Absolute Rest (Kahani, 2015, 6.7)
Bitingly humorous and shamelessly confrontational, Absolute Rest is a fresh look at the struggles of the Iranian lower class. It’s a frank and compassionate film that despite its stutters, and the often overzealous antics of its start, Reza Attaran, adds a worthy entry to Kahani’s intriguing resume.
La Strada (Fellini, 1954, 9.4) (link to review)
“The threadbare plot bears a lot of elements that were familiar then and even more familiar now, dealing with love triangles, abusive men, poverty, sexuality and faith. It is Fellini’s touch of magic that makes the film so endlessly rewatchable.”
Shaun the Sheep (Burton/Starzak, 2015, 8.0)
Predictably adorable, but also surprisingly smart and heartfelt, this dialogue-free marvel is what every children’s film should aspire to. For personal reasons that will be incomprehensible to everyone else, Shaun the Sheep will be forever dear to me.
Queen of Earth (Perry, 2015, 7.9) (link to review)
“Moss expertly portrays a woman in the process of slipping into oblivion; Greene pushes her, and the audience, over the edge.”
Ant-Man (Reed, 2015, 6.8)
Marvel’s best film to date, which isn’t saying that much with the atrocious standards the studio has set for itself, but there’s something incredibly endearing about the humor in this one: there are no smug smirks, just a realization that at the end of the day, all this nonsense about a man in a cape saving the universe is only as big as an explosion in a toy train.
Contempt (Godard, 1963, 6.6)
Of all the Godard films that have won a lot of critical acclaim, the praise for this one is among the least baffling.
Singin’ in the Rain (Kelly/Donen, 1952, 9.0)
One of the most joyous pleasures one can have in a movie theater, and an increasingly rewarding experience.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (McQuarrie, 2015, 5.6)
Any expectation of realism from a Mission: Impossible film is a fool’s errand, but even by the series’ own standards, the requirement for complete suspension of disbelief reaches laughably over-the-top levels. Not that this isn’t entertaining, but a little humanity could go a long way.