The Best Movies of 2018 (So Far)

We are now halfway through the year and as has become an annual tradition here at The End, it’s time to look back at the best movies of the year so far. As I discussed in the 2013 halfway post, the consensus movie-dating system is nonsensical and posits New York as the center of the universe. Far more logical (and much easier to use) is a system reliant on imdb’s dating system, which locates a film in whatever year it first played for an audience. That’s what we use here for all Rankings & Awards as it’s the most fair to all eras and areas. (A dating system reliant on playing in a certain locality I think can be valuable for a publication that is geographically specific, like a local newspaper or website. But here at The End, we have a global reach.)

A by-product of the system is that a number of films that first go into wide-release in any given year actually had their premiere in the year before. A number of the films on many critics’ halfway-point lists will include these films, films that find their proper home here on my 2017 list. And so here we have two lists: the Best Movies of 2018, following the strict imdb dating system, and the Best 2017 Movies of 2018, which includes those films from last year that you might find on a more chronologically-illogical list. I also have a third list, Best Unreleased Movies of 2017, of last year’s films that have yet to see a New York release and therefore don’t (yet) exist by the standards of most critics. And a fourth list, a halfway version of my annual Best Older Movies list, counting the top movies I saw for the first time this year that are more than a few years old.

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The Best Movies of 2018 (So Far)

1. Grass (Hong Sangsoo)
2. Little Forest (Yim Soonrye)
3. Dead Pigs (Cathy Yan)
4. The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood)
5. Matangi/Maya/MIA (Steven Loveridge)
6. Operation Red Sea (Dante Lam)
7. The Monkey King 3 (Soi Cheang)
8. Avengers: Infinity War (Anthony & Joe Russo)
9. Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson)
10. Black Panther (Ryan Coogler)
11. La cartographe (Nathan Douglas)
12. Girls Always Happy (Yang Mingming)
13. How Long Will I Love U (Su Lun)
14. Detective Chinatown 2 (Chen Sicheng)
15. The Widowed Witch (Cai Chengjie)
16. The Commuter (Jaume Collet-Serra)

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The Best 2017 Movies of 2018 (So Far)

1. Claire’s Camera (Hong Sangsoo)
2. 24 Frames (Abbas Kiarostami)
3. The Green Fog (Guy Maddin, Evan & Galen Johnson)
4. Let the Sunshine In (Claire Denis)
5. Angels Wear White (Vivian Qu)
6. The Day After (Hong Sangsoo)
7. 1987: When the Day Comes (Jang Joonhwan)
8. Before We Vanish (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
9. Western (Valeska Grisebach)
10. Zama (Lucrecia Martel)
11. The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci)
12. Ismael’s Ghosts (Arnaud Desplechin)
13. Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? (Travis Wilkerson)
14. Lu Over the Wall (Masaaki Yuasa)

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The Best Unreleased Films of 2017 (So Far)

1. Maison du bonheur (Sofia Bohdanowicz)
2. Bad Genius (Nattawut Poonpiriya)
3. Love and Goodbye in Hawaii (Shingo Matsumura)
4. The Village of No Return (Chen Yu-hsun)
5. 77 Heartbreaks (Herman Yau)
6. The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts (Don Hertzfeldt)
7. Fail to Appear (Antoine Bourges)
8. Hit the Night (Jeong Gayoung)
9. Love Education (Sylvia Chang)
10. Pumpkin Movie (Sophy Romvari)
11. SPL: Paradox (Wilson Yip)
12. Prototype (Blake Williams)
13. Sekigahara (Masato Harada)
14. Chang-Ok’s Letter (Shunji Iwai)
15. Wrath of Silence (Xin Yukun)
16. The Great Buddha+ (Huang Hsin-yao)
17. Wasteland No. 1: Ardent Verdant (Jodie Mack)
18. Mr. Long (Sabu)
19. From Nine to Nine (Neil Bahadur)
20. Scaffold (Kazik Radwanski)
21. Manhunt (John Woo)

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2018 Discoveries (So Far)

1. Kamikaze Taxi (Masato Harada, 1995)
2. Long Arm of the Law (Johnny Mak, 1984)
3. Final Victory (Patrick Tam, 1987)
4. Lost in the Mountains (Hong Sangsoo, 2009)
5. That Day, On the Beach (Edward Yang, 1983)
6. Dream Lovers (Tony Au, 1986)
7. Love Unto Waste (Stanley Kwan, 1986)
8. Cops and Robbers (Alex Cheung, 1979)
9. Princess D (Sylvia Chang, 2002)
10. Tonight Nobody Goes Home (Sylvia Chang, 1996)
11. Crime Story (Kirk Wong, 1993)
12. Duel to the Death (Ching Siu-tung, 1983)
13. Siao Yu (Sylvia Chang, 1995)
14. Women (Stanley Kwan, 1985)
15. Passion (Sylvia Chang, 1986)
16. Hit Team (Dante Lam, 2001)
17. Clan of the White Lotus (Lo Lieh, 1980)

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2017 Endy Awards

These are the 2017 Endy Awards, wherein I pretend to give out maneki-neko statues to the best movies, performances, etc of that year in film. Awards for many other years can be found in the Rankings & Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I’ve seen the movie in question. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. The winners are in bold. And the Endy goes to. . .

