Movie Rankings (Fall 2018 - Fall 2019)
S tier - Best 10/10
- Drive - 11/10. Haha just kidding, Drive fucking sucks!
- Before Trilogy - 10+/10. Together, the three movies are much stronger than the sum of it's parts. I wanted to give an 11/10, but I didn't want to break my scale and set a bad precedent.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - 10/10. McDonagh is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. This movie and In Bruges were both fantastic. The characters are great. We are introduced Mildred Hayes and sympathize for her at the start. Then we find out Willoughby has cancer and suddenly morality is less clear. Dixon starts as an idiotic racist who redeems himself. Characters like James (Peter Dinklage), Penelope and Anne Hayes only appear for only a few scenes yet I feel like I really "get them". Characters are also super efficent. It's similar to a musical where in a tight knit cast every character has a relationship with the others (think Dear Evan Hansen). The comedy is so witty. I love the scene where the ex-husband keeps making fun of his son for having cereal in his hair - so many subtle jabs. The director often sticks a tragic and comedic scene next to each other. The first one that immediately comes to mind is when Willoughby shoots himself (that was so emotional) and we go to a shot of Dixon being an idiot. McDonaugh puts a lot of focus on his setting. This is most apparent in In Bruges where Bruges represents purgatory on earth. I think this context is important for watching his films. The ending where Dixon and Mildred team up is satisfying. I love that they say that will "decide on the way".
- Before Sunset - 10/10. From the start of the movie, I wanted Jesse to take Celine in his arms and kiss her... but that never happens. There's a lingering suspense for the entire film over whether they will get back together. The film is shot in real time, which gives a much stronger sense of being "in" the movie. The little cues such as when Celine directs Jesse with "let's take a left here" give the sense of being in the present. The style in this movie is stronger and even better than the first. The best scene in the movie was Celine's outburst in the cab. There was so much emotion all at once. That's when you know the feelings are still there for both of them. The dialouge is also very good. They talk exactly the way I'd expect them to after not seeing each other for 9 years. The actors for Jesse and Celine were also producers for the film, and that shows in the development of their characters and dialogue. After the movie ended, I listened to Carmen Fantasy and I felt like I understood the piece in a way I've never felt before.
- Before Midnight - 9.5/10. The reason this isn't a 10 is the ending wasn't satisfying to me. There's this huge climax of a fight and it's unclear how the two will resolve their issues. Then, suddenly, they made up. In the beginning of the series, an arguing couple leads to the two of them to start talking but by the end, they become that couple. It's genuinely hard to take sides during the argument and I felt so emotionally attached to the characters at that point. It's also hard for me to figure out who is right in the argument - I think that's really well done. I wanted so much for them to make up and stay together. The scene at the table was awesome - the banter between all the couples was great. I'm in agreement with Cinefix that this movie is the most honest depiction of love. It's rare to get a series of films that follow a couple over a scale of years. Most RomComs end with the couple getting together. The only thing that comes close is Pam and Jim's relationship in the Office and that took place over many years of the series. The Before Trilogy was able to capture that in three movies which is something special.
A tier - Really good 8-9/10
- Do the Right Thing - 8.5/10. This movie is similar to Three Billboards - all the characters, even the minor ones, have particular personalities; the network of characters is densely populated; it's all about conflict. The beginning was a little slow but after most of the characters are introduced, the middle of the film is just a series of tiny tiny conflicts. Everyone is bickering with each other. The conflicts merge into a tragic climax. It reminds me of the riots in the Joker. I wanted so badly for everyone to make peace and go home! Sal was such an interesting character. So many moments where you think "wow he's a great guy" and then he goes back to being a crank. I also liked Da Mayor. There are no real good guys. It's hard for me to figure out who is right and who is wrong. The real villain is the heat (and the police). I am reminded of the line "Why we argue anyway? Oh, I forgot, it's summertime" from Devil in a New Dress.
- Brokeback Mountain - 8/10. This movie takes the cute scenes that are part of a normal romance movie and invents the gay equivalent. That was so well done. Gyllenhaal (Jack fucking Twist) has another great performance and I'm interested in watching more movies that he stars in. Was a shock when he died.
- The Aviator - 8/10. This movie felt like the precessor to "The Wolf of Wallstreet". I think three hour movies are usually pretty hard to sit through but Scorsese makes it work. Katherine Hepburn actor was fantastic, the accent was very interesting. Favorite lines in the movie were "hot dog" and "golly". Lots of memorable scenes - the lightbulbs crunching on the red carpet, Hughes' film projected onto his body, Hughes meets the Hepburns. Ben Wyatt and Galvin Belson have cameos in the movie.
- The Greatest Showman - 8/10. This movie was part of an experiment - what happens if I listen to a movie before watching it? I listened to the movie audio of the Greatest Showman over the course of the previous week. Doing a listen through the movie definitely attributed to the high rating. Results were interesting! The film was much more colorful than I expected, and I paid a lot more attention to it. Charity and the daughters had a color palette that was different from the rest of the cast. I saw the movie poster so while listening, I imagined that everything in the movie was blue. I did not expect the Lettie to be a bearded woman, although I did think that she was black. I only knew Hugh Jackman was the movie (but a friend spoiled that Zac Efron and Zendaya were in this movie). The movie gives a lot of screen time Zendaya but especially in the beginning, it's just scenes of her looking at Zac so I missed this entire romantic subplot. This is why even after knowing Zendaya was in the movie, I had no idea which character she was. Prior to watching the movie, I really wanted to see the Rewrite the Stars scene because I liked that song the most. I decided to wait and it was so worth it! That scene is fucking amazing!! The song is so much more powerful with the visuals. I have a similar feeling about Million Dreams to a lesser extent. Jenny was more attractive in the movie than in my head. The plot is relatively simple, but I've come to expect that of musicals. It's reeeeeeeeally similar to Hamilton - Barnum is Hamilton; Charity is Eliza; Jenny is Angelica; the main character's ambition causes him to lose sight of what is truly important.
- Joker - 8/10. The high rating is for how the film made me feel. At first, I didn't really want to see the film, but after reading the accompanying culture war, I decided it would be worth. I enjoyed watching this in the theater to gauge other people's. The film can be uncomfortable to watch at times. Some online communities think the media is dumb for describing this film as a banner call for incels. I disagree... The protagonist is a loner who ultimately gains admiration for violence. Perhaps the difference between this and something like American Psycho is it's a lot more personable. I found myself enjoying this movie a lot more than Taxi Driver. The broad strokes of both plots are relatively similar. Maybe it's the little Batman universe plot points throughout the movie that make it more exciting (I love Nolan's Batman movies.) The plot is not particularly strong. There are lots of scenes that disturb my suspension of belief. I normally don't like movies with a weak plot, but the "effect" of the film makes up for it. I recall leaving the theater feeling really shitty. The laughs that Arthur makes were fucking creepy, really well done. Parts of the Gotham City setting feel out of place. To my understanding, it's suppose to represent NYC sometime in the 20th century. Some of the problems in Gotham (high crime rate) don't exist today. Of course, there's income inequality which is relevant. I love this quote from Todd Phillips: "I literally described to Joaquin at one point in those three months as like, ‘Look at this as a way to sneak a real movie in the studio system under the guise of a comic book film’…. It was literally like ‘Let’s make a real movie with a real budget and we’ll call it f–ing Joker’." More interesting discussion on /r/theMotte
- Chinatown - 8-/10. This movies makes the audience focus on the details the same way a private investigator would. We ask the same questions that Gittes does. There's a big reveal that Mrs. Mulwray's secret is her sister/daughter. This reminded me of Mr. Robot where it's revealed that Elliot was abused as a child. I'm not sure why but I'm not a huge fan of this stuff. I wanted Chinatown to be about the water and some conspiracy behind it. In Mr. Robot, I wanted it to be about hacking and society, not "people problems". The movie is super tight. There is no scene that's wasted and each one reveals some clue that is used in the future. My favorite example is when Mulwray bangs her head on the steering wheel and that turns out to be the way she dies. Towards the end, I got a sense that the ending was going to be like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. That is, we had a fairly slow plot with unrelated characters that all clashes in a huge action packed climax where a lot of people die. That's not far from what actually happened. The pacing was a little slow at times. There were a lot of characters and honestly they looked pretty similar. I also couldn't figure out all the character's motivations. I felt a lot of paranoia over who were the good and bad guys. I was confused for a large part of the movie. I'm pretty satisfied with the plot - Gittes reveals that he used be a cop that didn't give a shit. He develops a sense of compassion and he has some sense of morality that drives him to solve the case (he doesn't seem to care about the money). He ultimately fails at saving the person he was trying to protect and that causes him to rebound back to his old self - "As little as possible."
