My Favorite Movies of 2016
Well, let's round out a shitty year that was astonishingly not full of shitty movies! The crop this year was so great, picking 5 was nearly impossible, so I picked 8. I have a feeling that, had I seen them before making this, A Monster Calls and Fences would probably be on the list somewhere.
- •La La LandThe spectacle and energy of this movie had me wanting to stand up to watch it. Such an electric piece of work, I didn't want it to end. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have such talent and believable chemistry that it's impossible not to fall in love with both of them. Damien Chazelle is now a national treasure, and this one is only one of two on this list that are perfect 10's.
- •ArrivalArrival is...a very special film. It proves that taking a risk on sci-fi not based on an IP doesn't have to be a risk. It also tells an extremely human story that felt necessary. Its powerful, grounded, message resonates long after. Even though it took 10 years to get off the ground, I feel like it was serendipitous that it was released when it seemed like we needed it most. Plus it made me cry both times I saw it. A perfect film in every way. 10/10.
- •Rogue OneNot to say that Episode VII failed in any respect, but I feel like Rogue One did more to expand the Star Wars universe than Force Awakens did. It managed to blend the prequels and the original trilogy seamlessly, while simultaneously telling its own story that managed to feel the most like Star Wars than any of the other films since the O.T. Not a perfect flick, but a perfect Star Wars flick in every regard.
- •Captain America Civil WarThis is the greatest achievement the MCU has accomplished (spoiler alert for my MCU list...). A better, more exciting movie than Avengers: AoE, that still manages to be a Captain America movie at its core. Chocked full of cameos, call backs, great moments that actively further the universe, and a the first appearance EVER of Black Panther. The airport sequence is a fanboy dream come true...even IF it's hero vs. hero. The Russo's have done no wrong, yet.
- •10 Cloverfield LaneGoing into this with no knowledge whatsoever was the best choice. Nerves were frayed on account of John Goodman's insanely amazing performance, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead can be in literally every movie ever and I'd be happy. A very cool addition to the (now) anthological Cloverfield series that never slows down.
- •Star Trek BeyondThe best of the nuTrek without a doubt, Beyond was able to accomplish the near seemingly impossible task of making a movie for Trek fans and the mainstream audience and STILL make it feel like an old episode somehow. Simon Pegg writing it helped, and Justin Lin seems to balance out the thoughtful writing with great action directing. It's scaled down nuTrek that finally forces the crew to use more than just explosions and the Enterprise to save the day.
- •Green RoomThis movie feels punk as hell. Everything about it is gritty, savage, raw, angry and real. This is the most tense I've been in a long, long time and managed to make me want to look away but hypnotized me into not being able to. The violence is violent. The cast is superb. The movie is great. A better showcase of the pure talent of Anton Yelchin and a much better send off for him than Star Trek Beyond.
- •The Nice Guys
- •Don't Think Twice