Movies I've seen

by summerskb | created - 4 months ago | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

The movies I've watched in 2019

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1. Train to Busan (2016)

Not Rated | 118 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

72 Metascore

While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

Director: Sang-ho Yeon | Stars: Yoo Gong, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma, Su-an Kim

Votes: 109,811 | Gross: $2.13M

A near perfect zombie movie. Contains a few poignant lines about the movie's themes of fatherhood that become apt by the end, but I would have preferred just a few more of these lines. Some of these poignant lines might have been lost in the translation from Korean. Would go perfectly with a few beers and some friends at a kickback.

2. Enemy (2013)

R | 91 min | Mystery, Thriller

61 Metascore

A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini

Votes: 143,449 | Gross: $1.01M

When the second viewing of a movie can still keep me: thinking, confused, and intrigued, then it really is worth watching in my opinion. It's short enough that it's worth watching a second time immediately after the first viewing in order to try and process what is actually going on. A film for people who enjoy something difficult.

3. Raw (2016)

R | 99 min | Drama, Horror

81 Metascore

An innocent teenager, studying to be a vet, develops a craving for human flesh.

Director: Julia Ducournau | Stars: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laurent Lucas

Votes: 49,687 | Gross: $0.51M

An interesting blend of a sexual awakening alongside the revelation of cannibalistic instinct. For the most part quite well executed. Most definitely a French movie.

4. The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)

R | 111 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.

Director: Colm McCarthy | Stars: Sennia Nanua, Fisayo Akinade, Dominique Tipper, Paddy Considine

Votes: 46,678

A zombie movie where the overwhelming feeling is that the creators thought they were handling a higher concept than they actually were. The dialogue is often on the nose, and simply tells the audience "4" instead of letting them put 2 and 2 together. The sets are the most impressive aspect. It does a few unique things within the genre, but these don't carry it enough to be worth the watch.

5. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

PG-13 | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

70 Metascore

As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.

Director: Peyton Reed | Stars: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins

Votes: 245,366 | Gross: $216.65M

How does Hank Pym have all this money to spend on black market parts to create a "quantum tunnel" while still being hunted by the FBI? Would they not have frozen whatever assets that he had in order to catch him? The scenes with Paul Rudd's character and his daughter are charming enough, and the auxiliary funny characters (trademark logo) are straight out of a Marvel movie. Meh.

6. The End of the Tour (2015)

R | 106 min | Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace's groundbreaking epic novel, 'Infinite Jest.'

Director: James Ponsoldt | Stars: Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg, Anna Chlumsky, Mamie Gummer

Votes: 25,948 | Gross: $2.99M

Jason Segel's performance of the late David Foster Wallace seems like a true labor of love, and Jesse Eisenberg plays Jesse Eisenberg playing a jealous writer. Quite heart warming for consisting of 106 minutes of two dudes talking to each other in a car.

7. Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

R | 113 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

61 Metascore

A supernatural force sets out to exact revenge against art profiteers attempting to exploit a series of paintings by an unknown artist.

Director: Dan Gilroy | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Zawe Ashton, Tom Sturridge

Votes: 40,482

The first act is quite good. Once this ensemble of charmingly pretentious asshole characters is established the movie decides to take the least interesting route through its bland horror premise. I was hoping that Coco's conveniently close proximity to the horror while remaining untouched by it would pay off by the end of the movie, possibly in some twist reveal. But it doesn't. It's just "convenient" screenwriting (one of the worst kinds).

8. The Clovehitch Killer (2018)

Unrated | 109 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

59 Metascore

A picture-perfect family is shattered when the work of a serial killer hits too close to home. Dylan McDermott stars in this chilling portrait of all-American evil.

Director: Duncan Skiles | Stars: Dylan McDermott, Charlie Plummer, Samantha Mathis, Madisen Beaty

Votes: 9,349 | Gross: $0.01M

A very deliberate film. It takes you pretty much exactly where you expected it to take you, but that doesn't mean that it was not worth watching. It is carried by its execution and the performances. Be on the lookout for this director's future work.

