2023 Oscar Docs: A Look at the Nominees

The Best Documentary category is an important part of Oscar night, celebrating films that dig into hot topics or study important figures.

Like most years, the 2022 docs up for an award this season includes films from across the world covering a wide array of topics. Unfortunately, this year’s lineup tended to be a bit weaker than those in past seasons.

There are still some that are recommendable, though. Find out my thoughts below.
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95th Academy Award Predictions

Tomorrow, 2022 in film will formerly come to an end, as movies from last year are awarded throughout the night with Oscar statues.

Like most years, there are clear front-runners, close races, and snubs, all of which this post will break down.

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REVIEW: Even though it takes some hits, ‘Creed III’ ends up above average

In the lede for my “Creed II” review, I asked for the main character Adonis to fight John Cena in “Creed III,” ala Rocky Vs. Thunderlips in “Rocky III.”

It didn’t happen, but the film is still alright.

Michael B. Jordan not only reprises his role as Adonis Creed for the third time in the series, but also directs. Having defended his title several times and getting higher in age, Adonis retires early in “Creed III,” after what he said was his last fight.

Following his retirement, Creed operates a boxing academy where one day he comes across a former friend, Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors). Just released from prison, Anderson was a promising fighter before his sentence and is looking to get back in the sport. Anderson doesn’t just want to box, though, he wants the title and the life Adonis was able to live while he was in a cell.

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REVIEW: Poor execution buries ‘Cocaine Bear’s’ potential

I think a more entertaining movie about a forest animal high on cocaine would be one focused on a moose, but this was inspired by a true story so it is what it is.

As the title suggests, there’s cocaine in the movie, lots of it. More specifically, it’s cocaine that’s dumped from a smuggling plane over a forest in Georgia, where it’s then ingested by a black bear.

Knowing the cocaine needs to be recovered, a mob boss sends his fixer Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) and his son Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich) to pick up the drugs. Meanwhile, Sari (Keri Russell) is a mother whose daughter skipped school to go to the forest with a friend. Sari goes in the forest to look for her daughter and, like Eddie and Daveed, come across the dangerous cocaine Bear.

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Top Ten Films of 2022

Dec. 31 was well over a month ago but as always, there were a few films that didn’t become available until January.

Now, having seen the films that were watchable a bit later, I’m ready to set my top 10 list of 2022. It turned out to be a year with plenty of good movies, as the honorable mention list was pretty long this time around.

Here are those and the best 10 of the year.

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REVIEW: Finely crafted ‘Aftersun’ never hooks one in

Sometimes a movie comes along that seems to do all the right things and still never hits the right notes. That’s the unfortunate case with “Aftersun.”

Director Charlotte Wells makes her feature film debut with “Aftersun,” which largely follows a young girl named Sophie (Frankie Corio) who’s on vacation with her father Calum (Paul Mescal). The film showcases how Calum was a good, tentative father, but also seemed distant at times.

The audience eventually learns that the vacation is a collection of Sophie’s memories, and that she has been going over old home movies to reflect on what’s happened in her life since the holiday.

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REVIEW: ‘Missing’ manages to keep audiences glued to the (fictional) screen

It can be hard to catch lightning in a bottle twice. Yet “Missing,” while not as strong as its predecessor “Searching,” manages to be another fun screen-based mystery.

The movie is connected to the previous installment by only a small reference at the start. In this picture, the focus is on June (Storm Reid), a young woman who lives with her mother Grace (Nia Long). The movie picks up with Grace about to leave on a vacation with her new boyfriend Kevin (Ken Leung) while June stays home.

Left alone while her mom is away, June does some partying before Grace is set to get back. However, on the date Grace’s plane is to arrive, she’s nowhere to be found and there’s not much information as to why. Sensing something is wrong, June begins researching what happened to her mother on her computer, and begins unraveling dangerous secrets.

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REVIEW: ‘Knock at the Cabin’ creates some suspense amid issues

Cabins are often relaxing places to stay at, unless it’s a cabin in a movie. In that case, it’s almost always an extremely dangerous place to be.

“Knock at the Cabin,” directed by M. Night Shyamalan, is another movie that shows a lovely vacation to a secluded, rustic location turning into a nightmare scenario. The movie follows the married couple Eric (Jonathan Groff) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge), as well as their daughter Wen (Kristen Cui).

During a stay at their rented cabin, the family is approached by a group of four individuals, led by Leonard (Dave Bautista). At first, it seems like a home invasion, but the family soon learn that the four are there to warn them about an impending apocalypse. According to the four, disaster is around the corner, and the only way to stop it is one of the family members being sacrificed.

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REVIEW: Pedestrian ‘To Leslie’ has great performance to lean on

Debates over Oscar campaigning aside, there’s no doubt Andrea Riseborough gave an award-caliber performance.

She stars as Leslie in the film, which picks up six years after the character won nearly $200,000 through the lottery. In the present day, Leslie’s bank account has run dry, with her having gone through the money she won.

She finds herself at the movie’s start not only homeless, but also an alcoholic. After briefly staying at her son’s apartment, she finds herself at a motel where the owners decide to take a chance and give her a job. There, she has a chance to restart her life, but it’s not made easy because of her addiction and past mistakes.

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REVIEW: Brilliant work by Bill Nighy makes ‘Living’ worth watching

Bill Nighy can sure make someone laugh, as seen in films such as “Love Actually” and “Hot Fuzz.” As this film shows, he can also make someone cry.

Nighy stars as Rodney Williams in “Living,” an older man who heads the public works department in London. Williams has fallen into a fairly standard routine, riding the same train to his office and often looking over the same project requests day-by-day.

Early on in the film, Williams visits his doctor and learns of a terminal illness that, at most, gives him six months to live. Looking to make the most out of his life with the time he has left on this Earth, he seeks advice from some younger people and decides to make an impact in at least one way at his place of work.

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