Hi everyone, Bryan here….
The end of 2016 is here, which means everyone’s Top 10 list is out already or getting ready to be released. I’m not going to do a Top 10 in order again this year, because there are just so many amazing films I feel so passionate about, that it is difficult to rank them. If you think this is a weak year of films, then you are surely mistaken. I will say that most of the big budget blockbusters this year were duds, but the indie films were nothing short of amazing. So below is the list of films that I truly loved this year. These films will be ones that I watch over and over again, and you should to. I watched 254 films that were released this year (Yes, I counted) and survived to tell the tale. As always, please let me know if any of your favorite films made my list. Enjoy!
You can CLICK the titles of each movie where you can purchase the Blu-rays too. Hooray!
Here are my 10 Favorite films.
One horror film that has become an instant classic and is scary as hell in that slow crock pot brisket way. A very detailed and true to form and time period tale about a witch that takes over a family. This is the sort of horror that worked so well in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ and works perfectly on every level here. The performances, score, and cinematography is simply outstanding here. This film is absolutely delicious in every way. One of the best horror films in a long long time.
The followup to the alien invasion flick ‘Cloverfield’ from J.J. Abrams a few years ago, comes this blood relative set in the same sort of universe. Taking place in a small underground bunker with only three actors, where some mysterious explosion from above has people knocking on death’s door quickly, has the three actors, including Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman, trying to survive in this sweat inducing suspenseful film from start to finish. This is the epitome of what intense and suspenseful filmmaking can be with amazing performances by all three actors.
Jeremy Saulnier’s followup film to ‘Blue Ruin’ is nothing short of incredible and has the captain of the Starship Enterprise Patrick Stewart playing a vile and horrific neo nazi owner of a punk rock club. This is a quick paced, super suspenseful flick about a punch rock band, who are forced to play at a neo nazi club, only to fight for their lives after they witness a murder that traps them in the green room of the club. This is my nightmare and is one of the best films of the year with a great soundtrack. This is also one of Anton Yeltsin’s last films and he is amazing in it. Perfectly framed, shot, and executed.
This amazing film by Taika Waititi (‘What We Do In The Shadows’) is a feel-good film on all levels about a young boy from the big inner-city who wants to be a gangster and is forced to move to the Australian outback with his aunt and her husband Sam Neill. Needless to say, they don’t mix well, but they each help each other discover their softer sides through series of funny adventures. If you are a fan of movies, then ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ is for you.
Nicolas Winding Refn (‘Drive’) channeled Stanley Kubrick from head to toe and made a satire, comedy, horror film on the life of fashion model industry in Los Angeles. This movie goes from 0-150 mph in a split second and will leave you scared for life. I loved every minute of the film. This is one of the most beautifully shot films in a long time and Kubrick himself would be so proud. The soundtrack by Cliff Martinez and the performances by Elle Fanning and Keanu Reeves are outstanding. This film will leave a permanent mark on your life after viewing.
Paul Dano plays a suicidal man on a deserted island while Daniel Radcliffe plays a dead body whose boner can tell directions, and can fart like a jet engine, and vomit cool clean water. There’s more, but why spoil it? This beautifully shot film tackles friendship, mental illness, and acceptance in the truest and most endearing way. The two actors are phenomenal and there is a very likable trait to this film that makes you want to be friends with a strange guy as well as a dead body. This is one of the most original films I’ve ever seen.
Jack of all trades Matt Ross (Gavin Belson on ‘Silicon Valley’) has wrote and directed this wonderful film that plays to the best traits of ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ about a father (Viggo Mortensen), who takes his many kids from the wilderness to the big city for a family event. The styles and thinking collide with the city folk as the kids learn to deal with their family members and the “real-world”. This movie has so much heart and soul and makes you feel so good, that I can watch this film every day for an entire year and never get tired of it. Everything is amazing in this film and always puts a smile on my face.
Mike Birbiglia (‘Sleepwalk With Me’ and ‘Trainwreck’) has written and directed an amazingly funny and truthful film about artists who sacrifice everything for their work and art form. In this case, it’s a comedic improv group in New York, trying to get a job on the SNL equivalent. You’ll laugh a lot and even cry at times. This hits the range of emotions most people deal with in order to be a happy and successful person, particularly if you’ve ever wanted to create an art form. The chemistry between every actor and the all of the dialogue is just excellent. This one hit true to home and will always hold a special place in my heart, because I can relate. It’s not often that movies do this to me. Love this film.
This is perhaps the strangest, craziest, and most fucked up film I’ve seen in a long time. And that’s coming from someone who watches ‘Salo: 120 Days of Sodom’ and ‘Visitor Q’ on a regular basis. In the first five minutes of the film, I knew I had fallen in love with a new film that I would cherish and show unsuspecting friends for years and years to come. This movie is deranged and insane from start to finish, but has a very innocent quality to it, which mixes well on screen. There is nothing nor will there ever been anything quite like ‘The Greasy Strangler’. It has to be seen to be believed. This ranks up there with the best of John Waters’s films.
This horror film by André Øvredal (Trollhunter) really messed me up and gave me nightmares. I will describe this film closely to ‘The Witch’, but set in modern times with Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch at the wheel. This movie has so many twists and turns, and a ton of surprises that you won’t have time to breathe, let alone run and hide for cover. This is a very atmospheric and scary-as-hell film about a father/son funeral home, where the two get mysterious dead body, when all sorts of things start to go horribly wrong. I haven’t been this scared in a long time.
Here are the 8 other films I loved dearly!
A Rated R Marvel Superhero movie that was action packed, hilarious, and loads of fun with Ryan Reynolds. Just perfect.
Shane Black (‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’, ‘Iron Man 3’) gives us this fun as hell movie with Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe that plays like a modern day noir with tons of comedy. Damn this is one cool movie.
Don Cheadle plays Miles Davis in his later years and is simple fantastic. A lot of fun and one hell of a good soundtrack.
My favorite animated film of the year that I will watch over and over. Hilarious and gorgeous.
An excellent alien invasion film without leveling cities or sky buttholes sucking everything up. Meaningful, beautiful, and excellent.
What if I told you that the guy who made the original ‘Robocop’ film, made a dark dark comedy about rape? That’s this film and it is fantastic and fucked up all at the same time.
For big blockbuster films go, this is by far the best. Some of the best action sequences ever filmed are in this movie. It doesn’t get better than this.
Richard Linklater’s long time followup to ‘Dazed and Confused’, where instead of following a gourd of guys on the last day of high school, this follows a group of guys on a college baseball team on the week leading up to the first day of college. It has all of the great, funny, and wise moments that the characters had in ‘Dazed and Confused’. Set in the early 1980s, the music is also gold too.