Over the last 12 months, I've seen more than 100 new releases — that's over eight days of time in total spent watching new movies — and I'm happy to report that it's been another incredible year at the cinema, despite claims that "film is dead." This year, I was lucky enough to see vital new work by visionary filmmakers like Denis Villeneuve, Guillermo del Toro, Steven Spielberg, and Darren Aronofsky. I witnessed soul-stirring performances by Frances McDormand, Timothee Chalamet, Mary J. Blige, Willem Dafoe, Sally Hawkins, and Michael Stuhlbarg. And I was thoroughly entertained by emotionally engaging, visually impressive blockbusters like War for the Planet of the Apes, Wonder Woman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Blade Runner 2049. So which films did I enjoy the most? Which are my favorites? Let's find out.
With the year coming to an end, it's time to look back at the movies that defined the year in cinema. One of our favorite websites, No Film School, has put together a superb video to highlight & discuss their picks for the Best Cinematography of 2017. Not only is the video mesmerizing to watch with all of this lovely cinematography, but they completely nailed the selection - picking out, really, all the best cinematography, including from excellent documentaries like Chasing Coral (one of my favorites), Casting JonBenét, and Kedi. (The only big film missing, to me, is Call Me By Your Name…) Of course they feature Blade Runner 2049 (go, Roger Deakins, go!) and Dunkirk, along with Mudbound, Wonder Wheel, Good Time, The Florida Project, and Columbus. Yep, all the best films right there. This year end movie recap video is a must watch.
The year is almost over, there's only a few more movies to open in these final few weeks, but that means it's time to start looking back and appreciating the year in movies. 2017 gave us some incredible movies, big and small, weird and crazy, entertaining and emotional. This final video recap is made by the "Movie Nerds" YouTube channel, and is called (by them) the "2017 Movie Mashup Supercut". It packs in footage from pretty much all of the big movies this year, including Blade Runner 2049, Detroit, Wonder Woman, Blade of the Immortal, Wind River, Raw, Dunkirk, Get Out, Coco, Wonder, Logan, Free Fire, and many others. These end of the year videos are great to watch now, not only to remind you of all the good times in the cinema, but give you a few hints at some movies you might've missed and still need to catch up with. Enjoy.
"We build our legacy piece by piece, and maybe the whole world will remember you…" Another year end countdown video looking back at the best movies of 2017. "The Moviejerk" has released a video called Best of Cinema: 2017 Edition that features clips from his favorite films edited together to songs from the films this year, similar to David Ehrlich's year end recap. Janz Anton-Iago is "The Moviejerk" and runs the site of the same name. He includes footage from Pablo Larraín's Jackie in this, because it was released in the UK in 2017 (even though it was released in 2016 in the US). He explains in the intro that this is more of a "video mood-piece" capturing his feelings of the best films he saw throughout the year. It's totally worth a watch.
"You have no idea what's coming…" Now that we're into the final month of 2017, it's time to start looking back at the year in movies. The next year end recap movie trailer mashup has debuted - this one made by Clark Zhu. It's titled "Moving Pictures 2017" and includes clips from over 230 movies that were released in 2017. Since he packs in so many into this recap, the video runs a full eight minutes but covers a number of different themes - from comedy to suspense to action to horror to love. (Watch Clark's 2016 video here.) It's a great reminder that there's always exciting movies to see, and many to catch up with you may have missed.
It's here! Time to start figuring out which films are the best of the year, so get watching. One of the annual must-see best of the year lists is actually a video countdown made by my colleague David Ehrlich (follow him @davidehrlich). He counts down his 25 best films of the year in a video edited together with footage and music from each of the films. This is such an entertaining way to count down the best cinema of 2017, and it always makes me want to watch each one of these (even the ones I've seen already). Ehrlich pretty much nailed it this year - Call Me By Your Name is my #1 as well, and his Top 10 is almost perfect. Dive in.
"There's something, calling them all here…" It's time for another look back at all the movies of 2017. Our longtime friend the "Sleepy Skunk" has revealed his annual end-of-the-year recap video - the 2017 Movie Trailer Mashup - featuring footage from all the different movie trailers released throughout 2017 edited together to good music. Louis, who makes this specific video every year, always puts a lot of time and effort into making this and it shows, as the editing and music make it an entertaining and inspiring experience. It's always invigorating to look back at this year and all that we've been graced with from the world of film.
"Without love, what reason is there for anything?" What a year. Admittedly, it's always a challenge for me to put together a Top 10 list, just because there's never enough time to watch (and rewatch) everything. That said, I fell head-over-heels in love with a number of movies in 2016 and it was easy to put them on this list. I learned so much from my Favorite Films of 2016. Paterson taught me to love poetry (and write some of my own). La La Land reminded me that dancing is the key to life, and jazz is awesome. Captain Fantastic taught me to always seek the truth. Pete's Dragon reminded me that sometimes we must believe in magic. I'm invigorated by how much movies often affect me, and the more emotional I get, the more I love them.
More often than not a good soundtrack in a movie can be just as captivating as the visuals in which it accompanies. We live within the world of that film as we experience watching it, but a good soundtrack – composed score or curated list of songs – can allow us to reengage with the film on a purely auditory level sometimes even offering up an entirely new perspective. It's why this list is always such a joy to put together at the end of any year (review my previous soundtrack picks for the Best of 2014 and Best of 2013). Listed below are my Top 10 Soundtracks/Scores of 2016, and, as always, it's a fun list to put together. These are the scores and song lists I will surely be listening to in the coming months, the soundtracks that are every bit as memorable as the films themselves. (You can also find my Top 10 Films of 2016 here.) Enjoy!
It was another stellar year at the cinema, and don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise. While some are crying shouts that the cinema is dead the art form is doing all it can to prove otherwise, and it's easy to see how the industry is doing. Below are my Top 10 Films of 2016, but it could just have easily have been 10 completely different movies on this list. The impressive list of honorable mentions (found at the end) should give some credence to that. These are the 10 films, though, that moved me most of all, the films with which I most engaged, the films I believe the cinema community will be talking about for many years, beyond 2016.
"For the first time in my life… I feel close to something." It's time for another look back at all the movies of 2016. Our longtime friend the "Sleepy Skunk" has revealed his annual end-of-the-year recap video - the 2016 Movie Trailer Mashup - featuring footage from all the different movie trailers released throughout 2016 (including a few 2017 movies) edited together to good music. We already posted another mashup video for 2016, as it's that time of year when all of them start to arrive. This one has been in the works for a while, and it shows, as the editing and music make it an entertaining and inspiring experience. Fire this up below!
"City of stars, there's so much that I can't see…" It's here! One of the annual must-see best of the year lists is actually a video countdown made by my colleague David Ehrlich (follow him @davidehrlich). He counts down his 25 best films of the year in a video edited together with footage and music from each of the films. This is such an entertaining way to count down the best cinema of 2016, and it always makes me want to watch each one of these (even the ones I've seen before). There's so many great films on Ehrlich's list this year - from Jackie to La La Land to The Fits to Moonlight, and yes, even Swiss Army Man is superb. Enjoy.