9. The Informant! (2009)

R | 108 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime

66 Metascore

The U.S. government decides to go after an agro-business giant with a price-fixing accusation, based on the evidence submitted by their star witness, vice president-turned-informant Mark Whitacre.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Matt Damon, Tony Hale, Patton Oswalt, Lucas McHugh Carroll

Votes: 60,092 | Gross: $33.31M

A winding laborious tale that by the end assures you that you've gotten the gist of it. A glimpse into how corporate Americana can reward an unhealthy psyche; a lesson that sometimes the only way to get that tiny bit further ahead may just not be worth what it costs. A character study into the chameleon nature of mental disease in the well educated. It's more ridiculous rather than funny per se.

10. Lincoln (2012)

PG-13 | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History

86 Metascore

As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Votes: 228,852 | Gross: $182.21M

A really really great film, but just not the type of movie that resonates with me. Daniel Day-Lewis is a titan. Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones are immaculate supporting leads; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is there to desperately make teenagers not think the movie is the most boringest thing ever. Spielberg is a master of his craft, but when the use of lighting is the most impressive aspect of the filmmaking that I note, it leaves me wanting of spectacle. But not entirely. The film was a difficult undertaking, and it was a wonderful attempt.

11. La Antena (2007)

99 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

This near-silent black and white film from Argentina tells the story of a city that has lost its voice, stolen by Mr. TV, and the attempts of a small family to win the voice back. Similar in design to early German expressionist films.

Director: Esteban Sapir | Stars: Alejandro Urdapilleta, Valeria Bertuccelli, Julieta Cardinali, Rafael Ferro

Votes: 3,488

A fantastic thesis on visual storytelling. A masterful blend of Orwellian world-building and David Lynchian filmmaking. It's a shame films like this can no longer get made in America.

12. Do the Right Thing (1989)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson

Votes: 74,925 | Gross: $27.55M

A nostalgic time capsule into an age now passed, yet a depressing reminder of how little we have progressed in thirty years. While trying desperately to front load the palette with sweetness, the haunting bitterness will stay with you in a stain that doesn't wash away. Real, moving, gripping, goofy, beautiful, horrible. Worth watching.

13. Gladiator (2000)

R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

67 Metascore

A former Roman General sets out to exact vengeance against the corrupt emperor who murdered his family and sent him into slavery.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed

Votes: 1,214,561 | Gross: $187.71M

Epic in scale, watching this 3 hour behemoth it's hard not to imagine how expensive everything going in to its production must have been. It feels like every aspect of this film influenced some facet of Game of Thrones. Joaquin Phoenix's controlled performance is definitely of note, considering how such a character can easily end up coming across as hammy. It's like a big piece of cake; it's nice while you're enjoying it, but you're not going to take away much afterwards except maybe a stomach ache. But hey, cake can be pretty good sometimes.

14. Brazil (1985)

R | 132 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

88 Metascore

A bureaucrat, in a retro-future world, tries to correct an administrative error and becomes an enemy of the state.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond

Votes: 175,469 | Gross: $9.93M

While many aspects of the film are still relevant and biting, the overwhelmingly dated 80's sci-fi aesthetic hurts the once oppressive tone that was weighted upon the audience. The sets are exceedingly cluttered in order to make the characters feel small in an overgrowth of dystopian infrastructure, but compared to a modern action movie, e.g. the Transformers series, the camera is mercifully still and the "cluttered" frame is inoffensively meek. The last 20 minutes dive headfirst into a surrealist nightmare and redeem the film, making it worth watching in the modern era.

15. Private Life (2018)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama

83 Metascore

An author is undergoing multiple fertility therapies to get pregnant, putting her relationship with her husband on edge.

Director: Tamara Jenkins | Stars: Kathryn Hahn, Paul Giamatti, Gabrielle Reid, Amy Russ

Votes: 10,174

Why did I watch this? Edit: the "hidden gem" tag on Netflix is not to be trusted.

16. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

R | 159 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

68 Metascore

A New York City doctor embarks on a harrowing, night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife reveals a painful secret to him.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Todd Field, Sydney Pollack

Votes: 272,770 | Gross: $55.69M

The 4th Kubrick film I've seen, and clearly the most accessible. The type of movie that keeps you looking for every possible detail in order to try and understand its depth. Upon cursory glance, it's a look at the theme of infidelity that turns into a haunting spell as the main character finds himself in something far over his head. Lots of tasteful nudity and uses music superbly. It's almost frustrating; I don't feel like I missed anything, but a second viewing is basically necessary. I will watch this again sometime.

17. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

R | 86 min | Comedy, Horror

76 Metascore

Viago, Deacon and Vladislav are vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane - like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs and overcoming flatmate conflicts.

Directors: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi | Stars: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Jonny Brugh

Votes: 126,645 | Gross: $3.33M

Do you like basghetti? Setups! Punchlines! Actual jokes! A wonderful mock-dark, heavily goofy tone creates the perfect environment for these characters thrive in. Would be a 10 if not for a couple jokes that won't stand the test of time. In twenty years, people won't quite get Vlad "The Poker" poking someone on facebook, nor the new vampire initiate going around town drunkenly shouting "I'm Twilight". However, the rest of the movie is funny enough to be among the legends of 70s era comedy films like Caddyshack and Airplane.

18. The Master (2012)

R | 138 min | Drama

86 Metascore

A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Jesse Plemons

Votes: 131,522 | Gross: $16.38M

A deep dive into two characters profoundly attracted to each other by offering what the other lacks. It felt like watching the two halves of my psyche meet on the screen. Paul Thomas Anderson treats his characters unapologetically and with a respect that they would deserve were they real humans. He doesn't take damaged people and tell you to laugh at them, but rather immerses you into a situation that garners understanding. Joaquin Phoenix once again shows his entrancing range as an actor. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is perfectly cast with such command as an orator. A difficult movie that I would only recommend to those well acquainted with difficult cinema.

19. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

R | 108 min | Action, Crime, Horror

48 Metascore

Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in a truck stop populated by vampires, with chaotic results.

Director: Robert Rodriguez | Stars: Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Quentin Tarantino

Votes: 261,120 | Gross: $25.75M

The first half is literally a Tarantino movie, and is played completely straight, until he gets eaten by a vampire and it turns into glorious action schlock. Not even the movie knows it's a vampire movie until it is out of nowhere, which is unique and fun. There is a lot of dated CGI, but it honestly helps the goofiness factor. The majority of the effects are classically practical to counterbalance it. I thought Tarantino's character's psychosis was going to set something up down the line, but this is probably an intentional red herring. Once we get to the vampire den, the sets start to feel 90s, which I personally am not the biggest fan of, and the action does sort of lose my interest over the well paced tension of the beginning. But we do see Cheech Marin's eyes explode onto Juliette Lewis, so come on.

20. The Endless (I) (2017)

Not Rated | 111 min | Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

As kids, they escaped a UFO death cult. Now, two adult brothers seek answers after an old videotape surfaces and brings them back to where they began.

Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead | Stars: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, Callie Hernandez, Tate Ellington

Votes: 21,317 | Gross: $0.27M

A really wonderful horror mystery film especially considering its low budget. Very sparse use of blood and violence keeps the tension of the horror bounded within your own imagination while watching, which plays into the film's theme of the fear of the unknown. It doles out information masterfully, until it almost feels over explained in an "exposition dump", but this is succinct enough to be inoffensive. Really strong minimalist fantasy visuals jive well with the naturalistic color grading. Also an extremely well developed character dynamic between two brothers carries the entire movie. Extremely recommended to anyone who enjoys letting a movie take its time to reveal its secrets.

21. Buster's Mal Heart (2016)

Unrated | 96 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

63 Metascore

A family man's chance encounter with a conspiracy-obsessed drifter leaves him on the run from the police and an impending event known as the Inversion.

Director: Sarah Adina Smith | Stars: Rami Malek, DJ Qualls, Kate Lyn Sheil, Sukha Belle Potter

Votes: 5,670 | Gross: $0.07M

Hard to wrap my head around this one. I think I like the film? The base narrative in itself is not simple, and with the Christopher Nolan-esk nonlinear story structure, it ends up giving off the feeling of spinning around in a circle with your eyes closed. There's enough details to put it all together, and some nice subtleties in the performances to make the turns not feel out of nowhere. However, even by the end it still makes you interpret from it what you will, which can be a definite hang-up for general audiences. The type of movie that needs a good dissection with a friend.

22. Seven in Heaven (2018)

PG-13 | 94 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Sixteen-year-old Jude discovers that each and every one of his fears is true.

Director: Chris Eigeman | Stars: Travis Tope, Haley Ramm, Dylan Everett, Jake Manley

Votes: 1,359

Having trouble finding the point of this movie. Do you want to watch a horror movie with no horror, with no tension, where you know exactly how it's going to end as soon as the premise is established? The answer is no. In closing, these 2018 teenagers had haircuts from 1998.

23. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

PG | 104 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

71 Metascore

When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn't the only Night Fury, he must seek "The Hidden World", a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first.

Director: Dean DeBlois | Stars: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, F. Murray Abraham, Cate Blanchett

Votes: 62,268 | Gross: $160.80M

I saw the second movie in this series in theaters without seeing the first. I remember enjoying it, despite it being a kids' movie and being somewhat predictable. I cannot say the same for this entry in the franchise. Only one character, the main character, has a character arc; leaving the rest of the ensemble saying and doing what they've said and done throughout the other movies. And even Hiccup's arc is not prominent. He starts off hesitant to lead and unconfident, and by the end he shows leadership. Except he's still their leader in the beginning and everyone listens to him unquestioningly before and after the movie's events. It's just muddled and unclear, and frankly, I'm not sure what the message is. It feels like it's rushing to end the trilogy and it feels like they put more effort into getting the audience to like a palette swap of the already likable main dragon, instead of telling a well thought-out story.

24. Radius (2017)

Not Rated | 93 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

A man wakes up with no memory of who he is, and finds that everyone who comes within a certain distance of him suddenly dies.

Directors: Caroline Labrèche, Steeve Léonard | Stars: Diego Klattenhoff, Charlotte Sullivan, Brett Donahue, Bradley Sawatzky

Votes: 10,047

One of those high concept films where the entire thing relies on some far fetched premise and then rides it out to its conclusion. It reminds me of one of those movies you would see on the sci-fi channel on a Friday or Saturday, where there's not a single actor you recognize and there isn't too much style behind the film making. But like, a really good one. It's well-paced and keeps your interest. It's worth watching, if you don't have a better use of your time.

25. The Monster (2016)

R | 91 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

69 Metascore

A mother and daughter must confront a terrifying monster when they break down on a deserted road.

Director: Bryan Bertino | Stars: Zoe Kazan, Ella Ballentine, Aaron Douglas, Christine Ebadi

Votes: 13,520

A simple premise elevated by its execution. If this was made in the late 80's and shot on cheap video, it would be like so many other "horror" movies that are made almost entirely out of shots of people wandering in the woods. Thankfully, there is much more production value, and the lighting hides the fact that the monster is a guy in a cheap rubber suit. But its also a metaphor for abuse. Or something. Each individual facet of the film isn't terribly strong, but the whole of this film is greater than the sum of its parts.

26. Colossal (2016)

R | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

70 Metascore

Gloria is an out-of-work party girl forced to leave her life in New York City and move back home. When reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, she gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this phenomenon.

Director: Nacho Vigalondo | Stars: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson

Votes: 50,970 | Gross: $3.02M

A very unique film that has a premise you would expect of a more indie title, but thank goodness they weren't working with an indie budget. Two lost souls gripping with alcohol abuse have their turmoil manifested into a physical Kaiju battle across the globe from them. Their inner demons become literal. That's the movie. For my taste it could have been cut to be closer to the 90 minute mark, but it feels like its 110 just to feel more like the big spectacle movies it's taking cues from. It has quite the cathartic ending, enough so to merit watching. It's different, but it's still cozy with its recognizable structure and actors.

27. Green Book (2018)

PG-13 | 130 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

69 Metascore

A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.

