With Silence, Collateral Beauty and Passengers yet to be seen, HE’s 25 Best Films of 2016 are as follows & in this order — totally on a personal preference basis, zero consideration given to award-season politicking or Oscar predictions:

(tied for #1) Kenneth Lonergan‘s Manchester By The Sea and Damien Chazelle‘s La La Land;

(2) Denzel Washington‘s Fences;

(3) David Mackenzie‘s Hell or High Water;

(4) Luca Guadagnino‘s A Bigger Splash;

(5) Ezra Edelman‘s O.J.: Made in America;

(6) Paul Verhoeven‘s Elle;

(7) Paddy Breathnach and Mark O’Halloran‘s Viva;

(8) Robert EggersThe Witch;

(9) Gavin Hood‘s Eye in the Sky;

(10) Barry JenkinsMoonlight;

(11) Jim Jarmusch‘s Paterson;

(12) Karyn Kusama‘s The Invitation;

(13) Bob Nelson‘s The Confirmation;

(14) Vikram Gandhi‘s Barry;

(15) Peter Berg‘s Patriot’s Day (especially the Act Two Watertown sequence);

(16) Yorgos LanthimosThe Lobster (even though it dies around the 75 minute mark);

(17) Richard Tanne‘s Southside With You;

(18) Whit Stillman‘s Love & Friendship (awaiting subtitled Bluray so I can understand everything Kate Beckinsale is saying with her blase, lah-lah British accent);

(19) John Lee Hancock‘s The Founder;

(20) Mike Birbiglia‘s Don’t Think Twice;

(21) Clint Eastwood‘s Sully;

(22) Todd PhillipsWar Dogs;

(23) Jean-François Richet‘s Blood Father (best popcorn wanker B-movie of the year);

(24) Ben Wheatley‘s High-Rise;

(25) Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon‘s Sausage Party.

Most Overpraised Film of the Year, hands down: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Acknowledgment: This list is actually composed of 26 films, but I felt I couldn’t cut one of them out to even things off at 25. If and when Silence makes the cut (which I’m 95% sure it will) the grand tally will be at 27. No, I couldn’t in good conscience include Arrival, which I respected in certain ways but which mainly irritated me all to hell.