Welcome to our list of the BEST MOVIES of 2016!!!
It might be three months late, but we have finally decided our list of the top 20 best movies of 2016! These are the cream of the crop from the year, and it took us a long time to finalize this list! As always, these are our picks, and we welcome discussion, debate and disagreement! Each film is linked with our original review. Please enjoy! :)
20) "Moonlight" (8.75/10): The winner of the Best Picture Academy Award at the Oscars this year, "Moonlight" is an extremely well put together piece of cinema that is very interesting and compelling. Emotionally moving and tremendously acted, this is a story that doesn't get told often, if ever, and it subtly combines several topics to make one masterful piece of filmmaking. Barry Jenkins, please make more movies!
19) "Eye in the Sky" (9/10): A powerful, intense film that stuck with us all year, "Eye in the Sky" boasts an incredible performance by leading lady Helen Mirren, and a fantastic send-off for the late Alan Rickman. "It looks at the morality of war dead in the eye, something that can get lost in gunshots, battlefields and bad versus good." Each scene gets more suffocating as the seconds click by with lives at stake, and it remains engaging 'til the end.
18) "Moana" (9/10): You're welcome! Disney had a banner year in 2016, and their final animated entry for the year was one of the best. "Moana" gives many of the other Disney princesses a run for their money in a film filled with genuine heart, a fantastic message for kids and adults alike, a ton of glorious humor, a pivotal story, tremendous music, brilliant voice-over work, and an exciting, fun, emotional adventure. A must see!
17) "The Jungle Book" (9/10): We've come a long way in the world of computer generated effects! Aided by Jon Favreau's tremendous direction, "The Jungle Book" remake worried us going into it since we didn't know how it'd translate into live action. By movie's end, we left the theater feeling happy to say that not only does this version have excellent voice-over work, but it "retains the same spirit and joviality as the animated version while doing justice to the written words of Rudyard Kipling." It is frightening in some instances, but it also balances humor and adventure with these scary moments. And the animation? It is dazzling, photo-realistic, and sumptuous.
16) "Train to Busan" (9/10): One of the very few entries on our best of the best list that we saw on video on demand (as opposed to ones we saw in the theater), "Train to Busan" is worthy of such an honor. We are suckers for Korean cinema, but this fast-paced, amazingly exciting zombie outbreak film is more than meets the eye. It's deceptively deep, crazy intense, and never stops for a moment's rest. It's simple and effective.
15) "Green Room" (9/10): Another simple, low budget film that is increasingly more effective as time slowly rolls by. It's tense and intense. It is executed so well with many unexpected moments that we wound up getting completely enthralled and unnerved by everything going on on screen. This is "a freaky, twisted, brutal, macabre, claustrophobic movie," and though we do highly recommend it, it's not for those faint of heart or those who are weak in the stomach. It is also expertly cast, and little did we know when seeing it that it'd be one of Anton Yelchin's last performances.
14) "The Handmaiden" (9/10): A sexy, graphic, seductive, alluring, dark, visually striking South Korean film directed by Park Chan-wook, take a chance on "The Handmaiden" and you won't be disappointed. It's twisty, turny, and oh so engaging. We had no idea what this movie was about going into it an wound up absolutely loving it.
13) "Kubo and the Two Strings" (9/10): Laika Entertainment has done it again with the fabulous "Kubo and the Two Strings," a brilliant, creative, and vibrant animated film with a lot of heart and soul. We were gripped by this story of acceptance, family, sadness, loneliness, and bravery in the face of adversity throughout its run time, and the animation is a tremendous visual delight.
12) "Loving" (9/10): Richard and Mildred Loving only wanted to be together and be married in Virginia in the 1950's, which had anti-miscegenation laws in place. "Loving," expertly directed by Jeff Nichols, is their story as Nichols "stays glued to this couple who never wanted to be in the spotlight, but were thrust into it in order to protect their rights to love one another and to raise their family they way they wanted where they wanted." Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton give career-best performances in this nuanced, deeply moving, very poignant, very timely, and important film.
11) "Manchester by the Sea" (9/10): This drama deals with loss in such a profoundly nuanced and intricate way. It says so little and yet says so much in the small glances, "the tiny things here and there that add to the immense minutiae of death and loss and tragedy that should only be understood through personal experience, but somehow, even if you've never felt the painful sting of grief, you will know what it feels like if you watch this movie," that's how visceral the pain is. "Manchester by the Sea" will be hard to watch for anyone who has ever experienced a loss like this, and with such astounding directing, writing, and acting, it's not hard to see why this film made our list of the top 20 best movies of the year.
Click the link below to continue our list and to see our TOP 10 BEST MOVIES OF 2016!!!
10) "The Nice Guys" (9/10): A riotous dark comedy with a dynamic duo front and center, "The Nice Guys" didn't get much recognition and it didn't make a killing at the box office, but it should have. Full of fantastic over-the-top action sequences and tons of wit, director/writer Shane Black knows how to make a proper movie. It's a story with so much sex, drugs, death, and dated 70's style, it might not be every viewer's cup of tea, but it sure was ours! Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, and breakout star Angourie Rice excel in their parts, and the film as a whole oozes cool and outrageous.
9) "Nocturnal Animals" (9.5/10): Brimming with intrigue, director Tom Ford keeps proving that he is far more than just a fashion designer and that he is, in fact, a very capable, talented filmmaker with his latest movie, "Nocturnal Animals." Again, this is not the type of film everyone will enjoy, especially with some of its twisted themes and visuals. "Even many cinephiles will see this movie as merely pretentious drivel, the inner workings of failure, revenge, intention, and loss worked out in metaphors, but we absolutely loved this captivating, intense, bleak film." Stay through the opening 3 minutes and we promise, it'll be worth your while.
8) "Captain America: Civil War" (9.5/10): The Russo brothers have brought a wonderful balance to a darker subject matter as the Avengers are torn apart from the inside in "Captain America: Civil War." The drama and tensions rise while still remaining fun, enthralling, and entertaining. It's well-rounded, boom-tastic, full of excellent performances, and though not an opinion every movie fan agrees with, has a worthwhile villain in Daniel Brühl's Baron Zemo, who is clearly playing the long psychological game rather than the easy one with grenades and guns. Look out for some kick-ass cameos from a webbed favorite and a soon-to-be favorite newcomer!
7) "Rogue One" (9.5/10): "Rogue One" boasts a good starting point for beginners of the Star Wars universe, and is a place where seasoned vets of the series will get the many references and ties to other movies in the franchise. "This is the prequel we have always wanted and have been waiting for." Dramatic, battle-ridden, an emotional roller coaster from start to finish with some of the most stunning, crazy visual effects we've seen in a long time, this is a fantastic, incredible movie that serves to show what Lucas' prequels should have been, but weren't. SO GOOD!
6) "La La Land" (9.5/10): What a movie! "La La Land" has excellent chemistry between its actors, fantastic, catchy music, beautiful costumes and sets, flawless cinematography, and is full of glorious technical achievements and wonderful direction by Damien Chazelle. The experience we had watching this film is "what we want to experience when we go to the movies, to be immersed in a story, to be captivated by the screen from start to finish, and to feel something when we leave the theater. We want to watch movies that inspire us, that make us believe, that make us smile, or cry, or laugh, or be happy, that nudge us to take a chance." It's all about following your dreams, and we could all use a little bit of that in our lives.
5) "A Monster Calls" (10/10): The trailers for this movie totally reeled us in, but could the final product deliver? Not only did "A Monster Calls" do just that, it exceeded our expectations tenfold. While many people we've spoken to did not care for this film, we felt just the opposite about this beautiful, heartfelt flick that offers an interesting approach to coping, illness, and grief. "It uses a fantastical allegory to help explain the difficulty of having a parent suffering from a terminal illness." Do yourself a favor and take a chance on this stunning, tremendously powerful, fantastical film full of brilliant, lively drawings, great acting, and a heart-breaker ending.
4) "Sing Street" (9.5/10): Truly one of 2016's best, John Carney's "Sing Street" continues his winning streak of realistic, excellent music-related films about finding yourself, pursuing your dreams, and understanding your place through the power of music. Featuring several breakout performances from a cast of up-and-comers, some of the catchiest music of 2016, and a wicked vision translated through a brilliant directorial effort, this movie is near perfect and will make you fall in love with it a little more every time you watch it.
3) "13th" (10/10): "13th" is timely, important, and powerful Ava DuVernay-crafted exposé. It is the only documentary to grace our list this year, and it absolutely deserves a place in our top 5 best films of 2016. Examining the 13th amendment up close and exposing things we're sorry to say we would have never thought of, this brilliantly made, informative, well researched, engaging, and enraging film is both educational and heartbreaking, an absolute must see by anyone and everyone, and available to view on Netflix RIGHT NOW.
2) "Zootopia" (10/10): "Zootopia" was the first film from 2016 to get a 10/10 from our Lolo Loves Films team. "It is politically, culturally, and socially timely and meaningful." It has amazing voice over work from the likes of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Jenny Slate, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, and more, and "is a charming, fun, furry, adventurous ride." Even upon re-watch, these qualities held up through the months. It's got something for everyone, it has a lot to say, and continues Disney's hot streak of making films that matter and has a message that's not browbeaten into the audience, and remains moving enough to make a difference.
1) "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" (10/10): Taika Waititi is seriously one of the best directors out there right now, breaking the mold with his unique vision, his attention to detail, and his hilarious but sincere films. We knew every other movie was going to have a hard time beating "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" as the best film of 2016, and nothing ever did. This "is a movie that made us laugh a lot, but it's not just a comedy. It's a compassionate, heartfelt drama, too, and it made us cry without ever feeling sappy or forced. Its message is tender and sweet, but it is still able to maintain a balance between the jokes and the feels." With a brilliant performance from the adorable breakout star Julian Dennison, a genuine performance from Sam Neill, and an excellent supporting cast featuring Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House, Rhys Darby, and Waititi himself, this is an engaging, riotous, sweet movie that is absolutely worth your time and money!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~