Tully, directed by Jason Reitman, is at all times an emotionally upfront film, that for me, delivered an uplifting tale through its honest portrayal of home life, and in the end was an experience that left a smile on my face. With a structurally tight script and a strong lead performance by Charlize Theron; Tully delivers a film that far exceeded my expectations. There are some elements to this film that I’m eager to talk about and explore so let’s get to that. On with the review. Read more
Atomic Blonde, directed by David Leitch, is a film with an infectious style. With its pulsating soundtrack, its vibrant colours, its delightfully brutal actions scenes and it all being within the backdrop of Berlin in 1989 – there’s much to gorge your senses on, in Atomic Blonde. However, the film doesn’t really go beyond that. There isn’t much depth for you to sink your teeth in to. But, does that diminish the overall experience? Well, let’s find out in this review. Read more
So 2016 has been a mixed year in terms of films; the summer blockbuster season was… well a bust, and there have been a lot of films that haven’t fully hit the mark (for me). But, there have also been some real treasures – some films that have been absolutely exceptional; ones that I didn’t see coming. Now of course this is all about the films that for me, just couldn’t escape my head. The ones that burrowed themselves into my memory banks, set up shop, and politely – or sometimes quite forcefully – told me that they planned on being there for the long-haul. This was something I was completely okay with.
I suppose I should lay what you can expect from this piece, as I’m not intending for it to be the usual ‘Top 10’ lists that you’re going to be seeing around this time of year. What I want to do with this is not necessarily focus on what might be considered the absolute best-of-the best from 2016; the films that were perfect in their every effort and deserve to be recognised as the next masterpieces. This is more about me shining a light on some films that, for one reason or another (those reasons will be laid out in detail when I talk about each film) just had an effect on me, made it so that they stuck around and kept me thinking about them. The films are in no particular order, but my favourite film of 2016 will be in there somewhere. But don’t worry, you’ll know when that comes up.
I also want to point out that this list only contains films released in the UK in 2016. So films like, La La Land, Midnight, Manchester by the Sea, etc. films which everyone is singing the praises of, will not be contenders for this list. I want to keep it contained to only films released in UK cinemas in 2016. That way I can give everything a fair shot from this year.
So yeah, that’s what I intend to do with this piece. You’ll definitely recognise a lot of these films, and many other people will assuredly be talking about them, but I’m also hoping there will be 1-or-2 that slipped under your radar, and reading about them here gives you that little nudge to go watch them. So without further-a-due, let’s get into the films that stood out to me, and made their presence known, in 2016. Read more
Kubo and the Two Strings, directed by Travis Knight, is a film with such originality and style. From the very first frame of this film, I was instantly in love with how it looked and the direction in which it was taking. While the film never surprised me (from a plot standpoint) I don’t think there was ever a time where I wasn’t completely engaged and in love with the world that Kubo travels through. So let’s get into this review and see what works and what doesn’t. Read more
So now that I have seen all the films nominated for best picture, and reviewed them all, I wanted to go ahead and create an easy place for anyone to be able to find and read my full and in depth reviews on all of them. I also wanted to rank the films from what I felt where the best to the not so best. Now what I mean by not so best, is that while the films are certainly still good they just don’t compete on the same level as the ones higher on the list. At no point am I saying that these films are bad or shouldn’t be seen, simply that they lack the same level of quality and deserved attention as some of the others.
Before I jump into the films I want to give my thoughts on the selection itself. Personally for me this year the assortment of films was weak compared to previous years – that’s frustrating because there have been some films that have more than deserved the attention and recognition, but for some reason where overlooked or perhaps not even considered (I’m not sure).
Personally for me, four films that have certainly been overlooked and were much more deserving of a place in the best picture category were Sicario – directed by Denis Villeneuve (you can read the full review for that here), Carol – directed by Todd Haynes (full review for that here), Steve Jobs – directed by Danny Boyle (the review for that is here) and finally Creed – directed by Ryan Coogler (of which the review for that is here). In my mind all these film were astounding watches and far more deserving of the nomination. What would I have taken out in place of those films? That’s easy – Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, The Martian and most definitely The Big Short. Again all great films (except one of course) but let’s be honest nowhere near the same level as the films I’ve just mentioned.
But anyway that’s my two cents on all of that. Now I want to get onto the main purpose of this whole piece – The Best Picture Nominations. So what I’m going to do is rank the films from 1 to 8 (favourite to least favourite) and then give you a quick snippet of what I liked (or didn’t like) about the film. Also if you want to know more, you can click on any of the films and get taken to my full reviews which will let you know more fully what I thought about the film. Sound good? Great, then on with the show then. Read more
It has certainly been a mixed bag in terms of the quality of films that have come out this year. I’ve been up and down with what has come out in 2015 – there have been some real surprises – films that snuck up on me and then just took all of my attention and hoarded it for itself. But there have also been long stretches this year where I’ve been left disappointed or underwhelmed by the offerings. In particular would be 2015’s summer blockbuster season which compared to last year has been a bland assortment of films or in some cases complete disasters (I’m looking at you Jurassic World), feel free to see my fuller thoughts on that film here.
But I’m not here to focus on the negatives; this piece is all about me sharing with you some of the films that I loved from 2015. Not a best of per-say (that always feels too definitive to me – plus everyone’s doing their best of lists at this time). This is more about me taking the time to highlight some truly special pieces of cinema or some films that didn’t necessarily get the attention they first deserve and I’m now taking the chance to make you aware of them and how great they are.
The last thing I’ll say before I get to the part that I know you’re probably more interested in and is the only reason you really clicked onto this piece (thank you for doing so I might add) is that these films are in no particular order. I’m just going to run through the films in the order that suits me and then will give a little detail on what makes them so great – I may even sneak in what is by personal favourite film of the year – actually there’s no may about it, I will be talking about my favourite film of 2015. Anyway that’s me done with this rambling section, now onto the next rambling section; the films that I think deserve your attention from 2015. Read more
Mad Max: Fury Road, directed by George Miller is a stunning piece of cinema. One that in some aspects follows the traditions of modern story telling but is also one that from here on out, should be the film that is considered the benchmark for which films to come are compared against. Read more