Page 1

i’ve heard of self-sabotage, but this is ridiculous! or, 8 time travel movies where a protagonist is literally their own worst enemy. [time travel 101]

There’s no doubt that when Nietzsche said, “The worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself,” he meant it figuratively. Yet, if our boy Freddy Wilhelm had taken time travel into account, I’m confident he would’ve expanded his meaning to include a literal interpretation.

The relationship each of us has with ourselves is a complicated thing. It’s often fraught and conflicted. For many of us it’s downright contentious. It’s a truth we see reflected in film, as the history of cinema is teeming with varied examples of self-sabotage. I’d say it’s harder to find movies where the main characters don’t act as one of the main obstacles they need to overcome as they fight for what they want or need.

Usually in movies, as in life, that struggle with self is internal. However, once you add time travel into the mix, the possibility arises for a character to encounter a past, future, or interdimensional version of themself. Suddenly, there’s a chance for this whole self-sabotage thing to slide decisively into the ‘external conflict’ column.

Obviously we’d all like to believe that, given the chance, all our various selves would be on the same team. After all, two, or three, or even ten heads are better than one. But sadly, if movies are any indication, the opposite is far more likely.

Needless to say, this is something any would-be time traveler needs to be prepared for! Whether it happens due to carelessness or necessity, once we start creating time loops that might bring us into contact with other versions of ourselves, dire consequences might be just around the corner.

The movies below can be a primer of sorts [hey, that’s the title of one of these movies!], as we explore one of the biggest hazards in time travel. There are so many dangerous characters we might meet out there in the spacetime continuum, but like Nietzsche (sort of) said, the most dangerous of all is probably you.

Here are eight time travel movies where a protagonist is literally their own worst enemy.

Spoiler Warning! For several of these movies, even finding out they belong on the list is a spoiler. As such, I implore you to proceed with the utmost caution. I’ve put them in ascending order of spoilerines, saving the most egregious examples for the end.



“I don’t want to talk about time travel, because if we start talking about it then we’re going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws.”



In Looper, the whole ‘your own worst enemy’ thing is baked right into the cake.

The film imagines a future where time travel exists, but the murder and discreet disposal of bodies has become a virtual impossibility. Rather than just giving up on the whole homicide thing, crime syndicates send the unfortunate targets of their ire back in time, where they are executed by specialized hitmen, such as the one played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

It’s a highly lucrative gig for those with the necessary lack of conscience, but it comes with a terrible caveat: taking the job means agreeing to eventually ‘close your loop’ by executing your future self, with grizzly consequences if you fail to do so. 

As can be expected, our protagonist inadvertently lets his future self escape, kicking off a race against time. Joe needs to kill himself before it’s too late, sacrificing his distant future to salvage his present. 

Enter Emily Blunt and the wee mutant Cid. Complications ensue, pathos is added to the time travel mayhem, and Rian Johnson proves yet again that no matter what genre he tackles, he’ll never fail to do something interesting and well-crafted [and yes, I’m including The Last Jedi. Fight me!] 

If you’re trying to understand the whole ‘your own worst enemy’ time travel trope, Looper is where you begin. 

Time Travel 101 Lesson: Don’t kill people for money. [I really hope this is a lesson you’ve already learned, with or without time travel being involved!]



“You disgust me, but that doesn’t mean you’re useless.”



Ahead of the film’s release, if you’d asked fans, “Which heroes will get the most screen time in Avengers: Endgame?,” I can’t imagine anyone would’ve had a hard time correctly identifying that Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America would comprise the top three spots. After that, however, is there single fan alive who could have guessed that Nebula would come in fourth?!

The Russo Brothers had the daunting tasks of closing out a decade’s worth of stories, providing satisfying farewells for some of the most beloved characters in modern cinema, and trying to balance screen time and narrative significance for a remarkably large cast. To say screen time and narrative weight were at a premium would be a considerable understatement. Yet somehow, a supporting player from a franchise at the fringe of the MCU played a central role in the events that closed out the Infinity Saga.

Yet for all her time in the spotlight, it’s easy to miss just how great Nebula’s time travel storyline is. We’re talking USDA Prime time travel goodness, as Nebula literally grapples with the person she used to be. It’s a story arc that easily could’ve been the basis for an entire standalone Nebula film, yet in Endgame, it’s just another layer in a remarkably satisfying lasagna. [That’s two back-to-back food references, apparently I need to go make a snack.]

All that to say that, with Endgame, Nebula has earned her place amongst the all time great characters in cinematic time travel history!

Time Travel 101 Lesson: If you used to be a blood-thirsty murder-cyborg obsessed with earning the approval of an evil god, time travel is probably going to be more perilous for you than it is for the rest of us.


The Infinite Man 

Lana: “Why do you hate yourself so much?”
Dean: “Are you kidding? Look at him.”



Proof that you can make a great time travel movie with a minuscule budget, The Infinite Man is one of my favorite discoveries from this cinematic time travel deep dive. It’s funny, smart, and full to the brim with airtight time travel fun. 

When a romantic weekend getaway goes horribly wrong, a man creates a way to go back in time for a second chance to get things right. Unfortunately, the insecurity and self-loathing that ruined the weekend in the first place only get worse as he adds more versions of himself into the mix. 

