I haven't posted here for almost 10 months. Been busy, kinda not into it, but today is Oscar Sunday and I can't really pass up an excuse to make a list, so as I've done the last three years (2013, 2014, 2015), here's my personal Favorite Films of the Year, 2016 Edition.
As always though, even with the extra time to catch up on everything, there are still plenty of 2016 releases I have yet to see, including: Manchester by the Sea, Arrival, Jackie, Nocturnal Animals, Silence, Paterson, Hidden Figures, Fences, 20th Century Women, Certain Women, American Honey, Toni Erdmann, Loving, Moana, 13th, Cameraperson, Tickled, The Love Witch, The Age of Shadows, Hacksaw Ridge, The Fits, We are the Flesh, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and a whole bunch of other things I am sure.
Out of the 60+ movies from 2016 I did see, these were my favorites:
TOP 15 FILMS OF 2016
Jeremy Saulnier, who also blew me away with Blue Ruin, crafts an expertly paced and painfully executed thriller, with the grisly palpable fear permeating every sickly green corridor and dark crevice of this claustrophobic horror show. Anton Yelchin (may he RIP) is great, what happens to him in the film is beyond shocking and is downright gnarly (people were gasping in my audience), but the MVP might just be Patrick Stewart, who is fantastic as the chillingly calculated and cold skinhead leader.
More than just an intense bloodbath and exercise in cruelty, Saulnier has written an intelligent script with moments that force contemplation on the learned nature of hate and how it is developed and employed to incite violence and fuel anger, usually for dogmatic means. There are themes and ideas at work in this film that resonate with the current political climate. It's 2016 and we still have to tell nazi punks to fuck off.
The Nice Guys
Hell or High Water
"We dance alone. That's why we only play electronic music."
Swiss Army Man
O.J. - Made in America
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Kill Zone 2
The Autopsy of Jane Doe
The Neon Demon
the next ten:
-De Palma - Basically is just Brian De Palma talking about his career and all his movies for two hours and for a De Palma cinema nerd IT IS FANTASTIC AND THE BEST.
-Sing Street - Cute coming of age story set in 1980s Ireland that digs into the creative process, both of song writing and the discovery of self. Great songs (even if they are increasingly anachronistic) and the cast has fantastic chemistry, might be the feel good movie of the year.
-La La Land - Charming and very pretty to look at. Could've used more songs, tho.
-The Shallows - Starts as a simple, tense survival tale before embracing the exploitation aspects of its story in the third act. The best shark movie since Jaws 2. Also, Best Supporting Actor: Steven Seagull.
-Trash Fire - Moves fluidly between drama, romance, dark comedy, and horror and isn't afraid to get cruel while exploring themes of relationships, family obligations, and abusiveness. Plus, I love how director Ricky Bates, Jr. knows exactly how and when to end a film.
-10 Cloverfield Lane - I wasn't down with the last twist in the finale, but otherwise really liked this tense little thriller. John Goodman is the man.
-Hello, My Name is Doris - Sally Field is a legit joy as an eccentric older woman who decides to pursue a younger man in this Michael Showalter comedy, bringing some real depth to what could be a goofy or maudlin character. Plus she's real funny. So is everyone else (Tyne Daley!).
-Hush - Effective and simple in execution, with some wonderfully tense moments. The novelty of a deaf heroine makes for some great suspense scenes and she more than proves to be quite the formidable opponent for the psycho killer here. Mike Flanagan is proving to be a modern master of horror.
honorable mentions: Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, Into the Inferno, Weiner, Weiner Dog, Kubo and the Two Strings, Everybody Wants Some!!, Southside with You, I am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House, Blood Father
Worst Movies of the Year:
Truly a shame what Warner Bros. is doing with its DC Comics properties. It's almost fascinatingly stupid and inept. Man of Steel was terrible and now these two...
-Suicide Squad - A big stinking mess, haphazardly edited, boring and clumsy, with more needle drops than a FM station, truly feels like it was made for (and by) stunted 12 year olds. Atrocious. Margot Robbie was nice.
-Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice - The piss jar sitting on the shelf amongst the rest of the Bat and 'Supe franchises. Atrocious. Ben Affleck was nice.
Well, there you go. What do you think?
Agree? Disagree? What were your favorites of 2016?