Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

My Top Ten Movies of 2016

Sorry, I’m quite late to the party on this one.  First, let’s face facts: 2016 was a disappointing year.  There are probably 5 or 6 films from 2015 I would put over any of the movies this year.  But nonetheless there were still some solid movies to entertain us.  Lets take a look.

10. Star Trek Beyond

I suppose this is my summer blockbuster/franchise pick for the year.  I wasn’t even overly impressed with it off the bat, but this third of the new Star Trek’s grew on me.  I really appreciate how they have decided to focus on the relationships of the charactrs more, which is where the strength of this series lies.

9. Zootopia

And now for my animation representation.  I really enjoyed Zootopia.  I don’t love it like I loved Inside Out last year, but I found it interesting and fun to look at.  To be honest, in other years, neither of the first two movies would probably had made this list.

8. Everybody Wants Some

Again, an enjoyable picture.  I don’t know how memorable of a film its going to be, but when I watched it I had a fun experience spending a weekend in the lives of these college students.  Its really just hanging out with a group of friends for a couple hours, and that’s just fine.  It reminds me of classic films in a similar vein, like MASH and American Graffiti.  Its not on the same level as those, obviously, but still quite good.

7. Green Room

I didn’t really know what to expect with this movie, but what I got was a tense thriller with lots of shocking moments and tons of tension.  We see our main characters get themselves into a bad situation and do their best to deal with it and get out.  Its very engaging.

6. The Witch

The Witch is an effective creepfest, helping to further the return of quality horror to our theaters.  I love that it is set in colonial times and that it feels like its time period.  It plays on much deeper fears than just scary surprises and actually has soething to say.  This is a solid movie.

5. Hacksaw Ridge

Not a lot of my fellow cinephiles are with me on Hacksaw Ridge, but I really latched on to this story of a man who refused to hold a weapon but still wanted to serve his country.  We see his struggles with his unit during training, and though reactions were predictable they still worked for me.  Then we get his heroic deeds in battle which were very moving.  I know not a lot of people are on board with me, but I really enjoyed Mel Gibson’s return to the director’s chair.

4. Hunt for the Wilderpeople

From the director of What We Do in the Shadows, we get a comedic film which is both adventurous, heart-felt and hilarious.  Its the whole package.  I was recommending this to everyone after I saw it, but I really think that almost anybody could get on board with Ricky and Hec and their adventures.  “Are you gonna manslaughter him??”

3. Arrival

Arrival turned out to be a very popular and very acclaimed film, and for good reason.  It has a pretty mainstream movie premise, aliens visiting earth, but it deals with it in such a unique way.  The effort is in communication rather than conflict, and personal connections rather than large scale action.  And it all comes together really well.

2. Manchester by the Sea

Now whereas I felt comfortable recommending Wilderpeople to anyone, I did not feel the same about Manchester by the Sea.  Its a superbly directed and acted film about dealing with loss, but it doesn’t necessarily have the beats that most people expect a drama like this to have.  This will frustrate some, but be very refreshing for others.  Its worth it to watch for the performances by Afflect, Williams and Chandler.  A naturally gripping movie.

1. The Nice Guys

So I thought about what my movie of the year should be for a while.  Manchester is a really moving drama, and Arrival is a great sci-fi with a deeper meaning, but when it comes down to it, what is the movie I am the most excited about revisiting?  Which movie really made me feel a connection to what was happening on screen while being very entertaining?  The answer is The Nice Guys.  Its hilarious with great characters, great set pieces, and interesting story to tie it together.  Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe work brilliantly together.  This may be the only 2016 movie I actually bother buying on bluray, and as such it gets my top spot.

2 Responses to “My Top Ten Movies of 2016”

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