January 1, 2017 15 min to read
My Top 17 Movies of 2016 and My 8 Most Disappointing Films of 2016.
Category : Uncategorized
First off let me say, happy new year.
I’ve been thinking, dreading and hotly anticipating this post since I started my blog earlier this year. From my first review of Swiss Army Man, to my most recent review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I didn’t get to see La La Land yet, but it is definitely on my list to still see this year, or early next year before Oscar season starts. I’m very thankful also this year for the amount of comments, criticism and especially people pushing me to keep reviewing by pulling me aside on Facebook and discussing film or giving me views on this thing, as of right now I’m standing at 674 views from 295 visitors; thats crazy to me. Thank you so much everyone for reading my tyrants and praise of film in 2016, and I cannot wait to continue to blog films from the beginning of 2017 onwards.
For those wondering my most anticipated films of 2017 are (in no specific order):
- John Wick Chapter 2 – February 10th, 2017
- A Cure For Wellness – February 17th, 2017
- Dunkirk – July 21st, 2017
- Blade Runner 2049 – October 6th, 2017
- Beauty And The Beast – March 17th, 2017.
So what I decided to do, is to make a top 16 film list. Most people do a top 10, and I wanted a bit of leeway in the end of the year close. This list started at 14, but then moved to 15, and dammit, now its 16 and isn’t moving again. (Actually the 16 lasted a day, and now its 17). I have seen in total 441 films, attended 18 or more screenings in 2016. If its not here, and you think I should see it fire me off a message. As much as I tried to go see everything I missed a couple films namely La La Land and Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, which will be fixed in 2017. If something isn’t here that I reviewed and liked, that means that it just didn’t stand out for me this year in a list of all these other films. And at the end I will definitely throw in my list of worst films of 2016, and as I have said preciously this year, if I gave the film a bad review or didn’t like it, doesn’t mean that everyone will hate it, thats just my opinion.
Also, I won’t do my typical thing of breaking every film down and break down exactly who was in it, and everything. This will be a brief snapshot and my overall thought. If I reviewed the film, I will link my review, and I will also put my overall score in brackets. The score doesn’t mean much in the ranking though, I’m going with the films that stood out the most to me, and I would gladly rematch in the coming year. As always, there will be zero Spoilers.
I’ll also apologize now for the long blog (The longest blog I’ve written so far), but I wanted to fit everything in one post. So if you want to just scroll through and not hear the reason why these films are on my list, you can just scroll through and see the bolded titles titles.
The most disappointing films of 2016:
1) Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice – Honestly, this movie was super disappointing. The story was super uneven, and honestly…It left me just wanting the solo Batman film that Ben Affleck is directing. Zack Snyder is very much like a Michael Bay, His films are style and not substance.
2) Suicide Squad – Much like Batman V. Superman, Suicide Squad was a mess. It was super uneven in tone and in plot. It was saved by Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, but the direction was bad. Which is super surprising because David Ayer is a great director, and he has directed and written some excellent films. Suicide Squad, is not one of those films. DC Films for me were an absolute flop this year, I’m hopeful for the brand to pull itself around in the future, but I thought both of these DC films were very disappointing films this year.
3) Zoolander 2 – Honestly, this film wasn’t horrible. But there was no way that the film could live up to the original. I think thats where my disappointment came through, I’m glad I didn’t pay to watch it, but I felt like the sequel was unnecessary.
4) XOXO – A really awful Netflix original movie (I also think it was their first? I’m not clear on that) It was such a stupid film, with barely any substance. The music was good, but only if you like Electronic Dance Music. The characters were dumb, the plot was dumb, the comedy was flat.
5) The Shallows – I think I was so disappointed in this film because the hype train behind it. Everyone online was talking about how great the film was and how it was like a Jaws for the 21st century. Blake Lively was the best part about it, I just didn’t think it was all that good, and the CGI on the Shark was just kinda flat.
6) Independence Day: Resurgence – The first think I said after watching this film was “Why?” This film wasn’t good, in fact, it followed very much the same strides of the original 1996 film. It was fun to see the characters back in their roles, especially Jeff Goldblum. But the film was just bad. I’m kind of hoping the 3rd one doesn’t get made, but I’d be interested to see if they could redeem themselves with a lacklustre sequel.
7)Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates – I was totally in for the cast, but I felt like the comedy and the story fell flat. I didn’t laugh as much as I thought I would, and I felt like it was a waste of their talents.
8) 31 – Rob Zombie is very hit and miss lately, He’s made some really great horror movies, but as of late, his films have been a miss for me. Halloween 2 was bad, I didn’t watch the Lords Of Salem yet, but I’ve started to watch it a couple times and just got bored. I thought that 31 would be the return of form, which I think in some ways it was, but I got bored in some parts, and I thought it was a waste of a really interesting premise – Five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, where the goal is to survive for 12 hours against a gang of sadistic clowns. This was very much style over substance, I thought it had some cool deaths, but at the end of it, I thought it was pretty forgettable. I bought into the story when reading about it and I thought it failed to meet expectations, maybe my bar was set too high? but thats where the disappointment factors weens its ugly head.
Best Films of 2016:
17) The Neon Demon (4/5) – After seeing Nicholas Winding Refn’s last film, Only God Forgives, I was hotly anticipating this film, because if nothing else NWR’s style is superb and his colour palette is just amazing. The Neon Demon was a great return to form for what I consider an NWR film, Drive being one of my favourite films of 2011. This movie was just the right amount of bizarre and weird, but it was a very unique and great film, fill of brilliant imagery. Definitely a stand out film visually of 2016.
16) Nerve (4/5) – The trailer made this movie look really interesting, and I was really excited to see the film. I thought it was a great thriller, and it was definitely fun to watch. Emma Roberts was fantastic as always. The film is about a high school senior who finds herself immersed in an online game of truth or dare, where her every move is manipulated by an anonymous community of “Watchers.”
15) Loving – A film by Jeff Nichols, based on a true story. The film is about the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a interracial couple in Virgina in the 1950s. I thought this film was very “classy.” I keep referring to this movie as classy, which is weird to say because its about racism in the 1950’s. But I thought the story was so well done. It created a great amount of tension, which is very much the style of Nichols.
14) Deepwater Horizon (4.5/5) – Another Peter Burg/Mark Whalberg collaboration, also based on a true story. The films is about the disaster that took place on the deep sea oil rig in 2010. This film was extremely intense from how it was filmed to the impending doom that the audience knew whats coming. I thought the performances of this film really stood out, and it was definitely an engaging film to watch. The sound mixing in the film was amazing too, and visually it was great to look at.
13) Indignation (4/5) – I was intrigued by this film just because of the actor Logan Lerman. He stole the show in The Perks of Being A Wallflower (2012). The film takes place in 1951, it follows a working-class Jewish boy (Logan Lerman) from New Jersey. He attends a small Ohio, extremely religious, college. It is here where he struggles with sexual repression and cultural disaffection, amid the ongoing Korean War. I had a soft spot for period piece films this year, I loved the setting of the film and I loved the characters.
12) Deadpool – This was a fantastic way to start off a brilliant year for movies. Ryan Reynolds doesn’t play Deadpool, Deadpool plays Ryan Reynolds. His portrayal of the anti-hero is just fantastic. The film is about a gun for hire who undergoes treatment for his illness and comes out the other side with healing powers and a thirst for revenge. The film is violent, hilarious, fun and ridiculous. It is highly recommended, and definitely my favourite Marvel super hero movie of all time. I cannot wait to see the sequel, and I can’t recommend this film enough.
11) Captain Fantastic (4.5/5) – Captain Fantastic was a film I put off for too long this year. I fell in love with the characters and the story. The film is about a family living in the forest. The father, devoted to raising his 6 kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education, is forced to leave the forest due to an event and enter the world, which challenges his idea of what it means to be a parent. It was also a unique film with a great setting and it was intriguing. I thought Viggo Mortensen’s role as Ben, the father of these kids was superb. After it was done, I wanted to restart it again, such a wonderful film.
10) Blair Witch (4.5/5) – Adam Wingard is one of the top horror filmmakers in Hollywood, I think he and Simon Barrett (the writer of this film) are genius’. I thought this was a great found footage film, and had a great take on it with the technology that they used. It wasn’t as great as the original, but I thought this film was definitely a refreshing film to watch, and it was a lot of fun. Thats why it breaks into the top 10, and I will pick up the blu ray whenever it comes out (January 3rd).
9)Swiss Army Man (4/5) – I knew when I saw this movie that it would be on my top list of films of 2016. A delightfully weird, hilarious and well acted romp. The film is about a hopeless man stranded on a deserted island who befriends a corpse, and together they go on a journey to get home. Paul Dano was fantastic as always, and Daniel Radcliffe’s role was my favourite role he’s done, and thats saying a lot when he plays a farting corpse. Probably one of the most unique and genuinely surprising films of this year.
