As was the case last year, the last six months of viewing (movies and streaming shows) blessed me with more stellar experiences than my half year of reading. That doesn’t mean viewing eclipsed reading overall, for I’m seeing a tailing off of the “golden age of streaming shows/movies,” with Netflix in particular reverting to mostly average or below-average fodder. But the best shows and movies across the many streamers and the cinemas were exceptional. Five dramas, four thrillers, and one comedy, and three of them rated at the perfect score of 10/10. Sink in, dear viewer, sink in.
The links below take you to my review.
The standout screening this year has been Mike Mills’s C’mon C’mon (10/10), which I’ve seen twice with a third time to come. Two outstanding acting performances and an engrossing, human, existential tale. A masterpiece.
Released with far greater fanfare but also highly individualistic was Belfast (10/10), a stunning tale of The Troubles written and directed by Kenneth Branagh. An ode to a city, a coming-of-age drama, and much more.
Another perfect show: Station Eleven (10/10) based on the wonderfully plotted and peopled novel by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s a patient ten-parter that should be lovingly embraced not binged.
Douglas Henshall’s career best performance in the sixth season of Shetland (9/10) is more than enough reason to savor the six episodes.
And what a hoot to view the ten episodes of The Lincoln Lawyer (9/10), perfect courtroom thriller fodder.
Ditto for the quirky-as-shit comedy-drama series of Only Murders in the Building (9/10). Wonderfully acted and smart as hell.
CODA (8/10) is the kind of sentimental Mighty-Ducks-style movie that should not work. But it does and that’s due to both the acting and the resonant script.
“A splendid tale exuberantly told,” an “amnesiac in jeopardy” thriller set in magnificently filmed Australian outback locations, The Tourist (8/10)is six episodes of joy.
Another Australian drama series but a multi-family drama of great depth and wonderful acting, the second season of Bump (8/10) is as splendid as the first.
Last but definitely not least, if you haven’t discovered the stellar, rollicking, literary spy thriller Jackson Lamb series of Mick Herron, you can instead binge on the six atmospheric episodes of the first season of Slow Horses (8/10).