Best Films of 2016
I'll be posting mine in another week or so because I'm hoping I'll be able to catch Silence next weekend and one or both of Fences and Hidden Figures as well. This was definitely a year where there were lots of good movies, but you generally had to stray from the local multiplex to find them. So many blockbusters were varying degrees of terrible or flawed. Both DC comics films, the Independence Day movie, Warcraft (which is a more complicated case than just being bad), X-Men Apocalypse and more just failed on many levels.
But if you ventured out for independent cinema, you found gems like Moonlight, Loving, Jackie, The VVitch, or Hell or High Water. There was also a trilogy of phenomenal documentaries on race in O.J.: Made In America, 13th, and I Am Not Your Negro. Swiss Army Man is the sweetest movie you will ever see about a farting corpse, and Sing Street will remind you why you wanted to start a band in high school.
So if anyone tells you the movies were bad this year or any year, they're probably just not looking in the right place. Seek a good movie, and you will find it.
But @Smmenen, you can give Nocturnal Animals a pass :P. It has good performances and a pretty aesthetic, but left me feeling cold and wondering what the point of it all was.
Well I didn't get to see Silence or Fences but I still managed to change my Top 10 anyway. So here it is:
A simply stunning study of a poor young black man discovering his sexuality. Set in three stages, we see Chiron as a child, adolescent, and young adult and the three parts reflect and comment upon each other culminating in a final moment that carries the weight of all that came before it. Simply spectacular filmmaking.
2. Hail, Caesar!
The Coens are back with another masterpiece, this time a farce that explores questions of faith and good works; whether art has importance and meaning that justifies dedicating one's life to it. It's a very funny movie, but has at its center a heartfelt performance from Josh Brolin as a studio head tormented by his conscience.
3. La La Land
A delightful homage to the Hollywood musicals of old. Wonderful songs, a charismatic romantic pair, and a joyous attitude as two people struggle to follow their dreams.
Brilliant science fiction film about the importance of communicating with The Other - whether it be actual aliens or just the people across the street.
5. O.J.: Made In America
Technically counts as a film since it had an Oscar-qualifying run in New York. Still a phenomenal, detailed examination of not just the O.J. murder trial, but also the decades of history and racial strife that led up to it and turned it into what it was.
6. Manchester By The Sea
Sometimes grief is not something that is easy to let go, and Kenneth Lonergan's intimate script quietly observes a man with incredible pain in his heart struggling to deal with even more.
7. A Monster Calls
I saw this one just last night, and it left me a blubbering mess. I was on the verge of openly sobbing for basically the entire last half hour. It's another phenomenal exploration of grief, but this time a current, ongoing grief instead of one coming from the past.
8. Everybody Wants Some!!
A spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused, Richard Linklater's latest film sees a freshman arrive at college and start to explore what kind of person he can be.
Ok, so this is a third film about grief - 2016, huh? - but this one follows Jackie Kennedy closely as she struggles to cope with her husband's death and forge his legacy in the days immediately following his assassination. Natalie Portman turns in another stellar performance and I really hope there isn't anyone left out there who thinks she's not a great actress.
10. I Am Not Your Negro
Another of the three big documentaries on race for the year (with the O.J. doc above and Ava DuVernay's 13th on Netflix), I Am Not Your Negro uses the words of great African-American scholar James Baldwin to explain the pain and oppression felt by the black community in America and how it so easily curdles into rage. Samuel L. Jackson reads Baldwin's words, narrating in a soft and quiet mode that still carries an incredible amount of power. If I could, I would make every white person in America watch these three docs.
Past two years have really exceptional for my hometown in regarding film industry. Local Foley Artist Heikki Kossi was able to be a part of a really big international production and was part of the team that made the movie Little Prince in 2015. http://www.h5.fi/2016/05/the-little-prince/ Heikki Kossi has been involved in international productions before, but this is a huge news.
This year "The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki" happened. Olli Mäki is from Kokkola, Finland and so is the director of the film, Juho Kuosmanen. This film has been applauded by critics worldwide and I would encourage anyone to watch this if you can get it from somewhere! Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi467121689
Not a bad round of nominees, but with a couple glaring omissions. Annette Bening should probably be in Best Actress and the omission of "Drive It Like You Stole It" from Sing Street in Best Song is painful.
Also, apparently it's ok to be Mel Gibson in Hollywood again, as Hacksaw Ridge got a handful of nominations.
I have to say I'm particularly pleased with the Writing branch of the Academy, as both Screenplay categories pretty much nailed it (bearing in mind I haven't seen Lion or Fences).
btw if anyone watches "The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki" I would like to know how you liked it
I'm outraged that Joel Edgerton was not nominated for Loving. It was hands down the best male performance I saw in 2016.
That said, my Top 4 films were well represented in the nominations.
I'm going to watch the OJ documentary (although the OJ TV series was unbelievably good).
@Smmenen Sadly as good as Edgerton was, the Academy is not wired to recognize great small performances. They like big, flashy moments more than reserved internal struggles.
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@Smmenen If you're outraged, then you think entirely too much of marketing strategies... erm... I mean awards shows of this kind. Remember when Mo Yan won the Literature Nobel?
2016 in Marvel Cinematic Universe was not great in my opinion:
Captain America: Civil War 7/10
Doctor Strange 6/10
Agent Carter s2 6/10
Agents of Shield s3&4 (not watched yet)
Daredevil s2 8.5/10
Luke Cage s1 8/10
Both movies were merely allright, while Daredevil was actually quite good. Iron Fist byw was horrible.
At this point im leaning towards Rogue One being the best movie in 2016, but Ive still got quite many movies listed here that I need to watch. Next one on the list will be Hail Caesar & Suicide Squad.
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@yugular I thought Civil War was good. The rest entertaining following the same cookie cutter mold of all Marvel movies now.
Daredevil was unwatchable for me. The acting was like soap opera level.
Luke Cage had a classic comic book feel to it that you dont see now in most of the superhero shows/movies.
Star Wars Rogue One
I've seen all of the movies in that list that were for kids, because those are just about the only movies I'm able to watch these days. I did also see some super hero films (my son likes super heroes, so I can sometimes watch those), and I thought they were good. Dr Strange was my favorite, although I missed the very end of it.
@Islandswamp the end was the most insane part!
@Islandswamp the end was the most insane part!
Technincally I missed the after-ending wrap up thing. I saw the epic battle and time loop. I missed the resolution and my wife said there was a scene that was a sequel teaser. I want to buy the film and watch it again soon.