Top Ten Favorite Films of the Year 2016

 

  Jump to the next page to see my top ten list.


10. The Nice Guys

This is a movie that I highly anticipated and enjoyed immensely. It is just unfortunate that it did not hit with enough people to become the franchise type film it deserves to be. I hate that I won’t be seeing the further adventures of the two main characters but I take comfort in the fact that Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling had the comedic chops to pull this one off.

Porn is Bad“.

9.  Moana

I’m surprised at how much I liked this film. It turns out that the music is great and the story is a lot of fun, and Dwayne Johnson simply makes everything better. I know that the “movie star” is supposed to be dead, but if you see what Johnson manages to do to turn this film and a movie like “Cenral Intelligence” into hits, you would change your mind. The Movie Star lives! he just happens to have formerly been known as “The Rock”.

You’re Welcome

8. Hacksaw Ridge

Mel Gibson has been persona non-Grata in Hollywood for a decade now, but his talent seems to outshine his demons. This is an inspiring film about a hero who does fight the enemy but does fight the odds. Andrew Garfield is excellent in the lead role, but it is the brutal battlefield staging and phorography that will haunt your nightmares and once again give us a reason to thank the Greatest Generation.

Rescue

7. Arrival

Director Denis Villeneuve made a film I admired three years ago, “Prisoners”, and last year had a film I have yet to see but have heard only good things about, “Sicario”. Next year he has the sequel to “Blade Runner” coming and my hopes are high. Arrival shows that he can make a thoughtful science fiction story with simple visuals and clever story structure. He will need all of that craft if he indeed gets the job that he is rumored for, the remake/reboot of “Dune”. Based on “Arrival”, I have every confidence he is the best choice.

Kangaroo

6. 10 Cloverfield Lane

This is a horror film, but not the one you expect. It takes a simple concept and turns it into a compelling three person drama and then twists your expectations repeatedly. I don’t know who John Goodman pissed off at the Academy. He has been in a dozen Award winning films and has yet to be nominated himself. I think this may be his best performance, but it will go ignored this year because he is taken for granted and it is a horror film.  Shame.

Blu Ray Trailer

5. Swiss Army Man

The plotline for this movie is ridiculous, a stranded young man befriends a corpse and together they travel home. It was so widely mocked before it came out that it was derisively known as the “Farting Corpse Movie”. It turns out to be weirdly affecting and intellectually stimulating, in spite of some very crass humor. It may not be for everyone, but I thought it was great.

Rocket Man

4. Sing Street

 

Remember when MTV played music videos? No? than you are too young to appreciate how wonderful this movie really is. It imagines the world of 80s pop and all the possibilities that young people could see in front of them. The self produced music videos made by the band here are terrific mock ups of the English Style Pop that filled the MTV channel at the time.

The Riddle of the Model

3. Kubo and the Two Strings

I’ve had an aversion to anime for some reason. As a kid I liked Astro Boy and Gigantor but somewhere around Kimba the White Lion, the stories started   to seem a bit weird. This does not look like anime but it’s story feels like a Japanese cartoon, and I loved it. There is so much inventiveness and beauty in this film that I was sometimes overwhelmed. I want everyone to see it. So far, it is the only film from my list that I own on Bluray.

While My Guitar gently Weeps

2. Hell or High Water

A modern western where we feel for both the cops and the robbers. There are great performances in this film, especially from Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges. There is a message about the injustice of some kinds of justice here, but in the long run, does anyone ever get away with it? I don’t think so. There is a lot of violence in the film, but also a lot of humor.

What Don’t you want?

1. LA LA Land

Two years ago my favorite film was from debut director Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash”. So far as I am concerned, he is batting a .1000 percent. This movie is everything I hoped it would be. An updated version of a fifties style musical with talent in front of the camera and behind. It is crack for movie lovers and anyone saying different {Rex Reed} is simply taking a position. It’s nice when the movie I liked best from the year is also the one with the greatest qualities. I don’t have to rationalize my choice that way, it is both my favorite and the best.

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