If you’re looking for movie suggestions that are heavy on talent and light on laughs, look no further. Indiewire film critic David Ehlrich has just released his annual list of the 25 best films of 2016, with heavy and emotional dramas taking up most of the spots.
This year will go down as one of the most troubling and disruptive years politically and socially in North America. With 2016 quickly coming to a close, a look at the best films of the past 12 months reveal that much of the ominous mood interspersed with moments of hopefulness was also reflected on the big screen.
While most of the list is made of up traditional features, two documentaries, including Weiner and O.J.: Made In America, were included in Ehlrich’s list, as was Beyonce’s HBO visual album Lemonade.
The list packs a lot of indie punch, with Barry Jenkin’s critically acclaimed coming of age story Moonlight landing at number one, not surprising considering the onslaught of buzz and nominations surrounding the film, which currently has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Focus Features’ Kubo and the Two Strings, which tells the story of a one-eyed boy who uses his magical powers to defeat his enemies, is the only non-live-action film included on the list.
As for films that enjoyed a wide release at the box office, Jackie, La La Land, The Witch, Hail, Caesar!, and Manchester By The Sea account for the most recognizable titles. Martin Scorsese’s Silence starring Liam Neeson, Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield has so far only been released in Vatican City, with a wide release slated for December 23, but still managed to slide in at number 17.
The emotional and compelling compilation video features music from a handful of the 25 films, including “City of Stars” from La La Land, “Montage” from Swiss Army Man, Portishead’s “SOS” from High Rise, Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” from Toni Erdmann, and “The Tree From Mt. Fuji” from The Handmaiden. In addition to the 25 top films, this year’s video also includes scenes and music from other features released in 2016, including Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Keanu, White Girl, Nerve and more.
Grab some popcorn and get ready for awards season.