Before we look forward to the new crop of movies coming out in the next 12 months, we take stock of what we’ve seen in the past 12 and single out the ones that rocked our world. The titles are not ranked in order of merit.
Boon Joon-Ho’s Palme d’Or-feted spoiler-sensitive genre-defier — about a clan of scammers working for a pompous tech tycoon — is a crime caper and a meditation on economic disparity. It’s by turns funny, thrilling, affecting and then some.
What sophomore jinx? Jordan Peele’s solid follow-up to his debut Get Out is another horror-tinged social commentary, with Lupita Nyong'o as a home invasion victim who confronts her creepy-as-fudge doppelgänger.
Noah Baumbach’s engrossing divorce drama looks at the psychological and financial costs on a showbiz couple (Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, both terrific) heading for Splitsville. Heavy at times but there are unexpected moments of levity.
Awkwafina is a scene-stealer in Crazy Rich Asians. In Lulu Wang’s bittersweet dramedy, she steals the entire movie, as a Chinese-American writer embroiled in a family conspiracy to keep her granny in the dark about her health crisis.
Ten years and 21 movies led to this rousing, no-holds-barred, epoch-defining moment where Captain America says “Avengers... assemble!”. That, and the bit where Robert Downey utters “I’m Iron Man.” I love it 3000.
A Land Imagined
Magical realism meets social realism in writer-director Yeo Siew Hua’s esoteric drama that examines the plight of Singapore’s migrant workers as seen through the eyes of Peter Yu’s world-weary insomniac cop. It’s an odd movie…and I love odd stuff.
It’s a pity Derek Tsang’s intensely emotional social drama wasn’t allowed to compete at this year’s Golden Horse Awards. The Best Actress race won’t be the same had Zhou Douyu been nominated for her heart-wrenching performance as a bully-victim. Discuss.
John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum
Why not? It’s my list! Stay for the action because the action is the story. After you’ve seen the gun-fu, book-fu, knife-fu, horse-fu, dog-fu, belt-fu and bike-fu, everything else — Ip Man 4, Hobbs & Shaw, etc — pales by comparison.
If you love Martin Scorsese’s gangster pictures, then this mesmerisingly sprawling epic — starring Robert De Niro as a hitman who becomes the fixer for union boss Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) — is like a greatest hits package, but remixed and with extra material added
Steven Spielberg’s Holocaust masterpiece, re-issued on the big screen for its 25th anniversary, is still as poignant, powerful and pertinent as when it first came out. How many of the movies listed here will have the same impact in 2044?
Honorary mentions: Joker, Crawl, Wet Season, Midsommar, The Great Hack, The Perfection