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Old 12-31-2016, 11:57 PM   #1
thewerepuppygrr thewerepuppygrr is offline
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Jul 2009
Exclamation The Blu-ray Community Top 25 Films of 2016 (Please Read 1st Post)

the Deadline for your votes is set for:
Saturday (Feb 25th) at noon eastern time (9 am pacific)

Yes it’s that time again. Let's ignore all the dead celebs and political anguish and make our annual top movies of the year list for 2016! Big thanks to MarkJ801 for the idea and his work on this in previous years. Looking for even more participation this year!


Like previous years, simply list your top 20 - 25 films in order descending from your favorite, the higher up the film is the more points it'll get, like this:

1. 25 Points
2. 19 Points
3. 18 Points
4. 17 Points
5. 16 Points
16. 5 Points
17. 4 Points
18. 3 Points
19. 2 Points
20. 1 Point
21. 1 Point
22. 1 Point
23. 1 Point
24. 1 Point
25. 1 Point

Your top film gets 25 points, because it's your favorite so it deserves a little bit extra. This year continues the addition of 21 - 25 as we believe everyone should have a chance to add some runners up, they all get 1 point each, which will hopefully avoid us getting many tie breakers and might allow us to add some little known films that wouldn't of initially gotten many peoples attention last year. If you can't think of extra 5 films worth mentioning, then don't worry, the minimum amount of submission is 20 films, the extra 5 are for people who might want them.

And please, list your films in the order given, no randomly ordered submission will be counted.

The Rules

1) Like mentioned above, Minimum amount of films listed is 20 and Maximum is 25. If you can't list 20 movies you've seen this year, all the films on your list will only receive 1 point each towards the total so be sure to reach that 20 milestone.

2) What counts as a 2016 release? - A film must have been released either limited, wide, on demand, or straight-to-dvd (which ever comes first) in the United States in 2016. This does not include film festivals or released internationally. It may be hard to determine if some films were released in 2014 or not, so that's what the strict rules on this are for.

Use the release dates on IMDb if you are unsure if it's eligible. As an example from the previous countdown, Snowpiercer was released in some countries and festivals in 2013, but did not get a limited release in the U.S. until June 27th, 2014. So that film will count as eligible for 2014. Likewise, a movie that doesn't get a wide release until January, but it had a limited release sometime in 2016, would also count.

Classic films that were re-released ARE NOT ELIGIBLE! Please do not include them on your list, you'll be asked to change it and if you haven't changed before the deadline, the films on your list will get 1 point each.

And if you're unsure if a film is eligible, just ask and we will help figure it out for you!

3) Please only make one list - Make only one list on this thread. However, you are free to update and change your original post as often as you'd like until the deadline. It will make tallying very hard if there are multiple lists from one person. Just find your original post and click 'Edit' to make your changes. If you do re-post your list twice or more, I'll message you to remove them.

4) Add a short review of your film choices - In an attempt to personalize the list as a whole, I want members to post a short bit of prose about their choice. This can range from a short sentence consisting of a couple of words to a couple of lines long paragraph, or you can link to a previous review you wrote when the film was released.

This is not compulsory, and you can write these short pieces on however many of your choices you want, even if it's only for your first pick., however the more input the better, the short words of wisdom will be included on the final tallied up list in a well presented manner, and you're list will be linked with you're description so others who see your words will hopefully want to look at your other choices as well.

5) Finally, just to remind you, the Deadline is set for:
Saturday (Feb 25th) at noon eastern time (9 am pacific)
Please make sure you get your list in and make any final edits before this deadline, as any changes after that will not count.

Previous Years:

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Old 01-01-2017, 12:03 AM   #2
esteban² esteban² is offline
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Yes ! I was hoping for someone to do this one.
Two months to try and catch up, perfect!

For your consideration :


01 | Moana (*)
02 | Swiss Army Man (*)
03 | Pete's Dragon (*)
04 | Zootopia
05 | A Monster Calls (*)
06 | The Little Prince
07 | The Red Turtle (*)
08 | The VVitch
09 | Finding Dory
10 | Captain America : Civil War

11 | Hell or High Water (*)
12 | Midnight Special (*)
13 | The Jungle Book
14 | Kung Fu Panda 3
15 | Rogue One (*)
16 | The BFG
17 | Arrival (*)
18 | Star Trek Beyond
19 | X-Men : Apocalypse
20 | Evolution

21 | Everybody Wants Some!! (*)
22 | Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice

(*) Titles I watched in 2017, trying to catch up. Had a terrible year (health) and missed almost everything. Seen more movies than are featured in the list, but only movies that scored 3.5 (or higher) out of 5 will get a chance.

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Old 01-01-2017, 12:05 AM   #3
Rodney-2187 Rodney-2187 is offline
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Jan 2014

1. Rogue One
When I was a kid playing with Star Wars toys, scenes similar to Rogue One were in my head. Rogue One is like my childhood imagination in a movie.

2. Deadpool
3. Hell or High Water
4. The Accountant
5. Cafe Society
6. Kubo and the Two Strings
7. Green Room
8. The Neon Demon
9. OJ: Made In America
10. Doctor Strange
11. The Lobster
12. The Nice Guys
13. Captain America: Civil War
14. X-Men Apocalypse
15. 10 Cloverfield Lane
16. Swiss Army Man
17. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
18. Hail, Caesar
19. Midnight Special
20. Arrival
21. Zootopia
22. The Magnificent Seven
23. Keeping Up With the Jonses
24. Synchronicity
25. Pee Wee's Big Holiday

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Old 01-01-2017, 12:06 AM   #4
Mandalorian Mandalorian is online now
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Sep 2010


Moonlight is an experience that only comes along every once in a while. We don't often get stories that explore homosexuality in the black community (that isn't played for a joke or an inconsequential side character), and we almost never get films that explore homosexuality in the hyper-masculine urban community (be it black, Latino, or any other). It's an emotionally draining, completely empathetic view into a world seldom seen in cinema, or generally spoken of at all. Barry Jenkins has crafted something in a league of its own, and I can assuredly say that it lives up to the much deserved hype.

Never has a film so thoroughly wrecked me in the most satisfying way. It's a bit odd to say that I laughed and cried almost equally while watching Manchester by the Sea, but that's a testament to what Kenneth Lonergan has accomplished with a sublime screenplay and spot-on casting. I would love to spend so much more time with Lee and Patrick.

Documentaries don't get any more in-depth than this. The long-form approach may have given Ezra Edelman an advantage in how much information he was able to stuff into the runtime, but that wouldn't amount to much if it hadn't been done in such an engrossing and entertaining way. This isn't a schlocky exposé, it's a tour through America's turbulent relationship with race and celebrity.

Arrival is thrilling, intellectually stimulating science fiction. Some questionable CGI notwithstanding, I love just about everything about it, from its ethereal atmosphere, to its stellar lead performances. It's also a timely exploration of communication being a more powerful tool than conflict, and unity between nations being a necessity for the security of mankind's future. The interweaving of linguistics and time will also make this one that I enjoy revisiting again and again.

I know there has been a backlash against the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I find these films to be some of the most fun I have at the theater each year. Civil War's balancing act of an intricate plot that never stops moving forward, numerous characters with varying abilities, and splash panelesque action scenes could have been a disaster, but I think all three elements were handled impeccably, making it my favorite film in the massive franchise thus far.

For a film I was not even looking forward to, it floored me. The animation is gorgeous, as expected, but the true stars of this show are the memorable musical numbers that I've been singing since I left the theater. The simple story fits so safely within the tried and true Disney princess mold that it's easy to dismiss, but this is easily my favorite of the lot thus far.

Damien Chazelle had high mountain to climb trying to follow his breakout hit Whiplash. While La La Land may play it safe, in my opinion, it's also one of the boldest choices he could've made. It's safe in the sense that it stars leads that are widely appealing and instantly likable, and it appeals to the film industry's self-loving mentality, making it easy award bait. But, it was also bold to make a bright, colorful musical that is mostly earnest in the age of cynicism. Chazelle's bold choice paid off, resulting in one of the most exciting spectacles of the year.
8. 13th

Ava DuVernay's 13th is a challenging deconstruction of one of America's dirtiest not-so-hidden secrets, modern day slavery by way of the prison industrial complex. It has some questionable artistic flourishes, especially regarding song lyrics, but the information is well worth it. If you have an open mind and an interest in race relations, then I cannot recommend it highly enough.

This is visceral, in-your-face filmmaking at its finest. Right in Jeremy Saulnier's wheelhouse. It's disgusting and beautiful at the same time. Anton may have left us too soon, but he didn't go without making an imprint on Horror cinema. This will be one I revisit for years to come.

Matt Ross's surprise gem is a thoughtful and thought-provoking work of art. I cannot remember seeing another film with as effectively unconventional parenting as this one. I fell in love with the entire family, from the six young performers, to the ever-reliable Viggo Mortensen. They're like the Thornberrys, if everyone was as intelligent and courageous as Eliza.

20th Century Women is an honest film. It handles sexuality and teen development in a refreshingly open manner. Perhaps it would have been punk rock ten or twenty years ago, but today it just feels modern. I can't think of a better way to cap off January 2017, following worldwide women's movement protests and politicians threatening to defund Planned Parenthood. Annette Bening deserves all the awards, but unfortunately her performance has gotten overshadowed by strong competition in a stacked year. Frankly, I've never loved Greta Gerwig as much as I did in this. As a son who has always been close to his mother, I saw 15-year-old me in Lucas Jade Zumann's Jamie. This is a special film.

Musicals have made a hell of a resurgence this year, thanks in part to John Carney's energetic ode to 80's pop. The young cast is filled with faces I had never seen before, and I want to see much more from going forward. I don't know what to say if you're unable to have any fun while watching this. I haven't seen many films that were sweeter, more inspirational, or just flat out joyous about life and music.

This is an example of committee filmmaking done absolutely right. Zootopia is stuffed to the brim with visual metaphors, amazingly detailed environments, and beautifully animated characters. The casting is excellent (especially Jason Bateman's fox and J.K. Simmons's lion), the writing is witty. It's a classic approach, using anthropomorphized animals, to a relevant political parable. It may be wholly unsubtle with its themes, but those themes are as prescient as ever, and sometimes people need messages to be overt in order for them sink in.

Taylor Sheridan and David Mackenzie followed up two fantastic films (Sicario and Starred Up) with yet another. Hell or High Water uses a classic Western approach to tell a story that is not only modern, but has something to say about the changes in society over time. If No Country For Old Men was about the world becoming something unrecognizable to law enforcement of an older generation, Hell or High Water takes that theme and doubles down on it. Unlike No Country, the criminals here are more anti-heroes than villains. They're on a mission that we can totally sympathize with. I love the shades of gray this story lives in.

After nearly a decade of Deadpool being one of my favorite comic book characters, seeing how shittily he was handled in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and not expecting his solo outing to come to fruition any time soon, I was both excited and worried when this film got the green light thanks to leaked test footage. It turned out to be one of the rare Hollywood movies that takes a chance on accurately depicting source material, despite alienating a large portion of potential ticket sales, and ends up being a huge hit in spite of that. The fourth wall breakage was wonderfully handled, when it could have easily come across as a gimmick. Deadpool's sense of humor could have been so overbearing that it became grating, and while it had that effect on some, most of it worked for me. The carnage hearkens back to gritty 80's action flicks. What Deadpool lacks in maturity, it makes up for in genuine love for its source and fans.

Taut, tense, and stylistically above reproach. Dan Trachtenberg's 10 Cloverfield Lane is a gorgeous Sci-Fi genre entry that came out of nowhere, thanks to a uniquely absent marketing campaign. It has stuck with me throughout the year since I first saw it, thanks to the assured direction, and especially to John Goodman's creepy performance. Bad Robot and Paramount have turned the Cloverfield franchise into a fresh, modern Twilight Zone-esque anthology, and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

The Nice Guys is another comfortable entry in Shane Black's stable of "buddy cop" action/comedy/thrillers. The retro 70's noir aesthetic is visually alluring, from the flamboyant porn party, to the hairstyles and wardrobe. The plot is as contrived as I'd expect from a detective film that is all about character. Black's writing shines in the sharp dialogue. Angourie Rice was one of surprisingly many excellent child actor/actress performances this year (Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, Captain Fantastic, Sing Street, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Fits, etc.). Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are a comedic match made in Heaven, and it makes me sad that we will likely never see a sequel, but I'm grateful to have this stand alone.

I debated putting both of this year's Marvel offerings on my list, but I couldn't deny how thoroughly enamored I was with Doctor Strange. I'm in love with its M.C. Escher/Inception inspired kaleidoscopic visuals and gravity-bending action scenes, but it wouldn't be on my list if it weren't for the characters, and some of the places its willing to take them. Benedict Cumberbatch makes a surgeon with a God complex likable. Strange is an ******* who was saving lives before he became a superhero. Tilda Swinton's Ancient One, for all of her controversy, is the kind of female character that can make real progress in the genre, by simply having nothing to do with gender. I look forward to revisiting this film more than almost any other on my list, which explains why I couldn't omit it.

I went into Silence hearing about how taxing the first half is, and that it requires patience to get through, but at nearly three hours, I didn't find myself struggling with it at all. It could have been exhausting to see so much torment forced upon people, but their abundance of faith acted as a cushion for themselves and the audience. It's gorgeous to look at, and rich in subtext and symbolism. It will likely inspire discussions about the morality of missionaries going into foreign land to teach their beliefs when they're unwelcome. Andrew Garfield gives a great enough performance to carry the story on his shoulders, but he doesn't have to thanks to the perfect casting of just about every Japanese character, especially Shinya Tsukamoto, Yosuke Kubozuka, and Tadanobu Asano.

Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople is lighthearted and charming, despite a surprisingly dark premise. Sam Neill and Julian Dennison's chemistry feels genuine, and makes spending time with them as they evade capture from the government and local hunters under accusations of kidnapping and pedophilia more fun than it has any right to be. Ricky Baker's birthday song gets stuck in my head every time I think about it. Once rejected, now accepted... Damn it, there it goes.

The level of access Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg were able to gain for this documentary has to be seen. This is the first time I've seen a behind the scenes look at a disgraced politician fighting for a comeback campaign, only for the film to evolve into a live examination of them falling to yet another scandal. Like Arrival, it's also painfully relevant, considering this scandal may have costed a candidate the presidency.

I don't think I've ever cried more while watching a film than I did with The James Foley Story. It's heart-wrenching to see what this man put himself through to pursue his passion. The general lack of attention this documentary has gotten truly baffles me. I feel like people are missing something incredibly special.

Quiet, meditative, and utterly engrossing. The Fits is a cold and distant film, in the best possible sense. We are given the opportunity to observe the lead character (played beautifully by newcomer Royalty Hightower) as she struggles with her identity as a girl becoming a young woman. It's deceptively simple, and easy to brush off as slight, but upon reflection, I found that I took more from it than I thought. The last scene nearly brought me to tears with the combination of visuals and music, in addition to what it implies for the character. Don't let me oversell it. Lower your expectations and see for yourself.

As an unabashed Coen brothers fanboy, I was taken aback by how divisive Hail, Caesar! has been. I thought their irreverent comedic styling and laden spiritual subtext had been well established enough for them to just have fun with the material by now. This fits right into their oeuvre as far as I'm concerned. It's equal parts homage and deriding of Hollywood's Golden Age. It's shiny and clean on the surface, but human and messy underneath. It has just about everything I'd want to see in a tour through 1950's Hollywood, from extravagant back lot sequences, to secret communist meetings.

At the risk of sounding superficial, a huge reason I enjoyed this film so much was it's beautiful black and white on-location cinematography. It took everything I love about the art of photography and set it in motion. There are enough frameable shots in Ciro Guerra's odyssey to open a gallery of stills. That said, I've found myself repeatedly revisiting the characters' spiritual journeys in my head since seeing it, and it makes for a wonderful pairing with Scorsese's Silence.

