What is the best movie to watch on netflix

What is the best movie to watch on netflix

The best movies on netflix can be hard to find, but we’re not likely to run out of great movies any time soon. There’s plenty to choose from, whether you’re looking for the best action movies, the best horror movies, the best comedies, or the best classic Netflix movies. we’ve updated the list for 2022 to weed out great movies that have gone while highlighting unseen excellence.

Instead of wasting time scrolling through categories, trying to find the perfect movie to watch, we’ve done our best effort to make it easy for you to stick by updating our best movies to watch on netflix list every week with new additions and overlooked movies alike.

here are the top 50 movies streaming on netflix right now:

1. if beale street could talk

year: 2018 director: barry jenkins stars: kiki layne, stephan james, regina king, brian tyree henry, colman domingo, michael beach, teyonah pariss, aunjanue ellis rating: r duration: 117 minutes

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time for our elliptical characters, and the love story between tish (kiki layne) and fonny (stephan james) the pace we will return to again and again. As our narrator, Tish speaks in both brief statements and koans, a screenplay by Barry Jenkins that translates James Baldwin’s novel into a bit of dreamlike voyeurism: when the two finally consummate their relationship after a lifetime (barely two decades) of friendship. between them and their families, the mood is divine and revealing. Do people really have sex like this? God no, but maybe we wish we had. and sometimes we convince ourselves that we have, with the right person, just two bodies alone, against the world, in a space—perhaps the only space—of our own. the couple’s story is simple and it’s not: a policeman (ed skrein) with a small account pending against fonny conspires with a puerto rican woman (emily rios) who was raped to get fonny out of a lineup, despite that his alibi and all the evidence suggest otherwise. In the first scene of the movie, we see Tish visit Fonny in jail to tell him that she is pregnant. she is ecstatic; We immediately recognize that unique alchemy of terror and joy that accompanies any new parent, but we also know that for a young black couple, the world is tilted against the prosperity of their love. “I hope no one has ever had to look at their loved ones through glass,” says tish. have hope? James and Layne’s performances, so beautifully timed, suggest that they must be one flesh with no other choice. As Tish’s mother, Regina King perhaps better understands the evil of that hope, playing Sharon as a woman who can’t get what she wants, but who seems to sense that such progress may be greater than most in her situation. . Beleaguered but undaunted, she is the matriarch of the film, a force of such warmth that, even in our fear of watching Tish’s belly grow and her hope fade, Sharon’s presence assures us, not that all will be well, but everything will be fine. the ending of if beale street could talk is pretty much a given, unless your ignorance guides you through this idiotic world, but there is still love in those final moments, as much love as there was in the movie symmetrical opening. there is hope in that, however pathetically small. —dom sinacola

2. monty python and the holy grail

year: 1975 directors: terry gilliam, terry jones stars: graham chapman, john cleese, eric idle, terry jones, connie booth genre: comedy rating: pg

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It’s a shame some of the shine has been taken away from the holy grail by its own overwhelming ubiquity. nowadays, when we hear a “flesh wound”, a “ni!” or “huge expanses of land,” our first thoughts are often of obsessive, disoriented nerds replaying entire scenes for us. Or, in my case, repeating entire scenes to people like an obsessive, clueless nerd. but, if you try to distance yourself from the clutter factor and revisit the movie after a few years, you’ll find new jokes that feel just as fresh and hysterical as the ones we all know. holy grail is, in fact, the densest comedy in the python canon. there are so many jokes in this movie, and it’s amazing how easy we forget that, considering its reputation. if you are truly irreversibly worn out by this film, rewatch it with commentary and discover the second level of appreciation that comes from the inventiveness with which it was made. It certainly doesn’t sound like a $400,000 movie, and it’s delightful to discover which of the gags (like the coconut halves) were born out of a need for low-budget workarounds. Co-directing for the first time by on-screen actor Terry Jones (who only directed sporadically after Python split) and reclusive American Terry Gilliam (who prolifically transformed Python’s cinematic flair into his own unique brand of nightmarish fantasy) Moves with surreal efficiency. —graham techler

3. the irishman

year: 2019 director: martin scorsese stars: robert de niro, al pacino, joe pesci, jesse plemons, anna paquin genre: crime, drama rating: r

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Peggy Sheeran (Lucy Gallina) watches her father, Frank (Robert De Niro), through a slightly open door as he packs for a work trip. one-way pants and shirts, each neatly tucked and folded against the inside of the luggage. Enter the snub-nosed revolver, Frank’s ruthless tool of the trade. she doesn’t know that her daughter’s eyes are on him; she is calm by nature, and remains so for most of her interaction as adults. she closes the case. she disappears behind the door. her judgment persists. the scene takes place a third of martin scorsese’s new film, the irishman, named after frank’s nickname in the mob world, and is repeated in his final shot, as frank, old man Decrepit and totally, hopelessly alone, abandoned by his family and robbed of his mobster friends by the passage of time, he sits on his bed in his nursing home. he may be waiting for death, but most likely he is waiting for peggy (played as an adult by anna paquin), who disowned him and has no intention of forgiving his sins. Peggy acts as Scorsese’s moral arbiter. she’s a tough judge: the film takes a grim view of machismo expressed in the realm of the mobster and the mugs. When Scorsese’s main characters aren’t plotting or paying for acts of violence, they’re throwing tantrums, eating ice cream, or, in an extreme case, slapping each other in a desperately pathetic takedown. This scene echoes similar pitiful scenes in Akira Kurosawa’s Drunken Angel and Rashomon: fights between would-be badasses afraid to fight, but forced to do so by their own bravado. The Irishman spans the 1950s through the early 2000s, the years Frank worked for the Buffalo crime family, led by Russell (retired, intimidating Joe Pesci). “Working” means killing some people, forcing others, even blowing up a car or a building when the occasion calls for it. when he pulls the plug on gang terrorism, he’s at home reading the paper, watching the news, dragging peggy to the local store to beat her up for pushing her around. “I just did what you had to,” says the poor doomed bastard before Frank drags him out into the street and slams his hand against the sidewalk. the irishman is a historical non-fiction chronicling the life of sheeran and, throughout his life, the lives of buffalo and their associates, particularly those who died before their time (which are most of them). It’s also a portrait of childhood thrown into the shadow of dispassionate brutality, and what a girl must do to find safety in a world defined by bloodshed. —andy crump

4. I’m not your black

year: 2017 director: raoul peck genre: documentary rating: pg-13

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raoul peck focuses on james baldwin’s unfinished book remember this house, a work that would have brought to mind three of his friends, martin luther king jr., malcolm x and medgar evers. the three black men were killed five years apart, and we learn in the film that baldwin was not only concerned about these losses as terrible blows to the civil rights movement, but that he cared deeply about the wives and children of the men he killed. they were killed. murdered. Baldwin’s overwhelming pain is as much the subject of the film as his intellect. And So I’m Not Your Black is not just a portrait of an artist, but a portrait of grief: what losing friends looks, sounds and feels like, and doing it with the whole world watching (and with so much in America refusing to understand how it happened and why it will continue to happen). Peck could have done little more than give us this feeling, placing us squarely in Baldwin’s presence, and I Am Not Your Negro would probably have been a hit. His decision to move away from the usual documentary format, where respected minds comment on a subject, creates a sense of intimacy that is hard to inspire in movies like this. The pleasure of sitting down with Baldwin’s words, and his words alone, is exquisite. there is no interpreter, no one to explain baldwin but baldwin, and that is how it should be. —shannon m. houston

5. a clockwork orange

year: 1971 director: stanley kubrick stars: malcolm mcdowell, patrick magee, adrienne corri, miriam karlin rating: r execution time: 136 minutes

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as with most (well, probably all) of stanley kubric’s book-to-screen adaptations, a clockwork orange remixes various aspects of stanley kubric’s novel Anthony Burgess, and probably for the better (at least Alex [a terrifyingly electric Malcolm McDowell] isn’t a pedophile in Kubrick’s movie, for example). remains a relentlessly vicious satire portraying a permissive society of brutal youth culture, one in which modern science and psychology are the best countermeasures to combat the ultraviolence™ committed by men like Alex and his fellow “droogs.” It’s painfully clear that when the British Home Secretary (Anthony Sharp) casts Alex as a victim, that—spoiler alert!—evil wins. Christ, can any of us listen to “singing in the rain” again after this nightmare? —scott wold

6. uncut gems

year: 2019 directors: josh safdie, benny safdie stars: adam sandler, julia fox, eric bogosian genre: thriller rating: r

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howard ratner (adam sandler), owner of an exclusive store in new york’s diamond district, benefits himself and his family, although he can’t help but compulsively gamble, because his brother-in-law aron ( eric bogosian) , malevolently slimy) a substantial amount. Still, Howard has other risks to balance: His payroll is made up of Demand (Lakeith Stanfield), a customer and product scout, and Julia (Julia Fox, an unexpected beacon in the storm in her first role), an employee. with whom Howard is having an affair, “keeping her” comfortable in his New York apartment. except for his wife (idina menzel, pristinely jaded) obviously fed up with his shit, and in the meantime he has a special delivery coming from Africa: a black opal, the stone we got to know intimately in the first scene of the movie, which Howard estimates to be worth millions. then it happens that many bring kevin garnett (as himself, so completely attuned to the safdie brothers tone) into the shop the same day the opal arrives, inspiring a once-in-a-lifetime gamble for howard, the kind to pit him against aron and something else, as well as a lot of new things to clarify. Sure, it’s all stressful, really relentless, painfully stressful, but the safdies, in their sixth film, seem to thrive on anxiety, capturing the inertia of howard’s life and the countless lives that collide with his, in all their body beauty. . Right before a game, Howard reveals to Garnett his big plan for a big payday, explaining that Garnett gets it, right? that guys like them are connected to something bigger, working on a higher wavelength than most, that’s how they win. he may be onto something, or he may be getting everything out of his ass, regardless, we always knew sandler had it in him. this may be exactly what we had in mind. —dom sinacola

7. has to have it

year: 1986 director: spike lee stars: tracy camila johns, spike lee, john canada terrell, tommy redmond hicks genre: comedy, romance rating: r

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an explosively candid feature debut that immediately heralded lee’s brave and fresh new voice in american cinema, she’s gotta have it, shot as a documentary, is a no-nonsense exploration of a young black woman named Nola (Tracy Camilla Johns) trying to decide between her three male lovers, while flirting with her apparent bisexuality, to find out what makes her happy in the first place. What’s refreshing about the film is that Lee always raises the possibility that “none of the above” is a perfectly viable answer for both Nola and single women: a turning point in 1986. The film’s straightforward realism. —oktay ege kozak

8. all-metal jacket

year: 1987 director: stanley kubrick stars: matthew modine, lee ermey, vincent d’onofrio, adam baldwin rating : r

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It is an uncontroversial opinion that the value of full metal jacket extends into its first half and declines from there as the film plummets back into the mainstream. but the second chapter of stanley kubrick’s vietnam horror story is responsible for creating the conventions by which we can judge the picture in hindsight, and even the conventional material delivered by an artist like kubrick is worth seeing : full metal jacket the back half of is altogether pleasantly gripping and dark, a stripped back portrait of how war changes people in contrast to how military culture depicted in the front half changes people. being subjected to degradation on a routine basis will break a person’s mind in two. being forced to kill another human will collapse his soul. Really, there’s nothing about full metal jacket that doesn’t work or convey kubrick’s point of view, but there’s also no denying how indelible its pre-war sequence is, particularly because of r . Lee Ermey’s immortal performance as the world’s scariest gunnery sergeant. —andy crump

9. apocalypse now reduced

year: 1979 director: francis ford coppola stars: martin sheen, marlon brando, robert duvall, dennis hopper, laurence fishburne rating: r duration: 206 minutes

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summon truffaut, because his spirit feels as relevant to a discussion of francis ford coppola’s sinister adaptation of joseph conrad’s heart of darkness as it does to a discussion of a war movie like paths of glory, and to consider war movies in general. perhaps, to take truffaut’s word for it, apocalypse now (and its remastered version with 49 more minutes of footage streaming on netflix) can’t help but endorse the war simply through the act of recreating it as art. perhaps that does not prevent the film from conveying coppola’s driving theses: war turns men into monsters, leads them to a descent into a primitive and anarchic state of mind, and war is itself hell, a sinister phrase now clichéd by dint of gross overuse between 1979 and today. if the film innately sanctions war through representation, it does not sanction the impact of war on the humanity of its participants. indeed, Apocalypse Now remains one of the most profound illustrations of the corrosive effect that nation-sanctioned violence has on a person’s spirit and psyche. it’s cute that 40 years later we’re okay with quoting this movie in terrifyingly awful at&t commercials, or reusing its period backdrop to make king kong happen for contemporary audiences a second time, but there’s nothing cute about it, or even everything quoted about it. Apocalypse Now scorches, sickens, and scars, etching itself into our memory as only the grimmest displays of human depravity truly can. —andy crump

10. continues

year: 2015 director: david robert mitchell stars: maika monroe, keir gilchrist, daniel zovatto, jake weary, olivia luccardi, lili sepegenre:horrorscore:r

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the specter of old detroit looms on. in a dilapidated ice cream stand in 12 miles, in the 1960s ranch style houses of ferndale or berkley, in a game of parcheesi played by pale teenagers with nasal accents, nothing, if you’ve never been, you’d never recognize stale nostalgia and gray that sneaks into every corner of david robert mitchell’s terrifying film. but he is there, and it feels like michigan. The music, the muted but strangely sumptuous color palette, the incessant anachronism: in style alone, Mitchell is an author seemingly sprung entirely from the sickly womb of the Detroit metro. cycles and circles concentrically complete goes, from the particularly insular rules of the film’s horror plot, to the fleshy, youthful roundness of the faces and bodies of this small group of main characters, who never leave that the audience forgets that, in many ways, these people are still children. In other words, Mitchell has his story clear: This has happened before and it will happen again. All of which wouldn’t work if Mitchell were less concerned with creating a genuinely unnerving film, but every aesthetic flourish, every full-circular pan is a slave to breathing morbid life into a single image: someone, anyone, slowly separating from the background, from oneself. . nightmares, and walking towards you, as if death itself were to appear unannounced next to you in public, ready to steal your breath away with little or no poise. Initially, all of Mitchell’s swagger, conveying a disturbing sexual intercourse, seems to bury conservative sexual politics under typical horror movie tropes, proclaiming itself to be a progressive genre film when it functionally does nothing to further our ideas of slasher fare. . fornicates, you find punishment for your blatant and loveless sin, right? (The movie has more in common with a Judd Apatow joint than you might expect.) Instead, Mitchell never judges his characters for doing what pretty much all teenagers want to do; he simply lays bare, through complex allegory, the realities of teen sex. There is no principled implication behind Mitchell’s intent; the cold takeaway from intercourse is that you are somehow sharing a certain degree of your physique with everyone with whom your partner has shared the same. accompanying this admission with genuine respect and empathy for the kind of characters who, in any other horror movie, would be little more than visceral fodder for a sadistic spirit, elevates following from the realm of the disguised moral game in a sick and terrifying coming-of-age tale. Likewise, Mitchell inherently understands that there’s virtually nothing creepier than the slightly out of place ordinary, entrusting the film’s true horror to the tricks our minds play when we forget to check our periphery. goes on is a film that thrives on borders, not so much about the horror that jumps out at you, but about the deeper anxiety that waits at the edge of consciousness, until, one day not too distant , is there, reminding you that your time is limited and that you will never be safe. forget the risks of teenage sex, follows is a penetrating metaphor for growing up. —dom sinacola

11. bonnie and clyde

year: 1967 director: arthur penn stars: warren beatty, faye dunaway, michael j. pollard, gene hackman rating: r running time: 111 minutes

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There was a brief period in American movie history just after the general public had grown tired of the mundane, cloying dramas and comedies of the 1960s, but before studios discovered the lucrative benefits of franchises like jaws and star wars that could rack up sequel after sequel, rake in merchandise revenue and guarantee a steady stream of big money regardless of artistic merit. In that weird little interval, studio execs had no better idea than to just throw money at talented directors and hope they got lucky. movies like arthur penn’s bonnie and clyde possess a kind of gritty realism that’s as smart and wise as french new wave, but infused with the carefree american spirit that hadn’t yet been stifled by a corporate agenda .—shane ryan

12. a cop movie

year: 2021 director: alonso ruizpalacios genre: documentary rating: r duration: 107 minutes

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Of the many stunning shots captured in the docu-fiction hybrid a cop movie, one conveys the essence of director alonso ruizpalacios’ examination of mexico’s police force like no other. After tying her wrist to a long, flimsy rope, police academy trainee Teresa prepares to jump from a 30-foot diving platform into a swimming pool. is the ultimate challenge she must overcome to graduate, that of “decisiveness”, but it poses a huge threat to her life as she cannot swim, and her likely fate of drowning is cruelly countered by keeping her wrist tied to Earth. Interestingly, Teresa turns out to be less of a documentary subject and more of an avatar for Ruizpalacios to analyze the civilian perspective of the country’s police force. teresa (who is based on a real person) is presented as the honest central theme for almost half of the film and turns out to be played by actress mónica del carmen, who has cleverly molded herself in the reality. the image of the life officer, recreating memories of her from her days as an academy student to the most recent labor issues of her patrolling the streets of mexico city. Next to her is the actor Raúl Briones, who plays Montoya (also a real boy), the second half of the duo nicknamed “the love patrol” by other police officers due to their flirtatious relationship. Although initially presented as two officers simply doing the best they can within a crumbling system, the second half of the film makes it clear that these sentiments are just skewed projections of their real-life counterparts. through careful crafting of this illusion and then stealthily revealing the hypocrisy behind it, a police movie is subtle yet bold in its indictment of police corruption and the individual officers who buy it, dammit your good intentions. —natalia keogan

13. the disciple

year: 2021 director: chaitanya tamhane stars: aditya modak, arun dravid, sumitra bhave rating: tv-ma execution time: 128 minutes

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Devoting your life to something (art, passion, religion) seems admirable to us, but often only if it meets our romantic ideals of what that life is like. Is success, belated or posthumous as it may be, the justification for the effort? writer/director/editor chaitanya tamhane explores this idea through the life of classical indian singer sharad nerulkar (aditya modak), an ardent die-hard raised by his music-loving father and the recordings of legendary singer/guru maai ( sumitra bhave). Will he be recognized for the greatness of him, coming out of the shadows? Or will he follow his father into the tangential darkness? riveting long shots that resonate with the same kind of richness found in its wide array of singers’ undulating taans that allow us plenty of room to enjoy the music and the devotion on display; sharp, black humor punctuates the contemplative film with punches in the stubbornness. Modok’s breakout performance packs a similar depth, all hidden behind a yearning tension and unflinching gaze. he embodies the dissatisfied artist, one who sees success all around him from chumps and rednecks, though he can’t consider what might be holding him back. it’s a heartbreaking, endearing and prickly performance, and one that creates a truly winning portrait. even as it moves forward with the same steadiness and dispassion as sharad’s motorcycle, the disciple contains warmth for its central saddlebag artist and his dedication to never sell out.— jacob oller

14. the teacher

year: 2012 director: paul thomas anderson stars: joaquin phoenix, philip seymour hoffman, amy adams, laura dern genre : drama rating: r

