Category Archives: Lists

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Fantasia Festival 2020 — Lineup Rundown

The 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival announced its third wave of titles today. The festival, which focuses on genre filmmaking and is normally held in Montreal, will take place entirely online between August 20 and September 2. Although it will be accessible only to Canadian audiences, the festival often runs quality genre films that may be good to keep on your radar for their future VOD releases.

Now that the full festival lineup has been announced, let’s take a look at a handful of titles.

 

The Reckoning (d. Neil Marshall)

The fest’s opening film comes from Neil Marshall, director of the excellent The Descent and, more recently, Continue reading Fantasia Festival 2020 — Lineup Rundown

20 Great Underseen Movies on Streaming — Hulu — May 2020

With everyone staying inside during these troubling, precarious times, finding quality entertainment with which to bide the time has become a common task. As such, there has been a deluge of publications turning out “what to watch while at home” lists. So…here’s another one.

Here are 20 of our favorite, potentially underseen movies currently available on Hulu.

 

The Art of Self-Defense (2019)

One of the cleverest dark comedies of last year, Riley Stearns’ The Art of Self-Defense blends a Continue reading 20 Great Underseen Movies on Streaming — Hulu — May 2020

COVID-19 Has Studios Sending Movies to Streaming Early. We Rank Them.

Theaters are closed. Hollywood production has ground to a standstill. Many (across many industries) are unfortunately out of work. And it is a good idea to just stay inside. With this turbulent current state of affairs, Hollywood studios are trying to recoup losses on their theatrical released films by placing them on digital VOD early.

In one respect, this is a generous offering, as it represents an essentially unprecedented choice by studios to ignore traditional windowing practices in order to give consumers access to new products. On the other hand, these releases come with lofty price tags. Given that streaming services offer plenty of feature film fare at much lower prices, it is hard to recommend anyone pay full price for the current slate of “early access” films. Some of these services are even free with ad support—Tubi, Vudu, and Crackle are perhaps the most readily available—and, with some digging, one can find a few gems.

However, for those looking for something new to watch, we have ranked the current (as of March 27) early access offerings.

 

The Unknown

The Call of the Wild ($15 purchase)

I have not seen The Call of the Wild, but I wouldn’t Continue reading COVID-19 Has Studios Sending Movies to Streaming Early. We Rank Them.

A Decade of Film in Review (Best Movies of the 2010s?)

Earlier this year, I toyed with the idea of writing the semi-obligatory “Best of the Decade” list. What films were the best in this arbitrary chunk of time we call the 2010s? The USA Today did it. The A.V. Club did it. The New Yorker did it. Wired did it. IndieWire did it early. CineFiles should at least attempt to do it, too.

I made a list on Letterboxd. It started at around 400 films. I winnowed it down to roughly 200. I could copy those films into a traditional list. Write a pithy blurb here and there. Attach some pictures. But I hesitated. And hesitated. Tweaked a ranking here or there. Again, hesitation. Ultimately, it just didn’t happen.

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The question that kept catching me, preventing me from doing any real work toward a Best of the Decade list, was: “Why bother?” This list represents Continue reading A Decade of Film in Review (Best Movies of the 2010s?)

The 20 Best Movies of 2019

It is that time of year again. Time to create an exceedingly subjective, by-no-means exhaustive list of the “best” movies of 2019. 2019 was a good year in film. There were plenty of strong contenders for this list (find my full ranking of 2019 films at Letterboxd). I could have stretched this list out to 30 or 40 films, but I decided to keep it short and sweet. I just crammed in as many honorable mentions as felt appropriate, instead.

You can find my candidates for worst movie of the year here.

Honorable Mentions: American Factory, Apollo 11, Arctic, Ash is Purest White, Birds of Passage, Hail Satan?, A Hidden Life, Horror Noire, Midsommar, Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood, One Cut of the Dead, Rolling Thunder Revue, The Souvenir, The Vast of Night, Wild Rose

 

Continue reading The 20 Best Movies of 2019

Top 10 Worst Films of 2019

Update – December 21, 2019, 8:00 pm: Cats was added to Dishonorable Mentions

2019 was a very good year for movies. In my opinion, there are (at least) three masterpieces coming out of this calendar year. But every film cannot be a masterpiece. Some films fail, are made poorly, or are downright offensive. 2019 had plenty of those, as well.

You can like what you like. I won’t stop you. If you like any of the films on this list, that’s fine with me (if you like the number one film, though, maybe we shouldn’t hang out). These are simply my personal least favorite films of 2019.

Dishonorable Mentions: The Angry Birds Movie 2, Cats, Fractured, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Guns Akimbo, Hellboy, The Lion King, Miss Bala, Pet Sematary, Replicas, The Upside, What Men Want

10. The Curse of La Llorona

There is a long history of La Llorona, or “The Crying Woman,” in film. But the figure of urban legend was not well known by American audiences before Continue reading Top 10 Worst Films of 2019

2019 CineFiles Awards — Best Films of the Year

I do a lot of awards season coverage on this site (admittedly, much less of it this season). For the amount of attention the Academy Awards is given on CineFiles, I don’t always agree with the choices the Academy makes. As such, in this end-of-year sprint to catch up on as many movies as possible, I decided to put together a ballot of my own personal favorites of the year.

The ballot covers all Oscar categories except the three short film categories, as I have seen only a small number of short films this year. Other films I find noteworthy—including my favorite short film of the year—are given Continue reading 2019 CineFiles Awards — Best Films of the Year

All Black Mirror Episodes Ranked (UPDATED for Season Five)

Note: this article is updated from an article originally published on Jan. 2, 2018.

Black Mirror is one of the highest rated, most buzzed about shows on Netflix. If you haven’t heard about it by now, you likely don’t have an internet connection…which is to say, you’re not reading this right now…nevermind.

With season five having dropped today, it seems as good a time as any to rank the 23 episodes of the show, from worst to best.

For an episode-by-episode review of season four, click here. For season five, click here.

 

23. Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too

Taking the often recycled Black Mirror concept of Continue reading All Black Mirror Episodes Ranked (UPDATED for Season Five)

2019 Summer Movie Wager – Box Office Predictions

After intense debating on the /Filmcast, it was decided that Avengers: Endgame is to be included in the annual Summer Movie Wager, a game of box office predictions, in spite of Endgame not technically being released within the Summer movie season (which is arbitrarily defined on Box Office Mojo as the first weekend of May through Labor Day weekend).

That said, the number one spot in the competition is all-but sealed up. Endgame is set to, at the very least, match Infinity War in sales. So barring some failure in storytelling that tanks the word of mouth on the film, it will take the top line.

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For those unfamiliar with the Summer Movie Wager, it is a competition in which players pick the top 10 highest grossing films of the Summer season, plus three “dark horse” predictions. Here are the official scoring rules, as per the /Filmcast: Continue reading 2019 Summer Movie Wager – Box Office Predictions

The 16 Worst Movies of 2018

It is never fun to sling mud. Sure, it can be viscerally satisfying, especially when a film is particularly insulting to the intelligence. But no critic goes into a movie wanting to hate it (at least, no critic ought to do that). I don’t enjoy having to write a worst of the year list.

“Why do it, then?” you may ask. Well, it is one thing to try and be positive about movies. It is another thing to pay good money for a movie that makes you regret it. For some of these movies, my money went into their box office grosses, and it is important to remedy that fact by keeping studios accountable and steering people away from these unsatisfactory films.

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Dishonorable mentions: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; Gringo; Game Over, Man; Action Point; Mute; Fifty Shades Freed Continue reading The 16 Worst Movies of 2018