2016 was not a great year in many respects, it had its hits and its misses. 2017, on the other hand, is looking great and has movies to match. Here is a list of the 16 best #Films of 2016 and 17 hopeful films to look out for in 2017. From #HuntForTheWilderpeople to #StarWarsEpisodeVIII, this is a collection of films from a variety of genres and directors.
16 Best Of 2016:
Starring Forest Whitaker (The Last King Of Scotland, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Amy Adams (Batman VS Superman, Nocturnal Animals), and Jeremy Renner (Captain America: Civil War, The Bourne Legacy), this is easily the best sci-fi of the year and my favourite movie. This was Denis Villeneuve's chance to prove consistency of his brilliance after 'Sicario' and 'Prisoners' before taking the dangerous mantle of 'Blade Runner 2049' and he did just that. A brilliant film with excellent twists, acting and cinematograph, #Arrival is a must-see.
The story follows a brilliant linguist (Adams) and her attempt to decipher an alien language after first contact is made. She struggles with a completely non-linear and artistic language while trying to keep open communications and relations with major countries around the globe.
2) The Nice Guys
The first of 4 Ryan Gosling starrers in this post and co-starring Russell Crowe, Shane Black's #TheNiceGuys is hilarious and action filled. Incredibly artistic and well directed this is another must-see of 2016.
The plot - a down-his-luck alcoholic private detective (Gosling), March, gets wrapped up in a case that is much more than what it seems. Things start to get dangerous when a hitman (Crowe) gets involved and March's daughter gets into some trouble.
3) Deepwater Horizon
A moving insight into the events of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion of April 2010, Peter Berg's #DeepwaterHorizon is a masterpiece. Starring Mark Wahlberg (Ted, The Gambler), Kurt Russel (Bone Tomahawk, The Hateful Eight), Kate Hudson (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Almost Famous), Dylan O'Brian (Maze Runner, Teen Wolf), and Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin, Interstate), this is a spectacular piece of storytelling and an all-round brilliant movie.
4) La La Land
Though not yet released in U.K., #LaLaLand is set to be one of the biggest movies of 2016 and a 'classic of the future'. Starring Ryan Gosling (Drive, The Big Short), J. K. Simmons (Whiplash, Spider-man), and Emma Stone (Birdman, The Help), La La Land is creative and different, reviving the musical. Following the story of Seb (Gosling), an aspiring jazz pianist falling in love with Mia, a hopeful actress (Stone), Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' brings the musical to modern day.
5) Hunt For The Wilderpeople
Starring Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, Event Horizon) and Julian Dennison (Sopping, Paper Planes)' Taika Waititi's 'Hunt For the Wilderpeople' is a brilliant mix of comedy, action, and adventure. Following Hec (Neill) and his newly adopted son, Ricky (Dennison) as they run from police and military while trying to survive in the New Zealand bush, this is a fun movie that is brilliantly paced and well directed.
6) Manchester By The Sea
An Oscar contender and multiple award winner, #ManchesterByTheSea sits at an impressive 8.5 on IMDb. Starring Casey Affleck (Good Will Hunting, Out of the Furnace) and directed by Kenneth Lonergan's, 'Manchester by the Sea' is in every 'Best of 2016' list. The plot - an uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy's father dies. A must-see and Casey Affleck's best performance of the year, 'Manchester by the Sea' easily makes this list.
The highest grossing R-rated movie of all time and Ryan Reynold's 3rd appearance as a superhero, #Deadpool was a massive hit and easily one of the best movies of 2016. Though not exactly artistic, 'Deadpool' was funny, fast paced, and had well-choreographed fight scenes. Starring Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal, Green Lantern), T.J. Miller (Cloverfield, Big Hero 6), and Ed Skrein (The Transporter Refueled, Ill Manors) this movie brought a talented cast to an experienced director (Tim Miller).
8) The Revenant
A beautiful piece of cinematography from director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, 'The #Revenant' finally earned Leonardo DiCaprio his long-deserved Oscar. Starring Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception), Leonardo DiCaprio (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Titanic), Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ex_Machina), and Will Poulter (Maze Runner, We're the Millers), 'The Revenant' has some of the best cinematography of the year.
