Looking back at 2016 there were a lot of great movies, but it could be difficult to find them amidst a sea of sequels, remakes, reboots, and reimaginings. A lot of which are fun, but the films that stand out for me offer something original or different. Here are some of my favourites from 2016.
~ MY FAVOURITES ~
HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE – A troublesome boy is adopted into a new family, but soon he and his guardian are on the run from the law, hiding out in the woods. A New Zealand comedy that’s hilarious and original. From the director of What We Do In The Shadows, Taika Waititi. If you like to laugh look no further.
THE WITCH – A period horror film set in settlement times of New England. A family leaves the comfort of their christian community to make their own way, but is plagued by misfortune with the parents unsure of whom, or what is to blame. Atmospheric and tense, with muted colours that only enhance the overwhelming feeling of dread. Best horror film this year by a mile.
ARRIVAL – A cerebral science fiction film. If you’re looking for a science fiction film with ray guns and robots, you should look into Star Wars’ or Star Trek’s entry for the year. This is a serious take on what would happen if aliens landed, and our struggle to communicate with them amidst world politics. Sure to inspire reflection and conversation with anyone you see it with.
HELL OR HIGH WATER – A small western crime story. Two men are on a bank robbing spree, and the local law enforcement struggle to catch them. Likeable and interesting characters with excellent performances across the board. Sometimes simple works best.
GREEN ROOM – Part thriller, part horror film with slasher elements. A punk rock band plays at a white supremacist bar, and everything goes to hell. The band struggles to escape with there lives, and Patrick Stewart plays the terrifyingly cold leader of these neo-nazis. Not for the faint of heart, but one hell of a ride.
~ HONOURABLE MENTIONS ~
SING STREET – A feel good comedy set in 1980s Ireland. A boy forms a band to impress a girl. The cast is wonderful, and you feel for these kids who are just trying to find their way battling family issues and problems at their catholic school. Great soundtrack and score.
THE NICE GUYS – A crime fiction buddy movie that will make you laugh. Two private investigators attempt to solve a mystery in the seedy world of 1970’s pornography, with a tween in tow? It doesn’t sound like it should be funny, but director Shane Black has the chops to leave you in stitches in any setting.
STAR TREK BEYOND – The crew finally feels like what fans loved from the original series, and is closer to solving problems with their minds, not just their fists (Looking at you Star Trek Into Darkness). Still a big budget action film, so far from the series roots, but we get some nice character moments and bonding. A lot of fun. RIP Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin.
DEADPOOL – This comic adaption deserves a mention for doing something different. The genre has been going strong since 2008’s Iron Man, and it feels formulaic and stale. Deadpool bucks current trends by being raunchy, ultra-violent, and breaking the 4th wall. A rarity in the genre.
That’s my list for the year. Have you seen any of these? Like em, hate em, let me know and have an excellent 2017.