Did you miss me? ...Yeah, me neither. Anyway, I'm back with the latest installment in my BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR franchise (with 3 sequels currently in production). This is going to be an exciting week for the film community, I can tell you that much.
40. Kingsman: The Secret Service
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Yeah, I was one of the non-believers. I watched the trailer close to a dozen times, and every time found myself thinking this looked like one of the dumbest movies ever. But as it turns out, this was one of the most funny, exciting, and surprising movies of the year. Not even Sam Jackson's silly performance was too distracting.
39. Bridge Of Spies
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Okay, so there's no way anyone could have expected anything mind-blowing from this, but instead of being the boring, dull movie it could easily have been (like most recent Spielberg films have been), it was oddly inspired and quite intense when it needed to be. Rylance and Hanks are great on-screen together, and the atmosphere the film creates is totally engrossing. Spielberg has not made a movie this good for over a decade.
38. The Overnight
Directed by Patrick Brice
Yes, this is a sex comedy, and yes, it is pretty graphic and makes you feel very uncomfortable at times, but man is it good. Funny and heartfelt, there is a certain air of mystery to the characters, but as the film progresses they reveal themselves to be well-developed and thoroughly captivating. Great performances all around -- though Schwartzman is the standout.
37. Dude Bro Party Massacre III
Directed by Tomm Jacobsen, Michael Rousselet & Jon Salmon
It's rare for me to get to watch this kind of movie the year it comes out, and now that I have done so, I want it to always happen. This is a late-night party movie if I've ever seen one. Campy and ridiculous from beginning to end, there is nothing "good" about this movie, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the hell out of it. Watch it with friends. And beer. You'll thank me.
36. The Big Short
Directed by Adam McKay
One of the most terrifying movies I've ever seen about money. Though I can honestly say roughly 60% of this film flew over my head (financial talk is confusing), the remaining 40% was equal parts hilarious, captivating, and disturbing. One could call this movie out for being fear-mongering or sensationalism, but could that maybe just be the big banks talking? ...yeah, no, but that doesn't mean this movie wasn't really good.
35. Best Of Enemies
Directed by Robert Gordon & Morgan Neville
Focusing on the hate-hate relationship and debates between William Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal that ultimately led to a change in television forever, this documentary is hilariously satisfying and an interesting look at the behind-the-scenes, legitimate hate between these two men. Somehow, knowing it wasn't all just an act makes it all the more fun.
34. It Follows
Directed by David Robert Mitchell
Though I wouldn't hail it as the masterpiece people seem to be making it out as, It Follows was a legitimately creepy horror movie with an interesting approach and a fantastic musical score. Though the symbolism here is, well, a little silly, this film creates an atmosphere of dread that sticks with you long after it is over. You won't look at strangers walking alone the same ever again.
Directed by Tom McCarthy
Another film I wouldn't be so quick to call a work of absolute genius, but another really good movie with strong performances, a good script, and a message that is sure to irritate catholics in all sorts of ways (which earns it bonus points, because that's funny to me). This is a very matter-of-fact type film. It doesn't sensationalize everything like a good deal of movies dealing with a subject like this might. And that's part of what makes it work so well. There is nothing about this movie that wasn't good.
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino
One of the most breathtakingly beautiful films of the year, this movie could have easily made it into my top 10 had there been slight changes, but due to some weird inconsistencies and odd narrative choices, it just doesn't quite work for me. Which is a shame, because so much about this movie was basically perfect. Caine, Keitel, and Dano are all terrific, the cinematography is wonderful, the music is lovely, and there is just enough emotional depth here to get you misty-eyed. It's a real treat, but definitely is a little too Sorrentino-ey for its own good.
31. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour
Another beautiful-looking film, this vampire romance drama bears a strong resemblance to Let The Right One In (much like Spring, which was featured in part 1 of my list), but doesn't ever seem like a rip-off at all. It's not a particularly creepy movie, and the performances are a little stiff, but that strange, dispassionate approach only helps add to the bizarre, otherworldly look and feel this film has going for it. One of the first movies I saw from 2015, and it was still one of the best.
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