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the teacher studies his characters with so much mystique, tragedy and humor that there is not a moment that is not captivating. Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson continues some of the stylistic trends from his last film, There Will Be Blood, but also finds ways to constantly take risks and make bold decisions that are completely unpredictable. lancaster dodd (philip seymour hoffman) and his religion, the cause, are obviously inspired by him. ron hubbard and scientology, and that link was the focus of press coverage leading up to the film’s release. the parallels between the two ideologies are inescapable, but they are not the point. Anderson never takes the view of religion/cult as a freak show. even in a brilliant montage depicting a series of grueling exercises that freddie (joaquin phoenix) can’t or won’t allow to shine a light on him, personal struggles come to the fore. the strangeness of the rituals is almost incidental. Phoenix delivers his career performance as an alcohol-soaked World War II veteran with mental and physical scars. Having gained little benefit from a psychiatric crash course for returning post-traumatic soldiers, he flounders in one place until he must flee to another, obsessed with sex and making experimental alcohol. Anderson has always been a visual virtuoso and uses added detail to superb effect. Dodd first appears during a tracking shot of Freddie, seen in the distance as a small but exuberant figure on a cruise ship, small but still the center of attention. Freddie hasn’t met Dodd yet, but the ship is calling. That could be because Dodd met Freddie in a past life, or it could be because Freddie is a desperate drunk looking for a place to hide. Freddie’s great tragedy is that the least attractive explanation gives him no answer, while the other gives him the wrong answer. —jeremy mathews

15. raw

year: 2016 director: julia ducournou stars: garance marillier, ella rumpf, laurent lucas genre: horror rating: r duration: 99 minutes

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if you’re the proud owner of a twisted sense of humor, you might tell your friends that julia ducournau’s raw is a “coming-of-age movie” in an attempt to trick them into reading it. see. Yes, the film’s protagonist, naive incoming college student Justine (Garance Marillier), comes of age over the course of her runtime; she parties, comes out of her shell and learns who she really is as a person on the verge of adulthood. but most kids who come of age in the movies don’t realize that they’ve spent their lives inadvertently repressing an innate and nearly insatiable urge to consume raw meat. “hey”, you’re thinking, “that’s the name of the movie!” are you okay! it is! Leave her cheekiness to Ducournau. More than a wink and nod at the image’s visceral details, raw is an open concession to the harrowing quality of justine’s somber bloom. As unsavory as the film gets, and as it does get unsavory, the hardest feelings Ducournau articulates here tend to be ones we can’t detect just by looking: fear of female sexuality, family legacies, popularity politics, and the like. uncertainty of self-government raw as much as exposed and bloodied flesh. it’s an unapologetic gorefest and a lot more to chew on than its effects. :andy crump

16. gives 5 bloods

Year: 2020 Director: Spike Lee Stars: Clarke Peters, Delroy Lindo, Norman Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Chadwick Boseman, jonathan majors genre: drama rating: r

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The search for buried gold does not end well or go smoothly. the long road to reconciliation, whether with trauma, family, or national identity, is never without obstacles. Paste these truths together with the eroding effects of institutional racism, add a myriad of references to history (American history, music history, film history) and you get da 5 bloods by spike lee , a classic style vietnam action movie made in his cinematic vision. As in 2018’s blackkklansman, Lee connects the dots between the past and the present, linking the civil rights struggle expressed in conscientious objection and protest with contemporary America’s own struggle against state-sanctioned fascism. After opening with a montage of events comprising and figures speaking out against the Vietnam War, predominantly referred to as the American War for the rest of the film, Lee introduces four of the Five Bloods: Otis ( Clarke Peters), Paul (Delroy Lindo), Eddie (Norm Lewis), and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), bonded Vietnam veterans returned to Ho Chi Minh City ostensibly to find and retrieve the bones of their leader from fallen squad, norman (chadwick boseman). there’s more of course “more” is about $17 million worth of gold bullion planted on vietnamese soil, owned by the cia but reappropriated by the bloody as reparations for their personal suffering as men fighting a war for a country ruled by people who don’t care about your rights. Lee is at the height of his powers when he bluntly argues that in the time that has passed since the conclusion of the Vietnam War, the United States has stubbornly continued to wage the same wars against its own people and, indeed, against the rest. of the world. And Lee is still angry and unhappy with the status quo, being the continued oppression of African Americans through police brutality, voter suppression, and medical malpractice. in this context, the breadth of da 5 bloods is almost necessary. as paul would say: to the right. —andy crump

17. drag

year: 2014 director: patrick brice stars: mark duplass, patrick brice genre: horror rating: r

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creep is a somewhat predictable but gleefully insane little indie horror film, the directorial debut from brice, who also released this year’s the night. Starring the ever-prolific Mark Duplass, it’s a character study of two men: a naïve videographer and a not-so-secret psychotic recluse, the latter of whom hires the former to document his life in a cabin in the woods. he relies entirely on his performances, which are excellent. Duplass, who can be charming and wacko in something like security not guaranteed, shines here as the deranged lunatic who barges into the protagonist’s life and stalks him every waking moment. . the first moments of back and forth between the pair crackle with a kind of awkward intensity. any genre geek will no doubt see where it’s going, but it’s a well-crafted ride that succeeds thanks to the chemistry between its two main leads in a way that reminds me of the scenes between domhnall gleeson and oscar isaac in ex machina . —jim vorel

18. the sleight of hand

year: 2013 director: james wan stars: vera farmiga, patrick wilson, ron livingston, lili taylor genre: horror rating: r

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let it be known: james wan is, by any fair estimate, an above average horror film director to say the least. the progenitor of big-money series like saw and insidious has a knack for creating populist horror that still carries a streak of his own artistic identity, a Spielbergian knack for what speaks to the multiplex audience without completely sacrificing characterization. several of his movies rank just outside the top 100, if this list were ever expanded, but the conjuring can’t be denied as the pale representative because he is by far the scariest of all his feature films. reminding me of the experience of first seeing paranormal activity in a crowded movie theater, the spell has a way of subverting when and where you expect the scares to strike. His haunted house/possession story is nothing you haven’t seen before, but few movies of this opus in recent years have had half the style that Wan imparts on a creaky old farmhouse on Rhode Island. The film plays on audience expectations by throwing big scares at you without the typical Hollywood build-ups of scares, simultaneously evoking classic golden age ghost stories like Robert Wise’s The Haunting. his intensity, effects work, and relentless nature placed him several notches above the pg-13 horror he primarily competed against. it’s interesting to note that the spell actually received an “r” rating despite the lack of overt “violence”, blood, or sexuality. it was just too scary to deny, and that’s worth respecting. —jim vorel

19. ip man

year: 2008 director: wilson yip stars: donnie yen, lynn hung, dennis to, syun-wong fen, simon yam, gordon lam genre: action rating: r

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2008’s ip man finally marked the moment when the truly excellent but never fairly respected donnie yen came into being, playing a loosely biographical version of the legendary wing chung grandmaster and master from a number of future martial arts masters (one of whom was bruce lee). In Foshan (a city famous for martial arts in central and southern China), an unassuming Wing Chung practitioner tries to peacefully weather the Japanese invasion and occupation of China in 1937, but is eventually forced to act. Limb-smashing, face-pulverizing action fills this semi-historical film, which succeeds gloriously both as a compelling drama and as bait for martial arts fanatics. —k. alexander smith

20. the lost daughter

year: 2021 director: maggie gyllenhaal stars: olivia colman, dakota johnson, jessie buckley, paul mescal, dagmara dominczyk, oliver jackson -cohen, peter sarsgaard, ed harris genre: drama rating: r duration: 124 minutes

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on the beach where comparative literature scholar leda (olivia colman) lounges through the lost daughter, the skies are crystal blue, the beaches brilliant white, the warm and translucent water. but the shore is also infested with rude and noisy people; leda fruit infected by malignant rot; your bedroom contaminated with squeaky bugs; a girl’s doll corrupted by a noxious black liquid and squirming insects. this tonal tension is symptomatic of the film’s spirit: it’s a shiny apple rapidly decaying from the inside out. The movie takes place over a couple of days as Leda settles in for a luxurious working vacation. Her relaxation is interrupted, however, when she first sees Nina (Dakota Johnson), a beautiful and inscrutable young mother. Leda becomes obsessed with Nina, as the latter unwittingly resurfaces haunting memories of Leda’s own harrowing experiences as her mother. From then on, haunting memories of Leda permeate the lost daughter until the apple turns completely black. While the narrative itself, adapted from Elena Ferrante’s 2006 novel of the same name, is relatively straightforward, first-time director Maggie Gyllenhaal, who also wrote the screenplay, tackles issues of internalized and externalized sexism with agility and complexity. leda’s subtle and complex state of mind would not have been possible to convey were it not for gyllenhaal’s extraordinary visual sensitivity. Leda’s struggles are largely internal, but I’m sure Gyllenhaal’s unique tactile storytelling says a lot more than words could. When Leda caresses Elena’s grimy wrist, her touch is soft and somehow full of regret. when he slips a pin into nina’s hat, he sounds sinister like a drawn sword, but his careful placement is almost sensual. And when a younger leda cuts the flesh of an orange, her gentle, unobtrusive slice of it almost feels sinister. Gyllenhaal’s extraordinary direction, coupled with exceptional performances from The Lost Daughter‘s lead actresses, culminate in a perfect storm that produces a canny portrayal of the painful expectations of womanhood.—Aurora starch

21. I lost my body

year: 2019 director: jérémy clapin stars: hakim faris hamza, victoire du bois, patrick d’assumçao genre: animation, drama rating: tv-ma duration: 81 minutes

