What drew me to this movie? The flat, awkward acting? The VHS-worthy cinematography? The even worse editing? The icky subject matter and characters? I wish I could tell you. There's something there, even if I don't know what it is.
9. Moonrise Kingdom
Not his best, but still endearing, tender, and funny in equal proportion.
8. Oslo, August 31
A great date movie. Seriously. Don't read about it, just take that girl you've been thinking of asking out from Match, and rent this. (Don't do that.) Hopeless depression and addiction has never made me want to visit a city more, though.
7. Silver Linings Playbook
As Philebrity has it: "Delaware County: The Movie." Best to ignore DeNiro's inexplicable New York accent (and further decline into a nothing actor) and how annoying Bradley Cooper is and how implausible it is to stand in the middle of 8th and Sansom at 11PM on a Saturday without a car blaring at you.
The best Bond since... well... is there a better Bond? In an early scene, we're presented with the most boring of chase tropes: Bond a motorcycle on a bridge, and the villain below on a boat. Does Bond jump the bike onto the boat? Fuck no: he intentionally crashes into the railing, sending himself flying through the air like a ragdoll. Awesome.
5. Once Upon A Time in Anatolia
I spent most of this movie vacillating between being bored out of my mind and enthralled by the stunning long shots. And then the end sucked all the wind, and tedium, out of me.
Look. I get it, Matt & Kat. This movie sucks. The endless montages. Ben Affleck's masturbatory "look at how good I was at casting" credits. The politics. Ben Affleck. Ben Affleck again. But goddamn if this wasn't a hell of a Hollywood ride. If your inner 12 year old can't enjoy this brilliant Hollywood schlock, Argo fuck yourself.
3. The Master
If the second half had been half as tight as the first, this would have been a masterpiece. A fine, haunting ending saves the day, but it's hard not to think of what could have been.
Even the schlocky Spieldbergian opening and closing can't mar this fine movie. And Daniel Day-Lewis is every bit as good as we could have hoped. That's saying a lot.
I'm confused by the critical consensus that Amour shows a different side of Haneke, less cruel and more emotional. A misunderstanding of both Haneke's past movies and this one; Haneke was never a sadist, but Amour is just as biting, cruel, and indeterminate as Cache, and almost as brilliant. Perhaps it's the out-of-this-world acting by Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva that gave the appearance of difference? Regardless, this is one of the best movies of our generation's greatest director that leaves us wrought and disoriented. Is this movie a love note or a damnation? And of whom: its characters or us?
Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Take This Waltz, Dark Knight Rises, Looper (but still: just remake Brick, dammit), Holy Motors, the first half of Magic Mike, A Late Quartet, Flight (my biggest surprise), Chronicle (don't hate), Bachelorette (as funny as Bridesmaids wasn't), Searching for Sugar Man (despite all the hacky nonsense, that story is unruinable), The Mark Duplass trinity (Your Sister's Sister, Safety Not Guaranteed, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon), the far too on-the-nose Robot and Frank.
The Kid with a Bike, The Turin Horse, This Is Not a Film, Life of Pi, Neighboring Sounds, The Loneliest Planet, Monsieur Lazhar
Wish I Had Not Seen
Beasts of the Southern Wild