Lesley Coffin’s Top 5:
Despite all the flaws (first 20 minutes, a leaf, too much pop music), this is still a movie I think is worth seeing and personally, really loved. Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin both give great performances that avoid saccharine, and have the chemistry to overcome admitted flaws. And a movie which touches on such timely issues, and like a book club novel, which will hopefully provoke debate from both sides elevates it above pure weepy love story.
4. The Nice Guys
I don’t think I’ve laughed this hard at a major movie this hard in a long time, and 90% that has to do with Ryan Gosling being Hollywood’s new master of physical comedy. Add to it an engaging (albeit ultimately trivial mystery) and more style than a fashion magazine, this is a fun, adult movie.
3. The Ones Below
A smart, lean chiller is exactly what you want from this kind of movie…and this admittedly familiar story is an example of a classic film told brilliantly. David Farr’s smart dialogue and heightened direction (the color design is especially memorable) and four top notch performance make it a truly enjoyable (but ultimately thoughtfully disturbing) moving going experience.
2. The Jungle Book
A simple story we’ve seen before sure, but the fact that I was this emotionally invested in this little boy’s journey is to the credit of the newcomer Neel Sethi and Jon Favreau unique ability to direct kid actors. And this is one of the rare films to truly use the high end CGI to create an immersive environment that left me awestruck.
The fact that this movie (yes, I consider it a satire) came out just before the election (and some high profile media scandal) went into high gear is a big reason it’s resonated so strongly. Stephen Frears turns the Lance Armstrong story into a thought-provoking, baffling, and often hilarious of a real-life sports figure who used his status as sympathetic hero to fool the world.