2016 has generally been a year of great sadness around the world. But movies have always been there for us and this year was no different. This year saw the release of a multitude of blockbuster films as well as brilliant low-budget indie films. Below is a list honoring the 10 finest movies cinema has had to offer in 2016:
Captain America: Civil War
2016 was the year of Superhero movies. Deadpool, Batman vs Superman, Suicide Squad, Doctor Strange, all came out this year. But if there’s one film that stands out amongst these, it’s Captain America: Civil War. This movie involves all of Marvel’s finest including Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow and even Spiderman! To back up this star studded cast is an intriguing story which involves a clash between the allies of Iron Man and Captain America. The movie manages to mantain its intensity throughout without being too over-the-top or pretentious. Civil War is definitely a point for Marvel in the ongoing Marvel-DC Rivalry.
Smart, original and surprisingly satirical, Zootopia is a very welcome breath of fresh air to the animated film industry. The film is set in a world that is entirely populated by animals of all kinds. The story follows a bunny police officer and a fox con artist as they work together to uncover a conspiracy. Zootopia has warmth, emotional depth and is packed with genuine comedic scenes. Themes of breaking stereotypes, self-belief, challenging the status quo and prejudice are beautifully woven into the narrative. This is one movie that should definitely be on your bucket list!
John Carney completes a hat-trick of great musical movies with Sing Street (following Once and Begin Again). Set in Dublin in the 1980’s, Sing Street is about a boy who starts a band to escape from his troubled family and to impress a girl he likes. The film has a fairly simple plot yet a magical feel about it. It is full of charm, emotion and melodious pop music. The cast, devoid of any well-known actors, do a great job of portraying their characters genuinely. Sing Street is the ultimate ‘feel-good’ movie of the year.
Sully is a biographical movie about a very significant event in American Aviation history; the emergency landing of the US Airways Flight 1549, in which all passengers of the flight survived. This movie does justice to this important event largely due to the brilliant performance of Tom Hanks, who plays Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, the pilot of the flight. As the title suggests, the movie is more about Sully’s state of mind and emotions rather than the incident itself. Sully is a focused movie that knows what it wants to achieve and hence successfully remains engaging throughout its running time.
Jackie is a biographical film on the aftermath of the assassination of former American President, John F. Kennedy. The focus of the movie is on his wife, Jackie Kennedy, and how she deals with this loss. Natalie Portman gives a powerful performance as the titular character and she is definitely one of the top contenders for ‘Best Actress’ at the Oscars. Jackie is an emotionally intense ride from start to finish!
Manchester by the Sea
Manchester by the Sea is a perfect example of how a simple story can make a great film if executed well. The story is about an uncle who is forced to take care of his nephew after the father of his nephew dies. The movie is packed with emotion and the performances are very genuine and heartfelt. Moreover, it has many layers behind its seemingly simple premise. Manchester by the Sea is a drama film that perfectly captures sadness, grief and the rawness of life!
Moonlight is about the life of a black man living in a rough neighborhood in Miami. It covers the various experiences and hardships he faces as he grows up and tries to cement his place in society. Moonlight beautifully portrays the theme of identity i.e. discovering who you really are. Watching this coming of age film is bound to be a strong emotional ride.
La La Land
Being deemed as the film that has revitalized the modern musical genre, La La Land is a very enchanting movie. The story follows an aspiring actress and a musician who meet and fall in love with each other in the city of Los Angeles. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have great chemistry together. The core aspect of the movie is not the story but how it is presented. The cinematography and editing of the film make it seem very surreal and dreamlike. La La Land has the power to transport you into its world!
Arrival is a must watch for fans of the sci-fi genre. The movie is about a linguist who is hired by the military to assist them in translating alien communications. It is quite visionary and thought provoking. The outstanding cinematography and visual effects play their part in creating the whole ‘mood’ and atmosphere of the film. Brace yourselves for an mind blowing and intellectually challenging experience when watching Arrival!
The Nice Guys
Shane Black deftly balances style and substance in this very entertaining crime comedy. The Nice Guys is set in Los Angeles in the 1970’s and is about two private eyes who are investigating the disappearance of a teenage girl and the mysterious death of a porn star. The style of the film is quite playful and comic, typical of Shane Black movies (like ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’). Most of the humor is to be found in the small and intricate events of the plot. Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe prove themselves to be a great comedic duo. The witty dialogue and fast pace makes The Nice Guys a very fun watch!