From 10 to 01
10. Ad Astra
10. Ad Astra (James Gray)
Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga
In Ad Astra, James Gray guides us to delve into Pitt’s most resonating performance in recent years as his character delves into a macro and micro journey at the same time. Read Ad Astra review here.
09. Midsommar (Ari Aster)
Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter
Midsommar has sealed Ari Aster’s reputation as a mindfuck storyteller. With a breathtaking blend of wits, visual sensitivity, and the penchant for a mental challenge, Aster is definitely one of the most promising horror directors at this moment. And, Midsommar has proven that the heartbroken Ari Aster is our favorite one. Read Midsommar review here.
08. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
08. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (Chad Stahelski)
Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Halle Berry
For every neck-breaking, skull-crunching, blood-gushing, and jaw-dropping action spectacle, Parabellum will either present a glimpse of the myth-building if not some effective comic reliefs. By relentlessly leaping from various orgasmic, nerve-racking action set pieces to ever-expanding world-building, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is a wickedly lethal chapter. Read John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum review here.
07. Uncut Gems
07. Uncut Gems (Josh Safdie, Ben Safdie)
Adam Sandler, Lakeith Stanfield, Eric Bogosian
There’s this kind of electric energy in Safdie Brothers’ Uncut Gems that makes us anxious for the whole duration. Everybody yells instead of talking; everybody moves frenetically, violently, and urgently. The breathtaking narrative will put you at the edge of the seat more than a horror movie will do. And when the foreshadowing game pays off, you will get the chill on your neck that is hard to forget. At this point, Adam Sandler as Howard Ratner has already clawed his existence right on your mind. Read Uncut Gems review here.
06. Little Women
06. Little Women (Greta Gerwig)
Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Timothee Chalamet
Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel, Little Women, is undoubtedly a timeless story; oftentimes, it feels ahead of its time. Gerwig’s version resonates with the roles of women in the wake of woke culture, with depictions of constant battles for social justice and against gender stereotypes. We have seen this feisty spirit of Gerwig’s characters before, but now, she’s projected this feistiness to May Alcott’s characters, whom she puts in a relentless pursuit for answers to their existences within 19th-century norms and values. It ends up being as it is intended to be: intimate and modest.
05. The Irishman
05. The Irishman (Martin Scorsese)
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino
It’s never been a simple reunion. The Irishman is not merely a Scorsese’s through-and-through gangster movie either. It’s a poignant reflection to the director’s career so far and a grand coda to De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci’s long and glowing career. Read The Irishman review here.
04. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
04. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)
Leonardo di Caprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie
Watching Tarantino overindulging in his fascination for the zeitgeist of a Hollywood era is a real treat, especially when Leonardo di Caprio and Brad Pitt are on board with a similar spirit. If any of the director’s films before this showing his respectful homage to the particular world cinema’s sub-genre (from the pulpy hard-boiled gangster, blaxploitation, spaghetti western, wuxia and propaganda movies) that fascinated him, his ninth film shows how the 60s Hollywood era influences his body of works. Read Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood review here.
03. 1917 (Sam Mendes)
George Mackay, Dean-Charles Chapman
Sam Mendes reinvents World War I movie with sophisticated technical prowess and massive scale of production in 1917. It’s a cinematic triumph presented with an illusion of seamless single take for almost two hours, which works more than pleasing the eyes. The technique undoubtedly is the only possible one to narrate Mendes’ captivating story and guide the audiences to the harrowing looks of war in real-time. Read 1917 review here.
02. Parasite (Bong Joon-ho)
Song Kang-ho, Choi Woo-sik, Park So-dam
Bong Joon-ho’s homecoming to Korean cinema following his respective international tenures is a brilliantly crafted cinema experience, pushing forward the director’s renowned prowess in the art of narrative and his constant social justice rage to the border. It’s an uplifting yet bitter family tragicomedy blending a twist of home invasion trope with social commentary and stark thriller. Without any doubt, this is Joon-ho’s thick blood-and-flesh creation, switching genres effortlessly to bring awareness about the cause that the director cares about. Read Parasite review here.
01. Knives Out
01. Knives Out (Rian Johnson)
Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Lakeith Stanfield
Enticing characterizations, carefully planted clues, well-staged mise en scene, and prolific exchange of dialogues blend into a highly exhilarating original whodunit we rarely saw in the recent era. Johnson’s Knives Out a well-crafted tragicomedy of errors and an exquisite exercise of wordplay all at once. It’s safe to call it an instant classic. Read Knives Out review here.