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as long as we’re on board, at least passively, for all the sequels that pixar wants to give to toy story, patient for as long as another one takes, I lost my body is a singular animated film, more and more of those that, frankly, are no longer made. partly because hand-drawn features made by small studios are rarer than ever, but mostly because it’s a defiantly adult animated film, wrapped in oblique storytelling and full of pain. ostensibly about an anthropomorphic hand that climbs and slithers through the city to find the person it was once attached to; her court history slowly comes to light; The beauty of director Jeremy Clapin’s images, often outlined in filth and decay, is in how revealing they can be when tied so irrevocably to the perspective of a tiny hand navigating both its nascent life in the treacherous urban underground and in the traumatic memories of his host body’s past. I Lost My Body is an unassuming, quietly harrowing achievement, one that academia must prioritize now more than ever over the big studio fare expected to be competent. —dom sinacola

22. cristina

year: 2016 director: antonio campo stars: rebecca hall, michael c. hall, tracy letts, maria dizzia, j. smith-cameron, john cullum, timothy simons genre: drama rating: r

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why did television journalist christine chubbuck take her own life on camera in 1974? The brilliance of this Antonio Campos drama is that it attempts to answer that question while respecting the enormity and ignorance of such a violent and tragic act. rebecca hall is momentous as christine, a deeply unhappy woman whose ambition has never matched her talent, and the actress is incredibly sympathetic in her role. As we draw closer to Christine’s inevitable death, we come to understand that Christine is not a morbid novel, but rather a compassionate look at gender inequality and loneliness. —tim grierson

23. blame!

year: 2017 director: hiroyuki seshita stars: sora amamiya, kana hanazawa, takahiro sakurai genre: anime, sci-fi rating: tv-14

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When it comes to dark industrial science fiction, Tsutomu Nihei is a visionary. Trained as an architect before pursuing a career as a manga author, Nihei’s art is both sparse and labyrinthine, his body of work defined by a unifying obsession with invented spaces. Gothic-accented Byzantine factories stretching across impossible chasms, populated by bow-legged synthoids and ghoulish predators flaunting jagged bone swords and pulsing gristle guns. His first and most famous series, Blame!, is considered the key text in Nihei’s aesthetic legacy, going so far as to inspire everything from video games to music, and even art and film. fashion. Previous attempts have been made to adapt the series into an anime, though none have been able to materialize successfully. that is, until now. With the support of Netflix, Hiroyuki Seshita of Polygon Pictures has released the long-awaited movie Blame!. Set in a distant future earth consumed by a massive, self-replicating superstructure known as ‘the city,’ Blame! follows Killy, a taciturn loner, who wanders the layers of the planet in search of a… human being. possessing the ‘terminal network gene’, an elusive trait believed to be the only means of stopping the city’s perpetual hostile expansion. With a script written by sadayuki murai, famous for his writing on such series as cowboy bebop and satoshi kon’s perfect blue, and supervised by nihei himself, seshita’s film abbreviates much of the early chapters of the manga and simplifies the story into a much more narrative and action-driven affair. Art Director Hiroshi Takiguchi deftly replicates Nihei’s distinctive aesthetic, achieving in color what was previously only monochrome, while Yuki Moriyama deftly improves on the uniform character designs of the original, imparting to his characters distinct and easily identifiable features and silhouettes that greatly improve the ability to analyze history. . blame! is as faithful an adaptation as can be and as fitting an introduction to the series as the manga itself. blame! builds a strong case for not only being one of the most conceptually entertaining anime films in recent times, but also for being one of, if not the best original anime film to honor netflix. in a while. —toussaint egan

24. American gangster

year: 2007 director: ridley scott stars: denzel washington, russell crowe, chiwetel ejiofor, cuba gooding jr., josh brolin rating: r duration: 156 minutes

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with american gangster, ridley scott harks back to the more measured style of filmmaking evidenced in his defining sci-fi document blade runner. The director’s world-building skills, never in doubt, are on full display as he recreates mid-’70s harlem, but his storytelling once again prioritizes character over fast-paced action. Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, with the help of a talented supporting cast, light up this actor’s piece, turning audiences into one delight after another. Washington is Frank Lucas, once the right-hand man of a Harlem crime lord and eventually New York City’s most powerful and independent heroin dealer. Criminal or not, Lucas defines the American dream. Crowe is Ritchie Roberts, an overly honest cop licensed to create an independent drug unit, and he immerses himself in Roberts, showing off his considerable skills in every frame. Meanwhile, Josh Brolin, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ted Levine and Armand Assante all contribute unique strength and credibility. Scott even makes T.I. and rza look like actors. but the movie is about washington and crow; the first cold and threatening, the second slumped and disheveled. when they finally collide, the film shoots into overdrive. From start to finish, american gangster crackles with fair performances that make genre film look like art.—russ fischer

9. dance nights

year: 1997 director: paul thomas anderson stars: mark wahlberg, julianne moore, burt reynolds, don cheadle, john c. Reilly, William H. macy, philip seymour hoffman, heather graham rating: r running time: 155 minutes

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although boogie nights was paul thomas anderson’s first epic production with an ensemble cast, time and perspective show it to be his closest brush with perfection. the author specializes in building characters to break them down, and no one in his 1997 exploration of the porn business is exempt from his deconstructive impulses: few directors balance the funny and the heartbreaking so seamlessly, and even fewer rely on dramatic irony. to achieve both. . boogie nights can be fun because its characters, from mark wahlberg’s rising starlet to julianne moore’s fading star to burt reynold’s once-famous director dealing with a changing industry without it, they are just as unlucky, but their ignorance is just as heartbreaking; they desperately want to make a good product, even if they have a hard time figuring out what constitutes quality. Anderson’s fictional pornographers may cling desperately and futilely to a time before video and amateur acting, but Anderson himself managed to put out a two-and-a-half-hour film that is careful never to stay longer than expected, even when he asks for “a last thing.” —allie conti

26. dick johnson is dead

year: 2020 director: kirsten johnson stars: kirsten johnson, dick johnson genre: documentary rating: pg-13

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if every great documentary is about the responsibility of observation, then kirsten johnson’s cameraman is also about the fragility of that observation. With his follow-up, Dick Johnson Is Dead, Johnson continues to question that fragility, crafting a deeply personal ode to the one thing he has no control over: the death of his father. It helps that Dick Johnson is a mellifluous soul, a ceaselessly warm and radiant man surrounded by friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who all uniformly and genuinely love him, but from his first shots, Johnson makes it clear that his father’s wonderful nature alone it will make saying goodbye to him that much more difficult. and the time for him to do it looms ever closer. his drive, he grudgingly acknowledges, is partly selfish, as he decides to help familiarize his father with the end of his life, recreating in lavish cinematic vignettes the many ways he could get out, from the fall of the air unit conditioning, right down to the scalloped nails. 2×4 to the face, in your run-of-the-mill fall down the stairs, replete with a broken neck. the more johnson gets lost in the project, spending more effort consulting stuntmen, art directors, and a variety of crew members than his own father (sitting peacefully on the set, usually napping, not be a huge nuisance), the more he realizes that he may be exploiting someone he loves, someone who is beginning to show alarming signs of dementia and can no longer fully comprehend the high concept he once agreed to, to ease your own anxiety. as her father’s memory fades along with his ability to care for himself, dick johnson is dead satisfies less dick’s need to preserve some sense of immortality than his daughter’s need , all our need, to let go. —dom sinacola

27. tangerine

year: 2015 director: sean baker stars: alla tumanian, mya taylor, karren karagulian rating: r execution time: 87 minutes

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one of filmmaker sean baker’s best, tangerine‘s fable about holiday sex workers navigating love and loss in hollywood is everything the great indie is known for: intimate, warm, silly, sincere and just dirty enough. Shot entirely on iPhones, this subversive holiday movie celebrates the family found in donut shops, laundromats and bar bathrooms. It reminds us that sometimes the best gift of all is a friend lending you his wig while yours is in the wash. kitana kiki rodriguez and mya taylor carry the film in all its emotional and tonal complexity, while baker’s compassionate concern for people outside the margins makes the guerilla style of filmmaking seem more amorous than exploitative. Approaching your subjects with empathy and giving them plenty of room to absorb us into their world is fully in the Christmas spirit, even if a sexual encounter at a car wash might not be as wholesome as something from Jimmy Stewart. but for a certain type of person, and for the very certain type of tangerine friendship, “Happy Christmas Eve, bitch” is all that needs to be said. —jacob oller

28. sorry to bother you

year: 2018 director: boots riley stars: lakeith stanfield, tessa thompson, armie hammer, stephen yeun, patton oswalt, david cross , terry crews, danny glover rating: r duration: 105 minutes

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sorry to bother you has so many ideas coming out of every seam, so much ambition, so much he wants to say with such urgency, that it feels almost rude to point out that the film ends up lurching gloriously out of control. this is rapper/producer boots riley’s first movie, and it shows, in every possible way—good, bad, awesome, ridiculous—as if he didn’t know if he’d ever be able to do another one, so he pitched every idea he could once had on this. there are moments in sorry to bother you that will make you want to jump giddily through the theater. there are also moments that will make you wonder who in the world gave this lunatic a camera. (some of those moments are also quite dizzying). the former far outweighs the latter. Lakeith Stanfield stars as Cassius, a kind-hearted guy who feels his life is slipping away from him and so tries his hand at telemarketing, and fails (in a series of fantastical scenes in which his desk literally falls off). in the houses of whoever is). he’s dialing) until a colleague (danny glover, interesting until the movie dismisses him entirely) recommends that she use his “white voice” on calls. Stanfield suddenly sounds exactly like David Cross in the most nasal way of him and has become a superstar in the company, which leads him “upstairs” where “supercallers” like him go after Glengarry’s leaders. that’s just the starting point: throughout, we meet a tony robbins-type businessman (armie hammer) who might as well be a slave trader, the radical artist girlfriend of cassius (tessa thompson), who wears earrings with so many slogans that it’s a wonder she can hold her head up, and a revolutionary co-worker (stephen yeun) who tries to rile up the workers into rebelling against their masters. there are many other people too, and only some of them are fully human. it’s quite a movie. —leitch

