Circuit Breaker Episode 47: 4 Star Films, More Fall Festival Guesses, and First Half Films


Welcome to the Awards Circuit podcast titled “CIRCUIT BREAKER!,” a weekly podcast from featuring host Clayton Davis along with panelists Sam Coffey, Mark Johnson, Joey Magidson, and Karen Peterson. We discuss movies, television and all the awards shows that need predicting. New episodes are released every Monday. Find us on Twitter at @Circuit_Pod, email us at, and submit your comments and questions at the bottom of the episode.

On the agenda:

  • We’re discussing all the four star ratings that we’ve given out over the last few years.
  • Talking more about what films will play at the upcoming fall festivals including Telluride, TIFF, NYFF, and AFI.
  • Lots of news to go over including cast announcements and new trailers that have dropped over the last week.
  • The first half of the year is over.  What Oscar contenders have emerged and what can sustain until the end of the year.

Comment and send in #CinephileShowdowns, #ChoosetheGold and #ACCircuitBreaker questions in the comment section below!

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  • Joey Magidson


  • Luke McGowan

    Weakest Original Screenplay lineup since 2000?

    2012 by a mile. Django Unchained feels like a weird winner, but the other nominees (Amour, Flight, Moonrise and ZDT) all feel like odd choices too.

    • Cody D

      I’d agree with that (even though I love Moonrise). I’d also say 2015. Two masterpieces (Inside Out and Spotlight), one that I personally think is overrated (Ex Machina – unpopular opinion, I know), and then two weak nominees (Straight Outta Compton and Bridge of Spies). Spotlight was destined to win with that competition.

  • Luke McGowan

    Did I just get thanked for the DDL question? Lol

  • Ferdinand

    I guess we have very different criteria for giving films 4 (or 5) stars. For example in 2016 I gave 21 films 5 stars (that is a record for me) and overall in the 2010s I’ve given 5 stars to 103 films (including two from 2017, Personal Shopper and Nocturama)

    • AndreTheTurtle

      Same here. I have always given quite a bit of four-star films since I actually bothered rating them. I think what it comes down to is how you view the ratings as a whole. For example, to me, I give a film a perfect score if I feel they did everything the film intended to do AND made an enjoyable or thought provoking experience for me to take in. Like, I LOVE both Pitch Perfect one and two, and both are four-star films in by book. Based on how entertaining they were, and the goals the films were trying to accomplish, I feel they are both flawless movies, Others use four-stars as a way to weed out the films that are going to be remembered as landmarks of films or films that will be able to go on for years to come. Back to Pitch Perfect for a second, even though I love the movies, do I think they will be remembered by 95% of people in 5 years? Probably not. These types could more be like a Mad Max: Fury Road, a film people have been hailing as one of the greatest actions films ever made, and will be a film that is studied for it’s world building and action set pieces. Now don’t get be wrong, I am not saying that one is better than the other, but that could explain why it seems some people have quite a bit of four-star movies, while others don’t. In the end it’s just about perception. 😀

  • RaulSGama

    Questions for next podcast

    1- Is there a year that the winner of a category wouldn’t even get nominated in your opinnion, and who would you replace? For me: Tom Hooper for the King’s Speech, shouldnt’ve been nominated, specially over Scorsese’s Shutter Island, Nolan’s Inception, Leen Unkrich’s Toy Story 3, Boyle’s 127 hours.

    2- Kind of different question, do you see that in a way the acting clips shown at the oscars can indicate the result? Ex: when the sup. actor was going to be annaunced in 2016, i had bet with friends that Stallone was a lock, but as soon as they showed his Creed clip, which wasn’t “his scene” telling about the cancer, i knew he wasn’t winning and i took it back!

  • Kevin

    Cinephile Showdown: Which role that an actor was considered for or offered but ultimately didn’t play would you have rather seen them in

    Matt Damon: Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawk’s role) in Training Day or Two Face in The Dark Knight

    Daniel Day Lewis: Vincent in Pulp Fiction or Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson’s role) in Lord of the Rings

    Leonardo DiCaprio: Patrick Bateman in American Psycho or Neo in The Matrix

    Brad Pitt: Colin Sullivan(Matt Damon’s role) in The Departed or Dickie Ekland(Christian Bale’s role) in The Fighter

    • AndreTheTurtle

      I would also add Will Smith: Neo in The Matrix or Django in Django Unchained.

  • AndreTheTurtle

    Question here.

    Since you guys talked about all the 4-Star films you have given out in the past seven years, in the last seven years how many one-star or lower films have you guys given?

    Bonus Question: What is the BEST and WORST film that have come out in the last seven years?