Films Seen 11/15 – 12/16

Films Seen 11/15 – 12/16


Out of the Past (1947), Jacques Tourneur, A
The Amazing Mr. X a/k/a The Spiritualist (1948), Bernard Vorhaus, B+
Very Semi-Serious (2015), Leah Wolchok, B+
The Big Short (2015), Adam McKay, A-
Creed (2015), Ryan Coogler, C+
The Secret in Their Eyes (2015), Billy Ray, D
Mediterranea (2015), Jonas Carpignano, A-
Victor Frankenstein (2015), Paul McGuigan, D
Chi-Raq (2015), Spike Lee, A-
The Revenant (2015), Alejandro González Iñárritu, B-
Submerged (2015), Steven C. Miller, D
Mr. Holmes (2015), Bill Condon, B
The Look of Silence (2015), Joshua Oppenheimer, B
Macbeth (2015), Justin Kurzel, B
Far From the Madding Crowd (2015), Thomas Vinterberg, B
The Danish Girl (2015), Tom Hooper, B
Beasts of No Nation (2015), Cory Joji Fukunaga, A-
The Assassin (2015), Hou Hsiao-Hsien, C-
45 Years (2015), Andrew Haigh, A-
Love & Mercy (2015), Bill Pohlad, B+
Joy (2015), David O. Russell, B-
The Hateful Eight (2015), Quentin Tarantino, B+
In The Heart of the Sea (2015), Ron Howard, C
Intimate Bed 1993), Mircea Daneliuc, C+
Dreams Rewired (2015), Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart and Thomas Tode, B+
Wharf Angel (1934) William Cameron Menzies, George Somnes, B+
I Knew Her Well (1965), Antonio Pietrangeli, A-
In Jackson Heights (2015), Frederick Wiseman, B+
Sicario (2015), Denis Villeneuve, A-
Truth (2015), James Vanderbilt, C
Aferim! (2015), Radu Jude, A
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939), Kenji Mizoguchi, B+
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2015), Walt Becker, C+
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), J.J. Abrams, A
Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art (2015), James Crump, B

Films Seen 10/13 – 11/14

Films Seen 10/13 – 11/14

Dukhtar (2015), Afia Nathaniel, B-
Field Niggas (2015), Khalik Allah, A
Pan (2015), Joe Wright, D
Le Corbeau (1943), Henri-Georges Clouzot, B+
Seven Psychopaths (2012), Martin McDonagh, C
Jane B. Par Agnès V. (1988), Agnès Varda, A-
Extraordianry Tales (2015), Raul Garcia, C
Censored Voices (2015), Mor Loushy, C+
Mandragora (1997), Wiktor Grodecki, B
Passion (1982), Jean-Luc Godard, B+
Alladin (1992), Ron Clements and John Musker, A-
Rock the Kasbah (2015), Barry Levinson, D-
Steve Jobs (2015), Danny Boyle, B-
The Last Witch Hunter (2015), Breck Eisner, B
Jem and the Holograms (2015), John M. Chu, C
Branded to Kill (1967), Seijun Suzuki, A
The Call of Blood (1964), Seijun Suzuki, B
Youth of the Beast (1963), Seijun Suzuki, A-
Fighting Elegy (1966), Seijun Suzuki, B
Gate of Flesh (1964), Seijun Suzuki, A
Tokyo Drifter (1966), Seijun Suzuki, A-
Pistol Opera (2001), Seijun Suzuki, B+
Out 1 – Nolo Me Tenegre (1971/2015), Jacques Rivette, B+
Sex, Death and Bowling (2015), Ally Walker, F
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015), Christopher B. Landon, C
Spectre (2015), Sam Mendes, C
Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art (2015), James Crump, C
Raging Bull (1980), Martin Scorsese, A
The Peanuts Movie (2015), Steve Martino, B
Crimson Peak (2015), Guillermo Del Toro, B+
By The Sea (2015), Angelina Jolie Pitt, B-
Love the Coopers (2015), Jessie Nelson, C-
Concussion (2015), Peter Landesman, C-
My All-American (2015), Angelo Pizzo, F
The Reckless Moment (1949), Max Ophüls, B+
Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Robert Aldrich, A-

15 Contenders (plus 5 I haven’t seen) for Top 10 of 2015

15 Contenders (plus 5 I haven’t seen) for Top 10 of 2015


Festival releases don’t count.
NYC theatrical is what makes it qualify as a 2015 release.

I confess that Noah Baumbach having two very good movies this year makes it difficult for me to put either one in the real race for me. Maybe I’ll adjust that down the line. (And if I do, I’m #TeamMistressAmerica.)

I also confess that Experimenter and Stanford Prison Experiment box each other out, too. This is ridiculous, but it’s how I feel. (Frankly, I don’t think either are quite good enough for top ten status, anyway. Maybe Experimenter would make top 25.)

Anomalisa is good but, yeah, that’s top 25 zone, sorry. Same with Room.

Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t on this list and was never a mile near it. You all need to calm the eff down with that.

The contenders for top 10 are:

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Roy Andersson (This has a shot at the #10 slot.)
About Elly, Asghar Farhadi (Love this movie, but I suspect it’ll slip out of the top 10.)
Carol, Todd Haynes (Probably in there.)
Clouds of Sils Maria, Olivier Assayas (I have a hunch this doesn’t quite make it, but we’ll see.)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (This ends up in the top 5. Top 3.)
The Duke of Burgundy, Peter Strickland (Oh, yeah.)
Eden, Mia Hansen-Løve (I see this coming in around 8 or so.)
Ex Machina, Alex Garland (Has waned a bit for me, but probably still in there.)
The Forbidden Room, Guy Maddin (I dunno. We’ll see. It’s wonderful, but it IS long.)
Heaven Knows What, Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie (This movie only gets more exciting the more I think about it.)
The Kindergarten Teacher, Nadav Lapid (I can’t stop thinking about this movie. But top 10?)
The Martian, Ridley Scott (We’ll see.)
The Nightmare, Rodney Ascher (A lock for 8 or 9. I love this movie, even if no one else does.)
Sicario, Denis Villenueve (Great movie, but top 10? We’ll see. I dunno just yet.)
Son of Saul, László Nemes (Contender for best of the year.)

Plus five possibilities I haven’t seen
45 Years, Andrew Haigh (All signs point to me loving this. I’ll be seeing it very soon.)
The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino (No freaking way. But I did love Inglorious Basterds so let’s give it a shot.)
Li’l Quinquin, Bruno Dumont (By all accounts, I will lose my mind for this. I gotta fit it in before the end of the year to check.)
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams (I’d like at least one movie on my list that’s a big, fat Hollywood movie, and a space movie at that! Will it be this or will it be The Martian? Or neither? Or both!)
Steve Jobs, Danny Boyle (I haven’t gotten off my ass to this yet. Likelihood very low, but keeping an open mind.)

Films Seen 9/22 – 10/12

Films Seen 9/22 – 10/12


Diary of a Chambermaid (1964), Luis Buñuel, B+
Bad Company (1972), Robert Benton, B+
Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015), Genndy Tartakovsky, C-
The Creeping Garden (2015), Tim Grabham and Jason Sharp, B
The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Earth and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015), Ben Rivers, B
Microbe and Gasoline (2015), Michel Gondry, A-
Don’t Blink: Robert Frank (2015), Laura Israel, C
The Witness (2015), James Salomon, B
The Awful Truth (1937), Leo McCarey, A-
Deathgasm (2015), Jason Lei Howden, B-
The Forbidden Room (2015), Guy Maddin, B+
The Treasure (2015), Corneliu Porumboiu, A-
The Measure of a Man (2015), Stéphane Brizé, C
De Palma (2015), Jake Paltrow and Noah Baumbach, B+
Goosebumps (2015), Rob Letterman, B
Bridge of Spies (2015), Steven Spielberg, B-
Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979), Terry Jones, A
Beyond Zero: 1914-1918 (2014), Bill Morrison, B+
The Gorgon (1964), Terence Fisher, B-
Heart of a Dog (2015), Laurie Anderson, B+
Miles Ahead (2015), Don Cheadle, B-

Films Seen 9/5 – 9/21 (TIFF 2015)

Freeheld (2015), Peter Sollett, C
The Dressmaker (2015), Jocelyn Moorehouse, C
Hong Kong Trilogy: Preschooled Preoccupied Preposterous (2015), Christopher Doyle, C+
Parisienne (2015), Danielle Arbid, B-
Evolution (2015), Lucile Hadžihalilović, A-
Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015), Kent Jones, B
Ixcanul (2015), Jayro Bustamante, A-
The Kind Words (2015), Shemi Zarhin, C-
Endorphine (2015), Andre Turpin, B-
Demolition (2015), Jean-Marc Vallée, D
Where To Invade Next (2015), Michael Moore, C+
The Martian (2015), Ridley Scott, A-
Our Brand Is Crisis (2015), David Gordon Green, B+
Schneider vs. Bax (2015), Alex van Warmerdam, B
Legend (2015), Brian Helgeland, B-
February (2015), Osgood Perkins, D+
Thru You Princess (2015), Ido Haar, B
Anomalisa (2015), Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, A-
Black Mass (2015), Scott Cooper, C-
Maggie’s Plan (2015), Rebecca Miller, C+
Desierto (2015), Jonás Cuarón, C+
High-Rise (2015), Ben Wheatley, B-
Spotlight (2015), Thomas McCarthy, B+
Bang Gang: A Modern Love Story (2015), Eva Husson, C
Rabin, the Last Day (2015), Amos Gitai, B
Room (2015), Lenny Abrahamson, A-
The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015), Matthew Brown, C
Septembers of Shiraz (2015), Wayne Blair, D-
Hardcore (2015), Ilya Naishuller, D+

Films Seen 7/28 – 9/4

(Dis)honesty: The Truth About Lies (2015), Yael Melamede, B-
Horse Money (2015), Pedro Costa, B
Learning to Drive (2015), Isabel Coixet, B
Straight Outta Compton (2015), F. Gary Gray, C
Ricki and the Flash (2015), Jonathan Demme, B
The Quay Brothers – On 35mm (1986/1991/2000/2015), The Brothers Quay and Christopher Nolan, A-
The Mend (2015), John Magary, B+
Hitman: Agent 47 (2015), Aleksander Bach, D
American Ultra (2015), Nima Nourizadeh, D
Goodnight Mommy (2105), Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, C
WARx2 (2015), The Strasson Group, N/A
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015), Guy Ritchie, B-
Tom at the Farm (2015), Xavier Dolan, B-
When Animals Dream (2015), Jonas Alexander Arnby, C+
We Are Your Friends (2015), Max Joseph, B
Until the End of the World [Director’s Cut] (1991/2015), Wim Wenders, A
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015), Stanley Nelson, B-
Meet the Patels (2015), Ravi Patel and Geeta Patel, B
A Sinner in Mecca (2015), Parvez Sharma, B-
War Room (2015), Alex Kendrick, F
The Steamroller and the Violin (1961), Andrei Tarkovsky, B+
Face to Face (1976), Ingmar Bergman, B+
In The Shadow of Women (2015), Philippe Garrel, B
The Cut (2015), Fatih Akin, B
Labrynth of Lies (2015), Giulio Ricciarelli, C+

Films 7/2 – 7/27

The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (1964), Pier Paolo Pasolini, A-
Faith of our Fathers (2015), Carey Scott, D-
Chan is Missing (1982), Wayne Wang, A
Chameleon Street (1989), Wendell B. Harris, Jr., A-
Heat and Sunlight (1987), Rob Nilsson, B
Personal Problems (1980), Bill Gunn, C
Seventeen (1983), Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines, A-
Landlord Blues (1988), Jacob Burckhardt, C
The Gallows (2015), Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing, D
Ant-Man (2015), Peyton Reed, B+
Cremaster 4 (1994), Matthew Barney, A-
Cremaster 1 (1995), Matthew Barney, A-
Cremaster 5 (1997), Matthew Barney, B
Cremaster 2 (1999), Matthew Barney, B-
Cremaster 3 (2002), Matthew Barney, A-
Listen To Me Marlon (2015), Stevan Riley, B
Trainwreck (2015), Judd Apatow, B-
A LEGO Brickumentary (2015), Kief Davidson and Daniel Junge, D
The Runner (2015), Austin Stark, B-
The Kindergarten Teacher (2015), Nadav Lapid, A-
Five Star (2015), Keith Miller, B
Unexpected (2015), Kris Swanberg, C+
Pixels (2015), Chris Columbus, D+
Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015), Richard Starzak and Mark Burton, A-
Vacation (2015),John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, C-
Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015), Marielle Heller, A
Paper Towns (2015), Jake Schreier, B-
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015), Christopher McQuarrie, A-
Jenny’s Wedding (2015), Mary Agnes Donoghue, C-
Cop Car (2015), Jon Watts, A-

