2016 in Movies

I absolutely love watching movies. Whether its relaxing at a luxury cinema being served food and drinks or crammed onto a plane for 11 hours across the Atlantic ocean, there are few things I enjoy more than a good film.

I watched a grand total of 115 films in 2016, and so I wanted to talk about some of my personal highlights (and lowlights).

Highlights

There were a lot of really great movies in 2016, and it was hard to pick just a few of them to talk about, but I persevered and here are a few of my favourite movies, in no particular order.

Kubo and the Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings

This was one of the most beautiful animated movies I think I have ever seen. I watched this movie a couple of times this year and would happily watch it a dozen times more.

It has a really gorgeous soundtrack (the Regina Spektor cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps over the closing credits is a personal favourite) and a solid story that kept me hooked the whole way through.

My only real criticism was the choice to have so many of the characters voiced by white actors, when having Japanese voices would have made the story feel that much more authentic.

The Lobster

The Lobster

I first saw this movie way back in January on the flight from London to San Francisco and immediately fell in love. It is an extremely dark comedy about love, marriage and relationships in a strange, post-apocalyptic world.

It was so refreshing to see Colin Farrell in a role where he was not relying on his good lucks or charm (he has neither in this movie!) but still being a compelling protagonist.

This is definitely not a movie that everyone will enjoy, especially if you are sensitive to violence, so be warned!

Sing Street

Sing Street

The most uplifting movie I saw all year, about a teenage boy in Ireland in the 1980s who attempts to impress a girl by forming a band. Great performances from the whole cast of children and some really wonderful original music across a whole spectrum of 80s genres.

Arrival

Arrival

The best sci-fi movie I have seen in a very long time, Arrival is a really interesting take on the process of learning to communicate with aliens from the perspective of scientists. The performances from Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner were wonderful, and the soundtrack from my favourite composer Jóhann Jóhannsson really helped enhance the tense atmosphere throughout.

Swiss Army Man

Swiss Army Man

This is one of the weirdest movies I’ve ever watched, and the first 20 minutes were a little hard to get through (it contains a lot of fart humour) but it was absolutely worth it.

Two stunning performances from Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano in this truly bizarre but ultimately beautiful story about loneliness and friendship. I cannot recommend this movie enough.

Lowlights

While I have seen a lot of really terrible films this year, I wanted to talk more about movies that disappointed me the most.

Rogue One

Rogue One

I went into this movie expecting to love it, and never before have I been so disappointed. I don’t think that Rogue One is a bad movie, but I just didn’t fall in love with it or the characters in the same way that I did with Force Awakens.

The Neon Demon

The Neon Demon

The trailers for this movie were so viscerally stunning that I couldn’t not see this movie, but I left feeling feeling confused and frustrated. The Neon Demon is certainly a very beautiful film, but much like the models it portrays, lacked anything interesting to say.

Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad

I knew going in that Suicide Squad was probably not going to be very good, but I was somehow still disappointed. A super muddled plot and poor attempts to recreate the humour of Deadpool, it was a shame to see such talents being wasted.