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Top 10 Best Films of 2021

10. West Side Story (2021)

I didn’t think we needed a remake of “West Side Story.” Turns out we needed Steven Spielberg’s remake! I’ll admit, at the start of the film I was thinking “What is happening?” I didn’t appreciate what the choreography was saying right away. But about 15 minutes into the movie, I was hooked. Spielberg created a beautiful musical with a modern-day Romeo and Juliet tale that’s sadly still relevant.

9. Pig

“Pig” is the sleeper hit that has stayed with me since viewing it earlier this year. The film follows a truffle hunter (Nicolas Cage) who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness, but must return to Portland in search of his beloved, stolen, truffle pig. I didn’t know much going into this movie, but I was quickly reminded of what a talented actor Nicolas Cage is. Even though he’s had some questionable roles, “Pig” solidifies him as one of the greats. I love the simplicity of the story, and the power behind all the performances; especially, Alex Wolff, who plays opposite Cage. You’d expect this film to go full on “John Wick”, but instead it’s more of a subtle human, drama of a man living with regret and grief.  

8. A Hero

Over the years, director Asghar Farhadi has tried to create empathy between audiences and the characters he writes. In his newest film, “A Hero”, we follow Rahim (Amir Jadidi) – A man who was in prison for unpaid debt. During his two-day leave he tries to end his prison time, but things get a little out of hand. “A Hero” is another fantastic piece of work by Farhadi. He continues to keep audiences on the edge of their seat as he constructs an intricate story that powerfully showcases manipulation through social media

7. Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is another notch in the Marvel belt of quality superhero movies with fleshed out characters and heartfelt stories. In this film, Shang Chi has been secretly going by the name Shawn (Simu Liu), and spending most of his time with his best friend, Katy (Awkwafina), as a valet in San Francisco. But when they are unexpectedly attacked by his father’s terrorist organization, the Ten Rings, he is forced to return to his old home, and confront the past he so desperately tried to run away from. The film provides a well-thought-out storyline with an emotional backstory. It stuns visually with its seamless choreography and electrifying special effects. It is also the Asian-inspired action flick audiences have been needing to see as Disney continues to successfully showcase diversity and inclusion in their productions.  

6. Don’t Look Up

When two scientists (Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) discover a comet will soon destroy the Earth, they try everything they can to warn the world and prevent the destruction. But for some reason, people won’t take it seriously. What was intended to be a social commentary on climate change, happens to also relate to our current pandemic and how society chooses to deal with or ignore a global issue. Director/writer Adam McKay creates a hilarious script featuring an all-star, talented cast. The film is timely, terrifying, and laugh-out-loud funny. It’s a comical cautionary tale everyone should watch. 

5. The Last Duel

I have no idea why this film didn’t get more award attention! Jodie Comer at the very least deserves a nomination. “The Last Duel” is based on a true story set in France during the 14th century. Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) accuses Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) of raping his wife, Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), and challenges him to a duel to the death. Damon and Ben Affleck reunite to write a gripping tale told from three different perspectives. With their words and Ridley Scott’s masterful vision, “The Last Duel” is a painful, but important reminder of the #MeToo survivors.

4. The Mitchells vs the Machines

“Mitchell’s vs the Machines was one of my early favorites of 2021. It follows Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson), a teenager who has felt like an outcast most of her life and spends a lot of her time making funny videos. She’s lost the bond she once had with her father (Danny McBride), and is looking forward to going away for college. But, in an effort to rebuild their relationship, Katie’s dad plans a last-minute family road trip. Unfortunately, this bumpy ride finds the Mitchells in the middle of a robot apocalypse, and they become humanity’s last hope. “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is original, clever, funny, touching, and an absolute blast. This is a movie both kids and adults will connect with and enjoy.  Though Katie and her dad have had their arguments, the entire family has drifted apart by burying themselves in their electronics. Katie’s mom, Linda (Maya Rudolph), is obsessed with other families’ online personas; admiring a life she wished she had. And her brother is obsessed with everything dinosaurs. Rick is the only one in the family who hates technology and enjoys more of the outdoors. It’s enough to make you think twice before pulling out your phones when you’re spending time with your family.  

