I’ve had a lot of time lately to catch up on some new and not so new movie. There are a lot of great movies, most of which got the credit they deserve but here are some personal favourites that may not have made the popularity cut, or made it to everyone’s must see list. Worth seeing, irrespective of the reviews posted online, these are some of the ones I would recommend regardless:
- About Time (2013) – A light hearted comedy with a time travelling twist that makes it not only charming but thought provoking of “what could have been?” plastered throughout. Rachel McAdams is always great and charismatic and the acting from everyone in this movie makes you feel connected to everyone in the movie.
- Into the Wild (2007) – Although the story is emotional and inspiring. This is based on a real story which makes it all the more poignant. I can’t get over the fact that this is a consequence of white privilege to the extreme where people have the luxury to just get up and go throwing away any need for financial or social security. Having said that it is still a goal of mine to be less connected to material wealth and unnecessary burdens we put on ourselves, and for that it is a beautiful story and you can’t feel emotional connected to the main character.
- I Am Mother (2019) – One of a few thrillers in this list (my favourite genre). This sci-fi has a nice twist that has some thought provoking ideas executed in a great way. Hilary Swank is in it so enough said! A great idea and an engaging story.
- Ex Machina (2014) – I saw this movie at least three times and the acting is impeccable. The mood generated by the editing, cinematography, and the sets is all encompassing. This thriller is another one with a unique concept that starts slow but keeps you wondering at all levels until the shocking end.
- The Aftermath (2019) – This is set around events after WWII within Germany and the under represented stories of Germans affects by the repercussions of their leaders after the war and their new leaders. It is a drama that is easy to follow, well acted and leaves the cheesiness to a minimum.
- Upside Down (2012) – A complicated unique idea done as best as I could have imagined. Kirsten Dunst is always charismatic, and the story line is intriguing. The effects are like nothing I have seen before. Will take a little leap of faith to get into this movie and believe in the magic it intends to inspire.
- The Butterfly Effect (Director’s Cut) (2004) – This movie has been on my mind well after watching it – a few times at that. Despite the criticism that Ashton Kutcher got, I still think he’s great in this movie, and the story line is thought provoking and intelligent. The director’s cut is levels above the theatrical ending, although more grim, also somehow inspires more hope and provides a better sense of closure.
- Dark City (1998) – This movie will make your head spin with the effects alone, but the story line will take you on a wonderful trip if you’re up for it! “When this druggy, Kafka-esque head-trip came out, I would’ve bet anything that Australian director Alex Proyas (The Crow) would become the next Tim Burton. Rufus Sewell gets snarled in a nightmarescape pursued by a freaky cabal of pasty-faced men in black (led by Kiefer Sutherland). Possibly the best art-directed movie of the ‘90s; definitely the most art-directed movie of the ‘90s.” —Chris Nashawaty
- Ad Astra (2019) – Another surprise for me thinking this will be another Interstellar cop out. The moon buggy scene alone is worth watching this movie. Has some intelligent storey lines and concepts with an emotional dad-son connection throughout. Brad Pitt proves again he’s an underrated actor.
- Perfect Blue (1997) – This Anime is top notch and definitely not one for the kids – and some adults for that matter, a great thriller in all sense of the word. “Don’t make the mistake of thinking anime is just about giant robots and squid monsters. Echoing Vertigo and prefiguring the psychological identity games of Black Swan, this schizoid-thriller about a pop star with a murderous stalker dives into the murky depths of mental illness, fame, and obsession, where reality and fantasy intermingle.” —Keith Staskiewicz
There are loads more but I thought I would put a range of different genres. Expect more lists to come – just so many great movies out there with stories that need to be seen, stay tuned. Any other suggestions?