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The Oscars Best Picture Nominees

The Darkest Hour

SUMMARY: The Darkest Hour is set in Great Britain when Hitler was taking over Europe. This movie focuses on Winston Churchill, who faces the choice of making a deal with Britain or fighting against a powerful army. Churchill goes to the underground train and asking British civilians what they would do. They say they want to fight, no matter what Hitler does. Their response inspires Churchill to fight back, and the Allies end up winning the war.

RATING: 4.2/10

REVIEW: I had very high hopes going in to see this movie. The plot summary made it seem like this film was going to be packed with action, but the action never really began. However, the acting was great, especially Gary Oldman.

– Luke Von Arx, Staff Writer

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

SUMMARY: This movie was a mother, Mildred Hayes, as she works through the grief of her daughter’s murder and frustration with the police, who haven’t arrested anyone in seven months. She believes they’re not trying, so she buys three billboards that criticize the police force. However, she ends up losing the support of people in the city when it’s discovered that the cop she accused has cancer.

RATING: 5.9/10

REVIEW: I think I would have scored it higher if it had ended differently. There were also some sad moments which were crucial, but I didn’t need to see them. I’m just not a big fan of sad things, so when something sad happens in a movie I obviously have to automatically deduct points. However, the movie and the acting were great overall.

– Luke Von Arx, Staff Writer

The Shape of Water

SUMMARY: This movie is about Eliza, a mute woman who cleans for a high-end research lab. She falls in love with an amphibian-like monster in the lab, who is supposed to be killed by the researchers, but Eliza rescues it. They end up falling in love in her apartment.

RATING: 4.7/10

REVIEW: Going in, I thought this movie would be the worst movie of all time, but I didn’t hate it as much as I thought. The movie was more watchable because the acting was good. The plot kept me on the edge of my seat. But I had to deduct major points because there was actually a scene where Eliza was lip syncing–which shouldn’t be possible since she’s mute anyway. Lip syncing is always an automatic point deductor.

– Luke Von Arx, Staff Writer

Phantom Thread

SUMMARY: Phantom Thread is about a dress designer named Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day Lewis) who puts hidden messages in the thread of the dress. Woodcock ends up falling in love with a much younger woman named Alma (Vicky Krieps). They clearly love each other, but their relationship is troubled, mainly because Woodcock is a very orderly and precise person and Alma just wants to live life and have fun.

RATING: 1.1/10

EXPLANATION: This is not a very good movie at all. It took way too long for the main plot of the movie to start, and then once you got there it didn’t make sense at all. Also, I felt like they could have ended the movie a lot earlier than they did. When they finally did end it, I felt like they ended it in a very awkward place, and the ending seemed very incomplete. The acting was good, but it definitely wasn’t good enough to make up for the confusing plot. I would give this movie a 1.1 out of 10.

– Luke Von Arx, Staff Writer

The Post

SUMMARY: The Post is about The Washington Post and New York Times and their race to cover the Watergate scandal. This movie depicts the difficult decisions Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and editor-in-chief Ben Bradley must make in publishing this highly sensitive information. This movie illustrates the importance of national newspapers prior to the invention of the internet and of cable news networks.

RATING: 8.4/10

REVIEW: The Post was an excellent movie with outstanding performances by Tom Hanks (who plays Ben Bradley) and Meryl Streep (who plays Katharine Graham). This film was intriguing for me to watch because I never got to experience the age where newspapers were the main source of national news. It was a little confusing at the beginning, but the ending was excellent and made the point that the decision by Bradley and Graham was correct. This was by far the best movie out of the ones I saw, and it deserves a 8.4 out of 10 from me.

– Jake McCabe, Staff Writer

Get Out

SUMMARY: Chris, a young African American photographer, prepares to meet the parents of his Caucasian girlfriend, Rose. Chris is a bit uneasy about this, as they’re white and he’s black. However, her parents are unfazed and everything seems to be going fine. Chris then starts to notice some weird behavioral traits of the house’s African American staff. Initially he attributes it to racial difference, but it turns out that some things are not like they seem.

RATING: 6.8/10

REVIEW: I’m not a fan of scary movies whatsoever, but this one was pretty good. Usually, the plot in most scary movies is terrible, but this one was pretty interesting. This film was strange in a good way. But for the most part, it was extremely predictable. The acting in this movie by Daniel Kaluuya (Christ) was extraordinary and made this movie good and worth watching. This movie is more about society and race relations than horror.

– Jake McCabe, Staff Writer

Dunkirk

SUMMARY: Dunkirk is a thrilling World War 2 story about Allied forces stranded on Dunkirk beach. The situation was seemingly doomed, but troops were eventually rescued from the war torn-beach by air and boat. By the end of this mission, 330,000 soldiers were safely evacuated. This survival story is an inspiring and emotional film, intense from start to finish.

RATING: 7.3/10

REVIEW: Parts of this movie were really well done, like the action scenes. However, the story was at times hard to follow. Eventually, though, the seemingly disconnected stories came together in the end. While the lack of dialogue and character development was disappointing, it didn’t significantly lower the quality of the film.

– Jake McCabe, Staff Writer

Lady Bird

SUMMARY: Lady Bird is a film about Christine “Lady Bird” MacPherson, a troubled high school senior who is looking to get out of Sacramento and head to the East coast for college. The story follows her first romance, her performance in the school play, her application to college, and her intense relationship with her mother.

RATING: 6.3/10

REVIEW: I typically wouldn’t see this movie on my own time because I’m not really interested in the genre, but I actually found it interesting. It’s a classic coming of age movie, though, which made the story line predictable. However, the acting is superb, and the film does a great job depicting poverty and friendships. Lady Bird is worth watching if you’re interested in the comedy/drama genre.

– Jake McCabe, Staff Writer

Call Me By Your Name

SUMMARY: Call Me By Your Name is a story that takes place in the summer of 1983. It follows a 17-year-old boy named Elio Perlam and the summer that he spend

s with his family in Italy. He meets Oliver, a doctoral student who works as an intern for Elio’s father. Over time, the two develop a very close relationship.

RATING: 1.6/10

REVIEW:  I had very low expectations going to see this movie, and I was proven right. This movie was flat out boring. It was basically a story about how a 17 year old boy is attracted to a 20 year old man. The dialogue is extremely boring and nearly put me to sleep multiple times throughout the movie. The film was extremely awkward and not worth watching in my opinion.

– Jake McCabe, Staff Writer

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