Director: Peter Farrelly | Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco

Votes: 207,923 | Gross: $85.08M

The perfect movie for anyone who wants to see Aragorn go "Badda bing! Badda boom!" for two hours. It's not hard hitting, it's not gritty, it's not a terribly accurate depiction, but it's heartwarming and gets its message across without beating you over the head with it; and it's entertainment. It's the type of film to get grandpas to say "That was a good movie." I watched it using delta airlines' $2 headphones, so if I watched it with better audio quality I might have enjoyed it quite a bit more.

28. Blue Ruin (2013)

R | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

77 Metascore

A mysterious outsider's quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.

Director: Jeremy Saulnier | Stars: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves, Kevin Kolack

Votes: 58,898 | Gross: $0.26M

Some of the most disturbingly graphic violence I've seen due to it's grounded and realistic depiction. There is almost no dialogue for the first twenty plus minutes, but this is no "There Will Be Blood". However, there is depth and there is blood. I'd recommend this to delinquents and to cinephiles with broad taste. It's the type of movie where I would like to stop thinking about it and yet I just keep thinking about it more and more.

29. Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)

PG-13 | 147 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

86 Metascore

Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.

Director: Christopher McQuarrie | Stars: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg

Votes: 234,982 | Gross: $220.16M

Action scenes in movies require particular elements more so than other types of movie scenes. There needs to be a goal established so that while the action is happening, we know what the characters are trying to accomplish. We need to be able to understand the geography, or the spacial relations between the subjects of the scene, in order to be able to follow what is happening. If every character in a car chase is in a black car driving really fast, with extras in black cars not a part of the chase, with cuts to new shots every third of a second, it is very easy to get lost in what is going on, where people are going, where the next part of the action is even coming from. This film does action scenes correctly, which is why it works so well. You can follow what is happening and why. It is a little predictable that there are double crosses in this spy movie. It's pretty easy to tell that a character trying to say Tom Cruise is actually the main villain is lying, but the movie literally punctuates this scene by showing this character claim this mint condition cell phone is the phone of this guy that we saw get smashed less than 10 minutes ago. The dramatic irony let's the audience know for sure he is lying. So it is predictable because it is trying to tell you what is going on. In conclusion, the movie isn't breaking new ground, but it does very many things right.

30. Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

R | 141 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

60 Metascore

Circa 1969, several strangers, most with a secret to bury, meet by chance at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one night, everyone will show their true colors - before everything goes to hell.

Director: Drew Goddard | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm

Votes: 87,936 | Gross: $17.84M

This film was aggravating. I was tricked into it thinking John Hamm would be a main character in this movie. The premise is basically going individually through the six characters and explicitly telling you they aren't who they first appear. Except the black girl, who is exactly who she appears to be. The problem is Jon Hamm is the only interesting one, and he's only in maybe 20 to 30 minutes of the film, and his background (and thus motivation) is never developed further than the two lines we get from his boss. And thus it's pointless. Jeff Bridges' character's background gets explained three times. The first time is completely visual. We see him digging in his hotel room and we know he's related to the first scene before the "10 years later" start of the narrative. That's literally all we need to completely understand everything about him, except his explicit relation to the hidden money. But the movie explains it explicitly, again and again. The movie gives the audience 4 after they have already put 2 and 2 together. Also, if the only location in the entire movie has a giant line running right through the middle of it, then do something with that in the movie! Make it have some sort of symbolism! All it does is make a couple of interestingly composed shots right at the end, but there's no depth to what the shots mean, because there's no metaphor between the two halves divided by the big line. There's no deeper meaning. I'll say it again because of how frustrating it is. There. Is. No. Deeper. Meaning. Also, there's a character who acts as a Deus ex machina for the final act, and it's just a frustrating boring mess after that. ALSO, people, especially women, didn't just throw out the f word in the 70's the way she does in this movie (they also didn't have dip dyed hair, that became popular in 2015). Edit: Okay so the big line through the center is supposed to represent how the characters appear to be one thing, but in reality are more complicated. The problem is the physical space the line divides NEVER comes into play with this so no symbolism gets developed to mean anything. Other than the people have two halves. Except the ones who don't. We basically forget about this line until the very end, where a character looks all bloody on one half of the line, and is clean on the other, but again there is no distinction which half is which or why. There must have been an easier way to integrate this topic of duality of man without spending 10 minutes talking about how the hotel is half in California and half in Nevada, only to have neither state actually mean anything.

31. The Blackcoat's Daughter (I) (2015)

R | 93 min | Horror, Thriller

68 Metascore

Two girls must battle a mysterious evil force when they get left behind at their boarding school over winter break.

Director: Oz Perkins | Stars: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton, James Remar

Votes: 13,363 | Gross: $0.02M

It's a horror movie that doesn't treat its audience like they are idiots. Its methodical and its good. It feels like a film from a different era and is objectively better for it. But it is kind of slow and you could argue there isn't enough payoff for the audience's patience to make it easily recommendable.

32. Synecdoche, New York (2008)

R | 124 min | Comedy, Drama

67 Metascore

A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play.

Director: Charlie Kaufman | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener

Votes: 72,299 | Gross: $3.08M

It's a character study of an artist. We start the movie when he is middle aged, and see him lose control of his life to lead him to have nothing but his masterpiece play he is trying to finish before he dies. It's a movie about art, and death, and the death of self of an artist, and a lot of stuff about men and women, and it's really good. It's bleak, but somehow hopeful and impactful, and not understanding every part of it doesn't take away from its impact.

33. Us (2019)

R | 116 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

81 Metascore

A family's serene beach vacation turns to chaos when their doppelgängers appear and begin to terrorize them.

Director: Jordan Peele | Stars: Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker

Votes: 107,891 | Gross: $175.01M

Jordan Peele delivers in giving a spooky movie about a black family. There are a lot of things to like, and the performances are notably naturalistic. It's just that moving into the third act it starts to become apparent how ludicrous the premise of this film is when concerned with realism. The problem is, this movie isn't surrealist or expressionist. In the film's universe, what is happening is actually happening and in the real world this would not actually happen because it is so ridiculous. Call it a hang up, but I don't think this film is going to hold up as well over time, after people get over the fact it was made by Jordan Peele. That being said, if you choose to experience it, and let yourself suspend your disbelief, then it's worthwhile.

34. Shazam! (2019)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

70 Metascore

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson's case, by shouting out one word - SHAZAM. - this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the grown-up superhero Shazam.

Director: David F. Sandberg | Stars: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer

Votes: 110,901 | Gross: $139.63M

A superhero movie for people who like superhero movies. In a refreshing way it feels detached from the contemporary behemoths that are the cinematic universes dominating the box offices. It's premise allows for a somewhat unique voice, while retaining that familiar origin story structure. It even did something over its course that I did not expect, while still being well set-up by the movie, which in this genre simply doesn't happen anymore. The setting of the great epic showdown doesn't get bigger in scale than a pop-up seasonal carnival, which is great. With the core themes being about people's ideas of family, its important that the plot feels intimate and personal, and keeping a smaller scale works well. Embracing the corniness of the idea of hero men flying in tights, seems to allow well executed, smaller stories. It worries me how the bigger and darker attempts in this genre are more likely to fall on their face, and I hope this movie isn't a watershed moment in how every future superhero movie needs to be. This movie works, but if you are going to attempt to rip off Shazam, you should probably try to aim a little loftier. What I'm really saying is, if this is what studios are going to ape for every future release I'm done with the genre.

35. Roma (2018)

R | 135 min | Drama

96 Metascore

A year in the life of a middle-class family's maid in Mexico City in the early 1970s.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta

Votes: 107,248

Real. The cinematography, the setting, the diegetic sound, the story, the characters, the emotions. All of these traits to this film feel unapologetically real. This film is a gorgeous, brilliant, anti love story. Rather than follow the familiar narrative of two people mystically falling in love forever after, every romantic relationship we see falls apart. The movie doesn't end before the now fatherless family and their servant Cleo realize how much they genuinely love eachother despite not being with those who have abandoned them. The authenticity that was put into crafting the love shown in this film makes every formulaic romantic comedy look inhuman in comparison. A genuine, deliberate, human story, makes a compelling film.

36. Fracture (2007)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

68 Metascore

An attorney intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he is trying to prosecute.

