Top 10 Best Movies of 2016

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Let’s revisit the movies that changed my 2016 experience

We’re finally here, the end of a great movie year. I have made both my most disappointing movies list and my most surprising movies list. I also made my worst movies of 2016, and now it’s time to celebrate the best films of 2016. It took time from all the 67 movies I’ve seen this year, I had cut it down to 15. From those 15, I cut it down to 10. A reminder that I didn’t see all the movies this year. I have yet to Silence and Fences so I have no idea if they would be on this list but I still have some great movies to talk about nonetheless. These are the movies that changed me, that affected me in 2016. These are the movies that blew my mind, terrified or excited me. Here are my top 10 best movies of 2016.

Honorable Mentions:

10. 10 Cloverfield Lane

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John Goodman is probably going to be snubbed of an Oscar nomination. Apart from Goodman’s excellent performance, 10 Cloverfield Lane has not much wrong. The tension and suspense are ‘edge of your seat’ material. Beautiful and thrilling direction from Dan Trachtenberg makes him a must-watch up, and coming director in 2017 and the Cloverfield brand is healthier than ever. Now, I’m ready for The God Particle.

9. The Nice Guys

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Darkly funny with a strange touch, The Nice Guys is a buddy cop movie that surprisingly works. Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling have a great chemistry, and Angourie Rice made me laugh my ass off. What makes this comedy great is its fantastic murder mystery story ark. What I admire most is that it embrace its weirdness and the dying genre that is neo-noir mystery.

Read full review here

8. Zootopia

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Disney released two animation films this year, Moana and this one. I fell in love with Zootopia‘s metaphorical story and its inspirational but real message. The scene with the sloth is still one of the most memorable scenes of this year. It demonstrates just how well made the anthropomorphization of the animals were. Top it off with Disney’s crisp and colorful animation, and you have the best animation film of 2017.

7. La La Land

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A love letter to dreamers, La La Land, is the perfect end of the year movie. It offers a bittersweet story with a great musical twist. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are fantastic as the passionate couple. Stone’s final audition is a thing of beauty, and the editing is the best thing about this musical. Damien Chazelle’s craftiness and creativity make La La Land that much more memorable.

Read full review here

6. Manchester By The Sea

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Manchester By The Sea is a heavy movie to sit through. The film’s ability to showcase such a tragic life is both bold, yet it carries a weight. And that weight will likely stay with you, and this is what makes Kenneth Lonergan’s dark, sad and tragic movie worth a watch. It has a rare ability to balance its dark elements with light-hearted moments. However, none of it feels like you’re watching a movie. Manchester By The Sea is so well crafted that the viewer feels like it’s watching a real story with real characters.

Read full review here

5. The Lobster

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Disturbingly dark yet hilariously funny, The Lobster defies genre rules. Yargos Lanthimos directs a bold, risky movie. Collin Farell, Rachel Weisz, and Lea Seydoux strip down their performance to almost nothing. They give monotonous and one-note performances, but the writing is so quick and witty that the performances work. Finding love has never been scarier.

Read full review here

4. Nocturnal Animals

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Tom Ford is a multi-faceted man, fashion designer and now a proven talented director. Nocturnal Animals is Ford’s second film and its one gorgeously looking film. His ability to transition effortlessly from two entirely different story shows how talented this guy is. The whole cast gives excellent performances. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon truly give it their all. The end is sure to hit you emotionally at first and then slowly grow up on you the more you think about it – or at least it did for me.

Read full review here

3. The Witch

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The first movie that I fell in love with this year. Robert Eggers’ debut is hauntingly and disturbingly beautiful. Sticking close to historical folk tales to tell his story, Eggers creates a compelling and historically accurate tale of what life was like in the 1600s. The tension between the family is gripping, and the religious symbolism is spot on. Anya Taylor-Joy is the up and coming actress you need to follow right now.

2. Moonlight

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Another dark and emotional story, Moonlight is a coming of age story that has plenty on its mind. It tells a story about homosexuality, poverty and what it’s like to live in America as a black person. Naomie Harris gave me chills watching her performance throughout and all the actor who portray Chiron are exquisite. It is shot in an impressionistic, poetic style, and by the end, it packs an unsuspected punch.

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1. Arrival

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Denis Villeneuve continues to be my favorite director working today. He continues to solidify himself as a director worthy of being in the realm of Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock. Arrival furthers his style and ability to tell a story. There is no plot hole; there are no lazy shots. Everything in Arrival is made with precision, care and craft.  Every film he makes is getting better and better, and I can’t wait to see what he got in store for 2017.

Read full review here

What is your favorite movie of 2017? Tell me in comments below!

‘Arrival’ Review: Amy Adams Shines In This Complex Cerebral Sci-Fi Masterpiece

Denis Villeneuve has created his most intelligent movie yet

There are so many things right in Denis Villeneuve’s latest directorial masterpiece. From Bradford Young’s crisp cinematography to Johann Johannsson’s minimalist score, Arrival is probably this year’s best movie. It will likely spawn comparison to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar as they both deal with complex philosophical concepts and life beyond Earth. While the comparison is earned, Arrival is smarter and better executed than Interstellar.

Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is one of the best linguists in the world. When aliens have landed in 12 distinct places on Earth, the military calls upon Louise to translate the alien’s foreign language. They speak by releasing black smoke that creates weird circular symbols. Those symbols represent an intricate language that humans need to understand in order to ask the pivotal question – “What is your purpose on Earth?”

With the help Dr. Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), Louise must find out if their otherworldly friends may actually be foes. Louise knows more than anybody else that language is the key to understanding a group of people and she may not be ready for the consequences this knowledge brings to her.

Again, Villeneuve continues to create visually stunning films. The long wide shots of the alien pods and the interaction with the aliens capture some of the most beautiful cinematography this year. Using symbolic language helps add to the movie’s already incredible visuals. The aliens themselves, covered in white smoke, are elegant even if they are not ascetically attractive.

 

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Amy Adams gives an incredible performance as an intelligent linguist

Amy Adams give one of her best performance as the gifted linguist. Her story is emotional and powerful. Adams convey every emotion and help paint a strong female character. Her character is always one step ahead of everyone including the audience. She establishes that she is, in fact, the best linguist for the job.

Just as smart of Adam’s character is the incredibly complex story. Sci-fi is always a difficult genre to execute. Usually dealing with complex philosophical ideas and theories, Arrival is not different. Villeneuve tackles the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which is the idea that learning a foreign language rewires your brain. Along with the theories of time and dimensions, these big ideas get executed to almost perfection. The puzzle this movie assembles gets every piece to fit together

Villeneuve never gets scared of Arrival’s big ambitions. He takes the necessary time to tell his story both visually and verbally. The pace may get tiresome for mainstream viewers, but for fans who enjoy great cinematography, you will not get bored.

Arrival is ambitious, and while sometimes that ambition can be a movie’s downfall, it is its biggest strength. It draws upon complex ideas and nails every one of them. Amy Adam, cinematographer Bradford Young and composer Jóhann Jóhannsson all add to propel the movie to success. The team has made a film that they can all be proud of because not many of this sorts of movies can say that they nailed every ambition.

REVIEW: A+