1. Red Rocket
Red Rocket has no business being as good as it is. Simon Rex gives you every reason to dislike his character, but you still want to see the guy win.The crisp cinematography, striking color palette, and calculated camerawork made this absolutely fascinating eye candy (and with such great substance of a story, too).
2. Spider-Man: No Way Home
Spider-Man: No Way Home is a cinematic EVENT in every possible way. It manages to live up to the outrageous hype and results in a surprisingly emotional, moving, and HUGE movie. Crowd-pleasing without too much deliberate fan service, everybody will find something to love about this.
3. House of Gucci
House of Gucci is a crowd-pleaser of a film that makes perfect use of its runtime. Lady Gaga acts with such conviction, and the emotion held within her eyes is palpable. Jared Leto dials it up to 11, and (somehow) it works. Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, and Salma Hayek are each superb.
4. C’mon C’mon
C’mon C’mon looks to the future in this genuinely heartfelt story that is visually stunning and makes even the most mundane emotions & parts of life seem universally felt. This character feels the closest to Joaquin Phoenix. Woody Norman offers such a realistic child perspective.
Scarborough is a film about what it means to be human, drawing out the purest level of humanity that comes with growing up amidst struggle. There’s a whole world within this conveying a full range of emotions that I never wanted to end.
6. Don’t Look Up
It’s the apocalypse, and we’re all living in it. There’s no denying the ways of the world surrounding us, so we might as well poke some fun at it while we try to shed some light on the topic and start a conversation. Looking at this apocalyptic world (that’s not too dissimilar from our own) through a satirical lens with its top-tier cast, hilarious sense of humor, flawless comedic timing, chaotic tone and pitch-perfect editing.
7. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a blast from start to finish. Packed with action, drop in some drama and make it complete with comedy. This cast works so well together on screen with such chemistry, and they really elevate one another’s performance. Everything felt so fresh and unique in the best ways, and I think everyone will be pleased with different aspects of the movie.
8. The Last Duel
I’ll be honest, on paper, The Last Duel sounds like a hard sell. A period piece set in France during the 1300s with kings and knights and lords and ladies and battle sequences and armor… but it works. It legitimately works.
9. The French Dispatch
It may be called The French Dispatch, but this film is a Russian doll of storytelling with its story-within-a-story-within-a-story structure. Compiling Wes Anderson’s distinct whimsy, timely humor, pristine production design, an all-star cast, and social commentary into one, the subject matter feels especially relevant and downright enjoyable.
10. tick, tick…BOOM!
This ticking time bomb of a film is an entirely boundless, chaotic, and emotional love letter to the art of musical theatre. Andrew Garfield delivers a manic performance that is convincing and over-the-top without feeling overdone. It’s chaotic. It’s high-energy. It’s social commentary. It’s emotional. On paper, that seems like a lot. Because it is. But the way these elevated components work together is the magic of it all.
Pig // The Guilty // Belfast // The Green Knight // Summer of Soul // Eternals // The Starling // The Harder They Fall // Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar // Mass // The White Tiger // The Rescue // Shiva Baby // Nine Days // Palmer