29. rrr

year: 2022 director: s. yes rajamouli stars: n. t. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Shriya Saran, Samuthirakani, Ray Stevenson, Alison Doody, Olivia Morris rating: nr running time: 187 minutes

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A Telugu epic that rivals even the over-the-top antics of the writers/directors. yes rajamouli’s previous blockbusters (the two baahubali films), rrr‘s adorably repetitive and simple title reflects a three-hour romp through colonial history Indian full of the primal pleasures of sisterhood. And almost cartoonishly political balls and balls, their story of hapless best friends Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (N.T. Rama Rao Jr.) focuses on superficial contrasts that mask deep similarities. Based on two superheroic revolutionaries, who never saved a child but should have, simultaneously bungee jumping on a motorcycle and a horse tethered on opposite sides of a bridge, the disagreeing heroes represent the rural and urban poles that oppose the British colonizers. caricatures of the urban heartthrob and the noble beast of the woods, the two incarnations of cultural pride battling cg beasts, goofy Brits, and each other, though you can’t help but hope they end up hugging each other tight. (they do squats while piggybacking. come on). their gleamingly homoerotic back-and-forth friendship walks a taut narrative tightrope, but with the film’s maximalist cinema as its balance beam. a phenomenally vibrant and amusingly written soundtrack accompanies some of the most bombastic action sequences of the year and charming dance scenes without ruffling a single mustache. The two burly, hyper-masculine leads embrace silent comedy, musical song-and-dance prowess, and elegant fight choreography as the kind of do-it-all stars we just don’t have in the US. uu. plus. As his morally turbulent path battles the pure evil of cruel white oppressors, any doubt that rrr is a modern myth fades into the shadows of the jungle. Brimming with symbols, political shorthand, and stereotypes of all sorts, rrr rises, roars, and riots with raw cinematic power and enough mesmerizing density to be worth watching and discussing over and over again.—jacob oller

30. not another teen movie

year: 2001 director: joel gallen stars: chris evans, jaime pressly, randy quaid genre: comedy rating: r

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Chris Evans may have gone on to bigger and better things, but his extremely modest performance as a duped jock in the subgenre spoof Not Another Teen Movie was an early peak for Captain America. . Bolstered by plenty of quoteable lines and an expertly cut aesthetic from director and comedy central joel gallen, Not Another Teen Movie is a hilarious and biting response to the wave of Twisty teen sex comedies that ran from the 1980s until its release in 2001. Basically, this movie did to teen rom-coms what Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story did to musical biopics. : The parody is so good that after watching it, it’s hard to take the serious entries seriously. Raunchy but sharp, the film straddles both the low and the high very successfully, with an angry Molly Ringwald topping it all off in a perfect cameo.—jacob oller

31. look

year: 2018 director: mamoru hosoda stars: haru kuroki, moka kamishiraishi, gen hoshino genre: anime, fantasy rating: pg

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Most, if not all, of the original mamoru hosoda films produced in the last decade function, to a greater or lesser extent, as exercises in autobiography. summer war, aside from a more or less recycled premise from hosoda’s 2000 directorial debut digimon adventure: our wargame!, was the oft-deleted story of hosoda meeting his wife’s family for the first time. 2012’s the wolf children was inspired by the passing of hosoda’s mother, fueled in part by her anxieties and aspirations at the prospect of her own impending parenthood. 2015’s the boy and the beast was completed just after the birth of hosoda’s first child, the product of his own questions about what role a father should play in the life of his son. mirai, the director’s seventh film, does not come from hosoda’s own experience, but rather is filtered through the experiences of his firstborn son meeting his little brother for the first time. told from the perspective of kun (moka kamishiraishi), a young boy who feels displaced and insecure after the birth of his sister mirai, mirai is a beautiful fantasy adventure drama that takes the viewer to a dazzling odyssey. through kun’s entire family tree, culminating in a poignant conclusion that emphasizes the beauty of what it means to love and be loved. mirai is hosoda’s most accomplished film, the winner of the first academy award nomination for an anime film not produced by studio ghibli, and an experience as uplifting as it is a treat for the eyes. . —toussaint egan

32. wanderers

year: 2018 director: sandi tan genre: documentary rating: nr duration: 96 minutes

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Understanding one’s past can be both a lifelong task and a thorny proposition. In Shirkers, novelist Sandi Tan pulls off the most complicated of her endeavors, directing a documentary about herself that’s neither cloying nor embarrassing. Quite the contrary, her film is refreshingly candid and self-deprecating: she may be the star of the show, but she has a story to tell and the right perspective to frame it properly. ella tan ella narrates the documentary as a memory piece, recounting her childhood in singapore with ella’s best friend jasmine, where they were the two cool kids at ella’s cute square school, dreaming of being filmmakers and leaving the imprint of her To further that ambition, they collaborated with another friend, Sophia, on a surreal road movie called Shirkers, to be directed by Tan’s mentor, an older teacher named Georges who behaved like someone who knew the road. her. around a movie camera. in her teens and perhaps in love with this man who showed her so much attention (the documentary is cautious on the subject), she was intoxicated by the rush to make a movie she wrote that she would be the star of. so how come we’ve never seen it? The documentary traces the strange and mysterious journey of the project, which was mugged by Georges sneaking off with film reels with the vague promise of finishing the job. that never happened, and 20 years later she decides to open up those old wounds, connecting with her old friends and trying to figure out what became of georges. Scenes from the unfinished film appear in shirkers, alerting the audience to the fact that there will be a happy resolution to the tan quest. but the documentary ends up being less a crawl of film canisters than an exploration of mentors’ nostalgia, friendship, and charm. tan is lively and unassuming company throughout, his voice has just the right sardonic undertone, but his visits to jasmine and sophia are particularly charming and illuminating, suggesting how lifelong friends may see us in a way we don’t. can. —tim grierson

33. your house

year: 2020 director: remi weekes stars: wunmi mosaku, sope dirisu, matt smith genre: horror rating: nr

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Nothing takes the energy out of horror more than movies that hold the horror in. movies can scare audiences in a variety of ways, of course, but the least a horror movie can be is scary rather than fucking. remi weekes her house doesn’t fuck. the movie opens with a tragedy, and within 10 minutes of that opening it easily overcomes the grudge by leaving ghosts scattered on the floor and on the stairs where its protagonists can trip over them. ultimately, this is a film about the inescapable innate pain of immigrant stories, a companion piece to contemporary independent cinema like jonas carpignano’s mediterranea, which captures the dangers immigrants face along the way and in their destinies with brutal neorealism clarity. weekes is deeply committed to the bol and the rial as people, where they came from, what drove them to leave, and most of all, what they did to leave. but he also spends weeks making his viewers jump out of their skin. —andy crump

34. the spark brothers

year: 2021 director: edgar wright genre: documentary rating: r duration: 135 minutes

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the sparks brothers is a full and charming appraisal and appreciation of an idiosyncratic band, and the highest praise that can be given it is that it shares a sensibility with its inimitable musicians. Not an easy task when it comes to Rum and Russell Mael. the Californian brothers have been throwing sparks since the late ’60s (yes, the ’60s), jumping across genres as fast as their lyrics do and discarding jokes. Glam rock, disco, pioneering electronica, and even when dipping into the more experimental and orchestral corners of their musical interests, they maintain a consistent power-pop genius bolstered by Russell’s flutes and catchy rum keys. It’s here, in the incredible range but solidified personality of Sparks, that you quickly begin to understand that The Sparks Brothers is the marriage of two perfect guys who share a mission. Experts in an art form they care about each other, Ron and Russell bond with director Edgar Wright out of a wry desire to have fun and make it art, too. one made a trilogy of parodies that stand out in their individual genres (zombie, cop, and sci-fi movies). the others made subversive songs like “music you can dance to” that manage to match (and often beat) the very bops that do razz. their powers combined, the spark brothers become a musical documentary that is self-aware and deeply serious. slapstick, with a wide range of punch-and-drop clips from old movies, and sight gags drive their impressive talking heads into a rage every time they blurt out a grumpier music documentary cliché. “push the envelope?” expect to see a postal tug-of-war between the maels. This sense of humor, which appreciates the dumbest fruit and the highest reference, stems from the brothers’ admiration for seriously unserious French filmmakers like Jacques Tati (with whom Sparks almost made a movie; remember, they love film) and of a particularly formative affinity for British music. It doesn’t completely tear down the facades, as even Wright’s most personal works still thrill through a protective shell of physical comedy and references, but you do get a sense of the Maels as workers, brothers, artists, and humans in terms that are comfortable. . with. the nearly two-and-a-half-hour film is an epic, there’s no denying it. you won’t need another spark film after this one. however, it is less a definitive biography than an invitation, appealing to newcomers and veteran listeners alike through its comprehensive understanding and adoration of its subjects.—jacob oller

35. apostle

year: 2018 director: gareth evans stars: dan stevens, lucy boynton, michael sheen genre: horror, drama rating: nr

