Top Films of 2016 (10-6)
10 – 10 Cloverfield Lane
Following a car accident Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up to find she’s chained to the wall of an underground bunker. Howard (John Goodman) appears to be Michelle’s captor and saviour, claiming he saved her from an apocalyptic event happening outside.
10 Cloverfield Lane is a great little thriller that manages to really ratchet up the tension thanks in no small part to a superb, and creepy, John Goodman performance. Slowly, the truth starts to unravel and we start to get a better idea of what’s going on but the film keeps throwing curve balls right up until the very end.
9 – Deadpool
Ryan Reynolds finally managed to pull off a great superhero film, on his second attempt to bring Deadpool to the bigscreen. This is by no means your typical superhero movie, there is no alien invasion or world threatening event, instead it’s the story of a guy trying to win back his girl. The guy in question just happens to have Wolverine-esque regeneration abilities.
This is not your typical kid-friendly superhero film, it opens right in the middle of a rather violent action scene, and ramps things up from there. Throw in more than your fair share of dick jokes and you have a film that’s really entertaining and genuinely good fun. It might not be the smartest film this year but it is one of the most enjoyable.
8 – Doctor Strange
The Marvel cinematic behemoth continues, and at present it’s showing no sign of stopping. There were two Marvel films this year, Captain America: Civil War and this, Doctor Strange. I was very close to including Captain America: Civil War on the list but in the end the spectable of Doctor Strange won out. Yes, it’s another origin story as we follow arrogant, but brilliant (is there any other kind) surgeon Stephen Strange as he loses the use of hands only to discover the mystical arts.
There are a lot of familiar tropes in the film, and if you’ve seen pretty much any of the Marvel films you’ll notice some similar ideas on display. However, the way that the story is told and some of the visuals are like nothing I’ve seen in a superhero movie before. Stephen Strange does feel like Tony Stark Mk 2 at times, and that might be because he’s being lined up as the future leader of the franchise, but he is fun to watch if nothing else.
7 – Moana
It seems that in recent years Disney has started to move away from its archetypal princess to something slightly more modern. Moana not only continues this trend, it follows it through to a really satisfying end point. Moana is the story of a chieftain’s daughter leaving her island to try and save her people, helped out by brash, arrogant demigod Maui. There is no romance tacked on to the film, Moana doesn’t need a man to save her and she actually looks like a real person. It’s a really positive move from Disney, but most importantly it’s a really great film in its own right. There are some great songs throughout the film, superb characters and the whole thing look fabulous to boot. T
6 – Hail, Caesar!
The Coen Brothers’ latest film took us back to the good old days of Hollywood in the 1950s, as a studio fixer tries to find a missing movie star. Hail, Caesar! often feels like a set of vignettes rather than a broader cohesive story but it really worked for me. There are so many memorable characters in the film, and so many superb set pieces that you can’t help but love it. Some of the highlights include Channing Tatum’s song and dance number, newcomer Alden Ehrenreich’s (who is also going to be Han Solo in the future film) attempts at serious acting and Jonah Hill as a ‘professional person’ but there are many, many more brilliant moments in the film, that still make me smile today.