LIFE, ETC.

IF YOU WANTED TO TALK, YOU COULD HAVE JUST CALLED INSTEAD OF THROWING A BRICK AT MY WINDOW.

MORE GREAT FILMS FROM THE 2010s

Tonight, I thought we’d talk about a few great movies that came out in the 2010s. Wait, didn’t we already do that in the first Subjectively Shortlisted? Back in Kanis Majoris No. 1? Yes, we did. However, as time has gone on, I’ve been compiling a short list of movies that totally belonged on that list but didn’t make it for some reason. But no worries. We’re not here to dwell on the past. Here are some more amazing movies from the 2010s.

Trance

2013

This is one of those nicely-made psychological-crime-thrillers with a pretty universal appeal. Good pacing, gripping story and a twist at the end that flips the movie over and shows you what’s really going on.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? BECAUSE THIS IS A GOOD FILM. IT JUST IS. IT DIDN’T MAKE THE ORIGINAL LIST BACK IN KANIS MAJORIS NO. 1 BECAUSE — OKAY, YOU KNOW WHAT? I FEEL LIKE I CAN BE HONEST WITH YOU, SO I’LL JUST TELL YOU THE TRUTH. I FORGOT ABOUT THIS MOVIE. I PLAIN AND SIMPLY JUST FORGOT. AND ONLY REMEMBERED AFTER I HAD ALREADY FINISHED THE ISSUE. THAT’S NOT A MARK AGAINST THIS MOVIE, THAT’S JUST A MARK AGAINST ME AND MY MEMORY.

Marriage Story

2019

Marriage Story is beautiful. Dramatic and powerful performances from Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver with exceptional dialogue, a really down-to–earth sense of realism and a warm, emotional ending that makes it the incredible film everyone says it is.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? LISTEN, I DIDN’T PUT THIS MOVIE ON THE ORIGINAL LIST BECAUSE I DIDN’T GET TO WATCH IT UNTIL AFTER THAT LIST WAS MADE. BUT YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY WATCH MARRIAGE STORY IF YOU LIKE DIALOGUE-BASED FILMS LIKE WHEN HARRY MET SALLY OR BLUE JASMINE OR DRAMA FILMS LIKE BOYHOOD, 50/50 OR LOST IN TRANSLATION.

Edge of Tomorrow

2014

This film didn’t make the initial list because I feel like although it was a very enjoyable and well-made film, I had already put Source Code on the list and, I don’t know, I just didn’t want both Source Code and Edge of Tomorrow on the list together because of how similar they are. I chose Source Code over Edge of Tomorrow because I just thought it was a little better in terms of storyline and how well-made it was.

Yeah, that’s just what my thinking process was at the time. But, anyway, here we are talking about this film. Edge of Tomorrow is in fact quite similar to Source Code — and the latter came out in 2011, three years before Edge of Tomorrow, so it seems more original — but that doesn’t mean that Edge of Tomorrow isn’t worth talking about. Although it is a bit of a mainstream-y, popcorn flick, it does kind of surprise you with the introduction of the concept of the movie a little ways in, which then keeps you engaged for the rest of the film. I would say that when a movie is able to surprise me like that, it’s always a plus point for me. Edge of Tomorrow checks all the boxes of what it set out to do, and then some.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? EDGE OF TOMORROW WAS TOTALLY MEANT TO BE ON THE LIST IF IT WASN’T FOR SOURCE CODE. I MEAN, I COULD HAVE HAD BOTH ON THERE, BUT, LIKE I SAID, TOUGH DECISIONS HAVE TO BE MADE WHEN THERE’S ONLY FIFTY SLOTS AVAILABLE. REWATCHABILITY HAS TO BE CONSIDERED, SALES FIGURES AND PERFORMANCE REVIEWS HAVE TO BE CONSULTED, DIFFICULT ONE-ON-ONE CONVERSATIONS HAVE TO BE MADE AND SEVERANCE PACKAGES HAVE TO BE GIVEN OUT WITH A HANDSHAKE AND A “GOOD LUCK”.

A Most Violent Year

2014

Despite the title, this film is not an epic flick full of guns, bloodshed and ruthless revenge. A Most Violent Year has a very subtle tone, brilliant dialogue and is about a man who is trying really hard to do the right thing and not engage in violence when people try to tear down his business. Oscar Isaac kills it as the owner of an oil company and is a well-paced, well-made, well-written movie.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? BECAUSE IT’S A REALLY UNDERRATED MOVIE THAT JUST HAS SOMETHING SPECIAL IN IT THAT I REALLY LIKE.

Blue Jasmine

2013

This movie is a really good drama and has terrific acting and dialogue. The contrast in scenes between the two timelines really makes this a makes this a well-paced film that can be watched anytime, anywhere. It’s true. I’ve watched Blue Jasmine on flights, I’ve watched it on a laptop connected to a TV via HDMI and I’ve watched it when I couldn’t figure out what else to watch, and it’s been a pretty good time every time.  

