Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Favorite Movies of 2016

I always wait as late as possible to write about my favorite movies of the year, holding out hope that i'll get a chance to see one last film before it all comes to a close.  I'm fooling myself if i really think i'm going to see anything else before 2016's fiery end, so who knows if "Everybody Wants Some," or "Jackie," or "Moonlight," or "The Nice Guys," or even "Rogue One" would have made this list?  It's just destiny for it to remain incomplete.  Anyway, here are my seven favorite movies that i DID get to see this year (again in descending order to appease my wife).

7. The Invitation
Not a movie i was expecting to enjoy as much as i did, Karyn Kusama's slow-burning, screw-turning thriller is a wonderful exercise in suspense, a perfect combo of tension and dread all leading up to a jaw-dropping finale.  Read more about it here.

 6. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
First and foremost, i've got to say that i'm a huge fan of The Lonely Island, so this film was pretty much tailor made for me already, but my fandom aside, "Popstar" lands so many its endless barrage of gags, that it's gotta rank as an all-timer.  The movie skewers the music industry with a precision not seen since "This Is Spinal Tap."  I grinned through every ridiculous minute of it.

5. The Witch
Easily one of the spookiest and unsettling films i've ever seen before, Robert Eggers' debut feature is a breathtaking work of art.  From the beautiful cinematography to the ominous score to the on point costume design, every single part of "The Witch" is so wonderfully constructed, it's hard to believe it comes from a first timer.  Every single frame just oozes dread.  It's one of those horror movies that sticks with you days after viewing it.

4. Green Room
Jeremy Saulnier's sophomore effort is an intense and agonizing suspense film featuring Patrick Stewart as a neo-Nazi, the late great Anton Yelchin as a punk rock kid in waaaaaaaay over his head, and plenty of violence and gnarly gore.  If that didn't sell you on "Green Room," then we can't be friends.

3. Arrival
A stunning and beautiful piece of sci-fi from Dennis Villeneuve that explores the nature of man when confronted by the unknown.  On another day, this might have been my favorite of the year, if not for...

2. OJ: Made in America
So, maybe this is really more of a mini-series, but ESPN released and screened the 8+ hour thing in theaters to make it Oscar eligible (they rightfully have a ton of faith in Ezra Edelman's masterwork), so for my purposes, it's a movie.  And it has everything.  Easily one of the most engaging documentaries i have ever seen, "OJ: Made in America" is about so much more than the disgraced sports star.  Opening a discourse on race, celebrity, the American judicial system, media, American history, and so much more, it should be required viewing.  I couldn't take my eyes from it.  And it would have certainly been my favorite film of the year, if not for...

1. La La Land
A latecomer to the party (i only just saw it a couple of days ago), Damien Chazelle's "La La Land" is everything i needed it to be, an honest and gorgeous work of magic and catharsis.  It's a film that celebrates and elevates life and love, the good and the bad, and the ups and the downs, but does so in a realistic, albeit stylized (it is a musical after all) manner.  It is an absolute delight, the kind of movie that can and will inspire, and it left me in a much better place than i was before seeing it.  As much as i liked and enjoyed all of the other movies on this list, i adored "La La Land."  Hands down, it's my favorite of the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment