2018 was a great year for movies. (Read about my favorites HERE.) So were 2017, 2016, and so on and so forth as far back as long as you care to look. I’m a big believer that every year has great movies if you look for them, and 2019 is shaping up to be another in an unbroken line. With that in mind, here are my 50 most anticipated movies of the upcoming year.
Monday, December 31, 2018
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Despite the annual hot takes to the contrary, 2018 has been an awesome year for horror. There are always great horror movies if you care to look. As much as I love the genre, it can, admittedly, take some excavation and exploration—horror enthusiasts know we will have to wade through some dreck, but the gems are well worth the trouble. And what the hell, I’m going to run through the ones I enjoyed the most in 2018.
Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma is everything everyone says it is. Gorgeous and formally flawless, the director’s precision and meticulous craft is unmatched, and his deep, personal connection to the story readily shines through. Yalitza Aparicio delivers a wonderful performance. The milieu is layered, thematically dense, and someone much smarter than I am will have a field day unpacking relationships between the lower class maid Cleo and the wealthy family she works for. (THIS ARTICLE examining how poor people’s stories, especially those of domestic workers, are always told from the perspective of the rich, with a special eye on current Latin American cinema, is a good place to begin.)
Friday, December 21, 2018
Okay, it’s that time of year again, the time of year I swear I’m not going to make a best-of list, only to cave and ultimately do just that. At this point, you’re probably sick of hearing me rant about how I hate ranking movies, pitting them against one another, and stating that one is objectively better than another. I don’t believe that’s true. What I put stock in is personal preference. And that’s what this list is. It’s not a “ten best movies” list, that should be readily apparent, it’s a “my ten (or whatever number) favorite movies list.”
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
There’s so much going on in Aquaman I’m honestly not sure where to begin. Actually, that’s as good a place as any. There is a lot going on in Aquaman. Like, a lot. To try to map out the plot is a fool’s errand; it’s a tangle of betrayal, a reluctant hero, Aquaman’s childhood, a single throwaway line that connects to the larger DC movie universe, betrayal, revenge, destiny, heartbreak, and a litany of things I know I forgot. And director James Wan wraps all of this is a Day-Glo, candy-colored, hallucinogenic seascape that resembles the cover of an epic adventure metal album from the ‘80s. And it’s as fun and messy as that sounds.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Ready for a Michael Bay-less Transformers universe? Because with Bumblebee, that’s exactly what we have, and it’s obvious from the get-go. While Bay’s trademark bombast and cynicism inform the previous five films, as over the top caustic and astringent his giant robot kerfuffles are, this prequel equally exaggerates on the other end of the spectrum—all gooey earnestness and near-oppressive optimism and goofiness. It vacillates between joyous and insufferable, and despite being a mixed bag, it’s easily the most I’ve enjoyed a Transformers movie to date.
Yesterday, the Seattle Film Critics Society announced their 2018 film awards. I’m fortunate enough to be a member of that group and as such, was compelled to vote. Because I said I would, I decided to share my initial nomination ballot.
Monday, December 17, 2018
If you read this site on any regular basis, you’ve likely encountered me ranting about ranking movies, grading movies, and basically comparing works of art to one another as if there’s even a grain of objective truth to be found. I dislike it, quite a bit. But that’s a conversation for another time and place, and because of the whims and wills of writing on the internet, it’s never stopped me from assigning scores to a movie, writing “best of” lists, and all the rest. Nor has it stopped me from voting for end-of-year awards for a number of critics groups I belong to. One of these, the Seattle Film Critics Society, solicited input from our members and just revealed the 2018 Seattle Film Critics Society Awards.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Nicolas Cage Says Sion Sono's 'Prisoners Of The Ghostland' "Might Be The Wildest Movie I've Ever Made"
Nicolas Cage is a madman who has made some wild movies. Last year he battled cultish demon bikers (Mandy), smashed a pool table with a sledgehammer while screaming “The Hokey Pokey” (Mom and Dad), and played a trucker who’s girlfriend’s daughter is possessed by the spirit of his dead wife (Between Worlds). And that was just 2018. But the Academy Award-winning actor recently said his upcoming team up with fellow cinematic lunatic, Sion Sono (Tag), Prisoners of the Ghostland, the craziest movie he’s ever made, and that’s music to my ears.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Simply put, 2015 Norwegian import The Wave is the best disaster movie in recent years. Not only does it deliver on the spectacle such movies require, it’s also full of strong characters, legitimate emotional stakes, and deep investment. It also landed director Roar Uthaug the gig helming the latest Tomb Raider iteration. And all of this for a roughly $6 million price tag.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
The various parts of the Mo Brothers (Headshot) team have been busy as of late. Timo Tjahjanto pummeled us with brutal actioner The Night Comes for Us and horror joint May the Devil Take You, and though he produced Night, the other half of the team, Kimo Stamboel, has his own solo directorial horror film coming, DreadOut. Check out the creepy new trailer below.
Monday, December 10, 2018
The biggest problem with Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla reboot is that it eschews the titular monster in favor or lackluster (read: whack-as-hell) human characters. Sorry, no one wants to see Aaron Taylor-Johnson wooden act his way through scene after scene when we could be hanging out with the King of the Monsters. Before he tussles with King Kong, Godzilla gets another solo joint courtesy of Krampus director Michael Dougherty. Judging from this new Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer, this movie rectifies the woeful lack of monsters in a big way.
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Burning is an apt title for South Korean director Lee Chang-dong’s new film. Not only does fire form a pivotal plot point, at 148 minutes, it’s a long, languid, slow-burn of the highest order, which is sure to put off some viewers. If you can sit through the stillness, however, the movie has much to offer, an oblique, shifting thriller with echoes of Hitchcock.
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
With movies like Dogtooth, The Lobster, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer on his CV, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos crafts singular, alluring, if often cold and standoffish films. With his latest, The Favourite, he delivers his most accessible, warmest offering to date. Not without its own oddities, peculiarities, and the filmmaker’s trademark strangeness, it’s anchored by next-level performances; lush, intricate costume and production design; and will serve as an entry point for many into his cannon.