Posts Tagged ‘letterboxd’


2021 Year in Review – Movies

January 1, 2022

My TOP TEN Movies of 2021

  1. Dune
  2. Shiva Baby (HBO Max)
  3. Little Fish (Hulu)
  4. Spider-Man: No Way Home
  5. CODA (Apple TV+)
  6. Titane
  7. Pig (Hulu)
  8. Judas and the Black Messiah (HBO Max)
  9. The Last Duel
  10. A Quiet Place Part II

The rest of my top 25:

Notable 2021 films I haven’t seen yet: Licorice Pizza, C’mon C’mon, Belfast, The Worst Person in the World, Mass, West Side Story, Red Rocket, The Lost Daughter, The Card Counter, Spencer, The French Dispatch, King Richard, In The Heights, Nightmare Alley, No Time to Die, Swan Song

My TOP FIVE Documentaries/Docu-Series of 2021

  1. The Alpinist (Netflix)
  2. Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry (Apple TV+)
  3. Summer of Soul (Hulu)
  4. Val (Amazon Prime)
  5. Allen v. Farrow (HBO Max)

Notable 2021 Documentaries I haven’t seen: The Beatles: Get Back, Flee, The Rescue, Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street, Tina, Tiger, The History of the Atlanta Falcons, The Velvet Underground, The Sparks Brothers

2021 Movie Stats

Films watched: 244 (including shorts and eligible T.V. series (i.e. Loki, Mare of Easttown, etc.)

Average per month: 20.3

Average per week: 4.7

Most movies watched in one week: 13

Movies I watched twice: Halloween Kills, Minari, The Father, Shiva Baby, Promising Young Woman, Dick Johnson is Dead

Most watched genres: Drama (101 films), Horror (61), Thriller (61), Comedy (46), Action (34)

2021 releases: 29.5% Older: 70.5%

First-time watches: 74.6% Re-watches: 25.4%

10/10 Ratings: Halloween, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Jurassic Park, 12 Years a Slave

2021 – Most Watched Actors:

6 films: Corey Feldman (Friday the 13th franchise), Samuel L. Jackson (random)

5 films: Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween franchise), Benedict Cumberbatch (random), Jesse Plemons (random), Carrie-Anne Moss (Matrix franchise), Bill Camp (random)

4 films: Robert De Niro (Scorsese), Keanu Reeves (Matrix), David Dastmalchian (random), Nick Castle (Halloween), Virginia Madsen (random), Benedict Wong (Marvel), Melora Walters (Paul Thomas Anderson), Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th), P.J. Soles (Halloween), Charles Scorsese (Scorsese), Darrell Britt-Gibson (Fear Street), Fred Hechinger (Fear Street), Olivia Scott Welch (Fear Street)

2021 – Most Watched Directors:

4 films: Martin Scorsese, Lana Wachowski

3 films: Paul Thomas Anderson, Leigh Janiak, Destin Daniel Cretton, Wes Anderson, Ridley Scott

2 films: Steve Miner, Sergio Leone, David Gordon Green, Garrett Bradley, Spike Lee, James Cameron, Chloe Zhao, Adam Wingard, Rob Zombie, Steve McQueen, David Lynch, Chris Palmer

All-Time – Most Watched Actors:

  1. Samuel L. Jackson (44 films) [previously ranked 1]
  2. Brad Pitt (36) [2]
  3. Robert De Niro (35) [2]
  4. Tom Hanks (33) [5]
  5. Matt Damon (32) [6]
  6. Morgan Freeman (31) [8]
  7. John Goodman (31) [4]
  8. Bruce Willis (29) [6]
  9. Johnny Depp (28) [9]
  10. Tom Cruise (27) [13]
  11. Robert Downey Jr. (27) [13]
  12. Woody Harrelson (27) [10]
  13. Jonah Hill (27) [12]
  14. Jack Black (27) [9]
  15. J.K. Simmons (27) [13]
  16. Arnold Schwarzenegger (26) [13]
  17. Ben Affleck (26) [13]
  18. Willem Dafoe (26) [unranked]
  19. Phillip Seymour Hoffman (25) [unranked]
  20. Bill Murray (25) [13]

Dropped out: Laurence Fishburne, Jon Favreau

All-Time – Most Watched Directors:

  1. Steve Spielberg (21 films) [previously ranked 1]
  2. Martin Scorsese (20) [2]
  3. Ridley Scott (16) [4]
  4. Tim Burton (14) [3]
  5. Sam Raimi (12) [5]
  6. Ron Howard (12) [5]
  7. Quentin Tarantino (12) [5]
  8. Ivan Reitman (11) [8]
  9. David Fincher (11) [8]
  10. Christopher Nolan (11) [8]
  11. Joel Coen (11) [8]
  12. Michael Bay (10) [12]
  13. Robert Rodriguez (10) [12]
  14. Steven Soderbergh (10) [12]
  15. Jon Turteltaub (9) [15]
  16. Stephen Herek (9) [15]
  17. Wes Craven (9) [15]
  18. Joel Schumacher (9) [unranked]
  19. Peter Farrelly (9) [15]
  20. Jay Roach (9) [15]
  21. James Mangold (9) [15]
  22. Robert Zemeckis (9) [15]
  23. Richard Donner (9) [15]

Notes: Basically no movement here. I have multiple directors I’m focusing on right now, but Scorsese is the only one I watched more than three films from and only one of those wasn’t a re-watch. Ridley Scott is the only director in my all-time top 20 that I saw more than one new film from last year.

Every Movie I watched in November & December

Notes: This is the time of year I really start digging into the 2021 movies with Oscar chances, but this past month was kind of weird because of snow. I ended up cancelling multiple movie theater trips because we only have one 4WD vehicle and Dina was using it to go to work. Also, the vast majority of my film-watching is a solo adventure, but over the last ten days of 2021 Dina and I watched 14 movies together! She let me pick out two of them. Needless to say, my focused watchlist is now overflowing with 2021 movies I still need to see. The good news is I will have almost three full months to catch up on everything before the Oscars air on March 27th. Plenty of time!

Masterpieces – 10

Amazing – 9

  • The Matrix (1999, re-watch, HBO Max)
  • Boogie Nights (1997, re-watch, Showtime)

Great/Must Sees – 8

  • Titane (2021, iTunes rental)
  • The Last Duel (2021, Vudu)
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021, theater)
  • The Alpinist (2021, Netflix)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2021, re-watch, Disney+)
  • Black Swan (2010, re-watch, Hulu)
  • Goodfellas (1990, re-watch, HBO Max)

Highly Enjoyable – 7

  • Last Night in Soho (2021, theater)
  • The Master (2012, Netflix)
  • The Matrix Reloaded (2003, re-watch, HBO Max)
  • Best in Show (2000, re-watch, HBO Max)
  • Bottle Rocket (1996, iTunes rental)
  • Hard Eight (1996, Amazon Prime)
  • Home Alone (1990, re-watch, personal collection)
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989, re-watch, personal collection)
  • The Color of Money (1986, re-watch, iTunes rental)
  • Tampopo (1985, HBO Max)

Light Recommendations – 6

Decent – 5

  • Censor (2021, Hulu)
  • Eternals (2021, theater)
  • tick, tick… BOOM! (2021, Netflix)
  • The Matrix Resurrections (2021, HBO Max)
  • I, Robot (2004, re-watch, HBO Max)

Forgettable – 4

  • The Matrix Revolutions (2003, re-watch, HBO Max)

Bad – 3

Horrible – 2

2021 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2021 through December 2021
2020 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2020 through December 2021
2021 Best Documentaries/Docu-Series: My top documentary style films of the year
Focused Watchlist: A list of 30+ movies that are at the top of my watchlist with a breakdown of how I formulate my picks
January 2022 – New to Theaters and Streaming: Ranking new and old movies I want to see coming to streaming or theaters this month

I also went crazy and made a best films of the year list for every year from 2020 to 1982, the year I was born. I ranked 25 films for 2000 and later and 10 films for 1999 to 1982. I started fizzling out on my lists in the early 90s as I just haven’t seen most of the important films from those early years when I was a kid. I have all the lists on my blog here. Enjoy!

