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The Top 50 Movies of the Last 5 Years

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Scott Roberts
The Top 50 Movies of the Last 5 Years
on Apr 28, 2016 at 9:46:24 pm

Reviews of The Jungle Book, Huntsman 2, and Keanu to come next week. But for now, I'm feeling rather LISTY. And you know how I like my occasional lists... LOFTY, LENGTHY, and DISAGREEABLE!

Enjoy the best movies Hollywood has had to offer for the last 5 years! In my opinion, of course...





50. FOXCATCHER

I've grown to like this movie and Steve Carell's creepy mouth-breathing more with every repeated viewing. Also, it features my favorite thing to do in the morning: eating a bunch of chocolate cake and then smashing my face on a mirror. You wouldn't believe the cake and mirror budget around my house. It's ridiculous.





49. GOON

It would probably be an interesting case-study in acting to observe how Sean William Scott went from beginning his career as awful as Steve Stifler to, twelve years later, gradually becoming a completely likable person in Goon.





48. DEADPOOL

Maybe it gets brought down a little by its own sense of satisfaction, but I guess that's the character. I can't remember the last time I laughed this much at a superhero movie, though.





47. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Right behind Dying-Years-Johnny-Cash, the closest thing to a spirit animal I've ever had is the scarred-up ape with an assault rifle riding a horse. I mean, technically that's a spirit animal riding on another spirit animal while holding an assault rifle. But it's kind of a package deal.





46. IT FOLLOWS

If you watch (and hate) a lot of horror movies for just reducing to jump scares and music stings, please enjoy this movie about a sex ghost that walks at a leisurely pace set to synthesizer music.





45. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

This is a very good movie, but it loses a bunch of points because there is always that burning sensation in the back of my mind that reminds me that Jordan Belfort profited from it in one way or another.





44. SUPER

I haven't seen The Rocker, but I'm pretty sure this is the only good movie Dwight has ever been in. [rewatches trailer for The Rocker] Oh yeah, this is the pinnacle of his film career.





43. SNOWPIERCER

I'M AWARE IT'S IMPLAUSIBLE. SO WHAT? (sorry, Tim...)





42. THE HATEFUL EIGHT

I don't think I liked it as much on the second viewing from home as I did during the 70mm roadshow presentation. In fact, it might be Tarantino's worst movie (yeah, I'm a Death Proof fan, SHUT UP). But his worst movie is still better than a bunch of people's best movie.





41. THE CRASH REEL

Not only did this documentary make me feel things, and keep me super engaged, but it ALSO makes Shaun White look like a jerk. WIN-WIN-WIN.





40. DOPE

I don't want to say it's like Friday meets Superbad, because it would make me hate myself. But I'm not NOT saying that.





39. SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

You're going to find out that I like a lot of movies about artists struggling with mediocrity. It's kind of one of my favorite subjects.





38. THE BIG SHORT

This is one of the most infuriating movies that I only understood 62% of.





37. ARGO

I'm happy things finally worked out for extremely wealthy, famous, and good-looking tortured soul Ben Affleck, and his serious filmmaking career was able to get going with this. It was hard to see him collecting millions of dollars for all those bad movies he was in before this.





36. THE MUPPETS

Maniacal laugh. Maniacal Laugh! MANIACAL LAUGH!





35. 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE

It will shatter all those dreams you had about sharing a doomsday bunker with John Goodman. I know you were looking forward to that, and I hate to let you down.





34. THE RAID: REDEMPTION

Who knew Indonesia produced such insane martial arts movies? Probably a bunch of people... But this was the first big one I saw, SO LAY OFF. [flying kicks you through a wall]





33. THE REVENANT

The most prestigious gross out movie of all time. Awww, no way! Is he climbing inside that horse corpse?!?! Ewwww! Take the Oscar, bro. Just don't touch me.





32. LOOPER

I don't want to talk about why I like this movie because if we start talking about it then we're going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws.





31. GRAVITY

Panic Attack: The Movie.





