Category Archives: Lists

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Fantastic Fest 2022 Lineup Preview — 5 Films to Watch For

Austin’s Fantastic Fest returns for a 17th year this September, and CineFiles is happy to be covering it again (albeit virtually, but you could experience the fun in person). Fantastic Fest has a number of high profile releases on the docket this year — Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin, Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness, The Menu, Smile. I want to highlight for you, instead, a few other titles worth keeping an eye on.

 

Give Me Pity

I saw Amanda Kramer’s two new releases, Give Me Pity! and Please Baby Please, at the Fantasia Festival, and I Continue reading Fantastic Fest 2022 Lineup Preview — 5 Films to Watch For

Fantasia Festival 2022 — 6 Films to Have on Your Radar

The Fantasia International Film Festival returns for its 26th edition, which will run from July 14 – August 3. Some of my favorite movies of the last two years — films like Labyrinth of Cinema, Mad God, and We’re All Going to the World’s Fair — played Fantasia. And I anticipate being pleasantly surprised by a few films this year, as well. To preview the fest, here’s a quick sample of what this year’s program has on offer.

 

All Jacked Up and Full of Worms (d. Alex Phillips)

The title of Alex Phillips feature debut sort of says it all. The Fantasia program claims All Jacked Up and Full of Worms is inspired by Continue reading Fantasia Festival 2022 — 6 Films to Have on Your Radar

Top 10 Best Movies of 2021

“Top.” “Best.” What do these words mean? Nothing, really. They are SEO-friendly buzzwords which stand for nothing in particular. Objectivity is a lie. These are my opinions, thus this (like all Top 10 lists) means only what you want it to. If your favorite movie doesn’t make the cut of this list, I either didn’t see it or didn’t like it.

Speaking of SEO-friendly keywords, let’s talk about “Worst.” Normally, I end the year with two annual lists, one for the best movies and one for the worst. Weird as 2021 was for movie releases, I did manage to see roughly 175 titles which are eligible for this list. All the same, those I didn’t like were Continue reading Top 10 Best Movies of 2021

Fantasia Festival 2021 Lineup Preview

Last year, CineFiles covered the Fantasia International Film Festival for the first time. Due to everything occurring in the world in 2020, the festival went virtual, allowing someone without the means or adequate free time to attend an in-person festival in Montreal (i.e., myself) a chance to experience a cavalcade of fresh, original genre film content.

That festival screened some great films. Arthur Jones’ documentary Feels Good Man, which shined a light into the cavernous darkness of the internet. Special Actors, Shinichiro Ueda’s follow up to the inventive horror comedy One Cut of the Dead, itself an inventive and fun film with a knotty plot. And Nobuhiko Ôbayashi’s swan song, Labyrinth of Cinema, a life-affirming and melancholic exploration of life, history, and the cinema (I believe its U.S. release date technically makes it a 2021 film for the purposes of my best of the year list, so stay tuned…).

2021’s Fantasia Festival begins on August 5, and we will be covering it again from the comfort of our own homes. This year’s festival will be a hybrid, so there are selections which can be watched on demand through the festival’s website. You can see Continue reading Fantasia Festival 2021 Lineup Preview

The 20 Best Movies of 2020

We find ourselves at the end of 2020, and…well, let’s not dwell on it.

I may not have set foot in a movie theater since March, but that didn’t stop quality cinema from finding its way in front of my eyeballs. I can (and will) list at least 20 films from 2020 worth watching. As with any year, there are films I’ve missed based on lack of availability and/or time, so I cannot call this list exhaustive. Still, this should give a good idea of my favorite films of the year. And this includes some honorable mentions: The Wolf House, The Nest, Da 5 Bloods, Wolfwalkers, Ema, Palm Springs, Swallow, Blow the Man Down, Promising Young Woman.

20. Bad Education

Cory Finley’s Bad Education didn’t leave as strong of an impression on me as his debut Thoroughbreds, but it nevertheless stands out as Continue reading The 20 Best Movies of 2020

The 15 Worst Movies of 2020

2020 is a difficult year to write superlatives about. Especially coming on the heels of a few bountiful years of media consumption, doing a list series for the cinema of 2020 is something I considered skipping entirely. Previous best of the year lists have witnessed a wealth of films which I greatly enjoyed (20 in 2019, 25 in 2018, and 50 in 2017). I may be able to string together a list of 20 this year, but it just feels as though I am missing some great films, some of which that aren’t even on my radar. There are always blind spots on these lists, but my access to films this year is far more limited than in previous years. But I will give it a shot, based on the 150 or so movies I’ve seen.

On the flip side, I’ve seen plenty of below average films this year. Those are inescapable. In the days of Armageddon, the media industries will continue churning out subpar claptrap filmed close enough to in focus to be considered a movie. I generally like to Continue reading The 15 Worst Movies of 2020

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.

moonlight-2017-oscar-predictions-mahershala-ali-best-supporting-actor

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?)