By the numbers, having watched 29 movies this year is a significant bump up from the 14 watched leading up to last year’s list. In reality, 17 of those come from watching through two different series: Harry Potter and X-Men. Still a few that stood out enough to make the list though, so here are my favorite movies watched since a year ago!
I read the novel Dune a couple of years back, and while I was kind of so-so on it overall, the interesting world-building was enough for me to look forward to the upcoming big-screen adaptation. Additionally, it is directed by Denis Villeneuve who has captured my attention after his work on Arrival and Blade Runner 2049. It was the first movie I had seen in theaters in a long time, and it is definitely an epic film that benefits from the full theater experience. I thought it was extremely well done and has me excited for the saga to continue in Part Two.
Stories about creative individuals going about their craft tend to capture my interest, and tick, tick BOOM! is the latest in that category to make my annual list of favorites. I was not familiar with the story of Jonathan Larson, the composer and playwright most well known for the musical Rent, but this movie adaptation of his earlier musical was a fascinating window into his life. This is mainly because tick, tick BOOM! is an autobiographical musical in which Larson presents the story of him writing his first, failed musical. The result is very fresh, and I thought Andrew Garfield was fantastic in the lead role. I always love movies (or art in general) that leave me feeling excited about pursuing my own creative work, and tick, tick BOOM! did the best job of that this year.
I had never seen any of the X-Men movies, but my wife and I decided to watch them all this year. We enjoyed them for the most part, but the standout of the bunch is definitely X-Men: Days of Future Past. It is a really unique installment in the way that it uses the plot to pull in the actors from both franchises (the early 2000s and the 2010s reboot), but the concept is just executed really well. All these movies fall into a similar category as those in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there was definitely something fresh about X-Men taking itself a little more seriously as opposed to feeling so scripted to optimize the jokes and explosions per minute. I am very intrigued to see what will happen now that Disney has the rights to X-Men back and they will almost certainly be brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe...
It’s been a while since I’ve been blown away by a movie, but I still enjoy finding films that I enjoy a lot, and you never know when you will hit on that one that will become an all-time favorite. Always open to recommendations!