As I struggled to fill up my lists of Top 10’s (Best and Worst) this year, I thought I’d do something different. I’ll do a Top 5 of Best and Worst and then maybe pick a film that I watched this year that I hadn’t seen before – one that necessarily didn’t come out this year. Okay, so on with it then…
Best Films of 2016:
5. Star Trek Beyond – Directed by: Justin Lin
I was cautious with this one, the trailers didn’t give me much hope, the marketing wasn’t great, and JJ Abrams wasn’t returning to direct. It’s safe to say I had low expectations. Star Trek Beyond came along and blew those low expectations out of the water. With great action sequences, great character moments, some nice little fan moments and some relevant emotional moments, I really enjoyed Star Trek Beyond and that is why it kicks off my best films of the year.
4. The Jungle Book – Directed by: Jon Favreau
The Jungle Book is another one of Disney’s new live action reboot series, and going into it I was optimistic. I wasn’t in love with the original Jungle Book (unlike The Lion King – be careful Disney) so I was interested to see this new version. The cast is unbelievable, Bill Murray as Baloo and Idris Elba as Shere Khan were incredible, making you truly believe they were the animals. Not to mention newcomer Neel Sethi (only 12 at the time) showed a tremendous amount of maturity for someone of his age and produced an amazing performance to really tie the whole film together.
3. Zootopia – Directed by: Byron Howard + Rich Moore
Ever since I first saw this film back in March, I knew it would be one of the top films of the year (I feared that Finding Dory might be better, but we’ll come onto that later). This film has a depth I’ve never seen in a Kids/Family film before, coupled with the fantastic animation from Disney and the brilliant performances from Jason Bateman and Ginnifer Goodwin, this film has stuck with me throughout the year and is something I love to put on and watch over and over again.
2. Captain America: Civil War – Directed by: Joe + Anthony Russo
Of course this film was gunna be on my best list. Civil War was the culmination of many many things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as introducing new characters like Spider-Man and Black Panther. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr proved why they’re one of the best actors around and the supporting cast didn’t do too bad either. The action sequences were incredibly emotional for a superhero movie (made even better with the movies score) and moments from this film will stay with me for a long long time.
1. Rogue One – Directed by: Gareth Edwards]
Number 1 spot was a struggle, it was between Rogue One and Civil War and ultimately I went with Rogue One. This film came out of no where. I wasn’t too excited for this film, seeing as though it’s not part of the original Star Wars Saga, but nonetheless I loved it. The action sequences were great, I felt that certain CGI characters were well created and that final Darth Vader sequence is the Star Wars moment I’ll tell my children about. Rogue One is my top film of 2016.
Money Monster – Directed by: Jodie Foster
This film was quite a surprise. George Clooney, this year, has quickly become one of my favourite actors and this film did no harm to that. With a couple of twists thrown in, this hostage/action movie was very well put together and one I would recommend anyone watching.
10 Cloverfield Lane – Directed by: Dan Trachtenberg
This film literally came out of nowhere. Announced just a month before its release. 10 Cloverfield Lane is an intense Sci-Fi thriller with just a dash of claustrophobia to keep things interesting. The cast play their parts well and you’re always kept guessing on how things are gunna turn out. Definitely one to watch.
Worst Films of 2016:
5. Central Intelligence – Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
I always think a comedy should make you laugh, this one did, but not as much as it should have with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. Johnson’s character was unbelievable, Hart’s character was too loud and annoying and the big ‘plot twist’ was telegraphed from a mile off. I will give the film some credit however, it did keep me kind-of guessing on the truth about certain characters, but overall, a disappointing film.
4. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – Directed by: Zack Snyder
Billed as the start of the DC Cinematic Universe, this film definitely didn’t live up to the hype. The plot was weak, the resolution of the actual fight between the heroes was terribly stupid and don’t even get me started on the new Lex Luthor. However, the film did have one saving grace: Batman. Ben Affleck’s Batman was the stand-out of this film and I can’t wait to see what happens with his solo film. Sadly though, Batman V Superman wasn’t the kick start that the DCCU needed.
3. Warcraft – Directed by: Duncan Jones
This film was a tough one. I didn’t no much about it going in, and I still don’t know much having come out of it. All I know was that the Humans had to try and stop the Orcs but some Orcs wanted to also stop the Orcs? And there was a portal? I don’t know to be honest. The acting was poor, the CGI looked great most of the time, but there wasn’t enough practical effects. Basically, this film felt like it was trying to do too much at once and it overall did very little. Yet another Video Game movie that didn’t live up to they hype.
2. Suicide Squad – Directed by: David Ayer
Billed as the second kick-start to the DCCU, after the poor critical acclaim of Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad promised us a different type of Superhero movie, a Super Villain movie. It did give us a different kind of Superhero movie…it gave us a poor one. The casting was poor (except for Margot Robbie and Will Smith) with Cara Delevingne being a terrible choice for the Enchantress. The editing was sloppy, I was disorientated for a lot of the time, not knowing where certain characters were. Not only that, but Jared Leto’s Joker was given almost equal status to the rest of the main cast yet he was only in the film for about 10 minutes in total, just a tad bit of mis-marketing and it showed by the reaction from both the actor and the fans. Overall, Suicide Squad was a huge disappointment and seemed like a lot of wasted potential.
1. Ghostbusters – Directed by: Paul Feig
Finally, without a shadow of a doubt, is Ghostbusters. Such an unnecessary reboot with such a disappointing plot. The film doesn’t know if it wants to be a sequel or a reboot, it doesn’t know if it wants to reference the old films or create something completely new, and that’s where it fails. I’m not bothered with the fact that it was an all-female reboot, and I’m sure with a few casting and plot changes that it would have been a good film. But Ghostbusters was an already great couple of films from the 80’s that it didn’t need a complete reboot just for the sake of it. Sorry Sony, but you made the wrong choice with this film.
Sausage Party – Directed by: Conrad Vernon + Greg Tiernan
I don’t know what to say about this film. I was loving it until the last 30 minutes then I felt that it just gave up and effectively put its middle finger up to the audience. Yes, I’d watch it again, but only once or twice. Never see this film with your family, hell, I saw this film with two of my closest friends and none of us could look each other in the eye after the credits of that film.
Finding Dory – Directed by: Andrew Stanton
This only makes this section because of how disappointing I’ve found it. I originally loved it on my first viewing, but after more viewings I’ve realised it’s just a sequel for sequels sake. Something they said they wouldn’t do unless they had a good idea. Well, the idea’s good, but the execution is not. Dory quickly got annoying and Marlin and Nemo were literally completely unnecessary to the plot. Some bright sparks, however, was Ed O’Neil as the Octopus and Idris Elba as a Sea Lion. It’s a harmless film, but if you were expecting Toy Story 2/3 levels of sequel, you’ll be incredibly disappointed.
Yeap, that’s right, I had never seen Top Gun. I’ve loved film for a long time and Top Gun was always suggested to me but I never watched it. So, this year, I took the plunge. I really enjoyed this film. The acting from Tom Cruise was great (like most of his films) and this film was unexpectedly emotional and I didn’t expect to be as interested as I was. Overall this film was a highlight of my 2016 and I went straight out and bought it on Blu-Ray.
So there you have it, my review of 2016. I’m sure a lot of people won’t agree with what I’ve said but ah well. It is my opinion after all. Now let’s see what 2017 holds.