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? IT’S A WELL-ACTED, WELL-MADE DRAMA THAT HAS EXCELLENT DIALOGUE. YOU SHOULD WATCH THIS IF YOU LIKE NICELY-MADE DRAMA FILMS LIKE MARRIAGE STORY OR DIALOGUE-HEAVY MOVIES LIKE WHEN HARRY MET SALLY.

The Big Short

2015

As a film that chronicles a financial crisis — the 2008 housing market crash, to be precise — this movie does a fantastic job of not being boring and dry. It explains the financial lingo well, brings the story to life with interesting characters and has snappy dialogue as the characters go around trying to figure out what’s going on.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? IF YOU WERE LIKE ME AND DIDN’T COMPLETELY COMPREHEND WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO THE HOUSING MARKET IN 2008, GIVE THIS A WATCH. THE BIG SHORT DOES START OFF A LITTLE SLOW, BUT IF YOU’RE GOING TO WATCH IT, GIVE IT A CHANCE BECAUSE IT DEFINITELY DOES HAVE A LOT IN IT THAT MAKES IT UNIQUE.

The Tourist

2015

Really? The Tourist? What was so amazing about that film? Hey, I liked it. I think movies should always be viewed within their context and purpose. So a movie like The Tourist, sure, it’s not some spectacularly clever, life-changing film filled with clever metaphors and the answer to all of life’s problems, but it isn’t supposed to be, either. It’s supposed to be a fun, action-ish comedy with a bit of crime and the beauty of Venice and Angelina Jolie there to win you over. And that’s exactly what you get, making this movie successful in what it set out to achieve. I think if a movie does its job, then that’s always a plus point. The Tourist is supposed to be clichéd with a generic plot and unrealistic action. And you go in knowing that, so I think the movie is good for what it is. Also, the movie also does have a mystery aspect which it reveals at the end with a twist, so when you watch you’re in for a pleasant surprise. 

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? BECAUSE ALL IN ALL, IT’S A GOOD TIME AT THE MOVIES. OR YOUR LIVING ROOM. OR YOUR SMARTPHONE AS YOU WATCH THIS MOVIE UNDER THE BLANKETS AT 2AM BECAUSE YOU CAN’T SLEEP.

Flight

2012

Denzel Washington plays a pilot who, in the first scene of the film, is flying a plane that crashes and kills six people on board after going through a vicious storm. The rest of the film is the aftermath of the incident, with an investigation being launched and questions raised as to whether or not the accident was Denzel Washington’s character’s fault. Flight, although has a simple premise, does well in twisting and turning and pulling us back and forth between the various elements of the investigation and does so with good pacing and dialogue. The film also ends well and has nicely presented themes of identity, faith and addiction.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? YOU SHOULD WATCH IT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO, NOT BECAUSE I TOLD YOU TO. ALSO, THIS MOVIE IS ONE OF THOSE EASY-TO-FOLLOW MOVIES THAT YOU CAN JUST PUT ON WHEN YOU’RE BROWSING YOUR FAVOURITE STREAMING PLATFORM AND CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT TO PUT ON.

Ship of Theseus

2012

This is a beautifully-made philosophical film depicting three short stories that are all linked to one another as well as the title of the film. It’s one of these well-made indie films, so you probably know what to expect; nicely-framed shots, great dialogue with long silences and some sort of meaning behind it all. Films like this don’t have a lot of in-your-face action, but that’s the point isn’t it?

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? BECAUSE IT’S GOT A GREAT PHILOSOPHICAL-CONCEPT, IS WELL MADE AND IS A NICE, QUIET FILM FOR ANY NICE, QUIET NIGHT IN. DEPENDING ON YOUR TASTES, YOU MIGHT FIND IT A LITTLE BORING, THOUGH. JUST SAYING.

American Hustle

2013

A stylized crime movie set in the ‘70s? Count me in. This movie was really good on all fronts; acting, cast, plot — basically everything. Just think of this as a really well-casted, nicely-soundtracked movie about scams, sting operations and Louis CK getting aggressively pummelled by Bradley Cooper.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? BECAUSE THE CAST IS BRILLIANT, THE STORY IS BRILLIANT — I MEAN, IT’S JUST ALL ACES WITH THIS FILM. I THINK CHECK THIS FILM OUT IF YOU LIKE MOVIES WITH CRIME LIKE THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN OR LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS OR MOVIES WITH CRIME SET IN THE ‘70s LIKE THE NICE GUYS, ZODIAC OR BLACKKKLANSMAN.

Prisoners

2013

This film was a stunner. The story is twisted yet thrilling and it’s presented in a very slick, neo-noir way. What’s different about this film compared to other abduction-kidnapping movies is the heart and emotion that’s presented, especially with Hugh Jackman’s amazing performance and the themes of forgiveness and faith. It’s also got quite an unconventional storyline, which gets larger and more convoluted as the film goes on.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? BECAUSE THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF THE 2010s. IF IT’S SO GOOD, WHY WASN’T IT INCLUDED IN THE ORIGINAL LIST BACK IN KANIS MAJORIS NO. 1? AN EXCELLENT QUESTION. I WILL RESPOND BY SAYING THAT ALTHOUGH THIS MOVIE IS AMAZING, I WASN’T AS APPRECIATIVE OF IT AS I AM CURRENTLY, THE REASON BEING THAT — OKAY, I’LL STOP TALKING LIKE I’M TESTIFYING IN FRONT OF CONGRESS OR SOMETHING. THE BASIC THING IS THAT THE FIRST TIME I WATCHED PRISONERS — BACK WHEN IT CAME OUT IN LIKE 2013 — I WAS… A DIFFERENT PERSON. I WAS A YOUNG, NAÏVE UNIVERSITY STUDENT AND THE FILM WASN’T TO MY LIKING AT THE TIME. BUT WHEN I WATCHED IT AGAIN RECENTLY, I LOVED IT. TIMES CHANGE, YOU CHANGE. YOU KNOW?

Biutiful

2010

A Spanish movie starring Javier Bardem as a man who is dying of cancer whilst trying to keep his difficult life afloat. The film has good moments of emotion and depicts the struggle of people living just to make ends meet.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? WATCH THIS MOVIE IF YOU LIKE REALISTIC FAMILY-BASED DRAMAS LIKE A SEPARATION OR MOVIES THAT PORTRAY STRUGGLE AND POVERTY LIKE THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS.

Enemy

2013

This dark psychological thriller-esque mystery film starring Jake Gyllenhaal has a peculiar tone and cinematic style. The storyline and events that take place are a bit strange and abstract, but once you begin peeling back the layers and picking up on the small clues and metaphors the movie gives, you start to get a sense of the story. Let’s face it, though; this is the kind of film where you really have to dig deep and do a thorough analysis in order to understand what the movie was about. This isn’t really a film you can enjoy at face value. You can watch it and take it in at face value — I mean, you can do whatever you want. I’m not going to tell you what you can and can’t do — but taking this movie in at surface level will just leave you confused and possibly a little disappointed. So, in short, you can either watch this film and get ready to do a bit of analysis or not do an analysis and just be confused at what the hell you just watched. Or just not watch the film altogether.

WATCH IF YOU LIKE: YOU SHOULDN’T... IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SIT THERE AND HAVE TO CONSTANTLY THINK, PONDER AND INVESTIGATE FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF. IF YOU LIVE FOR THAT KIND OF STUFF, HOWEVER, THEN THIS IS THE FILM FOR YOU.

Nightcrawler

2015

This film has one of Jake Gyllenhaal’s best performances ever. I mean, he’s a pretty good actor so all his performances are good, but if I had to pinpoint one that really stood out to me, it would be in this movie. Because the character he plays in Nightcrawler is a smart and ambitious guy who’s a little bit of a creepy sociopath  with a very in-your-face personality. 

WATCH IF YOU LIKE: BECAUSE THIS MOVIE IS A WELL-PACED, ACTION-Y, DRAMA-Y… YOU KNOW WHAT? THIS FILM IS KIND OF HARD TO DESCRIBE. BUT WATCH THIS IF YOU LIKE CRIME MOVIES WHERE THE PLOT THICKENS LIKE DRIVE, FAST-PACED CRIME MOVIES LIKE GOOD TIME OR MOVIES WITH SOCIOPATHIC (OR PSYCHOPATHIC) CHARACTERS LIKE NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

Confessions

2010

A well-made Japanese mystery-drama movie with good dialogue, a twisted story and a dark tone throughout about a teacher who takes revenge on those who were responsible for her daughter’s death.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS? IT’S A TWISTED JAPANESE MOVIE, SO PROCEED WITH CAUTION. YOU KNOW HOW SCARY JAPANESE FILMS CAN BE (THAT’S RIGHT, I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU, AUDITION AND KAIRO) — ALTHOUGH I DON’T THINK THIS FILM IS ON THAT SAME LEVEL OF TERRIFYING HORROR. IT’S NOT EVEN ON THE SAME LEVEL OF TWISTED AS OLDBOY, EVEN THOUGH THEY SHARE SOME SIMILARITIES. SO, IF YOU’VE MANAGED TO GET THROUGH ALL THOSE MOVIES WITHOUT BLINKING AN EYE, YOU’LL BE FINE WITH CONFESSIONS.

The Master

2012

This well-crafted movie that loosely follows the story of Scientology has good dialogue and themes — but for me the real reason this movie is worth talking about is Joaquin Phoenix’s performance. Like with most things he does, he kills it in The Master as a short-tempered, ruthless, broken and id-like man with a lot of emotional problems. His performance in scenes when he gets into fierce fits of rage is unpredictable and almost animal-like, which Phoenix brings about with flawless perfection. His chemistry with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams’ characters is also amazing throughout which makes this a good character movie worth watching if you like that sort of thing.

WATCH IF YOU LIKE: BECAUSE A WELL-MADE MOVIE WITH JOAQUIN PHOENIX IS MOST LIKELY ALWAYS GOING TO BE A GOOD IDEA.
LIFE, ETC.

subjectively shortlisted

Let’s go back a couple of decades to when playing music meant putting shiny disc into a device, sending a text message involved using something called T9 and having wireless internet in your house was quite a big deal. It’s the ‘00s.

NO. 5