beasts of no nation

The dirty secret of culture writers on movie websites is that most of us don’t write lists to irritate people itching for the comments section. We do it to celebrate a big batch of films. I swear. We want to grab our pom poms for these things, especially the underrated work, and “The Underseen Gem” might as well be Bleecker Street‘s motto.

Cheerleading is exactly what this list is meant to do. Maybe it’s in the right qualitative order. Who knows. I simply want to draw attention to a quality distributor that nonetheless doesn’t get the same religiously whispered street cred as A24 or Annapurna. Led by former Focus Features exec Andrew Karpen, Bleecker Street isn’t as experimental as those outfits, but it still releases compelling, rich features for adult audiences. Whenever someone complains that the mid-budget movie is dead, that the ’90s-style era of solid drama is over, I always want to write “Bleecker Street” on a napkin and slap it on their forehead.

So, no clever introduction (most would skip over it to get to the numbers anyway) hyping their dense output in only 3 years. No hiding my purpose here. Everyone reads lists, so maybe this one will get more people watching their movies.

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Some Like It Hot - BBC 100 Greatest Comedies

Last year, the BBC polled nearly 200 critics in an attempt to determine the 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century. This year, they’ve assembled another cinema poll, one that is bound to spark just as many debates, as they tried to pin down the 100 Greatest Comedies of All Time.

Billy Wilder’s classic Some Like It Hot topped the list with the perfect satire Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb coming in at second place, followed by Woody Allen‘s meta romantic comedy Annie Hall, Harold Ramis‘ delightfully repetitive Groundhog Day and Leo McCarey‘s revered Duck Soup rounding out the top five. The full list contains an interesting mix of classics and modern favorites, but there are some glaring omissions to be sure.

See more of the BBC 100 Greatest Comedies of All Time list below. Read More »

The 10 Best Christopher Nolan Scenes

Dunkirk - Christopher Nolan

This week marks the arrival of the latest film from one of Hollywood’s best and biggest directors, Christopher Nolan. His new film, Dunkirk, is an even bigger event than usual for a couple reasons: first, the entire film was shot in a mix of IMAX and 65mm film, and second, it’s the first time Nolan has made a fictional film based on real events. Dunkirk, being about the infamous Battle of Dunkirk in World War II, is also the first time Nolan has stepped into the war-film genre after years in the world of comic books and science fiction. No doubt Dunkirk will have at least one or two memorable scenes or sequences, but today, I’d like to highlight the 10 best scenes of Nolan’s filmography up to Dunkirk. There are plenty of contenders that didn’t make the cut, especially from The Prestige and The Dark Knight, but let’s get on with the list.

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Fast and Furious 9 director

Earlier this week, we wrote about how there’s a chance The Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray might not return for the upcoming Fast 9. But this is one of Universal’s biggest moneymakers, so somebody has to take on the tremendous challenge of leading the massive production as the series barrels toward its planned ending. Who could successfully shoulder the weight of a long-running film franchise yet still deliver an entertaining spectacle in a quick and efficient manner? I’ve come up with 10 filmmakers I think are up to the task, so read on for my list of who could be the Fast and Furious 9 director.
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Best Movies of 2017

(With 2017 halfway over, the /Film staff will be spending this week compiling lists of the best movies they’ve seen this year. In order to be eligible for the list, a film they’ve seen simply has to have a 2017 release date, even if they saw it at a festival or early screening. Here are Ethan Anderton’s top 10 movies of 2017 so far.)

The year is officially half over, and while we have six months before we can more effectively determine what our favorite movies of the year are going to be, it doesn’t hurt to take stock of the best films of 2017 so far. Though 2017 feels like it’s been rather lackluster, especially in the blockbuster department, there have been some lower key releases that absolutely deserve your attention. A few of them haven’t been given theatrical releases yet, but I was fortunate enough to catch them at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Without further adieu, let’s dive into my own list of the best movies of 2017 so far. Read More »

Hoai-Tran Bui’s Top 10 Movies of 2017 So Far

top 10 movies of 2017

(With 2017 halfway over, the /Film staff will be spending this week compiling lists of the best movies they’ve seen this year. In order to be eligible for the list, a film they’ve seen simply has to have a 2017 release date, even if they saw it at a festival or early screening. Here are Hoai-Tran Bui’s top 10 movies of 2017 so far.)

