365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About


The Revenant (2015)

Why not save the best for last? It doesn't always work out that way, but The Revenant was the final movie released in 2015. In fact, except for in a few select theaters in a few select cities, you couldn't see the movie until January 7th. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely it was. It seems like we've seen trailers for months building this movie up. Each time I saw a preview, I couldn't help but get excited. I believe that this might have been my most anticipated movie since Shutter Island and with that movie I had reason to be weary because it was a 2010 movie that was released in February. You usually don't get the best movies of the year released that early in the year. While Shutter Island exceeded expectations, The Revenant was all that and more. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Great Gatsby) has been burned by the Academy so many times before. While The Revenant is his fifth Academy Award nomination for acting, he should have at least three or four more. None of those past omissions matter now though as DiCaprio is the front runner to win Best Actor this year. I wouldn't quite qualify him as a lock to win, but it is only a two actor race and his performance was more impressive than the fabulous performance given by Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl.


Shutter Island (2010)

Without a doubt, Martin Scorsese's (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Departed) was one of the greatest in theater movie experiences of my life. I had been super excited for the movie ever since seeing its first preview some six months or more before he came out. There was so much hype associated with the movie that I was certain it couldn't live up to the expectations. It not only met expectations, it surpassed them. This movie is a complete masterpiece and has only been dampened by the fact that the second viewing (a very important viewing for all fans of the film) wasn't as awesome as I thought it would be. I thought that I would gain some insight knowing things about the movie that I didn't know during my first viewing. Rather than capitalizing on this new knowledge though, I instead found the second viewing to be rather dull. The excitement of seeing this film for the first time was what made it so great. This also is a movie that I think is a much better view in the theater than it is at home, regardless of how big your home television might be. It's a movie that absolutely needed to be seen in a dark theater that is full of other people viewing the movie for the first time.


The Great Gatsby (2013)

To say that Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Departed) killed it 2013 would be an understatement. Prior to his Academy Award nominating role as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio portrayed Jay Gatsby, one of the most legendary characters in literary history, in a most sincere an intense way. It was a performance that F Scott Fitzgerald himself would be proud of and would almost make him forget all of the other sub par attempts to recreate his work of fiction that almost all of us have read in high school.


The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street is the fifth collaboration between Academy Award winning director Martin Scorsese (Raging Bull, Taxi Driver) and leading Hollywood man Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, Revolutionary Road). With apologies to Gangs of New York, this is arguably their most daring work together. I would rank this as the third best movie the duo has combined for. 2010's Shutter Island is in my all-time top 15. This movie was magnificent in its storytelling and captivating in its ability to draw you in and keep you totally hooked for its duration. In my opinion Shutter Island is Scorsese's best work and, arguably, DiCaprio's too. I know I am in the minority and there are lots of people who laugh at this notion, claiming that Shutter Island doesn't even come close to cracking Scorsese's all-time top five. I would rank The Wolf of Wall Street slightly below the departed and slightly above Gangs of New York. In my opinion, The Aviator is the worst of the bunch. Scorcese has eight Best Director Oscar nominations to his name and one win (2006's The Departed). The Wolf of Wall Street very well could earn him a ninth nomination, but it will not earn him a second win.


Revolutionary Road (2008)

Leonardo DiCaprio (Gangs of New York, The Departed) and Kate Winslet (The Reader, Little Children) reunite for the first time since they smashed the box office record as Jack and Rose in 1997's Titanic. Revolutionary Road too is a love story, but it's a story about a couple falling out of love rather than falling in love. Both are superb in this movie. It is easy to identify with each of their characters. And while Winslet and especially DiCaprio are at the top of there game, they are overshadowed by two scene stealing scenes involving Michael Shannon, (Before the Devil Knows Your Dead, Take Shelter) the mentally unstable son of their real estate agent and friend Helen (Kathy Bates - Misery, Dolores Claiborne) and her husband. Michael has no filter between his brain and his mouth and thus tells anyone and everyone exactly what is thinking at any given moment. This is not a good thing as Michael's outlook on life and people in general is as pessimistic as one can be. This creates moments of intensified drama resulting in unfiltered anger. Rightfully so, Shannon was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award (the award went to Heath Ledger for his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight), even though he was on the screen for a total time of less than 15 minutes.