As we’re almost halfway through 2018, it seems like the perfect time to share some of the best films I’ve seen during the last few months. I fell in love with all of these films, and I’m sure I’ll see them again at some point.
1. Wonder Woman (8.5/10)
Wonder Woman is the superhero movie we’ve all been waiting for. It stars Gal Gadot as a woman (called Diana) who has lived in the Amazonian tribe for her entire life, completely shut off from men. One day a soldier turns up on the island and Diana decides to leave her home in order to help in the war. She’s funny, brave and strong – what more could you want from a heroine?
2. Lady Bird (9/10)
I honestly cannot recommend this film enough. It’s one of the best films around at the moment, and the fact that it is still out in cinemas three months after it was released just proves it (not to mention that I saw it twice within a few weeks). Unsurprisingly, Saoirse Ronan is phenomenal as Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson, a teenager who longs to move away from Sacramento and start college on the East Coast of America. What makes Lady Bird so great is its realistic protagonist. Like most girls her age, Christine has a strained relationship with her mum, fights with her best friend, and falls for boys who aren’t exactly right for her. If you enjoyed films like The Edge of Seventeen, The Spectacular Now and Call Me By Your Name, I’m sure you’ll love Lady Bird as much as I did.
3. Dude (8/10)
I have mixed feelings about this film. On the one hand, I did enjoy it and I found myself laughing and crying throughout. However, I expected so much more to happen, and there was a bit too much swearing and partying. Overall, Dude isn’t quite on the same level as other Netflix films I’ve seen, such as Okja and What Happened to Monday. However, it’s refreshing to see a teen flick that doesn’t solely focus on cliques and romance, and has a group of women at its centre.
4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (7/10)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (I know, what a mouthful) stars Lily James as an author who is contacted by a member of a literary society on the island of Guernsey. She decides to travel to Guernsey to meet the society and soon becomes fascinated by the story of how it came about. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as I didn’t know much about it and there were a lot of negative reviews (which might explain why there were only 10-15 people in the cinema…). However, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society turned out to be better than I’d expected, and Lily James was fabulous, as always. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society may not be a groundbreaking film, but it’s worth ignoring the critics and going to see it if you love books and anything set during the war.
5. Hanna (7.5/10)
Hanna is further proof that Saoirse Ronan is brilliant in every (major*) film she’s been in. She is such a versatile actress and Joe Wright did well to cast her as Hanna, a teenager who lives in the wilderness of Finland with her father and is trained to be an assassin. Saoirse isn’t the only great thing about this film; the scenery is spectacular and the action is just the right amount.
*So far I’ve seen Saoirse in Lady Bird, Hanna, Brooklyn, How I Live Now, The Host, Violet & Daisy, Atonement and The Lovely Bones.
6. Novitiate (8/10)
Novitiate is a fascinating insight into the lives of nuns in America during the 1960s, when the Vatican introduced some changes that would change their lives forever. It tells the story of a young girl called Cathleen who joins a convent, unaware of how challenging it will be. Although fully committed to becoming a nun, Cathleen finds it hard to hide her feelings and wonders what life would be like if she hadn’t joined the convent. Despite this, Cathleen is glad to get away from her violent father and agnostic mother, and completely devote herself to religion.
7. The Descendants (8/10)
The Descendants is a powerful drama that focuses on a father’s relationship with his two daughters after his wife is hospitalised. Matt King finds it difficult to manage his daughters Alex and Scottie without their mother present, and it is made even more complicated when a secret she kept is revealed. The Descendants is heavier than you think and I cried for pretty much the entirety of the film. George Clooney does an outstanding job as Matt King, while Shailene Woodley is convincing as his eldest daughter.
8. Anita & Me (8/10)
Anita & Me is a fun coming-of-age tale about a young Indian girl who befriends a much more outgoing girl. Living in the small village of Tollington is tough for Meera, as her family is the only Asian family who live there, but she deals with it by telling of the Yeti to other kids and reading Jackie magazine. While Anita & Me has been compared to Bend It Like Beckham, they are both amazing films in different ways.
9. Like Crazy (8.5/10)
I’ve watched Like Crazy before but as it was a long time ago, I just had to watch it again! Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin are so cute together in this film – it’s a shame Anton Yelchin passed away as he was really talented. I’d definitely recommend watching Like Crazy on your next girly night in.
10. Romeo & Juliet (8/10)
Who can resist a retelling of Romeo & Juliet?! This one was released back in 2013 and features Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld as the two star-crossed lovers. I thoroughly enjoyed this version of the Shakespeare play, and Douglas and Hailee had great chemistry. A lot of reviewers have claimed that Douglas is too good looking for Hailee, but I disagree – they’re both really attractive.
11. Lemonade Mouth (8.5/10)
With its unique characters and catchy songs, Lemonade Mouth is the kind of film I can watch over and over again and not get bored. It’s one of the best Disney original movies, and it’s a shame that it didn’t receive as much attention as High School Musical. Lemonade Mouth is an uplifting film that will encourage you to stand up for what you believe in.
12. Love, Simon (8.5/10)
This film is hilarious, and one of my favourite recent coming-of-age movies (along with Lady Bird, The Edge of Seventeen, All This Panic and Sing Street). Even before I watched Love, Simon, I know I would love it. The trailer was good, and Jennifer Garner, Nick Robinson and Katherine Langford are three of my favourite actors. Nick Robinson was the perfect choice for the lead, and he captured Simon’s frustration at not being able to share his secret so well. I really felt sorry for Simon, especially when Martin came along and started threatening to reveal Simon’s secret. Martin was excruciating (as was Mr Worth).
13. December Boys (7.5/10)
December Boys is another film on this list that was heavily criticised in the media but turned out to be a decent film. It’s a heartwarming story about four orphans who are sent to the seaside for their birthday. Here their friendship is tested (as they learn that a couple in the village are planning on adopting one of them) and the eldest boy (portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe) experiences love for the first time. December Boys is set along the Australian coast, so as you’d expect, the scenery is stunning. The acting is superb too, and shows that Daniel Radcliffe is more than just Harry Potter.
14. Maleficent (9/10)
I just love this film so much, Angelina Jolie is wonderful as Maleficent – while she’s dislikeable in Sleeping Beauty, you’ll start to empathise with her after watching Maleficent.
15. The Kings of Summer
The Kings of Summer is a great film from start to finish. It’s about a group of boys (led by Nick Robinson) who have had enough of their families and build a house in the woods. Unfortunately, their venture is cut short when their parents start looking for them. See if you can spot Rico from Hannah Montana (a.k.a. Moises Arias) and Betty from Riverdale (a.k.a. Lili Reinhart).
Other films that I’ve watched this year and would definitely recommend include True Grit, Black Panther, The Age of Adaline, Joy, Call Me By Your Name, Fish Tank, Slumdog Millionaire, Erin Brockovich, My Girl 2 (not as good as My Girl, but still a sweet film) Ten Thousand Saints, Girl Asleep, Kiss and Cry, This Beautiful Fantastic, Carrie Pilby, Access All Areas and Thoroughbreds.
Have you seen any of the films on this list? What’s the best film you’ve watched recently?