanced hearing, hence the title A Quiet Place, provides tense moments from the beginning. John Krasinski had a flawless directing debut. Watch this movie, and please stay silent. It’ll be worth it.
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