The 10 Best Things I’ve Watched This Year

in Culture

It’s December, the month film critics share what they think are the best films they’ve watched this year. A quick scan of outlets like Variety, Indiewire, Roger Ebert.com, and Film Comment reveals a couple of common picks ranging from the popular and therefore obvious – Oppenheimer, Poor Things, Barbie, Asteroid City, Killers of the Flower Moon – to the truly independent and under the radar – like Pawo Choyning Dorji’s The Monk and the Gun. The Bhutanese filmmaker had received praise for his last film, Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, about a yak in a classroom. Monk and the Gun is about a monk and a gun, and the American gun collector who wants to take it from him.

My personal favorite this year was Monster, a new film from Hirokazu Koreeda, a Japanese director known for intimate, Ozu-esque stories about unusual families living in a highly homogenous society. You might have heard of his previous film, Shoplifters, which I believe was Japan’s Oscar-entry for the year it was released. Monster is about a single mother struggling with her son – a simple premise Koreeda explores to the fullest. 

Also of note is Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days, another film from Japan, though not from a Japanese filmmaker. Wenders is best described as quiet and contemplative, with Perfect Days revolving around a man who cleans Tokyo’s public toilets for a living and is perfectly content with this. 

For this list, I’m not going to focus on films and TV shows that graced this year’s highly exclusive film festivals. Not because they aren’t good, but because most of them are inaccessible. The following picks were released during various points in the past and, as a result, are available for viewing on YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and …

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Author: Tim Brinkhof / High Times

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