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Best Hollywood Films of 2018 so far (10+1list)

Best Hollywood Films of 2018 so far

written by Souranath Banerjee

Half the year is gone and you film-buffs are counting the good ones you have watched. If not – then you should be!

This year Hollywood have given us some pretty decent movies and
then a very few really good ones. All genres touched – from Sci-Fi to Best-Hollywood-Films-of-2018-so-faraction, thrillers to comedies, horror flicks to coming-of-age dramas, biographies and even a couple of superb animated ones like Isle of Dogs and Paddington 2.

Then of course the two huge commercially successful Superhero movies like Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther. And also Solo: A Star Wars Story for the Star war fans.

Till now it has been what we film-lovers like to call it ‘a satisfying year’. Hope you agree! And let’s also hope the rest of the year goes well. Fingers crossed.

And so here we go – the Best Hollywood Films of 2018 so far. Relax and enjoy the flashback!

10. You Were Never Really Here (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8oYYg75Qvg

Best-Hollywood-Films-of-2018-so-farWhen actor Joaquin Phoenix join hands with director Lynne Ramsay you expect something special and that is exactly what this film is.

A traumatized violent man who tracks down people for a living goes in search of a missing 13-year-old daughter of a senator but this time something goes horribly wrong.

An unexpected ending but totally worth the experience – a must watch.

9.  Hereditary (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6wWKNij_1M

Best-Hollywood-Films-of-2018-so-farThere are very few films especially in the horror genre that manage to keep the tension and disturbance flowing till the very end and this movie exactly does that and that too in terrific style.

Written and directed by Ari Aster, superb performances by Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne and Alex Wolff.

Certainly one of the best horror movies of this year!

8. The Rider (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlrWRttLTkg

Best-Hollywood-Films-of-2018-so-farA young cowboy takes a fall and is suffering from a fatal head injury. His passion, his career and the way he is being treated by others seem to be changing and he has to cope with his new life!

Written and directed by Chloé Zhao, an underrated film with great story telling, awesome performances and also visually stunning. Brady Jandreau in the part of the rodeo is so cool.

7. Eighth Grade (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8lFgF_IjPw

Best-Hollywood-Films-of-2018-so-farHighly underrated and yet a perfect coming of age comedy drama where a young girl tries her best to survive the last week of her eighth grade.

Written and directed by Bo Burnham, a witty and honest portrayal of that awkward age of a youngster where she is neither a child nor an adult – desperately trying to fit in and make her own mark. Elsie Fisher in the central character is absolutely brilliant!

6. A Quiet Place (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR7cc5t7tv8

Best-Hollywood-Films-of-2018-so-farA family trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world where silence is the key, if you make a sound the deaf dangerous creatures will come looking for you. Basically you die.

(Click for the Review)

Directed by John KrasinskiEmily Blunt and John Krasinski at their best and Millicent Simmonds deserves a special mention in the acting department.

5. Tully (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5D3O4yCmCg

Best-Hollywood-Films-of-2018-so-farMotherhood with three little ones (including a newborn) is tough and hectic but then you can always hire a nanny to reduce the stress. And then if the mother and the young nanny starts sharing a certain bond between them – nothing like it!

Directed by Jason Reitman (of Juno fame), and great performances by Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis and Mark Duplass – a very honest film with good humor and drama.

4. Ready Player One (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSp1dM2Vj48

Best-Hollywood-Films-of-2018-so-farA young boy is more comfortable in the virtual gaming universe than the real one but as he starts winning the game he discovers the dangers of that crazy world!

Adopted from the famous Sci-Fi novel by Ernest Cline and directed by none other than Steven Spielberg – this is one awesome visual trip that you shouldn’t dare miss. Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke are just made for the roles.

3. Love, Simon (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0cbWdlQg_8

Best-Hollywood-Films-of-2018-so-farFor a teenager it is often difficult to come out as gay and that is why a young boy tries his best to keep it a secret from his friends and family but then he falls in love. And it is a secret no more!

Directed by Greg Berlanti, this is a unique witty drama, fine piece of storytelling, and Nick Robinson along with Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel are really perfect in their roles. 

2. Deadpool 2 (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D86RtevtfrA

Best-Hollywood-Films-of-2018-so-farRyan Reynolds aka Deadpool – the ‘Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary’ is back and all set to fight out the bad guys. And he is as funny and raunchy as ever. 

(Click for the Review)

Directed by David Leitch, with Josh BrolinJulian DennisonZazie Beetz and Karan Soni this second installment of the popular comic franchise is not to be missed.

1. The Tale (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXpYsr3AL4U

Best-Hollywood-Films-of-2018-so-farA brilliant mystery drama that forces a woman to go back into her childhood and e-examine her first sexual relationship. A perfect example of the psychology of repressed memory.

