2018 was a great year for movies and it is difficult to choose the best among so many. However, three come to mind that were actually fairly small in terms of budget, but left a big impression on our editorial team.
Three Perfect Strangers
This movie made us laugh, made us cry, and it was actually a documentary. The initial meeting of the triplets that did not know each other until college age and raised in three separate homes is wonderful. It is so warm and funny to see the reaction of these young men that they had BROTHERS (not just a brother), that they did not even know about. it
However, the warm and fuzzy feelings at the beginning are replaced with sadness and rage when one learns about the dark story behind it. It is a story of a bizarre experiment that was incredibly dark. This experiment was not limited to these young men, but had many victims. This movie is rich and was best seen in a theater because you do not want to miss anything. However, it is still great home viewing that must be seen. This is very powerful.
Won’t You be My Neighbor?
Another, “made you think” documentary in 2018 was “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, which celebrated the life of everybody’s favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers. The movie is designed to be a very gentle but firm stand against the culture of outrage in the world today. It really focuses on the behaviors so pervasive in our culture today and offers a better way. And the problem of hostility transcends all demographics and political philosophies. It challenges the notions about how people become healthy adults by focusing on the importance of self-love and gentleness towards oneself and others. It also talks about Rogers’ background as a Presbyterian minister and how he saw his important television show as an important way to change the hearts and minds of young, impressionable, minds.
Anyone who is looking for a break from the hostilities that have become so common in the world today will enjoy this thoughtful and sweet documentary. But do not be fooled by its sweetness, it carries a serious and important message for viewers today.
White Boy Rick
Did you see White Boy Rick? Don’t feel bad, neither did virtually anybody else. For whatever reason this little gem was largely ignored and discredited, in spite of an Oscar worthy performance by Matthew McConaughey. The movie is set in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack epidemic and the War on Drugs, it is based on the powerful true story of a blue-collar father and his teenage son, Rick Wershe, who became an undercover police informant and later a drug dealer, before he was abandoned by the law enforcement he cooperated with and was eventually sentenced to life in prison.
The casting was outstanding through out the film. I could not think a better actor for any character. Richie Merritt’s theatrical debut as the main character, Rick, is a great way to begin a movie career. I just hope enough people saw him to make an actual career happen.
In a year that included sweeping criminal justice reform on a federal level, this movie made an articulate case for it on every level.