None of the movies listed below are especially new. The biggest reason for this is the fact that I live in Taiwan, and there is a considerable gap between when lower-budget movies are released in the States and when they are released over here. Big budget movies like "The Avengers" come out - give or take a day - the same time worldwide, but smaller movies like "Argo" often appear in Taiwan weeks or even months after their release date in the US. Some movies, like "The Master," are never even released here.
Ben Affleck directed and starred in this movie about a hostage situation in Iran. This film also won the Academy Award for Best Picture. I thought it was a great movie, and it deserved the award. A bit strange, however, that Affleck wasn't nominated for Best Director as well.
2. Django Unchained
Quentin Tarantino won the Academy Award for the screenplay. Why? I thought it was a terrible movie, and it didn't even make any sense towards the end. Yes, Christopher Waltz, DiCaprio, and Foxx were all great, but the story was a mess. I still can't figure out why Django and his partner didn't just sneak into the plantation and steal his wife back.
I am a big fan of Tarantino's movies up to and including "Kill Bill," but I really don't understand the hype this film and "Inglorious Basterds" have generated. Both movies featured novel concepts and great performances, but both were also long on style and very, very short on logic.
This is the most boringest movie ever. Really it is.
4. Silver Linings Playbook
Not only is Jennifer Lawrence smokin' hot, but she deserved the Oscar for Best Actress. I thought this movie was quite good, even if I didn't buy the ending. As a coworker pointed out, the two halves presented here wouldn't necessarily make a whole.
5. Searching for Sugar man
A documentary about Rodriquez, the Detroit musician relegated to a life of obscurity until his "rediscovery" by a South African years later. This film won the Oscar for Best Documentary, and since I haven't seen any of the other films nominated, I can't comment on the Academy's choice. I like Rodriguez's music a lot, but this documentary seemed a bit misleading.
Daniel Craig returns for his third Bond film, with Sam Mendes directing. Adele's "Skyfall" won the Oscar for Best Song. Javier Bardem was all over this movie, and the minute he showed up I could have cared less about Craig's performance (not that it wasn't good). If there was an Oscar for "Best Evil Dude" they'd have to give it to Bardem.
7. The Matrix Revolutions
Yes, I know this movie is old as fuck, but I watched The Matrix Reloaded a week ago and started wondering if the third one was really as bad as everyone said it was. I thought it was OK, and I sympathize with the Wachowskis in this matter. The Matrix Trilogy was never going to be an easy thing to complete.
8. Promised Land
Matt Damon stars as a scout for a natural gas company, trying to lease land in a small farming community. Gus Van Sant directed, and I don't think it was nominated for any Oscars. Maybe it is too recent? The film has a nice twist at the end, and Frances McDormand is great as his coworker. Then again, she's great in everything.
9. The Master
A veiled look at Scientology's early years. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays "L. Ron Hubbard," and Joaquin Phoenix plays his would-be protege. I believe Phoenix was nominated for Best Actor, and he should have won. The performance he gives in this movie is amazing. Of all the movies here, this one has to be my favorite.
Now if someone would just make a movie with Joaquin Phoenix, Ben Affleck, and Javier Bardem it would probably sweep next year's Academy Awards. That's my opinion, anyway.