Last year I really struggled to make my list of favorite movies, believe it or not it was hard to find something I really liked but, 2016 was a great year for movies, kind of a bounce back year. So much good stuff! At the time I wrote this list two films that is getting a lot of attention on the media, La La Land and Moonlight, were not available for me to watch here where I live, so that is the reason why they don’t appear on my list. Anyway, here are my favorite movies of 2016, enjoy!
10 - Deadpool
Deadpool shaken up the comic book genre by bringing its brand of R-rated bloody violence and humor.The writing is great and action is super fun too, finally giving the superhero genre some blood to go with the action. I loved the 4th wall self awareness, In fact it's the 4th wall breaks that offer some of the films more entertaining moments. Ryan Reynolds was born to play this character and he's the only actor that I think of that could do the character justice and also the chemistry between him and Morena Baccarin was awesome!
9 - Hunt For The Wilderpeople
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a New Zealand film directed by Taika Waittiti. Waititi's last film was the must watch “What We Do in the Shadows," an amazing vampire satire. Hunt For The Wilderpeople is about a 13-year old troublemaker named Ricky Baker, who is sent to a foster family in a rural New Zealand town. This is a very charming, quirky, fun movie that is also very touching. Sam Neill and Julian Dennison have some of the best chemistry I've ever seen in a film.
8 - The Invitation
I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, but despite the many slow scenes and dialogues the movie keeps you guessing and interested in what is going on. The tension is excellently crafted. The acting was great, with Michiel Huisman doing a great job being super creepy. I recommend watch it especially if you like this type of thrillers/mystery films.
7 - American Honey
The Instagram aspect ratio of this film is not the only original thing here. This is the most authentic look at teenagers since Larry Clark’s Kids. Sasha Lane and Shia LaBeouf's performances are great and the soundtrack is all over the place and feels like it came straight out of a Spotify playlist curated by a bot but, strangely, it works fine for the film. Another great work from the director Andrea Arnold.
6 - Weiner
This is a great documentary. With unrestricted access to Anthony Weiner’s New York City mayoral campaign, this film shows Weiner's gigantic ego and utter lack of moral. I actually agree with his politics but, his personal behavior is so reprehensible that made me disgusted. I don’t know why Weiner agreed to release the movie but whatever the reason was, it makes for a very entertaining movie.
5 - Arrival
I had zero expectations for this movie, I thought “it is just another soulless blockbuster” but I am glad to be proven wrong in this case. The film it is actually a well told clever story. A deep movie, not for those who are looking for special effects of a modern sci-fi genre. Denis Villeneuve, of Prisoners and Sicaro, is one of the most interesting directors in the contemporary film industry, a director capable of not just entertaining, but also challenging.
4 - Green Room
Green Room is tremendously brutal and suspenseful thriller. A Hardcore band in the wrong place at the wrong time. The violence and gore in the movie are straightforward, the director Jeremy Saulnier is not afraid to get graphic, but he uses this violence well. The acting is top-notch all around and the way everything plays out just feels real.
3 - Hell Or High Water
Two brothers come together to rob branch after branch of the bank that is foreclosing on their family land. A very good modern Western, with three great performances; Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges are all killing on it. The movie is smartly-written and well-directed. Hell or High Water is a real gem set to go down as one of the very best releases of 2016.
2 - Handmaiden
Handmaiden is a Korean drama masterfully directed by Park Chan-wook (Oldboy). I will not discuss any part of the plot here to avoid spoilers but, what a hell of a ride! A very impressive and twisty script, absolutely beautiful cinematography, great costume design and music. This is a must see film!
1- Manchester By The Sea
Manchester By The Sea is a beautiful, very moving film. A powerful exploration of grief and sometimes even uncomfortable to watch it but it is so well directed, photographed and also very character consistent. Casey Affleck’s performance is truly remarkable, he is a great fit for the role, Lucas Hedges gives a breakthrough performance. as the 16 year old “Patrick” and Michelle Williams will probably be getting a best supporting actress nomination. Actually this film has Oscars written all over it. Manchester by the Sea is easily my favorite film this year.