With the Oscars just less than a month away, it’s that time of the year again where the best films and performances get the recognition they deserve.
At least, most of the best get their recognition, that is. That’s why I’m here. While most of these movies are, in some form, getting their just dues, others weren’t as lucky. So here’s my top 10 movies from last year that I feel everyone needs to see.
10. “Bohemian Rhapsody”
If you like Queen’s music as much as I do, this movie does an amazing job of resonating in the same manner as their songs. The way their music was used to frame the emotion of each different scene was beautiful and hit hard at times.
9. “A Star Is Born”
Bring some tissues if you decide to see this one because it pulls no punches when getting into the ugly reality of someone battling addiction as their loved ones struggle to support them through it. In both their acting and singing, the films leads (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper) pump almost every scene full of emotion.
One of the bigger surprises of the year, this horror/thriller was able to evoke so much tension and terror consistently throughout the whole movie in a way I don’t think I’ve seen many times before. A stand out from the usual horror movies for sure and a must-watch if you like suspense.
7. “Avengers: Infinity War”
Ten years in the making, this movie brings together the 18 films and over 30 characters that came before it in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the highest stakes fight the heroes face to date. For a comic book movie this one has its funny moments and some great action scenes, but what sets it apart most from other movies of the genre is how real it gets. Real drama. Serious decisions. Real consequences.
6. “Bad Times at the El Royale”
This movie kept me on the edge of my seat from the very first scene through the final act. Mystery, suspense and mayhem cross paths at the El Royale and watching this movie puts you directly at the heart of it all. Top it off with great performances by this movies’ ensemble cast and you get this masterpiece that I don’t think is getting nearly as much love as it should.
5. “Sorry to Bother You”
This dark comedy tells the story of Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) after adopting his “white voice” that he discovers can carry him to new heights at his telemarketing firm. This movie is impossibly weird while still making very clear references to real world problems and comments on the structure of our society. Very strange, but strangely real.
Christian Bale plays former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney as he, alongside an all-star cast, tells the story of how Cheney and his consorts manipulated their way to the top in one of the most gruesomely real looks into the underbelly of the U.S. government. Bale got lost in the role of Cheney and it shows. His performance goes from hilarious at moments to dead serious in a heartbeat.
3. “American Animals”
In one of the most unique styles I’ve seen in film, this is the true story of four friends determined to make something extraordinary of their lives. They attempt to pull off one of the most heinous heists in U.S. history, and it is recollected by the men themselves as it’s brought to life by a strong cast that delivers a very intense performance.
2. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Comic book movies are one of the hottest tickets on the block in cinema now, so for something to stand out so boldly from the genre norm is incredible to see. Animated to look like it was pulled straight off the page of a comic book and scored with original hip hop songs, it just has this unique style to it that you can tell had so much heart poured into its production. I saw this movie in theaters three times. It’s not something you just sit down and watch. This movie is an experience.
Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first African American police officer in Colorado Springs, infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan. If that alone doesn’t convince you this is a must watch, it’s based on a true story and Director Spike Lee manages to not only tell this story but make ties to social issues still present to this day. Put simply, this movie is captivating as hell. The way it’s shot, the way the story is told and even the era appropriate score and theme are beautiful.