In my rather short attempt at tying this week’s list into a release, I was unsuccessful.
So, let’s take a look at the best movies to have been released in the past 5 years…
Hands down the best comic book movie ever made. Fully functions outside of the characters’ names/traits.
The Neon Demon
One of the least accessible films mentioned, the composition and score are unparalleled.
Tarantino hasn’t put out a film this great in years. The way the backgrounds were made part of the story was wonderful. It was a great technical achievement to properly utilize the Panavision 70 lenses in such a confined space.
Jeremy Saulnier hasn’t quite made his name yet, but once he does, this will be one of the first films that newcomers to his work should go back and catch up with. Tension is the name of the game, here.
Michael Fassbender could not have dialed in a more masterful performance. Aaron Sorkin beautifully maps out 3 moments in the life of Steve Jobs. Danny Boyle manages to not get in the way (too much).
What is the meaning of life? Watch this movie.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
One of the most amazing things any filmmaker could have done is to have made this film. Originally made as two separate films, Him and Her, each telling the same story but from the respective perspective, the studio forced writer/director Ned Benson to compile the two films together into a single, feature length Them. To make things even more interesting, Ned Benson filmed this movie, starring Jessica Chastain, after they ended their 4 year relationship. Watch Him, watch Her, skip Them.
This is modern day cinema, defined. If the opening, uncut 15 minute take does not get you to go to the movie theater and have your jaw dropped in awe, I do not know what could.
Without further ado, here are the finalists:05. Annihilation
Self-destruction is the theme of this film. The visuals are breath-taking and the mood is eerie throughout. Add in some restrained, top-notch acting and you have a recipe for success. Annihilation is a sci-fi lover’s dream (well…one of them, at least).04. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson has a very unique style of filmmaking. His framing is very noticeable, and when combined with the color palette used in The Grand Budapest Hotel, every single frame of the movie is fun to look at. Telling a story that spans over several time periods, Wes Anderson opted to use a different aspect ratio with each time period. Also, the warmth of the color tones are different within time periods. Wes Anderson has made his masterpiece.03. Moonlight
Barry Jenkins crafted a beautiful story about the life of a young, black, gay man growing up in the streets of Miami. I have not been this moved or touched while watching a film in a very long time, if ever. My words cannot do this film justice. The “fun/cool factor” is the only reason this movie does not sit at #1.02. Ex Machina
If you’re watching as you go and enjoyed Annihilation, hold on to your seats! Ex Machina is a finely tuned, well oiled machine. Ex Machina tells the story of a programmer who is randomly selected to visit a home of the genius who is inventing the world’s first artificial intelligence. Masterfully directed, Alex Garland managed to pull the absolute best performances possible out of his actors. The mood is tense and the stakes are high.
01. Upstream Color
Upstream Color is visual storytelling at its finest. There is very little dialogue and the viewers are trusted to observe for themselves. Shane Carruth wrote, directed, starred in, produced, edited, operated the camera and composed the music for this film. How many other films do you know with someone who did so much (and with such a high quality)? The answer is: none.
What are your favorite movies that have been released in the past 5 years? Do any of these films make your list? Drop a comment below and head over to our Facebook Group for much more discussion.