Here’s a re-blending of HE’s Best of 2016 tally, including the not-yet-released festival films that really bonged my gong. There are a few I still haven’t seen, but this more or less represents my assessment of the first two-thirds of 2016 — ten biggies in all. Okay, make it eleven if you count Sausage Party. I’m presuming War Dogs (which I won’t see until next week) isn’t going to rank as a top-tenner.
Kenneth Lonergan‘s Manchester by the Sea (Sundance, Telluride, Toronto, NYFF) is still the king, and will definitely be among the top ten by year’s end, no matter what. The new #2 is David Mackenzie‘s Hell or High Water, which opens today. Olivier Assayas‘ Personal Shopper is #3, baby, and I don’t what some of the mainstreamers have said. This thing drilled right down and got me like no other film this year except for Manchester.
The third group includes Paddy Breathnach and Mark O’Halloran‘s Viva (#7), Karyn Kusama‘s The Invitation (#8), Bob Nelson‘s The Confirmation (#9) and Ben Wheatley‘s High-Rise (#10), which I saw 11 months ago in Toronto.
Silly, absurdist animated stoner hokum BUT also bold and original AND with a crazy mainstream porn finale: Sausage Party.
Did I Really See This or Was It A Dream?: Jason Bourne.
Tolerable, Decent, Approvable, No Worries: Matt Ross‘s Captain Fantastic, John Carney’s Sing Street, Jacques Audiard‘s Dheepan.
Calm Down, Jocks Wear Out Their Welcome: Everybody Wants Some.
Forget it: Pete’s Dragon.
Efficient for First 50 Minutes, Then It Gave Me a Headache As It Pounded Me Into Submission: Captain America: Civil War.
Didn’t See It: Amos Gitai’s Rabin, The Last Day.
Too scrotum-smelly: Pablo Larrain‘s The Club.
Over-Praised By Lockstep Critics Determined to Give Jeff Nichols A Pass Because He’s One Of The Good Guys: Jeff Nichols‘ Midnight Special.
Wildly Over-Praised: Dan Trachtenberg‘s 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Dies at The One-Hour Mark: The Lobster.
I Don’t Do/Can’t Do/Won’t Do Family-Friendly Animation: Zootopia, The Jungle Book.
Tragic Collapse: Terrence Malick‘s Knight of Cups.
Good Disaster Film, But Calm Down: Roar Uthaug‘s The Wave.
Forget it: Last Days In The Desert, Louder Than Bombs.
Shortfaller, Not Up To Par: Joel & Ethan Coen‘s Hail, Caesar!.
Efficient, Reasonably Decent, Trump-Approved War Movie: Michael Bay’s 13 Hours.
Sloppy, Sometimes Idiotic, Trump-Mentality, Kill-the-Terrorists Exploitation: Babak Najafi‘s London Has Fallen.
Still Haven’t Seen It: Susan Sarandon‘s The Meddler.
19th Century Social Climbing Mescaline Movie: Whit Stillman‘s Love and Friendship.
Intending To See Them, Still Haven’t, My Bad: The Green Room, A War.