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Old 01-01-2017, 12:07 AM   #5
thewerepuppygrr thewerepuppygrr is offline
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Originally Posted by esteban² View Post

Yes ! I was hoping for someone to do this one.
Two months to try and catch up, perfect!
Well now I have to try and make the list look super professional like yours are these days.
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:10 AM   #6
dallywhitty dallywhitty is offline
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Aug 2009
The Macroverse

01. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
02. Nocturnal Animals
03. The Neon Demon
04. Hell or High Water
05. Arrival
06. The Witch
07. Don't Breathe
08. The Nice Guys
09. Kubo and the Two Strings
10. The Girl with all the Gifts
11. Midnight Special
12. 10 Cloverfield Lane
13. Finding Dory
14. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders
15. War Dogs
16. Lights Out
17. Passengers
18. Morgan
19. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
20. The Accountant

Only saw 34 films this year so don't expect every entry on my list to be a certified masterpiece. Didn't include Louis Theroux's My Scientology Movie as, despite receiving a limited UK release in 2016, it's not getting a States release until March. Otherwise I would've placed it at #14.

Still haven't seen High Rise and Sing Street and other films I'd probably really like. Silence has only just come out here. La La Land is out on the 12th. Etc etc etc.

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Old 01-01-2017, 12:12 AM   #7
ArmyOfDarknessAW ArmyOfDarknessAW is offline
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Only one I am 100% on is

1) Hell or High Water
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:14 AM   #8
jabbercash jabbercash is offline
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Mar 2014
Thumbs up

1. La La Land

This is one of the best musicals I've ever seen, and a tribute to classic hollywood cinema. La La Land is pure joy, and wonderful nostalgia. It's a film that's gotten better everytime I've seen it, and may become one of my favorites along the line. Gosling and Stone have dynamite chemistry, and Chazelle proves he's a director to be reckoned with.
2. Moonlight

Moonlight is simply, the rawest film of 2016. The characters are wonderfully realized, with terrific performances that bring them to life. It's a phenomenal film about self discovery, with one of the best ensemble casts of the year.
3. Manchester By the Sea

This was the most emotional film experience I had in 2016. It's the most authentic portrayal of grief I've ever seen on film.This is a beautifully written, masterclass of acting. The infamous scene between Affleck and Williams will be an iconic example of acting at it's finest.

4. Silence

One of the most thought provoking films of 2016, this is a film that riveted me from start to finish. It's the kind of absorbing epic that just can't get made anymore. Marty's still got it!
5. Hell or High Water

Hell or High Water is an endlessly rewatchable film that has drama, action, and great humor. What's not to love? It's a film I see myself revisiting many more times in the future.
6. The Handmaiden

A film with endless twists and turns, The Handmaiden is a stylish, sexy, and haunting romantic crime drama. What a film!
7. Elle

Elle is a bold, complex, and brilliant satire. It's Paul Verhoeven at his best, and Isabelle Huppert absolutely knocks it out of the park.
8. Arrival

Arrival is one of the best Sci-fi films of the decade, with a beautiful emotional core. Amy Adams is outstanding, in what may be her best performance yet.
9. Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge is the best war film I've seen in years, and a powerful portrayal of courage. Andrew Garfield turns in the performance of his career, and Gibson shows that he's still the best when it comes shooting an epic battle sequence.
10. Captain Fantastic

Viggo Mortensen gives the performance of his career, in a funny, and thought provoking film about parenting. The casting director really deserves credit, because the child actors in this film were outstanding. Captain Fantastic is simply, fantastic.

11. 10 Cloverfield Lane

12. Café Society

13. Midnight Special

14. Don't Breathe

15. Zootopia

16. Everybody Wants Some

17. The Accountant

18. The Jungle Book

19. Hail Caesar!

20. War Dogs

21. The Neon Demon

22. Hidden Figures

23. Jackie

24. Nocturnal Animals

25. The Conjuring 2

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Old 01-01-2017, 12:17 AM   #9
Jasonic Jasonic is offline
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Simplified List
[Show spoiler]1. La La Land
2. The Wailing
3. Your Name
4. Zootopia
5. The Handmaiden
6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
7. Hell or High Water
8. 10 Cloverfield Lane
9. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
11. Hacksaw Ridge
12. The Jungle Book
13. The Little Prince
14. Train to Busan
15. Silence
16. Captain America: Civil War
17. Star Trek Beyond
18. Allied
19. Queen of Katwe
20. Captain Fantastic
21. Sing Street
22. Miss Sloane
23. Kubo and the Two Strings
24. A Monster Calls
25. Sully


Damien Chazelle has quickly become one of the absolute best young talents in Hollywood. With Whiplash, and now La La Land, he has already given us two masterpieces in his first two major productions. A gorgeous musical that mixes an old-fashioned sensibility with a modern day flare. With songs that are both fun and beautifully made, it's a refreshing musical that brings new life into the genre. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are so kinetic in their chemistry, that despite how masterfully made this movie is, it might have fallen apart without them. It kept me engaged and endlessly surprised in how magically everything comes together. I have nothing but sheer love for this movie. It's near perfect.


I'll admit I have a bit of a bias with Korean cinema, as I've watched more foreign cinema from there than anywhere else, and there is something about the culture that pulls me in. The Wailing was everything I wanted it to be and more. A rural Asian setting is among my absolute favorite locations in film. Mix that with a dark atmosphere and dark humor, and you have a recipe for greatness. Intensely creepy with great cinematography and acting. The film will keep you guessing till the end with its mystery and true nature of evil. Na Hong-jin brings together his best film yet in this thrilling piece of cinema that I can see myself watching over and over again. I love everything about it.


I haven't been the biggest fan of Makoto Shinkai's work, and I've always personally felt he paled in comparison to the anime greats of Miyazaki, Takahata, Hosoda, and Kon. But with Your Name, Shinkai has made his masterpiece. Unlike many of his other works, he seamlessly blends great story, characters, humor, drama, romance, and fantasy with a great concept in a gorgeously animated world. Shinkai shows remarkable direction through this non-linear, time jumping world, that is never an easy thing to piece together. Sure to be a favorite among any fan of anime, and like the works of Studio Ghibli, hopefully it can also bridge the gap to non-fans.


As an adamant fan of Disney and animation, Zootopia is one of the greatest efforts the studio has put out. The use of a non-human, anthropomorphic world has been done many a times in animated films, but never has the world that surrounds it been better realized than with this film. Sure, it's fun, colorful, humorous, and beautifully animated, but what separates it is its story and world-building. The characters are well written and fully realized. I'm a big fan of the crime theme and it makes for an endlessly fun and heartwarming film throughout. It has a great central message and many other themes and symbolism that make it much more than your average family film.


My new favorite film from director Park Chan-wook. This movie is absolutely stunning in every regard. The production design, costume design and cinematography are top notch, and go together perfectly with the Gothic/Victorian score. So much to fall in love with just by sheer imagery. Kim Min-hee is simply fantastic, and I love the way Cho Jin-woong chews up scenery. Ha Jung-woo and Kim Tae-ri are also just as great. Park brilliantly conceives this story, that is pieced together in such a way that is near perfect story telling. It continuously leaves intrigue and mystery throughout as it makes one wonderful turn after another. It's a visceral, gaudy sensation, but in the best possible way.


A highly worthy entry into the Star Wars franchise, as it's certainly nice to get something a bit different from the main saga. This film puts the War in Star Wars, and for that it was important to get a grittier take on this world, and Gareth Edwards gave us that. This was not just a cheap cash grab, as it expands on the mythology and gives everything fans could want in a non-Jedi centered story. The new characters are refreshing and likable, led by one of my favorite actresses working today in Felicity Jones. Donnie Yen and Alan Tudyk's K-2SO being other standouts. The final third is an absolute blast in its chaotic brilliance. This is the definitive prequel to A New Hope that we deserved.


Definitely the surprise of the year was this indie film that came out of no where. Hell or High Water is a neo-Western that is pure cinema. Not only does it boast great performances, but a fantastic eye for rural cinematography and just overall extremely well directed from David Mackenzie. Its subtle pace really lets the well written characters shine, as they are coupled up with equally well written dialogue. Ben Foster and Chris Pine both give career best performances, and Jeff Bridges adds another notch to his impressive acting resume. Its bank robbing premise may be nothing new, but the fully realized motivations of its characters makes for one of the best of the genre.


It isn't always easy to make an engaging film where nearly the entirety of it takes place in a single location. Dan Trachtenberg consistently does interesting things in order to keep it fresh throughout its run time. For being entirely in a bunker, it is a very well shot film. I may have known where this movie would end up, but it is so much fun to watch it get there. While it may or may not have been tacked on, I love the ending, and would definitely not have been quite as interesting without it. John Goodman is among the best he has ever been. Seriously, how does this guy, at the very least, never been nominated for an Oscar? With great characters to boot, it is such a well put together and intriguing thriller.


