A little later than I would have liked is my Top 10 films from the second half of the year. Any film that I have seen in a cinema between the 2nd August to the 25th December are being considered.
10. Paterson – Adam Driver stars in this quirky and thoughtful comedy from director Jim Jarmusch. It is a snapshot of a week in the life of a bus driver whose real passion is writing poetry. I dislike poetry, but I loved Paterson.
9. Doctor Strange – Marvel’s finest film thus far. It had everything I could want: Mads Mikkelsen being sinister, mind-bending Inception-esque set pieces and a really sharp wit. Ant-Man and Doctor Strange are quite possibly my two favourite Marvel films… ever!
8. Arrival – This is a film that I cannot describe without spoiling. All I can say is that it is a spectacular, poignant and touching sci-fi movie that breaks the mould and does something different with the genre. Bravo Denis Villeneuve, bravo!
7. American Honey – A three hour beast of a film that tells the story of a group of youths who travel the length and breadth of America encouraging people to subscribe to various magazines. Sasha Lane’s performance crackles with energy and charisma, Shia LaBeouf is actually good, and director Andrea Arnold has made a film that (I hope) will stand the test of time and become a classic.
6. Swiss Army Man – This is quite possibly, the funniest, silliest, and most bizarre film I have seen all year. Paul Dano plays a man stranded on a deserted island and just as he is about to commit suicide a flatulent corpse (played by Daniel Radcliffe!) washes up on the shore. So begins the man’s attempt to survive on the island and make his way back to civilisation with the help of a surprisingly talented corpse.
NOW FOR THE TOP 5:
5. Captain Fantastic – This was a film that was done a mild disservice by its own ad campaign. It made it out to be an overly mawkish affair and it wasn’t by any means. It was touching and emotional, but there was so much more to it and it was funny too. It had a really wicked sense of humour. Viggo Mortensen’s performance is simply superb!
4. Don’t Breathe – From Fede Alvarez, the man behind the excessively splattery remake/reboot of The Evil Dead franchise comes a film that couldn’t be more different. It is quite simply the creepiest, most claustrophobic and downright terrifying film in the last five years at least. In an age of hideously dull horror movies (I’m looking at you Insidious) this was a breath of fresh air… and boy was I terrified.
3. Kubo and the Two Strings – Anyone who has listened to me talk about animated films for more than ten seconds will know just how much I adore Laika Entertainment. Every one of their films has been a beautiful and lovingly detailed clay-mation feast for the eyes. Coraline is still one of my favourite films of all time. This year we were treated to Kubo and the Two Strings that tells the story of a young boy named Kubo who must embark on an epic quest to find his long lost father and defeat his evil uncle. This film is loaded with Japanese mythology and terrifying beasties. Laika once again have proved themselves to be the best there is when it comes to animation.
2. Wiener Dog – This film was a delightfully oddball comedy that tells four different stories about four very different people and the one thing that unites them all is an adorable dachshund. It’s a very enjoyable film with a pitch black sense of humour. For fans of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia who can’t get enough of Danny DeVito, he has probably the best story in this film.
1. Hunt for the Wilderpeople – Out of all the films I have seen this year, this one in particular sticks in my mind. Why? Because it’s so damn brilliant. Taika Waititi has made another masterpiece that is a lot funnier than most comedies claim to be. For those of you who (like me) thought that What We Do In The Shadows was one of the funniest films you’d seen ever, then you must see Hunt for the Wilderpeople.