Scott’s Favorite Movies

[9.5] In picturesque Italy, 1983, a seventeen-year-old boy falls in love with an older man who is working as his father’s research assistant. That’s it. That’s all Call Me By Your Name is about. And it’s marvelous. So many other coming-of-age, coming out, and gay-centered love stories focus on outside forces exerting pressure on the characters. But James Ivory’s (Maurice, The Remains of the Day) …

[9.0] Seven months after the rape and murder of her daughter, a grieving mother challenges her local police department to find the culprit when she advertises on three incendiary billboards. Frances McDormand (Fargo) headlines Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which is being advertised as a comedy featuring fowl-mouthed McDormand chewing the scenery and ripping characters new assholes. And to be fair, that’s definitely part of this movie. …

[9.0] I’ll come right out with it: The Witch is my favorite horror film of the last ten years. Newcomer writer/director Robert Eggers serves up a masterfully creepy tale that’s equal parts psychological and atmospheric, elegant and restrained, but not without some visceral imagery that will haunt you for years to come. The story centers around a New England family circa the 1630s. Having just …

[9.0] Birdman swoops into cineplexes offering the antidote to superhero hysteria, CGI migraines, and Hollywood’s usual hackneyed, formulaic bullshit. It’s goddamned original, a showcase for skill and craft, and a breath of fresh fucking air. Michael Keaton turns in a career-best performance as a one-time popular film actor who is risking it all to put on a Broadway play. In the span of hours leading …

[9.0] South Korean director Joon-ho Bong (Mother, The Host) directs this tale of class warfare set in an ice-age Armageddon wherein the last few living humans reside aboard a technologically advanced train that constantly circumnavigates the globe. Chris Evans (Captain America himself) stars as the working class hero who rises up against the train’s cold-hearted aristocracy, leading a revolt from the train’s back end slave …

[9.0] In this sequel from director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In), the virus introduced in the previous film has obliterated more than 99% of the human population worldwide. In San Francisco, there is a small colony of humans focused on repairing a hydroelectric dam in the Red Woods so they can have electricity and possibly reconnect with other survivors. But its in the Red …

[9.0] Two Arkansas boys discover a wanted man (Matthew McConaughey) hiding out on an island who needs their help to find his girlfriend and escape a small army of bounty hunters. There’s a resounding echo of Shane here, with McConaughey putting in another fine performance after his career-turning appearances in Magic Mike and Killer Joe last year. (Welcome back, Matthew!)

[9.0] William Friedkin (The Exorcist) directs this darkly comic trailer trash ensemble piece about a family that conspires to hire a killer to whack their matriarch and collect her life insurance. Matthew McConaughey delivers a tense, frightening, carefully measured performance as the title character. He deserves an Oscar nomination if the Academy has the balls to recognize such sinister fare. Gina Gershon, Emile Hirsch, Thomas …

[9.0] Neill Blomkamp’s stellar directorial debut is an unpredictable blend of intelligence, emotion, and cinematic whoop-ass that defies convention and leaves you breathless. It begins like a documentary, outlining how a race of stranded aliens (the space kind) came to be ghettoized in South Africa. We follow a character named Wikus, a bumbling government agent who is tasked with herding the aliens to a new …

[9.0] My favorite Pixar film features two robots who say little more than each others’ names, but somehow, as if by magic, WALL-E manages to convey more emotion than films that try twice as hard to do so.  There’s a charming purity in the characters of WALL-E and EVE, who to differing degrees struggle against their ‘directives’ to form a bond.  The fact that these …

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