Best Films of 2016

I’ve seen a lot of films in the last year, perhaps the most I’ve ever seen in a single year. It’s phenomenal given how busy I’ve been. 

There were a couple of films I caught at the London Film Festival that I haven’t put in because they will be 2017 films. I may as well state that there is no way La La Land won’t make the list for 2017. It’s just that good.

I also decided I’d treat documentary films seperately because this year was the best in a long time for this genre. The top of the pile was probably Weiner, though there was a whole bunch of great efforts that will get their own article.

Here’s my top twelve, in alphabetical order:

Arrival


What I said:

“Arrival is one of the best films of the year. Gripping, intelligent, thought-provoking and stylish. A must see.”

Read the original review here.

Deadpool


What I said:

” It’s brash, it’s offensive and it’s graphic. It’s almost like a superhero film from an alternate reality, where the primary goal isn’t to sell action figures and lunchboxes. Its failings are more than made up for by how refreshing it was to see a completely different take on the genre.”

Read the original review here.

The Hateful Eight


What I said:

“This is a psychological mystery that isn’t afraid to maintain the whole story in complete isolation. It intertwines some laugh-out-loud moments with shocking gore in a way that only Tarantino knows how. It may not be his greatest achievement but it certainly doesn’t disappoint.”

Read the original review here.

Julieta


What I said:

“A beautiful work of art and a must see for anyone with a penchant for high quality cinema.”

Read the original review here.

Moana


What I said:

“The plaudits must go to Auli’i Cravalho, who comes in as a complete unknown and has delivered a lead performance that equals the best Disney has ever achieved. At just sixteen but with a voice as good as anything I’ve ever heard on stage, she has a very bright future indeed.”

Read the original review here.

The Neon Demon


What I said:

“This is a sensational film with a powerful leading performance from a girl just seventeen at the time of filming. Pairing this with such bold film making and the result was never going to be anything but an overwhelming success.”

Read the original review here.

Nocturnal Animals


What I said:

“If you’re interested in seeing Tom Ford’s latest then you need to know what you’re getting yourself in for. It’s a veritable misery-fest. And it’s absolutely breathtaking.”

Read the original review here.

Raw


What I said:

“Clearly, any film that can accurately depict a human devouring the flesh of a fellow human is going to turn some stomachs. It would be easy enough to nail the visual effects, make a shocking trailer and launch it out into the world. Where Raw will find wider success is the fact that there is a genuinely interesting and well-realised film beyond the surface, which justifies its critical praise.”

Read the original review here.

Room


What I said:

“It may not seem it but it’s a wonderful hidden gem, the quality of which will only become apparent once you’ve seen it. It is deliberately difficult but equally rewarding to witness. An early contender for one of my top films of the year.”

Read the original review here.

Spotlight


What I said:

“The film is now serving the same purpose as the original article: to shine a spotlight on a diabolical scandal that should have been eradicated decades ago. It is possibly the most important film you will see this year.”

Read the original review here.

Victoria


What I said:

“When I say one-shot, I mean one-shot: no trickery, no cut-aways, no cheating. That’s 138 minutes of film in one continuous take – a bold move that took three attempts to get right. It’s a glorious achievement and a wonder to behold, even though the film is perhaps flawed as a result of its own triumph.”

Read the original review here.

When Marnie Was There


What I said:

“Instantly it will strike you that it’s just as beautifully animated as anything we’ve seen before, with hand-drawn drawings taking us on the typically personal, solitary journey of the main character. Animation has seldom looked this good.”

Read the original review here.

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