No other film I’ve seen does a better job of using the ‘own worst enemy’ trope as a metaphor for our own propensity for self-sabotage, and this won’t be the last you’ll hear from me about this gem of a film that too few people have heard of! For now, suffice it to say you should absolutely watch it! 

Time Travel 101 Lesson: If you hate yourself, using time travel to create even more of you is never going to be a good idea. Or, to put it another way, if you’re already your own worst enemy figuratively, it’s a terrible idea to risk making it literal. 

In any case, proceed with extreme caution if you make the ill-advised decision to use time travel as a way to work out your issues with intimacy and self worth. 

Time Travel 101 Bonus Lesson: If you run into trouble while traveling in time and need some help, you could do a lot worse than heading down to Oceania. Australia and New Zealand have created a disproportionately large percentage of time travel films over recent years, including three of the nine movies on this list! It shouldn’t be hard to find some experts in the field, cinematically speaking of course. 


Mega Time Squad



I’m a sucker for droll New Zealand comedy [Taika for life!], and Mega Time Squad delivers in spades. It even features What We Do in the Shadows’ Jonny Brugh as a “crime boss” in small-town New Zealand (and I mean smallllltown), whose entire gang is just a bunch of dumb, shiftless 20-somethings. 

One of those dumb, shiftless 20-somethings is John, our time traveling protagonist. During an inept robbery meant to be part of an even more inept double-cross, he winds up taking a bracelet that can zap him a short ways back in time. As they always are, the magical bracelet is cursed. As they always do, he ignores the warning.

As he tries to elude would-be murderers, John starts creating time loops to team up with two or three versions of himself at a time. Surprising no one, this quickly escalates. The result is the creation of so many Johns that they start their own gang: the Mega Time Squad! 

Trouble is, when all the Johns want the money, and all the Johns want to get the girl in the end, it’s not hard to see how the whole thing quickly devolves into an ‘own worst enemy’ scenario.

While it features a fair amount of murder, Mega Time Squad is still a bighearted comedy filled with dim-witted but lovable characters and all the offbeat, deadpan Kiwi comedy you could ask for. 

Time Travel 101 Lesson: Don’t use time loops to intentionally create a bunch of versions of yourself. Just don’t. 


The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

“The winds were ferocious. The isolation, intense. I waited for my friends, seemed to last forever. That’s when I learned, there was no one I could trust but me.”



Let’s be honest, the first LEGO movie was far better than anyone expected. The general, well-warranted assumption was that the film would be the sort of lazy kids movie that uses a familiar IP to make a bunch of money, even though the movie is shit. Think The Smurfs franchise, The Angry Birds MovieThe Emoji Movie, the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise, and on and on.

Instead, we got a smart, well-written, genuinely funny, feel good movie with an unexpected bit of emotional depth on the back end.

While it’s not as good as the original, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is still a worthy successor, and this time there’s time travel! 

Who knew Undar of the Dryar System would turn the relentlessly optimistic and warmhearted Emmet Brickowski into such a huge dick? Well, it did, forcing present-day Emmet to face off against Rex Dangervest, a bitter, angry, badass future version of himself. 

Oh, and Rex also just so happens to be voice actor Chris Pratt’s movie avatar: “a Galaxy-defending archaeologist, cowboy, raptor trainer—who likes building furniture, busting heads, and having chiseled features previously hidden under baby fat!” It’s exactly the sort of silly but clever plot twist we can count on in a Phil Lord and Chris Miller joint. 

Time Travel 101 Lesson: No matter how great you are now, you still need to be wary of future versions of yourself. None of us are immune to turning into an asshole.


One More Spoiler Warning: These last three are relatively even in spoiler factor, and that degree is significant. All three are must watch time travel movies, but knowing the characters wind up fighting themselves is a considerable spoiler.


Timecrimes (Los Cronocrímenes)

“We still have a while before it starts raining.”



Nacho Vigalondo’s 2007 time travel horror/thriller is an indisputable must-watch title if you’re taking a tour of the genre. It’s also required viewing for the educational purposes of Time Travel 101.

Hector’s day is horrifying enough when he’s stabbed by a mysterious man in a trench coat and a face wrapped in pink bandages. That day gets significantly worse when, while trying to hide from said villain, he inadvertently gets in a time machine.

His trip to earlier that day kicks off an ever-worsening nightmare scenario. Every time he gets back in the machine, hoping to preclude the day’s tragedies, he only continues to reveal a horrible truth: the tragedy is worse than he realized, and he played a larger role in it than he could’ve imagined.

Los Cronocrímenes is a great example of the ‘own worst enemy’ trope, and it’s on my shortlist of the greatest time travel films of all time.

Time Travel 101 Lesson: It may only take a few hours to transform you into someone you barely recognize, both literally and figuratively.



Abe: “I’m not into the whole destiny ‘there’s-only-one-right-way’ thing.”
Aaron: “Abe, I’m not either, but what’s worse, you know, thinking you’re being paranoid, or knowing you should be?”



This microbudget-mumblecore-sci-fi gem is the platonic ideal of DIY filmmaking. There are no special effects, the most exotic location is a storage facility, wardrobe most likely came directly out of the actors’ closets, the main cast could fit in a sedan, and the time travel machine props were probably built with supplies from a quick trip to Home Depot. Long story short, the entire film cost $7k to make!!

