The Old Man and the Gun - dir. David Lowery: an unexpectedly gentle, thrilling and stylish caper with stunning performances by Redford, Affleck and Spacek. I especially enjoyed the film's attention to detail with Super 16 cinematography, controlled editing and its calm, cool pace. What a joy.
The Other Side of the Wind - dir. Orson Welles: it took more than 40 years for this film to be completed, with footage pieced together using Welles' notes and storyboards. The result is sharp, entertaining and trashy. If Citizen Kane had been made in the 70s, this would have been the result. One of the Master's best and most eclectic works.
Blackkklansman - dir. Spike Lee: the film is so funny, charming and goofy that it wins you over in the end. Many scenes are fictional in nature and deviate from the protagonist's real-life story. Strong performances by character actors such as Adam Driver propel the film.
Mandy - dir. Panos Cosmatos: a cocaine-fuelled, blood-drenched carnage starring Nicolas Cage. That's about all you need to know. It's actually insane.
Stan and Ollie - dir. Jon S. Baird: this charming and low-key account of Laurel and Hardy's final years is expertly written and quite affecting. I found myself genuinely laughing out loud and marvelling at the textures of 1950s Britain re-created in the film. Coogan and Reilly are standouts and manage to evoke their alter egos without coming across as imitators.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout - dir. Christopher McQuarrie: having rewatched it, I would now say this is the strongest instalment in the franchise. The reason for this? It's the first M:I film to become self-aware, taking into account Hunt/Cruise's penchant for dangerous stunts, as well as his advancing age. What we get is a more personal story about the protagonist's 'killer' job, his allies and his life.
Halloween - dir. David Gordon Green: this is an unexpected entry in my list. I realise it's also a questionable one. After all, David Gordon Green's sequel cum soft reboot is the latest in a string of largely uninteresting and dull movies. This particular movie, however, is perhaps the only one as good as the original. In a similar fashion to M:I Fallout, it's the first entry in the franchise to take its protagonist seriously.
Cold War - dir. Paweł Pawlikowski: bordering on cliche, Pawlikowski's beautiful romance is simultaneously hard-hitting, delicate and elegant. I identified with these two lost souls who happen to fall in love despite less than ideal circumstances. The film also doesn't shy away from showing these characters' flaws, which makes them all the more endearing.
Deadpool 2 - dir. David Leitch: this time, the sequel actually exceeds its predecessor. It's bigger, funnier and more re-watchable. Ryan Reynolds and co. clearly understand the character. My favourite line: 'I'm Batman!'
Bohemian Rhapsody - dir. Bryan Singer: it puzzles me to think that reviews for the film have been so negative. The film doesn't willingly offend Mercury's memory and, although sanitized to some extent, presents him in his essence, i.e. the greatest rock 'n' roll frontman. Considering rock biopics are often uninteresting, what is there to be so angry about?