3. Our Friend

Before I gush about this film, I’m sure some of my colleagues are wondering why a movie that qualified for awards in 2020 is on my top 10 list for 2021. Well, I first saw “Our Friend” in January this year and if you check the official US theatrical release date (not TIFF or other festivals), it opened on January 22, 2021. Moving on! “Our Friend” is an incredibly moving, true story that still brings me to tears when I talk about it. Matt (Casey Affleck) and Nicole (Dakota Johnson) are a loving couple with two daughters; but when they discover Nicole has ovarian cancer, they struggle to keep their life together. When their best friend, Dane (Jason Segel) hears of the tragic news, he decides to put his own life on hold and be there for the whole family. As many times as I have seen a story about losing a loved one from cancer, I have never seen one told like this. Even though it seemed as though Dane was helping Matt and Nicole during a difficult time, in actuality, they were saving him. I think we can all relate to feeling as though a friend may not care as much as you do when you’re sick, or when you just want to feel valued. This is a beautiful portrayal of a mutually loving friendship, and the powerful affect it can have on your life.

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home

I can still remember how I felt when I first saw “Spider-Man” (2002) in theaters. I got chills, my jaw dropped a few times, and I could not stop thinking about what I had just seen. As time went on, we got more Spider-Man movies and different Spider-Man actors. I truly enjoyed them all, some more than others. But never did I think I would be treated to such a theatrical experience in 2021. I’m scared to share any details, because for those who have yet to watch, it’s best to know nothing about the plot. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” weaves together decades of characters we loved and hated to honor a true hero. Tom Holland gives his best performance to date. The film is a nostalgic gift to fans as it engages us in laughter, pulls at our heartstrings, revisits the past, and gives us hope for the future.  

1. King Richard

This probably comes as no surprise as I have raved about this movie since I first saw it. I’ve seen it 3 times, and each time I fall more in love with it. “King Richard” breaks the mold of a formulaic sports biopic. There’s a lot to learn from this film. Though it’s about the Williams sisters’ journey to greatness, it’s also a character study on a flawed man. Richard (Will Smith) is overbearing, selfish, and hard-headed. But he’s also humble, kind, and a loving father. Yes, he wants his daughters to go to Wimbledon, but his first priority for them is to do well in school and enjoy being kids. He also teaches them the importance of good sportsmanship and never forgetting where you came from.

The Best of the Rest:

11. Licorice Pizza

12. Cruella

13. Raya and the Last Dragon

14. The Lost Daughter

15. A Quiet Place Part II

16. Lady of the Manor

17. The Novice

18. House of Gucci

19. Mass

20. Language Lessons

Top 5 Worst Films of 2021

5. Without Remorse – Like a bad date with a good looking person.

4. Space Jam: A New Legacy – Do yourself a favor, just re-watch the original film and forget this exists.

3. Things Heard and Seen – What the actual hell?

2. The Comeback Trail – Luckily, for this all-star cast, most people didn’t know this ever came out.

1. Halloween Kills – An all around joke of a movie that wasn’t funny or fun.

Trevor’s Top 10

10. The Green Knight
9. Candyman
8. No Time to Die
7. The Suicide Squad
6. Don’t Look Up
5. King Richard
4. Pig
3. Spider-Man: No Way Home
2. Bo Burnham: Inside
1. Our Friend

25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards Nominees

“THE IRISHMAN” LEADS FILM NOMINATIONS FOR 25TH ANNUAL CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARDS

NETFLIX GARNERS 61 TOTAL NOMINATIONS, HBO EARNS 33

GALA EVENT WILL AIR LIVE ON THE CW NETWORK SUNDAY, JANUARY 12, 2020 FROM THE BARKER HANGAR IN SANTA MONICA

 The Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced today the nominees for the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards. The winners will be revealed at the star-studded Critics’ Choice Awards gala, which will once again be hosted by film, television, and stage star Taye Diggs, and broadcast live on The CW Television Network on Sunday, January 12 from 7:00 – 10:00 pm ET (delayed PT).

FILM NOMINATIONS FOR THE 25TH ANNUAL CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARDS

BEST PICTURE

1917

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women

Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Parasite

Uncut Gems

BEST ACTOR

Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory

Robert De Niro – The Irishman

Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Adam Driver – Marriage Story

Eddie Murphy – Dolemite Is My Name

Joaquin Phoenix – Joker

Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems

BEST ACTRESS

Awkwafina – The Farewell

Cynthia Erivo – Harriet

Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story

Lupita Nyong’o – Us

Saoirse Ronan – Little Women

Charlize Theron – Bombshell

Renée Zellweger – Judy

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse

Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes

Al Pacino – The Irishman

Joe Pesci – The Irishman

Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Laura Dern – Marriage Story

Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit

Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers

Florence Pugh – Little Women

Margot Robbie – Bombshell

Zhao Shuzhen  – The Farewell

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Julia Butters – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Roman Griffin Davis – Jojo Rabbit

Noah Jupe – Honey Boy

Thomasin McKenzie – Jojo Rabbit

Shahadi Wright Joseph – Us

Archie Yates – Jojo Rabbit

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Bombshell

The Irishman

Knives Out

Little Women

Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Parasite

BEST DIRECTOR

Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story

Greta Gerwig – Little Women

Bong Joon Ho – Parasite

Sam Mendes – 1917

Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie – Uncut Gems

Martin Scorsese – The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story

Rian Johnson – Knives Out

Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won – Parasite

Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Lulu Wang – The Farewell

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Greta Gerwig – Little Women

Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Anthony McCarten – The Two Popes

Todd Phillips & Scott Silver – Joker

Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit

Steven Zaillian  – The Irishman

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Jarin Blaschke – The Lighthouse

Roger Deakins – 1917

Phedon Papamichael   – Ford v Ferrari

Rodrigo Prieto – The Irishman

Robert Richardson – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Lawrence Sher – Joker

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran – Joker

Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales  – 1917

Jess Gonchor, Claire Kaufman – Little Women

Lee Ha Jun – Parasite

Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Bob Shaw, Regina Graves – The Irishman

Donal Woods, Gina Cromwell – Downton Abbey

BEST EDITING

Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie – Uncut Gems

Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker – Ford v Ferrari

Yang Jinmo  – Parasite

Fred Raskin – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Thelma Schoonmaker – The Irishman

Lee Smith – 1917

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Ruth E. Carter – Dolemite Is My Name

Julian Day – Rocketman

Jacqueline Durran – Little Women

Arianne Phillips – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson – The Irishman

Anna Robbins – Downton Abbey

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

Bombshell

Dolemite Is My Name

The Irishman

Joker

Judy

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Rocketman

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1917

Ad Astra

The Aeronauts

Avengers: Endgame

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

The Lion King

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Abominable

Frozen II

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

I Lost My Body

Missing Link

Toy Story 4

BEST ACTION MOVIE

1917

Avengers: Endgame

Ford v Ferrari

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Spider-Man: Far From Home

BEST COMEDY

Booksmart

Dolemite Is My Name

The Farewell

Jojo Rabbit

Knives Out

BEST SCI-FI OR HORROR MOVIE

Ad Astra

Avengers: Endgame

Midsommar

Us

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Atlantics

Les Misérables

Pain and Glory

Parasite

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

BEST SONG

Glasgow (No Place Like Home) – Wild Rose

(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again – Rocketman

I’m Standing With You – Breakthrough

Into the Unknown – Frozen II

Speechless – Aladdin

Spirit – The Lion King

Stand Up – Harriet

BEST SCORE

Michael Abels – Us

Alexandre Desplat   – Little Women

Hildur Guðnadóttir – Joker

Randy Newman – Marriage Story

Thomas Newman  – 1917

Robbie Robertson – The IrishmanN

TELEVISION NOMINATIONS FOR THE 25TH ANNUAL CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARDS

BEST DRAMA SERIES

The Crown (Netflix)

David Makes Man (OWN)

Game of Thrones (HBO)

The Good Fight (CBS All Access)

Pose (FX)

Succession (HBO)

This Is Us (NBC)

Watchmen (HBO)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us (NBC)

Mike Colter – Evil (CBS)

Paul Giamatti – Billions (Showtime)

Kit Harington – Game of Thrones (HBO)

Freddie Highmore – The Good Doctor (ABC)

Tobias Menzies – The Crown (Netflix)

Billy Porter – Pose (FX)

Jeremy Strong – Succession (HBO)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Christine Baranski – The Good Fight (CBS All Access)

Olivia Colman – The Crown (Netflix)

Jodie Comer – Killing Eve (BBC America)

Nicole Kidman – Big Little Lies (HBO)

Regina King – Watchmen (HBO)

Mj Rodriguez – Pose (FX)

Sarah Snook – Succession (HBO)

Zendaya – Euphoria (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Asante Blackk – This Is Us (NBC)

Billy Crudup – The Morning Show (Apple)

Asia Kate Dillon – Billions (Showtime)

Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones (HBO)

Justin Hartley – This Is Us (NBC)

Delroy Lindo – The Good Fight (CBS All Access)

Tim Blake Nelson – Watchmen (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Helena Bonham Carter – The Crown (Netflix)

Gwendoline Christie – Game of Thrones (HBO)

Laura Dern – Big Little Lies (HBO)

Audra McDonald – The Good Fight (CBS All Access)

Jean Smart – Watchmen (HBO)

Meryl Streep – Big Little Lies (HBO)

Susan Kelechi Watson – This Is Us (NBC)

BEST COMEDY SERIES

Barry (HBO)

Fleabag (Amazon)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

Mom (CBS)

One Day at a Time (Netflix)

PEN15 (Hulu)

Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Ted Danson – The Good Place (NBC)

Walton Goggins – The Unicorn (CBS)

Bill Hader – Barry (HBO)

Eugene Levy – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

Paul Rudd – Living with Yourself (Netflix)

Bashir Salahuddin – Sherman’s Showcase (IFC)

Ramy Youssef – Ramy (Hulu)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Christina Applegate – Dead to Me (Netflix)

Alison Brie – GLOW (Netflix)

Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

Kirsten Dunst – On Becoming a God in Central Florida (Showtime)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep (HBO)

Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag (Amazon)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Andre Braugher – Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)

Anthony Carrigan – Barry (HBO)

William Jackson Harper – The Good Place (NBC)

Daniel Levy – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

Nico Santos – Superstore (NBC)

Andrew Scott – Fleabag (Amazon)

Henry Winkler – Barry (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

D’Arcy Carden – The Good Place (NBC)

Sian Clifford – Fleabag (Amazon)

Betty Gilpin – GLOW (Netflix)

Rita Moreno – One Day at a Time (Netflix)

Annie Murphy – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

Molly Shannon – The Other Two (Comedy Central)

BEST LIMITED SERIES

Catch-22 (Hulu)

Chernobyl (HBO)

Fosse/Verdon (FX)

The Loudest Voice (Showtime)

Unbelievable (Netflix)

When They See Us (Netflix)

Years and Years (HBO)

BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Brexit (HBO)

Deadwood: The Movie (HBO)

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)

Guava Island (Amazon)

Native Son (HBO)

Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)

BEST ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Christopher Abbott – Catch-22 (Hulu)

Mahershala Ali – True Detective (HBO)

Russell Crowe – The Loudest Voice (Showtime)

Jared Harris – Chernobyl (HBO)

Jharrel Jerome – When They See Us (Netflix)

Sam Rockwell – Fosse/Verdon (FX)

Noah Wyle – The Red Line (CBS)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Kaitlyn Dever – Unbelievable (Netflix)

Anne Hathaway – Modern Love (Amazon)

Megan Hilty – Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)

Joey King – The Act (Hulu)

Jessie Mueller – Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)

Merritt Wever – Unbelievable (Netflix)

Michelle Williams – Fosse/Verdon (FX)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Asante Blackk – When They See Us (Netflix)

George Clooney – Catch-22 (Hulu)

John Leguizamo – When They See Us (Netflix)

Dev Patel – Modern Love (Amazon)

Jesse Plemons – El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)

Stellan Skarsgård – Chernobyl (HBO)

Russell Tovey – Years and Years (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Patricia Arquette – The Act (Hulu)

Marsha Stephanie Blake – When They See Us (Netflix)

Toni Collette – Unbelievable (Netflix)

Niecy Nash – When They See Us (Netflix)

Margaret Qualley – Fosse/Verdon (FX)

Emma Thompson – Years and Years (HBO)

Emily Watson – Chernobyl (HBO)

BEST ANIMATED SERIES

Big Mouth (Netflix)

BoJack Horseman (Netflix)

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Netflix)

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Netflix)

The Simpsons (Fox)

Undone (Amazon)

BEST TALK SHOW

Desus & Mero (Showtime)

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)

The Kelly Clarkson Show (NBC)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)

Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC)

BEST COMEDY SPECIAL 

Amy Schumer: Growing (Netflix)

Jenny Slate: Stage Fright (Netflix)

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons (ABC)

Ramy Youssef: Feelings (HBO)

Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby (Netflix)

Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia (Netflix)

Wanda Sykes: Not Normal (Netflix)

Nominations for the 88th Academy Awards

oscar

Best Picture:

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

Best Director:

  • Adam McKay – The Big Short
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant
  • Lenny Abramson – The Room
  • Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
  • Ridley Scott – The Martian

Best Actor:

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Matt Damon – The Martian
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

Best Actress:

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Tom Hardy – The Revenant
  • Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
  • Sylvester Stallone – Creed
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh – Hateful Eight
  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Matt Charman, Joel & Ethan Coen – Bridge of Spies
  • Alex Garland – Ex Machina
  • Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronnie del Carmin – Inside Out
  • Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
  • Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus, Andrea Berloff –Straight Outta Compton

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Nick Hornby – Brooklyn
  • Adam McKay and Charles Randolph – The Big Short
  • Drew Goddard – The Martian
  • Phyllis Nagy – Carol
  • Emma Donoghue – Room

Best Animated Feature Film:

  • Anomalisa
  • Inside Out
  • Boy and the World
  • Shaun of the Sheep
  • When Marnie Was There

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • Embrace of the Serpent
  • Mustang
  • A War
  • Son of Saul
  • Theeb

Best Documentary — Feature:

  • Amy
  • Cartel Land
  • The Look of Silence
  • What Happened Miss Simone?
  • Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Best Documentary — Short Subject:

  • Body Team 12
  • Chau, Beyond the Lines
  • Last Day of Freedom
  • Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
  • A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Best Live Action Short Film:

  • Day One
  • Everything Will Be Okay
  • Stutterer
  • Ave Maria
  • Shok

Best Animated Short Film:

  • Sanjay’s Super Team
  • An Object at Rest
  • If I Was God…
  • Bear Story
  • World of Tomorrow

Best Original Score:

  • The Hateful Eight
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol

Best Original Song:

  • “Earned It” – 50 Shades of Gray
  • “Writing’s on the Wall” – Spectre
  • “Manta Ray” – Racing Extinction
  • “Simple Song #3” – Youth
  • “Till it Happens to You” – The Hunting Ground

Best Sound Editing:

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Sound Mixing:

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Production Design:

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Danish Girl

Best Cinematography:

  • Edward Lachman – Carol
  • Robert Richardson – The Hateful Eight
  • John Seale – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Emmanuel Lubezki – The Revenant
  • Roger Deakins – Sicario

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared

Best Costume Design:

  • Carol
  • Cinderella
  • The Danish Girl
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant

Best Film Editing:

  • The Big Short
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Spotlight
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Visual Effects:

  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ex Machina
  • The Martian

The Oscars, hosted by Chris Rock for the second time, will be held on Feb. 28 and air live on ABC.

North Texas Film Critics Association Name “The Martian” Best Picture of 2015

the martian

 

NORTH TEXAS FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION NAME “THE MARTIAN” BEST PICTURE OF 2015

The North Texas Film Critics Association is proud to announce their Best of 2015 and winners in ten categories. The association was founded in 2005 and consists of a group of twelve film critics who write or broadcast in the North Texas area. 

The North Texas Film Critics Association voted the space epic based on the best selling novel THE MARTIAN as the Best Film of 2015, according to the results of its annual critics’ poll which was released today.

BEST of 2015

BEST ACTOR – Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant 

BEST ACTRESS – Brie Larson, Room

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant

BEST DOCUMENTARY – Amy (Asif Kapadia, director)

BEST FOREIGN FILM – Son of Saul (Hungary;  László Nemes, director)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – Inside Out

BEST DIRECTOR – Ridley Scott, The Martian

BEST PICTURE – The Martian (Ridley Scott)

Top 10 Best Films of 2015

 

10. The Revenant
As most of my colleagues have said, The Revenant isn’t a film, it’s an experience. Though, I can’t say it would be high on my re-watch-ability list. It is quite possibly the most unforgettable film this year. Largely due to an epic bear fight, in which images of that sequence are forever burned in my brain. Leonardo DiCaprio gives his most physically demanding and best performance yet! This film is beautifully shot, and with little dialogue director Alejandro G. Iñárritu still manages to captivate audiences through the entire 2 hours and 36 minutes.

9. Spotlight
Though this is a kind of slow burn film, it is worth patiently waiting for these reporters to gather all their research on the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Church. As Spotlight nears its conclusion with the Boston Globe publishing one of the most shocking revelations in history, you’re in for a powerful and emotional ending that I didn’t even expect to be so moved by.

8. The Hateful 8
I don’t know how Quentin Tarantino keeps doing it, but The Hateful 8 is just another great work of art by the iconic director. His dialogue never ceases to amaze me. As we watch the first half of the film trying to figure out the mystery among these peculiar characters, we wait in anticipation for the mind blowing second act that ends in true Tarantino style.

7. Room
For those who haven’t heard of this film, please do yourself a favor and see it right away! After being held captive in a room for over 5 years, we are shown the emotional trauma that follows after finally escaping and entering the real world. Room features an Oscar-worthy performance by Brie Larson and a breakout performance by Jacob Tremblay.

6. It Follows
These days horror films are rarely interesting and hardly scary, but It Follows manages to tell an original and clever story along with many scream-out-loud moments. The soundtrack only adds to this surprisingly, entertaining thriller that will leave you thinking twice before having unprotected sex.

5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Overall I have enjoyed almost all of the Star Wars films, but man, the recent piece to the saga is amazing! I can’t help but geek out talking about it. Not only is it a great continuation of the story filled with non-stop action and excitement, but all the new characters are likable and blend in perfectly with the return of the old.

4. Trainwreck
A good comedy that can make you truly laugh out loud and provide originality is like finding a diamond in the rough. And this year that diamond is Trainwreck. Amy Schumer has brought a whole new level of funny with the comedy about a commitment-phobic woman who never thought monogamy was possible, until she meets the one guy (Bill Hader) worth trying to commit with. There’s humor, there’s heart, and there’s Hader.

3. Inside Out
Not since Toy Story has an animated film hit me so hard with the reality of how sad growing up can be. Let’s put aside the fact that this script is smart and beyond creative. Inside Out is a bitter-sweet tale that reminds us of how simple our emotions were when we were kids and how much easier it was to stay joyful. Though there is a gloom to getting older and life’s changes, Inside Out also shows us the positive side of broadening our emotions.

2. The Martian
Well done Ridley Scott!!! Finally you make up for the crap that was The Counselor and Exodus: Gods and Kings. The past two years we’ve seen a visually stunning space film with Gravity and a confusing, long space film with Interstellar. But it’s 2015 that has brought us the best space movie yet! The Martian is the whole package film. Surprisingly enough, there is a lot of comic relief and the script does an excellent job of explaining the science in the film without going over the audiences’ head. With a running time of 2 hours and 24 minutes, the film never loses steam. The Martian is a beautifully shot and hilarious thrill ride.

1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
I wish this film got more recognition. Might be hard to remember back in July when ME and Earl and the Dying Girl came out, but it has stuck with me since. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon tells this story in such a John Hughes like manner that it almost feels nostalgic. This isn’t just a film about a girl with cancer. It’s her story told through point of view a new friend who is just now getting know her. With its awkwardly realistic dialogue, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is funny and incredibly moving.

Top 5 Worst Films of 2015

5. Adult Beginners– A less funny and messy version of The Skeleton Twins.

4. Jupiter Ascending– What a waste of perfectly good special effects.

3. Aloha– What a waste of a perfectly good cast.

2. Hot Pursuit– Still wondering why Reese Witherspoon was an accomplice to this crime.

1. By the Sea– What the f***!?!?

 

 

Top 5 Most Lovable Male & Female Movie Characters

Valentines Day is Friday!  What better way to get in that romantic mood than by watching some of the best characters in film.   You can’t help but fall in love with them every time you watch.

Top 5 Male Characters…

5. Preston Meyers- Can’t Hardly Wait

“I really believe that there’s one person out there, and for me it’s gotta be Amanda.”

Though his high school crush (Jennifer Love Hewitt) didn’t know who he was till the end of the film, Preston Meyers (Ethan Embry) was highly spoken of by every classmate that knew him.  It was that likeability factor, and the relentless determination of finally giving the letter that would admit his true feelings to his crush that makes him endearing and adorable.

4. Jack Dawson- Titanic

“Winning that ticket, Rose, was the best thing that ever happened to me… it brought me to you.”

Let’s face it; for the good part of the late 90’s, Leonardo DiCaprio was the biggest tween heart-throb.  And his iconic role as Jack Dawson in the Academy Award winning film, Titanic, had every girl swooning at the sound of his name and his “Tiger Beat” posters.  I will admit Jack and Rose (Kate Winslet) did fall in love quickly, but how can you resist Jack’s enthusiasm?  And of course there’s the moment he selflessly froze to death in the ocean just so Rose could have all the room on the debris to stay alive.

3. Tom Hansen- 500 Days of Summer

“It’s love. It’s not Santa Claus.”

First off, this film is one the best portrayals of a realistic one-sided relationship.  The only thing that is hard to believe is how Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) did not reciprocate the same feelings that Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) felt.  Tom was smart, handsome, caring, and they even seem to have the same sense of humor.  By the end of this film you feel an enormous amount of empathy for Tom, making you want to either date him yourself or just hug the guy.

2. Lloyd Dobler- Say Anything

“The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.”

Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) goes down in history as pulling off one of the most romantic, and bold gestures to get his girlfriend back.  You know the scene, the epic boom box over the head blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” outside of Diane Court’s (Ione Skye) bedroom.  Now most girls could find this a tad creepy. Add the fact that Lloyd’s goal in life during the entire film is to spend as much time with Diane as possible.  But the truth of the matter is Lloyd is just a good guy.  He is genuine and kind to everyone, making him impossible to turn down.

1. Noah Calhoun- The Notebook

“I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.”

This should be no surprise to anyone.  Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) is the epitome of the perfect guy that every girl wishes they could date/marry.  He is the guy we know doesn’t really exist, but we sure like to dream about the possibility of him.  Let’s put aside his unbelievable good looks.  Noah falls in love with Allie (Rachel McAdams) immediately; he goes through extreme measures to just get a date with her.  He then charms her like no other; she then of course falls for him.  They have a summer romance for the ages…but it doesn’t stop there.  Even after they break up, Noah doesn’t stop loving Allie.  He writes her multiple letters, and builds the dream house she always wanted.  All in hopes that one day she will return and they can be together.  And let’s not forget the fact that when Allie gets older and suffers from Alzheimer’s, he reads to her every day so she can remember and come back to him.

And to be fair to the guys, I decided to take a stab at the Top 5 Female Characters…

5. Uhura- Star Trek

“No. I’m assigned to the Enterprise!”

