As far as cinema is concerned, 2016 has been a highly promising and rewarding year. With each passing month, we received one great movie after another, making 2016 every film enthusiast’s source of joy and wonder.
Everything was perfect; from brilliant screenplays to innovative cinematography, flawless acting to inspired direction, provoking soundtracks to impeccable sets and costumes, no stone was left unturned to create some of the best masterpieces that will surely mark their respective places in cinema history.
Which is why it would be a crime to let such art go unseen and unheard. It’s time to catch the ultimate movies of this eventful year before they join the pending movie lists from months ago. This is going to be a real treat. Grab some popcorn and get set to experience extraordinary entertainment.
Director: Barry Jenkins
A highly personal work of art, this devastatingly beautiful tale of one man’s journey of self-discovery has set new milestones in great cinema. The struggles he endures to find his place in the world while discovering his sexual identity will move you. The film shines light on the alarming elements of society and culture that remain prevalent till date. Don’t miss this masterpiece.
2. La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
La La Land gave the gift of magic to everyone who watched it. A spectacular, ingenious ode to the classic tradition of musicals, this modern song-dance wonder flaunts incredible depth and fiery imagination. From the Oscar-nominated director of Whiplash, the film explores Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s potential to the very fullest, creating a world of hope and love for everyone who dares to dream.
3. Manchester by the Sea
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
When his older brother dies, Lee Chandler learns that he has been made the sole guardian of his nephew. He is forced to put his life on hold and return to the community he was born in to care for the teenager. But now he has to deal with a past that revolves around a broken marriage to his wife. Will the two men be able to come to terms with their loss and changed lives? This gem was hailed as one of the greatest movies of the year.
4. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Director: Taika Waititi
A rebellious city kid’s life flips around when he finds himself with a new foster family in the New Zealand countryside. He feels loved and at ease immediately but a tragic turn of events threatens to remove him from his new home, leading to an act that triggers a national hunt for the man and the boy who got lost in the bush. This hilarious adventure story will warm your heart with very valuable lessons about human relationships.
5. Hell or High Water
Director: David Mackenzie
Brothers, Toby and Tanner, come together to plan heists against the bank they’re going to lose their family ranch to. Both have strong motivation to go through with this dangerous gamble and want justice at any cost. But they must get past a gritty Texas Ranger who takes them up as his final grand pursuit before retirement. This is the most nerve-wrecking, glorious world where the Old and New West meet. Get ready for the ultimate chase, cowboy!
6. Everybody wants some!!
Director: Richard Linklater
This brilliant comedy is about a famous baseball team in the '80s. The players enjoy their popularity and live with success and sex, both on and off the field. They’re young and want everything, and then a little more. But there will come a time when the responsibilities of age will start weighing in on them, and they must be prepared for every game in life.
7. The Nice Guys
Director: Shane Black
The cases of a missing girl and the alleged suicide of a female porn star who was once famous brings together two mismatched private eyes in the Los Angeles of the '70s. Their investigation soon drags them into a shocking conspiracy that leads straight to those who own epitome of power. Will they be able to get to the bottom of it and set things right?
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Paterson drives a bus around his town, which is also called Paterson. He picks up fragments of conversation and emotion during his routine shift. He watches the city as it flies by through his window and stays lost in observation. He writes in his notebook everyday and loves his wife who cherishes his priceless gift for poetry. Together, they go through life while experiencing both highs and lows. The words in this dreamlike film are deeply assured and rest with.
Director: Denzel Washington
Troy Maxson collects garbage for a living and can’t get over the lost opportunity of a potential career in baseball as the colour barrier was lifted in the sport after he crossed the age limit to be on the field. As a result, he could never realize his dream of succeeding professionally. This makes him a bitter man. He vents his frustration on his family, going as far as destroying a football opportunity for his own son.
Director: Denis Villeneuve
When spaceships land in 12 different parts of the world, a state of war threatens to commence. A team of elite investigators is assigned to avoid a state of anarchy. Linguistics professor, Louise Banks, takes over the mission to communicate with the aliens by interpreting their language of strange symbols. But doing so can destroy her and the rest of the world. Haunting and intense, this movie will amaze you.
Director: Tim Miller
This is Marvel’s most badass, unconventional (anti) hero ever. Deadpool had the world in splits upon its release with the wittiest wisecracks and twisted humour. Ryan Reynolds nailed the dark role of a Special Forces operative-turned-mercenary who is left disfigured after being subjected to a failed experiment by an evil scientist. Now, all he wants to do is find him and seek revenge.
12. Nocturnal Animals
Director: Tom Ford
Fashion designer, Tom Ford, makes stupendously stylishly haunting films. His second ingenious venture focuses on an art gallery owner who receives a manuscript written by her ex-husband. As she starts reading it, new revelations and memories from the past try to overtake her present. Amy Adams is an absolute goddess in this chilling thriller.
13. Hail, Caesar!
Director: Ethan Coeh & Joel Coen
This hilarious riot boasts of a powerhouse cast that includes great actors such as George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum. The film is about a Hollywood fixer who finds himself in a sticky spot. We follow a day in his life as he tries to get rid of one problem at a time.
14. The Infiltrator
Director: Brad Furman
Based on a true story, a US customs agent makes his way into Pablo Escobar’s circle, risking his very life in the drug-fuelled, blood-soaked scene of trafficking. He goes through extreme pressure but delivers a solid case that exposes 85 drug lords and the most corrupt bankers. Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad gives a performance of a lifetime in this nerve-wrecking undercover story.
15. I, Daniel Blake
Director: Ken Loach
Daniel is a 60-year-old carpenter. He falls sick and finds himself in need of state welfare for the first time ever. He also happens to meet a single mother of two who is desperate to escape a bleak way of living by approaching the State. Will these two be able to crack through to the welfare democracy and get the help they require at any cost?
Director: Martin Scorsese
Scorsese is back with another cinematic wonder. This time, his story is about two young Christian missionaries who make a challenging journey to Japan to find their missing mentor. But when they propagate their faith amongst those who worship secretly, they put themselves at the risk of being caught. If that happens, they’ll either have to renounce their faith or endure a long period of torture and eventual death.
17. Sing Street
Director: John Carney
Oh, the pangs of young love. Here is an uplifting story of a teenager who goes to great lengths to woo a girl. How does he do it? By starting a kickass rock ‘n’ roll band. Infectiously energetic and full of unforgettable moments, this one’s an inspiration for not just amateur musicians, but everyone out there. Remember, kids can teach adults a lot as they still have the gifts we lost a while ago.
18. Doctor Strange
Director: Scott Derrickson
Benedict Cumberbatch plays the role of a Marvel hero with the scintillating wit and graceful charm he is famous for. His character is a disgraced neurosurgeon who enters the realm of mystic arts after a great sorcerer decides to train him. He learns how to save the world from evil and reforms his ideas and attitude in the process. This head-spinning tale will leave you mesmerised with the most unpredictable twists and turns.
Director: John Musker & Ron Clements
This is a CG an animated adventure story of a spirited young girl who embarks on a mission to prove her worth as a legitimate wayfinder and accomplish her ancestor’s incomplete quest. Her path collides with a demi-god. Together, they overcome many hurdles and encounter gigantic creatures. Despite the odds, they keep going to finish what they started.
20. Little Men
Director: Ira Sachs
Jake moves back to his old home in Manhattan after his grandfather passes away. He starts a friendship with Tony, his neighbour. Tony’s mother, Leonor, runs her boutique downstairs. When Jake’s parents ask Leonor to sign a new lease. This triggers an ugly feud between the parents, which eventually makes an impact on the young boy’s budding bond. Will their young dreams burn out in the midst of this ugliness?
21. The Fits
Director: Anna Rose Holmer
This psychological drama will leave you spellbound. The protagonist of this mysterious, grilling journey is an 11-year old tomboy who becomes fascinated with a dance troupe while training at the gym. She joins a local center to train but things start falling apart when her new teammates start experiencing scary fits and spells of fainting. The danger looks grave and the girl must survive somehow.
Director: Pablo Larraín
Natalie Portman stars as Jacqueline Kennedy, giving us an intimate account of the legendary First Lady’s life immediately after her husband’s assassination. Her shattered world of loss and grief has been recreated with utmost attention to details and facts. How she consoles her children and stables herself with courage and determination while protecting her deceased husband’s legacy is an inspiring journey worth seeing.