vrijdag 30 december 2016

Top 10: Worst Movies I Watched for My 2016 Challenge

Sadly enough I was also exposed to some terrible films, crap piles, shitty flicks, snooze fests and simply ‘why did they make this’ – films. Here are the 10 worst films I watched for my challenge.

10. Last Tango in Paris
People call it a classic, but I think this was a terrible film. And besides that, this film creeped me out. Especially after reading about that ‘rape’ story. Not Marlon Brando’s best work.

9. Black Christmas
Do horror remakes ever work. “Black Christmas” at least doesn’t proof that. All you want is for all those annoying frat girls to get slashed. That’s never a good sign.

8. Knock Knock
I’m always defending Keanu Reeves when people call him a bad actor. He isn’t. But even I couldn’t protect Reeves from this pile of shit. What a dumb film, which looked so promising. I hated this movie. And I still can’t understand how two idiot girls could outsmart Reeves’ character so easily.

7. The Ape
As much as I love James Franco, I hope he erases this from his resumé. Not a good film, not interesting, weird, it makes no sense.

6. Point Break (remake)
As much as I love the original with Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, that’s how much I hated the remake. It was like I was watching one long extreme sports commercial. The movie sucks and is not memorable whatsoever.

5. Little Nicky
I know we shouldn’t take this movie to seriously, but it’s such a ridiculous movie. I can take a lot from Adam Sandler, I forgive him for a lot just because I think he is so funny. But “Little Nicky” is just too much ridiculousness for my liking.

4. Neighbors
It sounded like so much fun, especially with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd involved. But this was such an unfunny film, I can’t remember laughing even once. No, “Neighbors” was really bad.

3. Sharknado
Although I love shark movies, this was just too stupid. Especially seeing how serious the actors are in this film. I secretly always love to watch bad shark movies, just to laugh at them.

2. Cube
Someone lend me this film, she was so excited about this film. But “Cube” is the second worst film I have seen this year. I haven’t seen acting this bad in a while. What a crap fest.

1. I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer
Another sequel to an already not that great franchise. This movie has nothing to do with the original stories and there is no reason or explanation why the hook man is following these people. When the killer turned out to be a supernatural being, I just couldn’t bear to watch it. I sat it out though.

Dishonorable Mentions: The Lone Ranger, He Knows You’re Alone, Absolute Beginners, Unfriended, Pixels, Hush, New York Stories, Nine, Vacation, Runner Runner, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Secret in Their Eyes

Top 10: Best Movies I Watched for My 2016 Challenge

The great thing about the 100 Movie Challenge is that I sometimes watch films that I would normally not even pay attention to. It’s a time to rediscover classics or see the movies you missed in the 2000s or 2010s. I watched a bunch of fantastic films, I narrowed it down to this top 10 list. Here are my favorite films I watched for my 2016 challenge.

10. Lars and the Real Girl
This was such a weird story, but it was so heartfelt and honest. And we got Ryan Reynold’s amazing performance to thank for that. He proofs that he doesn’t always have to play the sexy charmer, he can play a lonely geek as well.

9. The Jungle Book
Disney’s uncanny adaptation of their own beloved animation from 1967. It was a blockbuster, it was a technical film. Besides Mowgli, all the sets and characters were computer generated. The visuals are stunning. “The Jungle Book” was one amazing movie experience.

8. The Nice Guys
I already loved Shane Black’s “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”. Teaming up Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe was probably one of the best ideas of 2016. They are an irresistible pair. Energized by a dry wry cynicism. It’s crime comedy at its best.

7. Arrival
“Arrival” is an unusually intimate science-fiction epic, that takes the story of humankind’s first contact with an alien race and turns it into a downright poetric meditation on fate, time, love and the limitations and essential universalities of communication. Amy Adams gives a fantastic performance, she carries this film. Director Denis Villeneuve has a flawless record so far.

6. Room
Brie Larson earned all the headlines for her role as Joy, her Oscar winning performance is so convincing and heartbreaking. But her movie son Jacob Tremblay very nearly steals the show. It’s through his eyes we experience the traumatic set of events.

5. Spotlight
“Spotlight” is driven purely by the simplicity of its story. A group of journalists exposing a scandal in the Catholic Church. The film had my attention from start to finish, it has great performances and I loved everything about this film. It deserved that Oscar.

4. The Apartment
I discovered Billy Wilder films this year and I came to the conclusion that I really love this director. “The Apartment” is such a fun film, great acting and it’s basically set in only one location.

3. Some Like It Hot
This is the other Billy Wilder film I watched this year, and loved! It was hilarious. It’s such a funny story, two men disguising as women so that they can play music in an all-women’s group. And although it’s clear that they are two men, nobody sees it. This is one fo the best comedies of all time!

2. La La Land
Damien Chazelle’s first film was “Whiplash”, an Academy Award winning film. He’s back with amusic movie of an entirely different variety. “La La Land” is a heart-eyed musical about two lost Los Angelinos who find each other. I’m seriously in love with this film. This one’s for the classic movie fans.

1. The Princess Bride
This movie has everything and know how to combine all those genres in the most perfect way. Adventure, action, romance, comedy, drama, it’s all there. It’s one of the best fairytales ever told, with humor, mockery and heartwarming moments. Definitely a new favorite on my all-time list.

Honorable Mentions: The General, City Lights, Beasts of No Nation, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Little Shop of Horrors, We Bought a Zoo, Mr. Holland’s Opus, The Soloist

donderdag 29 december 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Movies I Watched for My Challenge (2016)

My last top 5 of the year is of course dedicated to the last month of my 100 Movie Challenge. I ranked the five best movies I saw this month. (Stay on the lookout for the best movies of the year 2016, best films I watched for my 2016 challenge and the worst of my 2016 challenge. )

5. Captain Fantastic
I love movies like this. A feel good mix of drama and comedy. It’s such an unconventional story, yet so heartwarming and endearing. This film has a lot of heart. And Viggo Mortensen is sublime.

4. Creed
A spin-off Rocky movie, that’s what this is called. But it’s so much more. What a fabulous film! Michael B. Jordan is so good and Sylvester Stallone should really have won that Oscar.

3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
I didn’t expect to love this move as much as I did. The build up to “Star Wars: A New Hope” is great and that last scene with Carrie Fisher has an extra load now that she has passed. And the return of Darth Vader to the big screen is just epic. Thoses were the best moments for me.

2. Some Like It Hot
My mom loves this movie and I was so ashamed that I have never seen it before. And this movie was so funny. Especially because the men dressed as women are obviously men, but nobody sees it. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are a hilarious duo.

1. La La Land
I’m in love with this movie. Sometimes you just want to see a movie, you know you’re going to love it and you actually do. That’s what happened with “La La Land”. It’s been a while that I walked out of the theaters with such a big smile on my face. It’s a joy for every classic musical movie lover.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Nocturnal Animals, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Ghost World

woensdag 28 december 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 170: Captain Fantastic

Director: Matt Ross
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 118 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks, Charlie Shotwell, Trin Miller, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn, Elijah Stevenson, Teddy Van Ee, Erin Moriarty, Missi Pyle, Frank Langella, Ann Dowd, Galen Osier, Hannah Horton, Res Young, Thomas Brophy, Mike Miller, Greg Crooks, Louis Hobson

Description: In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father (Viggo Mortensen) devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.

Review: In a time that superheroes rule cinema, the title of the tragi comedic road movie “Captain Fantastic” can be a bit misleading. Director Matt Ross delivers a heartwarming comedy and family drama. A film that pretty much flew under the radar, but has to be watched by lovers of Indie films.
Ben and his wife Leslie turned their back on modern society and moved into the North American nature. They passed their ideals to their six children, all with a unique name, together with crucial skills to survive in the wilderness. They get lessons in philosophy, history, physics, biology and literature, on a level that is far above their age category. When Leslie is haven’t health issues, she is admitted to a hospital far away from mother nature.
The plot reminded me of a mix between “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Into the Wild”. “Captain Fantastic” manages to create a good balance between comedy and drama.
The center of this film is the amazing performance by Viggo Mortensen, as father Ben. His way of raising his kids may look like a commune, but at the same time his children are much smarter and more fit than the kids that go to school or play videogames all day. The question is: is Ben crazy or is it the world around him?
The film gives you a lot to think about. “Captain Fantastic” is such an endearing film, a film with a lot of heart. And that conclusion, with the song “Sweet Child O’Mine” is simply beautiful.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 169: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Director: Frank Capra
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 129 minutes
Year: 1939
Starring: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee, Thomas Mitchell, Eugene Pallette, Beulah Bondi, H.B. Warner, Harry Carey, Astrid Allwyn, Ruth Donnely, Grant Mitchell, Porter Hall, Pierre Watkin

Description: A naive man (James Stewart) is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

Review: Frank Capra has his own style and his stories are often about the everyday man against the system. This is also the case for “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”. We follow Idealist Jefferson Smith who is going into politics, but collides with political corruption.
Who else than James Stewart to play this Mr. Washington. He is an idealist, always friendly and has a dose of humor. And he is so down to earth. He is also genuinely amazed by Washington and its history and architecture. The reason to put in the senate, is that he is a naïve man that is easily influenced. Or so they think. Smith wants to fight the corruption.
“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is a timeless classic about good and bad. The acting is strong and the script is rather daring, especially for that time. Definitely a must-see.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 168: Nocturnal Animals

Director: Tom Ford
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 117 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher, Laura Linney, Armie Hammer, Michael Sheen, Andrea Riseborough

Description: An art gallery owner (Amy Adams) is haunted by her ex-husband's (Jake Gyllenhaal) novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale.

Review: Fashion designer Tom Ford proved with his film debut, “A Single Man”, that he isn’t only good with a needle and a sketchbook. The film was a masterpiece, not only from esthetic perspective. But also the themes and the characters were delicate and had depth. Ford took his time to direct his second film. “Nocturnal Animals” also focusses on relationships, regret and nostalgia to old romance. But it’s completely different movie.
At first sight it looks like art gallery owner Susan Morrow has it all. A good job, a beautiful house and a loving and handsome husband. But nothing is as it seems. Financially she isn’t doing well and she is estranged from her husband Hutton, who cheats on her while on a business trip. When Susan gets a message from her ex-husband Edward and he sends her a manuscript of his novel, she starts looking back on the life she once had. Susan left Edward for Hutton and hasn’t seen him in nineteen years. In Edwards’book, he tells the story of Tony Hastings and his family who are harassed by a group of criminials, while on the road. While Susan reads this story, she remember the life she had with Edward.
The story lines couldn’t be any different, but also have an emotional connection. Susan’s is more introvert and has a lot of thought in it. While Tony’s is extravert and explicit. Surprisingly enough, there is a perfect balance between those storylines. Tony is on a mission and has to find peace, while Susan has urges and desire but doesn’t show it.
Again Tom Ford manages to tell an esthetic story, but also enters the soul of the characters and the audience. Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal (the last has a double role) are both very strong in “Nocturnal Animals”. Michael Shannon is also worth mentioning. Aaron Taylory-Johnson plays one of the worst characters I’ve seen in a long time, what a terrible person. Great performance as well.
“Nocturnal Animals” is a film that gets under your skin.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

zondag 25 december 2016

Movie Trailer Sunday (272)

Here are this week's trailers.

Blade Runner 2049
Director: Denise Villeneuve
Description: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Robin Wright
Trailer: Trailer "Blade Runner"
Comment: Promising!

John Wick: Chapter 2
Director: Chad Stahelski
Description: The continuing adventures of former hitman, John Wick (Keanu Reeves)
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Ruby Rose, Ian McShane, Bridget Moynahan, Peter Stormare, Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo, Peter Serafinowicz, Common, Lance Reddick
Trailer: Trailer "John Wick: Chapter 2"
Comment: I hope this is not just another action sequel, because the frist "John Wick" was so surprisingly good.

The Emoji Movie
Director: Tony Leondis
Starring: T.J. Miller, James Corden, Ilana Glazer, Steven Wright
Trailer: Trailer "The Emoji Movie"
Comment: That's what I feel, meh.

A Cure For Wellness
Director: GOre Verbinski
Description: An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious "wellness center" at a remote location in the Swiss Alps but soon suspects that the spa's miraculous treatments are not what they seem.
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Oscar Isaac, Mia Goth
Trailer: Trailer "A Cure For Wellness"
Comment: This movie looks super creepy and disturbing, but I'm putting it on my must-see list for 2017 movies.

Director: Ridley Scott
Description: The crew of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but it is actually a dark, dangerous world, whose sole inhabitant is the synthetic David, survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, James Franco, Noomi Rapace, Guy Pearce, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride
Trailer: Trailer "Alien: Covenant"
Comment: What a Christmas present, getting this trailer today!

zaterdag 24 december 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 167: La La Land

Director: Damien Chazelle
Genre: Drama/ Comedy/ Romance/ Musical
Runtime: 128 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, J.K. Simmons, Rosemarie DeWitt

Description: A jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) falls for an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) in Los Angeles

Review: Even if you’re not a fan of musicals, “La La Land” will mesmerize you. The ode to love, passion, creativity and dreams by director Damie Chazelle stands out and manages never to fall into clichés.
Chazelle uses two characters to tell the story about people who desperately want to make it in Hollywood. Emma Stone plays Mia, a waitress who wants to be an actress. But she is dealing with disappointments and rejections. Ryan Gosling has an even bigger goal as Sebastian, to become a pure jazz musician without any commercial concessions. But he works at a restaurant where nobody really listens to him. By Mia does and they go on an incredibly journey together, trying to pursue their dreams.
“La La Land” isn’t just an ode to all those themes I mentioned earlier, but also an ode to the classic film and classic musical. Nowadays musicals aren’t what they used to be, but “La La Land” got it right. The characters don’t suddenly burst into song, the songs all seamlessly weave into the story.
It’s the most beautiful film I’ve seen in 2016, it constantly amazed me and it put a big fat smile on my face. The film looks beautiful. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have perfect chemistry and they are both sublime in their roles. The music is fantastic and I loved every minute of “La La Land”.
“La La Land”. And instant classic that many movie makers should take as an example.

Rating: 5/ 5

donderdag 22 december 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Funniest TV Shows of All-Time

Laughter is the best medicine. And these shows will definitely make you laugh out loud. Here are my favorite funny TV shows.

5. Monty Pyhton’s Flying Circus
Before there was “Saturday Night Live”, we had Monty Python. The best sketch ever made, with probably the best humor. British know what’s funny. This show is not for everyone though, because it’s intelligent humor.

4. Modern Family
Talking about quirky families. This family always manages to make me smile and laugh and each of the characters is just memorable.

3. The Office
Is Michael Scott a good boss? Not really. But he makes working in an office at least more eventful than it is in real life. I loved the ‘reality’ style of the show and how funny it was.

2. Family Guy
It’s always so much fun to see what kind of shenanigans Peter Griffin gets into this time. The Griffin family is everything but an average one. The silly situations they get in to every time, impossible not to laugh 

1. Seinfeld
The show about nothing eventually became everything for television. I can’t name my favorite episode, because they are all so memorable and classic. And the "Seinfeld" therminology, I still use it!

They Almost Made the Top 5: Friends, Fawlty Towers, Saturday Night Live

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 166: Ghost World

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 110 minutes
Year: 2001
Starring: Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi, Brad Renfro, Bob Balaban, Pat Healy

Description: With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends (Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson) seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.

Review: “Ghost World” is the adaptation of the American comic series with the same name. The base of the story is a comic book, but this is not a standard Hollywood comic book film. This film is about friendship, adulthood and cynism.
Enid and Rebecca are friends that seek a direction in life after graduating high school. When they respond to a newspaper add, it changes their lives completely.
“Ghost World” has one strong point: humor. The humor is so cynical, dry and sarcastic, I love that. Enid is someone who knows what she wants and has her opinion ready at all times.
The acting is solid, the humor is fantastic and I love some moments. Like the man waiting on the bus or the weirdo that terrorizes a convenient store.

Rating: 4/ 5

woensdag 21 december 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 165: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Director: Gareth Edwards
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Science Fiction
Runtime: 133 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelson, Jimmy Smits, James Earl Jones

Description: The Rebel Alliance makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.

Review: Hollywood loves nostalgia and uses it to please movie fans. And off course “Star Wars”, mother of all fan franchises, couldn’t be left behind. With “The Force Awakens” the series got a new life and it’s ready to fascinate a new generation. But we go back in time, before the Death Star was destroyed. And if you want to know how this plan was born, you have to see “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”.
We all know what happens to the Death Star, but we never knew how much trouble the Rebellion had to go through to reach that goal. Leading character is Jyn Erso, a troubled young woman who is asked to help the rebels to find her father, Galen Erso. Galen was taken by the empire when she was very young, to help Krennic build his ‘dream of death’. Galen does manage to inform the people on the outside and that’s where Jyn comes in. Together with rebel captain Andor she is trying to find the truth behind the Death Star.
Gareth Edwards directs this movie and it looks like he was the right choice, after he reinvented the success of “Godzilla”. He gave it a darker look and he does the same with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”. The heroes aren’t as heroic as the characters in the original films. The rebellion still has to finds its way. The film has moral depth and the characters have dimension as well. And the movie doesn’t have a dull moment.
Off course there is some nostalgia present. A cameo from R2D2 and C3PO and the seamless transition to “Star Wars: A New Hope”. But most of all Darth Vader. What a joy to see him on the big screen again.
Not knowing what to expect from this film, I was very happy to see how good “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” actually is. A must for every “Star Wars” fan.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

dinsdag 20 december 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 164: Some Like It Hot

Director: Billy Wilder
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 117 minutes
Year: 1959
Starring: Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe

Description: When two male musicians (Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis) witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.

Review: Jerry and Joe are two musicians. When they witness a mob hit, they flee the state and join an all-female band disguised as women.
“Some Like It Hot” manages to combine three subgenres perfectly. It’s a crime comedy, which never gets scary. It’s a romantic comedy, with sensuality, lies and misunderstandings. And it’s also a farce, where everything that can go wrong will go wrong. It’s obvious that the two disguised women are men, but the facts that the other characters don’t notice makes it an absurd comedy.
Marilyn Monroe is type casted as the somewhat dumb blonde that wants to score a rich man, but she does makes some clever remarks here and there. And Sugar is smart enough that she isn’t that smart. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are hilarious as Joe and Jerry, alias Josephine and Daphne. If a movie like this would be made now, the humor would be juvenile and tasteless. Curtis and Lemmon make it entertaining and funny.
I love “Some Like It Hot”, it’s one of the greatest comedies of all time!

Rating: 5/ 5

zondag 18 december 2016

Movie Trailer Sunday (272)

Here are this week's trailers.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Description: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.
Starring: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Harry Styles, James D'Arcy
Trailer: Trailer "Dunkirk"
Comment: Finally a full trailer for "Dunkirk".

The Last Word
Director: Mark Pellington
Description: Harriett (Shirley Maclaine) is a retired businesswoman who tries to control everything around her. When she decides to write her own obituary, a young journalist (Amanda Seyfried) takes up the task of finding out the truth resulting in a life-altering friendship.
Starring: Shirley Maclaine, Amanda Seyfried, Tom Everett Scott, Anne Heche
Trailer: Trailer "The Last Word"
Comment: I'm not an Amanda Seyfried fan, but this film looks kinda fun.

Director: Jonatha Levine
Description: When her boyfriend dumps Emily (Amy SChumer), a spontaneous woman in her 30s, she persuades her ultra-cautious mom (Goldie Hawn) to accompany her on a vacation to Ecuador. At Emily's insistence, the pair seek out adventure, but suddenly find themselves kidnapped. When these two very different women are trapped on this wild journey, their bond as mother and daughter is tested and strengthened while they attempt to navigate the jungle and escape.
Starring: Amy SChumer, Goldie Hawn, Christopher Meloni
Trailer: Trailer "Snatched"
Comment: I love Amy Schumer!

Director: Denise Di Novi
Description: A woman (Katherine Heigl) sets out to make life hell for her ex-husband's new wife (Rosario Dawson).
Starring: Katherine Heigl, Rosario Dawson, Cheryl Ladd
Trailer: Trailer "Unforgettable"
Comment: It looks pretty forgettable

Going in Style
Director: Zach Braff, Arthur Lewis
Description: Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, three lifelong pals risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Michael Caine, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Serafinowicz, Matt Dillon
Trailer: Trailer "Giong in Style
Comment: I love those golden oldies!

donderdag 15 december 2016

Top 5 Thursday: Books I Need to Read, Before Their Movies are Released in 2017

Books are the greatest inspiration for movies. This list shows you some of the books I really need to read, before their movies come out next year. And no, I don’t mean “Fifty Shades Darker”.

5. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae star in this movie based on the non-fiction novel by Margot Lee Shetterly. It follows black female mathematicians at NASA in the 1960s.

4. Live By Night by Dennis Lehane
Ben Affleck wrote, directed and stars in the movie version of this gangster story written by author Dennis Lehane.

3. Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach
The story is about a young woman who has an affair with an artist commissioned to paint her portrait in the Netherlands in the 1600s. It’s set in my country and the movie stars Alicia Vikander, one of my favorites of the moment.

2. The Circle by David Eggers
A young woman gets a job at an internet company. It’s a cyber thriller and the movie stars Emma Watson and Tom Hanks.

1. The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
The true story of Antonina Żabińska, whose husband ran the Warsaw Zoo in Poland during WWII. The zoo was used to help Jewish people hide from the Nazis. The movie stars Jessica Chastain and Daniel Brühl.

They Almost Made the Top 5: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron