Movies Watched, February 2019

Still from “The LEGO Movie 2”

Last month I took my kids to go see “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” which was totally fine. It’s not exactly one for the canon, but I’ve come to the conclusion that anything that the creative team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller are involved in is worth watching. They don’t always hit it out of the park but they do always take a big swing. Even their lesser movies (does anyone remember “Storks”? It wasn’t bad!) are way more interesting than they need to be. It’s actually a shame that there’s no Academy Award for producing because it’s clear that there’s no way “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” would have taken home an Oscar last month if it weren’t for their involvement as producers. These two are building an amazing body of work.

Actually “The Lego Movie 2” was the only new movie I saw in theaters last month. I also managed to get out to see a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1945 classic “Spellbound,” which was showing at The Metrograph. That’s a wonderful revival theater in downtown Manhattan that, I’m embarrassed to say, I’d never been able to visit before. “Spellbound” is not premium Hitchcock, but it did inspire me to go home and watch another of the director’s movies: “Notorious.” I hadn’t seen that one since I was a teenager, and I was happy to find that it’s still as magnificent as ever. It was the best thing I watched all month.

Here are all nineteen films I watched in February.

  1. The Oath” (2018) Terrific and hilarious, even if it goes off the rails a bit.
  2. Peter Rabbit” (2018) Exceeded my very low expectations—by a little.
  3. Mission: Impossible–Fallout” (2018) Rewatchable AF.
  4. Christine” (2016) Never loses its nerve. Superb.
  5. Man from Reno” (2015) Excellent, but it’s hard to believe this movie exists. Who would finance an American movie with so few white people?!
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” (2011) I made it all the way through to the end.
  7. Upgrade” (2018) More of an update to the idea of a schlocky exploitation flick.
  8. Y Tu Mamá También” (2001) Inspired.
  9. Call Me by Your Name” (2017) Preposterous and boring.
  10. For Your Eyes Only” (1981) Man this was painful to sit through.
  11. Lady Snowblood” (1973) Still strikingly beautiful, but felt even more substantial than the first time I watched it.
  12. A Simple Favor” (2018) A bit of a shambles, but it all could’ve worked with a better director than Paul Feig.
  13. Spellbound” (1945) What “The Net” was to the Internet, this movie was to psychoanalysis.
  14. Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997) I feel bad for Pierce Brosnan; he tried so hard, but the producers never gave him anything to work with.
  15. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” (2019) Totally fine!
  16. Hail, Caesar!” (2016) You know the term “inside baseball”? This is “inside Hollywood,” but, like, old. I mean, I enjoyed every minute of it. Rewatched.
  17. Okko’s Inn” (2018) Little more than an excuse for gorgeous hand-drawn animation.
  18. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” (2019) It got me in the end, I must admit.
  19. Notorious” (1946) One of those rare films where everything went exactly right.

By the way, my new goal in life is to get these roundups posted within two weeks of the end of each month. You can also see everything I watched in January and a full list from 2018. And, if you’re interested, you can follow along with my movie diary at