The Best Films of 20166:11 AM
For each film, I will include a profile of what other critics rated it (IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes and MetaCritic) and a summary for why I liked the film.
But first, here are a few honourable mentions....
- The Girl on the Train - I really enjoyed this film and it didn't deserve the mixed reviews, Blunt deserves an Oscar for her terrific performance.
- Ghostbusters - Hilarious, fun and a brilliant performance from Kate McKinnon.
- The Edge of Seventeen - A surprise gem of the year that I would totally recommend you see!
- Suicide Squad - Now, it is no where near one of the best films of the year but it was the film I saw most in cinemas (4 times and a further 3 since the DVD release) and has provided my favourite film character (Harley Quinn) of the year so I believe it deserves a nod. However, it was definitely my biggest disappointment of the year.
- The Jungle Book - A really well made, well acted and magical feature from Disney - this made me feel nostalgic and really warmed my heart. Still don't know if I can get over how realistic those talking animals look though.
10. Eddie the Eagle
This is a truly moving and inspirational film that really caught me off-guard. I did not think it was going to be as good as it was and I definitely didn't think I was going to like it this much. Taron Egerton is brilliant - this is another win for him - he is definitely one of the rising stars to watch. The soundtrack is great and the film really gets you invested in the story. Dramatic biopic? ✅
"It is also one of those films that you really like just because it is really likeable and you can't explain why. The film left me with a smile on my face and in a very good mood. The story was inspirational and the message was refreshing and very positive"
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
I have to admit, I am surprised this film isn't higher as I did have an initially very strong reaction to it. I don't know if I ruined the film for myself by listening to the soundtrack quite a lot before watching it which meant I knew what kinds of scenes were coming but nevertheless, I still really enjoyed this film and it definitely rounded off Disney animation's excellent year suitably. Moana is also a great character - even though I still prefer Elsa, Moana is another strong female character for young children to look up to. The songs are great, the voice performances are fantastic and the animation is mesmerising. Animated feature (musical)? ✅
"All-in-all, Moana is fantastic. Bringing together elements of Lilo & Stitch, Pocahontas, Frozen, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid -this is basically the perfect Disney movie. Even though Moana isn't your typical princess, she should definitely be welcomed to the line up with open arms. The animation is fantastic and definitely awards worthy. Auli'i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson both do a fantastic jobs with their characters who are also very great - Moana is another great role model for younger viewers. Moana has a brilliant message at the heart of the film and it is filled with catchy and fun songs"
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Writing this list has really reminded me that despite the many disappointments and terrible films, 2016 really did have some magnificent features and Arrival is definitely one of them. Last years Sicario was my favourite film of 2015 and Villeneuve returns to the list in 2016 with Arrival which I think is actually much more rewatchable than Sicario but it just doesn't have that terrific mood building. Arrival is original which is so rare these days and it has some great performances - especially Amy Adams. Even though I haven't seen many as of yet, I think it is my favourite awards contender this year. I found the message and twist brilliant and it all just works. I can't wait to watch Arrival again. Sci-fi? ✅
"Arrival is smart, intelligent and very unique - I haven't seen a film like this in a long time. The revelation at the end of the film erases any potential flaws as it makes everything fit in and make sense. The revelation is also pretty cool and comes along with a powerful message. Denis Villeneuve scores once again and I can't wait to see what is up his sleeve next"
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
7. Doctor Strange
Another film in 2016 that I was caught completely off guard by was Doctor Strange - I did not think I was going to like this film that much at all. How wrong was I?! This is one of my favourite superhero films of the year and I really liked the introduction of magic into the MCU. I found Doctor Strange to be a more likeable version of Tony Stark - so much so I already have a Doctor Strange poster and Pop Vinyl. Whitewashing aside, Tilda Swinton is excellently subtle - she is a really strong character. The film is clever, pretty original, humourous and entertaining. Even though it does have an anticlimactic third act, I still really enjoyed Doctor Strange and I cannot wait to see more from the character. Superhero film? ✅
"Despite the plot being pretty formulaic and not too different to other Marvel origin films, I am really sold on the magic, time travel and the characters. Cumberbatch shows potential to be a movie star and really makes what should be quite an unlikeable, arrogant character very likeable and humourous at times. The visual effects are very unique and incredibly done. This is another chapter in the MCU so don't even think about skipping it as you would be missing out."
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
I may have thought Doctor Strange was my favourite superhero film of the year when I first saw it but as time has passed, I have to give Deadpool the edge due to its originality and uniqueness. Deadpool is a film that has started a new craze - R-rated superhero films - Logan is already following its footsteps. Deadpool is revolutionary - with its fourth wall breaking, outrageous sense of humour and a terrific performance from Ryan Reynolds who really became this character. Deadpool lived up to the amazing marketing campaign - something Suicide Squad was unable to do. I have since watched Deadpool again and enjoyed it just as much. I can't wait for the sequel. Superhero film 2.0? ✅
"Deadpool lives up to the hype! The only way to describe it is thoroughly enjoyable and would still be effective after repeat viewings. Ryan Reynolds is fantastic and I think he has just hit a career high with this movie. The film is hilarious, violent, action packed and romantic - who thought a superhero film would be able to be successful at so many things? Deadpool won't just blend in either - with its 4th wall breaking, crude humour, extreme violence and a small scoped story - it will definitely be remembered as a film that challenges conventions. Deadpool has really gave life to a new franchise."
