Can’t decide on a title for this post. You choose.

I love the movies. I love to go to the movies or watch at home. I have opinions about the movies. And you do too. We all like being critics. Please comment and let us know what movies you loved.

Movies I enjoyed over the past months (In alphabetical order).
Beasts of No Nation
because it is an important story, child soldiers in Africa. Idris Elba was outstanding in his role as was the young boy who played the lead, Abraham Attah.

Oscar Notice: none

Oscar Miss: Idris Elba for best actor. I thought photography and editing were excellent. And all the children did well as actors so the director must share some credit.

The Big Short
because it’s a complicated story well-told and well-acted.

Oscar Notice: Nominated for Best Picture, Christian Bale nominated as best actor in a supporting role, this picture nominated in the directing category and also for film editing and for adapted screenplay.

Oscar Miss: Oh, I don’t know.

Bridge of Spies
because Tom Hanks performance is cagey and warm pulling the viewer through the story, told in a tight, skillful script. The only thing warm in cold, snowy Berlin is the bond between spy Rudolf Abel played by Mark Rylance and Hank’s lawyer James Donovan.

Oscar Notice: Nomination for Best Picture, Nomination for Actor in a supporting Role for Mark Rylance , also original score, production design, sound mixing and original screenplay.

Oscar Miss: No nomination for Tom Hanks. I thought he was terrific and commanded the movie.


because Saoirse Ronan’s performance is luminous and supporting players as well as those in small roles give memorable performances. One of my top favorite movies this past year.

Oscar Notice: Nominated for Best Picture, Saorise Ronan is up for Best Actress and she is my pick. Nick Hornby is nominated for his adapted screenplay.

Oscar Miss: What do you think?


Far From the Madding Crowd
because Cary Mulligan is fabulous in this role. Loved the costumes, the cinematography and everything about this movie. I’ve watched it more than once and that is rare for me.

Oscar Notice: none

Oscar Miss: Everything. Oscar has a short memory. The movie was released in May, 2015.

because I’d watch Jennifer Lawrence in anything. This year I also saw her in Mockingjay Part II. She’s something else.

Oscar Notice: Lawrence is nominated for Best Actress

Oscar Miss: This time they got it about right.


Mad Max Fury Road
because I wondered what all the fuss was. Charlize is a favorite.

Oscar Notice: Nominations in the following categories: Best Picture, Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects.

Oscar Miss: I like Charlize’s performance much better than the costumes. The men were outfitted in many layers and the women wore wispy pieces of muslin. Makeup was determined Charlize would not be beautiful.

The Martian
because I heard how good it was.

Oscar Notice: Nominated for Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role (Damon is my pick but I have to admit I haven’t seen the other nominated performances), Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Adapted Screenplay.

Oscar Miss: Best Director for Ridley Scott. Come on, a science movie both exciting and fun, even tender.

because I love Emily Blunt and I heard she was terrific in this, and she was.

Oscar Notice: Cinematography, Original Score, Sound Editing

Oscar Miss: Benicio del Toro, Actor in a Supporting Role. He was completely believable and mesmerizing in a quiet role: acting at its best. And of course Emily Blunt for Best Actress. She carried the film.


Because others told me how good it was. My pick for Best Film, so persuasive and so real.

Oscar Notice: Best Picture, Mark Ruffalo for Actor in a Supporting Role, Rachel McAdams for Actress in a Supporting Role. Her quiet performance gave this film heart and heft. I couldn’t take my eyes off her when she was on screen. Also nominations for Directing, Film Editing, Original Screenplay. I’d also give the Oscar to Ruffalo as well as McAdams.

Oscar Miss: Michael Keaton for Best Actor – so much better than his Birdman performance last year.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens
because I wanted to take my son. Knew he would love it. Surprise! So did I.

Oscar Notice: Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects.

Oscar Miss: The young actors were awesome; Daisy Ridley was especially outstanding. I’d give her the nod over Brie Lawson in Room any day. Harrison Ford was very good. I loved the costumes and I give a nod to the director and the script. The story was exciting and easy to follow.

A Movie I watched and enjoyed less

because the acting and the story seemed flawed to me.

Movies I’m searching for the opportunity to watch:

because I expect Cate Blanchette to be wonderful. I’ve never seen her in a role I didn’t like.

because I think young Michael B. Jordan is a terrific actor. Remember him in the television series Friday Night Lights.

Forty-Five Years
because I often admire Charlotte Rampling’s work. She recently was outstanding in the British television series BroadChurch which has aired on Netflix.

Woman of Gold
because of Helen Mirren

Perhaps eventually I’ll have to cave and see Revenant, this year’s Oscar Favorite.

If you are still reading, thanks for your patience. Sorry this is so long. I’m a movie nut.
Now. Tell us about your favorites this past year.


  1. Susan Carter

    Found all your comments interesting but, I’m not a movie nut. I do love movies but only see 1 or 2 a year in the theater – all others I see at home. I did see Star Wars ( my family is fanatical) & loved it as it was so much like the origal Star Wars movies which I liked. I also have seen The Martian many times (my husband watches it repeatedly as he was in the space program & it brings back many memories for him. I liked it and thought Matt Damon did a very good job. Several of the others I’m waiting to see once they’re on Fire or Netflix.. Do think I’ll be going to the theater again very soon to see The Finest Hour as my son is a Coastie. That means I may set a record for number of movies I’ve seen in a theater in a year.

  2. Mary Ann Krengel

    Thanks for the list and your reviews. I trust your judgment and will put those on my own list of movies to see.


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