Once again, I’m trying to make a top 10 list while I still haven’t seen plenty of the movies I would like to see from this year.
Movies I haven’t seen yet, but I would like to, include: Till, The Fablemans, Bros, The Banshees of Inisherin, Pearl, Tár, Barbarian, Prey, Heojil kyolshim, Triangle of Sadness, Crush, RRR, Sfpin Me Round, Kimi, Emily the Criminal, Sirens, You Won’t Be Alone, Summering, Terrifier 2 and Watcher. So, if your favorite isn’t on the list, that might be the reason. Or I just hated your movie.
Right now it feels like it wasn’t a very good year. Many of the movies on this list are “good, but less than the previous installment / movie by the same director / what I expected”. This might be the after effects of the pandemic, which did hinder movie production quite a bit. Or maybe I’m just getting old. It feels like many of the more interesting concepts have resulted in sort of underwhelming films lately.
Except maybe horror… Horror feels like its still going strong even if there aren’t that many horror films on this list. Part of the
Here’s the 10 movies in no specific order. I’ll try to avoid spoilers.
Everything Everywhere All at Once
From a movie about Daniel Radcliffe’s dead body farting himself and a passenger through the air (okay, it’s not about that, but yes, that did happen in a movie) to this… epic? I guess. Michelle Yeoh is not satisfied with her life, but learns that maybe this specific version of her life isn’t that bad and everything she has learned and learns is actually important.
I like the ending, where Yeoh’s character just hijacks it and refuses to have a typical end to the story.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Ah, Sam Raimi is back. Not at his best, but still… It would actually be pretty easy to point problems with this movie, but what makes it fun is all the weirdness. In the comics, multiverse is just one of those things that they started using because they were running out of ideas (pretty much like giving superpowers to basically everyone, which is happening as well), but I do sort of like it here. There might not even be enough of it. They seem to get stuck in certain worlds quite often and because of that, world building suffers somewhat.
Still, fighting with musical notes is kind of fun.
I’ve talked about this extensively on this blog already, but this is probably the most intentionally weird movie made in Finland. Sure, it has some competition, but this is just better in this category than anything I’ve seen come out of this country, ever.
We have a new Batman. This one is more about investigative work than action and I, for one, am here for exactly that.
While Nolan’s Batman was a trained ninja, Reeves’s Batman is just brutal. It would seem that the character has taken a lot of inspiration from the Arkham series of games, especially Arkham Origins. The popular movie comparison has been Se7en and that is clearly another inspiration as the world is as dark and hopeless. Another point in Se7en’s favor is that The Batman is as much a detective movie as it is an action movie.
However, my favorite thing about the movie is how it depicts the bubble Bruce Wayne has been living in. Sure, he feels the pain of losing his parents, but he has been protected from all the collateral problems in these situations, because he is rich. The Riddler is also depicted in a very interesting way.
We’ve seen this concept before (It Follows, for example), but it works: Dr. Rose Cotter witnesses the suicide of a patient and catches some sort of curse or something from the patient.
I won’t talk about the ending much, but I’m not sure how I feel about it. You can see it coming from a mile away, but at the same time, it would seem to me that their hand was somewhat forced here. If they didn’t do it, they would have been criticized for that as well. All in all, it is a great horror movie, which is also secretly more realistic in certain ways than most, even with the high-concept.
A weird little art movie or what would be colloqually known as “tekotaiteellista paskaa” or “faux artistic bullshit” in English, but at the same time it is also a statement on “tekotaiteellinen paska”. Its about this small collective of performance artists, who work with food and have scored a residency in an institute specialized in this kind of art. However, the egos within the collective and without clash in a destructive way.
This seems to have flown under the radar. Like W, I was actually the only one in the theater when I saw it. It is weird enough that this disinterest is understandable, but at the same time, it isn’t in line with Peter Strickland’s earlier movies (which haven’t been hits either, but have had considerably larger audiences).
Harper witnesses the death (perhaps suicide) of her husband. She needs time away from her life, so she rents a house in the countryside to stay in for a while. The problem is that the local men take a little too much interest in her.
Not quite as good as Annihilation and nowhere near as good as Ex Machina, but still an interesting horror movie. Perhaps its pushing the toxic masculinity a little too hard, but I don’t think it really crosses the line. Some of the folk horror imagery also gets very interesting.
A man with ambitions to become a big-time porn producer brings a small group of people to a remote farm to make a movie. Its remote, so you know what’s going to happen next, but the interesting part is how this builds on the general mythos of horror movies in an interesting way. Promiscuity has been seen as something evil in these movies, but here it gets more complicated. Its definitely not seen as evil here, but at the same time it is the reason many people get killed.
I probably need to see the sequel(s) to really get the context here, but it is also very good as a standalone movie.
Its the proto-Hamlet (yes, really).
The funny thing (to me) about this movie is that a lot of the so-called manosphere latched onto this movie, apparently not understanding that the movie is about toxic masculinity and its consequences. Its the exact opposite of what these people want from the movie, but I guess you can find what you want in any media, if you look hard enough.
There’s a difference here: I like the brutality of the movie, but I’m not in any way romanticizing it. To me, Amleth is kind of boring. You know, just kind of vanilla, while everything else around him is much more interesting, especially the religion, which is very exotic (although I’m guessing our Christian ways would seem as weird to them – though I’m not a Christian).
Speak No Evil
A Danish film about a family, that meets another family from the Netherlands on vacation and decides to visit them. The visit gets weird.
I think the interesting part here is the idea that in a civilized society we are so accustomed to safety that it allows for certain people to abuse the trust. I’m not saying we shouldn’t trust other people. I mean, the general trust in people is very high in Nordic countries (over 70%, whereas its around 25% in most countries), and Nordic countries tend to be the happiest in the world, so maybe other countries should try this out. Sure, there are downsides, but they will never outweight the positives.