Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Best of 2016: The Best New Movies I Saw

When it came to movies in 2016, I was kind of lax.

Not so much in terms of seeing movies, although there were some stretches when--due to scant appealing selections, work hours and/or the success of the Chicago Cubs--I tended to watch relatively few.

Altogether I saw about 100 movies, including 44 new releases--whether in theaters or subsequently at home--which isn't as many as some previous years, but not a paltry sum.

But where I was lax was in keeping track.

In each of the past 6 years, I had maintained a Filemaker database in which I entered each movie seen, the date, location and my rating of it on a 0-10 scale.

This year I got lazy and didn't.

I merely kept a list in the Notes app on my iPhone of each movie seen--and whether it was a 2016 release--but with no notations about my reaction.

So even more so than in the past, my Best Films of 2016 will be suspect not only due to my whims and opinions--and the fact that I saw far less than every notable movie--but to a Swiss cheese memory that is bound to give greater consideration to recently-watched films than ones seen early in the year.

Oh, well. It's not like I expect anyone to agree with my rankings anyway. But hopefully I'll point out some movies that may be worth your time.

Because some official 2015 films--for Academy Award purposes--weren't released in Chicagoland until 2016, the main one being The Revenant (and Anamolisa, which I never did see), I am considering anything that was newly available for me to see this year. And unlike some previous years, my list will include (or consider) foreign films and documentaries, rather than ranking those separately.

Also, as in years past, after my list I will include the Top 10 of my friend Dave, who tends to see a wider swath of art films than I do.

With the disclaimers out of the way, as best I can tell or remember, here are my choices of the:

Best New Movies Seen in 2016
(F = Foreign; D = Documentary; A = Animated; 15 = Officially a 2015 release)

1. Manchester by the Sea
2. Sing Street
3. Kubo and the Two Strings (A)
4. Loving
5. Moonlight
6. Hell or High Water
7. 13th (D)
8. Fences 
9. The Revenant (15) 
10. Indignation
11. Jackie
12. Lion
13. Nocturnal Animals
14. Moana (A)
15. Zootopia (A)
16. Mustang (F)
17. 10 Cloverfield Lane
18. Midnight Special
19. La La Land
20. Rogue One

Honorable Mention (in preference order)

Born to Be Blue
The Accountant

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week (D)
Love & Friendship
Papa: Hemingway in Cuba
Oasis: Supersonic (D)
The Fundamentals of Caring
The Nice Guys
Edge of Seventeen
Mountains May Depart (F)

Notable 2016 Movies Not Yet Seen
Queen of Katwe, Eye in the Sky, Don't Think Twice, Doctor Strange, Paterson, 20th Century Women, Neruda (F), Sully, I Daniel Blake, The Salesman (F), Toni Erdmann (F), Hidden Figures, The Handmaiden (F), Elle (F), Green Room, Silence, Fits, Little Men, Certain Women

Notable Movies Seen But Not Cited Above
The Lobster, Everybody Wants Some, Captain America: Civil War, Miles Ahead, Hail Caesar!, Jason Bourne, Jane Got a Gun

Dave's Top 10 Movies of 2016

1. Manchester by the Sea
2. The Lobster
3. The Revenant (F, 15)
4. Hell or High Water
5. The Witness (D)
6. Magical Girl (F)
7. Tower (D, A)
8. La La Land
9. Elle (F)
10. Fences

No comments: