Directed by Jim Jarmusch
Paterson is a drama about Paterson, a bus driver and a poet, who lives in Paterson, New Jersey. Paterson is a quiet ode to the dignity of everyday people, the poetry of everyday living, and the everyday beauty of poetry.
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Silence, based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō, is an epic historical drama that follows two Jesuit priests who enter Japan in the seventeenth century. At a plodding 161 minutes, Silence would probably be more entertaining 30 or even 60 minutes shorter. But it isn’t entirely clear Scorsese is entirely or even primary concerned with the audience’s enjoyment of his film. Silence is an honest and fiery testament of sincerity, belief, pride, faith, and suffering. If nothing else, Silence is an experience, and, importantly, a film worth experiencing.
Manchester by the Sea
Directed by Kenneth Lonergan
Manchester by the Sea is a drama that follows a man who looks after his teenage nephew after the man’s brother dies. Deeply sad, but always honest and never cloying, Manchester by the Sea isn’t flawless, but it’s an insightful and moving portrait of grief.
Directed by Akira Kurosawa and Ishirō Honda
Dreams is a magical realist film based on the dreams of Akira Kurosawa. Sometimes cliché, but sometimes quite moving, Dreams relates unconnected vignettes. The film betrays little of Kurosawa’s subconscious or the curious logic of sleeping people. Dreams is unlike his other works, and it isn’t essential, but it’s charming and thoughtful nonetheless.
Hell or High Water
Directed by David Mackenzie
Hell or High Water is a neo-western crime drama that follows two brothers who rob banks. Blending clichés of westerns, West Texas, bank robbing, and crime thrillers, some scenes work better than others. And the social commentary alternates between incisive and broad often. Hell or High Water, though, is always full of wit, life, and energy, and that, always, is enough.