Joseph’s Movie of the Year: “Jurassic World”
“Jurassic World” is easily this year’s best movie, boasting the absolutely perfect blend of nostalgia and new. Fans of 1993’s “Jurassic Park” were completely enamored with the blockbuster sequel as director Colin Trevorrow honored their memories with subtle references while also making their dreams of a fully functioning dinosaur theme park come true in such a way that was even more impressive than they imagined. And everyone—including newcomers who have never known a time before larger-than-life special effects—were blown away by the thrilling action that rejuvenated the motion picture industry’s power to affect audiences to the degree that they surrender to their senses and suspend all disbelief.
Randy’s Movie of the Year: “Tangerine”
Director Sean Baker’s film was shot on three iPhone 5s smartphones and cost around $100,000 to produce. The two main stars were found at an LGBT center in Los Angeles, and had no major acting experience. Despite this, the story about a transgendered prostitute and her friend roaming the streets of Hollywood on Christmas Eve is hilariously funny, perfectly acted and surprisingly heartwarming. Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor the most genuine and memorable performances of the year…(or ever, for that matter). Baker and crew captured a gritty, yet real look at the side of Hollywood that most overlook.
M.V.’s Movie of the Year: “Spotlight”
The title refers to a team of investigative reporters at the Boston Globe who, in the early 2000s, uncovered evidence both that priestly child abuse was far more widespread than was previously understood, and that the city’s Archdiocese had consciously and systematically covered it up. Like several of this year’s best movies, this drama directed and co-written by Thomas McCarthy has depressing and infuriating subject matter. But it also has a superb ensemble cast led by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Liev Schreiber, and a low-key tension that leads to potent emotional payoffs.