Our Favorite Films From SXSW

Kelly’s SXSW Top 3

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1. The Final Girls 

This film took me by surprise, in all honestly I was debating on not going but decided last minute to see it and I am glad I did. I was expecting it to be it a little entertaining because it does have an all star comedy cast including Adam Devine and Thomas Middleditch but i was blown away. With hilarious diagloue and a great meta storyline about modern day teens getting stuck in a 1980’s sleep away camp horror, be sure to keep this one on your radar for it’s release date. It’s one of the most original movie concepts I have seen in a long time, and you don’t want to miss it.

Read Kelly’s full review of the movie here.

2. Spy 

Another film I was taken by surprise by how much I enjoyed. I will be the first one to tell you that I’m not a huge Melissa McCarthy fan. Still, I had to see it because it was one of the most anticipated films and I am glad I did. The anticipation and hype was right, this movie is hilarious. McCarthy plays a desk agent that must go undercover to find out what happened to her partner. The film is great mix of action and comedy that works perfectly. McCarthy also holds it down in both the physical comedy and vocal comedy department kicking butt and tearing people apart but physically and verbally. Jason Statham and Rose Byrne also shine and put the cherry on top of this future blockbuster sundae.

Read Kelly’s full review of the movie here.

3. 7 Chinese Brothers

It was difficult choosing a third because there was so many great films. In the end 7 Chinese Brothers wins because it was refreshing and relatable. Jason Schwartzman plays Larry, a 30-something still stuck trying to figure life out. He talks and relates to his dog Arrow more than people. Larry deals with death, unemployment, finding love like all of us yet has the quirky yet positive personality you just wish you had. This dramaedy is a great character driven piece and Schwartzman’s awkwardness just makes him more endearing.

Read Kelly’s full review of the movie here.

Aaron’s SXSW Top 3

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1. The Look Of Silence

Oppenheimer manages to subvert and transcend expectations with his follow up/companion piece, The Look Of Silence. In The Act Of Killing the subject matter and titillating perspective were enough to carry the film to great heights. Here, Oppenheimer reveals himself to be a great formalist, carefully composing shots and pushing the non-fiction form with cinematic techniques typically only applied to narratives. The Look Of Silence puts pressure on the documentary genre in the best way possible. 

Read Aaron’s full review of the movie here.

2. Ex Machina

Alex Garland’s directorial debut is a cinch. It’s got the devilishly talented Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and newcomer Alicia Vikander. It’s got an inevitably taut script (also penned by Garland of 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Never Let Me Go), ambitious ideas, and too much intelligence to let that ambition be it’s falling. It’s technically spotless, refined, and dangerously cool. But above all it’s not afraid to risk the tension and indulge in some seriously bizarre comedic notes that unexpectedly throw the intensity into hyperdrive

Read Aaron’s full review of the movie here.

3. Ned Rifle

The last of Hal Hartley’s long running trilogy (Beginning in 1997 with Henry Fool), Ned Rifle is the first of the trilogy I’ve seen, and I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s proper dark, as in dealing with molestation, murder, and boo’s, with a theatric rhetoric and literary awareness. It’s also hilarious in a weird way that gets under your skin; you may not laugh out loud, but it’ll send so many introverted chuckles down your spine that it’ll make you bubbly and unhinged. Did I mention it’s a Western? The slow burn to the inevitable bloodletting (which doesn’t seem so inevitable given the context of the world built here) is dastardly good at making that final climax satisfying as hell.