So I raise a toast... "Here's to the ones who dream..."
The ones who dream of living in a bigger city, where the movies of 2016 come out in 2016. (hehe!)
Like most of us, it will be late February (at least) before I get to see all of the critical darlings (you know...the ones I pine for, knowing full-well I'll never get to them all). I only saw 21 movies at a movie theater in 2016 (a very low number, even for me), but nearly all of them were good, most actually great.
The most striking thing about the movies I chose to go out and spend money on is the strong humor in damn near all of them. I have three straight up comedies on the list you're about to see, all of them hilarious in their own right and full to the brim with heart (Zootopia, The Nice Guys, and The Edge of Seventeen). Then, I have Manchester by the Sea, the heaviest drama of the year, which is also one of the most humanly funny films of the year. Arrival and Midnight Special lean their engaging sci-fi on sheer humanity and wit, while La La Land has both of those things plus song and dance numbers and simply replaces the sci-fi with a romance two ways (one for a bygone era of the cinema we desperately need, one between two movie stars with unending chemistry).
Only to add to the magnificent (not of The...Seven fame, I should be clear when using that adjective) range of 2016 as a year in movies, the most beautifully filmed movie of the year in a story about a repressed young black man, who ends up a drug dealer with the blues and called Black. And, just when you think it's done, you have Hell or High Water, the story of two very white brothers trying to survive in a doomed present-day America by Robin Hood-ing its main man, the banks.
Oh, and The Lobster...
From powerfully topical to humorously vibrant to purely magic, 2016 had great stories to tell. What follows is my ranked Top Ten of 2016...as of right now. Click on the posters to link to full reviews.
Full on Top Ten (or more) coming in late January! Stay tuned.