Top 5 films of 2016…according to me!

Top 5 films of 2016…according to me!

I have a lousy memory and struggle to remember what we watched when, so this year I had a plan: keep a tally of all the films we’d watched over the year, then come December, I could do a round-up of my Top 5 Films!

Obviously, that’s based on MY films watched in 2016…you’ll likely tell me that some of them came out last year. In fact, some of them came out 20, even 30 years ago! What I haven’t done is include any rewatches – the ones on my list are all first time views for myself: 57 in total. An average of one a week isn’t bad!

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The genres are all over the place, as we’ll pretty much watch anything, although if left to my own devices, I’d most likely be a full-on blockbuster/ sci-fi/ explosions/ horror viewer. But Sam loves quirky little Indie films, so I’m sure you’ll be able to tell which choices were made by whom (is that grammatically correct?)

So here we go… an insight into my viewing back catalogue of the last twelve months. I’d love to know what you think of the picks and whether you have seen them / agree with my Top 5. Drop me a line in the comments and give me your choices!

JANUARY

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Starting the year in our newly built cinema, that is a mere 5 minutes walk from our house, we stayed in a wintery vein with Tarantino’s Hateful Eight. Enjoyable but nothing special compared to his previous offerings. Although dialogue heavy movies are a firm favourite with us. 

Same could be said for Spectre… poor. And I should have probably given up on Paranormal Activty three films ago! But Straight Outta Compton, the biographical look at the NWA’s rise to fame, was a surprise hit for me, especially as it had a cracking soundtrack.

Yet it was Matt Damon’s virtually one-man show in The Martian that stood out this month…but would it be enough to make my Top 5??

FEBRUARY

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A busy month for movies, with an oldie, two ‘rooms’, Hiddleston and Fassbender to swoon over, a creepy thriller, an interesting documentary and a ‘superhero’ that was not for the kids!

Each February film was enjoyable for different reasons, aside from The Keeping Room – I just found it bland and was left thinking, ‘is that it?’

An Honest Liar was a really interesting documentary, about the life of magician James Randi and his crusade to debunk faith healers and psychics – as a fan of Derren Brown (perhaps Britain’s answer to achieving the same thing), it was a great watch.

Deadpool didn’t disappoint as the wise-cracking, self-aware ‘hero’ and whilst the storyline wasn’t all that tight, I did love it for the more adult feel and being the only ones in the cinema apparently getting the in-jokes!

But Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay stole the show inside their Room. Taking away the traumatic subject matter and reason for their captivity, I found it to be quite a poignant insight on how children view the world, a bittersweet tale of growing up in adverse conditions.

MARCH

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Two dramatisations based on truth and two new offerings from a known origin this month.

I’m a big fan of the Rocky films and Creed was…okay. For me it didn’t capture enough of the old magic and I really think it’s time Stallone well and truly hung up his gloves.

The Big Short and Spotlight (Best Picture Oscar winner) had some excellent acting (with Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight being superb). And being based on true events made the watching all the more satisfying, despite the subject matter of the latter.

But as a fan of sci-fi, it was another ‘room’ that was the top choice of my birthday month, with 10, Cloverfield Lane. I loved the first Cloverfield offering, especially as the trailer kept everything hidden – a rarity these days. The trailer for this off-shoot movie had me with the warped version of ‘I think we’re alone now‘ but the film held its own, being much more about the forced relationships than the terror outside in the world. Loved it.

APRIL

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Thank goodness for Marvel movies…that is all!

Actually, that’s not entirely fair. Man from UNCLE was enjoyable – mainly because I like old spy films and love vintage fashions. And the concept of Timelapse (a camera that captured an image of the future, so you could kind of alter time) was intriguing, but it just seemed to lose its way too quickly.

But you can’t really compete with Iron Man and Spidey (SPOILERS!!), can you?!

MAY

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WHAT on Earth was The Witch about? Weird, old English ramblings and not in the least bit scary. And as for Hail Ceasar, well I don’t think I’ve ‘got’ a Coen Brothers movie yet!

May’s choices were redeemed by a solid performance from Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn, a tale depicting an Irish immigrant’s new life in New York (that won Best British Film BAFTA) and Disney’s musical Into the Woods. Like a fairytale version of James’ Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke, what’s not to like?!

JUNE

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Oh June, you promised so much with your small amount of movie watching. But despite being mightily pleased that Leo finally got that Oscar, I can’t help thinking it was to shut everyone up, as he has given far better performances than in The Revenant. I just wasn’t a fan.

Tomorrowland looked right up my street from the trailer and I did like it, but it could have been executed much better. Yes, it was a Disney film, so was always going to be slightly dumbed down for family audiences. I would have liked to see it play out with a grittier tone. Oh well…

JULY

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This month, we saw two films starring the late Anton Yelchin: Star Trek and Green Room. One was much better than the other – whilst Green Room was an averagely good horror thriller, I was not on board with Sir Pat Stewart being evil. Still, nice geeky link to Star Trek I suppose…

Similarly, I wasn’t fully on board with Tina Fey playing a semi-serious role. WTF played out well enough, chronicling the true life events of reporter Kim Barker out in Afghanistan, but didn’t fully hit the mark.

Zootopia, on the other hand, was great! Wasn’t prepared for some on-the-nose social commentary to come out of an animated film. Funny and at times thought provoking, I loved it.

I’m not even going to mention the last one on the list, other than to say I HATE the Amazon’s entrance music and her costume. Give me spangly red, white and blue attire anyday!

AUGUST

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Surprises from each of August’s list. Nice Guys was far funnier than I ever expected it to be and The Conjuring 2 gave me enough jumps to restore some faith in horrors. Plus, it star Vera Farmiga who I have a bit of a girl crush on, so that’s always a win!

Jungle Book, however, I was not looking forward to. I didn’t think there was a need for a live action reboot but they did a grand job! The effects were excellent and Neel Sethi, as Mowgli, was superb, acting against what I presume was very little.

But casting for voicing the main characters has to be commended – Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Sir Ben Kingsley and Christopher Walken provided the main ones. Even if you’ve not seen the film, I reckon you could guess who played the likes of Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan and King Louie from that list. Walken was, as ever, class.

SEPTEMBER

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Some utter duds this month with Warcraft and Neighbours 2 and Neon Demon (a twisted look at the world of fashion) was beyond weird. Nobody needs to see someone bleed out on the floor in some warped, exultant fertlity ritual. Or whatever it was. Far too Lars Von Trier for my liking!

But Samberg and the Lonely Island crew gave the laughs in Popstar and Girl with all the Gifts was a zombie-esque film from a different angle. Being mainly British gave it a flavour and grittiness of 28 Days Later, which will remain one of my favourite films in that genre.

Swiss Army Man has to be top for the month. A quirky Indy flick, starring Daniel Radcliffe as a dead body. That talks and wants to live and find love. Yes, it’s as bizarre as that description sounds, but it was also lovely and quite magical and sweet.

OCTOBER

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Halloween specials at the cinema gave us the oldest on the list this month, with American Werewolf. I can’t believe I’ve never seen it before but pleased I can finally add it to the lineup. A little cheesy and dated, it added to the humour and the transformation scene IS amazing, especially for its era.

Two documentaries in Weiner and Tickled. I think I sat through most of the former saying, ‘You idiot’ and the latter completely dumbfounded by what was unfolding. If you don’t know, Tickled is about the performance sport of endurance tickling and a scandal that arose around it. Just watch it, it’s compelling viewing!

But my standout for October was the delightful film from New Zealand, Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Another fabulous performance by a child star (Julian Dennison), supported by Sam Neill in a charming tale of family and overcoming life’s obstacles, which was hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measures. A little gem of a movie.

NOVEMBER

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What is it about horrors and having a cool concept but being unable to see it through? Both Lights Out and Don’t Breathe looked good from the trailer but lacked a decent ending. I much preferred the former, having a demon that could be kept at bay with light but it was nothing to write home about.

Hell or High Water was a decent siege / chase movie and Arrival’s quieter look at first contact with aliens had some interesting twists. However, for me, it was the animations that won. Having never been the biggest fan of Finding Nemo, I wasn’t all that bothered about Dory. However, maybe I was having an over-emotional day but I loved it and cried. A lot!

Kubo and the Two Strings was my favourite though – having the feel of a traditional folk tale and gorgeous stop-motion animation, it’s made me want to go back and watch the studio’s older works, such as Coraline and Boxtrolls.

DECEMBER

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A pretty poor end to the year regarding movies, if I’m honest.

Rogue One was the highlight and it was excellent but was a very different Star Wars outing, one that I’m not 100% sure I was ready to embrace. As a stand alone film, that gives a great backstory to a familiar ending, it tied up loose ends and had enough nods and Easter Eggs to keep die-hard fans happy. But it felt a bit like staying at your aunt’s house – you know they’re part of the family and will look after you, but it’s just not home…

The others? Well, Suicide Squad only gets any mention because of the soundtrack. Utter mess otherwise. And we watched the extended cut that is supposed to make more sense! Bridget Jones was typically chicky and flicky and fine. Secret Life was good, what I saw of it – we played it at school and I missed the ending due to an incident!

David Brent – meh. Some funny moments that would have worked in a British sitcom but that didn’t transfer to the screen and Krampus I had high hopes for but was disappointing. If only the characters had seemed to give more of a care about each other when they kept getting eaten by gingerbread men!!

A late entry for December (I only watched it last night) is Ethel and Ernest. It’s only had a limited cinematic release in the UK but aired as a BBC special on TV. An animated tribute to the parents of Raymond Briggs (of The Snowman fame), it’s a beautiful, poignant look at life and major events in the 20th century, through the eyes of two unremarkable people. I urge you to watch if you can…but have the tissues ready!

So, if you’ve managed to stick around through this gargantuan post (thanks!), it’s time to reveal MY Top 5 films of 2016…

In 5th place: Girl with all the Gifts tied with Rogue One.

In 4th place: 10 Cloverfield Lane.

In 3rd place: Swiss Army Man.

In 2nd place: Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

But the award for BEST MOVIE I’VE SEEN 2016 goes to ROOM.

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Special mentions go to Kubo and the Two Strings, Spotlight and Ethel and Ernest and one film I missed and wished I hadn’t was Doctor Strange – the first Marvel movie we’ve not seen on the big screen. 😦

If anything, this exercise has made us watch more movies – TV shows are sooo good (GoT, Stranger Things, Westworld!!) we often neglect longer features. Must remember to keep a list again!

So, what do you think? Agree, disagree, never heard of them?! I’d love to hear your thoughts and I’d just want to wish everyone a fabulous New Year’s Eve – stay safe, enjoy wisely and here’s to a peaceful 2017. See you next year folks! πŸ˜‰


Image Credits: imdb.com and movieden

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35 thoughts on “Top 5 films of 2016…according to me!

  1. I loved your reviews! Thank you for taking the time. I’ve got a few added to my list of films for flights. You just watched American Werewolf in London? As a kid I loved that movie! You’re right though, the special effects now look cheesy, but back when it came out they were pretty cutting edge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome! Yes, there’s a shocking number of ‘classics’ I’ve not seen, especially ones from my formative years – I only saw The Goonies and Breakfast Club 2 years ago!
      Our local cinema ran Mystery Monster Mondays up to Halloween. They tweeted clues to what was playing but they were so cryptic you never knew what was going to be on. So I didn’t knowingly set out to watch American Werewolf!

      Like

    1. Thank you! If you’re a Star Wars fan you have to see Rogue One – it does tie some elements up quite nicely. But Girl with Gifts is great, especially if you like that genre. Thanks for stopping by and following! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh but it could have been so much better! It was okay, just not as good as I was hoping. Room though – yes watch it! Must admit I didn’t know it was a book but then my reading habits have been dire for years. I got a Kindle for Christmas and when it asked me to rate at least 10 books during setup, I didn’t think saying I’d seen the film version would be allowed!!

