However, disappointing summer blockbusters notwithstanding, it’s been a pretty strong pre-fall movie season so far.
Here are the year’s best that came out before Labor Day, with links to original reviews.
I’ve never seen a movie quite like “The Act of Killing,” and I was completely blown away in a way I haven’t been by a documentary in quite some time.
A gut-wrenching, emotional powerhouse of a film, politically and socially resonant while also standing on its own as a compelling and often-heartbreaking story.
The subject of child abuse and neglect has been covered quite a bit by movies in recent years- and exploited, pretty shamelessly, by quite a few TV procedurals- but “Short Term 12″ comes at the issue in a creative, powerful, and heartbreaking way. This is a special film.
This is American sports’ Greatest Story Ever Told, and “42” tells it quite well.
5. Upstream Color
Korine’s film is like the trashiest “Girls Gone Wild” compilation ever, combined with a compelling super-arty film noir crime story in the tradition of “Drive.” It’s bizarre, but also totally thrilling- the rare movie about out-of-control teens in which they do terrible things, but there’s no lesson or comeuppance.
A fine example of a film that takes themes and elements that we’ve seen countless times before, but does wonderful things with them regardless. Sweet at times and heartbreaking at others, the film packages a couple of great performances and superior atmosphere into one of the best films of the summer.
“Computer Chess” not only looks like it’s really from 1980, but it looks like a documentary from 1980. In all, it’s a deep dive into nerd history.