It’s been a pretty great year of movies already! And there are plenty of movies I want to see but haven’t gotten to yet. And, of course, the second half will bring plenty more. BUT, of the movies I HAVE seen so far this year, here were the ones I’d consider the best so far.
5. Tully – I feel like this movie didn’t end up getting the buzz that some of the other Reitman/Cody pictures have. But, I think stacked up against Juno and Young Adult, I’d put it at least equal to YA and above Juno. I think the humor and the humanity and Theron’s performance are what stuck with me the most about this. And the ending… while at first I wasn’t sure about, has also helped lodge this in my brain.
4. Won’t You Be My Neighbor – It’s not an overstatement to say I NEEDED this movie. I kind of dreaded it, too, because having grown up with Mr. Rogers, and thinking nothing but fondly of him, I knew it could be an emotional experience from the get go. But it was just nice to be reminded of someone who was a thoroughly great human being from all accounts. But, still a human. There are criticisms that maybe the movie didn’t dig enough into the man’s life. And maybe that’s true? But the movie was what I wanted, to be honest.
3. Hereditary – I love Rosemary’s Baby. It’s my favorite horror movie. And Hereditary hits some of those same notes, in the way it builds dread. And, it’s a sort of existential dread along with the more directly creepy dread. The movie has a lot to say about families, and what we pass on and how we relate to our families. And the ending is so perfect. It’s a pretty brutal movie, led by Toni Collette’s incredible performance.
2. Annihilation – I love smart sci-fi. I love smart sci-fi that shows you stuff you haven’t seen before and lodges itself in your brain. Although I’m not sure if it was quite as successful as Ex Machina in some ways, it’s a very different sort of movie than Ex Machina. The ending, and the weirdness that happens there… that’s what really puts this near the top of the list for me. There’s a lot of interesting imagery and horrors along the way, but the ending turns the weirdness up to 11.
1. First Reformed – This one totally snuck up on me. I’d read little buzz about it. I knew next to nothing about it going in. And I’d recommend doing the same if you go see it. It’s Ethan Hawke’s finest performance. It’s very, very relevant to the world we’re living in, and I found it COMPLETELY unpredictable. This one is going to be hard to beat at the end of the year, I suspect, when I made a top 10.