Tuesday, January 19, 2016


1 - SPOTLIGHT (Tom McCarthy) - For triggering me and setting me free; for nailing big city-small town Boston; for reportage, writing and cast 
2 - UNCLE JOHN (Steven Piet) - For both bleakness and incandescence, downright Shakespearean; for the gift of John (Ashton) and being a bona fide heartbreaker 
3 - BLACKHAT (Michael Mann) - For bravely cutting through pretense and expectation; for strong women, swoon-inducing scenes of adult intimacy, quotable dialogue and brief but bravura, exquisitely designed, intensely visceral, ground-zero-level bursts of violence; for a provocative, ferocious, insurgent attempt to invigorate the medium; see also #4 
4 - MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (George Miller) - For fire and blood and chrome; for redemption and resurrection; for women empowered, Junkie XL and hope; see also #3 
5 - LOVE AND MERCY (Bill Pohlad) - For illustrating the frustrating and gorgeous madness of process and the process of frustrating and gorgeous madness 
6 - STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (F. Gary Gray) - For history 
7 - THE DEAD LANDS (Toa Fraser) - For mysticism, cannibalism, knockout New Zealand vistas and a Michael Mann-ish score; for being the best film since Sayles' 1996 LONE STAR about an individual's personal quest forever altering global history 
8 - IT FOLLOWS (David Robert Mitchell) - For earnestly reenvisioning Carpenter and Craven, and for Detroit kids 
UNFRIENDED (Levan Gabriadze) - For slyly and subversively deconstructing the 'found footage' film, and for being socially relevant besides 
9 - EX MACHINA (Alex Garland) - For Kubrickian cerebral pulp, gender politics, and grrl robot power 
10 - SPY (Paul Feig) - For being the anti-ENTOURAGE in its proactive progressiveness 

Honorable Mention: 
Christopher (son of Michael) Landon's THE SCOUT'S GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, for being unpretentious retro fun (even despite zombie rape gag) 

MAGGIE (Henry Hobson) - For being ridiculously amateurish in both its filmmaking and self-conscious faux-pretentiousness; those interested would do better to rewatch Cronenberg's THE FLY - the film MAGGIE's makers think we're too young or too dumb to remember. 

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