Mother! (2017)

 

A published poet, played by Javier Bardem, and his young wife, Jennifer Lawrence, are rebuilding his old country home that burned down.  Strangers begin to show up and turn their world upside down.  As usual, Darren Aronofski created a psychological thriller that keeps the audience guessing throughout the film.  With Aronofski the only thing you can expect, is the unexpected.

Get Out (2017)

Jordan Peele’s Get Out is a psychological thriller that keeps you on your toes and unsure of where the characters stand the whole way through.  The story follows Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, and his girlfriend Rose, played by Allison Williams, as they visit her family in upstate New York.  No more information is needed.  Peele succeeds in taking the viewer on a comedic, thrilling, and satisfying ride.

Girl on the Train, The (2016)

I am a big fan of mysteries and thrillers.  Throw in a little mental illness and psychological drama and I’m hooked.  The aspect of this film that I liked the most was the slow development of Rachel’s story, played by Emily Blunt.  The speed of this film has been one of the most disliked aspects, but without it there would be no story.  The disjointed nature of the film keeps the viewer guessing, although I will admit it grasps unnecessarily at plot points.  The arc of the film and the mystery itself is not especially earth shattering or novel.  It is Rachel’s story outside of the murder mystery that I find most engaging. 

Witch, The (2015)

This directorial debut for Eggers was pretty intense.  I feel like this is what people were expecting when The Village, by M. Night Shyamalan, was released.  This film follows a puritan family exiled from their village to the edges of a forest.  The film shifts from a thriller to a horror relatively quickly and keeps us guessing as to what is going on until the absolute end.

Arrival (2016)

Villenueve has been successful with several movies in recent years, including Prisoners and Sicario.  In his latest film, Arrival, he takes on a the concept of time and memory.  In the opening sequence we hear Louise, played by Amy Adams, say,” Memory is a strange thing… It doesn’t work like I thought it did.  We are so bound by time; by its order.”  Villenueve is priming us for a thoughtful journey that focuses on time, memory, linguistics, and humanitarianism on a global and personal scale.  I found the techniques that Villenueve used to weave his story together to be refreshing and surprising.  Language plays such a huge roll in this film in both the script and the cinematography.  There is a poetic vision that seems to shine through so many aspects of the film, the landscapes, the aliens, and their vessels, to name a few.  The cyclical nature of the universe also comes across in this film, from the opening shot to the credits there are countless circles, rings, halos.  The screenplay by Eric Heisserer is one of the best of the year.  I can’t say enough about this film except for that it is a must see.  I know I will need to watch it again.