Madison’s Movie Month Marathon

A Review of 31 Films in December

The+website+%E2%80%9CLetterboxd%E2%80%9D+makes+keeping+track+of+every+movie+easy%2C+which+was+needed+while+tackling+31+movies.+Even+though+I+didn%E2%80%99t+like+every+movie+I+watched%2C+I+loved+the+experience+and+I%E2%80%99d+do+another+month+marathon+in+the+future.+There+were+a+lot+of+amazing+movies+that+I+watched+but+my+favorite+was+%E2%80%9CSpirited+Away.%E2%80%9D

Graphic by Madison Shields

The website “Letterboxd” makes keeping track of every movie easy, which was needed while tackling 31 movies. Even though I didn’t like every movie I watched, I loved the experience and I’d do another month marathon in the future. There were a lot of amazing movies that I watched but my favorite was “Spirited Away.”

Madison Shields, Editor

I’ve always been a movie lover since I was young and I had a goal to watch five movies every month for the entirety of 2022. I achieved that goal every month until November. I only watched three movies that month and I felt slightly disappointed in myself. So, I decided to watch a movie every single day for the month of December.

Day one: “Barbarian”
The movie “Barbarian” follows a woman named Tess who books an Airbnb at the same time as a man named Keith, they uncover an interesting secret surrounding the house they booked. I had absolutely no idea what “Barbarian” was about when I watched it, so I was surprised to say the least. I’d heard a lot of positive reviews from TikTok and my friends, so I wasn’t very surprised that I ended up liking it so much. I was expecting the movie to be a lot scarier than it was, but I’m not complaining whatsoever. The plot went in a different direction than what I originally thought it would be, and I’m glad it did. I’m very glad it was the first movie I started out with. This is the perfect movie to watch with friends if you’re searching for horror with a little comedy.
8/10
Watch on HBO Max

Day two: “Spirited Away”
Being captivated by the “Spirited Away” world is easy as you follow the main character, Chihiro, through the fantastical society that she’s trying to escape. Before I watched “Spirited Away” the only other Studio Ghibli movie I’d seen was “Ponyo.” After watching this movie, I realized how big of a mistake that was. The visuals were legitimately breathtaking, and there were moments where I’d pause the movie just to look at the frame longer. I won’t lie, tears were shed three different times while watching this movie. Everything about this movie is perfect and forever will be. The soundtrack was my absolute favorite part about it. I created an entire playlist dedicated to music that sounds like it. I’ve rewatched the film three times since Dec. 2, and I expect there to be many more rewatches in the future.
10/10
Watch on HBO Max

Day three: “Howl’s Moving Castle”
Howl is a well known wizard in the land of Ingary, he meets Sophie, a girl cursed by a witch and together they take on the issues they’re both facing. After “Spirited Away” basically changed my life, I was fiending for another Studio Ghibli movie and “Howl’s Moving Castle” didn’t disappoint. I was once again blown away by the soundtrack and visuals. But the story and characters felt beautifully developed and I could feel how much the director cared for them, which caused me to care for them. I cried at the end of this movie as well. I don’t know what it is about Studio Ghibli, but it definitely pulls on my heart strings.
9/10
Watch on HBO Max

Day four: “Last Night in Soho”
A freshman in college discovers that she can travel through time and become a girl who was murdered many years before. I was severely disappointed in this movie. Anya Taylor-Joy is one of my favorite actresses, so I was expecting to love it, but I was met with jump scares that didn’t really fit the story. I felt like I wasted my time after watching this, which I know is harsh, but I wish I’d watched a different movie for this day.
4/10
Watch on HBO Max

Day five: “The Lorax”
Being based off of the book It was what I expected. The Lorax really was the speaker of the trees and the Onceler was in fact an awful person. I honestly watched this in my AP Environmental Science class for an assignment, but I’m not complaining. It was a pleasant movie to watch with a cute ending but I won’t be watching it again.
6/10
Watch on Youtube

Day six: “The Suicide Squad”
Many criminals band together to work under the Government and take down a common enemy for the second time. The first “Suicide Squad” wasn’t received very well by the public. I don’t know why if I’m being honest because I liked it but I liked “The Suicide Squad” even more. I felt the characters were funnier and more likable and the fight scenes were far superior to the first movie. The visuals were amazing especially when it came to Harley Quinn. The story also felt more well rounded and better developed than before. An enjoyable watch.
7/10
Watch on HBO Max

Day seven: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
Following a sheepish main character through a new mystical world and discovering creatures alongside him is what this movie consists of, and it isn’t too similar to Harry Potter but still feels familiar. I’ll admit it. I love Harry Potter. While I don’t love J.K. Rowling, loving the characters she created is a different story. So the continuation of that world with this movie was an obvious watch for me. And I thoroughly enjoyed it, it wasn’t life-changing or anything but I liked it nonetheless. I don’t see myself rewatching it in the future due to its two dimensional plot, but I’ll look back on it with a little fondness.
6/10
Watch on HBO Max

Day Eight: “The Menu”
Having 11 people on a private island to eat an expensive 10-course meal took an unexpected dark turn. I consider myself a foodie, so watching this movie satisfied me on multiple levels. The first being visually with calming b-roll shots that offset the horrors that were happening in the kitchen. The next level of satisfaction came from the dialogue. It was so well balanced between each character and flowed deliciously. I think it’s better to watch the movie without any expectations, so I won’t spoil anything else, but this will definitely be in my top five favorite movies of the year.
10/10
Watch on HBO Max

Day Nine: “Sucker Punch”
Trying to escape the asylum turns into a comical heist with impressive action scenes and an amazing soundtrack. I’ve heard that this movie is a bit of a cult classic, so I didn’t know what to expect. What I was met with was a little more than disappointment. The whole premise is centered around a girl named “Babydoll” and she basically escapes an asylum by dancing. The whole plot felt dumb and unfulfilling and I definitely don’t recommend it.
3/10
Watch on Amazon

Day 10: “Where the Wild Things Are”
A boy named Max runs away to his imaginary land and befriends beasts along the way. I barely remember watching this movie when I was a kid, so rewatching it felt very nostalgic. It felt like a fever dream the entire time I was watching it but in the best way possible. I don’t know if I’d watch it again for a long time since there’s nothing amazing about it other than the nostalgia factor, but I don’t regret watching it. This movie is the perfect comfort movie when you’re sad.
5/10
Watch on Amazon

Day 11: “20th Century Women”
Following the lives of several different women who have their stories intertwined created a perfectly well balanced story. I wasn’t expecting to bawl my eyes out while I watched this film, but it happened nonetheless. The stories of numerous women and people in general were told through a complex plot that kept me interested from the very beginning till the end, which isn’t very hard to do, yet it felt as if nobody had accomplished what this movie did while I was watching. I felt captivated by the characters and setting and their stories as I watched, I’ll definitely be watching again and soon.
9/10
Watch on Amazon

Day 12: “Knives Out”
A detective named Benoit Blanc is hired to solve the mystery of famous crime novelist Harlan Thrombey. Don’t worry, I won’t give any spoilers on who dunnit, however I will gush over how amazing this movie was. I was expecting an amazing movie with how stacked the cast list was, but nothing could’ve prepared me for how invested in the murder mystery I’d get. I transformed into a detective while watching. Sadly, I didn’t pick the correct suspect, but I didn’t even care because of how good the ending was. “Knives Out” is a movie for everyone, maybe not young children.
9/10
Watch on Amazon

Day 13: “Alita: Battle Angel”
Alita is a cyborg that has lost all of her memories, she slowly discovers why she was made and how she wants to live her life. This movie came out in 2019 and I watched it when it first released, but forgot everything about it. And I have no idea why because it’s unlike anything I’ve watched before. Alita was a super likable main character that I resonated with a lot. The action scenes were amazing and the CGI was insane. I honestly can’t wait for the sequel.
8/10
Watch on Amazon

Day 14: “Zoolander”
A famous male model loses his popularity because of the newer male model on the scene. I watched this movie because clips of it were plaguing my “For You Page” on “TikTok”. It seemed hilarious and that’s what it is, how could a comedy with Ben Stiller not be. I laughed at almost every single joke that was told throughout the movie. Every character had a charismatic air that kept me pulled in. Even though the dialogue was silly and unserious, I remained invested in the story till the end. I don’t think anything will ever compare to this movie.
8/10
Watch on Amazon

Day 15: “Zoolander 2”
Derek, the main character of the first movie, is still modeling but there’s an opposing company trying to steal his spot in the industry. What I said previously about nothing comparing to “Zoolander” is still true because this movie isn’t very good. I was expecting the sequel to be just as good as the first one, if not better, but that’s definitely not the case. They threw a lot of big actors into this movie and never fully developed their characters so everything feels superficial and fake. I didn’t enjoy this movie at all.
3/10
Watch on Amazon

Day 16: “Me Before You”
A sweet caretaker gets paired with a bitter man, but the romance that blossoms between them is beautiful. Being sad before watching this movie wasn’t the best mindset to be in because I bawled my eyes out by the end. Maybe I’m just really emotional. The love story that unfolds between the two main characters is so beautiful and the plot progresses at the perfect pace. Nothing feels forced or rushed and the ending will have you in tears.
8/10
Watch on Amazon

Day 17: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”
Johnny Depp playing Willy Wonka in his fantastical chocolate factory will never get old. This is the definition of a classic. I’ll never tire of this movie for the rest of my life. The whimsical nature of each room the contestants enter never ceases to amaze me. Reading the book as a kid then getting to see it transformed into film will always make it feel more special. The cinematography, dialogue and visuals all contribute to this masterpiece. Watching this film will always feel like a warm hug.
8/10
Watch on HBO Max

Day 18: “Twilight”
For as much hate that this movie gets, it isn’t that bad. I think guys just like to hate on things a lot of girls like. And I can understand why a lot of girls love this franchise. Attractive people doing stupid things will always be interesting to me and “Twilight” is no different. Even though a lot of the dialogue makes me cringe, the visuals make up for it. Watching this movie makes me want to become a vampire and live in a forest for the rest of my life.
7/10
Watch on Amazon

Day 19: “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”
I love romantic comedies, so I don’t know why it took me so long to watch this movie. It’s literally perfect in every way. I watched it at 5 a.m. and loved every second of it. Kate Hudson was perfect as the leading woman, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her anytime she was on screen. And this movie was so funny, I wasn’t expecting it most of the time. The dialogue between every character felt so natural and comical that I was laughing throughout the entire movie.
10/10
Watch on Netflix

Day 20: “21 Jump Street”
Two cops going undercover at a high school leads to some hilarious dialogue and physical comedy. This movie definitely isn’t school appropriate so I’ll keep it short and sweet. I thought it was a hilarious movie with a perfect balance between the two main characters that were played by Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. It’s a mature lighthearted comedy with a lot of laughs.
7/10
Watch on Netflix

Day 21: “The Royal Tenenbaums”
A mother’s three children unexpectedly move back into her house and a lot of funny business ensues. Wes Anderson is my favorite director of all time so it’s a no brainer that I loved this movie. The story was executed beautifully and the large number of characters didn’t feel overwhelming at all. All of them intertwined into the masterpiece of a film that is “The Royal Tenenbaums.” Anderson’s directing style is very distinct and enjoyable to watch, and if you’ve never watched one of his films I recommend you start with this one.
10/10
Watch on Hulu

Day 22: “Kiki’s Delivery Service”
A coming of age movie surrounding a witch battling with the struggles of growing up. Cute. That’s the word to sum up this entire movie. I found myself awing at multiple scenes within the film. And it being a Studio Ghibli movie means my automatic adoration of the soundtrack and visuals. I’ll never tire of the way Studio Ghibli movies make me feel, like I’ve seen the movie a million times even if it’s my first time watching it.
9/10
Watch on HBO Max

Day 23: “Kill Bill: Vol. 2”
The Bride continues her journey to take revenge on all of the assassins that tried to murder her. I watched “Kill Bill” many years ago, so being thrown into the second one was a little jarring at first but I picked up my bearings quickly. And once I did everything made sense. I don’t know how much of an unpopular opinion this is but I enjoyed the second movie so much more than the first. Everything combined together in such a satisfying way. And the action scenes were unreal.
8/10
Watch on Amazon

Day 24: “Ready or Not”
A family tradition turns deadly following the wedding of a new couple. I wasn’t expecting to like this movie as much as I did. I was expecting to be met with a quirky horror movie, but this movie is so much more. Scary movies that are made without an overbearing amount of jumpscares will always be viewed as superior to me. And that’s exactly what “Ready or Not” is. The ending also blew my mind and took a twist I wasn’t expecting.
7/10
Watch on Amazon

Day 25: “The Edge of Seventeen”
Hailee Steinfeld portrays a perfect teenager going through inner turmoil. I will watch any movie that Haille Steinfeld is in and this one is no exception. While I found her character to be insufferable, I understood where she was coming from most of the time. And this really just felt like a real depiction of what turning 18 feels like. It was a cozy watch that happened at 1 a.m. and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
8/10
Watch on Amazon

Day 26: “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”
From the same director of “Knives Out”, this movie is just as good but not better. After watching “Knives Out,” I knew that I needed to watch this spinoff. That was an amazing decision made by me because I absolutely adored this movie. It’s very different from its predecessor, but that’s okay because I don’t think it would have achieved the original if it tried. In fact, it’s so much better being completely different. And again the twist ending was amazing.
9/10
Watch on Netflix

Day 27: “Lady Bird”
One of, if not, my favorite coming of age movie. Following a girl who renamed herself Lady Bird and goes through the battles of senior year. Greta Gerwig is a brilliant director and the way this movie turned out is a testament to that. You can feel all of Lady Bird’s emotions even when she doesn’t voice them out loud. And you can relate to all of her problems even if you haven;t experienced them yourself. Everything in this movie made sense and every scene had a purpose. I can’t stop rewatching this movie and I even got a movie poster to hang in my room.
10/10
Watch on HBO Max

Day 28: “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”
Following multiple different people through their journeys of love is what this movie is all about. I’ve seen this movie play on the TV when I was younger, but I never sat down to watch it. I really wanted to like it more than I did, but it was immensely overwhelming to me. I didn’t form any emotional connection to the characters and felt bored while watching.
4/10
Watch on Netflix

Day 29: “The Maze Runner”
Dystopian is one of my favorite genres and “The Maze Runner” pulls it off perfectly. My favorite part about this movie is the natural dialogue that’s shared between everyone. It makes it so easy to form opinions about the characters and to create emotional connections with them. It was a breath of fresh air compared to the movie I watched on the previous day.
8/10
Watch on Hulu

Day 30: “All the Bright Places”
A boy saves a girl from making a stupid decision and a friendship blossoms between them. I had no idea that this movie had a sad ending until I watched it. I literally needed to pause the movie so I could go cry in my bathroom. The romance that blossomed between the two main characters made everything so much more powerful by the end of the movie. I also love Elle Fanning as an actress, she played her role seamlessly. If you have a faint heart, I advise against this movie because it’s honestly hard to watch.
9/10
Watch on Netflix

Day 31: “Alice in Wonderland”
“Alice in Wonderland” was my favorite story as a kid, and it still is, so this movie adaptation holds a very close place to my heart. Even though the visuals may not be the best, none of that matters because of how amazing the world building, or how immersive the movie is. I always feel like I’m in Wonderland right next to Alice when I watch this movie. The plot is wonderfully made and pairs with the original story in a natural way. This movie really is for everyone and it’s especially made for me.
10/10
Watch on Disney Plus