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after the first two entries of the raid made him a monolithic figure among action movie addicts, apostle functions as the introduction to the world in overview of the Welsh director’s visceral film styles. gareth evans where his early films almost come to life with the aesthetics of a video game, they are the closest thing to a big screen adaptation of streets of rage that you will ever find: apostle It could also represent Evans’ desire to be taken seriously as a visual director and author. To do so, he has explored well-trodden ground in the form of the rural “cult infiltration film,” drawing comparisons to characters like the wicker man (or even the sacrament ) unavoidable. however, apostle weaves its way into the year-end conversation of the best horror movies of 2018 through sheer style and enthusiasm. Every frame is beautifully composed, from the foreboding arrival of Dan Stevens’ fiery character at the island’s cult compound, to the fantastically disgusting grand act third act, in which the viscera flow with hedonistic abandon. Evans knows exactly how long to prod the audience with a slow mystery before letting the dams of blood burst; his conclusion encompasses both supernatural madness and uncomfortably realistic human violence. Gone is the combat precision of the raid, replaced by a more clumsy brand of unbridled savagery that is empowered not by honor but by desperate faith. Evans correctly concludes that this form of violence is far more terrifying. —jim vorel

36. across the wind

year: 2018 director: orson welles stars: john huston, peter bogdanovich, robert random, susan strasberg, oja kodar genre: drama rating: r

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As striking and inexplicable as its title, The Other Side of the Wind, however, sings with the force of its movement whistling past its limitations. the wind blows: orson welles channels it through his inflicted/self-inflicted torpor in the studio, finding in the process an organic melody, or rather, jazz. The making-of documentary They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, released by Netflix to accompany this film, the streaming giant’s finest hour, features Welles, huge and half-baked, describing what he calls “ divine accidents. these accidents were responsible for some of the best details of his work (where god resides), such as the breaking of the egg in touch of evil ; they were something he intended to chase (like chasing the wind) with this, his final project, released several decades after it was filmed as netflix opened its chests to open the coffin the raw footage was locked in. His former co-stars, Peter Bogdanovich and Frank Marshall, fulfill their ancient oath to their master to complete the film for him and, finding the spirit of the thing, hand us a masterpiece we hardly deserve. a divine accident. john huston stars as john huston as jake hannaford, who is also orson welles, trying to finish the other side of the wind just like welles tried to finish the other side of the wind , over years with no real budget and for the seats-of-everyone’s-pants. In contrast, the film’s setting is set over the course of an afternoon and evening, with Hannaford surrounded by “disciples” and peers who are invited to a party to screen some of the images from what the director hopes will be his greatest work. teacher, in what Welles hoped would be his. the movie within the movie is an arthouse riff, with perhaps the strongest nods to michelangelo antonioni and zabriskie point. life imitates art: hannaford’s house is just around the corner from the one zabriskie blew up. Fittingly, that house is the setting for most of the film about Hannaford, in theory constructed from found footage of the paparazzi filmmaker. the density is dizzying, the intellect fierce. in terms of welles’s filmography, it’s like the last act of citizen kane played by touch of evil, then stripped and gutted by f’s meta-punk for false. no art exists in a vacuum, but the other side of the wind, more than most, bleeds its own context. It’s about Orson Welles, showing himself. killing himself —chad betz

37. a silent voice

year: 2016 director: naoko yamada stars: miyu irino, saori hayami, megumi han genre: anime, drama rating: nr

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In a medium that too often feels at times constrained by the primacy of male aesthetic sensibilities and saturated with hypersexualized depictions of women colloquially coded as “fan service,” the presence of naoko yamada is a welcome breath of fresh air. fresh, to say nothing of the inimitable quality of his own films. inspired by characters such as yasujiro ozu, alejandro jodorowsky, sergei parajanov, sofia coppola and lucile hadžihalilovic, yamada is a director par excellence, capable of attracting attention and evoking melancholy and bittersweet catharsis through delicate compositions with skilful sound, rapid editing and color ephemeral. palettes and characters with rich inner lives filled with complicated and relatable struggles. a silent voice, adapted from yoshitoki oima’s manga of the same name, is a prime example of all these sensibilities at play. When Shoya Ishida meets Shoko Nishimiya, a deaf transfer student, at elementary school, she relentlessly bullies her to the amusement of her classmates. One day, when Shoya goes too far and forces Shoko to transfer again out of fear for her own safety, she is branded an outcast by her peers and retreats into a state of self-imposed isolation and self-loathing. Years later, Shoya meets Shoko once more, now as teenagers, and attempts to make amends for the wrong he inflicted on her, all while he struggles to understand her own motivations for doing so. a silent voice is a film of tremendous emotional depth: a moving portrait of adolescent abuse, reconciliation and forgiveness for the harm perpetrated by others and ourselves. —toussaint egan

38. hunt the wildlings

year: 2016 director: taika waititi stars: sam neill, julian dennison, rima te wiata, rachel house, oscar kightley, tioreore ngatai-melbourne, rhys darby genre: comedy, drama rating: nr

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bella’s (rima te wiata) first meeting with ricky (julian dennison), the new foster child she’s agreed to take in, doesn’t inspire confidence, especially with his goofy jokes at the expense of her weight. In turn, with child services representative Paula (Rachel House) painting Ricky as a wild, rebellious child, one dreads the prospect of seeing the boy run over by this possibly insane mother. but bella wears it down with kindness. and ricky ends up being less tough than he is, with his penchant for gangsta rap and all that that implies, he initially tried to project. An adaptation of Barry Crump’s novel Wild Pork and Watercress, Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople taps into preconceived notions. The director shows sympathy for Ricky’s innocence, which is reflected in the film’s grand adventure style. cinematographer lachlan milne’s wide, colorful panoramas and a chapter-based narrative structure give hunt for the wilderpeople the feel of a storybook fable, but thanks to the warm dynamic between ricky and hec (sam neill), even the film’s wackier moments convey an underlying sense of real pain: both characters are outsiders ultimately looking for a home to call their own. —kenji fujishima

39. I’m thinking about ending things

year: 2020 director: charlie kaufman stars: jessie buckley, jesse plemons, toni collette, david thewlis rating:r

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many viewers will think of ending I’m thinking of ending things soon after it’s started. a cascade of rough shots dissolving into a cross detailing the interior of a country house or apartment, or the interior of an interior. a woman we haven’t seen yet is practically in the middle of the narrative, telling us something for which we have no context. she feels bad, unpleasant. something is not right. That’s not how movies are supposed to work. we finally see the woman, played brilliantly by jessie buckley. she is standing in the street as puffy snowflakes begin to fall, as if we are inside a three-dimensional snow globe with her. she looks out a window a couple of floors above. we see an old man looking down through a window. we see jesse plemons looking down through a window. we see jesse plemmons in the next shot picking up jessie buckley in her worn out car. the music from the film sparkles and swirls. lucy or lucia or amy from jessie buckley is thinking about breaking up with jake from jesse. things are not going to go well, seems to be the reasoning. Jake drives the car and sometimes talks; his behaviors seem fairly consistent until they cease to be, until some gesture boils over like a foreign object from another self. Louisa or Lucy is forthcoming, a source of personality and knowledge and interests. but she sometimes she slows down, or she goes quiet, and suddenly she’s another person who is the same person but maybe with different memories, different interests. sometimes she is a painter, sometimes a physicist, sometimes neither. jessie and jesse are great. their performances and their characters are hard to describe. the best movie of 2020 is terrible for a “movie”. does not subscribe to common patterns, rhythms or tropes. it’s not even trying to be a great movie, really, it’s just trying to dissect life from each other’s minds, and do it by whatever cinematic means possible. the film’s self-awareness might have been unbearable, except that awareness (and our fragmentary experience of it) is entirely the point of everything that the film is wrapped in and that is wrapped within it. To say that the film accepts both the beauty and the ugliness of life would be a commonplace that the film itself rejects. say that “love conquers all”, even more so. but these false truths flit in and around the peripheral vision of the film: illusions or ghosts, but welcome. —chad betz

40. ghost thread

year: 2017 director: paul thomas anderson stars: daniel day-lewis, lesley manville, vicky krieps rating:r

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ghost thread is a film that is so wonderfully made, so meticulous in its construction, so deeply felt in its execution, that you can almost miss how prickly and lurid it is. this has to be the most delightful movie to watch, dealing in large part with how self-centered and inflexible the world of relationships can be, how we can give up so much of ourselves and it’s up to our partner. to figure out how to deal with it, if they want to. this is an uncompromising movie about two uncompromising people trying to live together without losing too much of themselves, and the extremes, sometimes, they’ll go to in order to get their way. daniel day-lewis stars as reynolds woodcock, a world-famous dressmaker who dresses celebrities, royalty and, sometimes to his annoyance, ordinary wealthy outcasts. Just about anything that doesn’t meet his exacting standards is vulgar, until one day, while out in the English countryside, Reynolds comes across a waitress named Alma (Vicky Krieps) who meets Reynolds’ physical requirements (specifically for him to can make dresses for her) and has a certain grit that she instantly finds fascinating. the two leads of ghost thread are wacky and wacky in their own way, and one of the film’s many thrills is seeing them bounce off each other and then crash back again. It’s the weirdest little love story, so weird I’m not even sure it’s about love at all. my colleague tim grierson said this first, but it’s too good an observation to ignore: this movie is largely about being completely unaware of other people’s relationships. From the outside, it doesn’t make sense for Reynolds and Alma to have this kind of connection with each other; it’s hard to know what either of them is getting out of it. but what is unfathomable about it is also what makes it so powerful. —leitch

41. rome

year: 2014 director: alfonso cuarón actors: yalitza aparicio, marina de tavira, diego Cortina autrey, carlos peralta b>genre: drama rating: r

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Alfonso Cuaron’s most intimate film is also his greatest estrangement. The camera sits back, in black and white, focused not on the bourgeois children who represent the cinematographer, writer and director and his siblings who grew up in Mexico City several decades ago, but more so on the indigenous woman ( yalitza aparicio) who takes care of them and the home. not even entirely focused on her, perhaps more focused on her classicist compositions of a place that no longer exists as Cuarón remembers it. the camera looks and moves in a transplanar sequence, giving us foreground, mid-ground and background elements in absolute digital clarity. the sound mix is ​​dolby atmos and surround. but the aesthetic and narrative basis is fellini, or long-lost mexican neorealism, or tati’s playtime, but with sight gags replaced by social concern and personal reverie. reserved and immersive, introspective and outward-looking, old and new: some have accused roma of being too calculating in what he tries to do, the balancing act he tries to pull off. They may not be wrong, but it is to Cuarón’s immense credit as a thoughtful technician and storyteller that he does indeed pull it off. the result is a singular cinematic experience, one that recreates something that was lost and then navigates it in such a way that it finds the emerging story, and then from that finds the emotional impact. so that when we get to that point at the end of rome, we don’t even notice the slow, organic process by which we’ve become fully involved in the film; we are not ready to be hit as hard as when the blows come and the waves break. it’s almost unbearable, but we endure it because we care about these people we’ve gotten involved with. And so is life. —chad betz

42. the power of the dog

year: 2021 director: jane campion stars: benedict cumberbatch, kirsten dunst, jesse plemons, kodi smit-mcphee, thomasin mckenzie, genevieve lemon, keith carradine, frances conroy rating: r

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based on thomas savage’s 1967 novel of the same name, jane campion’s long-awaited return to the medium of film, following 2009’s shining star and subsequent years spent working in television, feels appropriate for a director who has shown skill in crafting an atmosphere of acute unease. and so it is with the power of the dog, a film with a perpetual nervous streak, carried by the omnipresent feeling that someone could snap at any moment, until they do. In 1925 Montana, brothers Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Burbank (Jesse Plemons) are prosperous ranchers but incompatible brothers. phil is the ultimate image of machismo, walking around the ranch always adorned in his cowboy suit and a thick layer of grime on his face, with a rolled cigarette hanging from his lower lip; a character who acts in defiance of cumberbatch’s previous work. Phil is so opposed to anything even adjacent to what might be considered “girly” that things like bathing, playing an instrument other than a banjo, and just being nice to women are the kind of activities that might lead Phil to ask.” guys is he gay if… on twitter from the castration of the bulls at the burbank ranch, to phil’s status as the black sheep of his respectable family, to the nature of the western landscape tied to phil’s performance masculinity, the subtext is so visually awkward that it remains subtextual only by virtue of not being directly spoken out loud, but the awkwardness in the film’s approach to the subject is backed up by the convincing performances across the board, in particular to cumberbatch, whose embodiment of a gruff, grimy rancher is at first ludicrously unbelievable in relation to the performances that have defined the Englishman’s career, but it is, perhaps, because of this It’s the same contrast to his past roles that cumberbatch manages to fit the character of phil so sharply, carrying with it an inherent discomfort and unease in his own skin despite the terror that strikes at someone’s heart as rose. It is matched by a bone-chilling score, composed by the inimitable Johnny Greenwood (the master, phantom thread), and impeccable cinematography by ari wegner (zola). > , the true story of kelly gang), which form a perfect union of tension, intimacy and isolation in a film where the sound of every cut, cut and click evokes the same anguished feeling regardless of the source . . what does it mean to be a man? the power of the dog considers the question but never answers it. instead, he is preoccupied with a timeless phenomenon: suffering endured for the very sake of manhood. —brianna zigler

43. procession

year: 2021 director: robert greene rating: r duration: 116 minutes

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in his films, robert greene has tried to bring the alienated past into the present. 2016’s kate plays christine uses kate lyn sheil’s grooming to play christine chubbuck, the news anchor who killed herself on air 42 years earlier, in part to navigate the responsibilities of an actor when trying to resurrect a real person. relegated to folklore. Bisbee ’17 2018 recounted the re-enactment, on the event’s 100th anniversary, of the forced removal and abandonment of more than 1,200 striking miners from their homes in the Arizona desert. As members of the Bisbee community take on the roles of corporate goons and workers demanding a better life, in many cases inhabiting the personas of their own ancestors, they come to better understand the influence that history still has today. even in actress, greene’s 2014 portrait of brandy burre returning to acting while reinventing her personal life, reassessing the past is an act of taking control. As Ella Burre slowly returns to the stage, interacting with old friends and the visceral thrill of being in front of an audience, she begins to take her life away from a toxic marriage and define herself anew. she realizes that she is no longer forced to hold on to her old self. procession, greene’s latest film and his first for netflix, again tries to absolve the present from the past. It kicks off with a 2018 press conference in Kansas City, Missouri. attorney rebecca randles stands with three of the survivors stating that she can expose more than 230 known members of catholic clergy in the kansas city area as part of a wide-ranging sexual abuse ring. Seeing this, Greene approached Randles with the idea of ​​using drama therapy, closely guided by registered drama therapist Monica Phinney, to give a small group of survivors the opportunity to transform their nightmares into something dramatic, to potentially transform their trauma into something survivable. . procession presents this approach: six men write scripts, storyboards, location scouting, and finally film their worst memories, however they want to play them, interspersed with the final results. the young actor who stars in each of the segments, terrick trobough, spends much of the film in the company of the six survivors, listening to their stories and doing his job calmly and professionally. he sees them cry and hit things and disengage, not because they’re fragile, but because they’re broken. terrick replies that he believes his stories. Later, with Dan (one of the survivors) after an emotional moment, Terrick asks him, “How are you?” Maybe he’s just being polite, but Terrick’s small gestures of empathy shine brightly. as does procession, when the beauty of greene’s cinema meets the intelligence and clarity of her methods. “I hope the strength you showed is rewarded with peace and contentment,” another survivor says to himself near the end of the film, going back decades into the past. a close-up of his face lets the audience know if that hope has been resolved. it’s very good kino.—dom sinacola

44. the mitchells against the machines

year: 2021 director: mike rianda, jeff rowe (co-director) stars: abbi jacobson, danny mcbride, maya rudolph, eric andre , fred armisen, beck bennett, olivia colman genre: animation, comedy, science fiction rating: pg

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Animated generation divides have never looked more like a sci-fi carnival than in mitchells vs. themachines. The feature film debut of writer-director Mike Rianda (he and co-writer-director Jeff Rowe trained on the excellently creepy and goofy series Gravity Falls) is equal parts absurd, endearing and terrifying. It’s easy to feel lost or overwhelmed by the flashing lights and exciting sights as the core family fights on one side of the title grudge match, but it’s just as easy to walk away with the exhausted glee of the aftermath of a long, weary jaunt. to the theme park. his genre-embedded family bursts through every cluttered, cluttered frame as if they’re trying to escape (often they are), and in the process they create the most energetic and endearing animated comedy so far this year. and its premise begins so humbly. filmmaker and animator katie (abbi jacobson) leaves home for college, and to get there she has to take a road trip with her family: rick (danny mcbride), her movie-loving father luddite. nature; Linda (Maya Rudolph), her peacemaker mother; and Aaron (Rianda), her little brother of her dino-freak of hers. You might be able to tell that Katie and her dad don’t always see eye to eye, even when Katie’s eyes aren’t glued to her phone or laptop. That techno-criticism, where “screen time” is a dirty phrase and the stick-shifting, cabin-building father figure wants his family to experience the real world, could be as wacky as the twelfth season of a tim sitcom. Allen. the mitchells vs. the machines escapes that danger not only through some intentional nuances in its writing, but also some great anti-nuances: midway through the journey, the evil tech companies slip up and call on the phone. the adult robots decide to shoot all the humans into space. this movie needed something this big narratively to support the glorious kitchen sink imagery of it. Sony’s film uses some of the same technology that made Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse look so sharp and unique, adding comical shading to its expressive CG. in fact, once some of the more extravagant sets get off the ground, you wouldn’t be surprised to see morale rise to save the day. mitchells vs. the twist the machines in the spidery aesthetic comes from meme- and movie-obsessed katie, whose imagination often finds its way into the real world and whose weird, neon, filter-filled doodles grace the already exciting palette of the film with explosive rarity. This unique and witty style pairs well with the wonderfully timed slapstick of Mitchells vs. it happens to be happening.—jacob oller

45. the sea beast

year:2022 director: chris williams stars: karl urban, zaris-angel hator, jared harris, marianne jean-baptiste, dan stevens, kathy burke rating: pg

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When cartographers allowed their senses of imagination and self-preservation to fill the uncharted regions of their maps, they often warned of creatures like lions, elephants, and walruses. creatures beyond comprehension, with teeth, trunks and fangs easy to caricature towards danger. but most of all we remember that when you sail to the vanishing edge of knowledge, there are dragons. The sea beast deftly turns this ancient human fear into a sharp spearhead, striking at ignorance. Your swashbuckling adventure sails through a sea full of massive creatures that are sure to whet kids’ appetites for piracy, Godzilla movies, and exciting animation. Chris Williams’ first film, a long-time classic of Disney history, after leaving the House of Mouse for Netflix, The Sea Beast is, to paraphrase Jared Harris’s Raven Captain Ahab, all piss and vinegar. that the movie even alludes to the phrase, and drops a few other slightly salty lines you might expect from some seasoned sea dogs, is indicative of its separation from the sanitized behemoth. look violence in the eyes; she’s not afraid to make good on his threats. all right. telling a fantastic story of hunters, mercenary crews financed by a colonialist crown to end the kaiju that populate the ocean, would not be correct without at least a little advantage. On our way out into the world, young Maisie (zaris-angel hator), has experienced her dangerous realities firsthand: her parents went down with a ship, leaving her one of dozens of orphaned hunters. but that has not prevented him from exalting her family as her martyr (something explicitly encouraged by the monarchy) and seeking her own glory. As a stowaway on the Raven’s ship, the inevitable, she and the skilled Jacob (Karl Urban) come face to face with legendary ambitions they’ve built in their own heads. williams and co-writer nell benjamin immediately plunge us into the quest for the inevitable to take down the crow-toothed, horned red whale, nicknamed the red braggart, confident that there is no better time than the sea. As our eyes roll and tilt through the breathtakingly realistic waves and our ears try to follow the meticulously detailed helmsman, the hunting scenes grab us like the catch of the day. we understand the hierarchy of the diverse crew, the code of honor among hunters, the tactics required to take down towering creatures that look like toho turned their greatest hits into pokémon. It’s smart, respectful writing, put into readable action by Williams’ expert hand, who relies on his setting and subject matter to be inherently cool, and on his audience to follow him avidly. By the time spears are flying, cannons are firing, and creatures are dying, aren’t you? You’re as deeply hooked as any parent watching master and commander. An enchanting deconstruction of old-school romantic adventure new school that never compromises on the latter’s inherent lushness, color, and excitement, The Sea Beast rises to the forefront of animated offerings. from netflix like a high tide.—jacob oller

