Has it been a year already? It didn’t feel so long ago that I was writing a post on the most anticipated movies of 2016 and here I am writing about the best and worst of the year gone by. My top ten has changed so many times this year, and my top three in the Summer has now been completely obliterated. It’s a testament to how good this year has been for films. Before I reveal my top ten, here is a run down of the films that have featured in the list of my favourite films of the year but were just pipped at the post. If you would like to read the full review of a film then please click the title:
10 Cloverfield Lane – a thriller with a hint of sci-fi and a scarily good performance from John Goodman.
Midnight Special – another intelligent sci-fi and made by one of the most promising directors working today.
The Hateful Eight – Tarantino has always been a bit hit-and-miss for me but this made me want to revisit all his previous films with this superb, claustrophobic Western.
Sing Street – one of the best feel-good movies released this year with the catchiest songs written for the big screen.
Deadpool – Kick-Ass may have been doing this in 2010 but this was a much-needed twist of the comic book genre and a fantastic film to boot.
Rogue One – Star Wars as it should be. A family film but a nod to the darker days of the space opera. This will delight the fans of the original trilogy and welcomes newcomers to the franchise.
There has been some right guff released this year, too, and whilst the following didn’t break into my worst three films of the year, the disappointment experienced by each was a bitter pill to swallow after such high expectations:
Hail, Caesar! – I have been exploring the Coen Brothers’ back catalogue and have unearthed some gems that I have previously missed. Hail, Caesar! was fine but not a patch on their best work. The funniest clip was played to death in the trailer, too.
Doctor Strange – Perfectly cast, great visual effects, but so very boring! This did nothing new and sticks to the tried, tested and stale Marvel formula of old. Why they didn’t follow the same refreshing path of Captain America: Civil War is a mystery to me.
Suicide Squad – Another example of a superb cast totally wasted. Edited by someone with a machete and a hangover, the marketing department did a better job of the trailers than the crew did with the film!
I always try to end my blogs on a high, so before I reveal my top ten films of the year, here are my three worst films to soil our screens in 2016:
3) The Danish Girl – Eddie Redmayne ensuring his Panto career is safe when he calls time on the movies. It also looks very staged and unlike how 1920s/30s Denmark would be. Short but felt a lot longer.
2) Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice – Watch the trailer, it’s better than the film and shows you everything anyway!
1) Absolutely Fabulous – Cameo, cameo, cameo, cameo, cameo, cameo, exposition, cameo, cameo, cameo, cameo, cameo, cameo, end.
**shudders** Even the briefest of mentions of those turgid three films is enough to send a shiver down my spine. Without further ado, here are my favourite films of 2016:
10) The Revenant – Iñárritu and Co show you how to create an immersive cinematic experience without the need to slap an expensive but cheap-looking pair of specs on your head!
9) Under The Shadow – The human story works as well as the horror. A creepy and chilling debut from a director with a bright future.
8) Ghostbusters – I laughed out loud from start to finish. Honours the originals without emulating them. It’s such a shame it didn’t do well at the box office.
7) Nocturnal Animals – I’m still thinking about this now and I watched it ages ago! This gets under your skin and is hard to shake off. Stories within stories rarely work but Tom Ford has done an exquisite job, and it’s only his second feature! A grim but essential watch.
6) The Girl With All The Gifts – An intelligent zombie film that dares to do something different with the genre. Not a single frame is wasted as it grabs your attention from the off and refuses to let go until the very end.
5) Captain America: Civil War – If you think you’ve seen everything that comic book movies have to offer, think again! This bucks the Marvel trend with a totally different approach and is all the better for it. A breath of much-need fresh air for this genre.
4) Room – A heart-breaking story told well with strong performances from the cast and no intrusive creativity from an assured director. It’s not the film you think it will be when you read the blurb.
3) Spotlight – The most perfectly paced film in this list. The performances are so convincing you would be forgiven for thinking this was a fly-on-the-wall documentary if it wasn’t for the famous faces!
2) Arrival – An intelligent sci-fi that doesn’t put a foot wrong. An intriguing watch from start to finish and full of surprises.
1) Kubo and the Two Strings – Another beautiful animation from the geniuses at Laika Studios with a strong, emotional story. The only film in this list that I could have rewound and watched again straight afterwards and it broke my heart when I found out how long I had to wait for the Blu-ray.
2017 has a lot to live up to after such an astonishing year of films. 2016 will be remembered by those films that came out of nowhere with fresh ideas, such as Midnight Special, Arrival and Nocturnal Animals. Click here for my 2017 Preview, where I reveal what I am most looking forward to in the year ahead.