10) Troy’s Pick – Vice
Vice is Adam McKay taking the right and wrong lessons from The Big Short. While I love seeing a comedy director bring fluid experimental film-making to a straight biopic drama, the playfulness overwhelms the narrative. Still, this cast and its ability to not flench when examining the psychology behind what controlled most of the political 00s in America is refreshing. Are still too close to the time? Maybe. But, it’s better not to have the time to wax nostalgic for the period. Vice is going to stay with me for a bit.
10) Daniel’s Pick – A Star is Born
Hi, my name is Daniel and I love rock music and love stories. I’m not talking about romantic comedies, although those can be good too. I’m talking about “love stories” in the traditional sense. What does that mean? Well, let’s just put it this way: the chances of you and your significant other leaving this world at the same time are slim if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
Cinematic love stories are forced to compress things down for the running time’s sake, so the romances they tell within burn hard and flame out fast. Bradley Cooper’s iteration of A Star is Born is no different. I could carry on about how well he directed the film, how good the performances are, and how much I loved the music. All of it would be true and perhaps I’ll prattle on in just that manner about this picture someday. For now, I’ll sit here and cherish the fact that I am I loved this year made and entire room full of people scream out in tear-filled anguish during its finale. It’s the little things that truly make life grand.
10) Mike Flynn’s Pick – A Quiet Place
Up until this year, there were two horror movies that unnerve me so deeply that I will only watch them if I absolutely have to: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. A Quiet Place is one of the scariest films I have ever seen. It’s also the first film in the genre that has made me cry. I don’t mean that lightly—I can’t remember the last time I sobbed watching a movie. For me, that’s a testament of what A Quiet Place is.
Much as no one ever expected something like Get Out from Jordan Peele, what John Krasinski achieves here is monumental. The apocalyptic dread of his ambitious expressionism as a filmmaker is boundless; I can’t remember a movie that stretches a PG-13 rating like this does. Krasinski brings disturbing realism to the forefront, paralleling the unravel of the family unit with that of the world at large. Alongside his real-life wife, Emily Blunt, and the talented young actors as their children, they make you believe.
Just that much is enough to make A Quiet Place an important genre film. This is no lightweight haunted house. For a younger generation, it’s Jaws. It’s Alien. It’s The Thing. It’s pure horror.
10) Jamie’s Pick – Green Book
Jamie loves any movie that irritates large sections of Film Twitter. I asked him why he liked the movie so much and Jamie answered me with a simple response.
“Green Book is Driving Miss Daisy done right. The women stay at home, while the men bond over fried chicken.”
I would love to see the Venn Diagram of who gets offended over what first.