A wonderfully original and hilarious buddy adventure. Julian Dennison and Sam Neill make for some great chemistry as a delinquent kid and his apprehensive father figure. It's chalk full of wit and humor. A lot of which hinges on Dennison's central performance, and he is absolutely great. Lots of equally great supporting characters including Rachel House and a cameo by writer/director Taika Waititi. It's a great story of an unlikely pair bonding that never feels forced. It's endearing and heartfelt that is never saccharine. The New Zealand bush makes for a beautifully shot film that is never uninteresting. Along with a ridiculous, but great third act, it's an immensely fun adventure that kept me smiling all the way through.


An excellent continuation of the Harry Potter franchise. While perhaps not as deep in lore as what has come before it, J.K. Rowling still does a magnificent job at giving us something new and refreshing in a still familiar world. Its central premise of finding missing beasts isn't expansive, but it's the details and characters that make it a joy to watch. I thought the four central characters were great and unique, and showed equally great chemistry. With Dan Fogler's sole No-Maj being a standout. While sometimes witty and whimsical, and others quite dark, it all comes together quite well for me. It kept me excited for more to come from the Wizarding world and its next chapter.


One of the best World War II films since Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line. Mel Gibson is one of the best at filming violence with a real purpose. There is nothing glorifying here. This is brutal and unforgiving as it well should be. Having the story centered around a pacifist to juxtapose the violence around him, works to great effect. Andrew Garfield gives a career best performance. Despite a few initial questionable choices in the supporting cast, they all do a great job. I may not fully agree with the main character's views, but I ended up admiring him none the less. Earning admiration despite opposing views is a center theme, and it comes across in the right manner. A beautifully shot and told film.


While I may not exactly like Disney's business model to remake all their animated classics into live-action versions, a good film is a good film regardless, and this Jungle Book happens to be a pretty great one. Jon Favreau brings this new adaptation to life with stunning and groundbreaking photorealistic visual effects. Having nearly the entire movie, aside from Mowgli, be done in these effects, and look as good as it does is nothing short of astonishing. All the actors are cast near perfect and the young Neel Sethi as Mowgli does a pretty great job considering he's mostly acting to a blue screen. I appreciated the story changes from the animated classic, as it comes together with the right amount of modern sensibility.


An excellent mix of being an adaption of the classic story, expanding upon it, and adding in a new narrative to better relate to a modern audience. The use of stop-motion to tell the classic part of the story was a great way to show that transition, and it looked incredible. Outside of its stop-motion sequences, it may not be the most beautiful animation, but it makes up for it in a well told story that furthers the great message of its source material. Not only was it a great framing device, but it is uniquely told as its two stories come together in the third act. I applaud Mark Osborne for being able to make this film happen, and have this story come to life in a new way that is both respectful and refreshingly his own.


It may not reinvent the wheel, but it is a thoroughly well made and highly entertaining film in the somewhat stale zombie genre. I found all its characters to be very well realized and portrayed with care. A good mix of realistic cynicism and heartfelt humanity, which is something somewhat missing from Yeon Sang-ho's, entirely cynical, animated films. Which is probably the good thing in him not having wrote this movie. However, new to live-action directing, he does a great job bringing the film together and making it feel more than just being an easy blockbuster. It's definitely fun with great action and effects, but also manages to be a great overall film and drama. Can't recommend it enough.


An incredibly thought provoking film on what it means to have faith and carry it out. It marks deep discussions and interpretations on religious duties, moral duties, and the path one takes to fulfilling them. Scorsese shows this in such an unrelenting way that makes you feel the exhaustion and psychological brutality that its central character is going through, and for that I felt its somewhat slow burn and long run time was necessary to portray that. Garfield gives a fantastic performance as you feel him melt away in the pain the character endures. I was also very impressed by Issey Ogata, and the rest of the Japanese cast. A haunting film showcased by grand atmospheric cinematography and a minimalist score. A difficult but brilliant watch.


The Russo brothers have truly done a great job once again. Marvel may have a formula going, but that includes knowing how to keep each entry fresh enough to keep their franchise soaring. This time around it sees the team truly divided for the first time, and that is what makes it able to separate itself from previous films. It's a jumble of ideals and agendas, and somehow it works pretty dang great. Its climactic rumble is extremely well directed, and you never get lost in the action. With fantastic new heroes, of Black Panther and Spider-man, stealing the show, it's hard to ever see this universe slowing down. Whether you love it or hate it, it gives everything fans could want, and for that it's hard to ask for much more from it.


If you don't like this new string of Trek films, that is fine, as I know they don't speak to the die hard trekkies that well. However, for me as a new fan, I couldn't be happier with them. They are incredibly thrilling and full of adventure. With Justin Lin coming in to take the reigns, he had large shoes to fill as far as I'm concerned. He ends up doing a great job by making it feel a little smaller, but retains what has made these films great, and adding in his own flare along the way. The center cast of characters has some of the best chemistry with this size of a group, and I love how in this film they are all given their moments of shine and importance. The series may continue, but this is one of the best trilogies in recent memory.


Allied is the type of WWII storytelling in the vain of such films as Casablanca or The English Patient, in which we so rarely get these days. A film about the era that doesn't center itself on the battlefield or imprisonments. It is a film that has elegance and style up the wazoo, as it beautifully combines action, romance, politics, and everything in between. There is an old-fashioned sensibility that instantly draws me in, and it is everywhere. The chemistry we get between Pitt and Cotillard is more reminiscent of old time Hollywood than perhaps the more endearing realism we get today, and I love it for that. Zemeckis is a master behind the camera, and he kept me endlessly engaged from its tense beginning to its emotional finale.


Inspirational crowd pleasing fare at its finest. On the outside, it is another underdog sports story, but at its heart it is a whole lot more. Mira Nair does a remarkable job at giving us a relatable story without watering down the beautiful culture and humanistic qualities of each and every one of its characters. The chess playing phenom is at the center of the story, but it shows us so much more through the people around her. Most notably in her mother played by the exceptional Lupita Nyong'o, who shows us why she is one of the best actresses working today. I laughed, cheered, cried, and smiled endlessly. It does everything a film like this should do. It feels real with a rightful bit of Disney whimsy. It is hard not to fall for.


You will find plenty of films about off-the-grid folks who reject the norms of society and its consumerist ways. Here is one that does it better than most, as it is never about complete rejection, but rather compromise. The titular character of Ben, isn't put on this pedestal that he has it all figured out in the right way. He is a loving father and wants the best for his children, but he is deeply flawed in that understanding, and the film does a great job at showing the progress in him. Viggo Mortensen is absolutely fantastic at portraying this character in the right manner, and the film never comes off as pretentiously shoving ideals at you. With a well written script by writer/director Matt Ross, this film ended up being a wonderful surprise with heart and intellect.


A fun and energetic coming of age story about young love, as well as brotherly love. With yet another music filled story, John Carney makes his best film yet. The original songs are great and nostalgic that feel right at home in the time period of Duran Duran and The Cure. With its protagonist trying to start up a band with a bunch of ragtag kids all in order for him to impress a girl, such a story is nothing new, but it feels so earnest in its passion and execution. The young cast is all around great and I love Jack Reynor in the role of the wise older brother who encourages Conor to succeed where he couldn't. It's that connection that really pulled me in and makes it all emotionally satisfying. It definitely has an authentic charm.


If I was ever to love a movie for a performance alone, you would almost be damned sure Jessica Chastain is in it. Not to say that there is nothing good here beside her, but clearly this is a vehicle for her to shine, and she absolutely kills it. She is incredibly compelling in her multifaceted character of a lobbyist that will do anything to win. She absolutely commands the screen, that you won't want to look away whenever she is there. The movie and its story can be a tad ridiculous and theatrical, but it isn't trying too hard to be much more than a fun political romp, and it definitely succeeds in that regard. By not being tied down to any real life story, it has its focus on being fun with the dramatics and is able to be pure entertainment.


