Movie Revolt’s Top 10 Movies of the Year (So Far)
Article By: Dan Clark
We are a little over half way through the year so I thought I would look back on the films that have stood out to me so far. Typically the first part of the year is filled with throw away movies. Films the studios have little faith in but could make some noise with less competition . Things do tend to get better as the summer approaches and the blockbusters begin. This year is a little different as there were a number of unexpected gems. Typically my half way point list and end of the year list have little in common. The combination of watching more films, rewatching old ones, and time causes overall opinions to change. This year however I feel there are more than a few films that could make my final end of the year list. I guess only time and more movie watching will tell.
Directed By: Michael Dowse
Written By: Jay Baurchel and Evan Goldberg.
Starring: Seann Wiliiam Scott, Jay Baruchel , and Alison Pill
Synopsis: Labeled an outcast by his brainy family, a bouncer overcomes long odds to lead a team of underperforming misfits to semi-pro hockey glory, beating the crap out of everything that stands in his way.
Why I chose it: My list is mainly made up of two different types of films: Those I simply had a lot of fun with and those that really surprised me. Goon is a film that extremely surprised me. Going into this I assumed it would be a raunchy and over the top violent comedy, but that wasn’t the case. For one Sean William Scott wasn’t relying on his same old stick. He was more low key and sympathetic then the wild and crazy party guy we see him play in the American Pie films. His moral center gave the film a heart it would not have had otherwise. Plus I was happy to see a sports film that didn’t rely on the same old clichés we have come to expect. If you haven’t checked this out yet I would advise giving it a poke.
Directed By: James Watkins
Written By: Susan Hill, Jane Goldman
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, and Ciaran Hinds
Synopsis: A Dispatched by his boss to an isolated seaside village to tie up a recently deceased client’s affairs, a young London lawyer finds himself in a community grappling with dark secrets — and a haunting presence with a sinister agenda.
Why I chose it: The Woman in Black is Daniel Radcliffe’s first big attempt to get out of the Harry Potter shadow. I’m not sure how effective this attempt was at shedding that stigma it at least is a step in the right direction. I appreciated the throwback style in which this film was made. The atmosphere was palpable, the scares were organic, and the story was classic. The camera work was fantastic and help establish this eerily aesthetic. One of the best horror films I have seen in recent memory.
Directed By: Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Written By: Michael Bacall
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and Ice Cube
Synopsis: In this action-comedy based on the 1980s-debuted TV show, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play youthful undercover cops who work the local high school. There to investigate a drug ring, the guys find that much has changed since their own school days.
Why I chose it: I can’t believe I am saying this but I’m becoming a fan of Channing Tatum. The man that used to be a vacuum of charisma is having the year of his life. He started the year off right with the surprise hit 21 Jump Street. A movie that sounded like a mistake in every way was actually quite charming and funny. It didn’t take itself too seriously and would often poke fun at its own existence. Johan Hill and Channing Tatum have great chemistry and their ability to go off the cuff keeps the laughs going. I was also a huge fan of the way they treated the ‘new ‘high school world. It was a creative and well thought out idea. This is easily one of the best TV to movie adaptions to date.
Directed By: Gareth Evans
Written By: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Anada George, and Ray Sahetapy
Synopsis: When an elite SWAT team goes after a drug lord holed up in Jakarta’s most notorious tenement building, they find themselves trapped and forced to fight their way out through brutal gangsters loyal to the kingpin they were trying to assassinate.
Why I chose it: I like my kick-ass balls to the wall action. The Raid is that in every way. Most of that is due to the simple premise. Sure the plot reads more like a video game than an actual movie. The acting is limited and the dialogue is laughable. Luckily the action progresses naturally and never gets too repetitive. CGI has taken over today’s action films so seeing one come along completely absent of it was particularly refreshing. With rumors of an American remake already I wonder if it could come even close to this film’s chaos. The actors have little concern for their saftey as the throw their bodies around like rag dolls. I don’t see many American stars willing to go to those limits.
Directed By: Bobcat Goldthwait
Written By: Bobact Goldthwait
Starring: Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr, and Mackenzie Brooke Smith
Synopsis: On a mission to rid society of its most repellent citizens, terminally ill Frank makes an unlikely accomplice in 16-year-old Roxy.
Why I chose it: My sensibilities just seem to match Goldthwait’s style. His complete lack of concern of critical response is something I envy. Sure his voice is often too loud and he can get preachy when his characters go into their long diatribes. The positive side of that is he puts those moments to good use. God Bless America is a surprisingly sweet tale considering the amount of brutal violence. The leads had great chemistry and really lose themselves in their roles. The movie that isn’t for everyone was nearly everything for me. I’m always a fan of a satirical look into the crumbling of our society.
Directed By: Jay Dplass, Mark Duplass
Written By: Jay Dplass, Mark Duplass
Starring: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, and Judy Greer
Synopsis: Dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his mother, slacker Jeff might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends the day with his brother as he tracks his possibly adulterous wife.
Why I chose it: Jeff, Who Lives at Home is small film with ambitious goals. Jason Segal is great as the man searching for meaning and Ed Helms is equally impressive as his less than fantastic brother. Like true Duplass fashion the comedic and dramatic elements complement each other well. There is sweetness to the lackadaisical aproach it has to its own subject matter. I became invested in the story as I waited to see how it played out. When we got there I was both surprised and happy to see the final result.
Directed By: Ridley Scott
Written By: Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, and Michael Fassbender
Synopsis: A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
Why I chose it: I can’t think of any film in recent memory that has been nearly as divisive as Prometheus. Debate, theories, and visceral reactions have flooded the internet since this has hit theatres. I agree the movie has issues but I feel some of the extreme negative remarks are an overreaction. One thing that has been universally praised is the film’s visuals. The art direction is beautiful and is as close to a lock to win an Oscar as anything else this year. I advise you check this out for yourself to see where you fall in the Prometheus debate.
Directed By: Drew Goddard
Written By: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, and Anna Hutchinson
Synopsis: Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods
Why I chose it: Give The Cabin in the Woods the cult film of the year award right now. What some thought was a paint by numbers horror flick was nothing of the sort. Since many have yet to see this film I’ll stay light on the spoilers, but it’s safe to say you need to go into this with an opened mind. With all the craziness going on its easy to get lost. If you want a classic look at horror this certainty isn’t that film. You will just have to experience it for yourself to see what it’s all about.
Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Written By: Joe Carnahan and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers
Starring: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, and Frank Grillo
Synopsis: After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.
Why I choose it: Man, I’m still contemplating many aspects of The Grey. This can work on the most basic level as a genre survival film or a in-depth essay how we deal with the human condition. This is masterfully shot and treated with a level of respect beyond its expected borders. Some may see this as nothing more than Liam Neeson fighting wolves, however if you look close enough you can see that’s nothing more than a lazy label.
Directed By: Joss Whedon
Written By: Joss Whedon and Zak Penn
Starring: Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, and Scralett Johansson
Synopsis: Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his army.
Why I choose it: Why I choose this is quite obvious. Sure this is an easy and unsurprising choice. I just couldn’t help myself. The Avengers was one of the most anticipated hyped-up films in history and it didn’t disappoint. Some have labeled this the best comic book movie ever and its easy to see why. That may be overpraise but its some of the most fun I have had in the theatre ever. The Avengers is great humor, great action, and just one heck of a great time. This sets a new high bar for all popcorn flicks.
The Innkeepers, The Amazing Spider-Man, Safe House, Haywire