Skip to main content

My Best Films of 2016

Source
Next year Charlotte and I have said we need to get better at going to the cinema.  After a strong first 6 months we tailed off a bit in the second half of 2016 as house hunting, and trying to make the most of living in the city centre while we can got in the way.  Despite that, there weren't many films I'm overly gutted about having missed, but that that may explain the minimal number of changes to my half year review.  Looking back on this list it's clearly been a strong year for films.  Here are my faves.  Well done 2016.

11. Hell or High Water

This was a great surprise.  There didn't seem a huge amount of fuss made over this film when it was out, but I was taken aback by brilliant performances by Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster, but more so by the David Mackenzie's direction.
Image result for hell or high water gif
Source
10. I, Daniel Blake

There aren't too many films that have ended up transcending the medium and generated political discussions on television and radio, but Ken Loach's brutal I, Daniel Blake did exactly that.  It opens a window in to life below the poverty line and highlights the short drop there is to fall to get to that situation.  That scene in the food bank is shocking and gut-wrenching in equal measure.  It's a must watch.
Image result for i, daniel blake
Source
9. Moana

Disney does it again.  The switch to CGI has been a huge success, and Moana takes it place alongside Tangled and Frozen as one of their absolute best.  The fact Lin-Manuel Miranda played a huge role in the music helps.
Image result for moana gif
Source
8. Zootropolis

A real toss up with Moana as to which would come out on top of the kid's animations for me this year.  Zootropolis edges out Moana due to it's clever interpretation of the world around us, warts and all.  It makes it an important watch for kids and adults alike.
Image result for zootropolis
Source
7. Anomalisa

There aren't many films that have left as longer a lasting impression on me this year as Anomalisa and it's incredibly detailed puppetry.  The decision to use puppets isn't just for the sake of it, and used as a clever metaphor for one man's mid-life crisis.  It's more real an interpretation of an inner conflict than many other films have managed with real life actor.
Image result for anomalisa
Source
6. The Witch

Terrifying.  Absolutely terrifying.  Once you have the ear for the dialogue (please don't let it put you off) you're in for a creepy horror that made my skin crawl.  It's completely unnerving and I was so pleased when it ended.  But in a good way.
Image result for the witch
Source
5. Room

I still believe this is one of the best ever child performances, and that Jacob Tremblay should have received an Oscar nomination.  Thankfully, Brie Larson's performance wasn't overlooked in a film that had everyone in the screening I was at in tears.
Image result for room film
Source
4. Creed

It's a Rocky film, you know what to expect.  What many didn't see coming was a Golden Globe performance from Sly Stallone himself, the excellent Michael B. Jordan giving it his all, and some breathtaking cinematography.  The films opens to a long shot lasting an entire warm up routine, up the stairs, in to the ring, and the whole round, and it doesn't let up after that.
Image result for creed film gif
Source
3. Rogue One

Gareth Edwards.  Take a bow.  As much as I enjoyed Monsters (2010), although Godzilla (2014) had it's moments, I was a bit disapointed after one of the best trailers ever.  I was therefore a tad hesitant when Edwards was handed the helm for the first ever Star Wars stand alone story.  I feel pretty stupid now.
star wars rogue one star wars rogue one
Source
2. The Revenant

The Revenant looks so good you could watch it on mute.  Alejandro G. Iñárritu certainly has a way of constructing a sequence.  I was left ducking away from stray arrows during some of the battle scenes, trying to catch my breath when Leo fell in the icy water, and grabbing for my hoodie when all he had was a horse carcass.
movie film trailer leonardo dicaprio arts
Source
1. The Nice Guys

The film that stood out for my at the half way point of 2016 lasts the distance.  I honestly can't remember a comedy I laughed as hard or as often at in a long time.  I really should hate Ryan Gosling, but he has a knack for being brilliant in brilliant films.  So annoying.  Him and Russell Crowe build a brilliant double act in a buddy cop formula that has been done to death (not least by Shane Black already in 1987's Lethal Weapon and 2005's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), but somehow this feels fresh and original.
ryan gosling cheers russell crowe the nice guys
Source

Comments

  1. Everybody wants some? War on Everyone? Great list though Phil x

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Secret History of Hollywood Podcast

A while back for my previous job I had to drive from the office near Manchester, down to London, and then back again after a couple of days.  Rather than sitting through the same songs on my iPod during the journey, I thought I would search for a decent podcast to listen to.  The previous time I had made a similar journey I had listened to an audiobook of Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' and although it was a great listen I was up for something for cinema themed this time round.  Having searched through iTunes, I came across 'The Secret History of Hollywood.'  The 'Universe of Horrors' episode in particular caught my eye, and although the 7 hour run time would put many off, it was exactly what I was after.

@philpotts89 Thank you! — Hollywood Histories (@moviehistories) September 4, 2016
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, the podcast's examination of the role of the monster movie in the rise of Universal studios really caught my imagination a…

Manchester by the Sea (2017)

If there is one way to get me giddy for a film, it’s having Friday Night Lights' very own Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) in it.  Although other fans of one of the greatest TV shows ever may also be hoping for a 2 hour Chandler motivational speech, that isn't how Manchester by the Sea pans out.  Instead Kenneth Lonergan (who writes and directs) has created a deeply moving and realistic look at grief, family and loss.  A comedy it ain't, but Manchester by the Sea was a film I could have watched for another 5 hours so attached was I to it's characters and story.  It's subject matter makes it a difficult sell, but I really hope this finds an audience as it was an enthralling piece of work.

The story is a difficult one to tell while avoiding certain spoilers, but I think that is important so as not to lessen the impact of particular scenes.  Essentially, Manchester by the Sea is about Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) - a man forced to care for his nephew (Lucas Hedges) followi…

Baby Driver (2017)

Shaun of the Dead (2004) is somehow one of my favourite ever comedies, as well as making it on to my list of favourite ever horror films.  Hot Fuzz (2007) is brilliantly funny too (always thought it would make a great cinema double bill with Bigelow's Point Break, the 1991 thriller from which it took a lot of inspiration), but I don’t remember reacting to The World’s End (2013) in anyway near the same way.  While the first two in Wright’s ‘Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy’ heavily referenced films I knew very well to comedic effect, I remember thinking that I would find The World’s End funnier when I’m older… so its terrifying to think that soon may be the time to give that another go.  I'm a huge fan of Edgar Wright’s snappy style and cuts, and there’s actually a great analysis of his visual comedy which I recommend checking out here.  After he backed out of doing Marvel's Ant-Man in 2015, the release of Baby Driver crept up on me a bit this year.  Had I known one of the m…