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The Best Older Movies I Saw in 2017

An annual tradition here at The End, this is a look at my favorite film discoveries of the year, any movie more than a few years old that I saw for the first time in 2017. Previous years include: 2016201520142013201220112010200920082007, and 2006. I watched just over 300 films this year, about 80 of which qualified for this list, and these are 60 of my favorites.

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In the Heat of the Sun (Jiang Wen, 1994)

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5 Centimeters per Second (Makoto Shinkai, 2007)

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Mambo Girl (Evan Yang, 1957)

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A Grin Without a Cat (Chris Marker,1977)

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At Long Last Love (Peter Bogdanovich, 1975)

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Vampir-Cuadecuc (Pere Portabella, 1971)

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The TAMI Show (Steve Binder, 1964)

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Le trou (Jacques Becker, 1960)

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The Wild, Wild Rose (Wong Tin-lam, 1960)

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Eight Taels of Gold (Mabel Cheung, 1989)

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Ace Attorney (Takashi Miike, 2012)

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Beast Cops (Gordon Chan & Dante Lam, 1998)

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Let It Be (Michael Lindsay-Hogg, 1970)

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The Odd Couple (Lau Kar-wing, 1979)

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Merrill’s Marauders (Samuel Fuller, 1962)

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The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, 1996)

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A Fishy Story (Anthony Chan, 1989)

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Touchez pas au grisbi (Jacques Becker, 1954)

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Miracles: Mr. Canton and Lady Rose (Jackie Chan, 1989)

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The Goddess (Wu Yonggang, 1934)

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The Garden of Words (Makoto Shinkai, 2013)

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Chicken and Duck Talk (Clifton Ko, 1988)

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Dead or Alive (Takashi Miike, 1999)

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Love and Duty (Bu Wancang, 1931)

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Diau Charn (Li Han-hsiang, 1958)

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Monterey Pop (DA Pennebaker, 1968)

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The Chase (Arthur Ripley, 1946)

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Shaolin Martial Arts (Chang Cheh, 1974)

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Something’s Gotta Give (Nancy Meyers, 2003)

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Carry On Pickpocket (Sammo Hung, 1982)

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The New One-Armed Swordsman (Chang Cheh, 1971)

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The Private Eye Blues (Eddie Fong, 1994)

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All About Women (Tsui Hark, 2008)

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Romance of the Western Chamber (Hou Yao, 1927)

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A Bittersweet Life (Kim Jeewoon, 2005)

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Jumping Ash (Josephine Siao & Po-chih Leong, 1976)

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If You Are the One (Feng Xiaogang, 2008)

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The Beguiled (Don Siegel, 1971)

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Hong Kong Nocturne (Inoue Umetsugu, 1967)

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Pandora’s Box (Adam Curtis, 1992)

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Missing (Tsui Hark, 2008)

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Time Out for Trouble (David S. Glidden, 1961)

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Teppanyaki (Michael Hui, 1984)

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The Young Master (Jackie Chan, 1980)

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Moon Warriors (Sammo Hung, 1992)

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Sunday in Peking (Chris Marker, 1956)

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The June Bride (Tang Huang, 1960)

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Assembly (Feng Xiaogang, 2007)

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Jimi Plays Monterey (DA Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus, 1986)

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Infernal Affairs II (Andrew Lau & Alan Mak, 2003)

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If You Are the One 2 (Feng Xiaogang, 2010)

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Mr. Nice Guy (Sammo Hung, 1997)

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Wicked City (Peter Mak, 1992)

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The Black Tavern (Teddy Yip, 1972)

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The Dream Factory (Feng Xiaogang, 1997)

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Sun, Moon and Star (Evan Yang, 1961)

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Once Upon a Time in China V (Tsui Hark, 1994)

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Song of China (Fei Mu, 1935)

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James Baldwin: the Price of the Ticket (Karen Thorsen, 1989)

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Dance of the Drunken Mantis (Yuen Woo-ping, 1979)

The Best Movies of 2017 (So Far)

We are now halfway through the year and as has become an annual tradition here at The End, it’s time to look back at the best movies of the year so far. As I discussed in the 2013 halfway post, the consensus movie-dating system is nonsensical and posits New York as the center of the universe. Far more logical (and much easier to use) is a system reliant on imdb’s dating system, which locates a film in whatever year it first played for an audience. That’s what we use here for all Rankings & Awards as it’s the most fair to all eras and areas. (A dating system reliant on playing in a certain locality I think can be valuable for a publication that is geographically specific, like a local newspaper or website, which is what we use at Seattle Screen Scene. But here at The End, we have a global reach.)

A by-product of the system is that a number of films that first go into wide-release in any given year actually had their premiere in the year before. A number of the films on many critics’ halfway-point lists will include these films, films that find their proper home here on my 2016 list. And so here we have two lists: the Best Movies of 2017, following the strict imdb dating system, and the Best 2016 Movies of 2017, which includes those films from last year that you might find on a more chronologically-illogical list (and despite the title, also includes one film from 1985, which only premiered in New York this year). I also have a third list, Best Unreleased Movies of 2016, of last year’s films that have yet to see a New York release and therefore don’t (yet) exist by the standards of most critics. And a fourth list, a halfway version of my annual Best Older Movies list, counting the top movies I saw for the first time this year that are more than a few years old.

Continue reading