When tasked with compiling my favorite movies of the year so far, I’ll admit that I had to wrack my brains a bit for ones that stood out from the crowd. Outside of Logan and Get Out, had there really been any standouts? But even though summer movie season had gotten off to a tepid start and studio offerings have been lackluster, I think it would be rash to say that 2017 has been a weak year for great movies. In fact, I think it’s quite the opposite: 2017 so far has offered an exciting array of captivating films in both the indie and genre circuit that gives me hope in an increasingly homogeneous movie industry. So much hope that my struggle to initially fill this list ended up being a struggle to narrow it down. (Sorry, The Beguiled and War for the Planet of the Apes, you almost made the cut.)

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Ben Pearson’s Top 10 Movies of 2017 So Far

Ben Pearson's Top 10 Movies of 2017 So Far

(With 2017 halfway over, the /Film staff will be spending this week compiling lists of the best movies they’ve seen this year. In order to be eligible for the list, a film they’ve seen simply has to have a 2017 release date, even if they saw it early at a festival or early screening. First up: here are Ben Pearson’s top 10 movies of 2017 so far.)

I have not spent nearly enough time this year seeking out the types of smaller movies I tend to love, and frankly, I’m a little embarrassed that three superhero movies made the cut on my list of favorites so far. But damn it, they’re really good superhero movies, and as ashamed as I am that my list isn’t as “cool” as it might be if I’d spent more time at my local arthouse theater, these are the movies I’ve seen so far in 2017 that spoke to me the most in one way or another. The good news is that I’m guessing only a couple of these will end up on my favorite movies of the year list when December rolls around, so at least you’ll be getting some variation if you compare that list with this one. Enough preamble: join me in counting down my favorite movies of the year so far as we hit the halfway point of 2017.

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Stan Lee

Greetings, true believers. There’s yet another Marvel Cinematic Universe film tearing up the box office – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. As with all MCU films, there’s world-building, in-jokes, action, adventure, and of course, the prerequisite Stan Lee cameo. For more than 40 years now, Lee has been the most recognizable public face for Marvel properties, even the ones he had nothing directly to do with. Much like the Marvel post-credit sequence, a cameo from Lee is expected from fans; fans who will inevitably lean over to their theater mates and loudly whisper, “That’s Stan Lee!” when the moment arises. 

Because I’m committed to doing world-changing, issue-driven film writing, I’ve decided to rank every single Stan Lee cameo to date from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the sake of brevity I’ll only be dealing with the MCU films, and not the wealth of other Marvel-related films and TV projects, all of which Lee appears in one form or another. Excelsior!

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Rocketeer header

Today is the opening day of Never Grow Up: A Disney Art Show from Mondo and Cyclops Print Works at the Mondo Gallery in Austin, Texas. We’ve featured a number of pieces from the show on the site already, but now that all of its artwork has been unveiled, I thought it’d be fun to list some of the pieces from the show that stood out to me. So dust off your identity disks, grab your magic lamps, and count down my ten personal favorite pieces of Mondo Disney art below.
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13 reasons why season 2

Over the weekend, I binge-watched all thirteen episodes of Netflix’s new series 13 Reasons Why.

You may have watched the trailer for 13 Reasons Why and quickly discounted it as another forgettable YA adaptation, but I assure you, the series is worth your time. It has episodes directed by Oscar-winning director Tom McCarthy (Spotlight, The Visitor), Gregg Araki (Mysterious Skin, The Doom Generation), Jessica Yu (American Dreams, Ping Pong Playa), among others. And since it’s adapted from a book, it feels more like a 13-hour movie than a 13 episode TV series (and this is a case where this is a good thing).

When 13 Reasons Why ends, it leaves us with some questions and lingering storylines that make me wonder if the series could return for more, even if the source material has already been brought to the main screen. Let’s explore the unanswered questions and discuss if there are plans for a 13 Reasons Why Season 2.

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