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  2. It seems we actually have very similar taste in film. Ooh apart from The Revenant which I loved. I’m surprised I missed Straight Outta Compton, so glad I’ve discovered through reading this. Spectre was just one of those films where I kept getting up to get snacks and I kept checking my phone and pissing about in general as it just didn’t hold my attention at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was so dull, wasn’t it? And I’m a huge Bond fan so really wanted to love it. Definitely give Compton a watch though, it helps if you like hip-hop obviously but it’s an interesting insight into that time in music all the same. I did like the Revenant but didn’t think it deserved all the hype it got.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good list – well done. I know that Batman V Superman and Suicide squad were not good but I sort of enjoyed them anyway. I think it’s my inner child telling me that anything with Batman in is cool. Captain America was awesome and definitely the best cinematic version of Spidey to date (even if he was only on screen for five minutes). I think your description of Rogue One is spot on. It was good but it was a bit of a strange experience all the same. Haven’t seen Star Trek yet but it’s on my list for 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Completely agree about Spidey, although I’m still quite a fan of the Toby Maguire era (except for the dancing…) I want to love the DC films but they just don’t execute them as well as Marvel do.
      Think the part I missed the most from Rogue One was the opening crawl and the music being a bit off. But K-2S0 was an excellent addition!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. K-2So was worth the ticket price on his own. Agree that Marvel are streets ahead of DC on the film front, particularly in the ‘cinematic universe’ concept. Hoping DC will get better though and I did think the one saving grace was that Ben Affleck made a surprisingly good Batman. I too enjoyed the Toby Maguire era of Spidey although totally agree on the dancing…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey thanks for a great movie roundup! We rarely get to the cinema these days, tend to watch a few blockbusters or comedy / arthouse offerings at home. Most of our viewing time goes on drama/comedy series, and there are so many good ones around these days, the movies struggle to compete.

    Enjoyed the Martian and really liked Deadpool, right up my alley. Hateful Eight bored me rigid, very disappointing. As for Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad, the less said the better.

    10 Cloverfield Lane is high on my ‘must see’ list, along with the animated Kubo.. and I might give Green Room a go too. I will also check out more of your top picks the next time we’re in the mood for a movie, perhaps this evening.

    Here’s to a great movie / TV year in 2107 (Alien AND Blade Runner sequels – Yay!)

    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome for the recommendations! I’m quite impressed we’ve managed to rack up as many films with the amount of TV we watch (I think we’ve decided to sack of TWD though…)
      Looking forward to Alien sequel but I hate Blade Runner and I really wish I didn’t, the new trailer looks so good! have a great New Year! πŸ™‚

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    1. We don’t go that often, only for big releases like Star Wars or Marvel movies. Sam likes to pretend we’re too antisocial but as I used to run a cinema, I get ever so grumpy if noisy people aren’t removed – so I think it’s his way of minimising the complaints!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, we’ve just watched another one! It’s so easy to waste time pottering on the net or random rubbish on TV though isn’t it?
      It is our main pastime, I’m sure many would say we need to get our more!

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      1. I’ve watched a lot of this shows though and a few movies but no as much as you. Oh, did i tell you where I’m going in January as a Xmas present (not Iceland) ?

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      2. Ooh, exciting! It’s a good 20 years since I went – in fact I was there two days after Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear off!! It’s a crazy place but fun. You’ll love it I’m sure.

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    1. Ooh, Spectre, really? Martian would have been in there if it had been top 10. Have you read any of the fan theories or listened to podcasts for westworld? Just interested to see how many of the twists people got if they hadn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am big Bond fan so I am automatically biased haha!
        I go on reddit now and then to see what people are saying after each episode.
        I think I knew who the Man In Black was early on, but some things I missed.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think we would have worked that out too but so much more was gained from listening to Decoding Westworld podcast. Like I don’t think I’d have picked up on how the music tied in. Looking forward to season 2 though, even if it seems eons away!!

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