10. Green Room
A group of neo-nazis, headed by Patrick Stewart, holding up a group of punk rockers, inside a small nightclub actually makes for a thrilling, one of a kind, experience. "Green Room" is probably the most brutal movie of the year, and it further proves why Stewart is the most versatile actor working today.
9. The Lobster
The whole premise of “The Lobster” is so weird and hokey that it works. In this world, if you aren’t married you get sent to an institution, where you have two weeks to find a spouse, or else you get surgically transformed into an animal. The result is a hilarious-offbeat dark comedy on the political confines of our society as a whole. See it: and then let your brain rattle with it afterwards.
8. The Jungle Book (2016)
Without question, the most gorgeous movie to look at this year. “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau did the impossible, he took a beloved and cherished story and did it justice. Using complete digital effects, minus the young Mowgli running around, and this is the stuff all great blockbusters are made off.
Barry Jenkins's story of human connection, and self identity is one that is immensely powerful. Chronicled over three different time periods, “Moonlight” follows Chiron as he goes from child, to teenager, to adulthood. Much like “Boyhood” it’s episodic in nature, and a timeless story told so beautifully you forget you are watching movie.
6. Captain Fantastic
Viggo Mortensen is earning awards buzz for his performance of Ben Cash, in “Captain Fantastic,” a father who is devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, until they have to enter the real world, and learn what life is all about. “Captain Fantastic” is a movie that enthralls the senses and engages the mind for two hours, proving no movie is too long when you’re having fun.
If August Wilson was around to see how his film adaptation of “Fences” would turn out, he would be very pleased. Denzel Washington directs and stars, alongside a winning Viola Davis, in easily one of the best acted movies in years. A story doused in realism, family hardships, and racial tensions, “Fences” follows Troy Maxson, a struggling father trying to raise his family and come to terms with events in his life. This is an emotionally charged epic, that is equal parts homegrown in nature, but subtle in the delivery of the message.
4. American Honey
This is a film that very few people saw, and it’s a damn shame because of how brilliant the movie is made. The movie follows a teenage girl with nothing to lose as she joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hardcore partying as she travels cross country with a band of misfits. “American Honey” is a luxurious 162 minute escapade, that brings new meaning to the term “young, wild, and free.” The movie is constantly engrossing, active, and exploding off the screen like the many Fourth of July celebrations which grace the screen. Newcomer Sasha Lane steals the movie with her charm, sass, and attitude, with Shia LaBeouf finding his footing as well in this mind-numbing movie-going experience.
3. Everybody Wants Some!!
The semi-quasi sequel to the best teen spirit movie of all time, “Dazed and Confused.” “Everybody Wants Some!!” is hands down the best comedy of the year with Richard Linklater further cementing how he continues to be the master of modern hangout films. The movie takes place in the midst of the 1980s as a group of girl chasing, baseball playing, college freshmen move into their house before classes start. All the young actors turn in terrific performances, with Linklater indulging each of his character’s antics with such a wild, free-flowing affection that you could miss the thoughtful undertones throughout. Few filmmakers have been able to embrace the joy of living in the moment like Linklater has, which is all the more sad, because the movie comes and goes so quick. Such is life.
2. Hell Or High Water
“Hell Or High Water” was a movie that nobody, including myself, saw coming. David Mackenzie’s stirring homage to the era of westerns is crafted very delicately with Oscar worthy work from Chris Pine and Ben Foster as a pair of bank robbing brothers, trying to outrun the long arm of Jeff Bridges Sheriff Marcus Hamilton. This is a thrillingly good movie - a drama of crime, fear, and brotherly love all set in the backdrop of rural Texas, a landscape the fits this movie perfectly.
1. La La Land
At only 31 years old Damien Chazelle has proved himself to be the most passionate, hardworking director in the industry. First he delivered on his new, young potentiel with the one-two punch that was “Whiplash” and now he has done it again with “La La Land” an extraordinary achievement in the art of modern moviemaking.
An original musical crafted with so much precise quality, attention to detail and homage to the best musicals of all time. Modeling itself after the likes of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, this is a movie that demands to be seen over and over again. After exiting the theater, I felt like I was walking on air, it swept me off my feet, and reminded me why I go to the movies in the first place. “La La Land” is easily the best movie of the year.
The Best Movies Of 2016 (Top 10)
La La Land
Hell Or High Water
Everybody Wants Some!!
The Jungle Book
HONORABLE MENTIONS (The next five best movies of 2016 - that just barley missed the cut)
Swiss Army Man - A sweet movie about Daniel Radcliffe as a farting corpse, and Paul Dano as a troubled man trying to find himself. I know how it sounds, trust me..but it actually has a heart and is filled with really good music too.
The Nice Guys - One of the biggest surprises of the summer was Shane Blacks perfectly hilarious The Nice Guys, Which showcased some serious physical comedy action chops from it's lead stars, Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling. This is the stuff all buddy cop movies should be made off.
Manchester By The Sea - Casey Affleck delivers in this heartwrenching drama about a man coming to terms with horrible circumstances in his life. It's a movie about life, which means there isn't always a happy ending.
Hush - Netflix sure did deliver with their small Blumhose indie Hush, a terrifying cat and mouse game that gave me chills in all the right ways, It's so simple, it's easy to forgive all the genre cliches, but yet, it's also very originial in the execution. The best part is you can stream this movie right now. Do it.
Me Before You - Yes, I really, really loved Me Before You, despite it being, well, a weepy love story. Hey sometimes you need a good cry.
AND THE WORSE FILMS OF 2016 (TOP FIVE)
Ben-Hur (2016) - It really says something when one of the most iconic scenes in history (the chariot race sequence we have seen a dozen times) can’t even muster half of the thrill from the 1950s remake in 2016. This is one movie that shouldn’t have been dusted off.
Suicide Squad - “World’s worst heroes?” how about one of the worse movies and biggest disappointments of the year.
Inferno - It just proves that even Tom Hanks isn’t safe from the long arm of cheesy-over-the-top action set pieces and a bogus script!
Independence Day: Resurgence - “We had 20 years to prepare. So did they” is how the tagline reads. Or more like “A sequel nobody asked for” I think we can wait another lightyear without any more of these movies.
Ride Along 2 - “Ride Along 2” enough said.