C tier - OK Movies 5-7/10
- A Few Good Men - 7/10. Part of the reason I watched this movie is because on /r/moviesuggestions, it was cited as a movie with a competent villain. I don't completely agree. One of the main attractions for this movie was Jack Nicholson's monologue. It didn't really live up to the hype for me. Tom Cruise is a baller. Military law is weird.
- Before Sunrise - 6.5/10. The characters weren't very likable separately and as a couple. I love this scene though - two people pretending to talk to a friend to express how they truly feel about each other. I also find myself wanting to finish the triology. I do like the idea of watching a couple over the years, similar to Jim and Pam in the Office. Also, the girl is fucking scary. I keep thinking she's gonna kill him.
- American Beauty - 6/10. I loved the beginning. If the entire movie were Lester monologuing, I would have enjoyed it immensely. I found all the characters to be deplorable (in a good way). Directing style is strange, uses a lot of playbacks. I can see why the movie is iconic. Lester has a nice redemption arc.
- Snowpiercer - 6/10. This is my second time watching the movie. My impressions are about the same - I think the ending sucks and it totally blotches the movie. Why do they destroy the train and kill all of humanity? Why does the main character condone this? Personally, I would have preferred if he became the conductor as planned.
- Frozen 2 - 5.5/10. Honestly, I'll watch any Frozen sequel, I like the characters (Anna) enough. Character development kinda sucked though. Olaf is in some philosophical phase that doesn't make too much sense to me. He keeps talking about change... who is the target audience here? The kids that watched Frozen that are older now? There was a decent amount of expoisition to say that everyone is a few years older now (Oh I see the first movie came out six years ago so the Frozen universe is in real time.) That's actually pretty cool. I think something similar goes in in HTTYD and the Before Trilogy and it works out well. Anna... I really wish she got some powers. There was some plot points about her being powerless so I thought she would have some kind of magic. Instead she becomes the queen. Honestly that was a big twist for me - should she really be queen...? Kristoff has the stupidest arc, he's basically a blubbering idiot the entire movie. I couldn't believe what I was watching when I saw his solo song. It felt so out of place in Frozen. Elsa makes negative progress as a person? We dedicated an entire movie to her not shutting others out and she does it again (not in a redeeming way either, she does it towards the end!) Plot wasn't great either. Who is the person singing? There was so much anticipation for it but I left that scene confused. Was it their dead mother? Was it Elsa the entire time? Why did Elsa freeze? What happened to the parents? This was a man vs nature type movie which is unique, I suppose. The film itself is also a lot darker than the first, both in color and mood. As an aside, the Into the Unknown melody is basically this. The music was not amazing. The mysterious melody did get stuck in my head though and it seems like "Into the Unknown" is suppose to be the flagship song (I'm basing this off the fact that Weezer and Panic! did covers of this song). I feel kinda snubbed with "Show Yourself" though. Who was it? The theme just doesn't have the same appeal as "Let it Go". The animation was absolutely amazing. I remember the Elsa running into the ocean scene from the trailer. The way that scene ends with her taming the horse is awesome. I enjoyed every scene with the water horse. The chameleon was ok as well but I wish it actually did something. The callbacks to Frozen 1 were good too - Olaf summarizing the plot and Elsa listening to herself sing Let it Go. This time around, I notice that Frozen has a top notch cast! Idina (Elsa) played Elphaba, Kristen Bell(Anna)... Well Eleanor from the Good Place which is top notch to me, Johnathan Groff (Kristoff) is King George in Hamilton and Jon Gadd (Olaf) is Elder Cunningham in Book of Mormon. These are big names in the musical world
- Being John Malkovich - 5/10. ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
F tier - did not enjoy <4/10
- Unbreakable - 4/10. Pacing was slow. They spent so much time convincing us that the main character was unbreakable. We GET IT, he is unbreakable!!! The twist ending is not satisfying at all. This was recommended as a movie where the villain is competent. Unclear if that was the case. Horace picked this movie and it suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked.
- Steve Jobs - 4/10. This movie suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked. I have this gripe dramatizations because the question "did this really happen?" takes me out of the immersion. The movie is about Steve's relationship with everyone else. The movie is divided into three acts. It's VERY convenient that each relationship features a bit of development and every time, it's in the 30 minutes right before the presentation. Yeah I don't buy it. I think for this topic, a documentary would be far more interesting. Also, Jobs is an asshole and has no redeeming qualities. I hoped that he would acknowledge the Apple II in the last presentation, but nope. Perhaps I identify more with Woz because I am an engineer. Some scenes are pretty cool but overall, the film was not enjoyable at all.
- Silence of the Lambs
- When Harry Met Sally
- Children of Men
- In Bruges
- The Fighter
- The Good the Bad and the Ugly (rewatch)
- Memento: My enjoyment of the movie went like this. "The premise is interesting, but I don't think it'll stand up to a whole movie. Hence why I haven't watched this movie yet" -> "Huh, I guess the premise leads to some interesting narrative moments + simulates the life of the protagonist. Knowing the answer to a whodunnit can be played around with interesting ways" -> "The premise leads to some interesting moments, but over the course of the whole movie, it ruins the suspense too much and makes the movie less enjoyable" -> "Wait......." -> "Holy shit". The movie gives me a whole new level of appreciation for a working memory. Definitely Nolan's purest/least commercialized movie. I once heard someone say that Nolan movies have great ideas but are marred by his desire to make commercially viable films. Memento is the exception.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- Being John Malkovich
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotted Mind: Much like Synecdoche NY, this is very close to how much "art house" movie I can handle. Unlike Synecdoche NY, this has a much more understandable plot (compared to Synecdoche NY). I wasn't too interested in the B-plot of this movie, but the examination of choosing to lose memories and its true costs is brilliant.
- Synecdoche NY: Impossible to give this movie a legitimate rating. In some sense, I feel like I got "Eulered" into placing this movie so high. But, there were enough stand out quotes/moment (like the ending) that struck me that I do feel this movie deserves this placement. Might rewatch after watching YMS's analysis - too much of the movie confuses me to just watch the movie again. Wouldn't surprise me if the director was a DFW fan.
- The Thing: The best horror movie I've ever watched. Realistically smart characters faced with the worst of horrors and trying their best to cope. Watts's retelling from the monster's side adds a interesting dimension to the film.
- Avengers: Endgame: Enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I've never really considered myself a Marvel "fan" - I find most of the movies adequate, but most of them don't really stand out to me. I didn't even watch Infinity War in theaters. However, I do have a large amount of respect for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The level of dominance that Marvel has achieved over the last 7 years has been unprecedented, and Marvel movies have been such a cultural force over that span. Thus, I journeyed to watch this movie out of respect for the closing of an era, a pilgrimmage of sorts to the biggest movie moment in my lifespan. As for the movie itself, it banks heavily on cashing in on the emotional capital they've built up over 10 years - not that it's a bad thing. The time travel really highlighted that for me. When they showed the classic NYC Avengers shot, with the camera circling around the main cast, I thought of all the youtube videos I've seen that snippet in - Every Frame a Painting (RIP), Why CGI doesn't Suck, etc. That was great. Captain America picking up Mjolnir was another great moment. Picking up the hammer has been at the core of many great moments throughout Marvel, and that moment got the biggest cheer in my theater. Overall, Game of Thrones has shown me how badly a show can end, and I gained a lot of appreciation that this phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ended with a great movie.
- Interstellar: Classic example of the "high highs, low lows" archetype. The tsunami scene (where the music represented the passing of time on Earth), the whole Mann arc (absurdly relatable), and the heel turn were highs that very few movies reach. However, the slow first third of the movie and the unbelievable "Deus Ex Machina"(much worse than the beginning) that was the ending almost ruined the movie for me. As a principle, I like to reward ambitious movies - hence why Interstellar still finds its way high on my list.
- Baby Driver (rewatch): Plotwise, nothing special. One could likely have guessed much of it just from knowing the premise of the movie. Still, the movie manages to be entertaining partially due to stellar acting performances (particularly Jon Hamm's). However, where the movie peaks is when it starts to blend music and action (much of the cuts/movements/things that happen are synced with the music). The "Never Gonna Give You Up" scene in the diner is the pinnacle of this ideal, and in particular, the moment Buddy starts to sing the words of the song. Very fun movie, and massively entertaining.
- Shawshank Redemption: Loved the quote "get busy living, or get busy dying" before I even watched the movie, and the context only made it better. However, I'm somewhat disappointed with this film. Not because I disliked it - I thought it was a great film! The list of films in contention for the best movie of all time is short. Unluckily, after watching it, I'm worried that Shawshank finds its way onto this list not due its spectacular highs but due to its consistency. Most people who watch this film will consider it a great film; I doubt many people will consider it the greatest film.
- Hero: Some critics of this film call it Chinese propaganda. I don't see it. Not moreso than any American military or anti-terrorist film. Sacrificing one's own life for the greater good isn't a new idea. Nor is it an especially China-centric one. I personally felt that the sacrifices and decisions made by the characters in this movie were meaningful. Other than the messages of the movie, the movie is objectively beautifully shot. The usage of color themes is visually striking, and there are many visual shots/styles that I don't see present in western films.
- Mad Max Fury Road (rewatch): When I first watched this movie I thought it was the "perfect" film - as in, no action film could surpass this. I still believe the action set pieces in this film are near perfection ("Witness me!"), and the action scenes do encompass more character development/world building than some give credit for. But on a second watch of the film, when the glamour starts to become overwhelming, the novelty fading, the second half of the film starts to drag. All my favorite moments were in the first half, but they were memorable enough to land this movie here on my list.
- The Departed: The best film about lying I've ever seen. The premise originally stuck out to me as something I'd like, but I had no idea how far they could run with this premise. If you've pretended to be someone else for so long that nobody knows you're pretending, what's the difference? Besides the incredible amounts of intrigue packed into the movie, I find the casting to be phenomenal. DiCaprio and Damon both fit perfectly into their roles, and oh wow, Marky Mark what a performance. Single handedly stole every scene he was in. I've seen some rag on Nicholson's performance, but I haven't seen enough of them to find them cliched so I simply found them very ... evocative. One thing I find interesting is simply how many A-list actors found themselves in this movie. Perhaps that's why every discussion I've seen about this movie just uses the actor's names instead of the character's names. Perhaps that's another level of "pretending to be someone else you're not". As a side note, I'm not sure how many of the meta-levels of this concept fans have analyzed into the film. Ie: Is Damon impotent? Is Nicholson impotent? Is Damon gay? Is Nicholson gay? etc.
- Se7en: In some ways, the opposite of Interstellar. I watched both movies back to back on a flight. While Interstellar is a movie with great moments that's nearly ruined by the ending, Se7en is an adequate movie that's elevated to greatness by its 3rd act. I've heard some people say they thought the movie would still have been great without its 3rd act, and I disagree. The rest of the film was enjoyable enough, with the unique crimes and the budding relationship between Somerset and Mills, but it's the 3rd act of the film that cements this movie's place as a classic. Imagine how much less interesting the movie would have been if the villain had been your classic baddie and the movie ended with a chase sequence and shoot-out. No, the 3rd act ties the movie together and makes the film.
- Cloud Atlas
- Pulp Fiction
- The Aviator
- Taxi Driver
- Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
- Primer: This movie's plot feels like an excuse to try and write an consistent set of rules for time travel and examine how far the mechanism can be taken without breaking the rules entirely. Although the characters definitely take a backseat to the time travel, the characters are smart enough to really explore the consequences of this time travel, resulting in plenty of drama. Definitely not a movie everyone will like, but if you like smart movies/movies where your mind gets blown, this is definitely worth a watch.
- Good Will Hunting
- Spider Man: Far From Home
- The Truman Show
- Do the Right Thing
- Dr. Strangelove
- The King's Speech
- Coherence: Less mind-bending than Primer, but a more likable character arc. Ending seemed like a bit of a cheap twist.
- No Country For Old Men: Disappointed with this film. I thought I would really love this film, but left underwhelmed. There's a couple of really great scenes, notably the gas station one, but the overall tone of the movie was too nihilistic for me to appreciate.
- American Psycho: Watched it for the memes, found the movie more disturbing than I thought it'd be. Christian Bale really carries the movie for me - I can't really find the core themes interesting enough to find the movie to be phenomenal. My favorite scenes from the movies are the scenes I watched before the movie that convinced me to watch the movie in the first place. Huey Lewis and the News, as well as the cardstock scene.
- The Wandering Earth: Watched on poor quality, halved FPS, and with a bunch of overlayed text floating around, which probably detracted from the experience. Ambitious film with some great moments (an archetype I like), I thought the final "plan" was well done. However, suffers from somewhat formulaic action sequences and some characters I didn't really care for.
- The Fountain: In some sense, I was put off by this film in the same way that I'm put off by propaganda films. It's definitely a very spiritual film with some great moments, but I think I'm currently incompatible with its fundamental message. I just moved this movie's ranking from below Contagion to below The Wandering Earth, as I think the great moments (especially loved the tree of life/present day arcs) in this movie should be given credit. Definitely a candidate for "movie that might grow on me over the years".
- Lost in Translation: This movie has three scenes that really stood out to me, two positively and one negatively. The karaoke scene, Charlotte looking back, and the prostitute scene. I wanted to like this movie - I really like the metaphor (maybe thanks to Kanye...), but the alienation of the Japanese jarred me in this movie. The prostitute scene in particular was incredibly uncomfortable to watch. I understand that it's necessary for the main dynamic between the leading characters, and that these scenes arguably furthered the dynamic. I just wish that it wasn't necessary to play into every Japanese stereotype to do so.
- Forrest Gump: This might just be a cultural zeitgeist type of thing, but I didn't really connect with the film. None of the cultural events that happen emotionally register with me, and neither does Forrest as a character. He was sympathetic enough of a character and I rooted for him, but not enough to carry the film. Also, really didn't like Jenny in the film. I get that a lot of her manipulative actions stemmed her from her abuse as a child, but just as your parents don't excuse you from all blame, neither does Jenny's terrible past excuse her from taking advantage of Forrest for most of her life. I see why people call this a conservative movie - the army glory, Forrest overcoming his disabilities (although he was blessed with being great at running...), the self made film, the condemnation of Jenny's "alternative" lifestyle, etc. I wouldn't say its conservative - more so "traditional". Whether you consider that an euphemism or not, Forrest Gump seems like a story about the non-talented everyday American who succeeds through hard work and doing what he's told. As I said, might just be the zeitgeist of 90s America, an age where the US turned its attention from the USSR inwards and focused on itself.
- Zombieland: I think Michael Cera has a monopoly on his archetype in Hollywood (quirky awkward guy). I wonder if some writers write their scripts with him in mind. I can't imagine any other actor giving the same performance in this movie. Overall, another guilty pleasure movie. I enjoyed Tallahassee especially. Not much else to say about this movie. If you enjoy this kind of "satirical but not really" version of a zombie movie, you'll like it.
- Tucker and Dale vs. Evil: Like Zombieland, a "satirical but not really" horror movie. The overwhelming emotion I felt in this movie was disbelief for how stupid the kids are. I get that's the point of the movie, but wow, those kids were dumb. Like, really dumb.
- Contagion: This movie felt a bit too clinical for me. Feels like a CDC propaganda film (vaccines, anti-pseudoscience, etc.). I believe that the movie is extremely scientifically accurate - I just don't think it makes for extremely compelling cinema. Not that I didn't enjoy the movie, or that it didn't have drama. I'm just unconvinced that this kind of "drama by collective" can create a truly phenomenal movie.
- How To Train Your Dragon 3: Eh. 1 >> 2 >> 3. My main issue with this film is that the villain seemed tacked on. The villains in 1 had a clear purpose, as well as the one in 2. This movie seemed to just meander around, and the villain never really seemed present throughout the movie. I learned after the movie that the villain in this movie was not the original plan, that the original plan for 2 and 3 involved Hiccup's mother fighting him, and putting the villain from 2 in the 3rd movie. This movie just seemed like a step down in stakes. I did enjoy the ending though, I was surprised that they ended on a somewhat bittersweet note. Props to the movie for doing that. Interestingly, other than who I watched the movie with, nobody else was in the movie theater when I watched this. Strange experience.
- Limitless: Another guilty pleasure movie. In much the same way I enjoyed Now You See Me's omniscient villains, I enjoyed watching Eddie Morra outwit everyone else. This movie also deserves credit for popularizing the idea of nootropics. However, the movie shoots past my suspension of disbelief with how "smart" the character is. I get that writing characters that are smarter than you is hard, but Eddie gets essentially supernatural powers. I think I would really enjoy a scifi film that examined the societal effect of a mechanism that moderately increases human intelligence. Kinda like Gattaca, but extended towards brain-level effects.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters: Phenomenal trailers (perhaps the best trailers I've ever seen), but they also put 90% of the great moments in it. The human characters were forgettable.
- Now You See Me: Very much so a guilty pleasure movie. Terrible movie - I didn't care about any of the characters, the twist at the end seemed convoluted and a classic example of a bad twist. Feels like the writers wanted to make The Prestige, but worse. Still, I loved the Prestige, and I tend to love magic movies and villains that seem omniscient, so I enjoyed watching the movie. Still a bad movie though.
- Annie Hall (unfinished): Watched this film because I saw someone say that Harry Met Sally and Annie Hall are two rom coms for people who don't like rom coms. I loved Harry Met Sally, but didn't care for the characters in this movie. However, this was the 7th? movie I'd watched that day and I went to sleep right after, so I've been meaning to give this movie another shot.
- There Will Be Blood (unfinished): I watched the first half, and I wasn't very engaged. I've heard some people mention that this movie is "80% drudgery made up with some phenomenal moments", so I want to finish this film at some point.
- The Imitation Game: The worst film I've watched in a long time. I just didn't care for any of the characters. The fact that this movie drastically departs from Turing's real story, pitting him against the government, the coworkers, a Russian spy, or basically anything that will characterize Turing even more as an isolated tortured genius doesn't help. I tend to have a soft spot for movies like this, but I found this movie unbelievably boring.
- Under The Skin (unfinished): I have found the limits of how much "art house" I can handle in a movie.
- Game of Thrones Season 8: I will make an exception from movies for this one.
- Harry Met Sally: One of the first movies that I saw where I never really felt bored, didn't see big flaws in any part of the movie, and at multiple moments in the film was incredibly impressed with the framing of the shots. The way that it's cut with interviews with couples threw me off a bit first, but ended up being really charming as well.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri: I thought this was going to be a really artsy movie that I wouldn't enjoy, but I thought that the characters were really fascinating.
- Good Will Hunting
- Silence of the Lambs
- The Aviator: I don't know how to feel about this movie. I enjoyed each scene, but the movie starts to drag on due to its length. Also, it was kind of neat but it was also about some guy I don't really care about.
- Avengers: End Game: Actually kind of similar to The Aviator, in that nothing in particular was terrible but it dragged on. Also, time travel sucks and moments felt like pandering. Not just the women charging scene, which was really dumb, but also lots of moments where Captain America did cool things and various power level imbalances (why didn't Captain Marvel do more?).
- The Greatest Showman
- Chinatown: My movie rankings are not based on historical impact or cultural significance, which would move Chinatown up the list. While I enjoyed the movie's numerous trope reversals and the continual references to what could have been throwaway moments in the first act, I thought that the movie demanded too much of the viewer. Part of the problem may have come from simply confusing the characters with each other. In terms of technical aspects such as lighting or Nicholson and Huston's performances, the movie was impressive as well. I could see this movie rising in my rankings as I think about it more, but ultimately it was somewhat disappointing compared to expectations.
