10 Best Movies of 2016

Image via Marvel

Okay, many of us can agree that 2016 can take a hike.

It’s certainly been a tough year on many fronts, so thank the powers that be for the art form that is film. We received a large array of fantastic movies this year, from stand-out superhero films, to the return of the acclaimed musical, to a number of strong entries from the international circuit.

Taking into account the various suggestions put forth by The Reel Word team members, it was downright surprising to see just how many great films we’ve had in 2016. It’s been a very solid year for cinema. Check out our ten best below, followed by ten Honourable Mentions that we just had to include for good measure. If you haven’t seen any of the following, be prepared to take note.

And in case you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to peruse our Worst 10 Movies of 2016 list.

In no particular order…

Deadpool

What we said:

There’s a welcome enthusiasm behind the material, with [Tim] Miller’s spirited direction keeping sharp performances, crafty visuals and an infectious tone working in sharp unison. All in all, Deadpool delivers a seriously fun time at the movies.

The Handmaiden

What we said:

The Handmaiden, is a breath of fresh air that expertly incorporates these concepts and leaves the audience begging for more. […] Beautifully shot, excellently scored and meticulously detailed, The Handmaiden is a must-watch for movie lovers everywhere.

La La Land

What we said:

Kicking off with one hell of a musical number, La La Land casts its spell early on, pulling you in close, smoothly swaying you this way and that, until it leaves you, teary, grinning, mesmerised at what has just been.

I, Daniel Blake

What we said:

[Director] Ken Loach masterfully captures this flagrant injustice and the frustrations of ordinary working-class people struggling to get ahead. With moments of sharp understated wit throughout, Loach is able to bring to light the people behind the heartbreak, and showcase the incredible resilience of the human spirit.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

What we said:

Wilderpeople’s honest, cockle-warming centre builds up such goodwill it could convert even the basest cynic. Waititi has crafted a beguiling, redemptive comedy that is impossible to dislike. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is an absolute delight of a movie.

Room

What we said:

The film manages to give us harrowing moments without ever bordering on the exploitative, has us on edge without resorting to cheap suspense-driving tactics, and offers up deeply unsettling plot points without descending into despair. Room is a journey brimming with human emotion, illustrating hope, perseverance, and above all, love.

Captain America: Civil War

What we said:

Delivering one of the most maturely written chapters in the franchise, a monster cast with astounding attention to character detail, and some of the most fun you’re likely to have at the movies this year, Captain America: Civil War is Marvel Studios at their absolute finest. It doesn’t get any better than this.

The Witch

What we said:

The Witch is one that needs to be seen by horror fans and film fans overall. It’s expertly crafted, with meticulous attention to detail, fantastic performances, and a true sense of evil creeping its way towards the surface as the film goes along.

Moana

What we said:

Moana’s success comes down to a tight balancing act: nods to Disney flourishes, a strong screenplay, great performances and a score/song list to drive it all home. Kids and adults alike are in for an energetic, funny and emotional time.

Captain Fantastic

What we said:

It’s all too rare to come across a thoughtful family drama that is as heart-warming as it is darkly funny. […] This is a beautiful, earnest film filled with idealism and spirit, and an eccentric hero at the centre

Honourable Mentions: