Memorable 2016 movie moments

Between Peter and myself, and even including all our amazing guest contributors, we haven’t seen the bulk of 2016’s theatrical releases to compile a best-of list, like some of the movie news sites do. However, if you value our humble opinions, as we hope you do, please indulge us for a few minutes, as we do have a few titles to share that stood out for us this year, in some way or another. It’s not a best of list, and I have tried to attach some school grades to it, but pay no particular attention to that.

Nocturnal Animals

When watching a Tom Ford movie one can expect two things. First, style. Second, a good dose of melancholy, or depression even. The movie delivers on both aspects, plus, it gets refreshingly weird in some aspects and Michael Shannon delivers are knock-out performance that makes you forget who else was in the movie almost. A movie entirely not what you expect, probably too bleak for some viewers. B+

Pre-order: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Hell or High Water

They pulled The Dude out of retirement to hunt down two nothing-to-lose serial bank robbers to the backdrop of Trump’s America. A countryside full of gun owners, economic losers and bleakness is the panoramic scenery that gives this movie such a powerful note. The acting is stellar, to say the least, and it is gritty without being too serious. After all, Hell or High Water is a heist movie, not a morality tale. And for that, it’s surprisingly down to earth on the one hand, while on the other hand simultaneously pulling off enough twists to keep you on the edge. Solid A-

Pre-order: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Rogue One

Well, this one had it all. The characters, the special effects, the dramatic story, the epic finale, the weird aliens, all the cool references – and tons of controversy surrounding the hefty changes. This is ten movies rolled into one, and Disney knows it. Better than the last regular Star Wars I’d say, solid entertainment – if you ignore its flaws (of which there are plenty). B

American Honey

I am conflicted about this one. On the one hand, a bunch of amateur actors just can’t pull this one together, on the other hand they give this road movie so much hard, it’s tough not to like it. Then again, the idiot director decided for a 4:3 aspect ratio, thereby totally ruining the theatrical experience and seriously diminishing the movie’s value. The director probably ruined one of the best movies of recent years. Oh yea and it is way too long. But you won’t feel it, and you will remember the movie for quite some time. B+

Pre-order: From Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Allied

So this is the sequel to Inglourious Basterds and Casablanca. But it’s not as pop culture and memorable as the one, or as timelessly romantic as the other. Allied tries to be a big budget adventure romance spy thriller war movie with the top notch leads, the marvellous locations and all that jazz. It is captivating, but it just misses heart, feels a bit dull at times and just can’t really live up to its potential.  C+

Pre-order: From Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

The Duel

I was surprised how Heart of Darkness this one is, possibly taking a clue from Bone Tomahawk. It’s a weird western, unlike anything I have seen in a while. Woody Harrelson playing Woody Harrelson on his best day, and the other dude from the Mockingjay whatever movies, actually being very convincing. This one is a dark, violent, sinister and messed up one. Genre lovers will dig it, others will dismiss it as the genre fare it is. B+

Buy now: From Amazon.com

Arrival

Touted as a grandiose humanistic vision, one of the best movies of the year, and Villeneuve at the top of his game, it turned out to be something rather different. It was a movie about communication, for one, about working together as a species, but it was also a totally messed up time travel movie. Go see it for the theatrical experience alone. A-

Pre-order: From Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Paterson

I didn’t like this. It’s pure Jarmusch, it’s kind of beautiful and quirky, but it’s also quite boring, and to be honest, I found the idea weird to make it a movie about poetry where the poetry is so shitty you keep wondering if it isn’t a satirical take about someone who thinks he’s a great poet but just totally sucks at it. I don’t know. C

Pre-order: From Amazon.co.uk

The Girl on the Train

It’s kind of a recipe movie along the lines of Gone Girl, and it’s hellishly effective with all its twists and turns, but in the end it’s kind of predictable and you forget about it as soon as you walk out of the theater. A decent effort, but just not special enough. C+

Pre-order: From Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Snowden

Any movie about current affairs has to walk a fine line, especially in these sinister times of overreaching state power and crackdowns on dissent. There is a lot of fear of government surveillance, and an unfinished debate about the role of whistleblowers. All things aside, Oliver Stone hasn’t really made a totally great movie in a long while, so there were high hopes. Snowden turned out to be an okay, almost fairly mainstream, biopic, that gets a bit dull but manages to pull itself up towards the end to deliver a really remarkable finish. The flick could’ve been edgier, also a bit more critical (also of its protagonist), but if it’s main job was to bring the subject matter to a wider audience, then it was probably successful. B

Order: From Amazon.com

The Shallows

Oh how I was looking forward to The Shallows. First of, who doesn’t like a well made shark movie. Second, it’s a minimalist one with a hot girl, an exotic location, and a great white. Sign me up! The movie mostly delivered on its premises, had decent twists, turns, a funny sidekick character, and it was rather well made. The one thing that ruined it for me (and I think without that I could’ve been almost perfect), was the computer generated imagery. Either show a real shark, or no shark, but don’t show me pixels and textures that look fake, it ruins the experience, takes away all the shock value and just becomes corny. And that’s what it is in the end. Wasted opportunity. B-

Order: From Amazon.com | From Amazon.co.uk

Desierto

What a positive surprise. A great looking, well acted, highly entertaining, gritty, slightly political, gruesome and totally genre piece. A-. Read my review

Order: From Amazon.com | From Amazon.co.uk /DVD

High-Rise

I watched this one twice. It’s a fucked up Apocalypse Now kind of story that takes place in a skyscraper. What more could you ask for? Read my review

Order: From Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

The Lobster

Also one I saw twice. It’s quirky, sinister and disturbing, but also super funny and a one-of-a-kind movie. Read my review

Order now: From Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Ip Man 3

The third instalment of the Donnie Yen trilogy puts the finishing touches of a cinematic imagining of the kung fu master’s life and work. Great fight scenes, some memorable moments and a contemporary Hong Kong scenery (with a tad too much CGI). It’s a nice add-on to some other non-Yen Ip Man depictions, including a new TV show. After all, this is the man who trained Bruce Lee. B+

Order: From Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

War on Everyone

Took some time to finally get released around the globe. Tons of fun, great writing, and just wild. Read my review

Order: From Amazon.co.uk | US theatrical release February 3, 2017

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Sebastian

Founder of FuriousCinema.com, also started Tarantino.info, Spaghetti-western.net, Nischenkino.de and a few others. I love furious movies!

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