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Old 01-01-2018, 06:04 PM   #32
Foggy Foggy is offline
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Dec 2008

Reserved, donít know if Iím going to be able to do my usual effort with images and everything this year but Iíll try.

#1 Good Time

Directed by Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie
Written by Ronald Bronstein & Josh Safdie
Starring Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Taliah Webster
Synopsis: After a heist goes awry, a bank robber spends a night trying to free his mentally handicapped brother from being sent to Riker's Island prison.

Write-up: As restless and woozy as a night fuelled by double digit Jagerbombs, and filled with about equal parts bad ideas, the tactile and pulsating thrill ride of Good Time makes for the year's most unique and peerless experiences of the year. A wondrous odyssey driven by a perturbed industrial score, grungy neon visuals that seem to cross the paths of Taxi Driver and Gasper Noe and a fretful and sneaky performance by Robert Pattinson as a truly charismatic yet deplorable chancer. The result is a film that becomes less describable in words than simple impact.

#2 Phantom Thread

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Written by Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring Daniel Day Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville
Synopsis: Set in 1950's London, Reynolds Woodcock is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who became his muse and lover.

Write-up: As particular and meticulous as it's leading character, Paul Thomas Anderson's demanding and enigmatic gothic romance is an excerise in restraint but a wealth of extraordinary turns and surprises. Following Daniel Day Lewis' mannered yet eccentric fashion designer haunted by his mother and finding solace within women, he finds himself bitten off more than he can chew with Vicky Krieps Alma, as their relationship turns from idealistic to poisonous as the film goes on. Featuring a wry macabre screenplay and lavish work by Anderson and an utterly transcendent performance from Lewis, Phantom Thread will go down as classic of cinema for time to come.

#3 Dunkirk

Directed by Christopher Nolan
Written by Christopher Nolan
Starring Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy
Synopsis: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in WWII.

Write-up: A stripped down World War II epic that removes facades of limp and rote character motivation and audience pleasing, gratuitous blood-letting brings to the surface one of the more honest and enriching emotional responses on screen, pure empathy. Dunkirk provides expertly thrilling sequences designed not simply to divert or entertain, but to rock you to your core. It's a film that asks to reflect yourself within what's on screen, creating the years most immersive cinema experiences. It's characters may only be vessels for our viewpoint, but it's not hard to sympathise with what happens when you see what they see.

#4 Call Me By Your Name

Directed by Luca Guadagnino
Written by James Ivory Based on the novel by Andrť Aciman
Starring Timotheť Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg
Synopsis: In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape.

Write-up: For some reason, I adore films about very smart, very academic and well spoken people finding themselves in situations that they can't explain, leaving them speechless. But it takes a special film also leaves that audience just as speechless. Call Me By Your Name is such a warm, joyous yet heart clenching, it's surprising that a film that feels so young and free comes from a screenwriter in his late 80's, yet less surprising that the film itself is so much more wise beyond it's years.

#5 Lady Bird

Directed by Greta Gerwig
Written by Greta Gerwig
Starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges
Synopsis: In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California

Write-up: Blunt and honest teen comedy that takes aspects we're all familiar with, whether it's our own adolescence or from the films that have captured them, and moves the focus on to the communication, or perhaps lack of that fulfill these moments. Greta Gerwig's film slices through nostalgia with a more piercing look at the entitlement we have all been guilty of and reminds us of the importance of connection with those in our lives, and it melts your heart in the process.

#6 Baby Driver

Directed by Edgar Wright
Written by Edgar Wright
Starring Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jamie Foxx
Synopsis: After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.

Write-up: Edgar Wright's energised Jukebox Musical-on-wheels is a film less concerned with reinventing the genre, much like his early work, instead reminding us how distinctive and refreshing a genre film can be with a real voice and genuine craft behind it. The result is a film that feels distinctive, singular and a pure thrill to behold. Load with personality and charm to boot, Baby Driver is a film that feels comfortable within itself and a crowd pleaser on it's own behalf, culminating with a genuinely surprising tense final 30 minutes.

#7 The Shape of Water

Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Written by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor
Starring Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer
Synopsis: At a top secret research facility in the 1950s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.

Write-up: Brazen and gleefully bizarre, Guillermo Del Toro's newest, and perhaps his best and strangely most accessible film to date, is a meticulous crafted fantasy. With a keen and staggering eye for detail, the gothic storyteller carefully creates a world built on a very particular tone that encapsulates the mature fairytale story allowing the audience to be taken wherever it may go. Ultimately becoming a film that feels genuinely magical without expense to it's themes or it's audience.

#8 Blade Runner 2049

Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Written by Hampton Fancher & Michael Green Based on characters from the novel by Philip K. Dick
Starring Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Harrison Ford
Synopsis: A young blade runner's discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who's been missing for thirty years.

Write-up: A bold, brilliant and beautiful follow up to one of greatest Science-Fiction films ever, one that's on nearly every level equal and even sometimes better than the original, and it flopped?! Man, screw 2017.

#9 Get Out

Directed by Jordan Peele
Written by Jordan Peele
Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Betty Gabriel
Synopsis: It's time for a young African-American to meet with his white girlfriend's parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambience will give way to a nightmare.

Write-up: Wildly subversive and exceptionally entertaining, Jordan Peele's horror twist on Look Who's Coming To Dinner? is not only a deliciously deranged take on paranoia amongst liberal America, but also a film that isn't afraid to use it's genre to push it premise and ideas to exaggerated absurdity to create one of the most talked about films of the year.

#10 The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Written by Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthymis Filippou
Starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan
Synopsis: Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.

Write-up: Almost utterly uncomfortable throughout it's entire two hour runtime. Yorgos Lanthimos' startling domestic parable ramps up implications and offers very little stable answers, creating a stomach churning sensation of moral claustrophobia that becomes increasingly more and more distressing. You have to let it sit for a while, but when it's effect clicks, it completely rewarding.

#11 It Comes At Night

Directed by Trey Edward Shults
Written by Trey Edward Shukts
Starring Joel Edgerton, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Riley Keough
Synopsis: Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorises the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son. Then a desperate young family arrive seeking refuge.

Write-up: Pessimistic and hopeless thriller from Trey Edward Schults doesn't make for easy viewing, but leaves an astonishing impact. A chiller that engrosses so much that it begins to make you question your own senses, from it's lucid aspect ratio to the shadows that engulf the characters, it culminates into a crushing final confrontation that leaves you in utter despair.

#12 Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Directed by Rian Johnson
Written by Rian Johnson Based of the characters created by George Lucas
Starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley
Synopsis: Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares for battle with the First Order.

Write-up: The second part of the new trilogy takes Star Wars both back to it's roots and into bold new areas, exploring nuances unfamiliar to the series. A more stripped back, character driven focus allows for a more stakes driven plot allowing for larger growth of characters, a tighter more thrilling ride all around. Add to that room to create new visuals and creations to the cannon, and a unique vision that allows Star Wars to become fresh again, and you have a film that can mark itself amongst the original films.

#13 The Florida Project

Directed by Sean Baker
Written by Sean Baker & Chris Bergoch
Starring Brooklynn Prince, Willem Dafoe, Bria Vinaite
Synopsis: Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.

Write-up: Harsh yet heartwarming drama revolving around Children who find solace from their hard situations utilising their imagination and wits amongst the cotton candied veneer of the poverty stricken Florida that is over shadowed by tourism giants. The film shines most when director Sean Baker focuses his attention on the banal banter amongst the children and their mischief at the expense of the warm-natured motel manager portrayed by Willem Dafoe.

#14 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Directed by Martin McDonagh
Written by Martin McDonagh
Starring Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson
Synopsis: A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter's murder when they fail to catch the culprit.

Write-up: Bitter and coarse black comedy revolving around institutionalised misogyny and brutality amongst middle America and less a protest but more a battering ram that comes to tackle it down in the course of justice. Frances McDormand's grumpy and tactless mother paves through a jangle of ill-behaviour with even worse attitude leading to a film that's not always clean cut (in many ways) but collides together with fascinating and not entirely predictable circumstances.

#15 mother!

Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Written by Darren Aronofsky
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer
Synopsis: A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

Write-up: Blunt trauma makes the intention of Darren Aronofsky's egregious yet utterly captivating experimental thriller. Starting from the Garden of Eden and moving straight through to the Book of Revelations with the space of four walls, the film encompasses all villainy, vanity and vain behaviour into a ruthlessly punishing and relentless experience that will remain unrivalled for a long, long time.

#16 Raw

Directed by Julia Ducournau
Written by Julia Ducournau
Starring Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella
Synopsis: When a young vegetarian undergoes a carnivorous hazing ritual at vet school, an unbidden taste for meat begins to grow in her.

Write-up: Macabre French gross out horror that makes for the biggest surprise finds of the year. It's a film that doesn't simply consolation within depravity but offers up a biting twist on the Coming-of-Age genre and pierces the flesh of social norms and taboos. Offering up an ostensibly grotesque modern vision of female desire and sexual awakening.

#17 Free Fire

Directed by Ben Wheatley
Written by Amy Jump & Ben Wheatley
Starring Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley
Synopsis: Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two gangs turns into a shootout and a game of survival.

Write-up: Farcical and emasculating satire on pulp action films sets up a confrontation amongst the largest egos and let's rip. The catch is, amongst this shootout, nearly no one can handle a gun themselves. What should be a quick battle of pride becomes a drawn out, messy hail of bullets where the only things taking shots are the characters' self-esteem. A nice breezy genre flick with a twist that flew under a lot of people radars.

#18 The Disaster Artist

Directed by James Franco
Written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber Based on the book by Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell
Starring Dave Franco, James Franco, Alison Brie
Synopsis: When Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.

Write-up: Somewhere along the line, thankfully, the memo never quite arrived to James Franco and co that this film's mere existence is enough of a joke to warrant itself. Resulting in a film that's heartfelt as well as hysterical, the film expertly creates a sense of the absurdity that gave birth to the cult film whilst maintaining it's many mysteries. It's rough around the edges, but it's intentions shine through.

#19 Detroit

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Written by Mark Boal
Starring John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Will Poulter
Synopsis: Fact-based drama set during the 1967 Detroit riots in which a group of rogue police officers respond to a complaint with retribution rather than justice on their minds.

Write-up: Beginning wide is context and slowly homing into a single corridor, the tension in Katherine Bigelow's film is masterfully woven that regardless of your feelings on the film itself, it's undeniable how well it's made. The dynamically shifts from documentary footage to pure unfiltered horror as the situations get more and more unbearably and inescapable. Many people said this wasn't the time for a film like this, but I don't think there will ever be a wrong time for a film like this.

#20 Logan

Directed by James Mangold
Written by Scott Frank, James Mangold & Michael Green
Starring Hugh Jackman, Dafne Keen, Patrick Stewart
Synopsis: In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X, somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan's attempts to hide from the world, and his legacy, are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.

Write-up: Soulful yet brutal conclusion to what has become a defining character of cinema over the course of nearly two decades. Logan surprises with both a deft yet dense world building and an often unflinching introspection to a character that hasn't truly been allowed to be explored fully on-screen like this before. Adding to that some skilfully grounded action set pieces and a bold nihilism to punctuate the drama, and you have a new standout in a genre.

#21 The Work

Directed by Jairus McLeary & Gethin Aldous
Synopsis: Set inside a single room in Folsom Prison, three men from the outside participate in a four-day group-therapy retreat with a group of incarcerated men for a real look at the challenges of rehabilitation.

Write-up: Perhaps the most emotionally intense two hours of cinema the year. This verite style documentary chronicling one of America's most successful course of prison group rehabilitation session, mixing inmates with civilians, begins with a tribal chant echoing the Drill Sergeant from Full Metal Jacket and slowly transforms into something more terrifying like an Exorcism film, with people physically convulsing uncontrollably. A deeply affecting portrait of the damage people withhold deep inside and the spiritual catharsis of releasing it.

#22 A Ghost Story

Directed by David Lowery
Written by David Lowery
Starring Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Kenneisha Thompson
Synopsis: In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife.

Write-up: Easily the year's most unique and singular films released. A truly lyrical ode on the real existential horror of the unavoidable reality of demise, the film continually strives to challenge the cinematic language by moving through time crumb by crumb and bounds at a time. Resulting with something that's both truly haunting and universally touching, it's not a film that wants to defy description, but simply begs to be witnesses.

#23 Coco

Directed by Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina
Written by Adrian Molina & Matthew Aldrich
Starring Anthony Gonzalez, Gael GarcŪa Barnal, Alanna Ubach
Synopsis: Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.

Write-up: I'm just happy to have another good Pixar film on one of these lists. Coco is inventive and joyous with it's celebration of both culture and life, offering audiences a mature but not daunting story regarding the importance of memories, whilst touching upon grief and dementia. It's an often colourful creation with a beating heart and soul underneath that is accessible to all.

#24 The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Directed by Noah Baumbach
Written by Noah Baumbach
Starring Adam Sandler, Elizabeth Marvel, Dustin Hoffman
Synopsis: An estranged family gathers together in New York for an event celebrating the artistic work of their father.

Write-up: Noah Baumbach employs career bests out of a great cast (...and Adam Sadler) in his wry disfunctional family drama that beautifully captures and punctuates the frustrating lack of communication yet the necessity of connection between blood. The film is often hysterical, although occasionally too broad, but it's well-drawn characters and rich routine dialogue that makes it stick after watching.

#25 Logan Lucky

Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Written by Rebecca Blunt
Starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig
Synopsis: Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Write-up: A charming and cheerful throwback to a simpler era of filmmaking. Steven Soderbergh returns to the big screen following a brief hiatus with fun crime caper that places charismatic actors in the place of caricatures, and slowly peels back the laughs to reveal something more subversive yet more genuine, offering up a more honest and poignant commentary on current America that gets left unexplored by most.

Last edited by Foggy; 02-20-2018 at 07:04 PM.
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Thanks given by:
Al_The_Strange (01-28-2018), Hucksta G (01-29-2018), Jasonic (02-26-2018), Mandalorian (02-20-2018), The Debts (01-24-2018)