And here are the other 5 movies in my list – with other films good enough to be mentioned.
I admire the simple but profound storytelling of Jeff Nichols’ “Loving”. At first, the movie looks conventional on the surface, but then it slowly reveals itself as an intimate and sensitive portrayal of one plain relationship between two ordinary good people who find themselves in a very difficult situation just because of their love, and it is touching to observe small universal human details from them. Like any couple, they simply love each other, and that is all they can show to us, while enduring and then prevailing in their unjust plight. With the fine nuanced performances by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, this is another impressive work from one of the best American filmmakers in our time, and its powerful human drama is certainly one of the most memorable ones in this year.
7. Sing Street
“Sing Street” is a small but sweet musical movie with lots of charm and energy. While its musical period background is not that familiar to me, I was amused and entertained by its superlative soundtrack consisting of old and new songs, and I also enjoyed its sincere coming-of-age tale full of colorful characters I came to like and care about more at the end of the movie. With its youthful heart and soul reminiscent of Alan Parker’s “The Commitments”, the movie is a welcoming return to form for its director John Carney, who once delighted and touched us with “Once”.
8. The Witch
Shrouded in the gnawing sense of dread and terror, Robert Eggers’ “The Witch” will give you a creepy experience as calmly observing how its characters living around the New England region during the 17th century are slowly crumbled under an unknown influence out there. When it is over, you may wonder about what exactly happened to them, but you will not easily forget its spooky atmosphere enfolding several chilling scenes to disturb and frighten you. A good horror film is not something we come across often in these days, and this is certainly one of a few better cases we have in this year.
“Krisha” is a small family drama on the surface, it does feel like a horror movie from time to time as observing what may be another bad day of its deeply troubled heroine. The more we get to know about her, the more it is apparent to us that she is a walking mess of troubles, and we cannot help but brace ourselves as watching her in an environment which is not suitable for her at all for good reasons. This is not a comfortable film to watch at all, but the director Trey Edward Shults and his actress Krisha Fairchild give us one of most harrowing dramas about addiction during recent years, which will give you some human understanding on how alcoholics can cause troubles for not only themselves but also people around them.
10. A War
Danish film “A War”, directed by Tobias Lindholm, observes difficult moral matters of action and consequence from inside and outside the war. While we come to understand an impossible circumstance its hero and others happen to face on their battlefield, we also see the grave unforeseen consequence he must deal with in one way or another during the aftermath. Both visceral and sensitive in its realistic approach to war and its human ramifications, the movie does not resort to giving easy answers to its moral dilemma as calmly maintaining its non-judgmental viewpoint, and the result is another thoughtful war drama with raw emotional power.
Runner-up (no particular order): “Everybody Wants Some!!”, “Hail Caesar!”, “The Handmaiden”, “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”, “I, Daniel Blake”, “Indignation”, “The Measure of a Man”, “Midnight Special”, “Mountain Cry”, “Southside with You”, “Under the Shadow”, and “The Wailing”
Special mention (no particular order): “10 Cloverfield Lane”, “The BFG”, “A Bigger Splash”, “Certain Women”, “Don’t Breathe”, “Hell or High Water”, “Julieta”, “The Jungle Book”, “Louder than Bombs”, “Love & Friendship”, “Pete’s Dragon”, “Rams”, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, “Spa Night”, and “Sully”
Yes, I belatedly watched them, and they are all good (No Particular Order)
“45 Years“, “Anomalisa”, “Carol”, “Creed”, “The Big Short”, “Brooklyn”, “The Hateful Eight”, “Mustang”, “The Revenant”, “Room”, “Son of Saul”, “Spotlight”, and “Steve Jobs”