This morning a friend who reads HE asked if I’ve run my top ten of the year list. I reminded him that I posted a roster of HE’s most admired 2016 films on 11.25. Apparently too early in the cycle. So here’s the final rundown — zero consideration given to award-season politicking or Oscar predictions, solely according to personal preference and/or recognition of serious merit, shake and bake, a little shifting around:

Tied for top spot: Kenneth Lonergan‘s Manchester By The Sea and Damien Chazelle‘s La La Land.

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

(3) Luca Guadagnino‘s A Bigger Splash;

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

(5) Paul Verhoeven‘s Elle;

(6) Denzel Washington‘s Fences;

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

(8) Robert EggersThe Witch;

(9) Martin Scorsese‘s Silence;

(10) Gavin Hood‘s Eye in the Sky;

(11) Barry JenkinsMoonlight;

(12) Jim Jarmusch‘s Paterson;

(13) John Lee Hancock‘s The Founder;

(14) Karyn Kusama‘s The Invitation;

(15) Bob Nelson‘s The Confirmation;

(16) Vikram Gandhi‘s Barry;

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

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

(19) Richard Tanne‘s Southside With You;

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

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

(22) Clint Eastwood‘s Sully;

(23) Todd PhillipsWar Dogs;

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

(25) Ben Wheatley‘s High-Rise;

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