2016 has been a good year for movies, so good I couldn’t chose just 10. So I did the second best thing and picked 11 in no particular order and one more as my absolute favorite.
I think it goes without saying that the following are my personal picks and if something you think deserves to be here isn’t, either I haven’t seen it (I really couldn’t watch every movie released in 2016) or it just didn’t hit me on the same level. The first 11 movies will be in order of release date and at the end I’ll have my number 1 (which you probably already guessed from picture above).
I’m going to go out on a limb and say you probably saw Deadpool too, which means you know why it’s here. They made a good Deadpool movie, fourth-wall-breaking, unhinged, R-rated and kind of everything we were hoping it would be.
This is probably the hardest movie on here to recommend to people. I mean I saw The Witch with subtitles because in that movie characters speak in old English. It’s also very slow. At the same time it all somehow worked for me in a way I didn’t expect it to work. The Witch is probably the most unique movie I’ve seen in 2016, one that was hard to watch but ultimately very rewarding.
2016 was a great year for animations, which explains why I have three on my list. It might not be as fresh in my mind as the other two, doesn’t change the fact Zootopia deserves to be here.
10 Cloverfield Lane
If this is what the Cloverfield series aims to be from now on then sign me up for more. I really didn’t much care for Cloverfield, so me liking 10 Cloverfield Lane as much as I did definitely came as a surprise. This movie goes places I didn’t expect it to go and if you’ve yet to see it I hope no one spoiled any of those twists.
Captain America: Civil War
It’s not exactly the Civil War from the comics but for a 147 minute movie they sure did fit a lot in here. Between introducing Black Panther and the new Spider-Man, continuing to build on Captain America: The Winter Soldier , the relationship between Steve Rogers and Bucky, adding Iron Man on top of that and also giving each of the dozen or so heroes in the movie at least one moment to shine, Captain America: Civil War had to spin a lot of plates. Yet the Russo brothers did it all with flying colors, constructing one of the best entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And then there’s that airport scene, that alone was enough to get Captain America: Civil War on this list.
Where do I even start with The Wailing, a South Korean supernatural mystery horror from writer/director Hong-jin Na. Well for starters it’s good, really good. It’s also weird and unsettling, kind of like The Witch, but maybe not quite that far. I mean it made me want to watch Hong-jin Na’s other movies, if that tells you anything. And like The Witch this film is not easy to recommend.
Kubo and the Two Strings
Kubo is probably my favorite Laika movie to date, and that’s saying something considering how much I love their previous work. So simple on the surface yet so deep by the end. Kubo and the Two Strings is a wonderful story about growing up, one I’ll want to share with my future kids.
A smart sci-fi about language, hope and much more. The less you know about Arrival going in, the better your experience will be. Also the ending might not be for everyone, but it will get you talking. I’d say most other years this could have been my top pick, and it almost was for 2016.
Moana is Little Mermaid/Beauty and the Beast/Aladdin/The Lion King Disney and I love it. This is also its own thing and if you want further evidence of Moana‘s greatness I’ll send you here and here.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One makes A New Hope a better movie and like I said in my sort of review, it’s probably my new favorite Star Wars film. That’s more than enough to get it on this list.
And my favorite movie of 2016 is:
Hell or High Water
A modern day western with fantastic performances from Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster, as well as a gripping story about two brothers who rob banks to raise enough money to pay the same bank and not lose their dead mother’s ranch. There’s actually more to that story and over the 100 minutes or so they keep adding layers upon layers to those characters. Great soundtrack, outstanding cinematography, Hell or High Water is without a doubt my top movie of 2016.
What are your favorite movies of 2016?