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Nitpicking aside, it’s “Star Wars” — and they pretty much did it exactly right.NEW CHRISTMAS CLASSICS: “Krampus” | Hailing from writer/director Mike Dougherty, “Krampus” does for Christmas what his last feature, “Trick ‘r Treat,” did for Halloween — providing genre cinema junkies with an instant holiday horror classic.BY SEAN EGAN | It’s that time again — when every publication, TV show, website and blog that covers the arts trots out their monolithic lists of the year’s most excellent offerings.But doing this, even if just attempting to articulate your own personal opinion, is a pretty tricky business.
Jordan, Coogler digs deep into the characters’ psyches, and creates the most viscerally exciting fights of the franchise — knowing when to employ both lingering long takes and blistering montage to thrilling effect.
AMERICAN AUTEURS: “Bridge of Spies” | To paraphrase the movie’s co-scribes, the Coen Brothers: “Tom Hanks. Fortunately, working from a true-story script that’s at turns tense and unexpectedly hilarious (and enhanced by a virtuoso performance from Mark Rylance as a mild-mannered Russian spy), Spielberg turns in his most handsomely realized, exciting and vital film in recent memory.
“The Hateful Eight” | In, appropriately enough, his eighth feature, Quentin Tarantino has produced what is certainly his nastiest, most difficult, most visually beautiful film to date.
BEST BLOCKBUSTERS: “Ant-Man” | While “Avengers: Age of Ultron” struggled under the weight of its narrative obligations and larger-than-life characters, Marvel fared far better with its other summer release, the comparatively low-key “Ant-Man.” Featuring a looser, comedic vibe, inventive action sequences and a more down-to-earth story, the film is a distinctive and refreshingly offbeat installment of Marvel’s increasingly large cinematic universe.
“Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” | I mean, what can I say?
UNCOMPROMISING INDIES (MALE-LED EDITION): “Buzzard” | There’s three things you gotta know about this movie: It’s punk rock as hell, its protagonist is a low-level con artist with a functioning Freddy Krueger claw/Nintendo Power Glove hybrid, and it’s got a nearly five-minute long scene of him eating a plate of spaghetti.