- Before Sunrise: A slow start, but then the last hour sped by and I forgot I was even watching a movie. I might have been biased by Zaibo's review but I did find that I desperately wanted to start the next movie to learn out more.
- Scott Pilgram v. The World
- Brokeback Mountain
- Spider Man: Far From Home
- American Psycho
- Children of Men:
- Mad Max: Fury Road - This is the last good movie on the list; there's a heavy drop-off. Surprisingly good, funny, and more memorable than it has any right to be, perhaps because of memability. A rare C movie I'd watch again.
- Drive: 4/10
- American Beauty: 4/10
- Unbreakable: 2/10
- Limitless: 2/10. I went into this movie hoping it would be a fun, indulgent exploration of what it would be like to be addicted to a drug that made you brilliant. Instead, I got a childless, mindless exploration of what it would be like being addicted to a drug that made you godlike, and then wasting it, and then somehow ending up on top of the world without ever deserving it.
- Under The Skin: 0/10. We left this movie unfinished. Thank goodness, because it was pretty unwatchable. It felt like someone went to film school for a year, thought "hey, I can do this," and then dropped a fat load of money to blackmail Scarlett Johansson into actng in it without learning plot, characters, or when do use certain shots. This is the only one unfinished because of the movie being terrible, and also totally felt like a waste of time.
S tier - 10/10, masterpiece
- none yet
A tier - 8-9/10, excellent
- none yet
B tier - 7/10, very good
- none yet
C tier - 5-6/10, solid/good, worth my time
- none yet
D tier - 4/10, bad, not worth my time, but had a signficantly large number of decently enjoyable moments
- none yet
F tier - 1-3/10, very bad, definitely not worth my time
- American Psycho: "Although it's first on the list, I give this at most a three out of ten." Decent premise of a neurotic businessman who can't contain his neuroticism and goes on secret killing rampages as a result. Mostly kind of a pointless movie about how society at large doesn't care about the wrongdoing of the upper class as long as surrounding individuals can maintain their bottom line and make money. Pretty banal message. A bit gory at times, overall not particularly necessary. 3/10.
- Unbreakable: At first, I thought this was a bit of a cute movie about a medically fragile man, "Mr. Glass", looking to find a superhero by becoming a real-life villain perpetrating various homicidal crimes. Overall the pacing was far too slow, almost sluggish at times. Small twist at the end. Overall, decent but unremarkable. 3/10.
Garbage tier - 0/10, refuse in the form of a film
- Children of Men: Frenzied, melodramatic pile of garbage. This film is about a post-apocalyptic society that has become infertile. During the movie, a woman is found to be pregnant, and the plot is about making sure she safely delivers the baby while trying to keep her out of harms way in a dangerous world. The overall premise sounds alright, but the driving chaotic pace of catastrophic events felt rather unnecessary and annoying. Additionally, the director seems to have a penchant for melodrama. The main character's wife dies, best friend dies, and eventually the main character himself dies. These events are crafted to happen in a very dramatic heart-pulling fashion, but overdone to the point of being pathetically mawkish. My best guess is that the chaos and melodrama were the director's best attempt to disguise the lack of any kind of substantive content. Overall this movie is a heaping pile of garbage, filled with consecutive chains of melodramatic cliches, a disorganized, anarchic plot line, and lack of any meaningful subject matter. 0/10.
Tbh I was probably playing Monkey Ball during most of these :(
- Kill Bill
- Full Metal Jacket
- Tree of Life (Horace never did and never will finish this movie lol)
- Dallas Buyer's Club (Zaibo watched this solo :'( )
- The Graduate
- Movies you should go in with out trailers or descriptions
- There Will Be Blood
- Zaibo kinda wants to watch Taxi Driver again
- A Clockwork Orange
- Devil's Advocate
- Lawrence of Arabia
- Wreck it Ralph (the disney princess scene looked interesting)
- Muholland Drive
- The Third Man
- Fruitvale station