When it comes to the visuals, this is definitely the most beautiful animated film of the year. From the stop-motion to whatever other movie magic used, it comes together seamlessly and the result is stunning frame for frame. Laika shows that they continuously improve in this department with each passing film. With its simple three act structure, the movie is fun and accessible to anyone. It has a good amount of humor and well developed characters. Along with great action set pieces, there is never a dull moment. As well as exploring themes of family, sacrifice, and death, it has a worthwhile story to tell. It is an enjoyable watch that can often be revisited for its stunning animation alone.


While perhaps not quite living up to my personal high expectations, this is still a beautifully made film from director J.A. Bayona. As a big fan of his previous two films, I know he has immense talent behind the camera as he continues to show us something different. Here the best moments come when we experience the way in which the central character expresses his grief over his dying mother. The stories are wonderfully told through dark sequences of beautiful animation. It is a great coming of age film that focuses on maturing through sadness and how one deals with it. Very well acted from the entire cast, especially MacDougall's breakout performance. Well told and made, it's an emotional gut punch filled with heart.


Having mostly known the story already, I was weary how a film adaption could possibly be interesting. Clint Eastwood and company took the right direction with this that still left a compelling story, and I give praise for that alone. I loved the non-linear approach and the way it gave context to multiple aspects of the crash. Showing it happen multiple times throughout the film was not only a refreshing way to show it, but also important as it gave a different perspective each time. Not in a way through different characters, but more so for the audience in having a different mindset each time. Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart are both great in their roles without ever resorting to any overly dramatic acting. An all around well made film.

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Old 01-01-2017, 12:25 AM   #10
nightwolf2369 nightwolf2369 is offline
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May 2009
Tampa, FL


1. Arrival
2. La La Land
3. Deadpool
4. Captain America: Civil War
5. Captain Fantastic
6. Lion
7. Moonlight
8. Finding Dory
9. Doctor Strange
10. A Monster Calls
11. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
12. Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
13. Midnight Special
14. The Magnificent Seven
15. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
16. Hidden Figures
17. Fences
18. Hell or High Water
19. The Conjuring 2
20. The Witch
21. Zootopia
22. Passangers
23. Don't Breathe
24. Sausage Party
25. Jason Bourne

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Old 01-01-2017, 12:25 AM   #11
GorillaGuy GorillaGuy is offline
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May 2014

01. Manchester by the Sea
02. The Witch
03. Moonlight
04. American Honey
05. The Neon Demon
06. The Invitiation
07. Don't Think Twice
08. Green Room
09. La La Land
10. Don't Breathe
11. Hail, Caesar!
12. The Lobster
13. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
14. The Conjuring 2
15. Hacksaw Ridge
16. Live by Night
17. Captain Fantastic
18. Neighbors 2
19. Deepwater Horizon
20. Hell or High Water
21. X-Men Apocalypse
22. The Nice Guys
23. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
24. The Accountant
25. Demolition

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Old 01-01-2017, 12:33 AM   #12
spanky87 spanky87 is offline
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Dec 2009
Ontario, Canada

  1. Elle
  2. Paterson
  3. The Handmaiden
  4. Manchester By the Sea
  5. Things to Come
  6. Silence
  7. Julieta
  8. Everybody Wants Some!!
  9. Jackie

For now...

Want to rewatch some stuff.

I will not be including OJ Made In America because it's a tv miniseries. I don't care that they screened episodes in a New York theatre in an attempt to qualify for the Oscars.

And yes, I've seen La La Land and Moonlight, and neither will make my top 20.

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Old 01-01-2017, 12:38 AM   #13
filmbuffTX filmbuffTX is online now
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May 2015

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Old 01-01-2017, 12:41 AM   #14
headphones headphones is offline
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Mar 2016
Don't worry about it.

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Old 01-01-2017, 03:49 AM   #15
Sozo Sozo is offline
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Apr 2012

01 | Captain America: Civil War

Civil War was my most anticipated movie of the year and it exceeded every expectation I could have had. It hit every note the right way; the narrative flow, the inner conflict, the intriguing villain, and it topped it off with an amazing airport scene that was worth the price of admission alone. The inclusion of the Black Panther felt organic, and necessary for the future of the MCU. It handled the possibility of an Iron Patriot exit without weighing down the mood. Not even the incorporation of Spider-Man felt like an intrusion; instead, it felt like a wink to the fans that we finally get to enjoy Peter Parker in this universe, so we were given a small glimpse, and it was worth it. The Russo brothers handled the lofty hype with poise and a true understanding of what makes these category of movies fun. But it’s never dumb fun. It’s smart, it’s accessible, and it is the best movie in the MCU. It builds upon the past while adding layers to the future. It wasn’t going to be hard for this movie to be my favorite of the year, but it was going to be a challenge for any movie to dethrone it. A few came close, but in the end, there’s no doubt that this is my favorite and number one movie of 2016.

02 | Zootopia

The teasers for Zootopia didn’t do much for me. I was afraid that Disney Animation had hit a bit of a wall, after the successful Big Hero 6, Frozen, and Wreck it Ralph. It seemed like an odd endeavor to go with a bunny in the lead, with a fox as her sidekick. But then the Sloth trailer happened and well, that was that. I am happy to have this as my second favorite movie of the year. It’s a wonderful story with wonderful characters. It’s charming, funny, and sweet, and the social commentary is really well done. It’s re-watchable, which matters a lot to me, and it’s got a universe that can be expanded on in the future.

03 | Kubo & the Two Strings

In any other year, Kubo would be the best animated film of the year. However, despite it being behind Zootopia, I actually consider Kubo to be more in line with that of a masterpiece. Kubo is phenomenal in every sense of the word. It looks great, it tells a great story, and it’s got the characters that you feel for. Kubo’s pain is real, and his journey to solitude is one that is worth investing in because of the interesting way it deals with turmoil. It’s got so much heart, and it feels like one epic narrative that you really don’t want to end. It’s that good.

04 | Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

There's not much that I can say about this movie that hasn't already been said. I thought this was a wonderful entry into the SW universe; for whatever shortcomings people say this movie has, I say it has all of the elements that I enjoy out of a blockbuster movie. I enjoyed the characters, I enjoyed the story. It felt like it belonged. It was such a fun watch, and even though it was obvious what would happen, I still have to say that the ending was fantastic. From top to bottom, it was everything I had hoped for.

05 | Arrival

I feel like I need another watch of Arrival to truly appreciate it. But I can't deny how unique it feels and how great the performances are here. It has the feeling, to me at least, of a very claustrophic feel. I think this is just the overall mood of the film. It's very dark and gloomy, the dialogue is generally very soft, and the "moments" of the film are pretty tense. I enjoyed the ending, and I'm glad they didn't abandon the first two acts for action in the third. Amy Adams, IMO, deserves the award for Best Performance here. This is definitely her movie. For an alien movie, it's not really about the aliens at all; they really take a backseat here, and I think that is one of the main reasons this movie is so good. I, as a watcher, was not truly concerned about the dangers of the aliens; never thought they were in the movie to cause disruption; there were no ulterior motives for global domination. This was just a thought-provoking movie. While I did enjoy the ending, as I said above, I didn't completely buy into the relationship that the movie gives us, but that's a small nitpick in what is otherwise a great film. I look forward to seeing it again soon.

06 | Hacksaw Ridge

A movie that flew way past my radar, and one I wouldn’t have watched had it not been for its Best Picture nomination. And it’s totally deserved. It’s wrought with intrigue and drama, and it’s engrossing in its portrayal of Desmond Doss. Andrew Garfield does a remarkable job here; I had only ever seen him in Amazing Spider-Man, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the guy has some range here, and shows his acting skills. Teresa Palmer is great in her supporting role, and I would have loved to have seen her get a nomination for her performance. Mel Gibson shows that when the right opportunity comes his way, he can direct circles around a script. This is a memorable movie.

07 | Moana

The role that WDAS has been on as of late is nothing short of phenomenal. And just when you think they might have reached their peak, they surprise us with another amazing movie. Moana is an incredible movie. I love the culture behind this one, and the fact that it's a musical is also very impressive. It's cool to see The Rock introduced to Disney's animation, and I hope we get a chance somewhere down the road to revisit him and Moana. Ultimately, it's a beautiful-looking film with tons of heart.

08 | 10 Cloverfield Lane

John Goodman is really a terrifying force in this one as Howard. He's creepy, odd, kind of goofy, and oh yeah, he ends up being correct about what's happening above ground. However, it goes to show you that monsters come in all different forms, and that's what I love about this movie. It's less about what's happening above the bunker, and more about the psychology of Howard and how he views the world around him. Mary Winstead is awesome in this one. She's compelling enough that you never feel "sorry" for her character in the sense that you think she's not capable of getting free; she's very capable, and it's a process as she tries to figure out how to outsmart Howard. The ending was just okay; it was a bit out of left field from the rest of the movie and felt too much like an attempt to tie in to Cloverfield, and I would have liked to see Howard's demise go a bit more unanswered, but his story was told in a box and then it was over, and I can accept that.

I usually don't go for movies like this. The claustrophobic nature makes for an uncomfortable viewing, but John Goodman's performance is so good that I can't help but put this high on my list. He deserves some kind of award for his performance here. It's that good.

09 | Lion

Lion is a powerful movie that hoists a message of strength and hope. If it hadn't been a true story, I would have thought the plot's navigation was way too easy and not at all realistic. But the fact that it is true only makes me appreciate this movie even more.

10 | Hidden Figures

The more I think about Hidden Figures, the more I’m impressed with it. It’s entirely accessible from every perspective, and I’m a sucker for a coming-of-age tell about people who made their own path. One of my favorite things about this movie: It doesn’t pander to the audience. There may be one scene that pulls out the really dramatic chops, but it doesn’t necessarily feel out of place or forced, and it doesn’t make the audience feel bad; in fact, it’s a chance to root for the main characters even more. They are extremely likeable, they’re strong, and they’ve got a no nonsense approach that is refreshing for a movie like this. Worthy of the nominations it has received.

11 | Fences

The more I think about Fences, the more impressed I am with it. If you're not ready for a ton of dialogue on a small set, you'll probably be a bit jarred like I was, but eventually you come around. Denzel and Viola bring their A-games to this one, and the result is a wonderful small-scale story about a father who is completely and deeply flawed, but at his heart he believes everything he is doing is for the good of his family. Of course, that's only his perspective. In reality, he's leaving his family in ruins and they have to pick up the pieces. It's a movie worth watching for the performances alone.

12 | Dr. Strange

Films are all about being personal; everybody experiences something different with every movie they watch, and it's typically based on what we have experienced in our own lives. I was fortunate enough to see an 8-minute teaser for Dr. Strange when we went on vacation in the fall, and to be able to come across the world of Strange a few weeks early made me very excited, and the movie itself did not disappoint. I love the fact that this is in the MCU, but it feels so separate from the MCU. Stephen Strange is a really interesting character with a good backstory, and while I would have liked to have seen him perhaps struggle a little more with coming to grips with his newfound powers, the movie itself is a really quality entry into the universe. And this movie looks incredible to boot. I also really, really liked the ending. The way that Strange defeats the villain is just a great way to demonstrate the capabilities of this character. This is just a fun movie all around.

13 | Manchester by the Sea

Talk about a tough watch. This was a movie that I had no interest at all in seeing, but in the end I felt it was necessary just so I could see just how good Affleck was, and he was really good in this. In fact, the whole cast was great. Lucas Hedges was particularly memorable in his role; ultimately, it's difficult to evaluate this, because it's not the kind of movie I like; it's not escapism at all. It's a movie that reminds you that life has a tendency to be very, very difficult, and very, very raw, with real and haunting stakes. I left the theater feeling that I had seen a really good piece of cinema, but one that I would probably never watch again and one that left me feeling a bit empty. But it's sheer approach to honesty in the midst of hard times makes it a really interesting movie and one that I feel that a lot of people -- especially people with younger children -- will appreciate quite a bit. I'll end it as I started and say that it's a very tough watch, but it's deserving of any top 10 lists.

14 | Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

It was great to be able to venture back into the visual world of Rowling.

15 | La La Land

Insanely charming from beginning to end.

16 | The Jungle Book

A wonderful re-telling of the animated classic. Jon Favreau made magic here. Idris Elba was fantastic as Sher Khan.

17 | Pete's Dragon

Simple and sweet. Wonderfully told. It has a very small town charm to it that's easy to connect with.

18 | The BFG

Spielberg proves once again why he's one of the best director's of all time. He took what could have just been a run-of-the-mill movie and made it memorable.

19 | Finding Dory

I've grown to appreciate this movie more and more. Nemo, IMO, is better, but this one introduces some really great characters, that will be remembered in the Pixar-verse for a long, long time.

20 | Hell or High Water

Raw and uncut approach with a simple story. It's character-driven, and tells a much bigger political story that shouldn't really go unnoticed (and hasn't).

21 | Magnificient Seven

Fun cast, fun script. Crazy ending.

22 | Sing Street

Hits all the right buttons for a feel-good movie. Love the honest acting here. John Carney has his own style and it's pushed through to the end here.

23 | Collateral Beauty

I may be one of the few who enjoyed this movie. I'm okay with that.

24 | Deadpool

Took me a while to see it. Insanely clever.

25 | Jason Bourne

It was good to see Jason Bourne return to the big screen. It's pretty formulaic, but the character is strong enough that I feel the return was worth it.

Last edited by Sozo; 02-15-2017 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:34 AM   #16
DanTheMan DanTheMan is offline
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Dec 2010

1. La La Land
2. Moonlight
3. Sing Street
4. Hacksaw Ridge
5. 20th Century Women
6. Swiss Army Man
7. The Neon Demon
8. Hell or High Water
9. Kubo and the Two Strings
10. Jackie
11. Hidden Figures
12. American Honey
13. Moana
14. Captain America: Civil War
15. Green Room
16. Imperium
17. The Jungle Book
18. 10 Cloverfield Lane
19. Suicide Squad
20. Rogue One
21. The Shallows
22. The Secret Life of Pets
23. The Conjuring 2
24. Everybody Wants Some!!
25. The Lobster

Last edited by DanTheMan; 02-25-2017 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:40 AM   #17
Foggy Foggy is offline
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Dec 2008

Reserved, can't have mine not on the front page.

This is probably my whole job for today.

#1 Green Room
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Writer: Jeremy Saulnier
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart

Synopsis: A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.

Why I love it: For the many terrific films 2016 offered up, Green Room felt like the most complete film of the year. Offering up macabre thrills amongst an extraordinary tight set up yet somehow vividly unpredictable, and more vividly visceral, events. Frank in it's portrayal of violence and complex in exploring it's nature, Green Room reminds the viewer of familiar cult favourites from a by-gone era less through mimicry, but through blending style and substance in such a way that will earn it similar status for years to come.

#2 Moonlight
Director: Barry Jenkins
Writer: Barry Jenkins Based on the Play by: Tarell Alvin McCraney
Starring: Trevante Rhodes, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali

Synopsis: A timeless story of human self-discovery and connection, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Why I love it: The most inspiring thing about the Oscar nominations this year is the fact that all films are about identity in the most varied of forms, allowing for great, complex roles for many performances of any race, and a wide spectrum of voices to be heard. Moonlight is the prime example of this, a mighty force within a minor movie, the film tackles the sexuality of man by looking back at his life in three stages, how his upbringing affected his life in astonishing ways. Barry Jenkins has a great handle on cinematic language poetically drawing upon striking imagery to stir the emotions deep down without cheap manipulation, using performance to scream a thousand words louder than a stage play ever could.

#3 The Lobster
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writers: Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthymis Filippou
Starring: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux

Synopsis: In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.

Why I love it: Deeply cynical and uncompromising satire from Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos makes for the most painful and bleak comedy in recent time. The definition of a marmite film, the Brechtian detachment of the Orwellian society that the self-conscience and self-persecuted characters of The Lobster inhabits allows for many surreal and disturbing observations that hit far closer to home than many would even be willing to admit. But what's most surprising about The Lobster is how it manages to take something so bold and goes for something bolder, and asks the audience, half of which have already began contemplating the exit, to invest back into romance, that love is feasible in this uninhabitable toxic landscape. Maybe, perhaps this coldhearted prankster might have a sensitive side after all? Perhaps a happy ending will be found?...all I can say is, shame on me.

#4 American Honey
Director: Andrea Arnold
Writer: Andrea Arnold
Starring: Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough

Synopsis: A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.

Why I love it: With odes to old American Road movies with an energised renewed look. Andrea Arnold's latest film is probably the worst nightmare to any mid-aged old man who's more bothered about being persecuted by a Buzzfeed article than anything of particular reason, but for the rest of us? American Honey is an infectious, joyous film tackling youthful deviancy and promiscuity, a modern look at a time in everyone's life many had forgotten. The movie is bold and brazen, with a newcomer in the form of Sasha Lane who is able to wield the reigns of the unwieldy near three-hour adventure below the poverty line. People may turn their nose at it now, but trust me, this film is capturing a might storm that is brewing those same people won't see it coming.

#5 The Nice Guys
Director: Shane Black
Writer: Shane Black
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice

Synopsis: In 1970s Los Angeles, a mismatched pair of private eyes investigate a missing girl and the mysterious death of a porn star.

Why I love it: Shane Black's continuously convoluted and completely comical caper looks wild and subversive on the outside, but boil it all down and it's deceptively simple. Regardless of the barrage twists and conspiracy wrapped around conspiracies, Black entrusts his wacky script to the genius comic teaming up of Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. An unlikeliest of buddies in any scenario, Gosling's comedic physicality and timing pitted against Crowe's brazen and impenetrable dead pan deliveries is a pure sight to behold. Wickedly fantastic and wonderful, The Nice Guys is a sure fire comedy classic for the ages.

#6 Jackie
Director: Pablo Larraín
Writer: Noah Oppenheim
Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, John Hurt

Synopsis: Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy.

Why I love it: A real biopic quite unlike any other. Jackie takes all the famous imagery revolving around the JFK funeral and hopes to contextualise the grief and panic as the world stopped, and how the woman behind the man made sure the keep the world to continue looking long enough to not realise it had already started moving again. Presenting history as an illusion and continuous construction, events are presented as fragmented, piecing together layers of shattered reality, as time itself begins to warp, spread and alienate everyone within it. Somewhat experimental yet feeling deeply assured, Pablo Larraín's film is a film to be experienced.

#7 Sing Street
Director: John Carney
Writer: John Carney
Starring: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor

Synopsis: A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.

Why I love it: As much as we all love challenging and complex film, comfort food cinema will always reign true, and nothing quite got better in 2016 than John Carney's small town nostalgia romp Sing Street. Joyous in all meanings of the world, Carney makes sure to keep the characters moving and the comedy grounded in his love letter to his upbringing. The result is a deeply earnest and heartfelt film that feels suitable for any occasion.

#8 Hell or High Water
Director: David Mackenzie
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Starring: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges

Synopsis: A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's ranch in West Texas.

Why I love it: A proper masculine film that proves "manly" films can be soulful and methodical as opposed to elaborately grotesque and disenfranchised. Feeling like a lost film from Sam Peckinpah, Hell or High Water is probably one of the most opaquely timely of the Award nominees, utilising the ravenously desolate backdrop of Texas, plagued by financial woes and bled dry. This Western tinged crime thriller alludes to the nations frustrations at large and the anger found within the current climate, whilst the romanticised history of the Country begins to flourish in often devastating ways.

#9 Toni Erdmann
Director: Maren Ade
Writer: Maren Ade
Starring: Sandra Hüller, Peter Simonischek, Michael Wittenborn

Synopsis: A practical joking father tries to reconnect with his hard working daughter by creating an outrageous alter ego and posing as her CEO's life coach.

Why I love it: The most excruciating three hours of your life...and that's a good thing. Cringe humour isn't something I'm particularly fond of, characters finding themselves in awkward situations doesn't appeal to me. The joy of Toni Erdmann instead derives from the why they find themselves in such situations, the film focuses on the relationship along with the divide in the world the characters find themselves in that makes the endeavour far more rewarding, and hysterical.

#10 Paterson
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Writer: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley

Synopsis: A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.

Why I love it: The most chill film of the year comes from none other than Jim Jarmusch. Adam Driver plays an observant bus driver and wannabe poet as the film follows a rather straight forward week in his life following his day to day routine. Sly, yet sweet, Paterson is a small film with a gracious heart for all people who find the most unique ways to express themselves.

#11 Manchester by the Sea
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Starring: Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams

Synopsis: An uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy's father dies.

Why I love it: Wonderful grandstanding drama dealing with grief amongst a very distant family that manages to pack a lot of mileage and depth into a fairly simplistic set up. Casey Affleck's quiet and withheld janitor is whirled up back into his past after his closest brother passes away. With past pain thawing out and new challenges arising, the most surprising thing the film manages to find is a way to keep the film light footed and paced with constant movement and relatable touches of comedic observations whilst capturing the speechless nature of great loss and longstanding pain.

#12 20th Century Women
Director: Mike Mills
Writer: Mike Mills
Starring: Annette Bening, Lucas Jade Zumann, Greta Gerwig

Synopsis: The story of three women who explore love and freedom in Southern California during the late 1970s.

Why I love it:

#13 La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend

Synopsis: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

#14 Swiss Army Man
Directors: Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
Writers: Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Dano, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Synopsis: A hopeless man stranded on a deserted island befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.

Why I love it:

#15 Tickled
Directors: David Farrier & Dylan Reeve
Writers: David Farrier & Dylan Reeve
Starring: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve, David Starr

Synopsis: Journalist David Farrier stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn't stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.

Why I love it:

#16 Midnight Special
Director: Jeff Nichols
Writer: Jeff Nichols
Starring: Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst, Jaeden Lieberher

Synopsis: A father and son go on the run, pursued by the government and a cult drawn to the child's special powers.

Why I love it:

#17 The Neon Demon
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writers: Nicolas Winding Refn, Mary Laws & Polly Stenham
Starring: Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, Keanu Reeves

Synopsis: When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality attracts a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.

Why I love it:

#18 High-Rise
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Amy Jump Based on the Novel by: J.G. Ballard
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Sienna Miller

Synopsis: Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.

Why I love it:

#19 Captain Fantastic
Director: Matt Ross
Writer: Matt Ross
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler

Synopsis: In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.

Why I love it:

#20 The Witch
Director: Robert Eggers
Writer: Robert Eggers
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Black Phillip

Synopsis: A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession.

Why I love it:

#21 Julieta
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar Based on the Novels by: Alice Munro
Starring: Emma Suárez, Adriana Ugarte, Inma Cuesta

Synopsis: After a casual encounter, a brokenhearted woman decides to confront her life and the most important events about her stranded daughter.

Why I love it:

#22 Nocturnal Animals
Director: Tom Ford
Writer: Tom Ford Based on the Novel by: Austin Wright
Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Synopsis: A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband's novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale.

Why I love it:

#23 Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Director: Taika Waititi
Writer: Taika Waititi Based on the Novel by: Barry Crump
Starring: Julian Dennison, Sam Neill, Rachel House

Synopsis: A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

Why I love it:

#24 Arrival
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Eric Heisserer Based on the Short Story by: Ted Chiang
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Synopsis: When 12 mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

Why I love it:

#25 I, Daniel Blake
Director: Ken Loach
Writer: Paul Laverty
Starring: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Sharon Percy

Synopsis: A middle aged carpenter who requires state welfare after injuring himself, is joined by a single mother in a similar scenario.

Why I love it:

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Old 01-01-2017, 06:53 AM   #18
ArrestedDevelopment ArrestedDevelopment is offline
Jul 2009
The O.C.

1. Arrival
2. La La Land
3. The Nice Guys
4. Hell or High Water
5. Hacksaw Ridge
6. The Conjuring 2
7. Green Room
8. 10 Cloverfield Lane
9. Don't Breathe
10. The Witch
11. Manchester by the Sea
12. Nocturnal Animals
13. Moonlight
14. Deadpool
15. The Edge of Seventeen
16. Sausage Party
17. X-Men: Apocalypse
18. Captain America: Civil War
19. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
20. 13 Hours

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Old 01-01-2017, 06:55 AM   #19
mrcellophane mrcellophane is offline
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Oct 2013
Norman, Oklahoma

1. Moonlight

Hands down, Moonlight is my favorite film of 2016. Barry Jenkin’s masterpiece is a lyrical character study of a man dealing with his sexuality, drug culture, and poverty. While the film could potentially rely on easy characterizations or overused tropes, Jenkins makes Little/Chiron/Black into a real person in a complicated, relatable situation. The three actors playing Chiron are excellent as is the supporting cast. Naomie Harris gives a nuanced performance as Chiron’s mother, a nurse who succumbs to a drug addiction and later finds some solace in a rehab facility, and Mahershala Ali plays a conflicted drug dealer who befriends and mentors Chiron. Both take potential stereotypes and imbue them with humanity. Also, that last segment is one of the sexiest things ever filmed.

