In honor of the Academy Awards tonight. 8 of 9 best picture Oscar nominees made it on my list (sorry Hacksaw Ridge, fuck you Mel Gibson). Art is always a constant. Its pure humanity is beautiful and inspiring. Just like music was, movies were a bright spot and a solace during 2016. Here are, what I believe, the best in a year full of great films.
  1. HELL OR HIGH WATER (directed by David Mackenzie/written by Taylor Sheridan)
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    Not normally the kind of movie I watch/enjoy, but the script was just right with this one.
  2. ZOOTOPIA (directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore/written by Jared Bush and Phil Johnston)
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    There's always an animated film that's a dark horse every year. This is it. Well written. And nails it with the sociopolitical commentary.
  3. JACKIE (directed by Pablo Larraín/written by Noah Oppenheim)
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    Natalie Portman is so, so good. And who doesn't love a film about a Kennedy?
  4. ARRIVAL (directed by Denis Villeneuvu/written by Eric Heisserer)
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    A movie about aliens for people who hate movies about aliens (that's me). Intellectual and well acted. Also relevant in tone re: how we treat/view immigrants/foreigners.
  5. OJ: MADE IN AMERICA (directed by Ezra Edelman)
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    Literally everything about/surrounding the OJ trial is fascinating. Meticulous and well put together.
  6. SING STREET (directed and written by John Carney)
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    Charming little Irish film about music, youth and love. Better than any American film about youth I've seen recently. Super catchy songs, too.
  7. DON'T THINK TWICE (directed and written by Mike Birbiglia)
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    Did Mike Birbiglia study my life and decide that the heartbreaking nature and utter depressive tendencies of an artist's life and passion-seeking are appropriate fodder for film? I think he did.
  8. TONI ERDMAN (directed and written by Maren Ade)
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    A very eccentric German comedy/drama. Quite endearing though.
  9. PATERSON (directed and written by Jim Jarmusch)
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    Startlingly understated. A quaint look at life and human interaction.
  10. THE LOBSTER (directed by Yorgos Lanthimos/written by Efthimis Filippou)
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    Dark. Twisted. Poignant. Deceptively humorous. That's my kinda shit.
  11. LA LA LAND (directed and written by Damien Chazelle)
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    Jazz! Hollywood! Hot people!
  12. HIDDEN FIGURES (directed by Theodore Melfi/written by Allison Schroeder)
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    An amazing untold story (obvi) with some really great acting performances.
  13. CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (directed and written by Matt Ross)
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    I fucking loved this movie. Obviously raising your kids in the wilderness is extreme, but the overall point/message here is really important IMHO.
  14. FENCES (directed by Denzel Washington/written by August Wilson)
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    Excellent adaptation of an excellent play. Viola is 👌. Denzel deserved a nomination for best director. Fuckin Mel Gibson.
  15. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (directed by Raoul Peck/written by James Baldwin)
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    James Baldwin was an all time great. V important doc. A must watch.
  16. 20th CENTURY WOMEN (directed and written by Mike Mills)
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    Mike Mills' films are always so great, from both a writing and directing standpoint. I adored this film. Should've taken Hacksaw Ridge's spot for best picture.
  17. LION (directed by Garth David/written by Luke Davies)
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    Heart warming and incredible story. Really well acted. Dev is my dude.
  18. 13th (directed and written by Ava DuVernay
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    Vital documentary. Watch this and get #woke.
  19. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan)
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    Fuck. Me. Up.
  20. MOONLIGHT (directed and written by Barry Jenkins)
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    Simply beautiful. Need I say more?