Director: Gregory Hoblit | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike

Votes: 169,337 | Gross: $39.02M

This film is good. If the average David Fincher movie is a five star chef's filet mignon, then Fracture is the best cut of steak served at Applebee's. There are good qualities, but many "come with a but". Anthony Hopkin's character has these ornate overly engineered machines that these glass balls move frictionlessly through, and they help build characterization, implying this plot to shoot his wife is another finely tuned machination, BUT they never are directly needed to move things forward or come into play as evidence. The movie would be the same without them considering Anthony Hopkins's strong performance. Which is a great performance, BUT the character is completely overshadowed by the actor playing him. The character's name might as well have been Hannibal. Gosling's character's new job being on the line if he fumbles this last district attorney case gives good stakes to the situation making his choice to do everything in his power to be put back on the case that much more dramatic and makes the entire court case have more tension. BUT, they spend no time discussing where the character ends up after he makes amends for losing the case. We don't know what our prosecutor does after the story of the film is over, and we aren't given information to imply what he does. In fact Gosling tells his old boss he isn't going to work for the district attorney, yet we see him working for the public in the very last scene of the movie once it's explained that the case doesn't fall under double jeopardy. SO, my point is, why is the scene where he says no to his old boss in the movie? He goes back and works for his old boss, contradicting that scene. These are mostly nitpicks, and the movie works as a passable court, attorney, crime flick. BUT, it has flaws. Watch it, but do yourself a favor and make sure you've already seen Se7en first; it's just better.

37. Apostle (2018)

TV-MA | 130 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

62 Metascore

In 1905, a drifter on a dangerous mission to rescue his kidnapped sister tangles with a sinister religious cult on an isolated island.

Director: Gareth Evans | Stars: Dan Stevens, Richard Elfyn, Paul Higgins, Bill Milner

Votes: 29,773

This film is a solid horror experience rife with tension. It can be uneven when it comes to what its trying to deliver, but the slow drip of information that gives rise to its own unique mythos behind the narrative is applaudable. I like the lead actor man; he was good in The Guest, but the accent he uses for this movie just sounds like Shakespearean classic actor man voice. It's a small complaint for how much this film does right. I did expect a few more twists and turns than there ended up being, I expected more out of how they kept telling the main character how important it was not to pay the ransom. I was hoping there was more metaphorical about all that but maybe I just missed it. Overall I was entertained and wanted to see what happened next.

38. House (1977)

Not Rated | 88 min | Comedy, Horror

A schoolgirl and six of her classmates travel to her aunt's country home, which turns out to be haunted.

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi | Stars: Kimiko Ikegami, Miki Jinbo, Kumiko Ohba, Ai Matsubara

Votes: 16,658

Strikingly weird, incessantly goofy, and playfully evil, "Hausu" exhibits how a unique artistic voice is critical in engaging a film audience. In an age of churning out product after product, this film exudes how something different will truly stick in your mind.

39. Wild at Heart (1990)

R | 125 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

52 Metascore

Young lovers Sailor and Lula run from the variety of weirdos that Lula's mom has hired to kill Sailor.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, J.E. Freeman

Votes: 74,982 | Gross: $14.56M

A modern ish love story with a thin allegorical shell of the Wizard of Oz. While David Lynch's signature style is present, the narrative is simple enough to be followed (although not necessarily understood). Why are there constant references to the Wizard of Oz? Well because the couple is far from home in a strange land on a journey of self discovery. Is there more of a reason behind it? Probably. It's David Lynch after all; it wouldn't be as fun if everything were spelled out explicitly. It's full of sex and violence that captures the spirit of cinema of this ilk of the late 80s. It delivers in being a familiar story told in a way that only David Lynch can, but it doesn't transcend its classic love story core enough to be a must watch. I can see what it is, but I don't know what it is trying to accomplish by being what it is. A suitable "gateway film" if you're new to David Lynch's style and humor and want to experience it, but still want to be able to understand what it is you're viewing without having to dig too deeply. Lots of reverberations of Twin Peaks that felt familiar (I assume the score is the same people in this as Twin Peaks).

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