With the final days of 2016 upon us, it comes time to write my yearly list of what I enjoyed the most out of film this trip around the sun. There were plenty of films of good quality that came out this year, so there was a wide range of choice for the list. So much in fact, that making the list was fairly difficult.
This year had many, many great movies. So, while they didn’t make the cut, I would regret not mentioning them at all. so;
This was a fairly effective Horror movie, it had great tense moments and one or two good scares, it keeps the jump scare count low-ish for more of an atmosphere type horror deal.Good acting keeps the simple premise interesting and engaging, even if the kids in the film are meant to be asshole thieves.
Star Trek: Beyond
This is what I would consider to be the only Great Star Trek film in this reboot/alternate universe series of Trek movies. The first was fine, pretty good even. But the second was utter trash. But now the third is once again a good movie, so it’s the opposite of the old curse where all the odd-numbered Star Trek movies were bad, funny that. Anyway, solid performances and a decent although predictable plot, with a boring villan. But still overall enjoyable.
War Dogs is a comedic crime drama, based on a true story of two gun runners, it was a fun ride. Well written and funny when it wants to be yet good at the drama portions of the movie. Of course it being based on a true story, I would think that a lot of it is blown out of proportions. But it is still a well done film.
The Neon Demon
The Neon Demon has sunning visuals, it’s the films party piece really. It’s the main reason it is on the honorable mention list. Well that and the last 20 minuets are the payoff to a film of buildup. I find this difficult to recommend, par the fact that it is something that should be seen. If I were to put a label on it “Avant-garde” will have to do.
Hovering around Number 10
Unlike the films above, these next ones plus my actual number 10 were on and off my number 10 spot for a long time. This was the hardest part about this years list, but I got a solid 10. So here is what just missed the cut;
This was a wonderful satirical look at the superhero genre in cinema. It is also a good Deadpool movie, the jokes were great and mostly funny. Ryan Reynolds is made for the role, nobody else could fill it like he does, mostly because Deadpool himself says he looks like Reynolds. I am personally not feeling the superhero fatigue, but I know some people do and this films is a great “cure” for it, if only temporary.
Hell or High Water
A movie about bank robbery that felt very western in modern-day, a very intriguing story about two brothers trying to save their ranch in west Texas. An extremely well acted film, all of the cast are great. Not much more to say, it is just a damn good film.
This a wonderful film, another comedic drama. Having a cast of mostly young actors, it stands tall among the acting chops of Hell or High Water, but then that could be put down to Viggo Mortensen. And interesting story to help carry this already fantastic movie.
Swiss Army Man
As I have mentioned before on the site this is one of the most strange and bizarre movies I have EVER seen. But it has so many good qualities and is just to well made, to not mention it would be doing this movie a disservice. Just….. Just see it.
Kubo and The Two Strings
This is a wonderfully made stop motion animated movie, with a great story and is well (voice) acted. But the star of the show is the animation style, it looks nothing short of amazing, in fact it shows some of how it was done over the credits of the film. I would highly recommend this one.
Right, enough mentioning, time for the Top Ten!
10.) Godzilla Resurgence
Godzilla Resurgence (or Shin Godzilla as it is known is Japan) is a reboot of the Godzilla franchise. It is not related to the 2014 Godzilla however, that Godzilla is still currently ongoing and will appear in other Monster Movies with King Kong and the like in the future. But this Godzilla is one made by his origin country, Japan.
The film is a fantastic reboot, making Godzilla the only threat. And he feels menacing in the film, and while in still images he looks goofy, in motion and the right lighting he is quite scary. Godzilla also has a moment in this movie that cements the King of the Monsters title, it was the highlight of the film.
The human cast was a fun bunch to follow; Japanese government officials, Japanese scientists who are trying to figure and poorly acted Americans (although they usually are in foreign films). There was also a Japanese Actress they expect you to belive was born in America and had has ambitions to be the President, which was laughable.
The humans are who the film spends the majority of the time with, and it’s fine. It’s all interesting enough to hold on its own. The CGI in the early movie is bad (Japanese films don’t have the budget to look great) But once they switch to the Godzilla suit, it feels like a completely different film visuals wise as it looks fantastic. The soundtrack is also pretty good.
I do enjoy a good Godzilla film, so this being as great as it was I felt in needed to be here on the tail end of the list.
9.) Sing Street
Sing Street is a Drama, Comedy, Romantic Musical set in 1980’s Dublin, at its core it is a story about forming a band to impress a girl. It goes the places you might expect from there.
With it being set in the 80’s it is oozing with 80’s music, while still having some original (and fairly catchy) songs of its own. The cast is solid,especially the lead he really grows through the film, an accurate depiction of a growing musician
Can’t really say much on it as it is a simple movie, but it is really really well done, I would highly recommend this to anyone.