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
5. Pete's Dragon
I actually didn't realise how many films caught my off guard this year until I wrote this list - it seems that the films I got really excited for let me down and the films that I didn't care too much about ended up being my favourites. Pete's Dragon is another one of those films - I found it heart warming, excellently made and just a really good film. The film is also incredibly emotional and from working in a cinema, it was rare to see people leave the film with dry eyes. I fell in love with Elliot the Dragon and I am sure you will too. Live action fairytale? ✅
"Pete's Dragon is one of the best films I have seen all year - it has got to be the film that has had the biggest emotional impact on me. Elliot is a brilliant character - the visuals of this charming dragon are fantastic. Bryce Dallas Howard, Oona Laurence and Oakes Fegley all do terrific jobs and have great chemistry with each other and Elliot. The cinematography is beautiful and this film really is of a good quality. Bring your tissues, as you will witness Elliot's highs and lows on this emotional roller coaster that may just be the film of the summer."
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
4. Bad Moms
Possibly my most controversial pick as this got mixed to positive reviews from critics but I have to say, I really did love Bad Moms. I watched it once in cinemas and then got it on DVD this week and I watched it two nights consecutively - one of those being with my mum! Everyone I have watched this film with has enjoyed it - I haven't actually heard any bad word of mouth. So why did I love Bad Moms? I think its funny, likeable, uplifting, has a good message and is actually pretty clever. When rewatching, I have noticed that the film answers its own questions and fills any plot holes quite well. I am also really excited to hear we are getting a sequel in November 2017 - a festive Bad Moms flick...yes please! Comedy? ✅
"Kunis, Bell, Applegate and the whole cast do great jobs and are all hilarious. Speaking of hilarious, that is what this film is from start to end. Even though the editing is a little repetitive and the music choices are a little forced - they do help to create a likeable and fun tone. The plot isn't the clearest but it features some great social commentary."
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
3. Finding Dory
2016 was definitely Disney's year! It was hit after hit after hit for the mouse of house and Finding Dory was one of their biggest. Not only was it a big hit, it was also a very very good film that I truly enjoyed. The film explored and developed Dory as a character even more and didn't overdo the character - Ellen DeGeneres is made for this character and she does an excellent job! The new characters were also great with Destiny being my favourite. Yes, the third act goes a little wild but it is still funny and that is one thing Finding Dory is consistently throughout - funny. Let's not forget the hilarious Sigourney Weaver cameo which was a highlight of the film. The animation was brilliant. Pixar accomplishes perfection once again. (Animated) Sequel? ✅
"I didn't just like Finding Dory, I loved it! The film is so fun and exciting, it was definitely worth the long wait. I liked the new characters but I do have problems with Hank due to the lack of realism involved with his character. Dory comes out of this film looking better than ever - the character development, voice work, animation and her message in this film really does show how great of a character she is. The animation is beautiful and the finale is a tad over the top but it is entertaining nonetheless. Finding Dory is unforgettable (as Dory herself would say)."
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
2. Don't Breathe
I actually thought 2016 was a pretty good year for the horror and thriller genre as well - not only were there many financial hits, there was also quite a few (more than usual) critical hits and Don't Breathe was one of them. This was another film that I didn't care too much about watching but it ended up being amazing. The film manages to be a slow burn but fast paced at the same time with a story that continually unfolds with twist after twist after twist. The concept is great and this is really an 'edge of your seat' kind of film. This is horror at its best. Horror/Thriller? ✅
"It definitely isn't for the faint-hearted as this is also one of the most disturbing films of 2016 - with horrible torture moments, effective jump scares and lots of tension, Don't Breathe really will have you on the edge of your seat. The acting is fantastic across the board - especially from Levy and Lang who are terrific! The story is pretty original and the concept is interesting and the way it is executed is also very good. Don't Breathe has some interesting and intelligent social commentary which adds another level."
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
I honestly did not think that Zootopia would still be my favourite film of the year by the time 2016 came to a close but here we are and it is! Zootopia just has so much on its mind and has so many important messages with likeable characters that are voiced excellently. The world building is fantastic and the animation is terrific. I did say Disney had a great year so it makes sense for them to be at the top of the list. Zootopia was just an honourable mention on my most anticipated films for 2015 list so I definitely wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. The film is funny and just really great. Animation (original)? ✅
"Zootropolis is absolutely fantastic. It may not be as smart and deep as Inside Out but it is certainly a much more upbeat and fun film to watch. I think Zootropolis gets it just right - it has the powerful message that young and older audiences will understand but also has the humour and great characters that everyone will enjoy. The pop culture references are also fantastic. Zootropolis just has a universal appeal. Goodwin and Wilde help to create two great characters for the Disney universe that I can't wait to see more of."
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%