Written and directed by Jennifer Fox, this is a must watch film not only because of the sensitive and well narrated story but also for the brilliant performance of Laura Dern. Unfortunately highly underrated. 

and (The ‘+1’ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Annihilation (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89OP78l9oF0

Best-Hollywood-Films-of-2018-so-farA mysterious zone with strange creatures and plants that needs to be explored and a team of female experts are ready for an expedition of their lifetime.

Directed by Alex Garland, a spell-bounding visual treat starring  Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason LeighOscar IsaacGina Rodriguez among others. 

A well made Sci-Fi that demands your attention!

Similar Interest: Best Hollywood Movies of 2017 so far

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A western in Tarantino style – enough said already!

My Ratings: 4/5.

The Wyoming winter at its peak, surrounded by knee-deep snow and tormented by blinding blizzards, literally at the middle of hateful-eight-posternowhere there is a place called Minnie’s Haberdashery!

And that is where a bounty hunter and his prisoner (among others) goes to take refuge from the treacherous weather, but little did they know that the dramatic events of that single day will change their lives forever.

Narrated by Quentin Tarantino the director himself, the film The Hateful Eight (also Tarantino’s eighth film, hence the name) is a story that revolves around the core dilemma of whom to trust and whom to kill?

The bounty hunters Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell, the prisoner hateful-eight-poster2Jennifer Jason Leigh and then the rest of the dubious characters Walton GogginsTim RothMichael MadsenDemián BichirBruce Dern and James Parks all under the same roof and under the same cloud of disbelief and conspiracy.

Acting level is again top class, the brutality and the raw ferocity of the characters is what drives this film till the end.

Shot entirely in the Ultra Panavision 70 process, in an aspect ratio of 2.76:1, using the very same 65mm film that shot the chariot race in Ben-Hur (1959), The Hateful Eight is undoubtedly a cinematic triumph and cinematographer Robert Richardson certainly made sure of it.

hateful-eight-poster3Original soundtrack, written and composed by Ennio Morricone, now that’s a first!

If you adore the so called ‘Tarantino way of film making‘ – extreme violence with contrast background scores, the blood-thirsty diabolical characters with their own backstories, cheesy yet stylized dialogues and innumerable graphic deaths at regular intervals – then there is hardly any chance that his eighth film will disappoint you!

Then again, just to make sure, why don’t you take a look at it yourself? And if you look closely enough Channing Tatum will reveal himself, I promise!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com

2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

written by Souranath Banerjee

On Sunday, February 28th, it’s that time of the year when they give away those awards!

Yes, on this day, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences will hand over the most prestigious awards of the entertainment world – the Academy Awards or the Oscars.

On the basis of the ‘preferential voting’ system (democratic and unbiased), all the nominees are chosen each year for the various award categories and then they simply wait, hope and pray to win!

This year Chris Rock will be hosting the award ceremony on ABC.

In total 305 feature films are competing for Best Picture nominations. Though the final and official seven/eight nominated ones will be announced on Thursday, January 14th, it’s always fun to guess, predict and anticipate a little before hand.

So let the predictions for the ‘Best Picture’ category begin!

10. Beasts of No Nation (Netflix)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xb9Ty-1frw

beasts-of-no-nation1An African country at war, where violence is routine and murder is the law.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, this is the story of a kid who is forced to join a group of soldiers and take up the gun to fight and kill people.

A raw and deadly film that shows the emotional turmoil of a child soldier. And surely a favorite in the Oscar race.

9. Carol (The Weinstein Company)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4z7Px68ywk

carol-poster1The combination of New York in 1950s and Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and a perfect love story.

Full of emotions and breathtaking visuals, superb music and brilliant acting – the film is a complete package of aw

Directed by Todd Haynes, this one is a favorite of mine as well as the Oscar nominees. 

8. Youth (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T7CM4di_0c

Youth-poster2Michael CaineHarvey KeitelRachel Weisz and director Paolo Sorrentino cooks up one of the best mouthwatering cinema of this year.

(click for the review)

A film that reflects on the youth and relishes the old age with the same intensity. It deals with friendship, love, marriage, lust, professions, emotions and above all emotions. I bet my

7. The Hateful Eight (The Weinstein Company)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnRbXn4-Yis

hateful-eight-posterQuentin Tarantino is back with his 8th film and along with Samuel L. JacksonKurt RussellJennifer Jason Leigh and Tim Roth among others this one gets as gritty and violent as you can expect it to be.

Powerful performances with awesome visuals and a superbly entertaining story line.

An Oscar favorite because ‘No one comes up here without a damn good reason’. 

6. Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15syDwC000k

brooklyn-poster11950s Brooklyn as the backdrop, the film is about an Irish immigrant’s life, her love story and her past, and the choices she makes.

Directed by John Crowley, and outstanding performance by Saoirse Ronan, this is a film that breadths perfection.

