By Sean Gardner
With the Oscars only a short time away, it has caused me to reflect on this past year in movies. There were a lot disappointments as far as the summer blockbusters go (Independence Day Resurgence, Batman v. Superman, etc.) but it finished strong with indies like Hell or High Water, and Arrival. So, without further ado, here is my list of favorite movies from 2016:
I put all of my in-depth thoughts on this film in my full review, but I will say that Denis Villeneuve plants himself firmly among the best directors in Hollywood. Arrival is science fiction the way it is supposed to be done. It is smart, visceral and deeply emotional.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
This is the prequel Star Wars fans always wanted. It adds to the story of the original trilogy without feeling forced (pun intended). Because it is set right up against Episode IV, it enhances the viewing experience of that movie specifically. If Disney can keep it up, I look forward to other future stand alone Star Wars films.
Hell or High Water
Hell or High Water is one of the best films of the year. I love that it has been getting lots of love from basically all the awards organizations. There are great performances by Ben Foster and Chris Pine. But, Jeff Bridges has been getting all of the nominations. It is a great modern neo-western that tells a unique story about loyalty and family. Having two brothers,
10 Cloverfield Lane
This one came out of nowhere. The first trailer came out only a few weeks before it debuted in theaters. Loosely connected to the 2008 found footage film, Cloverfield, it is a great claustrophobic thriller. John Goodman gave the performance of a lifetime and is by far the best part of this movie. The ending was a little weak but still one of the most fun times watching a movie last year.
The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book should be in the conversation with Avatar and Star Wars as some of the most influential special effects of all time. It’s just unbelievable that the only real thing in this entire movie was the kid who played Mogli. Great call back to the cartoon while adding its own new flavor.
What are your favorite films of 2016? Comment below!