My Top Ten Movies of the Year So Far:
- Man of Steel
- 12 Years a Slave
- Captain Phillips
- The Conjuring
- Catching Fire
- Iron Man 3
- Thor: The Dark World
- The Butler
Man of Steel was everything I ever wanted in a well-done Superman flick. Henry Cavill was marvelous as Clark Kent/Superman and the action was how a Superman film ought to be: high stakes and fucking powerful; it’s God’s battling.
Prisoners was one of the most intense films I’ve seen this year. Hugh Jackman (playing a low-key, different character than usual) and Jake Gyllenhaal were tremendous together. I give this film higher marks than perhaps I normally would because of the content, which surprised me in a mainstream Hollywood film.
12 Years a Slave is by far the best film ever made about slavery. Steve McQueen deserves the Best Director nod for this one. It reminded me of Roots in its sweeping, epic, relentless look at slavery. McQueen’s direction is unwavering, as it ought to be; it lingers on the action and forces the viewer to account for what they are seeing. Tears were had.
Gravity showed that Sandra Bullock deserves another Oscar. Her scene toward the end of the film is one of the most remarkable I have ever witnessed on film, which the film itself is one of the most remarkable I’ve seen from a visual standpoint.
Captain Philips was a damn good flick, but the reason it makes it this far on my list is because of Tom Hanks being Tom Hanks: extraordinary. The last fifteen minutes — as other critics have noted — is what defines this film. Hanks is mesmerizing. I wouldn’t be upset if he won a third Oscar.
The Conjuring was the best horror film I’ve seen in years. Impeccable acting, atmosphere, scares and storytelling.
Just missing the cut (I’ve only seen 19 movies this year, a far cry from my usual): Olympus Has Fallen, Snitch, Star Trek Into Darkness, Fast & Furious 6, This is the End, World War Z, Pacific Rim, 42 and The World’s End.
Out of those, my favorite is honestly a toss up between Olympus Has Fallen or World War Z…
Still need to see:
The Place Beyond the Pines
The Great Gatsby
Now You See Me
The Way Way Back
Blue is the Warmest Colour
The Book Thief
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Saving Mr. Banks
Out of the Furnace
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Wolf of Wall Street
Among those, I can only see American Hustle and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty competing for entry into my top ten.