2016 has come and gone and while it presented challenges and opportunities for some, the film industry saw some fantastic films. This is the Top 10 Best/Favorite Films of 2016 from the Editors In Chief of The Drop News: Cinema, Collin Sapp and Chris Davis. This is not THE definite list of best films of 2016, just our choices. You may disagree with us and that is fine! We want to hear about your favorite films of last year. So, let’s jump right into it.
10. Manchester by the Sea
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler and Lucas Hedges
Manchester by the Sea stars Casey Affleck as a man who is sent back home to care for his nephew after his brother passes away. Affleck’s character is a broken man haunted by his past and terrified of his future caring for his nephew. This film is a fantastic look at grief and what it is to be human. It is happy, sad and funny; just like life. The depressing moments in this film are sometimes interrupted by something going wrong in an almost humorous way and you aren’t sure if it is okay to laugh, as what happens in life all the time. This film, while a definite Oscar contender, is not loud or showy in it’s direction or acting as many films dealing with this subject matter are. It is raw, human and honest which makes it one of the best of the year. Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges give wonderful performances that deserve major attention. Go see this film if you haven’t already.
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
Arrival is a film depicting what it might look like if alien life forms visited Earth. This another film documenting what it is to be human and it is wonderful. Amy Adams plays a linguistics professor who is called in, along with a scientist played by Jeremy Renner, to figure out what it is the aliens want. This atmospheric drama is a mysterious and emotional roller-coaster that will have you playing detective the entire time to try and figure out what is going on. The enjoyment of this film stems from the audience knowing very little so we will not divulge any more than this. Denis Villeneuve again demonstrates why he is one of the best directors working today. Absolutely see this movie.
8. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn
The Star Wars Universe is expanding with the first of many Star Wars spin-off movies! Jyn Erso (Jones) joins the Rebel Alliance about twenty years after Revenge of the Sith to help steal the plans for the nearly operational Death Star. The star studded cast also includes Forest Whitaker, his second appearance on this list, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang and Riz Ahmed. This movie makes for a worthy entry into the Star Wars Saga. The cinematography is breathtaking and the characters are utterly likable. An appearance of one particular character (you know what we’re talking about) is worth the ticket price alone. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, get on it!
7. Hacksaw Ridge
Director: Mel Gibson
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Teresa Palmer
Hacksaw Ridge is the first film from Director Mel Gibson in 10 years and he absolutely delivers. Andrew Garfield stars in this true story taking place during World War II. It follows Desmond Doss (Garfield) who served as an Army Medic during the Battle of Okinawa and refused kill people or even pick up a gun. It is a fascinating film about the bond of soldiers and the human spirit. Andrew Garfield and Hugo Weaving deliver incredible performances and the battle scenes are as intense and realistic as Saving Private Ryan. Seek this film out.
6. Sing Street
Director: John Carney
Starring: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Jack Reynor, Lucy Boynton
Sing Street follows a group of teens in 1980’s Ireland who start a band to impress a girl. It is a beautiful coming of age story with great performances and stellar music. It would be a crime if the music in this film did not get an Oscar nomination. Jack Reynor gives a standout performance an the chemistry between all of the actors is very convincing. This movie is on Netflix Instant (US) right now so you have no excuse not to watch it!
5. The Edge of Seventeen
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Blake Jenner
The Edge of Seventeen is a modern day John Hughes film. It is a brilliant and relatable story of a girl just trying to figure out who she is and where she belongs in life. The film is well acted and funny. An overlooked gem.
Director: Barry Jenkins
Starring: Mahershala Ali, Alex R. Hibbert, Naomie Harris, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes
Moonlight is a beautiful film that follows a boy in three stages of his life. As a child, a teenager and an adult, Chiron (played by Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevanted Rhodes) struggles to find his place in life in Miami. It is a touching film about self discovery and human connection. This is one of the most beautiful films of the decade and a definite front-runner for Best Picture.
3. 10 Cloverfield Lane
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr.
10 Cloverfield Lane is the follow up to JJ Abram’s ‘Cloverfield’ and follows Michelle (Winstead) as she is trapped in a bunker after a possibly extinction level event. Living with her in the bunker is the mysterious Howard (Goodman) and the goofy Emmet (Gallagher Jr.). What follows is a tense psychological science fiction thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat for the entire run time. John Goodman gives a chilling performance and director Dan Trachtenberg uses the film’s claustrophobic location to it’s maximum potential. A great film from earlier in the year.
2. The Nice Guys
Director: Shane Black
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russel Crowe and Angourie Rice
The Nice Guys is Shane Black’s return to the buddy action comedy genre and he returns in force! This utterly hilarious crime caper is a blast from the moment it opens. Gosling and Crowe play two private detectives trying to solve the murder of adult film star Misty Mountains. The chemistry between Gosling and Crowe is nothing short of perfection. This film is the definition of fun.
- La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone
La La Land is the second film from director Damien Chazelle after his 2014 hit ‘Whiplash’. This film is one of the best films of the decade. It is filled amazing music, incredible acting and deeply beautiful and intense story. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone were born to act opposite each other. The musical numbers in this film are among the best ever. Everything about this film is pretty much perfect. If you see one movie from last year, make it La La Land.
So there you have it. Our Top 10 Films of 2016! What did you think? What are your top films of last year? Let us know on twitter @TDNCinema