Posts in 10 Best
COLUMN: The 10 Best Films of 2018

If this teacher/critic learned anything himself this year it’s to more consistently define the difference between “favorite” and “best.” Often they are different measures, yet it is a special distinction when some films can be both. That’s a whole bunch of those of this definitive 2018 list. All ten and a few extra were no-doubt five-star films for me. True to this website’s specialty, each film will be paired with its best life lesson. Enjoy!

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EDITORIAL: The Best Films of 2018 (so far)

Usually for this website, half of a year equals half of a future “10 Best” in December, meaning normally only five films make this “best of” list. However, I have seen six 5-star feature films as well as one 5-star documentary and one 5-star short film. I’m giving all of them the spotlight. As always for this “so-far” list and the year-end final and true to my website’s hook, I present each film with its best life lesson from my review. Enjoy!

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COLUMN: The 10 Best Films of 2017

The end of the year brings grading and reflection points for both the school teacher in me and the film critic.  Looking at the online Trapper Keeper portfolio called Every Movie has a Lesson, I published 126 full film reviews in 2017, topping last year’s 114 and setting a new high mark.  Here’s my definitive list of the "10 Best" films of 2017.  True to this website’s specialty, each film will be paired with its best life lesson.  Enjoy!

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20 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE: The 10 Best of 1997

In a new annual series, Every Movie Has a Lesson is going to look back twenty years to revisit, relearn, and reexamine a year of cinema history to share favorites, lists, and experiences from the films of that year.  Twenty years ago, I graduated high school in 1997 and the movie milestones matched the personal ones for me.  Here's my list of the best of 1997.

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EDITORIAL: The Best of 2017 (so far)

I'm beginning to love making this annual halfway point list.  For me, 2017 has been a year for immense volume.  Since January, I've reviewed 64 films, 58 of which were 2017 releases and not carryovers from a late 2016 awards season.  Thanks to some film festival and advance press access, you can add 16 short films and four more feature films pending the windows to publish reviews. True to my website's hook, I present each film with its best life lesson from my review.

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COLUMN: The 10 Best Films of 2016

I’ll have you know that this is the latest this website has ever posted a “10 Best” list in its six-plus year history.  I want to say that 2016 exhausted me, but it didn’t.  “Every Movie Has a Lesson” published a personal-best 114 film reviews in 2016.  Even after a record year, there is part of me that sits here and knows there was room for more.  The to-do list of recommended films and overdue titles is never empty.  

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EDITORIAL: The Best of 2016 (so far)

Many of my personal most-anticipated picks and my crystal ball Oscar prognostications are still coming, but I have been lucky enough to see over 50 film films in the first half of 2016.  Since it's only been a half-year, I'll split a year-end "10 Best" list into a Top 5.  True to this website's theme, I present you my picks for the "Best of 2016 (so far)" coupled with their best life lesson from my full reviews. 

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EDITORIAL: The Best of 2015 (so far)

The end of June marks the halfway point of 2015.  This website makes it a point each year to measure the calendar year's offerings so far of what has been the best with the goal of building a year-end "10 Best" list.  This is as good a place as any to honor the fine efforts that have graced the screen this half-year.  Here are the "Top 5 (so far)."

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EDITORIAL: The 10 best movies set in Hawaii

Let's look at the best films set in and about Hawaii, its people, citizens, and history.  To make this list, the film has to actually be about and predominantly set in Hawaii.  Any movies that start or end somewhere else, where Hawaii is purely a side trip or vacation, are not good enough.  Here are the top ten as they stand before the arrival of "Aloha" this weekend.  Can that film crack this list?  We shall see.

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OSCAR PREDICTIONS 2015: The race for Best Picture

In this seventh and final post, we've come to the big one, folks.  Here's my analysis and breakdown of the race for Best Picture.  This is a close one, so read on!  Let's do this!  I've said it all season.  Stick with me and I will win you your Oscar pool.

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COLUMN: The 10 Best Films of 2014

Getting into the numbers, I reviewed twenty four-star films and twelve five-star gems.  That means my final "10 Best" list are all champs with two that had to be bumped to lead the next ten.  From there, my four-star reviews were ranked from 12-20 and then honorable mention.  In keeping with the hook of my website, each of my "10 Best" are presented with their best life lesson and linked full reviews.  Enjoy! 

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COLUMN: My Worst Films of 2014

Here are three lists of the worst movies of the 2014, as ranked by Every Movie Has a Lesson and fans of the website.  Enjoy and Happy New Year!  Let's turn the page to a new year.  

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ADVANCE MOVIE REVIEW: American Sniper

Go right now to YouTube and play the trailer for "American Sniper."  First and foremost, THAT'S how you do a trailer.  That's how you tease a film, still name drop who you need to, and set the stage without giving a shred of your film away.  Second, after watching it, tell me you were surprised to see a name like Clint Eastwood's attached to a film with that kind of setting and tension.  You wouldn't be alone.  In many ways, "American Sniper" is new territory for Clint Eastwood will still retaining his signature hallmark of grit and heart.

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ADVANCE MOVIE REVIEW: The Imitation Game

This year, the annual Weinstein push will be given to "The Imitation Game."  The film checks all of those boxes of "Oscar bait" qualities.  You have a war-time period story of great significance, a central biographical figure, and a top-notch cast of revered pedigree.  Most important of all, "The Imitation Game" checks the box about being worthy in the first place.  The film is tailor-made for awards season and borders on greatness.  "The Imitation Game" is better than "The King's Speech" from three years ago and deserves every single over-indulgent and self-glorifying piece of shameless Oscar campaigning that it is going to put out there.  This one is worth the hype, folks.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Whiplash

A movie like "Whiplash" shouldn't do all of what it succeeds at, but it does.  Before you even read what it's about, be assured that this film is a delicious piece of entertainment from top to bottom.  This is a rare treat combining remarkable acting, music, energy, and twists that will follow you out of the theater.  As of the calendar turning to November, this is the best film this writer has seen this year.  This is the new film to beat, as unexpected as that sounds.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Birdman

When Keaton's perfection is combined with the film's bracing, topical, and strong social commentary on Hollywood, Broadway, acting, fame, and celebrity for this different modern world, "Birdman" becomes even larger of an achievement for Mexican director and Academy Award nominee Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.  Subtitled "The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance," this new film will earn a high place on many year-end lists for one of the year's best.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Gone Girl

For the faithful readers of Gillian Flynn's 2012 bestseller of the same name, you will know the twists and turns that are coming.  To the uninformed, "Gone Girl" was grab you hook, line, and sinker into a potently swirling world of ominous fear, mystery, and relationship quandaries.  What follows, is promised to be SPOILER-FREE.

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EDITORIAL: The Best of 2014 (so far)

Here are my picks for the "Best of 2014 (so far)" with a halfway count of the five best instead of the full ten.  It must be said, that I have far from seen every possible 2014 film entry.  Plenty of mainstream and arthouse films have eluded me and my busy schedule, but there is enough to talk about here.   As always, in matching with the theme of my website, I couple the best-so-far selection with the film's best life lesson.  Enjoy!

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