2016 hasn’t been the best year. It has taken some of the most talented people in the arts and entertainment industry, most recently Carrie Fisher.
But the loss that we feel about these wonderful people passing just goes to show how fantastic and how loved they were to begin with.
We’ve been treated to an eclectic year in cinema, some good and some bad. From surprise hits like Room, to sensational misses like Suicide Squad. I’ve picked the best 15 movies 2016 had to offer.
15. The BFG
Roald Dahl’s masterpiece was brought to life on the big screen once again in 2016. Despite all its digital wizardry The BFG still remains a flesh-and-blood movie, the tale of two misfits whose battles we can invest in. Despite its disjointed storyline it’s still an adventure that I would embark on again and again. The BFG is a scrumdiddlyumptious feast of a movie.
Now here is a movie with heart. Storks tells the tale of where babies come from. Okay so maybe not the whole truth, it’s a U rated movie not a sex-ed video.
It’s comes as no surprise that Storks come from the studio behind The LEGO movie. This crazy, fast-paced family romp delivers plenty of laughs. Through the laughter and silliness, a clear message shines through, love your friends and family. Even if it’s the family you make for yourself.
The Girl With All The Gifts is hella scary. Not just because of the gory action scenes but because it’s so scarily close to modern day that it’s almost believable. This movie has so much more depth than your usual flesh-hungry zombie flick, it’s a tale of love, determination and bravery.
The Girl With All The Gifts has a sense of humanity about it and that’s what it what makes it so powerfully chilling.
12. The Nice Guys
The Nice Guys tells the tale of two hapless private detectives know unknowingly uncover the crime of the century. It’s all about the sex and sleaze in 1970’s LA.
The chaotic chemistry between its chalk-and-cheese male stars is pure gold. It’s the complete package of slapstick, action and thriller all rolled up into one mesmerising movie. The Nice Guys is a reminder of what movies should be.
Allied is a larger than life, heart-racing ordeal that will mesmerise you. The swanky romantic thriller is head-over-heels besotted with itself, and with good reason. The set locations, the glamourous clothes and intoxicating music, it’s all so sumptuous.
It keeps you guessing right until the very end, the epitome of great thriller.
10. The Big Short
The Big Short tells the true story of a group of men who profited from the 2008 financial crash. It will both enlighten and entertain you, all while your blood boils from sheer frustration. Director Adam McKay may be used to creating comedic masterpieces like Step Brothers, Anchorman, Talladega Nights and The Other Guys, but The Big Short is a masterpiece.
It’s a documentary, comedy and satire all rolled into one. In the end we’re left with a very serious and sobering satirical comedy.
Arrival is a beautiful cinematic masterpiece. The opening scene is mirrored throughout the movie and shown for the last time at the end, bringing the sequence full circle. It’s this subtle symmetry that makes Arrival more than just your average Sci-Fi.
Arrival is a visual wonder that will thrill you. It’s simultaneously thought-provoking and exciting, making it one of the best movies 2016 had to offer.
The Hateful Eight, rather fittingly, marks Tarantino’s eighth movie. In true Tarantino style The Hateful Eight is full of drawn out scenes where the risk of violence and depravity are always just a moment away, bubbling under the surface.
No one’s better at raising hell than Quentin Tarantino and The Hateful Eight is no exception. It’s brilliantly cast, superbly scored and epically violent.
Spotlight isn’t movie for the faint-hearted. It tells the extraordinary true story of how a group of investigative journalists unearthed a heart-breaking abuse scandal and ongoing cover-up.
Director Thomas McCarthy weaves a richly detailed, emotionally involving drama that includes outstanding performances from its superb cast. He paints a compelling portrait of investigative journalism at its finest. Spotlight is enthralling and devastating at the same time.
A ragtag group of gun-slingers team up to form The Magnificent Seven and save a town from a ruthless villain.
Training Day and The Equalizer director Antoine Fuqua’s re-imagining of the classic 1960 Western is superb. This movie unleashes seven barrels of mayhem and it’s fantastic. Each member of the team brings their own deadly skills, one-liners and backstory with them, and when combined it just works.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a truly exceptional piece of cinema and although not part of the main Star Wars saga, it’s a worthy addition to the Star Wars mythology. The look and feel of the Star Wars universe that we all remember and love from the original trilogy has been carefully maintained.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sets the bar for the anthology films very high and I can’t wait to see what the Han Solo entry will deliver in 2018.
Imagine spending your entire life in just one room. This is Jack’s reality. He’s only ever known life within those four walls; trapped inside the world he calls “Room”.
Room is an unexpectedly life-affirming tale of parenthood disguised as a modern-day horror story. The thrilling adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s acclaimed novel explores the power of motherly love and a child’s ability to find light in the darkest situations.
Forget about your worries and your strife, The Jungle Book does not disappoint. It is without a doubt one of the best movies of 2016. From slithering snakes and mischievous monkeys to the jungle VIP: you have to admit, Favreau’s cast makes perfect sense.
Go see it, embark on an adventure and discover the magic of the original.
2. The Revenant
The Revenant tells the story of legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass, a man who survived against all odds in order to avenge his son’s death. This is an extremely visceral movie full of lengthy takes with no clear edits.
We find ourselves dragged through the wilderness, violent ambushes and life-threatening confrontations. The Revenant is a raw and gritty adaptation of the extraordinary true story of betrayal, survival and redemption. After his performance in this movie it’s no surprise that Leo finally nabbed his Oscar.
Ryan Reynold’s smart-talking antihero is a hilarious addition to the Marvel universe. Deadpool is full to the brim with dick jokes, which at first will make you chuckle, and then roar with laughter. Seriously you can never have enough dick jokes.
Reynolds is such a joy to watch. He’s been stealing hearts and playing the fool since his Van Wilder days. I can’ think of anyone better to play Deadpool. He’s a jerk, a wiseacre and a ladies man, in that order. Write that down.
By Ruth Walker