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The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

Movie Madness

Finding the best movie released in 2023-2024
Movie+Madness
Ina Rhee

Movies. The pinnacle of entertainment. The capturing of movement, emotion, light, and stories. Everyone loves a good movie. It’s so hard for anyone to pick their favorite. In fact, just in 2023-2024, there have been many great, notable and unique films released. So why don’t we put some of them against each other in a bracket and find out which ones are the best?

Some basic information: in this competition, we’ll be judging movies based on story, art, cinematography, and our own personal opinions, so please do not get too angry with us if we end up eliminating your favorite movie. Which we will.

Anyways, here are the movies we’ve selected:

Courtesy of IMDb

Dune: Part 2 

This movie, based on the book that inspired Star Wars and the sequel of Dune: Part One (2021), is a ruthless science fiction movie about a chilling prophecy, a ruthless empire, the most dangerous planet in the universe, and a young man’s rise to power and revenge. This movie has great worldbuilding (one of its planets is completely black and white), has unique music (they made their own hybrid instruments), and is a breath of fresh air to the genre of science fiction.

Courtesy of IMDb

The Holdovers

The Holdovers is a simple slice of life movie following a teenager, a history teacher and a cafeteria lady spending Christmas break together. While it may not seem like it, this simple story makes you feel great and is actually one of the best movies of the 2023.

Courtesy of Amazon

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (GOTG3) 

Although the MCU has mostly fallen off, GOTG3 is a clear exception. It’s just as well written, funny and emotional as the first two movies, but it also has many aspects that make the movie its own. This movie is darker, explores new backstories and relationships, and has a bittersweet but satisfying ending. There are a few flaws, including the three fake out deaths, but besides that, GOTG3 is an amazing movie.

Courtesy of IMDb

Oppenheimer 

Oppenheimer was one of the most popular movies in 2023 for a reason. Following the development of the atomic bomb, its engaging and unique story, shocking twists and breathtaking explosion scene make it a serious contender in this bracket. 

Courtesy of Moviepedia

Barbie 

With this playfulness, message, and humor, it’s the perfect movie to watch on a Friday night with a group of best friends, buckets full of candy and popcorn, and the desire to just relax. Barbie is about a regular Barbie doll who suddenly has an existential crisis during a journey to the human world,  she learns about being a real woman and the reality of society. 

Courtesy of IMDb

Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse 

This movie is an artistic masterpiece and the perfect sequel. They literally took three years to animate a single character! But while the visuals are stunning, the story can get repetitive at times, like do we really need to hear “Alright, let’s do this one last time…” before almost every character introduction?

Courtesy of IMDb

The Boy and the Heron

To start off, this whole movie. This whole two hour movie. Was hand drawn. Drawn with real people’s hands. It took Studio Ghibli 7 years just to make this movie. 7 years of people drawing incredibly detailed frames with their hands! And the art in this movie is breathtaking, a breath of fresh air compared to the washed out and Sofia the First look of another movie (definitely and totally not talking about Wish).

Courtesy of Amazon

Avatar: The Way of Water 

Despite releasing December 2022, we’re counting this movie. Avatar 2, is a good film that follows new characters, locations and relationships from the first movie. However, the problem is that as a sequel to Avatar, one of the highest grossing and most beloved movies of all time, it’s a little disappointing.

Ina Rhee

With that out of the way, here is the bracket from which these movies will compete! Who will be eliminated? Who will win?

Round One: 

Ina Rhee

The bracket has officially begun! So far, Dune: Part 2, The Holdovers, Spiderman: Across the Spider Verse, and Barbiesurvived. Meanwhile, GOTG3, Oppenheimer, The Boy and the Heron,  and Avatar 2: The Way of Water have been eliminated. Why? 

Avatar 2: The Way of Water, while good, is nowhere near as good as the first and Guardians 3, while close in quality with Barbie, has some plotlines that don’t go anywhere. Despite the beauty of The Boy and the Heron, it can be slow and difficult to understand at times, compared to Spider-Verse and its fast paced and engaging plot. And even though no one else will agree with this choice, Oppenheimer has been eliminated for its slightly poor pacing. 

Round Two: 

Ina Rhee

This round, the movies The Holdovers and Spiderman Across the Spider Verse are staying, while Dune: Part Two and Barbie have been eliminated. 

This round was very hard for us and sent one of us spiraling into depression, especially with the fallout of Dune: Part Two. As wonderful as the worldbuilding and story of Dune: Part Two, Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse is simply superior in art. And while both Barbie and The Holdovers are fun and comforting movies, Holdovers has a much richer story compared to Barbie.

Final Round:

Ina Rhee

After a long discussion and a really close decision, The Holdovers has been eliminated.

The Holdovers is a very interesting movie. It’s extremely simple, and in today’s era, simple movies like The Holdovers aren’t really made anymore, and it’s an amazing change of pace compared to any other movie. However this simplicity can also work against it, since it’s not very ambitious unlike Spider Verse, and for that reason, Spiderverse wins.

 

Despite this answer, do not let it discourage you from enjoying your favorite movies. And please do not chase after us for eliminating your personal favorite, we are innocent.

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