So, here I have put together a list of my top ten films of 2016. It has been quite a mixed year for film this year, and this became clear to me when trying to make this countdown. I’ve seen some truly awful films during the last twelve months, a few that have been questionable, and a handful that have been true show-stoppers.10. The Hateful Eight
I had looked forward to seeing this in cinemas and then missed out on the opportunity, so paid full price for the DVD when that came out. It is at this point I have to tell you that the only reason The Hateful Eight has made this list is because other 2016 films were worse – I had to pick the lesser of a few evils if you will. It really was not what I have come to expect from Quentin Tarantino, but in comparison to some of the other tripe from this year, I guess it was okay…
A film that was a big talking point this year was CD’s Suicide Squad. I’ll be honest, I’m a bit defensive of this one – I don’t think it deserved the absolute savaging it received. Fair enough, it was nowhere near as good as the hype surrounding it built it up to be, but it wasn’t terrible in my eyes. It was a bit of fun that I think has set up the foundations for a series of new stories in that universe.
8. The Revenant
It was the film to finally Leo that Oscar and it was quite an enjoyable watch. The beautiful scenery captured by director Alejandro Innaritu really did The Revenant a lot of favours, and while at times it did feel a tad too long, I think I would struggle to pick a point where the runtime could be trimmed down at all.
Another film to receive quite a build up was Doctor Strange. I thought Benedict Cumberbatch did a great job as the title character, but I feel like Mads Mikkelsen was wasted as Kaecilius. The film set things up nicely for any future storylines in this universe, but part of me just hopes they make full use of whatever talent gets cast there.
This prequel to the Harry Potter franchise turned out to be a very pleasant surprise for me. Eddie Redmayne was so perfectly cast as Newt Scamander and after seeing him in the role, I find it hard to think that there was a time someone else would have been in contention/ It really was a terrific family film and I enjoyed every moment of it.
5. Bone Tomahawk
I’m a sucker for a good western, and the idea of this one really appealed to me. It slowed down considerably in the middle, but the ending was well and truly worth it. I still haven’t quite managed to erase that scene from mind! The western/horror mix that Bone Tomahawk opted for is one that I think holds a lot of promise once the formula has been tinkered with.
In my opinion, 2016 and the years before it have been pretty poor for animated films, especially those brought to us by Disney and Pixar. However, we have been presented with one real gem recently. Kubo And The Two Strings was a wonderful breath of fresh air with it’s story that originated in Japanese folklore. Plus, the whole thing was done with stop motion animation, which made it even easier to appreciate all the hard work that went into it.
A film that I think surprised a lot of people was The Nice Guys, featuring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as the world’s worst detectives. I’d say the film could be described as this generation’s Lethal Weapon, with plenty of action and some seriously funny moments. You can imagine how happy I was to find someone had bought me the DVD for Christmas.
The only awards season release I got to see in cinemas was Spotlight, and it ended up being money well spent. It told a harrowing story very well, and I was backing it to win every Oscar going, although it only clinched Best Picture on the night. The performances by the whole cast were terrific and it was good to see the stories of the people who first brought these atrocities to the surface.
10 Cloverfield Lane takes my number one spot for so many reasons. The long-awaited follow-up to 2005’s Cloverfield did not disappoint audiences, and it turned out to ban other dark horse amongst this year’s releases. John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead provide brilliant performances in a film that constantly changes direction, leaving you second guessing what could happen next for most of the film. This film takes the top of the podium purely for the fact it was such a surprise for me, and I’m really looking forward to what is to come next.
So, there you have it – my top ten films of the past year. I saiid at the start it was a mixed bunch and I don’t think I was wrong. Western, sci-fi, comedy, drama, animation and a few other things thrown in for good measure prove that regardless of what anyone says about film this year, there has certainly been something for everyone.
*Please note I wrote this list about a week before I saw Hell Or High Water and have not had time to go back and change things around, otherwise that film would have been included here.