Even though 2017 is setting up to be the biggest box office explosion that the film industry has even seen, 2016 was still a solid year for movies all the way around. Just like last year, even though I watched literally 100’s of new movies in 2016, I haven’t seen them all, so I’m sticking to the movies I have personally seen myself. Hit the jump and let us know your favorite movies of the year.
Before we jump into this Top 10 I want to mention that there are some sure standouts that mostly likely would have been on this list and others in big talks, but my movie nerd self has yet to see them. I’m your perfect cross between an Oscar Only Movie Perfectionist to your typical Explosion Action Affictionato. Also note that in last year’s Top 10 I speculated that The Revenant would be my #1 movie. It came out Christmas 2015, but officially released January 6, 2016 — just know that that’s #1 – Leo is the GOAT.
“From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde, a wily fox who makes her job even harder.”
For the one animated spot on this list it will be a toss up (Moana) for most, but for me Zootopia takes the cake. It gives you a look at what a prejudice society has become through animals with brilliant story telling, adventures and that Disney famed crystal clear animation.
9. Captain Fantastic
“In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.”
As a random watch, I was very pleased with Captain Fantastic’s realness and rawness as it sat perfectly with the storyline at hand from start to finish. The cinematography, the soundtrack, the finish line… you’ll laugh, cry, and laugh and cry again… this is one film you shouldn’t cross off your list.
“On Thursday, January 15th, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain Chesley Sullenberger, nicknamed “Sully”, glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.”
This “miracle on the Hudson” sits absolutely as one of the top dramas of 2016 with Clint Eastwood & Tom Hanks working perfection. This film is a great display of the power of the human spirit and humanity as a whole, make sure you put time away to watch it.
7. Hacksaw Ridge
“WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.”
You get everything you’d expect from this Mel Gibson directed movie with literally start to finish — hand gripping to your seat — type of feeling. It’s like your in war with them it’s so real. I feel any more details will spoil this film, so get out and see this untold true story of an inspiring man.
6. Rouge One: A Star Wars Story
“Jyn Erso, a Rebellion soldier and criminal, is about to experience her biggest challenge yet when Mon Mothma sets her out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. With help from the Rebels, a master swordsman, and non-allied forces, Jyn will be in for something bigger than she thinks.”
While this years Star Wars Story wasn’t a chart topper for me (like last year’s Rouge One) it still made a mark for every Star Wars fanatic out there. This ties into the plot of ‘A New Hope’ and it gives a now necessary and fulfilling beginning to the start of the franchise we all love. (umm, yes I’m bias!)
5. Hell or High Water
“Following a series of armed robberies at a number of branches where very little money was taken, we learn that the motive of unemployed oil and gas worker Toby Howard and his brother is to raise enough money to pay off the reverse mortgage that will forfeit their recently deceased mother’s ranch if not paid off. After two of the robberies, curmudgeonly Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton and his American Indiana deputy partner pick up the trial and just miss foiling the next, and last robbery.”
This movie was my sleeper — sounds stupid, but I went into this film with no knowledge of it, no prior reviews and no — well you get it, I went in blind. This is a flawlessly acted, thoughtful western, but also crime film that hits all the marks you’d ever want correctly. If you don’t pay attention and pass on movies like this one, you will be missing out on this modern day western sure to hold your attention beginning to end.
4. La La Land
“Mia, an aspiring actress, serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions and Sebastian, a jazz musician, scrapes by playing cocktail party gigs in dingy bars, but as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.”
I’m going to steal the words from Darren Ruecker from ‘We’ve Got You Covered’ for this insert, because he got it down to a science with one line, “La La Land feels like a throwback and also like something we’ve never seen before, resulting in a dreamy musical that hits just about every note.”
3. Manchester by the Sea
“An Uncle is obliged to return home to care for his nephew after his brother dies. Unknowing he is to be the guardian and struggles with the decision. Throughout the movie he recounts past memories that caused him to leave Manchester and distancing himself from his past.”
In order to sum up this movie I have to piggy back on yet another quote, this time from Mike Scott of the New Orleans Times, “Opening a window into a wounded soul, it reminds us that beneath even the most brusque, hard-to-approach exterior often lies a human being bearing the scars of real, sometimes devastating human experiences.”
“A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.”
I’m sorry that I’m using yet another quote, but “La La Land,” “Manchester by the Sea,” and now, “Moonlight” are all in the works to take home a lot of awards this Awards Season. For this, Nico Lang of ‘Consequence of Sound’ writes, “Under Jenkins’ direction, Moonlight is both haunting and poetic, a bittersweet elegy for what could have been. His unflinching camera, which tends to follow the film’s characters like a ghost, gives the film a startling immediacy and emotional power.”
“When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – led by expert linguist Louise Banks – is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.”
Right after seeing the trailer I was amp’d for this movie and I saw it the first minute I could! To say I was blown away wouldn’t be enough words. This may be a specific type of film for a specific genre of people, but man… this movie, at least for me, hit the mark in every way I wanted it to and nothing could top it in 2016! Can’t wait to own it and watch it again and again.