Films Seen 6/7 – 7/1

The Stranger (2015), Guillemo Amoedo, D
Jurassic World (2015), Colin Trevorrow, C
The 11th Hour (2015), Anders Morgenthaler, C-
Live from New York! (2015), Bao Nguyen, C+
Burying the Ex (2015), Joe Dante, D
Gabriel (2015), Lou Howe, A-
Dark Awakenings (2015), Dean Jones, F
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Jim Sharman, B
Dope (2015), Rick Famuyiwa, B-
Ted 2 (2015), Seth MacFarlane B
3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets (2015), Marc Silver, B-
Self/Less (2015), Tarsem Singh, C-
Minions (2015), Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin, C
A Little Chaos (2015), Alan Rickman, C
Batkid Begins (2015), Dana Nachman, D+
Max (2015), Boaz Yakin, D+
Magic Mike XXL (2015), Gregory Jacobs, B+
The Milky Way (1969), Luis Buñuel, A-
Skidoo (1968), Otto Preminger, C-
Terminator Genisys (2015), Alan Taylor, C
A Poem Is A Naked Person (1974), Les Blank, A-
Tangerine (2015), Sean Baker, B+

Wrap-up of Cannes 2015

Here are links to all the movie reviews (and miscellanea) that I published out of Cannes 2015, separated by outlet.


Inside-Out (loved it!)

Sea of Trees (it’s crap!)

The Lobster (it’s really, really cool!)


Dheepan (it’s okay!)

Amy (it’s really good)

A Tale of Love and Darkness (it kinda blows!)

The Tale of Tales (its’ okay!)

Son of Saul, Les Anarchistes & Afterthought (fantastic, fairly good & good, respectively!)

Embrace of the Serpent, The Fourth Direction, Cemetery of Splendor & Green Room (spectacular, a snooze, interesting & something of a disappointment, respectively!)

    For The Guardian

One Floor Below (it’s intriguing!)

Dégradé (it’s okay!)

Mustang (it’s terrific!)

The Brand New Testament (it’s whimsical and hilarious!)

Mediterranea (it’s topical!)

Lamb (it’s classical!)

    For Mashable

Irrational Man (it’s droll!)

Carol (it’s gorgeous!)

Sicario (it’s sleek!)

Youth (it’s pretentious!)

    For Popular Mechanics

Mad Mad: Fury Road (it’s loud!)

    For Times of Israel

Was Cannes Good For The Jews? (yes!)

Films Seen 5/8 – 6/6 (Including Cannes 2015)

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), George Miller, A-
Pather Panchali (1955), Satyajit Ray, A
Tabu (2012), Miguel Gomes, A-
Mustang (2015), Deniz Gamze Ergüven, A-
The Tale of Tales (2015), Matteo Garrone, C+
Les Anarchistes (2015), Elie Wajeman, B
Afterthought (2015), Elad Keidan, B
Son of Saul (2015), László Nemes, A
One Floor Below (2015), Radu Muntean, B
The Lobster (2015), Yorgos Lanthimos, A
A Tale of Love and Darkness (2015), Natalie Portman, C+
Embrace of the Serpent (2015), Ciro Guerra, A-
Sea of Trees (2015), Gus Van Sant, C-
The Fourth Direction (2015), Chauthi Koot, C
Irrational Man (2015), Woody Allen, B+
Carol (2015), Todd Haynes, A
Dégradé (2015), Tarzan and Arab Nasser, B-
Amy (2015), Asif Kapadia, B+
Green Room (2015), Jeremy Saulnier, B-
Inside Out (2015), Pete Docter, A-
Cemetery of Splendor (2015), Apichatpong Weerasethakul, B+
Sicario (2015), Denis Villeneuve, A-
Mediterrenea (2015), Jonas Carpignano, B+
Youth (2015), Paolo Sorrentino, B-
Oka (2015), Souleymane Cissé, C
Lamb (2015), Yared Zeleke, B+
Dheepan (2015), Jacques Audiard, B
Love (2015), Gaspar Noé, C+
Valley of Love (2015), Guillaume Nicloux, B-
Louisiana (The Other Side) (2015), Roberto Minervini, B-
Interstellar (2014), Christopher Nolan, A-
Heaven Knows What (2015), Josh and Benny Safdie, A-
We Are Still Here (2015), Ted Geoghegan, B-
Spy (2015), Paul Feig, B+
United Passions (2015), Frédéric Auburtin, F
Queen of Earth (2015), Alex Ross Perry, A-
Impolex (2009), Alex Ross Perry, C+


Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.

He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.