30. WRECK-IT RALPH

Remember when I got tickets to see this in an advanced screening? That was the one time that's ever happened. No? Well, it did. Pretty impressive for someone having no credentials whatsoever.





29. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

Might I be so bold as to say this is one of the best dumb romantic comedies ever made?





28. THE LEGO MOVIE

I think Phil Lord and Chris Miller are still batting 1000 by this point.





27. IT'S A DISASTER

Find me a better movie about brunch, and I will eat my shoe.





26. CHAPPIE

I've probably seen this movie four times now, and it gets better each time. It's so delightfully obnoxious. It's about the closest thing we'll ever have to a $50 million Troma movie.





25. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

Successfully revitalized a franchise nearly destroyed by Brett Ratner. So much Assbending.





24. DREDD

It's basically the same as Raid: Redemption; but more sci-fi weaponry, beautiful slow motion shots, and Karl Urban with a permanent frown. Also, I'm only now noticing that this is the third picture in a row heavily featuring cool helmets.





23. SICARIO

I'm sure I'll sound like a lamewad, but this movie has some of the best subtle cinematography touches I've seen in a long time. [receives wedgie from Michael Bay]





22. KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE

I already liked this movie a lot, and now it's been making its rounds almost daily on HBO, and I've probably rewatched it in chunks about seven times in the background over the last few weeks. It is just an astonishingly watchable movie, bruv.





21. 21 JUMP STREET

I honestly didn't plan on it falling on this number while sorting this list, but I doubt you'll believe me anyway. Now any point I make about it won't even matter. WHATEVER.





20. EX MACHINA

We're getting dangerously close to actually having to answer legitimate ethical questions about having sex with robots. What a time to be alive...!





19. AMERICAN HUSTLE

This set a satisfyingly dangerous precedent that all heist movies should be set to Electric Light Orchestra.





18. NIGHTCRAWLER

A great character study in overly determined weirdos. Since they make up 57% of our population now, this is an important movie.





17. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

This is probably the most liberal arts major choice on the whole list, but I'm a liberal arts major, and this guy's plight connects with me. I CONNECT WITH THE INEPTNESS TO FLOURISH. Maybe you won't so much, Mr. I'm So Great And I Achieved Everything I Wanted To Achieve.





16. THE WORLD'S END

It might not be the best of the Cornetto Trilogy, but it's certainly the deepest one, and has the most fully developed characters. Also, yet another entry in the "struggling with mediocrity" category. This is getting out of hand. I should have just made a list about the best films where people don't develop to their full potential.





15. DRIVE

It's not fast, or furious, but it is certainly a REAL HEROOOOOOO, A REAL HUMAN BEEEEIIIING. [stomps you to death in an elevator]





14. PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY

For all you fans of Serial, Making a Murderer, and The Jinx and whatnot... This is a true crime doc that is totally worth checking out. I watched this movie, and then proceeded to watch the two movies before it, the one after it, and waste countless hours reading theories on the internet. Basically what most people do after any true crime doc. IT WAS TERRY HOBBS I TELLS YA! HOBBS DID IT!





13. ZERO DARK THIRTY

It's hard to write a meaningful blurb about this when the last thing I saw Jessica Chastain in was Huntsman: Winter's War. Zero Dark Thirty is great, though. Just take my word on that.





12. HER

This will make you think way too hard about the logistics of dating your computer. ...In a good way.





11. THE AVENGERS

I might bite my tongue when I see Captain America: Civil War, but this movie was definitely the most interesting most of these characters have ever been (except for Hawkeye, that beautiful lame bastard).





10. THIS IS THE END

This is the best pure, straight-forward comedy in years. And it's really hard to compete with those Adam Sandler Netflix movies.





9. BIRDMAN

This feels like one of those movies that people who like weird, slow-moving films really enjoy; and everyone else will hate.





8. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

YOU CAN KEEP NITPICKIN', AND I'LL KEEP ENJOYING THE MOVIE.