It’s the story of two men who inadvertently create a time machine, then struggle to come to terms with how to use it responsibly, while still using it for personal gain. As their philosophies on time travel continue to diverge, their relationship devolves into a web of mistrust and betrayal. This not only pits them against each other, but against alternate versions of themselves – some of whom they don’t even know exist!

The film’s tension is primarily powered by how tightly crafted the mind-bending time travel chicanery is. The budget for the pens and paper you’ll go through trying to track the time loops will likely approach what it cost for writer-director-star Shane Carruth to make the movie in the first place!

Time Travel 101 Lesson: Time travel is a powerful thing. You suddenly have the ability to act in the past with knowledge of the future, or interfere with events over and over until you get a desired outcome. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how easily this might begin to feed our darker impulses,

Proceed with caution, because as the adage goes, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and time travel power corrupts time travelly.



“Downstairs right now is a copy of me. Me! Walking and talking with Greg!”



With this entry, Triangle officially becomes the first movie to be featured on two different lists! [Spoiler alert: it won’t be the last time the movie shows up!]

The film features three iterations of the same time loop, overlapping each other as they repeat simultaneously in the same physical space, albeit in staggered sequence. Needless to say, it’s up there with Primer as the two mind-bendiest films on the list. Every time you think you’ve figured things out, the movie rocks beneath your feet, shifting your perspective to reveal nothing is what you thought it was. Even for the seasoned cinephiles among us, who pride ourselves on seeing reveals coming a mile away, the movie has a habit of turning those reveals upside down later in the film.

The sole character aware of what’s happening quickly finds herself at odds with the versions of herself from the other loops (I told you, it’s mind-bending!), leaving her desperately trying to figure out what the fuck is actually happening in time to save her friends in spite of herself. Literally.

The possible causes of the time loop in Triangle are more mysterious and supernatural than any time travel we might get up to, but it still most definitely offers a worthwhile case study in just how horrifying interactions with alternate versions of one’s self can get.

Time Travel 101 Lesson: [Significant additional, but theoretical, spoiler! Do not read if you ever plan to watch this movie!] If the reason you’re at odds with yourself is a repeating time loop kicked off when you did something truly monstrous, you just might be in hell!


Bonus: Deadpool 2

“You’re welcome, Canada.”



Deadpool 2’s main story doesn’t feature any characters battling themselves, but the post-credits scene sure does. Wade Wilson uses Cable’s time travel device to right wrongs as he hops back and forth along multiple timelines. After making sure to retroactively save his girlfriend from her tragic demise, he breaks the fourth wall long enough to correct two infamous Ryan Reynolds career choices. He kills the horrible Deadpool adaptation from X-Men Origins: Wolverine (right before he has a chance to kick off the terrible final battle), then murders the actual Ryan Reynolds just after he decides to accept the eponymous role in Warner Bros’ Green Lantern. Are they examples of a character at odds with other versions of himself? Yes. Would ridding the world of those two abominations be a gift to humanity? Definitely! However, as far as ridding the world of abominations goes, he does ultimately fail to find the nerve to kill baby Hitler.

Time Travel 101 Lesson: Be careful about the embarrassing mistakes you make, or else a vindictive, smart-ass version of yourself might come back and kill you just to get a laugh.


And there you have it, 8.5 time travel movies to help us navigate one of time travel’s greatest perils. Happy watching!

Additional viewing: Bill & Ted Face the Music, Hurok, Reset, Army of Darkness, Predestination, +1.


welcome to time travel 101, or, i’m about to watch waaaaaay too many time travel movies.

I don’t think anyone will accuse me of hyperbole when I say that the last twelve months have been, to use the scientific term, an absolute fucking nightmare.

As I publish this, we’ve just passed the one year anniversary of the full Covid-19 lockdowns around the globe, and even a worldwide pandemic that killed millions was just the most notable entry on a long list of deadly disasters. I’m sure I don’t need to go into detail, you were there after all, but 2020 featured earthquakes, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, a tsunami, hurricanes, flash floods, and an explosion in Beirut so big it was felt in at least five other countries. Throw in increasingly draconian tactics by governments and police in response to unconnected protests in countries around the world – United States, India, Myanmar, and Nigeria to name a few – and its clear the word apocalyptic isn’t a hyperbolic adjective for the last year. And it didn’t begin with 2020, with at least the last five years revealing themselves to be a series of ever-worsening hellscapes. Every time we think we’ve reached the bottom, we find out we’ve only just begun our descent.

Seeing as how all indicators point to a forecast of shitty with a chance of catastrophe, it’s well past the time for me to devise an exit strategy to get out of this mess. In truth, I should have had a go-bag packed by the front door ages ago, so it’s time to get my shit together. The last thing I’d want is to be caught unprepared when things go from worse to worst to holy fuck this is bad!

Here’s the thing, though, where does one escape when the chaos and clusterfuckery is everywhere? There’s certainly no quarter to be found by merely fleeing to a new locale.

No, the way I see it, there are only four real options.


Option 1: Gear up, train hard, and try to survive in an apocalyptic wasteland.



I’ll just be straight with you, I am very much not a survivalist. But even if I had more of the necessary qualities, this option is still a hard sell. By definition, any attempt to survive beyond Thunderdome is a nightmare scenario.

I mean, who knows, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find a remote and undiscovered safe haven. Maybe you can even build a nice little life for yourself as you try to ride out the apocalypse, but how long could that really last before someone stumbles across your idyllic post-apocalyptic oasis? Sorry to my fellow spoiler-phobes out there, but that story doesn’t have a happy ending.

The opposite alternative would be to head out on the road and never stop moving, trying to survive by your wits on an unending search for the resources you need to survive another day. I’d say this strategy is the epitome of the whole ‘prolonging the inevitable’ thing. Your best chance of surviving would be finding a cannibal murder cult willing to let you join up, maybe because you have the same taste in music or books or something.

Even with all the zombie movies I’ve watched in preparation, I don’t see myself surviving long in either of these scenarios.


Option 2: An underground bunker or shelter



Now, I’m talking here about the sort of fallout shelter you lock yourself into and don’t leave for years or decades while you hope everything up top blows over. As far as bunkers you stay in for safety at night while living your daily life above ground, that would be covered above, under Option 1.

The whole full-time underground scenario is going to be a hard pass for me for so many reasons, the most urgent of which is my severe claustrophobia. Now, maybe I could make this option work if I had access to one of those massive fallout paradises created exclusively for the uber-wealthy (which was also stocked with an indefinite supply of powerful psychiatric medications), but let’s be honest, I’ll never qualify for one of those. If I end up trapped in anything smaller, breathing nothing but recycled air indefinitely, I’d have a series of increasingly intense panic attacks before finally succumbing to a stroke or heart attack. No joke.

Sorry, Ben Folds, I can’t be happy underground.


Option 3: Space travel



Again, claustrophobia! It would take quite the colossal generational space ark for me to survive even the early weeks of the voyage without having a complete meltdown, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t see any colossal generational space arks in our near future.

Alternatively, I’m also a no-go on the whole cryogenic hibernation thing. I mean, how many happy endings have you heard for stories about subzero space slumber? There’s always some sort of catastrophic system failure, after which some people die in their pods while others go space mad and turn on each other, or die of some horrifying alien virus, or are picked off one by one by a super-predator. It’s never, “And then the brave explorers were awoken ahead of schedule, because they’d been discovered by aliens who wanted to share space cupcakes and the secret to immortality.”

So, space travel? No-thank-you-please.


Option 4: Time travel



And here we come to the correct answer. I mean, come on, this is obviously the best option! When all else fails, it’s best to just grab your flux capacitor, kick that DeLorean up to 88 mph, and party like it’s… well, whatever fucking year you want!

And as we’ve established, for me it’s not simply the best option, but the only option.

Good, so that’s settled. Now the real work begins. I’ve got so much to learn to make this dream a reality. This isn’t the sort of endeavor where you just wing it and hope for the best.

For one, there’s the question of how one travels through time. I mean, are we talking a traditional Wellesian time machine? Maybe a vehicle of some sort, or some wearable tech? Will there be dimension hopping, or black holes, or maybe some wormholes? Will some fourth-dimensional alien technology play a role? A deal with the gods or some other mysterious mystical tomfoolery? Maybe the trick is surrounding myself with artifacts of an earlier time and using self-hypnosis to convince myself I’m in the past (I know that one sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it worked for Christopher Reeve).

Once a method of travel is finally settled on, there is still so much to account for. This is time travel we’re talking about, and it’s certainly nothing to be taken lightly. There’s so much that can go wrong, not just for me, but for all of human history, all of time and space for that matter! If I’m going to safely navigate the space-time continuum, and help all my loved ones do the same – while avoiding destroying the entire universe or whatever – I’m going to need to become a bonafide expert.

I bet you’re out there asking, “But Scott, how will you become such an expert? Will you spend a decade-plus getting multiple doctorates related to quantum physics? Will you spend thousands of hours exploring the relationship between speed, gravity, and time, whilst studying theories of negative energy density, wormholes, and cosmic strings?”

No, of course not. First off, I have more than enough student debt as it is before heading back for the masters level post-graduate work I’d need to get me started. Besides, that just seems like a whole fucking thing. Pass.

I’ve got an even better idea. I’m going to watch an absurdly long list of movies and see if that does the trick. I’m fairly confident a crash course in the storied history of time travel cinema will teach me everything I need to know to execute, survive, and even thrive during my temporally flexible adventures. Trust me, the logic checks out.

I’m certainly not entering my studies as a complete neophyte, but while I’m already relatively well-versed in the subgenre, the time for half measures has come and gone. I’m going all-in, whole-hog, full-bore! We’re talking a deep dive into the celluloid space-time continuum, and I’m inviting all of you to come along.

And what a deep dive it will be! It turns out there are a lot of time travel movies. Like, I knew there was a sizable catalogue, but when I started doing research for this series there were soooo many more than I could’ve guessed. Like, every time I reached the bottom of a rabbit hole of obscure time-travel films, it’s not that the hole would get deeper, it’s that I’d find another rabbit hole. I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised. Time travel stories date back to at least the 1700s, and 2021 marks the 100 year anniversary of time travel in film (that’s not the reason I’m doing this, but it’s a nice little bit of kismet).

So far – and knowing me, I’ll keep searching – I’ve compiled a list of over 180 movies, that I’ll be using to watch my way to time travel expertise.* And because I’m nice like that, I’ll share conveniently organized movie lists with all of you, both for your viewing pleasure, and to aid you should you choose to devise a time hopping exit strategy of your very own.

I do hope you’ll join me on my cinematic time travel odyssey, beginning next week with a movie list all about resetting time loops.


*Full disclosure: I won’t watch or rewatch every film on the list. Even taking a mastery of time itself into effect, life’s way too short to spend 96 minutes watching the 2002 adaption of The Time Machine.


my year in movies, 2020.

A new year is officially underway, which means it’s time for my annual tradition of sharing every movie I watched the previous year. You know, the list which absolutely no one asked for, but that keeps on coming back just the same. [I did miss 2018 somehow. I’m still not sure how that happened.]

This year was, quite predictably, unprecedented as far as my movie-watching habits went. I watched 221 movies this year! Mostly because once quarantine began, depression and anxiety became my only daily obligations, resulting in 2020 being my biggest movie-watching year since I started keeping track back in 2008. [If you’re curious, the tally for previous years is: 150 in 2008 – 200 in 2009 – 200 in 2010 – 203 in 2011 – 200 in 2012 – 167 in 2013 – 105 in 2014 – 125 in 2015 – 125 in 2016 – 144 in 2017 – 104 in 2018 – 126 in 2019]  

I love publishing these lists, so I hope someone out there likes ‘em. And if any other nerds out there kept track of the movies they watched last (or any) year, I’d love to see the list! I genuinely like this sort of thing, whether it’s my list or anyone else’s.

Anyway, here you go, every movie I watched in 2020.


The key is mostly the same as always:
(#) Movie I saw in the theater.
[#] Movie I saw for the first time.
E# – Movies I watched with Emily.
Favorites — Underlined titles are then ones that have stood up, after repeated viewings, and still keep me coming back for more. They’re the ones I’ve seen before, and will certainly watch again.
**Best new (to me) movies — Titles with an asterisk are the films I loved the most out of those I’d never seen before.





**1. Her Smell [1]

2. Brittany Runs a Marathon [2] E1

**3. Maiden [3] E2 

4. Missing Link [4] 

**5. I Lost My Body [5] 

6. Long Day’s Journey Into Night [6] 

7. Good Boys [7] 

8. Ash is Purest White [8] 

9. Alita: Battle Angel [9] E3 

10. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – E4 

11. Paddington 2 

12. The Adventures of Tintin





13. The Gentlemen [10] (1) E5 

14. Beginners 

15. Inside Llewyn Davis – E6

16. Win Win

17. The Other Guys

18. Birds of Prey [11] (2) E7

19. Shame

20. The One I Love 

21. Bad Boys for Life [12] (3) 

22. Safety Not Guaranteed 

23. About Time 

24. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

25. My Own Private Idaho [13] 

26. Blinded by the Light [14] E8





**27. Ford v Ferrari [15] E9 

**28. Midsommar [16] 

29. Fast Times at Ridgemont High [17] 

**30. The Invisible Man [18] (4) 

31. Onward [19] (5) E10  

32. Color Out of Space [20] 

33. Mission: Impossible – E11 

34. Frozen II [21] E12 

35. Sleuth (1972) [22] 

36. Yesterday [23]  

37. The Avengers – E13 

38. On the Town [24] E14

39. The Sandlot – E15 

40. The Battered Bastards of Baseball – E16 

**41. Pain and Glory [25] 

42. No No: A Dockumentary – E17 

43. 61* – E18 

44. Knives Out – E19 

45. The Battery [26] 

46. The Natural – E20 

47. Everybody Wants Some!! – E21 

48. Damn Yankees [27]  

49. The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings [28]  

50. The Pride of the Yankees [29]  

51. For the Love of the Game [30] E22 

52. Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story [31] 





53. Bull Durham – E23 

54. Pelotero [32] 

55. Sugar – E24 

56. Brothers in Exile [33] 

57. Fear Strikes Out [34]  

58. Moneyball – E25 

59. Field of Dreams – E26 

60. A League of Their Own – E27 

61. Iron Man 3 – E28 

62. Take Me Out to the Ballgame [35] E29

63. Off the Black [36] 

64. Cobb [37] 

65. Thor: The Dark World – E30 

66. The Stratton Story [38] 

67. The Phenom – E31 

68. The Bad News Bears 

69. Major League – E32 

70. Eight Men Out – E33 

**71. I Will Buy You [39] 

72. Bang the Drum Slowly [40] E34 

73. Love Wedding Repeat [41] E35

74. Captain America: Winter Soldier – E36 

75. Holy Motors [42]  

76. Guardians of the Galaxy – E37 

77. Avengers: Age of Ultron – E38 

78. Zombieland: Double Tap [43] 

**79. Kagemusha [44] 

**80. Police Story [45] 

81. Rocketman [46] E39 

82. Minority Report 

83. Ant-Man – E40 

84. His Girl Friday – E41 

85. Diamantino [47]





86. Captain America: Civil War – E42 

87. Doctor Strange – E43 

88. Drugstore Cowboy [48]

**89. Sex, Lies, and Videotape [49] 

90. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 – E44

91. Seven Samurai – E45 

92. Spider-Man: Homecoming – E46 

**93. Sword of Doom [50]  

94. Peanut Butter Falcon [51] E47 

**95. The Handmaiden [52]

96. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – E48

97. The Night Comes For Us [53] 

98. Thor: Ragnarok – E49 

**99. Transit [54] 

100. McCabe and Mrs. Miller [55] 

101. Black Panther – E50 

102. Under the Skin [56] 

**103. Extraction [57] E51 

104. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood [58] E52 

105. Y Tu Mama, Tambien [59] 

106. 3:10 to Yuma (1957)[60] 

107. Avengers: Infinity War – E53 





**108. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown [61]

**109. Queen & Slim [62] 

**110. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans [63] 

**111. Blindspotting [64] 

**112. Emma. [65] 

113. Local Hero [66] 

**114. Vast of Night [67] 

115. Malcolm X [68] 

116. She’s Gotta Have It [69] 

117. Foxy Brown [70] 

118. The Favourite [71] 

119. The Royal Tenenbaums [Commentary: Wes Anderson] 

120. Doctor Sleep [72] 





**121. Hamilton [73] E54

122. Plus One  [74] E55 

**123. Beauty and the Beast (1946) [75]  

124. Abominable [76] E56 

125. House of Flying Daggers [77] 

**126. Palm Springs [78] E57 

127. I Am Not Your Negro – E58 

**128. Steven Universe: The Movie [79]  

129. Avengers: Endgame – E59 

130. Soylent Green [80] 

131. Cold Case Hammarskjöld [81] 

**132. Thunder Road [82] 

**133. All About My Mother [83] 

134. Aniara [84] 

135. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am [85] E60 





136. One Cut of the Dead [86] 

137. The Souvenir [87] 

138. Extra Ordinary [88] 

**139. Da 5 Bloods [89] E61 

140. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof [90] 

**141. Blindspotting – E62 

**142. Volver [91] 

143. Short Cuts [92] 

**144. Kwaidan [93] 

145. Guns Akimbo [94] 

146. Class Action Park [95] E63  





147. Get Duked [96]  

148. First Love [97] 

149. The Old Guard [98] E64 

**150. Three Colors: Red [99] 

151. Climax [100] 

152. MFKZ [101] 

153. Happy Death Day [102] 

154. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm 

**155. Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé [103] E65

156. Point Break – E66

157. Prospect [104] 

158. 13th [105] E67 

159. The Lure [106] 

160. Tigers Are Not Afraid [107] 

161. WolfCop [108] 

162. Get Out – E67 

**163. The Skin I Live In [109] 





164. They Live [110] 

165. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer [111] 

166. Grave Encounters [112] 

167. Under the Shadow [113] 

168. Nightbreed [114]  

169. Night of the Living Dead – E68 

170. Straw Dogs [115] 

171. Shaun of the Dead 

172. 1408 [116] 

173. The Howling [117] 

174. [REC] 

175. ParaNorman – E69 

176. Return of the Living Dead [118] 

177. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit – E70 

178. Vampires vs. The Bronx [119] 

179. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon [120] 

180. Save Yourselves! [121] E71 

181. The Hunger [122] 

182. Lake Mungo [123] 

**183. Audition [124] 

184. Juan of the Dead [125] 

185. Cabin in the Woods – E72 





186. Enola Holmes [126] E73 

187. Tale of Tales [127] 

188. Molly’s Game [128] 

189. The Lovebirds [129] E74 

**190. Uncut Gems [130] 

**191. All In: The Fight For Democracy [131] E75

192. Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery Man) [132] 

193. Three Identical Strangers [133] E76 

194. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

195. The Endless [134] 

196. The Happiest Season [135] E77 

197. Home Alone – E78 

**198. Black Christmas [136] 

199. Knives Out – E79 

200. Better Watch Out [137] 

201. Elf – E80 

**202. Matador [138] 

203. Tenet [139] E81 

204. Manhunter [140] 





**205. Uncorked [141] E82 

206. Krampus [142] 

207. Bad Education (2020) [143] E83 

208. The Brothers Bloom 

209. The Nightmare Before Christmas – E84 

210. The Night Before [144] E85 

211. Rare Exports 

212. A Muppet Christmas Carol – E86

**213. Christmas Evil (You Better Watch Out) [145] 

214. A Christmas Horror Story [146] 

**215. The Wolf of Snow Hollow [147] 

216. A Christmas Story – E87 

217. Get Santa [148] E88 

**218. Klaus [149] E89 

219. Wonder Woman 1984 [150] E90 

**220. Soul [151] E91 

221. Miss Bala [152] 



seven horror movies from the golden age of practical effects (aka the 80s). [halloween movie fest 2020.]

It may be 2020, but the 1980s are alive and well. Neon lights and retro logos are in, synths and new wave are ascendant, and pop culture is saturated with nostalgia for the shows, films, and franchises of the decade.

Now, any celebration of 80’s culture would be incomplete if we left out the incontrovertible truth that the decade was the golden age of practical effects in horror. The era was hugely significant for the genre because of the other incontrovertible truth, practical horror effects are vastly superior to their CGI counterparts. This is known.

Seriously, you go find all the outdated CGI that’s still scary, and I’ll go find all the old practical effects that are still horrifying, and we’ll compare lists. It would be a fun exercise, because after you can’t find any examples we can just watch 80’s horror movies all night.

On second thought, let’s not waste time, and instead skip right to the part where we watch 80’s horror. Here are five movies from the golden age of practical horror effects you should watch this Halloween.





Okayokayokay, I know, Alien came out in 1979, but I’m including it because, a) it’s a brilliant movie with terrifying practical effects, b) it’s part of the dawn of the golden age, and it transitions out of the 70s, a decade with amazing practical effects in its own right that set the tone for what was to come, c) I can do what I want.

Obviously, the chestburster scene is one of the most iconic moments in film history, but it doesn’t end there. All of the physical realizations of H.R. Giger’s disturbing artwork of phallic alien monstrosities are scary as hell. Alien is the precursor to a decade that would use practical effects to give us monsters that still haunt our nightmares in 2020.


The Thing



The Thing is an all-timer, featuring one of my favorite final scenes, ever.

John Carpenter effectively immerses you in the horror and paranoia of being trapped in the middle of Antarctica with a monster who can look like anyone. A monster who just so happens to be hellbent on killing and assimilating you and whichever of your friends are still actually your friends. Even worse, it will then use your likeness to get back to civilization and murder the whole planet.

As great as the concept is, the deep psychological horror is rooted in how terrifying the Thing itself is to behold. Without Rob Bottin’s remarkable effects, the movie would likely have fallen flat and become another example of a potentially great sci-fi horror film ruined by visual inadequacies and limitations. Instead, Bottin and his team delivered one of the most horrifying monsters ever committed to screen.

In the case for the supremacy of practical effects, The Thing is Exhibit A.

Not so fun fact: Bottin worked so hard that he ended up in the hospital from exhaustion at the close of filming.


An American Werewolf in London


If you ever come across a list of great practical effects in film that leaves off John Landis’s 1981 horror-comedy, throw it right in the trash.

An American Werewolf in London features the undisputed greatest werewolf transformation scene of all time. Almost four decades later, with huge leaps forward in what can be rendered onto our screens, and no one else has even come close.


The Fly



He’s the master of body horror, so David Cronenberg’s entire filmography is a cornucopia of disturbing practical effects. Videodrome and Scanners are notable mainstays on ‘best of’ lists, but for my money, The Fly reigns supreme.

It’s overflowing with disgusting practical effects, with each gross-out scene topped just moments later by something even more horrifying. But what I love most is that it’s all used to tell a focused, tragic, character-driven story of a man’s transformation into a monster.

Bonus: we’re living in the midst of a glorious Jeff Goldblum renaissance, so whether you’d be revisiting The Fly or experiencing it for the first time, now is a great time to watch one of his absolute best performances.


The Evil Dead films



Practical effects aren’t just superior in films aiming to shock viewers for genuine scares. They’re also best when it comes to horror more interested in being darkly silly and ridiculous with its gore, and there is absolutely no better example than the Evil Dead films.

These movies are so over-the-top, so delightfully and unrelentingly insane, and the practical effects are what make the whole thing work. CGI never could have done justice to the vile, unholy magic of the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis

It should also be noted that Bruce Campbell is the human embodiment of practical effects. The world would be a sadder place if it didn’t have Ash Williams in it.


Bonus: 1992’s Braindead [aka Dead Alive]

Okay, this one isn’t an 80s movie, but if we’re going to talk about practical effects creating absurdly gory slapstick, we have to mention the bloodiest practical horror film of all time: Braindead (released as Dead Alive in the US).

Before Peter Jackson became internationally famous for adapting The Lord of the Rings, he made The Frighteners with Michael J. Fox, an underrated bit of genre fare that would fit right into any Halloween Movie Fest.

But before that, he made one of the dumbest, goofiest, weirdest, most ludicrously over-the-top gross-out gore-fests of all time. Try to imagine what that would look like and you still wouldn’t be close. Forget the same ballpark, you wouldn’t even be in the same galaxy.

Anyway, the film reportedly used 80 gallons of fake blood, making it objectively the bloodiest movie of all time. The lawnmower scene alone makes that easy to believe.



this ‘dune’ trailer is everything i needed today! [trailer park.]

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

How beautiful does this movie look?! It’s even better than I’d hoped the first Dune trailer might be, and I had high hopes!

Villeneuve’s genius is on full display. It’s visually and tonally perfect [at least compared to how I imagined it], and the trailer is overflowing with delightful glimpses to tease the book’s fans, without giving everything away to newcomers.

I know, I know, we’ve all been burned before. Even with a brilliant director and an amazing trailer, there’s still a chance this movie sucks, but I’m all in! I’m choosing unbridled optimism that this is going to be amazing. After all, fear is the mind killer.

Now, back to watch the trailer again five more times.



five antiracist movies that break the mold. [five things.]

Movies about race are most often – like very, very, very often – biopics and/or fictionalized documents of historical events. Don’t get me wrong, I think films like Selma and 12 Years a Slave can be amazing and important [Steve McQueen forever!], but the films on this list are refreshingly divergent from the norm. From the powerful oscar-bait biopic to the toxic white savior narrative, these filmmakers have thrown away all those recipes that studios and filmmakers normally follow to make racially themed movies.

Each entry is a fresh, vital contribution to the larger cultural conversation. And speaking of conversations, the invitation to the RtM antiracist movie club is still open. It’s been amazing so far!

Every film on the list was made by people of color, and they all focus primarily on Black Americans. Any future lists will branch out into the experiences of other communities. With that said, on with the show!

Here are five mold-breaking antiracist movies that you should DEFINITELY watch.


Da 5 Bloods

Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing is the quintessential example of the mold shattering antiracist movie, so it should come as no surprise that he shows up on this list.

In his follow-up to BlacKkKlansman – which despite technically being a biopic, could have made this list in its own right – the director has delivered one of the Spike Lee-est Spike Lee Joints that ever Spike Leed. His stylized approach to filmmaking is used to great effect to tell an emotionally powerful story that tackles perennially relevant issues – like race, war, politics, family, mental illness, guilt and money – in a world where America used Black, Vietnamese, and poor White bodies as cannon fodder in pursuit of consolidating power and wealth for the American ruling class.

For my money, this is one of Lee’s best films, and Delroy Lindo should win all of the things.

Also, if you still haven’t seen Do the Right Thing, now would be a great a time to rectify that!

Update: Hours after this was originally posted, we all found out that Chadwick Boseman – who costarred in Da 5 Bloods, has died after a years-long battle with colon cancer. It felt right to come back and mourn a remarkable talent, and by all accounts I’ve seen, a good man. Rest in Power, Mr. Boseman. Wakanda Forever.




Oakland’s own Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal wrote and star in this powerful, remarkably singular piece of filmmaking. Set in today’s Oakland, Blindspotting tells a poignant story at the intersection of race, gentrification, criminal justice, and prejudice, and it does so with energy and humor, somehow managing to feel ebullient even as it tackles dark themes with gravity.

You’ve never seen anything like Blindspotting before. It’s the movie we didn’t know we needed [or wanted], but absolutely did. Watch it!

Also, can we all agree to offer up thanks to whatever gods gave us Daveed Diggs?



Queen & Slim

Like Blindspotting, Queen and Slim is a truly unique film. Writer Lena Waithe and director Melina Matsoukas collaborated to tell a heartbreakingly beautiful story that not only transcends the all too common lazy, paint-by-numbers movies about race, but transcends the majority of film of any sort.

It’s a love on the run road movie where literally everything works: the visual style, the characterization, the tension, the performances, the humor, the dialogue, the locatedness in the cultural conversation, etc. etc. etc.

Seriously, friends, can you just watch all the movies on this list?



Dear White People

Dear White People is a razor-sharp comedy that feels like a series of powerful, Black-led conversations on race distilled into a movie. It provides a clear-eyed glimpse into some of the microaggressions, appropriation, power dynamics, and other bullshit Black people have to deal with every single day, challenging the unchecked beliefs, assumptions, and blind spots that keep white people participating in and feeding racism. Also, it’s not as heavy as the above films.

The movie has since been adapted into a Netflix show, which is still running at the time of this writing.



Get Out

Okay, okay, okay, I know everyone’s already seen this one, but how could I leave Get Out off this list?!

So, you know, watch Get Out again.



Important endnote: In the week between deciding to write this post and publishing it, another Black man has been shot by police without cause. Four. Fucking. Bullets. In. His. Back. And three more bullets that missed.

It’s horrifying how unsurprising that is. To be honest, it may have been more surprising if the cops had gone two weeks without shooting a Black person on video. That’s how fucking bad this is! Can you imagine how much worse things were before cell phone recordings? Before police violence was a central part of the national consciousness? It’s been said again and again, but this is how they act when they know everyone’s watching!

Black bodies continue to be lynched, and not just without legal recourse, but by “law enforcement” itself. Meanwhile, a huge part of the population, along with much of the media, blame the victim nearly every time. It’s a horrifying symptom of the terminal disease of racism, a disease genetically grafted into America’s DNA from the beginning.

So, while education and cultural exegesis can be helpful [I love both dearly], they’re useless if they don’t lead to tangible work to replace racist policies with antiracist ones. Watching antiracist movies doesn’t change anything, but things like this help me keep fighting, and I believe it can help us fight smarter, and with more empathy and understanding. But we can never allow it to take the place of the actual fight, or else all we’re doing is assuaging our guilt while we change absolutely nothing.]]


‘the batman’ has a trailer!

As much as fanboys (aka man-babies) bitched and moaned, I was on board with the idea of Robert Pattinson as Batman from day one. Seriously, if you still think of Pattinson as nothing more than the sparkly guy from Twilight, then you’re clearly in the dark as a movie fan, He’s been consistently amazing ever since.

And after his work writing/directing the last two Planet of the Apes movies, I’m excited to see what Matt Reeves does with the character. I mean, the fact that all along he’s been saying the film is going to be a gritty, noir detective story is all I need to hear. Almost all of my favorite Batman stories are rooted more in the fact that he’s the world’s greatest detective, with a noir visual style. I mean, Batman: The Animated Series is noir as fuck, including making Batman’s investigative skills the focus, and that’s still the best onscreen Batman to date (fight me!).

This trailer only amplifies my hope that this will be great. Fingers crossed that movie theaters are a thing by the time this comes out!



And speaking of Batman, some bonus trailers from the world of video games!

First, a WB Games Montreal trailer for a new Arkham series style game that I REEEEEEEEALLY hope is good. Those Arkham games are some of the best games ever made. Without Rocksteady – the makers of the original Arkham series – who knows what we’re going to get quality-wise. I’m hoping for the best on this one!



And speaking of Rocksteady’s Arkham series, they revealed a new Suicide Squad game set in the same universe!! The movie won’t be out until at least 2022, so there is no gameplay footage yet, but my interest is most definitely piqued!