8) Green Room – I never got around to reviewing this film this year, but I was blown away and genuinely disturbed by this movie. The film is about a punk rock band that is forced to fight for their survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar. Sir Patrick Stewart played the owner of this bar, and was a down right crazy old man. It was shocking to see him play this role, and play this type of role so well. Also Anton Yelchin was amazing in this film, and he will definitely be missed as an actor. I came out of this film and thought about it for 3 days, I was genuinely disturbed and my stomach hurt so much. It made me feel bad about things, but it was definitely a stand out film of the year. If you think you can handle it, definitely watch it.
7)Denial (4.5/5) – Anyone who knows me, knows that I was gung-ho to go see it. It was a World War II/Holocaust film, which is a topic drove me to study history. the film is based on a true story about an acclaimed historian and writer Deborah Lipstadt who must battle for historical truth to prove the Holocaust actually occurred when David Irving, a renowned denier, sues her for libel. Rachel Weisz was wonderful in this movie and really commanded the film. I was also disturbed by how well and how vile Timothy Spall was. For anyone interested in the topic or just wants a really great, based on true event court drama, look no further than Denial. I ended up returning to the movie theatre again to revisit this film, and it will be a great addition to my blu ray collection in January.
6) Hacksaw Ridge (5/5) – A return from Mel Gibson, it was fascinating story about a real person. I thought Andrew Garfield did a phenomenal job in this movie, and was easily my favourite role he’s done. Also it was another World War II movie, which is very much my jam. It was a very intense film, with a very touching story. It reminded me a lot of Saving Private Ryan, which definitely isn’t a bad thing.
5)Hell Or High Water (5/5) – A super interesting take on a familiar genre. It was a Western, heist film. I think I enjoyed this film a lot more because I really love Heist films. Michael Mann’s 1995 film Heat is one of my favourite films of all time, and I got a weird Heat vibe from this movie, but on a smaller scale. The film is about a divorced father and his ex-con brother resort to a desperate scheme to save their family’s ranch in West Texas. Chris Pine and Ben Foster had great chemistry, and I loved the setting of this film.
4) The VVitch (The Witch) – Honestly, this was my favourite horror movie of the year, in a year where we got some really stand out horror films – The Conjuring 2, Blair Witch, Lights Out, and Don’t Breathe (didn’t watch yet, but its on my list). This film was intense and extremely well made. Its about a family in 1630s New England that is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession. The neatest part of this movie is the script was written in old time english, and it was a superb period piece. I cannot wait to see this directors take on Nosferatu, which is his next film.
3) Moonlight (5/5) – I fell in love with this movie, and I have considered it the most important film of 2016. I thought that the story was extremely well done and it was extremely well acted. I said in my review, and I will say it here, This is my pick for the best picture Academy Award in February. I actually returned to the theatre again to see this movie, and the second time was better. Just an unbelievable film. The film is about human connection and self-discovery, it follows the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world.
2)Arrival (5/5) – I knew that once I heard about this film, and having Denis Villeneuve’s name attached to direct that I knew that this film was going to be something special, and it absolutely was. Amy Adams was absolutely fantastic in this movie. The film is about a linguist who is tasked with interpreting the language of alien passengers who have landed at 12 spots all over the world. Just an absolutely amazing and thought provoking film.
1) Anthropoid (5/5) – For anyone whose been talking to me over the year, This was a done deal for my favourite film of 2016 when I went to an advanced screening of it in August. I ended up returning to the theatre twice to revisit this film. The story is what drew me in, and I think I loved it more because I didn’t know about this operation, even after spending 4 years studying history in university. This film was extremely well directed, well acted and the scenery just was amazing. It did a great job building up the film, and the ending stuck me with all year. The music was also amazing, I find myself listening to the soundtrack at least once a week. I bought the blu ray and have already watched it 3 more times.
We had a brilliant year of films, it was difficult for me to really break down my favourite films. I’m also glad that I only could put 8 films on my most disappointing film list of 2016, and even that really isn’t in any order, except for the two DC films being the most disappointing. 2017will be another great year of film, and I honestly cannot wait to see what the year brings. It’ll be a lot of great and highly anticipated films, and I cannot wait to see them and write more reviews for you!
Thank you again for your continued support and for reading my blog on a week-to-week basis. Until 2017, see you at the Oscars!