10. The Disaster Artist
While ostensibly about the making of The Room, aka the worst period movie period ever exclamation point, The Disaster Artist is actually more about the strength of friendship. Dave and James Franco both do a wonderful job of taking characters that could’ve been punchlines, and presenting them as thoughtful, three dimensional creatures.
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Director Guillermo del Toro is one of the great visual storytellers of the current generation, and The Shape of Water is another fully-realized set piece in his canon. Set in the Cold War era 60s, the film follows mute Elisa (Sally Hawkins), who works at a secret government laboratory, who becomes enamored with the mysterious creature that is housed there. While the government wants to dissect the creature, Elisa begins to communicate with him, and, naturally, feels a deeper connection. The fairy-tale romance is played against a more serious threat looming from the hyper-aggressive government operative in charge of the operation (Michael Shannon being all creepy Michael Shannon-y). While the film is beautiful, and everyone is wonderful, it loses a little steam by playing out completely as expected.