By Farhan C
2016 has come to a close and it is safe to say that this has been, .as far as movies go, pretty disappointing. Many of the most notable films that people were looking forward to this year, i.e Batman V. Superman and Girl on a Train, didn’t end up being the great films that we had hoped they would be. However, despite the vast sea of disappointment that that this year has produced, there have been some good films that are worth noting. Here they are:
- Finding Dory
For years, Pixar has been the gold standard in animation and this past year they have added another jewel to their collection with Finding Dory. The long awaited sequel to Finding Nemo lived up to its high expectations and will likely get an oscar nomination for best animated film. Great storytelling coupled with extremely likeable characters and an overall fun time, help make Finding Dory one of the best films of the year.
- 10 Cloverfield Lane
10 Cloverfield Lane was one of the biggest pleasant surprises of the year. Not many people were paying this film much attention before its release, but after it came out and people got the chance to see it, the positive reviews started coming in fast and furious. One of the main highlights of this film are the performances. John Goodman, who plays a very disturbed and paranoid man named Howard, is very creepy in this film to the point where the audience feels uncomfortable whenever he is on screen. This film didn’t make a whole lot of money while it was in theaters which means there are a lot of people out there who have yet to see this gem, so consider this my personal recommendation for all of you out there to bless yourself by seeing this film.
- The Witch
Between The Conjuring 2, Don’t Breathe, and Lights Out, 2016 has been a great year for the horror genre. The Witch, however, is on another level, far beyond all of those films. The Witch didn’t get a lot of press before or after its release, but those who saw it generally agree that it is the best horror movie of the year. It is a film that explores human faith and how it holds up in situations of tragedy and hopelessness. The Witch is definitely deserving of being mentioned as one of the best films of 2016.
Zootopia is probably the most socially conscious animated film of this decade, let alone 2016. It’s a movie that had a lot of buzz going into last year and it lived up to the hype. Every character in this film serves a unique purpose and helps move the story along. Zootopia also gets deep as the film touches on very present issues like discrimination. Zootopia is by far my favorite animated film of the year and is worthy of being on this list.
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
I think it comes as a surprise to no one that this is on the list. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story gave us a new and unique story, while adding another great chapter to the Star Wars franchise. Rouge One: A Star Wars Story is the first of a series of upcoming Star Wars spin-off films. The films director, Gareth Edwards did a masterful job of making this film feel refreshing and different, while also still making it feel like it’s a part of the Star Wars universe. The characters in this film, despite being under developed, are all extremely enjoyable and fun to watch. Rogue One isn’t necessarily the best Star Wars movie out there, but it’s still pretty damn good.
Deadpool was probably the most fun I’ve had in a movie theater in a long time. Ryan Reynolds must’ve been born and raised to play this role because this is the best performance of his career. For years Reynolds championed for this film to get made and all the hard work he put into this film was obvious on screen. The writers of this film are very likely to get some recognition during award season because it’s unreal how good Deadpool’s script is. From the film’s extremely entertaining dialogue to its very engaging story, Deadpool is by far has one of the best scripts of 2016. As far as superhero movies go, Deadpool is about as unique and entertaining as you can get which is why it’s one of the best films of the year.
Last year, the Academy Awards became the center of controversy when it failed to nominate any minorities in any of its acting categories. This year, however, I don’t think that will be an issue because Denzel Washington and Viola Davis were absolutely stunning in Fences. Fences was a passion project for Washington, who also directed this film along with being in the starring role. It is one of the more emotional films of the year and it will leave you in shambles at the end. If Denzel and Viola aren’t nominated for best actor and best supporting actress respectively, then I will personally show up at the oscars’ front door with a torch and pitchfork.
- The Nice Guys
After seeing The Nice Guys, I’m convinced that Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling need to be in more films together. The chemistry that those two had in this film oozed of the screen and it helped make this film the best action-comedy of the year. Unfortunately, this film flew under a lot of people’s radars as it didn’t perform very well at the box office. Just about everyone who was fortunate enough to lay eyes on this piece of cinematic gold agree that The Nice Guys is a wonderful film as it currently boasts a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Captain America: Civil War
Marvel Studios has developed a reputation of excellence over the past eight years. That reputation is further validated with Captain America: Civil War. When this film was released, it immediately worked its way into the conversation of best superhero movies ever made. The directors of this film, the Russo Brothers, were somehow able to make every hero in this film relevant to the story while also keeping the story focused on Captain America. The action scenes in this film are unreal and the showdown at the end of the film is one of the best things ever put to screen. Captain America: Civil War is definitely deserving of a best picture nomination, but unfortunately the oscars has a history of ignoring superhero movies.
Critically acclaimed films such as Prisoners, Enemy, and Sicario have helped Denis Villeneuve quietly become one of the best directors working today. We can now add Arrival to his list of cinematic accomplishments. Arrival is unlike any alien invasion movie I have ever seen. It doesn’t have all of the big explosions that you would usually see from these types of films. Instead, it focuses on humanity and how we would react as a species in a situation like this. Arrival is without a doubt my favorite film from last year and I hope to hear it’s name called come Oscar season.