46. ma rainey’s black butt

year: 2020 director: george c. wolfe Stars: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts Genre: Drama Rating: r

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fittingly, chadwick boseman’s final role is all about the blues. The late actor’s appearance in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the august adaptation of Wilson from director George C. Wolfe and writer Ruben Santiago-Hudson, is equal parts acting showcase, angry eulogy, and comprehensive lament, boiled together in the sweaty kitchen of a 1920s Chicago recording session. A tale of the many facets of ambition and possible endpoints, ma rainey revolves around those who orbit around its main character (viola davis). she’s a blues legend at the top of her game, finally appreciated (at least in some parts of the country) and ready to be exploited by white men in suits. as if she left them. She shows up comfortably late to record an album, letting everyone else get up and shoot the shit in true Wilson fashion, with Santiago-Hudson finding the essence of Wilson’s work. Davis’ brutal performance, made even more powerful by her onslaught of makeup and glistening sweat, sets the scene perfectly. She, along with loose ties and whirring fans, gives the film the desired temperature and gravity so that Boseman and the rest of his band members can move like fireflies in the summer heat. With tragic serendipity, Boseman leaves us a gift: he’s on fire. Lean, with camera placements and props emphasizing his lanky limbs (there’s a reason he wields a squat, stubby flugelhorn, a jazz staple that works best visually), Levee is a very physical role despite the material. talkative original: it’s about grabbing attention, sometimes literally tap dancing for it, with a hint of embarrassment invaded by an anxious energy. nervous, nervous and tense during a monologue of almost five minutes, levee seems to feel that the window to his dream is closing: time is running out. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is more than Boseman’s performance, for sure, with Davis and Colman Domingo shedding delicious tears and Wilson’s words continuing to scorch and fly in equal measure. But Boseman’s ownership of the film, an Oscar-worthy snapshot of potential and desire, gives a sweeping, charming tragedy something specific to sing about.—Jacob Oller

47. the hand of god

year: 2021 director: paolo sorrentino stars: filippo scotti, toni servillo, teresa saponangelo, marlon joubert, luisa ranieri, renato carpentieri , Massimiliano Gallo, Betti Pedrazzi, Biagio Manna, Ciro Capano rating: r duration: 130 minutes

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Paolo Sorrentino frames his new coming-of-age play, The Hand of God, with divine representation, and spends every moment complaining about life’s endless parade of disappointment. humanity is terrible. everything is a failure. reality is bad. “What a shitty world this is,” says a woman about 45 minutes into the film. “You go to buy dessert and when you come back, your husband is in jail.” details are irrelevant. It is the feeling that lands. the dialogue reads like a sorrentino soliloquizing through his characters, airing grievance after grievance about the pivotal effect of the hand of god story on its plot: set in 1980s naples, attending to the rich and boring routine that includes the comings and goings of the united schisa family—father saverio (toni servillo) and mother maria (teresa saponangelo), and their children, the older marchino (marlon joubert) and the younger fabietto (filippo scotti)—Sorrentino constructs the film with less flourishes of surrealism than in his later works, a la loro in 2018, youth in 2015 and la gran Belleza. i> 2013, where a man makes a giraffe disappear into thin air in the middle of a Roman coliseum. placed next to these images, the hand of god is frankly normal. normalcy may not suit sorrentino’s characters, whether principled or supporting, but the hand of god finds abundance in everyday italian conventions: abundance of meaning, abundance of beauty, abundance of comedy And to avoid burying the lede, hand of god is constantly hilarious for the first hour or so (despite an opening scene of domestic violence). hand of god is not escapism, which contradicts fabietto’s career goals in the last stage. is is an entertaining scream and moving drama that softens into an exercise in mourning in its second half, where fabietto distracts his mind from a momentous tragedy fanboying about capuano and getting into trouble with armando (biagio manna ), sorrentino’s secret weapon: a gregarious cigarette smuggler whose wild streak belies abiding loyalty to whom he calls “friend.” it is impossible to keep up. the hand of god doesn’t try. instead, guided by fabietto, the film takes its time. look breathe captures life with a clarity not even sorrentino’s best efforts have, making it his best effort to date.— andy crump

48. the body remembers when the world opened

year: 2019 directors: elle-máijá tailfeathers, kathleen hepburn stars: elle-máijá tailfeathers, violet nelson, barbara eve harris genre: drama rating: nr

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nothing is worth it in the body remembers when the world opened up. every narrative detail, which demands resolution, goes largely unnoticed: when rosie (violet nelson) takes money from Áila’s (co-director elle-máijá tailfeathers) purse, for example, we hope that the time they spend together, the 90 minutes or so, He’ll teach Rosie a lesson, encourage her to return the bills. that doesn’t happen instead, the body remembers when the world opened up tells of a chance encounter between two first nation women, divided by socioeconomic stability but united by having experienced rape: rosie’s is the latest in a series of domestic conflicts. incidents of abuse, while Áila had an IUD inserted in the midst of a cold and impersonal procedure, shot by cinematographer norm li on 16mm with a commitment to capturing Áila’s every near-traumatized grimace and grimace. li follows Áila from the office to the street, where she sees Rosie barefoot in the rain, perhaps in shock, and from there the two escape from Rosie’s enraged boyfriend to Áila’s dry and airy loft apartment. li is always right behind, the rest of the film is edited into one continuous take as Áila tries to figure out what to do to help rosie, and rosie tries to figure out how to avoid falling victim to the virtue she points out to strangers. that Áila is also a native woman matters little to rosie; she just looks the part. Of course, when they part, Rosie swallows any guilt she may have developed over stealing from Áila, and the keepers at the safe house remind Áila when Rosie doesn’t want to stay that sometimes people need seven or eight times to give in. and get out of your abusive situation. we wait for a resolution, a sign that things will get better. when they don’t, we look for other signs and wait, we only have patience: watch, and never stop watching, and bear the weight of that, to pay the cost of empathy. —dom sinacola

49. marriage story

year: 2019 director: noah baumbach stars: scarlett johansson, adam driver, azhy robertson, laura dern, alan alda, ray liotta , julie hagerty, merritt wever genre: drama rating: r

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the way adam driver ends “being alive”, which his character in marriage story just sang in its entirety (including dialogue apart from the company protagonist’s friends ), it’s like watching him drain what’s left of his spirit on the floor, in front of his small audience (which includes us). the performance starts off a little silly, the uninvited theater kid takes the reins to sing one of broadway’s greatest shows, but then, in another aside, he says, “I want something…I wantsomethingthing…” he begins to understand, he begins to understand the weight of life, the dissatisfaction of wasted intimacy, and what it can mean to finally become an adult: embracing all those contradictions, all that alienation and loneliness. he takes a deep breath after the final notes, after the final belt; he finally realizes that he has to grow up, end his old life, do something new. it’s a lot like living on the internet these days; the inability to create an “authentic self”, however petty the term, is compounded by a cultural landscape that refuses to admit that “authenticity” is as inauthentic a performance as anything else working through identities is painful and ugly .arguably t We are all working on how to be ourselves in relation to those around us. and that’s what bobby, the 35-year-old man at the center of stephen sondheim’s musical company from 1970, is doing. the scene forces the viewer to make connections about their humanity, the art they are experiencing and the increasingly numb world in which everything exists. charlie grabs the microphone, exhausted, realizing he has to figure out what to do next, to put his life back together again. All of us, we’re putting it together too. Or trying, at least. that counts for something. —kyle turner

50. okay

year: 2017 director: bong joon-ho stars: tilda swinton, paul dano, an seo hyun, byun heebong, steven yeun , lily collins, yoon je moon, woo shik choi genre: science fiction, action rating: nr

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okja takes more creative risks in its first five minutes than most films do in their entire span, and doesn’t stop there. What seems to be a sticking point for some critics and audiences, particularly Western ones, is the seemingly erratic tone, from sentiment to suspense, to fast-paced action, to fantasy, to horror, to whatever Jake Gyllenhaal is up to. But this is part and parcel of what makes bong joon-ho movies, well, bong joon-ho movies: nuanced and complex, but not exactly subtle or restrained. They have attention to detail, but are not picky in their handling. they have multiple intents, and they join those intents to jam. they are imaginative works that build momentum through alternations between parts and counterparts, and okja is perhaps the best example yet of the wild swinging pendulum of a bong movie’s rhythmic tonality. okja is also not a movie about veganism, but it is a movie that asks how we can find integrity and, above all, how we can act humanely towards other creatures, including humans. the answers that okja reaches are simple and vital, and without saying them he really helps you hear those answers for yourself because he’s asked all the right questions, and he’s asked them in an intensely engaging way. . —chad betz

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