Now it’s time for the best films of 2016. It’s been a long road and while there are a lot of shit to dig through there was also a lot of gems. From horror to thrillers to heist films, there was alot of diversity in the top 10 this year so here are 1-10 with a few honorable mentions.
The Edge of Seventeen is a humorous take on teenage life in small-town America. While the plot feels melodramatic at times, it is expected with the main character being a teenage girl. Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson have great chemistry with each other and even when they are just being complete dicks to each other; it still has a heartwarming feel to the story. The Edge of Seventeen avoids of the corniness and pure schlock of teen movies that we are used to seeing and delivers a well written, down to earth take on teenage life. It may not be Sixteen Candles but is it one of the best films in the genre this decade, maybe the last two.
9. 10 Cloverfield Lane
10 Cloverfield Lane is one of the tensest films of the entire year. A young woman is injured in a severe car accident only to wake up chained in a basement with no memory of how she got there. The key word in this film is trust because you never know who is telling the truth until the end. John Goodman puts out one of his best performances in this bottle film as a very intimidating man trying to save the world from inside his bunker. 10 Cloverfield Lane garnered a lot of interest due to the title and supposedly being a sequel to the 2008 hit Cloverfield. While it isn’t a giant monster movie, it’s still one of the most well written and scariest films of the year. Put this movie on your must see list of 2016.
- Everybody Wants Some
A story set in 1980 about a group of incoming freshman beginning their lives as college baseball players is surprisingly one of the most charming films in 2016. While the film is about baseball, it’s not really a ‘sports movie’ but more of a coming of age story as a group of young men with Tom Selleck mustaches deal with the beginning and the end of their college careers. The cast is extremely likable and relatable (even some of the crazier ones) as the small town setting takes you back to a much simpler time when sports and girls were your only worries in life. The film wasn’t a big box office success due to its limited release by if this movie slipped past your radar in 2016, go back and give it a look.
- Green Room
One of the last movies of the late Anton Yelchin involves a group of misfits stealing gas in their busted wagon to do shows across the Pacific Northwest. After performing in a middle of nowhere club owned by Neo-Nazis, the group accidentally stumbles across a murder scene and has to fight for their lives to survive until morning. Patrick Stewart gives one of his most chilling performances ever as a cool tempered white supremacist who wants the kids gone before the authorities catch wind of the murder. The film is brutal in its violence and the cinematography adds to its uncomfortable nature. More eyes have been drawn to this film after the death Yelchin but the film deserves a look on its own merit.
If you love the ins and outs of filmmaking, you will love this movie. If you are a casual viewer, the film is entertaining enough to justify the price of admission. If you don’t like musicals, then what the hell are you doing here. As much as I wanted to hate this film going in and call out film snobs…I can’t. The movie is a great effort and brings back a style of film Hollywood had long forgotten about. So for that I say, it deserves its praise. La La Land is the trip down to classic Hollywood that we’ve haven’t seen in some time.
Don’t Breathe is a brutally tense thriller without having to lower itself to gimmicks such as loud noises and torture porn. The script does solid enough job knowing that it’s the visuals and the actors’ performances that sell the story. This film is exactly what horror fans have waited for. A fresh chapter in a failing genre that achieves in being simple and intense, but without all the cheesy gimmicks and plot induced stupidity. Don’t Breathe is one of the best horror films in the last couple of decades.
- Eye In The Sky
Is one human life worth the cost of 80 others? This movie makes you debate this issue from start to finish whether the life of an innocent girl is worth taking if you can stop terrorists from taking mass lives in a pending attack. The decision is anything but easy and this is what governments and militaries deal with. Eye in The Sky knocks this one out of the park with a great cast of characters and an emotional roller coaster of a time-sensitive dilemma. Ethics and Morals are the true antagonist and protagonist in this film and by the end even if you agree with the decisions made you won’t feel good about them.
- The Nice Guys
This one was my favorite movie of the year for some time. Director Shane Black takes us back to the 1970s in this buddy action comedy film. This film gave me hope that comedy is alive in Hollywood and it didn’t have to rely on Low Brow humor. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe make this film work on so many levels. Their chemistry and comedic timing are impeccable. 14-year-old Angourie Rice steals the show playing Gosling’s sassy and adventurous daughter who struggles putting up with her father’s BS. The story is centered on the various murders of porn stars that made a film that exposes some real life corruption between automakers and high ranking officials in the department of justice. The film’s style is a throwback of 70s nostalgia and the writing is simple and sophisticated, Nice Guys is probably the most enjoyable movie of the year.
Hell or High Water is one of the best films of the year. Director David Mackenzie has put himself on the map with this crime thriller; add Sheridan’s writing, there isn’t much more you can ask for a film. Ben Foster is quickly emerging as one of the best actors going now and this is easily the best performance I’ve seen from Chris Pine. Hell or High Water is a brilliantly written cop and robber drama with a gritty style that keeps its story entertaining and down to earth. There really isn’t anything I could find to complain about and that’s never a bad thing.
Making #1 in 2016 is Hacksaw Ridge. Desmond T. Doss was the embodiment of a true American hero, and his story is one that deserves to be celebrated by generations of Americans. The movie concludes with the real Doss himself giving his first hand account of what happened during the war shortly before his passing in 2006. His perspective only makes you appreciate the efforts that went into this story and his life even more. While the violence and imagery may be too much for some viewers, Mel Gibson nailed the balance between peace and war. You may have issues with Mel as a person but his talents as a filmmaker are beyond question and if this film doesn’t see recognition in award season, it won’t be because of the film’s quality. The ensemble cast includes terrific performances from Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer, and Andrew Garfield who portrayal of Doss and the courage he displays will bring tears to your eyes. Hacksaw Ridge is one of the most powerful films to be released this year and for my money the best film in 2016.
Honorable Mentions For Best Films Of 2016