2. O.J.: Made in America

When I sat down to watch this epic, I had little interest in learning more about O.J. Simpson or reliving his infamous trial. However, this is one of the most compelling documentaries I’ve ever seen. Ezra Edelman and his team sketch a portrait of Simpson’s life as well as the racial tension in both Los Angeles and the United States. A lot of time is spent contextualizing Simpson and building a case that we are living in a post-O.J. Simpson world, even as the machinations set in motion by his life and trial passed him by and left him obsolete. With the recent coverage of suspicious police shootings of black men and arguable miscarriages of justice, the documentary feels necessary and vital.

3. Arrival

Basically, this is the anti-Independence Day. Aliens arrive on Earth and what follows in a poignant investigation of language, time, and humanity. Amy Adams plays a linguistics professor who is tasked with deciphering the language of the aliens and figuring out their intentions. She’s surrounded by characters doing their best to preserve humanity but who constantly impose their own worldview on the situation. Denis Villeneuve’s direction pairs beautifully with Joe Walker’s editing to create an austere world of uncertain characters that use storytelling conventions to defy our expectations and demonstrate how myopic our own views and understanding can be.

4. Things to Come (L'avenir)

I went to see this film because 1) I enjoyed Mia Hansen-Løve’s 2009 film Le père de mes enfants and 2) Isabelle Huppert is a treasure. A treasure! Here, she plays a French professor with a comfortable life that steadily starts to unravel. As every new disaster and setback unfolds, Huppert’s character takes it in stride and finds ways to persevere and even thrive. The film explores how time can slowly erode our lives right under our noses and how liberating it can be when the status quo is upended. And Isabelle Huppert is a treasure!

5. Sunset Song

Terence Davies’ portrayal of early 1900s Ireland is stunningly beautiful. Agyness Deyn plays Chris Guthrie, a young woman with an abusive father and an unearthly determination to survive and succeed. The film follows Chris as she gains independence and takes control of a farm. Her steadfastness in the face of both hardships and successes becomes representative of the land and nature. Chris’s husband is a pacifist who is bullied into military service in the Great War, and his tragic story maps what can happen when people are ripped from their homes and must endure the inhumanity of war. While this aspect of the film isn’t handled with the same subtlety, it raises serious questions about the destructive nature of mankind.

6. Hail, Caesar!

The Coen brothers’ ode to old Hollywood is a lackadaisical survey of the problems, triumphs, talents, and idiots of the backlot. Josh Brolin plays Eddie Mannix, a studio fixer trying to keep everything from running off the rails. He has to contend with the menagerie of colorful characters who craft our entertainment (and perhaps our perception and our very world). The Coens tackle lots of different movie genres (musicals, chamber dramas, singing westerns, etc.) and get them all perfect. Also, there are Communists and meddling reporters and religious leaders and affairs and elocution lessons!

7. The Fits

Newcomer Royal Hightower plays Toni, a young girl training with her brother to be boxer before joining a competitive dance troupe at the same youth center. She has to learn to rewire her body and incorporate her boxing moves into her dancing. However, things take a turn when girls on the team start experience mysterious seizures. The film’s child characters act and speak like real kids, and the film keeps us in Toni’s world so that we only know what she observes. It’s a great portrait of childhood fears and dreams.

8. La La Land

Musicals are one of my favorite things in the entire world! Damien Chazelle expertly melds classic Hollywood style with contemporary characters. He splashes color and spectacle across the screen, and infuses the narrative with infectious songs. Now, if I’m being honest, I’ve got a couple problems with the film – Ryan Gosling’s character is an uncharismatic ******* and some of the framing and camerawork is messy – but listening to the film’s songs can propel me out of the doldrums. And the ending homage to dance sequences is one of my new favorite things!

9. Krisha

Director Trey Edward Shults funded his film through Kickstarter and cast friends and family as a sprawling family who gather for Thanksgiving. The director’s aunt plays Krisha, an estranged family member who insists that she’s beaten addictions to drugs and liquor. However, the anxiety of the holiday causes old resentments and problems to resurface, and the film veers into horror territory as things unravel. Shults blends the usual naturalistic camerawork with jarring techniques that draw us into Krisha’s fractured mind.

10. The Edge of Seventeen

Basically, Kelly Fremon Craig has melded and updated the teen dramas of John Hughes and quirky characters of Juno. Hailee Steinfeld plays Nadine, a quirky and sarcastic student whose life is in shambles. Usually, these types of films endow their teenaged protagonists with a knowing maturity, making them the smartest person in any room. However, Craig makes Nadine into a real teenager with a sarcastic shell that hides a heap of uncertainty and pain. Nadine is a great protagonist, and the cast of characters around her defy our expectations and break from the usual tropes.

11. Goat

When this film was released, all the press went to Nick Jonas’s involvement, which is unfortunate since the film has a lot more to offer. Ben Schnetzer plays Brad, a high school Senior who is beaten and mugged by two men after a party. Later, he goes to college and joins the same fraternity as his brother. It’s rare for a film to explore men dealing with physical assault without it becoming a revenge fantasy. Instead, Brad becomes more and more self-destructive as he endures humiliating hazing rituals. The film show who masculinity and homosocial situations can quickly turn toxic.

12. Kubo and the Two Strings

It's one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen, and it's about the power of storytelling, a subject I love to contemplate. Laika always manages to make challenging films that make me think about how complex the human experience can be.

13. A Bigger Splash

14. Godzilla Resurgence (Shin Gojira)

Godzilla vs. Japanese bureaucracy! Chills! Thrills! Subcommittees! Unlike the overly somber tone and bland characters of the recent American Godzilla, this film manages to pay homage to different periods in Godzilla’s history and still feel grounded. The character design is excellent, and the film even makes good use of practical miniatures. While there is a rampaging nuclear monster evolving across Japan, the film really delves into fantasy by proposing that the United States would conceivably elect a competent Japanese-American woman as President in the near future.

15. Love & Friendship

16. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

I laughed a lot at this mockumentary sendup of the decadent, self-important world of popular music. Adam Sandberg plays a Justin Bieber type who leaves a boy band to go solo and leads an outrageous life of fame and fortune and obnoxious singing appliances. I don't have much to say about this one except that I'm apparently not above listening to "Finest Girl" on a loop. The only way this film could have been better is if it featured a cameo by my hero, Dewey Cox.

17. Manchester by the Sea

18. April and the Extraordinary World (Avril et le monde truqué)

19. Hell or High Water

20. Sand Storm (Sufat Chol)

21. Midnight Special

22. The Lobster

23. Fences

24. Pete's Dragon

When I first learned that Disney was reimagining their silly 70s musical, I was plain grumpy about it. Their slate of remakes and reworking feel like unnecessary cash-grabs. However, I dutifully sat down to watch Bryce Dallas Howard and Oakes Fegley chase a CGI dragon around the woods and ended up loving the film. It has a sincere emotional core. Also, I appreciate that it integrates an environmental message about the difference between good and bad industrial practices into its story without feeling forced.

25. Florence Foster Jenkins

The highly overrated Meryl Streep plays a wealthy woman with the drive to sing but not the talent. Of course, she’s terrible, but Streep keeps the audience guessing just how aware Florence is of the world around her and how fragile her tiny bubble of privilege is. Hugh Grant plays Florence’s husband, torn between protecting his wife and living his own life. The film does a good job making the characters both ridiculous and tragic. I got swept up in the film’s empathy and came to love its flawed characters.

Last edited by mrcellophane; 02-25-2017 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 01-01-2017, 01:32 PM   #20
Iamspartacus Iamspartacus is offline
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Aug 2011


Rogue One
Hell Or High Water
Hail Caesar
Everybody Wants Some
The Nice Guys
American Honey
Dead Pool
Green Room
Deepwater Horizon
Captain Fantastic
Cafe Society
Secret Life of Pets

Last edited by Iamspartacus; 02-17-2017 at 03:28 AM.
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