End of year lists are never easy, particularly in a year that for the most part has been a strangely lacklustre one at the multiplex. But despite these hardships, the So Is It Any Good team took on the challenge, diving deep into their memory banks and coming up with their favourite films of 2016. There were a few heated exchanges (Doctor Strange’s omission being one particularly bone of contention), and the odd shuffle in the rankings hear and there; but I can happily report no fatalities were sustained in the making of this countdown.
Below you’ll see members of the team explain their choices, as we look back on a year that brought Darth Vader back to the big screen and finally let Spiderman play with Marvel.
But before we check out the cream of the crop, lets take a look at the lowest of the low. The cinematic bin juice in the garbage disposal that was 2016…
Universally loathed, Grimsby had very few redeeming features. Jared summed it up best in our review… “It stumbles from one crude scenario to another, and when your big comedic set-piece is situated in an elephant’s vagina, it’s clear you have nothing interesting to say about the world”.
Independence Day: Resurgence
A pointless sequel that shoehorned in references to the beloved original, while introducing a host of completely unlikeable new characters. Worst of all, it obnoxiously sets up yet another instalment that absolutely no one wants except for maybe Liam Hemsworth.
Whilst it never feels good to bash an Aussie film, there was simply no excuse for the way Red Billabong squandered its perfectly good premise in such spectacular fashion.Now on to the main attraction!
Kubo and the Two Strings
Aside from the incredible visuals, Kubo and The Two Strings managed to tell a completely new original story and make it feel like an ancient legend. With most of these kind of adventures you can see the plot mapped out before you, but Kubo managed to make you wonder how he was going to achieve each daring feet.
10 Cloverfield Lane
Tense as all hell with a great trio of performances, this one was the surprise of the year. It’s one “sequel” that far outperforms it’s predecessor in every single way… If Cloverfield was all hype, this this was all delivery.
La La Land
No other flick I saw this year had me tapping my feet two minutes in. Whether it’s to the charismatic leads or the wonderful soundtrack, La La Land reminded me of the magic of cinema and of a genre which is these days rarely scene. I’ve had the soundtrack on my playlist for the last six weeks or so and you will too! Catchy, funny, heartfelt. This was one for the Dreamers.
Captain America: Civil War
Not only is this my new favourite Marvel film, it may just be up there with The Dark Knight as one of the best comic book films of all time. The way it balanced so many characters was masterful, and most refreshingly of all, the finale doesn’t feature a single giant object falling out of the sky!
Science fiction that took both elements of those words seriously. A thought provoking and emotional ride that showed the power of communication between people, countries and species.
The Nice Guys
Its hit after hit for Hawkins (Shane Black). He’s the king of Buddy films and The Nice Guys is no different. With the amazing pairing of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling this movie is all action, big laughs and unique writing.
Green Room did what most of my favourite films do, it made me ask “What would I do in the character’s situation”. It had a sense of realism that kept each little plot twist believable which is hard when you have Patrick Stewart playing a Nazi. You almost found yourself believing the lies the bad guys were telling our heroes… even though you knew what their motives were. Each hopeless situation would be given a glimmer of light to then have the door slammed in it’s face.
Worth the price of admission just for the highway scene, we all finally got to see Ryan Reynolds fulfil his potential… and it was glorious. Violent, hilarious, and with enough twists in the formula to make you forget that it was a pretty standard superhero origin story. Awesome.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One was the definition of anticipation. Seeing it on opening night was like being a kid on Christmas day waiting to open the biggest present in the room, minus the disappointment when its only a sweater knitted by Aunt June. This is a Star Wars story that we didn’t know we NEEDED to see, and the final ten minutes of the film was one the greatest sequences in the franchise. Seeing the greatest villain be even more awesome was mind blowing.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
This film was unanimously praised upon release, but due to a series of unfortunate events I wasn’t able to see it until it hit home video, well after the initial buzz had died down. Although I’m sure the New Zealand vistas would have looked gorgeous on the big screen, Wilderpeople nevertheless won me over from the very first frame.
Taika Waititi is easily up there with Edgar Wright as one of the most exciting comedy directors working today, and the real triumph of this film is the way it switches tones so seamlessly from one minute to the next, making you crack up and well up in equal measure.That’ll do it for another year folks! What films did you love or hate in 2016? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up Facebook.