Last year I made a post about some resolutions for the new year. I resolved to watch 52 movies in 2016 that I’d never seen before. I posted an update in September and now that 2016 is over I can give you the final word on this particular resolution.
I didn’t make it to 52. I made it to 35. I saw more movies than that, but I either didn’t finish them completely, or I had already seen them before. So they don’t make the list.
- The Big Short. I saw this at the E Street Cinema in Washington D.C. It was a cool theater. Great movie. Surprisingly hilarious. I still don’t understand the financial crisis.
- The To Do List. I wanted to watch Aubrey Plaza in a movie. So I looked up this one. It was all right. I don’t know why I can’t take Bill Hader seriously on film. (Skeleton Twins, etc.)
- Sicario. Emily Blunt makes me understand lesbians better. Does that make sense?
- Deadpool. I don’t buy the hype, but it was funny and different. Which is cool.
- The Princess Bride. Holy crap! This movie is amazing! I can’t believe I hadn’t seen it before this. Kudos to my buddy Daniel for bugging me about it and screening it for me at his place.
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. My favorite movie of the year. Haters gonna hate. I love Batman.
- Ride Along. I will watch anything with Kevin Hart.
- Black Mass. I wish they had spent more time on Johnny Depp’s make up. But it was a great story.
- Spotlight. Very very challenging film. I’m so thankful for the work of the people who inspired this film.
- Straight out of Compton. So much fun. I spent a few weeks stuck in 90s hip hop.
- Captain America: Civil War. Not as great as everyone said. Fun. Spiderman stole the show.
- 10 Cloverfield Lane. My second favorite movie of the year. It sucks that no one is talking about how awesome this movie was.
- The Witch. Every second of this movie creeps you out. I love A24 films.
- Kingsman: The Secret Service. No one is making movies like this anymore. Action movies are almost exclusively comic book movies now. Refreshing.
- The Conjuring 2. They spent too much time trying to be spooky. If you can get past the extended spooky sequences, it captures a lot of the magic from the first movie. Don’t watch the credits. They claim to have a recording of a real exorcism. Not good.
- Cartel Land. My heart cries for Mexico.
- Dope. I watched this because Rick Famuyiwa was hired as director for The Flash movie. This got me so stoked for his take on The Flash. Also, it was awesome to see a movie that, one, had almost no white people, and two, had no racist accents. Probably my third favorite movie of the year. (Update, Famuyiwa is out as the director for The Flash and I am super bummed about it.)
- Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father. Bruh. This story sucks. Like, in a super sad way. True crime at its worst.
- Ghostbusters. It would have been a hundred times better exactly the same but within the Ghostbusters universe. Kate McKinnon is amazing.
- Hitler’s Children. A documentary I don’t remember anything about. The first dud of the year.
- Batman: The Killing Joke. The original Batgirl story at the beginning of the film is amazing. Except for when it crashes and burns at the end. The second half is a faithful adaptation of a classic story.
- Fittest on Earth. A documentary on the Crossfit games. Made me want to do push ups. I did a few.
- Suicide Squad. Also probably my third favorite movie of the year. Second? IDK. 10 Cloverfield Lane gets so many points for originality and execution. Suicide Squad gets a ton of points for kicking ass with characters I love.
- Beasts of no Nation. So much impressive acting in this movie. We should pray for Africa more.
- Don’t think Twice. Mike Birbiglia is one of my favorite comedians. His movie has a lot of heart. It messed me up because it made me confront my own issues with jealousy and inferiority.
- My All American. I’ve been a fan of the Texas Longhorns all of my life. I’d never heard the story of Freddie Steinmark. This is a great sports movie. They don’t make these movies anymore.
- Snowden. Citizenfour was much better. I appreciate that this movie was made. The ending surprised me even though I knew how the story ended. You get past Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s accent.
- Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids. I am unironically in love with Justin Timberlake. I love everything he does. This is a great concert film showcasing a man who understands the beauty of pop music. (And there is beauty to pop music.)
- Doctor Strange. This was the most visually ambitious movie I think I’ve ever seen. And the execution is strong. I can tell Cumberbatch has never picked up a comic book in his life, but he is still a great actor. I got over the whitewashing of the Ancient One even though I was rooting against the performance the whole time. Tilda Swinton is just that good.
- Yoga Hosers. I love Kevin Smith. If you don’t, that is totally understandable. This movie has “Kevin Smith” written all over every frame. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but not as much as Tusk.
- Arrival. This is among my favorites of the year. I could not believe how great this movie was. Amy Adams is the least appreciated actor in movies. Every movement of this movie is so calculated and subtle that it needed an powerhouse of an actor to take the lead. Adams is the lynchpin in this film. She carries all of that weight on her shoulders and executes so damn well. I could not believe how good she was. You have to see this movie.
- Daddy’s Home. Saw this on Hulu and realized I had missed it in theaters. I’ll watch anything with Will Ferrell. I love him. It was a shamelessly hilarious movie.
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I have to watch it again because I was hella sleepy when I saw it, but it was magic. It felt like Star Wars, but (mostly) did it’s own thing. It was a brave thing to attempt and I’m glad they did it well. My favorite thing about this movie was hearing a Mexican accent throughout. Seeing Diego Luna on screen, an unironic Mexican man putting in work on one of the most important movies of the year, brought me joy.
- 13th. If you don’t understand why I hate the criminal justice system, give this movie a shot.
- Passengers. Who knew Chris Pratt could act?! This is the first time I’ve seen him actually do some impressive acting on screen. While I don’t feel like the movie delivered on the exciting and original premise that got me excited for it over a year ago, it still delivered a very enjoyable movie with painfully likable characters.
The point of this resolution was to force me to experience something I love. I’d spent too much time in the years prior to 2016 just laying around feeling miserable. The 52 movie goal gave me something to focus on when I got depressed. I didn’t expect this to be the most important resolution I made for 2016, but it may have been. I’ve decided to renew this goal for the new year.
I’m working on an update for the rest of my resolutions. That should be up soon.
Until next time, Internet.