T.V. Shows (Ratings out of 5)


  • Succession season 3 (2021, HBO) – 4/5
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm season 11 (2021, HBO) – 3.5/5
  • Better Call Saul season 5 (2020, FX) – 3.5/5
  • The Sex Lives of College Girls season 1 (2021, HBO) – 4/5

Actively watching:

  • Dexter: New Blood season 1 (2021, Showtime)
  • The Sopranos season 2 (2000, HBO, re-watch)

Started but on indefinite pause:

  • Chucky season 1 (2021, USA/SyFy)
  • What We Do in the Shadows season 3 (2021, Hulu)
  • Big Shots season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Loki season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Rick & Morty season 5 (2021, Adult Swim)

Some Fun 2020 Movie Stats

January 19, 2021

I started using Letterboxd early last year and one of the cool features on the app is that it tracks all sorts of stats about your movie watching. I’m a stat guy, so I love it and when I asked my Facebook friends to guess the 20 actors and 20 directors I’ve seen the most movies from, a ton of people participated and seemed to enjoy it.

2020 Stats

Films watched: 147
Average per month: 12.2
Average per week: 2.8
Most watched (twice): The Queen’s Gambit (limited series count, I guess) and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Theatrical version and Producer’s Cut)
Top 5 genres: Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Horror, Action
2020 movies: 26.5%
Older movies: 73.5%
First time watches: 67.3%
Re-watches: 32.7%

Most Watched Stars

  1. Robert Englund (11 films)
  2. Heather Langenkamp (6)
  3. Harry Northup (6)
  4. Robert Shaye (5)
  5. Danielle Harris (5)
  6. Robert De Niro (4)
  7. Clu Gulager (4)
  8. Wes Craven (4)
  9. John Heard (4)
  10. Margot Robbie (4)
  11. Harvey Keitel (4)
  12. Lisa Wilcox (4)
  13. Victor Argo (4)
  14. Parry Shen (4)
  15. Murray Moston (4)
  16. Kelvin Harrison Jr. (4)

Notes: Any guesses which franchises I revisited last year?

Most Watched Directors

  1. Martin Scorsese (9 films)
  2. Wes Craven (2)
  3. John McTiernan (2)
  4. Liz Garbus (2)
  5. Daniel Farrands (2)
  6. Adam Green (2)
  7. Renny Harlin (2)
  8. Chris Columbus (2)
  9. Bong Joon-ho (2)
  10. Taika Waititi (2)
  11. Paul Verhoeven (2)

Lifetime Most Watched Stars

  1. Samuel L. Jackson (40 films) [previously ranked 1]
  2. Robert De Niro (33) [5]
  3. Brad Pitt (33) [2]
  4. John Goodman (32) [8]
  5. Tom Hanks (31) [5]
  6. Matt Damon (30) [5]
  7. Bruce Willis (30) [4]
  8. Morgan Freeman (29) [3]
  9. Johnny Depp (27) [12]
  10. Woody Harrelson (27) [12]
  11. Jack Black (27) [12]
  12. Jonah Hill (26) [8]
  13. Bill Murray (25) [unranked]
  14. Arnold Schwarzenegger (25) [20]
  15. Ben Affleck (25) [unranked]
  16. Tom Cruise (25) [10]
  17. Robert Downey Jr. (25) [12]
  18. J.K. Simmons (25) [12]
  19. Laurence Fishburne (24) [unranked]
  20. Jon Favreau (24) [unranked]

Dropped out: Scarlett Johansson (11), Brian Cox (12), Willem Dafoe (12), John Ratzenberger (12)

Notes: I posted my original list back in late March 2020 and since then I’ve gone through and realized I’ve seen some movies I hadn’t marked as watched, so most of the movement here is because of that. De Niro is the only actor on my 2020 list that is also on my all-time list and he moved all the way up to the #2. Also, there could be 15 actors tied with 24 movies watched, but we will never know how long that list extends because it only shows 20 names at a time.

