Just over two weeks ago I posted HE’s first 2016 quality-film roster riff. My initial impression was that ’16 seemed light on the kind of films I prefer (i.e., smart, crafty, subtle, undercurrents, made for people with at least a high-school education and/or voracious readers). Now I’m realizing things are better than that. I’ll do a third pass in late January. What am I overlooking or mis-ranking? 22 films looking good to very good. Again, Wikipedia’s 2016 film roster + my recent Sundance ’16 preference list plus the following:

Highest Expectations (random order): David Gordon Green‘s Stronger; Martin Scorsese‘s Silence; Ang Lee‘s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk; Tom Ford‘s Nocturnal Animals. (4)

Genre Unto Themselves: Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Hail Caesar! (dry knucklehead period comedy) (1)

Beware of Highly Budgeted Asian Action Fantasy “Blockbuster”: Zhang Yimou‘s The Great Wall (1).

Very Interesting, Slight Hedging of Bets (random order): John Hancock‘s The Founder (biopic of McDonald’s kingpin Ray Kroc; Jodie Foster‘s Money Monster (political thriller); Woody Allen‘s 1930s period film (Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively); Damien Chazelle‘s La La Land; Robert EggersThe Witch; David Michod‘s War Machine; Richard Linklater‘s Everybody Wants Some. (7)

This Year’s Animated Pixar Wonder-Package for the Whole Family: Andrew Stanton‘s Finding Dory. (1)

Highly Refined Horror: Juan Antonio Bayona‘s A Monster Calls. (1)

Probably Solid/Decent/Interesting/Approvable, etc.: John Cameron Mitchell‘s How To Talk To Girls at Parties, Ron Howard‘s Inferno; Niki Caro‘s The Zookeeper’s Wife; Gary Ross‘s Free State of Jones; Justin Kurzel‘s Assassin’s Creed; Ben Wheatley‘s Free Fire; Tate Taylor‘s The Girl On The Train. (7)

Spare Me: Derek Cianfrance‘s The Light Between Oceans. (1)

Genres Have Their Rules: Paul Greengrass‘s untitled fifth Jason Bourne film w/ Matt Damon (political action thriller); Zack Snyder‘s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice; Shane Black‘s The Nice Guys (darkly humorous mystery thriller); Peter Berg‘s Deepwater Horizon (real-life disaster action-thriller); Antoine Fuqua‘s The Magnificent Seven (western remake); Gavin O’Connor‘s The Accountant;(action thriller); Stephen HopkinsRace (inspirational period sports drama about Jesse Owens); Ed Zwick‘s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (thriller); Matthew Vaughn‘s I Am Pilgrim (murder thriller); Michael Grandage‘s Genius (biopic about esteemed book editor Maxwell Perkins). (10)

Will Probably Take Another Two or Three Years…Right?: Alexander Payne‘s Downsizing (1)

A Little Worried But Maybe: Robert ZemeckisWorld War II-era romantic spy drama w/ Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard; Oliver Stone‘s Snowden; Warren Beatty‘s still-untitled Howard Hughes film; Terrence Malick‘s Weightless; Ariel Vroman‘s Criminal; James Gray‘s The Lost City of Z; The Secret Scripture w/ Jessica Chastain, Vanessa Redgrave, Eric Bana; Greg McLean‘s The Belko Experiment. (8)

Who Knows?: Alex Garland‘s Annhiliation. (1)

Somewhat Lowered Expectations, Written Down: Terrence Malick‘s Knight of Cups; A Bigger Splash; Demolition; John Hillcoat‘s Triple Nine; Jeff NicholsMidnight Special. (5)