8.) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts, is…. well, fantastic, but not without problems. The film is a HIGH amount of set up for the sequels including the main villain, but I guess you could argue that Harry Potter did the same thing. The merits of the film though are good enough that the film is still good even with all of the cogs future films spinning away in the background.
The Cast is great, and I would like to see more of them. But I don’t know if I will, as the cast are being shoved into the background for more well know characters in the Potter verse in the next lot of films. The soundtrack is fine, but there is no good follow up to John Williams amazing theme music.
The Heroes are all likeable and fun to watch, the beasts are all weird and whimsical and the villain is there, but like I said it was all set up for the main villain of future films but he served his purpose I suppose.
looking at a different part and a different time of the Harry Potter world was extremely interesting, and helped paint a much better picture of this world as a whole. I would recommend this to anyone who liked Harry Potter and a perfect entry point for newcomers.
7.) The Hunt for the Wilderpeople
The Wilderpeople is set in New Zealand and follows Ricky Baker, a “youth” who is an orphan, he is set to a woman and her husband or a farm as the last chance before being sent to a boy’s home. One thing leads to another and a manhunt is put on Ricky and his foster Uncle “Hec”.
This is a comedy film by the director Taika Waititi who directed a comedy film a few years ago called “What We Do In The Shadows” which was a fantastic comedy/mockumentary about Vampires living in New Zealand in the Modern age.
This movie continues Waititi’s extremely funny film making style, it is a light-hearted (for the most part) fun adventure through the New Zealand bush while being on the run from the police.
It is thoroughly enjoyable and funny throughout, and the performances are top-notch from both leads and smaller side characters. See it if you have not, it will not disappoint.
6.) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The second Star Wars movie in the post Disney’s Acquisition, it had a decent plot and delivered on the War movie aspect. It had strong ties to A New Hope with many characters and locations. And while some of the new characters were good, it had some misses as well. The actors performed well and scenes were wonderfully shot.
I enjoyed most of the fan service that was shown to me, although there were some things that didn’t need to be in there. I would say as a stand alone film, it kind of works but there is no denying that it stands on the legs of a monster franchise.
It was a different beast to the “normal” Star Wars films, though that should be, so it can avoid getting stale fast. I would recommend it, as it is an enjoyable film.
5.) Doctor Strange
The latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange is a well-made acid trip. The visuals, this is what the movies party piece is. An extremely pretty movie, to complement and fairly slandered superhero origin story. Cumberbatch is great in the role of Strange, even if the accent is a little jarring at first.
Perhaps it is me being a Millennial, but it feels Law that I have to enjoy Marvel films or something. But at least they are good films (the properties Marvel fully own at least). Doctor Strange in particular felt fresh being an origin story, set among one of the biggest interconnected film universes of all time, I was thoroughly enjoyable and kept the Cinematic Universe train running.
4.) 10 Cloverfield Lane
The Sequel to Colverfield is a very different beast to the first, but it is a welcome difference. The change is from a found footage giant monster movie, to a very well done suspenseful thriller set in an underground bunker. John Goodman gives the best performance of the year, and the other two actors do a great hob as well.
Saying anymore would be saying too much. So with that, see this super well made film.
3.) The Nice Guys
The Nice Guys is an extremely funny movie. Set in the 80’s it follows a Private Investigator and a bounty hunter who need to work together to solve the case of a missing young woman. The setting and plot sets up a great bunch of scenarios for really funny outcomes.
Both the leads put in a great performance, especially Ryan Gosling, he appears to have a really good comedic sense. It’s also very pretty to look at. Yet another good movie from Shane Black. I yet again highly recommend this movie.
2.) Captain America: Civil War
Age of Ultron was good but it was not as well made or as interesting as Civil War is. Having heroes that have been seen growing since 2008 fight each other was quite the spectacle, it had a great amount of gravitas behind it. All well-acted and each character is given a respectful amount of screen time given that the Cast is massive.
It story will have a huge ripple effect on future Marvel films, and it set up the new (and best put to screen) Spiderman with just enough to leave me wanting more, the movie was a number one contender for almost all year, until…..
Yet another master class film from Denis Villeneuve, it was so well written and enthralling to watch. it’s acting is top-notch and there isn’t much really that wrong with the movie, I don’t want to say anything more about it, it is best when going in blind. Watch this movie, but pay attention because this film needs you two and it deserves it.
Alright, another year down, another list down. Funny how the more I go down the list the less I have to say each movie, but I think the higher up the list I get the less I need to say, so it can speak for itself.
Next year looks like it is going to be more difficult to determine the best 10, but some might be bad, who knows. We, Shall, See.
Till next time…