It’s good that it was a great year for movies because we certainly needed the escapism in 2016. I cannot recall a year with more quality films, both inside franchises and standalone films. Exemplifying that most was Disney, which had the single greatest year of any studio in Hollywood history, grossing way over $7 billion, and doing it with quality. It’s no accident that The House of the Mouse will end up with the top 5 grossing movies of the year. Whether it be through their own animated and live action films, Pixar, Marvel, or Star Wars, Disney put quality product after quality product out in 2016 and people responded in droves. It may be overly optimistic, but let’s hope that studios take note that the films that made the bucks were the films that were good.
And there’s so many films yet to see! I have to qualify this as a preliminary list. I’ve seen 64 movies in 2016 (normally I average 90 when all is said and done). With Oscar films releasing wide in January, this list may very well change, which is why my ultimate say on the year in film is our annual Renaissance Film Awards which will take place Oscar week. But as this year ends, it’s fitting and right that I single out the my top 10 (the quality is so deep, I may do a top 25 list later in February alongside the Rennys). My top two films have not changed since May and they are such a dead heat in my mind that they just swapped again last night. No surprise, both are Disney films. I gave out three perfect 10’s (thus far) for 2016 films, but more 9’s than any year I’ve been a reviewer. Yes, there were films we were counting on that fizzled (Batman vs. Superman, Jason Bourne, Assassin’s Creed, etc.), but many more films stood up and surpassed our wildest expectations. So, caveats in place here is my simple Top 10 as the year ends followed by a great 2016 Year in Film video put together by the talented people at We Got This Covered. May you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve, and I’ll catch you killing time in 2017.
1. Disney’s The Jungle Book, PG, Directed by Jon Favreau
2. Captain America: Civil War, PG-13, Directed by The Russo Brothers
3. Hell or High Water, R, Directed by David Mackenzie
4. The Edge of Seventeen, R, Directed by Kelly Fremon Craig
5. The Arrival, PG-13, Directed by Denis Villeneuve
6. Finding Dory, PG, Directed by Andrew Stanton
7. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, PG-13, Directed by Gareth Edwards
8. Hacksaw Ridge, R, Directed by Mel Gibson
9. Sully, PG-13, Directed by Clint Eastwood
10. 10 Cloverfield Lane, PG-13, Directed by Dan Trachtenberg
SEE YOU IN 2017!!!!