7. BLACKFISH

You're not going to find a better character study of a killer whale anywhere else. And I'm including Free Willy, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Free Willy 3: The Rescue, AND Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove in that conversation.





6. GONE GIRL

Tip for all you guys out there: Never, even in jest, refer to your significant other as "Amazing Amy". You will regret it for weeks.





5. WHIPLASH

I left a screening for this movie with my blood pumping like I just watched an action movie. ...May I remind you, THIS IS A MOVIE ABOUT JAZZ SCHOOL.





4. 50/50

I don't think there's a more go-to movie for me that will guarantee my eyes watering up. That's why I have to watch it alone (out of embarrassment). I can't even listen to that Liars song anymore without welling up. TAKE MY MAN CARD. JUST TAKE IT.





3. DJANGO UNCHAINED

I think this might have been one of the first movies I showed (my now) wife (MAHH WIIIIIFE) where I was like giddy with excitement that she would watch it with me and be really into it. It was one of the best, most rad feelings a film connoisseur can have. If you've never gotten that warm feeling from showing someone an amazing movie they've never seen before, then you're probably the one who got shown an amazing movie by someone else who got that warm feeling. At least pretend to enjoy it, for our sake. We're fragile people.





2. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Is there a movie I quote more in my daily life? If I'm gonna quote, I'm gonna quote historic about Fury Road.





1. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

I don't know what to tell you here, I like it. I like it a lot. I've seen it probably over 10 times by now, and I like it every time. Maybe I just like fun things? I don't know. It's not best movie of all time good, but out of the last five years, I'd be hard pressed to find a movie outside of these top five that I can watch repeatedly without tiring as much as I do with these. You might disagree? But, like, I also don't really care...? And I don't hold it against you or anything, either. I mean, I don't know if I believe anyone is 100% a dick.


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Tim Wilson
Re: The Top 50 Movies of the Last 5 Years
on Apr 30, 2016 at 8:01:29 pm

What a fantastic post! Thanks so much for thinking and the effort that went into this! Some speedy comments until I have a chance to think more carefully about the many wonderful things you bring up:



[Scott Roberts] re: Snowpiercer "I'M AWARE IT'S IMPLAUSIBLE. SO WHAT? (sorry, Tim...)"

My issue isn't implausibility. It's theoretically possible that I may like a plausible movie, but I honestly can't think of a single one. Certainly nothing in my all-time top 20 is even remotely plausible. A Hard Day's Night is as close as I can get I think.

My issue with this one is that it was boring, and that it capped off "merely" boring with "derivatively boring" by stealing the most boring part of the boring tail end of the Matrix: the Architect/Engineer sequence.




[Scott Roberts] "22. KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE

I already liked this movie a lot, and now it's been making its rounds almost daily on HBO, and I've probably rewatched it in chunks about seven times in the background over the last few weeks. It is just an astonishingly watchable movie, bruv."


My favorite pleasant surprise off this list. A genuine pleasure! I DVR'd it so I can rewatch at will, and indeed I have. It's everything that this kind of movie should be, and sets up a fantastic sequel. I can't wait.



[Scott Roberts] "
29. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

Might I be so bold as to say this is one of the best dumb romantic comedies ever made?"


Go right ahead! My #1 favorite of the past 5 years for sure. Maybe the past 10 years, in ANY genre. Romantic comedies, all-time top 5, no doubt about it.

Not a plausible bone in its body. The epitome of anti-plausible, and makes every one of those implausibilities work in its favor.

Including a stunning scene in which Jennifer Lawrence absolutely SCHOOLS Robert DeNiro on the difference between plausible and implausible, where the highly implausible conclusion (which she is specifically arguing is implausible) becomes the basis for the entire fourth act, which ends BEYOND implausibly...

....and is so utterly organic in its open-heartedness that there's no way in a million worlds it could have gone any differently. Very nearly perfect.

(In fact, you know what would have made it 100% perfect? Never cutting in for a closeup to Nikki and hearing her speak. It was good that she was only present by her absence in the film until then, so when we finally see her -- which was right, we needed to -- we should have stayed at a distance. Hearing her speak only a single throwaway line was pointless.

As quibbly as I can get, for that to be my ONLY quibble is a measure of how close to perfection we are. Three shots too many is it. Excise 9 seconds from this movie and it achieves 1000% perfection, instead of merely 996% percent perfection.)



[Scott Roberts] "11. THE AVENGERS

I might bite my tongue when I see Captain America: Civil War, but this movie was definitely the most interesting most of these characters have ever been "


I hate how much I hate this movie and its sequel. They may have permanently taken away any of my prior deep fondness for Joss Whedon, which is truly sad to me.

Captain America has always been one of my least favorite superheroes in any comics universe, but Chris Evans' portrayal has been so heartfelt and nuanced that the second of them in particular is my favorite mainstream Marvel movie to date.

(Although I guess I kinda have to call Guardians mainstream now, don't I?)

I also love about Cap II that it's the closest we may ever get to a Black Widow movie.

Although I hate Marvel that this is the closest we may ever get to a Black Widow movie.

There's no way we can get enough of her in Cap III, which is even more overstuffed than an Avengers movie (Ant Man? Spiderman? Really?) but I'm still very excited for Cap III.

Please don't suck. Please don't suck. Please don't suck.





[Scott Roberts] "39. SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

You're going to find out that I like a lot of movies about artists struggling with mediocrity. It's kind of one of my favorite subjects."


Except I think this is a story of an artist struggling between his desire to touch people and his difficulty being around people, the inability of the music promotion machine of dealing with anyone who wants to be great but doesn't want to be a star, and with artists victimized outright theft -- like ACTUAL LITERAL THEFT -- of money from them by their labels.

It's also a story about fans refusing to put up with any of that, and putting their guy back in the spotlight despite all that, because they love his music.

Which is to say, I think Rodriguez is truly great. The equal of all but a handful of giants who strode across the earth in the early 70s.

A couple of notes about the film:

-- Because of the vagaries of funding an indie picture, it never quite manages to sync itself to the fact that some of the key events in this 2012 movie took place in the late 90s.

-- It also skips over the handful of very brief successes that Rodriguez DID have earlier in his career, and confusingly intercuts those with footage from triumphant return to the spotlight.

Quibbles, though. It's a terrific movie.

-- To quote the late Roger Ebert, "This film exists because we need it to." Calling it a must-see is an understatement. I think in my top 10 of the past 5 years.

That this has "only" a 95% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes is inconceivable to me.



Here's some recommended additional viewing for fans of any of those. Especially for Scott. LOL

-- Attack the Block (2011). Super-low budget sci-fi horror indie from England that's not dissimilar in feel to a combination of Kingsmen, Chappie, and Guardians of the Galaxy, on about one-thousandth of their budgets. I LOVE John Boyega in this movie. Not to oversell it -- it really is low budget, and has a few story issues -- but it's easily in my top dozen.

-- Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015). Only limited theatrical release, so may not count, but still.

One of my favorite music documentaries ever, approximately 20 times better than Amy (which we liked fine; saw it on the big screen with my wife, and the whole time we were watching it, we were saying, "wow, Montage of Heck was 20 times better than this").

You don't need to like Nirvana to like it, although it obviously helps, but this is a breathtaking journey into the inner life of a genius and his ultimately losing battle with manic depression (which is a villain who is never named in the picture, which felt like a missed opportunity), a celebration of a singular musical scene, and a loving embrace in the joy of creation.

That this is "only" 98% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes borders on the criminal.


I'll do some more thinking and get back to you on this, but really, truly, thanks again!!!


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Scott Roberts
Re: The Top 50 Movies of the Last 5 Years
on May 5, 2016 at 10:06:15 pm

Thanks, Tim! I enjoy making big lists, and I love reading your comments on them!



[Tim Wilson] "It's [Kingsman] everything that this kind of movie should be, and sets up a fantastic sequel. I can't wait."

