OK HERE WE GO THE BEGINNING OF THE TOP 20.
So, I have some bad news. I just realized there may have been 1 or 2 or 3 movies I forgot about when I made my list. It’s my bad. So I’ll be making a special epilogue to my top 50 after it is finished to talk about the ones I forgot. Sorry!
20. Hell or High Water
Directed by David Mackenzie
Written by Taylor Sheridan
I saw Hell or High Water alone on a weekday afternoon and I have to say, the elderly talk A LOT during movies. My god, it’s like a constant god damn old people chatter from start to finish. If you actually watch the movie you don’t NEED to ask your wife what’s happening. This was a really easy to understand movie!
Anyway it’s also really REALLY good. I’ve always been a fan of Ben Foster and this is one of his best performances. He’s such an underrated actor.
19. Don’t Breathe
Directed by Fede Álvarez
Written by Fede Álvarez and Rodo Sayagues
Man I really loved the remake of Evil Dead. Fede Álvarez was able to capture the spirit of the original, but still make a serious, great horror movie. So now here he is making an original movie, and GAT DAMN. It was GREAT. AW MAN I LOVE DON’T BREATHE. WHAT A MOVIE. WHO IS THE BAD GUY? Well actually if you actually see the movie and make it to the end it’s PRETTY OBVIOUS who the bad guy is, but it’s definitely unclear who the good guy is.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Written by Eric Heisserer
Arrival is one of those movies that creates a long dialogue between its viewers. The second I left the theater I called my dad to talk to him about it. I called my dad because my GIRLFRIEND never comes to the MOVIES WITH ME.
Arrival is one of those smart sci-fi movies that, unlike Looper, manages to make its logical fallacies a part of the plot. It also features great performances and also don’t mind me while I WORSHIP DENIS VILLENEUVE PRISONERS SHOULD HAVE WON BEST PICTURE GOD DAMN IT I AM STILL SO MAD HOLY SHIT.
17. The Handmaiden
Directed by Park Chan-Wook
Written by Park Chan-Wook and Chung Seo-kyung
The Handmaiden is a South Korean erotic thriller set in Japan based on a Victorian English erotic novel. And it’s fuckin GREAT.
I chose the picture above because the only promo images I ever saw were like super erotic images of Korean woman and, after watching it, I thought those pictures kind of sold the movie short. This movie is CREEPY and WEIRD. As is to be expected from the man who blessed the world with Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and Stoker.
God damn I love Park Chan-Wook.
16. La La Land
Directed by Damien Chazelle
Written by Damien Chazelle
La La Land is not only a fantastic musical, but it is a fascinating study of musicals, and the whole fantasy vs reality concept that’s often at play. It’s very similar to Singin’ in the Rain, which is one of the more meta-musicals ever made. La La Land is really interesting to me, because on one hand you have this beautiful fantasy with magical music and shit, and on the other hand you have a somewhat depressing story about two people who love each other, but hold each other back, which is like BAM WHOAH too real.
Also it’s a beautiful movie with great music and great performances. Love La La Land. The world needs Damien Chazelle to keep making movies.
15. The Salesman (فروشنده)
Directed by Asghar Farhadi
Written by Asghar Farhadi
The Salesman is one of those movies that you watch and you feel like you got hit in the brain with a brick. Asghar Farhadi seems to have this crazy grasp of human emotion that I wish I had. He writes such identifiable characters in all of his movies that, despite vast cultural differences, you really feel like you understand. And that could open up a whole, great dialogue on how humans are all the same and just because people seem different and foreign doesn’t mean we are, but I’m NOT going to get into that right now. Love everyone. Except racists and bigots. Fucking, just do your best to ignore them.
14. Kubo & the Two Strings
Directed by Travis Knight
Written by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler
Kubo & the Two Strings is a great story with amazing, beautiful animation and art. That’s all I have to say. It’s a really, really great viewing experience.
13. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Directed by Taika Waititi
Written by Taika Waititi
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is about a young juvenile delinquent who moves into a foster home in the bush. When his foster mother dies, his ex-con, relatively uncaring foster father helps him survive in the bush on the run from child protective services. What results is an amazing, heartwarming, and hilarious adventure movie of the kind that we really don’t get enough of anymore. It seems cliche to call anything besides a breath of fresh air “a breath of fresh air” but that’s how this movie felt, so fuck it.
Taika Waititi directed last year’s #20, What We Do in the Shadows, and his newest film Thor: Ragnarok looks amazing. So basically, Taika Waititi has quickly become one of my favorite directors. I suppose it’s time for me to watch Eagle vs Shark and Boy. He also directed a few episodes of The Inbetweeners, which is a really funny show (though the movies were super mediocre).
Directed by Tim Miller
Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
If you would have sat 10 year old Will down and looked him square in the eyes and said “Little boy Will, when you’re 22, an R-rated Deadpool film will come out in theaters, and it will be amazing, and the whole world will love it, and it will open the floodgates for comic-book-based movies to get a free pass to do whatever they want,” I would have called you a butt fart. But I would have been calling you names in vain, because holy shit you were right.
Deadpool is a god damn blessing. The jokes are funny. The acting and writing are good. The action is exciting. COLOSSUS IS RUSSIAN. THIS IS THE MOVIE I HAVE WAITED 12 GOD DAMN YEARS FOR AND IT WAS WORTH IT.
Directed by Paul Verhoeven
Written by David Birke
Elle is about a woman who runs a video game company, who is one day suddenly violently raped. I don’t want to spoil much, but this should have been one of those movie that produces angry think-pieces about how controversial it is. But those pieces never really came. And I think it’s because people actually watched the movie.
Through the deft and unmatched skill of director Paul Verhoeven (who made RoboCop and is thus one of my IDOLS), we get a movie that shows a woman who is completely in control of her life, her emotions, her relationships with those around her, and her company. Isabelle Huppert gave us, in my opinion, the single best acting performance of the year. She brought a seemingly impossible character to life on the screen, and between her, Verhoeven, and Dan Birke’s screenplay, a “controversial” plot became a tight, focused, never-exploitive thriller/drama about a strong, powerful woman.
Also the game her fake company is making is a real game, and it is called Styx: Master of Shadows and it’s actually really fun.
OK guys the Top 10 should come tomorrow or Sunday, so get ready! I KNOW I’M EXCITED AND I HOPE YOU ARE TOO. Again, if you have any questions or just fucking HATE the fact that I put THE HANDMAIDEN closer to #1 than ARRIVAL, feel free to call my ass out in the comments, or if you’re brave enough, @ me on twitter, at @RealWallWilsh