If you went by summer blockbusters, then this year was a stinker. Thankfully, I avoided many movies that gave people heartache (expect Batman V Superman) and I saw a whole bunch of other amazing movies this year.
I tried to rank them in order of what I thought was best, but I got stuck with the top four and decided to go with Alphabetical order. I did note my top four movies with an asterisk* if anyone wants to know the ‘cream of the crop’.
Here we go!
If Independence Day was on one end of the ‘Alien Invasion’ spectrum, then Arrival would be on the other end. While the former is great popcorn fun, Arrival is a thinking man’s movie full of layers.
I was really excited for this movie, but I had no clue how deeply it would invade my soul. In the first five minutes I was crying, and by the last act I was trying not to ugly cry.
In between was one of the best SciFi movies I’ve seen. The deliberate pacing might turn some off, but I was hooked all the way through. I also really enjoyed how this movie was a love letter to the linguistic arts.
2 Captain America: Civil War
I was back and forth about putting Civil War on my top ten, because there are some flaws with the plot, but damn if this still not one of the best superhero movies ever.
The airport brawl was epic and everything I wanted that fight to be, but I also loved the conflict between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. Most blockbusters make ideological debates extremely one-sided, but the Russo brothers gave us a dilemma with no clear answers. I understood why people chose to register with the government or not.
That tension between the two leads slowly boils down to the last fight, which was so heart wrenching for me, as a fan of both characters.
What also cemented my love for this movie was watching my least favorite movie of the year, Batman V Superman. For all the wrong choices that movie made, Civil War made better.
This movie was just so much fun. I saw Deadpool opening weekend for Valentine’s Day and it was perfect.
Deadpool made up for its ‘by the book’ plot by being fucking hilarious. I hope this movie leads the way for studios taking more chances with superhero properties. Everything doesn’t have to look like The Avengers, it just has to be good!
4 Green Room
I realized after watching Green Room that I miss good ol’ fashion scary thrillers. I was on the edge of my seat for the majority of the movie, praying that at least one person would make it to the end and kill all the neo-nazis.
That’s right, there are neo-nazi. Lead by Patrick Stewart.
Hahaha, this movie was so awesome.
I’m also so happy that we have this performance by Anton Yelchin. I liked him in Star Trek, but this movie really showcased his acting capability. Losing him is reason #258 on why this year sucked ass. Just… GRRRR!
*Rage punching pillow*
Anyways, this movie has some extremely realistic-looking gore, so it’s not for the faint of heart. If you can stomach it, then please go see this movie!
5 Hell or High Water
I am not a fan of westerns (though Westworld is winning me over), so this movie wasn’t on my list at first. But over the past few months I kept hearing positive reviews, and it started to sneak onto my to-watch list
I gave Hell or High Water a chance, and that gamble paid off big. The movie is a modern western/thriller about a pair of brothers who rob banks, and the Texas Rangers that are after them.
The cinematography is fantastic and the story is great. Chris Pine gives a surprisingly solid performance, and I was really won over.
What really propelled this movie to my top ten was the underlying message throughout that ‘poverty is a disease’. If you still can’t understand why people voted for Trump, then this is a good place to start. The poverty shown in the movie is what middle America is going through right now.
The desperation of wanting to make a better life for the next generation gave this movie drive and humanity. I hope to see more like this film in the future.
6 La La Land*
Sweet Lord, it’s been two weeks since I’ve seen this movie and I’m still humming the songs.
An amazing and stunning movie that is full of life. The music swept me away, and the two leads carried the momentum to the end.
The movie could have easily been too cheesy, but I think the director always kept La La Land in the right groove. I also think changing up the flow about halfway through kept the movie from going over the top as well.
For every artist out there that has made tough choices for your dream, this movie is for you.
7 Manchester By The Sea*
So with Arrival there was some ugly crying, but with Manchester by the Sea I was sobbing.
This movie wrecked me.
I went home and hugged my girl and couldn’t stop crying. Lee Chandler’s (played by Casey Affleck, he better win an Oscar for this!) story is my waking nightmare.
I don’t want to spoil anything else, just go see it.
Please Hollywood, listen to my prayers. We need movies like Moonlight. I need to see more diverse stories, and so does America.
I know that the Oscars have gotten a lot flack the past couple of years for lack of diversity. I haven’t defended them, but I understand that the industry as a whole is to blame, not just the Academy.
That being said, if Moonlight gets snubbed I’ll be jumping on the #OscarsSoWhite bandwagon. This movie DESERVES to get multiple nominations. The ball’s in your court Academy Awards, don’t f-it up.
9 The Nice Guys
In between my birthday, BookCon, and crying over the disappointment X-Men Apocalypse, I missed one of the best movies this year, and so did many people.
I don’t know how we missed this gem, but The Nice Guys was so great guys. This movie made me laugh, even more than Deadpool. MORE THAN DEADPOOL!
P.S. Ryan Gosling’s girlish scream will put a smile on any face. I don’t care how dead your soul is!
10 Cloverfield Lane
This movie was one of my most anticipated movies of the year after I saw the trailer. The trailer was everything. But I know marketing has gotten better and better at cutting trailers, so I was worried, but still hopeful.
I hope John Goodman gets some recognition for this role. I know it won’t come from the Globes or the Oscars, but dammit, someone give this man an award. He was prefect.
The acting alone from Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead is incredible, but the tension of this movie is thick and feels so real. Highly recommend.
Kubo and the Two Strings
Love & Friendship
Don’t Think Twice
What was your favorite movie of 2016? What movies are you most looking forward to in 2017?