Every year I hold a film festival for myself. And I am the #1 most important critic at said festival.
  1. La La Land
    From the director of Whiplash, I went in with really high expectations for this one. They. Were. Met. The soundtrack is phenomenal. The cinematography was breathtaking. The long takes, the classic choreography, the chemistry, the originality. Just. Yes.
  2. Arrival
    Really interesting one. Not our film of the year, but (finally) we have the first high quality execution of an "alien" movie since Alien. Lovely exposition and great concept.
  3. Zootopia
    THIS is a kids movie with a good message. I imagine myself as a pretty picky parent when it comes to what my kids will be taking in, and this one fits the bill. Pure positivity.
  4. Moonlight
    I don't know if I've ever seen a movie use lighting like this before. So deeply effective. This is our cinematography winner right here. (I hope) Every single shot was moving to me.
  5. Manchester by the Sea
    My feeeeelings!!!! Way way sadder than I thought it would be. Long, contemplative takes were nice and I LOVED the writing and the "unscripted" attitude around it. Very raw and very emotional. Also the cuts between past and present were very well-timed. Loved it.
  6. Hidden Figures
    Even putting quality aside, this is a movie worth seeing for the sake of an unsung hero. This is definitely the peppy, feel-good movie of the noms this year. While the writing/humor was really predictable, the casting and cinematography held my attention. Also, shouts out to mid-century fashion!