Those has written 5 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2015.

  • Creed

    Creed

    ★★★★

    Blatant emotional manipulation. Hypermasculinity. Sylvester Stallone's acting. Somehow these are all things I loved about this movie.

    Even the film's status as one of those increasingly tiresome franchise-rebooting "legacysequels" ends up being more of a benefit than a hindrance, hitting our nostalgia with a series of precise jabs where most other movies like this try to bludgeon us with wild, desperate haymakers.

    Creed is everything that solid, mainstream crowd-pleasing filmmaking can and should be. Which again sounds like a negative but I swear it's a positive.

  • if....

    if....

    ★★★★

    As is the case in all-time personal favorite The 400 Blows, healthy chunks of this film are ripped wholesale from Jean Vigo's 1933 short "Zero for Conduct." In fact, If.... is often considered a remake of Vigo's film as they share the same basic plot structure. But the earlier film's anarchic sensibilities are mostly playful in nature, a pure celebration of youthful rebellion in the face of repressive authority. Anderson's take on this material is far grimmer and angrier, a…

  • Stalker

    Stalker

    ★★★★

    Like The Wizard of Oz but with existential dread instead of flying monkeys. Still not sure which is more terrifying.

  • Hard to Be a God

    Hard to Be a God

    ★★★★

    I do not recommend seeing this in Smell-O-Vision.

    Seriously, though, this movie is actually a pretty breathtaking achievement in shot composition and production and sound design, all pooling together (not unlike the film's omnipresent layer of viscous human filth) to produce a bizarre waking nightmare every bit as utterly engrossing as it is utterly gross.

  • House

    House

    ★★★★

    I came into this expecting glorious batshit insanity and high camp, and it more than delivers on those fronts. What I didn't anticipate was how much of a genuine formal and technical marvel this movie is. Obayashi giddily deploys every kind of practical special effect in the book, and even the moments where the seams show still work beautifully because they fit into the film's whole handmade, live-action cartoon aesthetic. This movie is just so much fun, and so clearly…