Lifetime Most Watched Directors

  1. Steven Spielberg (21 films) [previously ranked 1]
  2. Martin Scorsese (19) [2]
  3. Tim Burton (14) [3]
  4. Ridley Scott (13) [4]
  5. Sam Raimi (12) [5]
  6. Ron Howard (12) [5]
  7. Quentin Tarantino (12) [7]
  8. Ivan Reitman (11) [9]
  9. David Fincher (11) [9]
  10. Christopher Nolan (11) [9]
  11. Joel Coen (11) [7]
  12. Michael Bay (10) [9]
  13. Robert Rodriguez (10) [9]
  14. Steven Soderbergh (10) [14]
  15. Jon Turteltaub (9) [18]
  16. Stephen Herek (9) [Unranked]
  17. Wes Craven (9) [18]
  18. Peter Farrelly (9) [Unranked]
  19. Jay Roach (9) [Unranked]
  20. James Mangold (9) [14]
  21. Robert Zemeckis [14]
  22. Richard Donner [14]

Dropped out: Richard Linklater, Lauren Montgomery, F. Gary Gray, Peter Jackson, Harold Ramis, Brian de Palma, Todd Phillips [all tied at 18th]

Note: No major movement here. Scorsese and Wes Craven were the only filmmakers I purposefully watched multiple films from in 2020.


February 2020 Movie Reviews

March 4, 2020

Welcome to the Letterboxd era. Someone told me about this movie app in late January and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. The app basically functions as a social media film diary and you can make it as comprehensive as you want it to be. You can simply log whenever you see a movie and keep a watchlist… or you can go all out like I have and log every movie you’ve ever seen and copy and paste reviews from your blog to the app, and pay a little money for an upgraded experience so you can track all sorts of stats that are fun to look through. If you’re a fan of cinema, I can’t recommend this app enough. It’s a must have.

Link to my profile: Dark Knight on Letterboxd

The Invisible Man (2020, theater) – It’s weird how fond of Elisabeth Moss I am. Looking through her filmography, I’ve seen 6% of the movies she’s ever had a role in and I’ve never seen anything she was the star of. I’ve never seen Mad Men. I’ve never seen The Handmaid’s Tale.

You know what I have seen? I’ve seen her performance in last year’s Us. It was a small role, but it caught my attention. I was wondering why this actress was going all out and how she could seem so familiar and yet I’d never heard of her.

And now I’ve seen The Invisible Man and seeing her crush this role is one of the least surprising things ever. I don’t know what it is about her, but she conveys every emotion in incredibly convincing fashion. I buy everything she’s doing on screen.

Moss is the biggest reason to go see this movie but I thought it was a very good reboot of the classic Universal Studios monster as well. Its story is grounded, driven as much by spousal abuse and control as by the more fantastical elements you’d expect in a movie about an invisible man. Even the way the villain turns himself invisible feels like technology that could happen in the not too distant future.

I wouldn’t exactly call this movie scary, but it is thrilling and tense, and people highly susceptible to such things will probably find it plenty unnerving. The third act of the movie is fun, but it’s also a bit confusing and briefly threatens to send things completely off the rails. Overall, I was satisfied with it though and The Invisible Man is the first really enjoyable movie of 2020.

Also, I owe it to Elisabeth Moss to watch more of her work. She is truly brilliant.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Doctor Sleep (2019, blu-ray rental) – I got about 10 minutes into this before I seriously considered turning it off… not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but because I felt like I really needed to revisit The Shining before taking Doctor Sleep on. It’s been long enough since I’ve seen The Shining that I don’t remember much of it – sure, I easily recall Jack Nicholson’s tremendous performance and multiple iconic scenes have stuck with me over the years, but I don’t remember the nuances of the film, like the themes it tackled or if it uncovered why Danny “shines” or why The Overlook hotel is the way it is.

So when Rose the Hat and The True Knot show up on screen and the script acts like we are supposed to be familiar with them, I was like huh?

I decided to power through and I’m glad I did because Doctor Sleep is a great sequel that stands on its own while paying much tribute to the original, including a finale that is about nostalgic as it gets.

I’ve only seen three of Mike Flanagan’s films (Gerald’s Game and Hush also), but he’s already proven himself one of the horror genre’s most capable directors. Doctor Sleep is probably more psychological thriller than straight up horror movie, but it does have plenty of scary elements and I’d say it’s right up there with Jordan Peele’s Us as the genre’s best film of 2019.

I wouldn’t consider myself an Ewan McGregor fan, but I liked him just fine in this movie. The whole time I was watching his performance, I kept thinking of Jason Bateman and wondered if he would have been better in the role. That’s probably not fair, but I couldn’t shake it. Kyleigh Curran as Abra Stone was great and that character really made the movie. It was kind of refreshing to see a young child experiencing unknown supernatural abilities and immediately embrace them, rather than be terrified about what’s happening to her like every other kid we’ve seen in similar situations.

Doctor Sleep has a bit of an epic feel to it and that should be no surprise since it clocks in at a whopping 152 minutes. Even so, I thought it was paced just fine, giving plenty of development for side characters and adding some unexpected emotional impact.

This is another win for Mike Flanagan and yet another successful adaptation from a Stephen King novel. One of the cool things about using Letterboxd is that it unlocks all sorts of interesting statistics. I’ve already spent a significant amount of time scrolling through movies on the app and marking everything I’ve ever seen and I was somewhat surprised to see that I’ve seen more movies written by Stephen King than any other screenwriter (Well, written by or adapted from his novels). Well, if you’re a fan of King or a fan of the horror genre, then Doctor Sleep is a must watch.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Bad Boys For Life (2020, theater) – The first Bad Boys was an all-time favorite for me as a teenager, but I revisited it on Netflix last year and found it nearly unwatchable and Bad Boys 2 was completely forgettable, so I can’t say I was looking forward to a third entry in 2020. I was kind of surprised though – I didn’t hate it. It was entertaining enough and Martin Lawrence was pretty funny. I don’t think it’s going out on much of a limb to call in the best entry in the franchise, so if you like this series, you can’t really go wrong here, but at the same time, it’s nothing special either.

5/10 (Decent)

Missing Link (2019, Hulu) – A fun, but not great animated adventure that inexplicably won a Golden Globe over the far superior Toy Story 4. I watched because I like to see as many Oscar-nominated movies as I can, but this is one you can skip if you’re not watching with your kids.

5/10 (Decent)

Honeyland (2019, Hulu) – This is the only Oscar-nominated documentary I watched and I was pretty underwhelmed by it, so I wasn’t shocked when it didn’t win last month. I have to admit I started distracting myself about halfway through this one, so I didn’t feel any emotional connection to the story when I was supposed to, but I was also expecting it to grab my attention and hold on to it from the jump and it just wasn’t interesting enough. Critics absolutely adored this movie, so take my rating with a grain of salt.

5/10 (Decent)

Joker (2019, purchased, second viewing) – Still amazing.

Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (2020, theater) – This was better than I thought it was going to be, but I was honestly expecting an unwatchable train wreck so that’s not saying much. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was one of the few pluses in Suicide Squad and I still enjoy the character here.

The additions to the cast are pretty blah. Huntress is a cool character, but Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives a weird take that feels a bit too aloof for my taste. I’ve long looked forward to a Black Mask appearance but Ewan McGregor’s version does absolutely nothing for me.

DC’s cinematic universe is such a mess. Wonder Woman, Shazam!, Aquaman, and Harley Quinn all exist in the same world as Ben Affleck’s Batman, Henry Cavill’s Superman, and Jared Leto’s Joker – all of which may never appear on screen again. Meanwhile, Batman is being rebooted in his own timeline and Joker just had massive success in what was supposed to be a stand-alone film. I don’t know how DC plans to get all these characters in the same world but I’m sure whoever is writing The Flash movie has had many a headache trying to figure it out.