My personal favorite and I wish it all the luck for the tough Oscar chart ahead.

5. Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Brothers)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEJnMQG9ev8

mad-max-poster5In the year 1979 Mad Max was established – a drifter, a loner and of course mad as hell. And this is the latest addition to the popular franchise.

(Click for the review)

Powerful, dramatic and full of energy, directed by George Miller, this is undoubtedly the best action flick of 2015 and a leader in the Oscar race for the ‘Best Picture’. 

4. The Revenant (20th Century Fox)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoebZZ8K5N0

revenant-posterDirected by Alejandro González Iñárritu (whose film Birdman won the ‘best director’, ‘best picture’ and ‘best screenplay’ awards last year), has come up with this brilliant tale of an explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio).

A fur trading expedition in the 1820s; inspired by true events this is an epic adventure, a quest for survival and also a sure favorite in this year’s Oscar.

3. The Big Short (Paramount Pictures)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDlYm15ztK4

big-short-posterWhen Christian BaleSteve CarellRyan Gosling and Brad Pitt come together – you know it’s worth it. 

Directed by Adam McKay, this is a biographical account of the time (mid 2000) when there was a financial crisis in the US, and four individuals decided to fight the greedy banks for their lack of foresight.

Looks like a pretty sure thing for the award ceremony. Watch out!

2. Room (A24 Films)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_Ci-pAL4eE

room-posterAdopted from Emma Donoghue‘s famous novel, this is one unique story of a five-year old boy who is told by his loving mother that their 10-by-10 foot ‘room’ is the only world that exists! 

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, a brilliant film that surely is becoming people’s favorite and a likely contestant for the Oscar.

Brilliant performance by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay

  1. Spotlight (Open Road Films)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwdCIpbTN5g

spotlight-poster1Probably the most significant cinema on ‘journalism’ made after the epic All the President’s Men (1976).

Directed by Tom McCarthy, this is one film that is considered certainly as the top favorite in this year’s Oscar game.

With Mark RuffaloMichael KeatonRachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber among others this is one safe film to put your money.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most popular one).

+1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Disney)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGbxmsDFVnE

star-wars-posterThe recently released ever popular addition to the Star Wars franchise and a sudden favorite for the Oscars.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, this film with it’s immense fan following has the potential to be a game changer in the race for this years ‘Best Picture’ Academy Awards.

By the way, this film has recreated the U.S. box office record beating James Cameron‘s Avatar!

And now the films though not included in my list but are certainly fair competition for the award: Straight Outta ComptonCreedTrumboSon of SaulBlack MassThe Danish GirlLove & MercyTangerineSicarioSteve JobsThe MartianBridge of Spies and Joy.

And finally – A Thank You to the movies of 2015.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Anomalisa (2015)

Anomalisa review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Charlie Kaufman’s first stop-motion animation feature; a highly entertaining melancholic tale of an apparently mundane life!  

My Ratings: 4.4/5

Charlie Kaufman is probably the best creatively complex mind in Hollywood who is responsible for some of the most innovative concepts/scripts for films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindAdaptation. and Being John Malkovich.

anomalisa-poster1And this time, along with talented animation director Duke JohnsonCharlie Kaufman writes and directs a brilliant ‘stop-motion animation’ film called Anomalisa.    

A multilayered film that dares to interpret life.

Sometimes life becomes dull, monotonous, repetitive and one gets bored of everything and everyone. That is exactly what has happened to Michael Stone, an authoritative mentor on ‘customer service’ by profession and is depressed in his life to the core.

Michael (voice by David Thewlis) arrives in Cincinnati, a place supposedly famous for its ‘zoo’ and ‘chili’ and eventually checks in at The Fregoli Hotel. 

And interestingly enough in reality (i am sure that this is not a coincidence), there is this rare medical disorder known as the Fregoli delusion,  a case where the delusional person beliefs that all the people he meets are actually one single person who changes appearance or may be is in disguise!

For Michael, the voice of every person he meets (male or female) sounds the same (voice by Tom Noonan), which is a subtle yet disturbing hint of Michael’s state of mind.

anomalisa-poster3But then, he meets Lisa (voice by Jennifer Jason Leigh), finally a girl with a different voice; and also a hope for Michael to escape from his colorless life. Well, at least a thought to hold onto.

Not only the script and direction are top class but Anomalisa also sets new standards for the unique technique of stop motion animation films. Incredibly realistic animation gives the film a level of seriousness that is essential for it’s concept.

Produced through crowd funding, the film is a dreamy, poetic, some what surrealistic story, simple yet dealing with exceedingly complex emotions.

One of the best films of this year, and also was one of the most sought after films of JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival.

Remember, Anomalisa shouldn’t be missed at any cost.

Poster courtesy: www.filmaffinity.com, www.impawards.com