The year of 2016 did not come without its peaks and valleys. After some surprises in the spring, the tent-pole blockbusters in the summer were duds. However, this year’s awards films are as good as ever and a variety of genres make the “Best Movies of the Year” list.
A film that I had pegged as one of my most anticipated of the year as soon as I saw the first teaser trailer did not disappoint. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have never been better and Damien Chazelle found a way to make a musical cool and something that this generation would want to watch. The music is catchy, the dancing is superbly not perfect and the production design is magical. There aren’t enough words to say about this film except that there is no doubt that it is the best of the year. It is almost impossible to make a film this close to perfect. I can’t wait to re-watch this masterpiece again and again.
A film that was supposed to star Matt Damon and then possibly be directed by Matt Damon, turned out to be none of those things and it was one of the year’s best. Gloomy at times, yet always engaging due to the terrific performances turned in by Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, and Michelle Williams. The film uses an unconventional script, flashing back to events that help you understand why current events are relevant. It is a bold film and one that deserves respect on multiple levels.
In my opinion, this is what Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar was trying to be. A look not at alien life, but at human life and how we can improve our society. It also is a story that expectantly pulls at the heartstrings at the most critical moment in the film. Amy Adams plays an expert in language and has explained that the movie is “A mother telling her daughter a story.” It will leave you thinking and talking and putting the film together again, or wanting to buy another ticket.
They say they don’t make great western movies anymore. For those people, I present you Hell or High Water. A film that takes place in the plains of West Texas and gets the location and dialogue right. A man and his brother resort to extreme measures to save their ranch. The sheriff, played by Jeff Bridges must go on the hunt for the boys and what ensues is a modern day western tale as old as time. It is a simple story, yet it is so well executed that it must make this list.
Denzel and Viola are at the top of their game in an adaptation of this play written by August Wilson. They had previously played the same parts on stage so it is no surprise that they could step into the deeply flawed and complex characters so well. I had low expectations before seeing this movie and did not expect it to make my list, however, I was moved to tears multiple times. Washington directs the film masterfully.
Movie Watchlist | Borrowing Tape
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