My Top Ten Films of 2016

Okay, so I haven’t been writing much lately, so to get back into things I’m going to write about something I love. Lists! In particular my favourite list of the year, which is my film top 10. Now obviously I haven’t seen every film this year, and there is  couple that I’m yet to see that i reckon would make it into this list, but I’ve seen a fair few to pick from.

10. Star Trek: Beyond (July)


I can remember on an old blog that ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ was like my number two on my 2013 list.  Like this blog, no one reads it, but it still felt controversial.  Mostly because the general consensus is that that film is terrible, but the first time I watched it I really enjoyed it. Perhaps it’s the same for ‘Beyond’ and I’ll be less impressed on a second viewing.  Nevertheless I adore the Star Trek reboots, mostly down to the characters and how they’ve cast them.  And this one surprised me, because I think Simon Pegg took some real risks with the writing.  Also, this film probably has the greatest film moment of 2016 about two thirds of the way through it (whaaaaaaaaaah).

9. Lo & Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (August)


This year I’ve been doing this thing where I watch Jean-Luc Godard and Werner Herzog films, in an effort to widen my film knowledge.  I’ve come to realise that I am a fan of Herzog’s documentary’s, especially his contemporary ones.  And this film fits right into this category. Both interesting and terrifying, with Herzog’s wonderful voice behind it.  I wrote a little bit more about this here:

8. Rogue One (December)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Donnie Yen) Ph: Film Frame ©Lucasfilm LFL

I didn’t realise how much of a Star Wars fanboy I was until the build up to ‘The Force Awakens’ last year.  Since seeing that film and loving it, I have been excited to see where they go with the spin-off movies.  And I’m all for fighting the system of franchise movies (see: but I can’t help but revel at the wonder of the Star Wars movies.  For me, there is just so much depth to them, and I mean mostly visually.  I cannot understand how someone can complain paying a ticket price to see this film. It’s masterfully made (by about 3000 people) and I was engaged for every second of it.

7. I Daniel Blake (October)


Like everyone else I had heard a lot about this film before seeing it.  Director Ken Loach winning the Palme d’or for it screams quality to me.  So I saw it, and I wasn’t underwhelmed or overwhelmed by it.  Yet I feel like it is a good movie and an important one. It’s the 2016 film that must be seen, even if it’s just for an emotional release.  The fact that it is set in Newcastle and I study there aided my enjoyment, but this is a British working class socialist film that won the biggest prize in French cinema.  Loach also directed ‘Kes’ about 50 years ago, which is a diamond for where I’m from. This film has enacted thoughts for change to help people, and I hope that it will continue to do so.

6. Supersonic (October)


There’s a part of this film where they play a recording of the first time Noel Gallagher sang ‘Live Forever’ in the studio and I cried for a good few minutes.  This is what this film does to you; it allows you to be moved by music of Oasis, and all the while telling the interesting story of the Gallagher brother relationship.  It doesn’t dwell on anything too serious and allows the film to be incredibly well paced and entertaining.  Director Mat Whitecross has somehow managed to bring together so much footage of the band and it is such a joy to watch.

5. Cafe Society (August)


Woody Allen is my hero and has been since I saw ‘Annie Hall’ almost 3 years ago. And this doesn’t mean I look past his frequent rubbish films, because I’m confused by them like everyone else.  This, thankfully, is not one of them.  He brings in Jesse Eisenberg to effectively play himself from the 70’s and I wrote a whole thing about the chemistry he has with the rest of the film ( If you like Woody Allen, and the romance of film, this is the one for you for 2016.

4. Arrival (October)


To say that is film blew me away would be an understatement.  For a good 20 minutes of this film I couldn’t catch my breath and then it ended.  I was left paralysed for a few seconds and had to snap myself back to reality.  It is a masterpiece from start to finish and Dennis Villeneuve is proving himself to be one of the great modern directors (Blade Runner sequel next year).  I wrote quite a dramatic piece on it here:

3. Nocturnal Animals (October)


It was tough to pick between this and ‘Arrival’ for number 3, and it doesn’t really matter but this came in front because I can’t stop thinking about it.  I want to know more about it, about the strange characters and the weird story.  It is a work of art with themes that are fully relatable to me and layers that I haven’t even found yet.  Again, I wrote a full thing for more detail here:

2. The Nice Guys (June)


My love for this film has crept up on me.  When it first came out I dismissed it because Shane Black’s films in the past have just been okay for me.  Then I saw it, and loved it.  It really is the kind of film that I want to be watching; refreshing and funny but with an edge that makes it stand out.  The film has a wonderful visual style and possibly my favourite characters of the year.  Ryan Gosling should honestly win the Oscar for this performance, because he is desperately funny in this film.  I adore his and Russell Crowe’s character, as well as the daughter, and could watch them on screen for hours.  It is also one of those films that when I watched it a second time it got better, and that is the number one sign of a great movie.  The scene in the lift will never not be comedy gold.

1. Green Room (April)


You know, I really love this film.  It has become one of my all time favourites, and it is not getting any worse after seeing it three times.  Like ‘The Nice Guys’ it is another kind of movie that I want to be watching.  This time a cool, intense and shocking film.  Not only that, it is the kind of film that I would like to make.  Each narrative beat escalates and each character falls a long with it.  The premise is so simple it’s genius, and the clear line between good and evil muddles.  It is number one on my list for a plethora of reasons but mostly because it is number one for me.  Meaning that I would not necessarily recommend this punk blood fest to everyone, however for me it works perfectly.  A visual treat weaved wonderfully by filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier, it is also brilliantly acted.  Patrick Stewart as a memorable screen villain and Imogen Poots as possibly the coolest character of the year deserve endless mentions.  Yet it is Anton Yelchin who should get the spotlight.  In a year full of artist deaths, his is the most tragic.  A young actor with a top filmography already, he had so much left to give.  He has left us an astounding performance in Green Room, that I’m sure, like the film, will become timeless.

Like all top tens, some have to go by the wayside, so I’ve listed 11-30 here:

11. Hail Cesar!

12. 10 Cloverfield Lane

13. Everybody Wants Some

14. Hunt for the Wilderpeople

15. The Lobster

16. Swiss Army Man

17. Sausage Party

18. My Scientology Movie

19. Jason Bourne

20. Imperium

21. Into the Inferno

22. The Girl on the Train

23. Midnight Special

24. Sing Street

25. The Conjuring 2

26. Hell or High Water

27. Warcraft

28. The Fundamentals of Caring

29. X-Men Apocalypse

30. Batman vs Superman

Thanks for reading, it has been a pretty good year for film!