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Films of the Decade Rankdown


Alex95
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20. The Master

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14.4/20

@NGM - 4/20

@#jeah - 7/20

@totes4totes - 9/20

@*Chris - 13/20

@Elliott - 13/20

@1234567890 - 16/20

@aliasocfan - 18/20

@Deeee - 18/20

Public - 20/20

@.Rei - 20/20

@Steven_ - 20/20

 

Nico

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This is one of the best acted movies I have seen. Between the performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman (may he rest in peace), Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix… just such a great film. I think it’s super easy to make a case for Hoffman’s performance being one of the best, if not the best, male acting performance of the decade. And this is also my favorite performance that Amy Adams has ever given (Joaquin has better tho, but it’s still pretty strong). I think this movie maybe can rank high? I know it had a few close calls but hoping for the best.

 

Andy

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I actually….kinda...liked the movie even more on my rewatch last week? Or at least it cemented my love for this movie. PTA is one of the greatest directors of all time. His style is unique and he’s got a very distinct feel to his movies. The Master might actually be my favorite movie of his. There’s not really a big “I drink your milkshake” scene like maybe some of his other movies have. It’s a bit of a slow burner with lots of wacky, wistful scenes but underneath is a really genius character study and also unique look at cults (basically Scientology). I am amazed at Joaquin Phoenix here, he is frighteningly committed to his role as a really fcked up but complex man who stumbles his way into The Cause, led by an equally amazing PSH. Obviously shoutout to Amy Adams for nailing her role as a loyal and steely wife of the leader of this cult. Overall I don’t expect to see this movie with a high ranking, but I think it’s visually gorgeous and a great ride from start to finish.

 

Megan

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Paul Thomas Anderson is a very good director and since Mark Wahlberg being in Boogie Nights gives me like not great feelings about rewatching Boogie Nights ever again, The Master is my de facto favorite (though Phantom Thread is a close second). AGAIN the Academy Awards mean nothing because easily both Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams should have won awards. Additionally this movie wasn't even nominated for Screenplay, Director, or Picture. It's a brilliant movie and even more enjoyable when you love crazy scientology-like cults like I do. I do think this is a movie that you either really like or you don't feel anything at all about. Thankfully enough people in this rankdown really liked it so that it could rightfully make the Top 20. 

 

Chris

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Out of this Top 20, "The Master" is one of the last movie I had the chance to watch and I am really glad I was able to watch it because I only have positive things to say about this movie.  The movie is super intriguing from the start, and it really takes off around the 1 hour mark - personally speaking, that's when it really capture my attention, and I knew the movie was something special.  From the writing & screenplay to the direction of the movie, it is truly a masterpiece filled with the right amount of "weirdness" in certain scenes. But what really sold me on the movie was the acting of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Rami Malek, Laura Dern, and especially Joaquin Phoenix who was the star of the movie - he is truly one of the best in the business & I am continually amazed at how he's able to get into each character that he portrays so perfectly.  And I truly believe a an argument could be made at how Phoenix, Seymour Hoffman, and Adams should have won the Oscar over the winner that year. 

 

With that being, while I really enjoyed the movie, I am not sure if it is one that I would rewatch. And I am ranking it at this spot as I have a bigger attachments to the movies that I ranked higher than it - I'd be happy with it as a winner, although I doubt that will be the case. 

 

Elliott

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One of the couple movies in the final ranking I haven't seen yet (and was sadly unable to watch because of work), so I just used Randomizer to determine its placement. It looks interesting, though.

 

Victoria

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So I never got a chance to watch this film. :dead: It was like last on my list and I just said screw it and didn't watch it. I still don't know how it won for the year 2012 but maybe it's good and I just don't know it? Maybe I was just bitter it won for the year 2012 and I have never seen it. :dead: I didn't rank it last because I don't feel it's a threat to win and it shouldn't rank last just because I haven't seen it. :giggle: The Master was released in 2012 and is anAmerican psychological drama film. It was written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. The movie stars Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. It tells the story of Freddie Quell who is a World War II navy veteran struggling to adjust to a post-war society. He meets Lancaster Dodd who is a leader of a religious movement known as "The Cause". The description doesn't really interest me so I don't regret not watching it for this rankdown. The trailer looks okay. I do love Amy and Philip though. The film was produced by Annapurna Pictures and Ghoulardi Film Company and distributed by The Weinstein Company. The movie was nominated for three Oscars so maybe the movie is good. The film made $28.3 million dollars at the box office against a budget of $32 million dollars. So essentially it lost money. The film has a score of 85% on rt. That is all and let us see where this movie ranks.

 

Anne

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This movie has Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Rami Malek and Laura Dern in it? Yet I have not watched it yet? I was slacking. (Shoutout to Candace from You. I did not recognize her name when I looked at the cast) 
Huh. Perhaps I understand why I did not watch this movie previously. It is odd. Not going to lie to you all, I was captivated. I was interested, but wow. They like pushing the main character as not being a particularly great person. He is a drunk. He is exceptionally aggressive. Pretty sure he poisoned someone just because they resemble his dad? He is a grown man that is in love with a child. Apparently he slept with his own aunt just because? wtf? I am alarmed. 
Perhaps I need to take a shower or find Jesus after watching this movie. 

 

Dee

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"If you figure a way to live without serving a master, any master, then let the rest of us know, will you? For you'd be the first person in the history of the world."

 

What is The Master really about? Is it about the birth of Scientology? Is it about a fictional cult known as "The Cause?" is it about life post World War II? Is it about a twisted, gay love story between two very damaged men? Is the film an exercise in acting and not about anything in particular? Knowing the filmmaker that is Paul Thomas Anderson, the film is probably about all of these things. Maybe about none of them. Such is the beauty of his direction, writing, and artistry. 

 

At the very least, we know the film tells the story of Freddie Quell, a World War II veteran with violent behaviors and clear mental illnesses, who just happens upon meeting a man named Lancaster Dodd, a leader of a religious movement he has named, "The Cause." Quell drunkenly sneaks onto a boat charted by Dodd and his family and followers, as they set sail to celebrate the marriage of Dodd's daughter. Dodd forms an unusual liking of Quell, inviting him to join The Cause and travel with his family. Quell reciprocates this affection, taking a "liking" to the teachings and methodologies of The Cause and traveling with Dodd + company, most notably his wife, Peggy Dodd, and his two children + new son-in-law. 

 

What ensues is a flurry of disturbing psychological tests that expose the traumas of Quell, a battery of tests made up on the fly by Dodd and peddled as medical practice. Quell rabidly defends the integrity of Dodd and The Cause. Dodd furiously defends Quell as his friend, refusing to give up on the man he claims can be cured by his ways. A relationship is born between the two that is questioned by other members, threatened by Freddie ruining the already questioned and maligned reputation of the group.

 

the film sounds pretty straightforward, but the various inspirations Anderson has cited for the film make this a unique viewing experience. As Quell and Dodd are questioned in the film, you as a viewer question the nature of the film and the story. What is it all about? 

 

Filmed in 65mm and screened in 70mm, scored by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, The Master is unique from conception to execution. As a huge PTA fan (except for Phantom Thread, sorry again), I had a hard time with this film upon first viewing. 

 

The cast deliver brilliant performances. Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Rami Malek, Ambyr Childers, Jesse Plemons. It is hard to find a 2010s film with such exacting, masterful acting. Phoenix, Hoffman, and Adams are beyond brilliant, each of them earning an Academy Award nomination for their performances. Well-deserved, because each of their characters frighteningly come to life. The unhinged veteran with unclear ambitions. The slimy charlatan with very clear ambitions. The unnerving, unwavering woman often pulling the strings and calling the shots, demanding devotion. Each of them feel so intangible on paper, but so real on screen. Three masters of their craft together in such a uniquely creative space is not often an opportunity presented to cinephiles like myself.

 

Hence why the unclear intentions of the film really troubled me at first. The film is so brilliantly made and written by Anderson, intentionally shielding the viewers from the truth of the film. What lies at its core. The film is deliberately designed to frustrate the viewer. There is no clarity. There is no linearity. There is no resolution. The film simply exists, challenging the viewer to make of it what they will. Hence why the film is so frustrating! But also so incredibly unique and wonderful. Most artists seek to make their message deliberately clear for the consumer. The Master is far more concerned with doing the exact opposite. The film actively avoids conforming to expectations. Instead, it simply employs the talents of all-involved to create an immersive experience that runs on mood and ambition.

 

Despite this shared frustration, the film was widely acclaimed upon release, and even more beloved today. At least for me, The Master is so phenomenal because it is an experience that is different every time you return to it. One viewing will convince me the film is solidly about the furtive homosexual nature of the two men at the head of the film. One viewing will convince me the film is a pretty bleak look into the births of Scientology. One viewing will convince me the film is truly about nothing, a blank canvas that is purposefully opaque so as to keep its secrets contained.

 

One thing is for certain, The Master deserved all of the attention it received. It is immaculately made in every aspect. As cheesy as it sounds, this feels like the embodiment of the word "art." I love it a ton, and though it is not my favorite film of 2012, I am not mad that it stands out as the top film of the year. Because there is no other cinematic experience like it. I suspect it will rank pretty low, which is fair. This is not a movie for everybody, but it is a movie that should be watched by everybody.

 

Alex

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The Master is completely driven by its performances from Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, and especially Philip Seymour Hoffman. While I do think the movie is a bit too long, I remained completely engrossed in it the entire time thanks to the acting, and PTA’s directing as well. Hoffman specifically delivers one of my favorite performances in the history of film. He is so calm and confident the entire time, but also completely menacing and psychotic. He struck that balance perfectly and I believed his performance entirely. There are a few key scenes in the film that stick out like the jail scene, the processing scene, and my personal favorite the pigf*ck scene. I also think it tells an important message about the dangers of cults and fanaticism. I ended up ranking it 16th. There’s just a lot of movies I love here and I didn’t really connect with The Master emotionally. If you cut 45 minutes from the film, I think it could be a bit cleaner and more people would like it. Having said that, I am nitpicking a bit because I definitely love this movie and I’m happy to see it here in the end.

 

Tom

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I see this stars Andy's favorite old actor Joaquin Phoenix. I'm not the biggest war movie fan but I'm sure he did a good job!

 

Rei

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Well this might be an unpopular opinion but I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would. The movie was too long and it just dragged too much without nothing really happening. I appreciated the acting from Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Phillip Seymour which was super strong but I didn't enjoy the whole story. I think I would have preferred the movie to either solely focus on The Cause and The Master or just on Freddie. I know I might be in the minority with this opinion, as I read the reviews where I saw that it was heavily acclaimed with many deeming it the best movie of 2012, but I can honestly say that this film is by far my least favorite from this group and I wouldn't have it in this top 20, not even in my top 100 from the 2010's.

 

Rei Score: 63/100 

 

Steven

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I did not see The Master before the Top 20 of this rankdown was determined. I didn't even know what it was about. However, since it's available to stream on Netflix, I sat down and watched it. Unfortunately, I didn't like the movie at all. The performances and cinematography were good, but the movie was so slow and didn't go anywhere.

 

The Master is about a troubled World War II veteran named Frankie Quell (played by Joaquin Phoenix) stumbling upon a cult led by Lancaster Dodds (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman). Frankie gets wrapped up in the cult, even becoming so loyal to Dodds that he reacts violently to anyone who criticizes him. The two form a close bond, but then they go their separate ways by the end. And that's pretty much all there is to the film.

 

I didn't like the structure of the film. There was really no storyline or character development. It dragged for two hours, and by the end I questioned what was the point of the whole film. Critics and fans of the film might say I just didn't "get it." According to Rotten Tomatoes, it has an 85% approval rating and says, "Smart and solidly engrossing, The Master extends Paul Thomas Anderson's winning streak of challenging films for serious audiences." Regardless, I didn't find this to be a worthwhile movie-watching experience, so The Master lands at the bottom of my ranking of this Top 20. 

 

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