Top Movies of 2016
I didn’t see as many movies as I’d liked to this year, but here are some of my favourites that were released in 2016.
5. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Every once in a while it’s fun to put on a movie you know literally nothing about to watch with zero expectations. That’s what happened with this hilarious and heartwarming New Zealand indie film. I won’t say any more, but I think there’s something in this movie for everyone (which is now on Netflix so you should have no excuse not to watch it).
4. Rogue One
While it certainly wasn’t perfect, I really enjoyed Rogue One. It was great seeing a gritty and smaller-scaled Star Wars film – and, of course, seeing Darth Vader back in action.
3. Hacksaw Ridge
No other movie I’ve seen recently has had me laugh out loud, jump in fear and nearly cry all in the same film. While one of the most intense and brutal war movies I’ve seen, Hacksaw Ridge also has a very heartfelt and loving message behind it. In a great performance, Andrew Garfield plays a solider in World War II who refuses to kill or to even touch a gun and the movie follows his efforts in Japan to save as many lives as he can. A very inspiring story about standing up for what you believe in – and all based on true events.
My favourite sci-fi films have always been the ones that use their “sci-fi” elements as backdrops to tell a more human story – like Moon, Ex Machina, and now Arrival. This is a beautifully shot movie about a linguist played by Amy Adams tasked with communicating with aliens that have landed on several sites around the world. It’s short on action but full of intensity and drama – with an amazing twist that I still can’t stop thinking about.
1. The Witch
I was hooked on this movie from the very first trailer and was not disappointed. Everything from the amazing acting, unsettling score, creative camera work, historical accuracy and attention to detail kept my eyes glued to the screen and my heart racing. Maybe it’s because I find that time period so interesting or because of how closely in tone it matches one of my favourite movies, The Shining, but it’s the movie I re-watched the most this year (and even bought on Blu Ray for the director’s commentary). If you’re a fan of cinema and haven’t seen this movie yet, you’re missing out. But fair warning: if you’re expecting a generic horror film, you’ll be disappointed; The Witch is so much more than that.