Runners Up

Eddie the Eagle

85/100
It's essentially a Cool Runnings version of my favourite movie Rudy. Sometimes things like that will make me want to yell "It's a Rip Off!!!!!!!!!" from atop the nearest building, but Taron Egerton does such a great job as the titular character that I can't help but love it.
Reviewed on December 31, 2016

Meru

83/100
Inspiring climbing doco where the guy who made Free Solo is in front of the camera a lot more. Maybe the order to watch them now is The Dawn Wall, Meru and then Free Solo.
Reviewed on December 31, 2020

One Cut of the Dead

84/100
Japanese comedy horror I saw once on youtube before it got taken down. Might have to use the free trial of Shudder to watch it again.
Reviewed on May 26, 2020

Bo Burnham : Inside

86/100
Such a raw look inside someone's soul. I was thoroughly entertained by the songs, but it might be quite confronting depending on your lockdown experience.
Reviewed on July 20, 2021

The Rescue

85/100
Great doco from the makers of Free Solo. Reminds me a bit of Touching the Void. So good I can't be bothered watching Thirteen Lives.
Reviewed on January 15, 2022

Cha Cha Real Smooth

84/100
The type of little romantic dramedy that doesn't get made enough these days. Cooper Raiff is writing, directing and starring in these little indie gems and can't be far away from a breakthrough hit.
Reviewed on December 31, 2022

The Alpinist

84/100
Mountain Climbing doco's are fast becoming my favourite genre. It's almost like a sequel to Free Solo, which I'd definitely recommend you watch first.
Reviewed on December 31, 2021

The Hunt For The Wilderpeople

77/100
This little Kiwi dramedy is a bit unrealistic, but funny. It's like a comedy version of The Revenant.
Reviewed on July 12, 2016

Swiss Army Man

76/100
Like deleted scenes from the Wilson section of Castaway, cut for being too crazy. It won me over with its weirdness.
Reviewed on July 25, 2016

Tickled

80/100
Great doco where low-key, sarcastic Kiwi humour works so well up against the seedy world of competitive endurance tickling.
Reviewed on August 29, 2016

Hacksaw Ridge

84/100
If it wasn't based on a true story you mightn't believe it. War parts are almost too good for how tender the rest is.
Reviewed on November 21, 2016

Manchester By The Sea

83/100
Captivating. It's a tragedy, but doesn't go overboard on the heart-wrenching. Has a good smile to tear ratio.
Reviewed on February 4, 2017

The Big Sick

82/100
The first third had it heading for a Alma-like score. Then it turned into a drama and held on for a good Humph score.
Reviewed on August 20, 2017

The Disaster Artist

84/100
I haven't even seen The Room yet, but this is a great movie on it's own without any prior knowledge.
Reviewed on December 10, 2017

Paddington 2

83/100
Might even be more fun for the adults than the kids. Reminded me of Woodley with it's slapstick humour. Harmless fun.
Reviewed on January 13, 2018

Lady Bird

84/100
Some smiles and a few little tears. Really well made. I'd vote for Greta Gerwig for best director. Laurie Metcalfe has a good shot at best supporting actress too.
Reviewed on February 11, 2018

Breath

83/100
The first 2/3rds it was the best movie I'd seen all year. Felt so real it coulda been a prequel to Endless Summer. I wish they had've followed the other set of characters for the last third though!
Reviewed on May 3, 2018

Hearts Beat Loud

83/100
Little indie dramedy that's like a father/daughter version of Once crossed with High Fidelity or Empire Records. Got a few little happy tears out of me. Good soundtrack. Ron Swanson playing me. What's not to like?
Reviewed on October 21, 2018

Eighth Grade

87/100
I loved it. Josh Hamilton for best supporting actor! It had me confused because the Actress' name was Elsie Fisher, but she reminded me more of Georgia Hill.
Reviewed on January 7, 2019

Arctic

86/100
Simple, yet so effective. The kind of movie I have to watch at the movies, because if I'm at home I get distracted and miss all the subtle touches that make it great.
Reviewed on February 19, 2019

Capharnaum

87/100
It's a tough one to recommend, because it's not that enjoyable to watch a movie about kids in poverty. It'll be deeply rewarding if you do give it a go though.
Reviewed on March 18, 2019

Better Days

89/100
Chinese drama about high-school bullying and exam pressures. Bit confronting at times, but twists and turns it's way into a really high quality movie.
Reviewed on November 17, 2019

The Peanut Butter Falcon

87/100
I loved it. It's a like a sequel to Mud, if the kid grew into Shia LaBeouf and met a guy with down syndrome. With a better ending it coulda been anything. And like Mud, it'll be better next time with subtitles.
Reviewed on February 4, 2020

Richard Jewell

86/100
Fascinating story and really well told. I dunno how much acting range Paul Walter Hauser will have in the future, but I think he deserved an oscar nomination for this.
Reviewed on February 18, 2020

The Dry

87/100
Having grown up in country Vic I'd get distracted looking at the scenery, but luckily Eric Bana had his Chopper voice going to grab my attention back. Best rural movie since Wolf Creek and The Dish, they had the slow pace and dry humour spot on.
Reviewed on January 3, 2021

Minari

88/100
Can't tell if it's heartwarming or heartbreaking, but it certainly has a lot of heart. Hard to find movies you could describe as sweet and tender these days, but this is one of the best.
Reviewed on February 21, 2021

King Richard

88/100
Genius storytelling. Best tennis movie ever, easily surpassing the McEnroe bits of Borg vs McEnroe and even beats the tennis scene in Bachelor Party.
Reviewed on January 30, 2022

Everything Everywhere All At Once

86/100
Tough to get a movie made these days, so if you want to make a family drama, it also has to be an action blockbuster about multiverses. It's done brilliantly here, maybe too ambitious. Hopefully it doesn't encourage all movies to try it.
Reviewed on April 20, 2022