I realize Birds of Prey is not supposed to be a good movie, but it’s definitely supposed to be a fun one. It’s moderately entertaining, but it’s probably no surprise that it’s nothing special.

4/10 (Forgettable)

Luce (2019, blu-ray rental) – There’s a lot I liked about this film, particularly the performances from Octavia Spencer and Kelvin Harrison Jr., the kid that played the title character Luce (pronounced like the word ‘loose’). Spencer is always great and Harrison Jr. oozed so much charisma I couldn’t help but think he has a bright future.

I didn’t care for the way the story unraveled. It’s supposed to be a mystery, with student pitted against teacher, and the audience is constantly guessing who is manipulating who. That’s fine, but what is annoying is how the narrative shifts perspectives, withholding and revealing information at its convenience. There isn’t a single character that is followed and established as an unreliable narrator so it doesn’t make sense for things not to unfold in a straight-forward manner. It’s done this way to keep us guessing but that’s just lazy writing.

The storytelling didn’t ruin the movie for me but it did make me pause and take note. Overall, I liked Luce. It’s intriguing and has some good performances.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Toy Story 4 (2019, Disney+, second viewing) – Enjoyed watching it a second time, but it doesn’t reach the greatness that the original and part 3 hit.

Apollo 11 (2019, blu-ray rental) – A bad ass documentary about the Apollo 11 launch into space and mankind’s first steps on the moon. This doc features real footage from the late 60s and makes it look incredibly and unbelievably crisp – it is truly amazing stuff.

Neil Armstrong’s and Buzz Aldrin’s and that other guy’s (geez, no wonder no one remembers him) journey to the moon is a feat that still blows my mind in 2020. I can’t even fathom this happening in our day and age, let alone 50 years ago.

This is an absolute must watch documentary that somehow didn’t even get a nomination from the Academy. I mean… this was substantially better than Honeyland in just about every way possible. I don’t get it.

Check Apollo 11 out. It is truly a marvel.

8/10 (Must See)

Waves (2019, blu-ray rental) – I have a couple of friends that have been treating Waves like it is the Holy Grail of all 2019 movies and claimed that I have no credibility when it comes to opinions on films until I watched it.

Not going to lie… that kind of made me want to hate it.

But this movie is awesome. The first half shocked my face off with its frantic pacing and unpredictable narrative and then the second half slows down to an absolute crawl and gets really meaty with the character development. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like it. The climax is smack dab in the middle of the movie and the second half is the characters dealing with the ramifications of what happened. It was a cool concept and the filmmakers knocked the execution out of the park.

Kelvin Harrison Jr. – the same kid I praised in my review of Luce – gives another great, yet completely different, performance in this movie. I said he oozes charm and charisma in Luce, but in this movie he’s the exact opposite: scary and unhinged. Taylor Russell plays his sister in the movie and does a good job carrying the second half.

Waves is a somewhat traumatic experience. It’s kind of hard to talk about without spoiling anything, so I’ll just say it’s a must see film that you need to see for yourself.

8/10 (Must See)

Chico & Rita (2010, Netflix)) – This is the first movie I’ve watched as a result of Letterboxd. I was scrolling through one of the many lists on here and saw that this was an Oscar-nominated Animated Feature once upon a time that somehow completely slipped my radar.

I liked it a lot! It’s a love story that spans decades as two explosive personalities keep coming back to each other because of their passion for music. It’s touching and heartbreaking with cool-looking animation and a bad ass jazz soundtrack.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Movies I watched in February that I haven’t written about yet: Jojo Rabbit, Ford v Ferrari, The Two Popes, Shutter Island (rewatch)

Expect to see a lot of Scorsese over the next few months. I’m going to be going through and ranking his whole catalog. Prior to starting this journey, I’ve seen only 12 of his 26 feature films. Less than half of the filmography of one of the greatest directors of all-time? Yeah, that needs to be fixed.

Check out my list on Letterboxd (Note: only the top 12 are really ordered): Martin Scorsese rankings