What a year, right? The main theme of the Internet right now seems to be that 2016 sucked. And most of the movies contributed to, rather than alleviating, the general suckage. But we shouldn’t forget that this year had its bright spots. There were even a few good movies. Here’s a list of my favourites from 2016.
But first, let me list my least favourites.
3. The Jungle Book
I am morally opposed to live-action remakes of Disney cartoons. Especially when they aren’t really even live-action. Everything in this movie was CGI, except for Mowgli (which actually makes his acting pretty impressive). It was pretty great CGI, to be sure, but it was still incredibly unnecessary, since we already have the cartoon version. And it turned the fun King Louis song into a vaguely disturbing scene with a giant gangster orangutan.
It’s not that I hated this movie. I actually found it pretty entertaining. It’s just that it was so forgettable. It’s only been a few months since I saw it, and I’ve already forgotten almost everything about it. There was just nothing special or unique that stood out to me. My feelings about it are a solid “meh.”
- Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
I am still amazed by how terrible this movie was. Like, I knew it wasn’t going to be good, but I thought that a movie starring the two most iconic, beloved superheroes of all time couldn’t help having a few fun moments, even if it was directed by Zack Snyder. But no. It’s not even bad enough to be fun–except for the “Martha” scene. That was gold. I laughed my head off. But everything else was either boring or incredibly obnoxious (lookin’ at you, Lex). Between this and Suicide Squad (which I still haven’t seen, due to not wanting to spend money on it), I think it’s about time DC cut its losses and took a break from making live-action films. They can start again in a few years when they hire some decent writers and directors.
Okay, good movies now!
5. Doctor Strange
It’s weird. It’s fun. It’s got amazing effects. It’s got Benedict Cumberbatch and the Cloak of Levitation (and if I’m being honest, I find those two equally attractive). Most importantly (spoiler alert), the titular hero saves the day by annoying a cosmic being so much it goes away. Plus, everything in the movie has an awesome name, like the Eye of Agamotto. I don’t care if it has all the usual Marvel problems, plus a nasty case of white-washing and a lot of plot ripped from Iron Man. I still love it, and no one can take that away from me.
4. 10 Cloverfield Lane
John Goodman deserves an Oscar. Actually, with the number of movies he’s been in, I’m amazed he hasn’t won one already. But he definitely deserves one for this movie.
3. Kubo and the Two Strings
It’s the most beautiful film of the year. The music is beautiful, the animation is ridiculously beautiful, and the story is beautiful. Pixar is spinning swiftly down the drain, but I think Laika is poised to become their successor in the “making amazing animated movies” category.
If I were a professional film critic with a degree in Film Studies or something (I’m not), I would probably say this was the best movie of the year. It’s artsy without being pretentious, surprising without being gimmicky, and understated without being boring. It’s full of great performances, great music, and fantastic cinematography. And it has arguably the most intelligent script of any movie in 2016.
- Rogue One
But, because I don’t have any film-related degrees and my taste in movies is anything but sophisticated, this was the 2016 movie dearest to my heart. It was so exciting to see a Star Wars movie on the big screen that actually lived up to its predecessors’ standards. I had never experienced that before, and it was glorious. Besides, we lost Carrie Fisher this week. With the state my emotions are in right now, I would give this movie the top spot even if it were only half as good as it is.
TV bonus: Stranger Things
Everyone’s seen this show by now, so I don’t need to tell you why it’s so great. Except I do need to say that Millie Bobby Brown deserves every acting award ever invented, because that can’t be said often enough.
B0nus bonus: Moon
This movie didn’t come out this year, but I did watch it for the first time this year. I just wanted to mention it because it’s freaking amazing, and not enough people have seen it. 90 percent of it is two actors (one of whom is never actually seen, because he’s voicing a robot) in a space station on the moon, and it’s the most mind-blowing sci-fi movie you could hope to see. I can’t say anything about the plot, except that there are at least two or three times when I, the viewer, realised I wasn’t watching the movie I expected to be watching. And in this day and age, it’s hard to pull off more than one huge movie surprise that actually works.
See? 2016 wasn’t that bad after all! But let’s hope 2017 is still better. At least in terms of movies. Lord knows we’re going to need some distraction.