The blockbusters disappointed in 2016, but that doesn't mean there weren't great films released. Here are our favorite movies for the year of 2016.
BEST MOVIE OF 2016: Don't Think Twice
Most people who have heard of Don’t Think Twice’s writer/director, Mike Birbiglia, know him for his stellar stand-up comedy specials. In those specials, Birbiglia proves to be more than just your typical funny man, but instead, he manages to also touch the heart in very vulnerable and real ways.
While Don’t Think Twice is set in the world of improv comedy, it truly is about the balance of friendship, love, ambition, failure, and success. It can be uncomfortably relatable, and hit close to home for most, but even in that awkwardness and unpleasantness, Birbiglia manages to bring out some incredibly light hearted moments that would only make sense between close friends. Don't Think Twice is the easiest movie to suggest to just about anyone, and 2016 must-watch film.
THE BEST MOVIES OF 2016
Imagine that you and I are holding a rubber band. While you remain still, I proceed to walk away, consistently increasing the tension of the rubber band. I could release the band, and have it snap at you at any point. I could also continue walking away until the rubber band breaks. This constant tension is what defines The Witch, and makes it so memorable.
The Witch is a masterpiece on every level. The naturalistic lighting draws the audience in and adds to its authenticity. The writing is dense, but still comprehensible. The performances are spectacular, especially Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Ineson.
Everything about The Witch, immerses you into a terrifying world of witchcraft and misery. The Witch may be the most unnervingly tense film we have seen since The Shining or Eraserhead.
Zootopia is cute, funny, visually stunning, and has one of the greatest concepts we’ve seen in a family film since Toy Story. What makes it really special, though, is how well it succeeds at its well executed timely morale. The social commentary regarding race, gender, culture, and classes in our country is fully realized, but also doesn’t come off as being “preachy.” Zootopia hits the nail on the head, but it doesn’t beat a dead horse. The message is strong and effective for younger viewers, but also highly entertaining for audiences of all ages.
Anton Yelchin’s death definitely paints this film in an entirely different light. What could have been easily overlooked by the general public, became a final “hoo-rah” for one of the most likable actors in Hollywood.
Green Room is one of the most visceral movies that I have ever seen. The hardcore/punk music really sets the tone for how relentless and punishing this film would be. At the same time, the band playing that music is a group of wide-eyed and bushy tailed kids. That contrast directly correlates to the overwhelming reality of everyone’s inevitable demise. The gore and violence is reminiscent of movies like Hostel, but luckily the film doesn’t linger too long on these extremely disturbing shots.
The film also features Sir Patrick Stewart playing a mild-mannered, yet homicidal white supremacist, and he’s quite good.
10 Cloverfield Lane
This pseudo-sequel to the 2008 found footage film, Cloverfield, was quite the surprise. It wasn’t a found footage film. The story doesn’t focus on an extraterrestrial threat. It also doesn’t appear to be tied to the original film in any way.
10 Cloverfield Lane is succinct, but it also manages to play with your expectations to heighten the mystery and tension. It manages to be dark, tense, scary, and quite sweet all at the same time. A lot of that is achieved through John Goodman’s unsettling performance.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Many fans struggled with the idea that Disney was going to be releasing anthology films set in the Star Wars universe. When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was announced, many were nervous, but the story line seemed promising.
No one could have predicted how good Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was going to be. That’s not to say that the movie is perfect. It is undoubtably flawed, too slow at times, with some less than great performances, but it still manages to have one of the best payoffs we’ve ever seen in a sci-fi film.