And after a little extra delay, without further ado…
- Moonlight – So everyone has heard of this one by now and yes it’s good, the three sections combine to tell the story of a boy to man poignantly dealing with themes of identity, sexuality, race…
- Manchester by the Sea – Yep it’s a bummer and yep it’s worth watching, following Casey Affleck’s broken character as he returns home to care for his nephew.
- 20th Century Women – This one gets my coming of age vote for this year as Annette Bening turns to those around her to help raise her son, with a nice vibe set in ’79.
- Deadpool – I most enjoy Marvel when it’s good story, good action, and a good dose of humor and this one does just that, leaning heavy into the humor category, fun.
- Hell or High Water – Getting to know the bank robber brothers and the lawmen who follow them as things go down a path that they can’t return from, it’s hard to pick someone to root against.
- Hunt for the Wilderpeople – I wasn’t sure what I was getting into on this odd New Zealand boy and his foster father on the run from the law in the wilderness is oddly fun and touching.
- La La Land – I have noted this as the most overrated film of 2016, and while I was truly put off by the casting of non song and dance peeps in the leads, as well as a few other things, this still made an enjoyable escape via homage to musicals, though something like Sing Street was almost more fun.
- The Nice Guys – This buddy crime thriller flick has enough heart and humor to make the ride with Gosling and Crowe on their continued failures as they try to solve the crime that is of course more complicated without killing themselves or each other a bunch of fun.
- Arrival – As long as I don’t think too much about the plot of this film, I really appreciate the film-making and the slant on communication and humanity through a slightly new take on alien invasion (though yes big on aliens), it kept me engaged and intrigued.
- Nocturnal Animals – Ok I just watched this so that might be swaying me but I feel like this movie would be worth watching just for the visuals alone, though Ford also did a nice job weaving together the present ‘success,’ the naive past, with the fictional noir.
Order as always might be someone subjective and I have missed a few of the more talked about films this year (Lion, Fences, Hidden Figures, Paterson…) so no telling is those would make my personal list. For a gander at what other films critics are talking about check out Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes.