Top 16 Films of 2016
Nearing the end of 2016, it’s about time to reflect on the releases of this year. Thanks to Cineworld Unlimited, I’ve managed to get to my local cinema a vast amount of times this year, so I’ve got a lot to choose from. As it was 2016, I’ve gone with a selection of 16 films that have topped my cinema year. This is just my opinions here; all views are my own and are selected through the UK cinema release dates.
Special mentions: The Accountant, Eddie the Eagle, Nerve, Spotlight, Secret in their Eyes
16. The Nice Guys
An entertaining and action packed adventure led by Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in a bright and wondrous era; with levels of thrilling mystery and investigation. Check out my full review here!
15. The Revenant
Released very early this year in the UK, and one of my first cinema visits in 2016; such a thrilling, captivating and visually breathtaking epic that truly provided Leonardo DiCaprio his chance at the oscar title. Gorgeous and hugely gripping, my full review is here.
14. The Green Room
An indie film with the capabilities to keep viewers right on the edge of their seats; following the evening with a punk band’s gig and the events they unexpectedly find themselves part of. Perhaps not my usual choice of film but yet pleasantly surprised by what I saw. My full review is here.
13. Suicide Squad
I would apologies for including this in my top movies of the year, but I did genuinely enjoy the supposed flop of a DCU epic. There were a lot of flaws, and it may not have quite fully lived up to the high expectations I had prior to the release; yet there is some potential still in there that I could appreciate. I may be one of very few that would rate it fairly well, but I guess I can accept that; it’s a bunch of pretty bad ass individuals kicking butt (although, admittedly not much in the long run). Here’s my full, in depth review.
I’ve been pondering over this film ever since I finally got round to watching it a couple of weeks ago, as it’s been a difficult one for me to fully get my head around. Amy Adams surely does prevail brilliantly as the language professor, struggling to find a reason for the unknown spaceships arriving across the globe. It’s essentially an intellectual alien invasion sci-fi film, yet without the invasion aspects. Adams constitutes an aura of calm to the madness around her, despite the extensive weight that is threat on her shoulders to provide a contact to the unfamiliar creatures for the rest of humanity. Even now, I’m still trying to take the whole narrative in, but I can’t deny that this is a film that takes a seat firmly in your mind even after viewing.
11. Sing Street
It’s a late entry and I may have only seen this very recently, but damn I’m so glad I decided to in the end. It’s a wonderful coming-of-age story with plenty of charm and well explored characters. The music is wonderful and the story progression is simple yet works incredibly well, it sticks firmly in my mind. My full review is up!
10. Doctor Strange
An introduction to a lesser known Marvel hero that truly gives the doctor the limelight he has not previously been given in terms of cinematic appearances. Bennedict Cumberbatch sure does take this Superhero origin story in his stride, creating a mystical character taking heed of magic in order to show his strengths. The visuals are spectacular, and the story is pretty captivating; here’s the full review.
The animated Disney feature doesn’t fail to provide a heart warming tale of an adorable mix of creatures, each hoping for a world in which predators and prey live in harmony. Most definitely a visually appealing film, engaging youngsters and adults alike. Dealing with various social issues such as communal discrimination in a way that both entertains and subtly teaches the audience. It’s easy to watch: with a duo of unlikely protagonists and fellow likeable characters, following a progressive and typical Disney story structure that doesn’t fail to encourage the odd smile.
8. Captain America: Civil War
It’s not very surprising that I would include yet another Superhero movie on this list. Joined by an extensive list of Superhero alter-egos, this epic follows after the previous adventure for the Avengers – Avengers: Age of Ultron. Basically a Avengers feature (minus Thor and The Hulk) , it also introduces a few new faces that are to be given solo movies in the future: Tom Holland‘s new Spiderman approach was pretty well received as he added humour when necessary as well as Chadwick Boseman‘s Black Panther, who remains firmly gritty when on screen. Now the main stand out element of this Marvel addition has to be the scene at the airport, as it just effectively includes every character and excellently grips the viewer; just brilliant. Just don’t get me started on Bucky and his incapability to keep peace amongst allies, I may not be the biggest fan of the Winter Soldier himself. My full review is here.
7. The Girl on the Train
I read, and subsequently fell in love with novel written by Paula Hawkins early 2016; when it came to the cinematic adaptation of the story, I was happily satisfied by the result. Emily Blunt produced a thoroughly compelling portrayal of the drunken widow, set on doing something worthwhile to fix her imaginary world she views from the seat of the train everyday. It’s exactly what I would’ve imagined from the book, very well adapted indeed. My full review is here.
6. Now You See Me 2
After first experiencing the magic tricks from the astonishing four horsemen back in 2013 and the gang returns in another captivating and exciting adventure led by a wonderful cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Dave Franco. Perhaps not quite the same thrill that is evident in the previous instalment, yet the entertainment and mystery is still throughly evident. Full review here.
Such a brilliant and thrilling journey brought to life by Disney, portraying a young future chief, determined to fulfil the desire to become a master way finder and follow her true calling from the sea. It’s wonderful and entertaining, capable of appealing to adults and youngsters alike; a true delight that will be treasured for years to come, particularly because of the gorgeous soundtrack that accompanies the visuals. My full review is here.
4. Eye in the Sky
For me, this is an excellent example of how an unknown cinema release can turn out to become something truly engaging and surprisingly one of my favourite films of the year. There’s a lot of back and forth between various units involved in a military decision, riddled with moral implications; one of which definitely brought together a touching and intense couple of hours. My full review is here.
The novel by Emma Donoghue was one of the first ‘proper’ books that I fell in love with. Early 2016 the story was brought to life, led by a suffering mother: excellently portrayed by Brie Larson. There’s a strong theme of innocence: the young Jacob Tremblay shines as the youngster, living in an isolated surroundings and thrust into the real world – a complete alien world for this unique child. It’s compelling and brilliantly adapted, my full review is here.
Of course, a superhero film has to be up in the top three, and the most worthy contender has nabbed the number two spot. It’s a brilliant combination of action, comedy and even a bit of romance that is presented in suitable quantities. It’s easy to watch, consistently hilarious and Ryan Reynolds excels as the quirky protagonist, pushing the boundaries of standard conventional superhero movies. A brilliant, well-rounded and easily loveable character with a lot of potential, coupled with a simple yet worthwhile plot placing him firmly in the Marvel cinematic universe for years to come. Read my full review here.
1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
I never grew up reading the Harry Potter books; despite everyone else my age being totally infatuated in the wizarding world, my first experience with the Boy Who Lived was the film adaptation series that began back in 2001. It wasnt until recently that I became more thrilled by the world, and the release of this prequel endeavour spurred on a new love for the magic. The era is wonderful and the characters create a diverse and exciting story of adventure, action and most importantly, magic. It brings forth wonderful elements of J.K’s already established world, and then producing an alternative side that has never been properly explored before on the big screen. The creatures are wonderful and there’s so much potential for what can be created in future installments, thanks to the brilliant set up that Eddie Redmayne put forward. Such a well-rounded movie, appealing to all; pure brilliance and awing to experience.