Author Archives: Stephen Silver

The Big List 2017: Ranking Every Movie I Saw This Year

So this year I saw 240 movies, which were released in 2017 that I saw in 2017. This breaks my record from last year by a significant margin, for a few reasons: I had better access this year to both screenings and screeners, due in part to the advent of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle and the Film Scribes podcast. I’m also writing in more places this year.

Also, my friends in the film publicist world, both the local Allied reps and various national folks, went the extra mile this year, which is greatly appreciated. And I’d also liked to thank the Online Film Critics Society governing council, especially Dewey Singleton, for really coming through with delivering better access this year for OFCS members.

For the purposes of this list I’m including official, Oscar-eligible 2017 releases, as well as films I saw at film festivals that do not have a specific release date in any other year, whether 2016 or 2018 (so that omits Chappaquiddick and Thoroughbreds, which you can look for on next year’s list.) You can read the 2016 version of the list here, 2015 here,

As always, you can read all of my reviews at Rotten Tomatoes and on my Splice Today author page, and you can read my expanded Top Ten list article here, and my look at the year’s top documentaries here. You can also listen to and subscribe to the podcast, and come to our event at the Prince Theater on January 9. 

Thank you all, once again, for reading my reviews this year and listening to the podcast. Even after more than 20 years, I still can’t believe that I actually get to do this.

Without further ado..

The Big List 2017:

  1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  2. Get Out
  3. The Florida Project
  4. Lady Bird
  5. Call Me By Your Name
  6. Dawson City Frozen Time
  7. Coco
  8. The Post
  9. The Shape of Water
  10. Baby Driver
  11. Princess Cyd
  12. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  13. Wonderstruck
  14. Marjorie Prime
  15. Lucky
  16. Let’s Play Two
  17. Wonder Woman
  18. The Disaster Artist
  19. Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
  20. mother!
  21. Mudbound
  22. Icarus
  23. Risk
  24. Logan Lucky
  25. Wormwood
  26. Wind River
  27. Alaska is a Drag
  28. Long Strange Trip
  29. The Breadwinner
  30. Lady Macbeth
  31. Get Me Roger Stone
  32. The Work
  33. Jane
  34. Obit.
  35. BPM (Beats Per Minute)
  36. Columbus
  37. Battle of the Sexes
  38. The Big Sick
  39. The Beguiled
  40. It
  41. I, Tonya
  42. Spider-man: Homecoming
  43. Thor: Ragnarok
  44. Dunkirk
  45. American Made
  46. The Meyerowitz Stories: New and Selected
  47. Last Flag Flying
  48. A Ghost Story
  49. Blade Runner 2049
  50. The Lego Batman Movie
  51. The Greatest Showman
  52. Atomic Blonde
  53. Detroit
  54. The Square
  55. Nocturama
  56. Faces Places
  57. One of Us
  58. Quest
  59. I Called Him Morgan
  60. Colossal
  61. The Little Hours
  62. Five Came Back
  63. A Gray State
  64. Ex Libres The New York Public Library
  65. Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond
  66. Long Shot
  67. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
  68. May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers
  69. All The Queen’s Horses
  70. Oklahoma City
  71. Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent
  72. The Force
  73. Darkest Hour
  74. A Quiet Passion
  75. Girls Trip
  76. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
  77. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  78. Logan
  79. John Wick Chapter 2
  80. Okja
  81. Their Finest
  82. The Hero
  83. Beauty and the Beast
  84. The Blackcoat’s Daughter
  85. The Hitman’s Bodyguard
  86. Brad’s Status
  87. Dean
  88. Marshall
  89. Menashe
  90. First They Killed My Father
  91. Rough Night
  92. Strong Island
  93. Gilbert
  94. Step
  95. LA 92
  96. Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold
  97. 11/8/16
  98. Loving Vincent
  99. Last Men in Aleppo
  100. City of Ghosts
  101. Beauty and the Dogs
  102. The Wall
  103. Human Flow
  104. Gook
  105. Brigsby Bear
  106. The Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis
  107. The Ballad of Lefty Brown
  108. At the Drive In
  109. Let It Fall: Los Angeles, 1982-1992
  110. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
  111. Tickling Giants
  112. Thelma
  113. Gifted
  114. Gerald’s Game
  115. Graduation
  116. Personal Shopper
  117. All the Money in the World
  118. Victoria & Abdul
  119. Brawl in Cell Block 99
  120. Murder on the Orient Express
  121. Ingrid Goes West
  122. After the Storm
  123. The Last Laugh
  124. Dina
  125. Gaga: Five Foot Two
  126. AlphaGo
  127. Cries From Syria
  128. The Fate of the Furious
  129. Crown Heights
  130. The Problem With Apu
  131. My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea
  132. All These Sleepless Nights
  133. The Women’s Balcony
  134. The Man Who Invented Christmas
  135. Megan Leavey
  136. The Lost City of Z
  137. It Comes at Night
  138. Contemporary Color
  139. Kedi
  140. In the Fade
  141. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
  142. California Typewriter
  143. Philadelphia and the Invention of Movies
  144. Disgraced
  145. Whitney: Can I Be Me
  146. Elian
  147. Ferdinand
  148. Karl Marx City
  149. Alien: Covenant
  150. Roman J. Israel, Esq.
  151. Phantom Thread
  152. Molly’s Game
  153. I Love You, Daddy
  154. Wait For Your Laugh
  155. The Lovers
  156. The Lure
  157. The Incredible Jessica James
  158. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
  159. Beatriz at Dinner
  160. Wonder Wheel
  161. Mobile Homes
  162. The Death of Louis XIV
  163. Kong: Skull Island
  164. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  165. Goon: Last of the Enforcers
  166. England is Mine
  167. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
  168. A Bad Moms Christmas
  169. A Cure For Wellness
  170. Raw
  171. Donald Cried
  172. Land of Mine
  173. Landline
  174. Bright Lights: Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds
  175. The Final Year
  176. Cars 3
  177. Boss Baby
  178. Justice League
  179. Chasing Coral
  180. The Dinner
  181. Patti Cake$
  182. Carrie Pilby
  183. Whose Streets?
  184. Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
  185. I Don’t Feel At Home in this World Anymore
  186. Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
  187. Holy Air
  188. Scaffolding
  189. Bloody Milk
  190. Everything, Everything
  191. Good Time
  192. Power Rangers
  193. Lemon
  194. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
  195. Lost in Paris
  196. The Zookeeper’s Wife
  197. Voyeur
  198. Nobody Speak: Trials of a Free Press
  199. Rebel in the Rye
  200. The Human Surge
  201. Beware the Slenderman
  202. To the Bone
  203. Person to Person
  204. All Eyez on Me
  205. T2: Trainspotting
  206. War Machine
  207. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
  208. Despicable Me 3
  209. The Last Word
  210. The Bad Batch
  211. Sister of Mine
  212. The Glass Castle
  213. The Great Wall
  214. The Hatred
  215. Wilson
  216. Snatched
  217. Split
  218. Song to Song
  219. Free Fire
  220. Sweet Country
  221. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
  222. CHIPS
  223. Pitch Perfect 3
  224. Fun Mom Dinner
  225. Most Beautiful Island
  226. Table 19
  227. The House
  228. Going in Style
  229. The Space Between Us
  230. Goodbye, Christopher Robin
  231. The Circle
  232. Downsizing
  233. Baywatch
  234. The Mummy
  235. Fifty Shades Darker
  236. Bright
  237. Suburbicon
  238. The Dark Tower
  239. The Only Living Boy in New York
  240. Fist Fight

Did not see (reputedly good): Hostiles, Stronger, A Fantastic Woman, Foxtrot, Citizen Jane: Battle For the City, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Rat Film, LBJ

Did not see (reputedly bad): Transformers: The Last Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Emoji Movie, The Book of Henry, The Snowman, Daddy’s Home 2,


My 20 Favorite Things I Wrote in 2017

2017 was quite a year for me, as a writer. I’ve been full-time freelance for seven of the 12 months, and in that time I’ve gotten to do a lot of stuff I’ve been talking about doing for years, including starting a film critics group and podcast, and even taking steps towards putting together a book proposal. I’ve also expanding the outlets I’m writing for, with hopefully more to come in the new year. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. The Many Kinds of Baseball Families: A League of Their Own at 25” (, June 12.) Roger Ebert is a formative influence on me as a writer and I probably wouldn’t be a film critic today if not for him, so it was a thrill to finally have my work on the site that bears his name- especially while writing about a film that’s always meant a lot to me.
  2. The Story Behind That Warehouse” (, August 9.) Most people who live in the Philadelphia suburbs know the warehouse, but most don’t know the story behind it. So I looked into it and discovered the amazing, 60-year story that starts with a rock single from the 1960s.
  3. Big Screen Blues” (Broad Street Review, June 5.) I’ve been complaining for a long time that there isn’t a great movie theater, or enough movie screens, in Philadelphia, so I wrote it.
  4. Political Correctness is Not Killing Comedy” (Screen Rant, October 4.) Much as I hate to disagree with Mel Brooks, I once again flogged a longtime hobby horse of mine here.
  5. Bruce Prichard, Wrestling’s Brother Love, Brings Show to Philly” (, July 24.) I got to talk to the guy who played Brother Love in WWE- and now hosts one of the world’s best podcasts- before his recent live show.
  6. Fist Fight is Ugly and Sinister” (Splice Today, February 17.) I wrote a lot of movie reviews this year, but this one, of the year’s worst movies, 8was probably the angriest.
  7. Is the Mystery of Ga-ga, Everyone’s Favorite Summer Camp Game, Finally Solved?” (Tablet, August 2.) A year after I looked into the summer camp sport’s beginnings, I heard from a guy who says he invented the game himself.
  8. Markelle Fultz and the Catch-22 of Playing Hurt” (NBC Sports Philadelphia, October 25.) I wrote about how insane it is to vilify athletes for not wanting to play hurt.
  9. The Final Fall of Pete Rose” (Splice Today, August 11.) I wrote about how Jim Gray was right: Pete Rose has been his own worst enemy, and continues to be.
  10. The Documentaries of 2017: When Best Laid Plans Go Beautifully Awry” (Living Life Fearless, December 6.) I looked into why most of the year’s best documentaries ended up much differently from how they were originally planned.
  11. How the NFL Anthem Controversy (Mostly) Missed Pennsylvania” (50 States of Blue, December 8.) My first big essay for the political site at which I’m now Pennsylvania correspondent.
  12. Where Do the Muppets Go From Here?” (Screen Rant, July 27.) After the firing of Steve Whitmire as Kermit, I looked at what comes next for the Muppets franchise.
  13. Johnny From Dirty Dancing Pops the Question to State Mate” (Philly Voice, May 23.) My wife and I went to see the “Dirty Dancing” stage musical for our 10th anniversary- and after show, the actor playing Johnny proposed to the actress playing Penny . She said yes, and I interviewed both of them a few days later.
  14. “The Case For Casting Kyle MacLachlan” (Living Life Fearless, October 6.) I made the case why “Twin Peaks: The Return” should mean renewed stardom for its leading man.
  15. Philly Geek Awards Celebrate Nerds Far and Wide” (, August 28.) I was happy to cover the Philly Geek Awards for the first time, as it honored everyone from hackers to doctors to political activists.
  16. Has Game of Thrones Been Foreshadowing Daenerys’ Death?” (Screen Rant, September 11.) I tried my hand at Game of Thrones speculation, in pointing out a whole bunch of random references to a single arrow striking Khaleesi.
  17. The Chappaquiddick Film Couldn’t be More Timely- So Why the Delay?” (Living Life Fearless, November 28.) I covered the Philadelphia Film Festival for four different publications, and this one dealt with a film that hasn’t been released it- so I wrote about why.
  18. Three Billboards, Lady Bird Among the Best of the Philadelphia Film Festival” (Splice Today, October 31.) I also looked at some of the best films of the festival (and the year.)
  19. “SuiteWorld 2017 Highlights Part 1 and Part 2 (, April.) At my former day job, I returned to my CES roots and covered a big tech event in Las Vegas.
  20. Lessons From the Wonder Woman Wars” (Screen Rant, June 30.) I look at the many controversies- feminist, political, Israeli- related to the release of Wonder Woman.

A Podcast is Born

I’ve been talking about doing a movie podcast for what seems like years, probably because it has been years. We were actually on the verge of launching one, with equipment purchased and everything, when TechnologyTell closed back in the summer of 2015.

My friend Rich Heimlich and I had been talking about launching both a Philadelphia film critics group and a podcast for years, and now, happily, we’ve launched both. You can check out the first three episodes of the Film Scribes podcast- the first two of which I’m in, right here, and you can also subscribe on iTunes, and even leave us a nice review if you so choose. We record every Sunday at The Olde Bar, in the old Bookbinders on Walnut Street in Old City, and it’s usually online on Tuesdays.

On the first episode we previewed the recently completed Philadelphia Film Festival, and on the third my colleagues recapped it, and I’m happy to have spread my coverage of the fest over three different outlets

  • I reviewed I, Tonya and The Florida Project at Broad Street Review.
  • I reviewed three of the festival’s best films, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Lady Bird, and Alaska is a Drag, at Splice Today.
  • And I wrote about the award given to Bruce Willis by M. Night Shyamalan, at Philly Voice.
  • On the day of the Willis event, I was happy to present a discussion of the movie Denial at Temple Sinai in Dresher, PA, as part of Hot Dog and a Movie Night (We thought about calling it “Hot Dogs and Holocaust Denial,” but…) Anyway, if you’re at a synagogue or another institution and would like to host me for such an event, get in touch with me.
  • As always, you can read all of my movie reviews at my Rotten Tomatoes page.
  • In addition to that, I recently took on a new part-time role as Northeast Regional Casting Reporter for If you have any movie, TV or theater casting notices in Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, Cleveland or Cincinnati, let me know.
  • I’ve got another new gig coming up that I can’t talk about yet, but soon. I also had one book project I was working on, stalled out with it, and started working on another one. More on that later.

A few other recent writings of mine:

And finally, speaking of which: I’m thinking about launching a Patreon-supported website, in which I would write, five days a week, columns about Philadelphia sports. Would you be interested in reading about this? Donating to it? If so, let me know.


A Pirate Looks at 39

Today is my 39th birthday. Not quite as big a deal as 40, I realize, but at least I know that, at least by current presidential standards, I can be this age and still be considered “a good boy” and “a kid.”

On this special day, I know I have much to be thankful for, starting with my family. They inspire me and wow me, every single day. I am also very thankful that I get to do what I do for a living.

I departed FRG back in May and have been a relatively busy freelance writer throughout the summer. I am looking to add even more freelance work in the short-term, while also hopefully returning to a staff position at some point in the fall. If you’re interested in hiring me for either, or anything in between, contact me at stephensilverwriter at

I’ve long had two goals for my “age 40 season,” so to speak: Run a marathon, and write a book. On the former, I’ve been running again and will be doing the Philly 10K at the end of the August. As for the former, I have three really good ideas, and hope to have some work done on at least one of them by the end of the year.

In the meantime, since I’ve gotten away from the weekly updates lately, some things I’ve been working on:

Thanks for your support everyone!

Craig Finn: St. Louis Park Interviews Edina

craig_finn_press-1-e1470258303313A couple of weeks ago, I had the good fortune to interview Craig Finn, longtime frontman of The Hold Steady, about his new album and upcoming solo show. The interview was published the other day on PhillyVoice; you can read that here. 

Naturally, I had some questions for Finn about our shared Minnesota heritage, and about the Twins, that wouldn’t fit in a Philadelphia publication; so I’ve added that below:

SS: On the Minnesota thing, I was happy to hear references to Edina and snowbanks and things like that- “the North Stars went South,” that was a good lyric to hear. What do you think about the legacy of Minnesota music? I know Prince passed on last year and there was a lot of talk about that. How do you feel about that, and your place in it?

CF: It’s always a tricky thing, just because I’ve been in New York since 2000 and The Hold Steady started in New York and I kind of got a lot of my notoriety but I continued to sing about Minneapolis, so it confuses some people on some level.

Minneapolis is my hometown, and even though I’ve been in New York 16 years now I still feel not so much like a New Yorker but like someone who grew up in Minneapolis who’s living here. I mean, the music scene in Minneapolis is really strong, and continues to be, especially for a city of its size. Growing up, I was fortunate to catch a time where I saw sort of the trinity of rock bands, The Replacements, Husker Du and Soul Asylum, all at smaller places. So, that was very influential on me. So it seems like now it continues to be a home for great music, and obviously the hip-hop scene in Minneapolis has become a huge thing there and it continues to evolve. I don’t feel as in touch with it as I used to but I continue to be impressed when I do plug in.

SS: I always tell people that all that stuff was going on with The Replacements and Husker Du a few miles from my house when I was growing up but I was like five years old so I didn’t know anything about it. I don’t think I discovered The Replacements’ music until I was in my 20s and living in New York.

CF: I hit right at the right time.

SS: I like to tell people that when I lived in New York in the early 2000s a friend from Minneapolis visited me, we were walking around the Lower East Side and he said “I recognize all these street signs from Lou Reed lyrics.” Then I heard you guys’ music and I heard all the stuff about 494 and Lyndale and all that stuff.

CF: I think a lot of people have told me when they visited Minneapolis for the first time they were like “wow, I already know all these names.”

SS: So what about the Twins? And optimism about this year?

CF: I think they’ll lose less than 103 games. That would be going in the right direction. So that’s about as much optimism… I mean, they haven’t really made any moves, and they don’t seem to be able to deal Dozier. So, I don’t know that we can expect a great turnaround. I think… 90? We just aren’t that good, and I don’t know why we think we’ll be better this year.

SS: Well, they seem to have put smart people in charge, so that’s a step in the right direction.

CF: Smart people have to make some moves, though!

SS: So what do you do to follow the Twins from the road, or even from New York?

CF: The MLB, the app. I’m a pretty big fan of just turning on the audio, the radio. I used, in better years, I got the package, if I was going to be home a lot in the summer, but I don’t know, there’s just no need to plug in to watch them lose this much. I’d rather just listen to the radio if they’re gonna lose all the time.

SS: Do you have any blogs or podcasts you use to follow them?

CF: I read Aaron Gleeman, and I do the Star Trib, those are the big ones. They used to have a good one, I can’t remember her name, she was a woman… I think it was Batgirl.

SS:: Yea, it was Anne Ursu, Batgirl.

CF: Yea, she was great.

SS:: She did the thing with the Legos.

CF: Yea, I remember she was showing Pat Neshek’s delivery with a lego setup.

SS: Yea, I think Pat Neshek signed with the Phillies.

CF: I think he follows me on Twitter.

Note: As you can see in the thankfully restored archives of TechnologyTell, I wrote back in July 2012 about my thoughts on Minnesota music; apologies for using a couple of the same anecdotes both times.



The Big List 2016: Ranking Every Movie I Saw

The movie year 2016 is now in the books, and in that year I saw 175 movies that were 2016 releases, a new personal record, beating out last year’s previous record total of 162. Several months of unemployment helped me with the record which, lord willing, will not be broken again in 2017. My reviews, which this year appeared on, Splice Today and Broad Street Review, can all be found on Rotten Tomatoes. My more detailed top ten list is here.

Here’s my personal ranking of all 175 of the movies, as always based on no criteria other than how much I liked them:

    1. La La Land
    2. Everybody Wants Some!!
    3. Moonlight
    4. Manchester By the Sea
    5. The Edge of Seventeen
    6. Hail, Caesar!
    7. Krisha
    8. Tower
    9. Toni Erdmann
    10. I Am Not Your Negro
    11. O.J.: Made in America
    12. Hell or High Water
    13. The Nice Guys
    14. Paterson
    15. Loving
    16. Weiner
    17. Cafe Society
    18. Elle
    19. Fences
    20. The Love Witch
    21. The Lobster
    22. Zootopia
    23. Finding Dory
    24. Silence
    25. Hacksaw Ridge
    26. Hidden Figures
    27. Don’t Think Twice
    28. Creative Control
    29. Sully
    30. Tickled
    31. Kate Plays Christine
    32. De Palma
    33. Do Not Resist
    34. 13th
    35. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
    36. Kubo and the Two Strings
    37. The Witch
    38. War Dogs
    39. Elvis & Nixon
    40. Little Sister
    41. Little Men
    42. The Handmaiden
    43. Mountains May Depart
    44. A Bigger Splash
    45. Moana
    46. Gleason
    47. Nuts!
    48. Author: The J.T. Leroy Story
    49. For The Love of Spock
    50. Cameraperson
    51. The Witness
    52. Nora Ephron: Everything is Copy
    53. Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
    54. Amanda Knox
    55. Certain Women
    56. Barry
    57. Deadpool
    58. Captain America: Civil War
    59. Doctor Strange
    60. Love & Friendship
    61. Hunt For the Wilderpeople
    62. Jackie
    63. Sausage Party
    64. The Secret Life of Pets
    65. The Angry Birds Movie
    66. The Phenom
    67. The Meddler
    68. The Infiltrator
    69. Midnight Special
    70. White Girl
    71. Pete’s Dragon
    72. The Jungle Book
    73. Allied
    74. Sing Street
    75. Neon Bull
    76. Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids
    77. In Bed With Victoria
    78. Other People
    79. Army of One
    80. Wiener-Dog
    81. Southside With You
    82. Lion
    83. Christine
    84. Arrival
    85. Louder Than Bombs
    86. The Fits
    87. Chevalier
    88. Star Trek: Beyond
    89. Denial
    90. Oasis: Supersonic
    91. Holy Hell
    92. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years
    93. Becoming Mike Nichols
    94. Miss Sharon Jones
    95. Zero Days
    96. Jim: The James Foley Story
    97. Risen
    98. 10 Cloverfield Lane
    99. Blue Jay
    100. Lost in Paris
    101. News From Planet Mars
    102. Ghostbusters
    103. Mascots
    104. Bridget Jones’s Baby
    105. Bad Moms
    106. Sing
    107. Life, Animated
    108. Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper
    109. Deepwater Horizon
    110. The Accountant
    111. Eye in the Sky
    112. Nocturnal Animals
    113. Indignation
    114. The Invitation
    115. Captain Fantastic
    116. Barbershop: The Next Cut
    117. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
    118. Girl on the Train
    119. Green Room
    120. The Birth of a Nation
    121. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
    122. Hello My Name is Doris
    123. Maggie’s Plan
    124. Eddie the Eagle
    125. The Light Between Oceans
    126. Personal Shopper
    127. Jason Bourne
    128. Rules Don’t Apply
    129. The Other Side
    130. Race
    131. Uncle Kent 2
    132. The BFG
    133. Equity
    134. Tallulah
    135. Demolition
    136. Passengers
    137. Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World
    138. The Conjuring 2
    139. A Monster Calls
    140. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
    141. Trolls
    142. Pee Wee’s Big Holiday
    143. Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures
    144. Knight of Cups
    145. High-Rise
    146. Snowden
    147. Office Christmas Party
    148. Keanu
    149. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
    150. Triple 9
    151. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
    152. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
    153. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    154. All Governments Lie
    155. Miles Ahead
    156. X-Men: Apocalypse
    157. How to Be Single
    158. The Brothers Grimsby
    159. Suicide Squad
    160. Baden Baden
    161. Masterminds
    162. Can We Take a Joke?
    163. Criminal
    164. Central Intelligence
    165. Special Correspondents
    166. The Eyes of My Mother
    167. The Neon Demon
    168. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
    169. Zoolander 2
    170. London Has Fallen
    171. Dirty Grandpa
    172. Money Monster
    173. Alice Through the Looking Glass
    174. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
    175. Swiss Army Man

Did not see (Reputedly good): 20th Century Women, The Founder, Neruda, Live By Night, American Honey, No Home Movie, Florence Foster Jenkins, The Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened

Did not see (Reputedly bad): Nine Lives, Collateral Beauty, Independence Day: Resurgence, Nina, Mother’s Day, Yoga Hosers, Warcraft, Hillary’s America, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Ben-Hur, Vaxxed

The Week in Silver: Goodbye 2016 Edition

2016? Let’s just say I’ve had better years. And I don’t only mean that for Trump is President/Prince is Dead reasons.

Maybe someday I’ll write about it in more detail, but as the year began I had a job for which I was spectacularly unsuited, wasn’t very good at, and was very unhappy in.

Then in February I lost that job. I’ve been unemployed a few times as an adult- when you choose journalism as a career, that kind of goes with the territory- but this time was a little different. I started out relieved, since no longer having to go to an office that felt like walking death had its advantages. But that wore off pretty quickly, and before long I was pretty miserable in a whole other way. Call it a combination of boredom, career frustration, and the feeling that I was letting my family down.

Oh, and then my car got crashed into, with me in it, right after I parked in my driveway. My neighbor had neglected to pull the parking brake, so his car rolled down the hill into mine. No injuries, thankfully, but the car was totaled, and it freaked me out more than a little, especially when Anton Yelchin was killed a few weeks later under similar circumstances.

Luckily, in the fall things got better- I finally got a new job, slightly outside the field of pure journalism, but one that’s hugely satisfying, creatively rewarding, and with a group of people that I genuinely enjoy working with every day. (You can see my FRG work at the Anderson Frank blog, and at its Twitter account.)

In recent weeks, I’ve also had time to do some new side writing. I’m happy to be writing two pieces a week for Family Focus Media, publisher of Main Line Parent and Philadelphia Family magazines, on such fun topics as a roundup of local Star Wars events and a preview of the Home Alone performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra.

And I’m also now doing some writing for Philly Voice. In my first piece I broke a pretty big local arts story, about talks to bring Hamilton to Philadelphia and in my second, I interviewed Wing Bowl champion-turned-convicted-drug-dealer-turned-author Bill “El Wingador” Simmons.

(Other notable recent writings- I reviewed Rogue One, as well as a selection of holiday releases and also shared my top ten movies of the year, all for Splice Today.)

So at the end of the year, I can take stock, and be the happiest I’ve been, probably since the end of my eight-year run at Napco in the summer of 2015. My family is happy and healthy. My wife is honestly the greatest. My kids are thriving and do new things that wow me every single day. I am continuously blessed to have so many friends and family in my life, and I’m enjoying a wonderful vacation in California. I finally have a job I enjoy going to every day, I did a whole lot of writing in 2016 in which I can take pride.

For 2017? Onward and upward. I have but three new years’ resolutions: I’m going to get this physical fitness thing figured out, I’m going to spend a lot less time staring at my phone when my kids are around, and I’m going to stop writing for content farms.

Happy holidays, and happy new year, everyone!