I'm excited for the sequel, too. But I wonder how they expect to bring back Colin Firth, if that's the plan in action? Oops, that was probably a spoiler... Hey, I think the one year safe period is over on this one...




[Tim Wilson] "Including a stunning scene in which Jennifer Lawrence absolutely SCHOOLS Robert DeNiro on the difference between plausible and implausible, where the highly implausible conclusion (which she is specifically arguing is implausible) becomes the basis for the entire fourth act, which ends BEYOND implausibly..."

Haha, well said! I like Argo, but it wasn't a better screenplay (at the Oscars) than Silver Linings Playbook, and that scene is evidence. I like how that movie took a lot of the cliches you'd expect to see in a romantic comedy, and then made them 5x louder, and somehow that made them more grounded. If that makes sense?




[Tim Wilson] "I also love about Cap II that it's the closest we may ever get to a Black Widow movie.

Although I hate Marvel that this is the closest we may ever get to a Black Widow movie."


When I look back at Cap II, I actually remember more Black Widow moments than I do Steve Rogers moments, if that counts for anything? I don't know if Marvel needs any more movies on their slate, as they are on the verge of popping the balloon, so to speak, but I guess they give her a lot of screen time in these movies. Can't win 'em all.




[Tim Wilson] "It also skips over the handful of very brief successes that Rodriguez DID have earlier in his career, and confusingly intercuts those with footage from triumphant return to the spotlight."

Seems like the same kind of documentary manipulation that King of Kong did to set up a big (probably fake) rivalry. Hey, I get it though, you don't go through all the work of making a multi-year documentary without at least attempting to make it more gut wrenching than it actually is. Nothing is 100% reality.




[Tim Wilson] "Here's some recommended additional viewing for fans of any of those. Especially for Scott. LOL

-- Attack the Block (2011)"


That was in my original list! The first draft. Then I started going, "Oh wait, what about THAT one...? And THIS one...?" BLARG! I should have just made the top 57 movies of the last five years. Stupid round numbers!


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Bob Cole
Re: The Top 50 Movies of the Last 5 Years
on May 10, 2016 at 12:05:39 am

Another Guardians of the Galaxy fan here - glad to see it heading your list.

Also glad to see you mentioning the repeat-viewing criterion. There are some movies that I know are not great, yet I enjoy seeing over and over again. And there are some movies that stink of greatness, yet I'd rather do housework than watch them again.

I've bought myself a pass on this question by saying "film is still the youngest art, and it's okay if we haven't gotten very far with figuring out what's good and bad."


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Scott Roberts
Re: The Top 50 Movies of the Last 5 Years
on May 10, 2016 at 2:43:06 pm

[Bob Cole] ""film is still the youngest art, and it's okay if we haven't gotten very far with figuring out what's good and bad.""

Haha that's a good way to put it! Makes me feel better about enjoying Demolition Man so much.


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Stephen Smith
Re: The Top 50 Movies of the Last 5 Years
on May 10, 2016 at 3:04:09 pm

No Edge of Tomorrow? I loved that film!

I got to say, Furious 7 had such a great tribute at the end of the film that I choked up. For a Furious film to do that they defiantly get bonus points. I also enjoyed the latest Mission Impossible film so much I would say it was my favorite one of the franchise.

I enjoyed Winter Soldier a lot and felt it was the best Marvel film. Of course I haven't seen Civil War yet, maybe my opinion will change this week end :-)

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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John Cuevas
Re: The Top 50 Movies of the Last 5 Years
on May 11, 2016 at 2:09:43 pm

42. THE HATEFUL EIGHT

I don't think I liked it as much on the second viewing from home as I did during the 70mm roadshow presentation. In fact, it might be Tarantino's worst movie (yeah, I'm a Death Proof fan, SHUT UP). But his worst movie is still better than a bunch of people's best movie.


Well, I've added 7 of your recommendations to my netflix list. And I agree, this ranks the lowest of his full-length features as I grew to like Death Proof over a few viewings, so no argument from me.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
ThinkCK

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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