Uhura (Zoe Saldana) is smart, sassy, and faithful to Spock even though he shows lack of consideration for her feelings.

4. Zooey Rice- I Love You, Man

“So is he your best man?”

Zooey (Rashida Jones) loves her boyfriend so much; she wants him to have friends and a life of his own! “That’s like one of the most romantic things I could ever think of.”

3. Rachel Jansen- Forgetting Sarah Marshall

“Are you gonna jump or what?”

Rachel (Mila Kunis) is the fun, sexy girl who will make you jump off cliffs and help you get over Kristen Bell. This is not an easy feat.

2. Claire Cleary- Wedding Crashers

“True love is the soul’s recognition of its counterpoint in another.”

Claire (Rachel McAdams) is a genuine girl who is down to earth and has a contagious laugh that follows a beautiful smile.

1. Wichita- Zombieland

“I mean you got the guts of a guppy but I could hit that.”

Emma Stone has a number of lovable movie characters that you could easily want to date.  From Jules in Superbad, to Hannah in Crazy, Stupid, Love.  But when it comes down to it, her role as the kickass, protective sister who will do anything to survive the zombie invasion is kind of the whole package.

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

Movie Review: “Romeo and Juliet” is a Timeless Tale that has to stop being Retold

As someone who enjoys romantic films just as much as the next girl, I was surprisingly looking forward to the constantly repeated tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.  I had thought maybe this latest version would at least bring some sort of originality to the classic story…I thought wrong.

Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfield star in Carlo Carlei’s “Romeo and Juliet”

If for some reason you don’t know the story of Romeo and Juliet, or happened to just skip English class that week, let me sum it up for you.  Romeo is a Montague and Juliet is a Capulet.  The two families are mortal enemies, and must try to avoid each other because otherwise they just want to kill each other, seriously.  When Romeo sets his eyes on Juliet for the first time, it is immediately love at first sight!  No joke; the have already fallen madly in love with each other within the span of five minutes.  Of course this is forbidden love, and their families would never approve their relationship.  Alas, forbidden love develops causing hatred, revenge, and death.

Unfortunately, this tale is very dated.  These days it’s really hard to relate or even believe in a “love at first sight” film.  I get it though, that’s the story and it’s hard to change it up with out upsetting audiences.  But honestly, why do a remake if there is nothing new to bring to the table.  I mean at least, in the Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes version they attempted to set the film in hip modern time.  Not that I thought that was much better.  Shakespeare’s words are not modern.  But, I understand a film maker’s challenge in wanting to try that.  The whole time while watching this 2013 version, I just kept thinking why?  Why is this being redone?  And then Friar Laurence (Paul Giamatti) appeared on screen.

Paul Giamatti playing the Friar is the only reason I can imagine this movie was made.  His hilarious portrayal of a character I usually find uninteresting is actually the shiny silver lining to an otherwise forgettable cast.  Not that the acting was bad by any means.  They were all solid performances.  Ed Westwick made for one very angry, heavy breathing Tybalt.  Haliee Stienfield did a decent job as Juliet.  I’m still unsure just how much of her dialogue she actually understood.  She and Douglas Booth were very much how I would imagine Romeo and Juliet would look.  There just wasn’t much chemistry between the two, and from what I recall, DiCaprio and Danes had no problem generating intense passion.  Douglas Booth did, however, prove to be a strong actor.  After his performance in the Miley Cyrus drama, LOL, he needed to redeem himself; and without question this boy knows Shakespeare.  Every line was passionate and believable, you could understand even the most confusing words based on his emotions alone.

Now if you haven’t seen any version of this film or you don’t know the story and how it ends, then Romeo and Juliet could be very entertaining to you.  Otherwise this is just the same script with different actors.  If they do attempt another remake down the road, I’m wishing we get a complete reboot, and maybe a modern script?  Or even a different perspective of the story, in this case I’d love a version told by the Friar.  Tybalt is such an angry character.  Let’s see what his background is?  Does he have a love?  Just throwing out some thoughts!

Romeo and Juliet 2013 HD Official Trailer

Romeo and Juliet opens in theaters October 11th.

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com