9) The Big Short
Bringing together an unusual cast including Ryan Gosling (Drive, Blade Runner 2049), Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, The Machinist), Brad Pitt (Inglorious Basterds, Fight Club), and Steve Carell (Anchorman, The Office), #TheBigShort tells the true story of the economic collapse of the mid-2000s. Explaining the crash well to people that are new to economics and telling an interesting story showing the inside of what happened. Yet another of 2016's must-sees Adam McKay's 'The Big Short' brings an artistic talent to the world of docudrama.
10) Hail, Caesar!
The Coen Brothers are back with the long anticipated 'Hail, Caesar!'. Following many intertwining stories of famous Hollywood actors through their careers (and one kidnapping), 'Hail, Caesar!' has an incredible all-star cast including Josh Brolin (W., No Country For Old Men), George Clooney (Gravity, Ocean's Eleven), Alden Ehrenreich (Stoker, Beautiful Creatures), Ralph Fiennes (Schindler's List, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Scarlett Johansson (Lucy, Lost In Translation), Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange, Adaption.), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, White House Down), and Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street, True Story). A masterpiece from the extremely talented Coen Brothers, 'Hail, Caesar!' truly is a brilliant piece of art.
11) Eye In The Sky
#EyeInTheSky follows the story of everyone involved in a single shot taken by a drone in the battle against terrorism and how collateral damage and the danger of innocent civilian lives can completely change a situation. Starring Alan Rickman (Harry Potter, Die Hard), Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Debt), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Triple 9), 'Eye In The Sky' is an intense, thought-provoking emotional roller-coaster. An absolutely brilliant film, this is also well produced and has some brilliant acting.
An unlikely hit and surprisingly amusing animated movie starring Jason Bateman (Office Christmas Party, Juno), Idris Elba (The Dark Tower, Prometheus), and Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love, Walk The Line) is great fun and well animated. From Byron Howard (Tangled, Lilo & Stitch) and Rich Moore (The Simpsons, Wreck-it Ralph), #Zootopia is funny, exciting, and emotional fun for the whole family.
13) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
A visual masterpiece and an honourable continuation of the Star Wars saga, #RogueOne follows the story of how the Death Star plans were leaked. The first Star Wars film to have no Jedis and a completely different side of the worlds we know and love, 'Rogue One' lives up to the legend and is my second favourite Star Wars film to date (beating Episode VIII).
14) Captain America: Civil War
Yet another in a continual line of big-budget Marvel movies, 'Captain America: #CivilWar' follows the #Avengers as they are ripped apart from the inside by Baron Zemo, an evil villain with a weak plan. Though Daniel Bruhl's villain is less than impressive (a fault of the writers, not Bruhl), the rest of the movie is brilliant. Starring Robert Downey Jr. (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man), Chris Evans (Snowpiercer, Captain America: The First Avenger), Anthony Mackie (Triple 9, Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Scarlett Johansson (Lucy, Lost In Translation), and many more, this is a continuation of the franchise that made every actor in it a huge star. While this is a brilliant movie, I would recommend watching all of the previous Marvel movies (other than 'Captain America: The First Avenger', 'Iron Man 3' and 'The Incredible Hulk') beforehand.
15) Warcraft: The Beginning
Though highly debated and hated by many, #Warcraft is indisputably enjoyable and well made. I liked this movie and thought that it was well acted and well rounded. Though many previous fans of the W.O.W. games did not like it, it still makes the list for pure awesomeness.
16) The Magnificent Seven
One of the many reboots of 2016, Antoine Fuqua's #TheMagnificentSeven is easily one of the best. Though not very faithful to the original, which was, itself, a reboot to 'The Seven Samurai', 'The Magnificent Seven' was great fun to watch and was an all-round good film (though the story could have been improved). Though not a must-see, this movie is enjoyable and is great if you are looking for an adrenaline-fueled action movie. It stars Ethan Hawke (The Purge, Boyhood), Chris Pratt (Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy), Denzel Washington (Fences, Flight), and Vincent D'onofrio (Daredevil, Jurassic World).
17 Movies To Look Out For In 2017:
1) Blade Runner 2049
The long awaited sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 cult-classic 'Blade Runner', #BladeRunner2049 will be directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival) and produced by Ridley Scott. Starring Ryan Gosling (La La Land, The Big Short), Harrison Ford (Star Wars: A New Hope, Blade Runner), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Spectre), and Jared Leto (Suicide Squad, Fight Club), 'Blade Runner 2049' will be set 30 years after the original. It will follow the story of a blade runner, officer K (Gosling), going on a mission that leads him to Deckard (Ford) and finding out a secret that will 'change everything'. I am very optimistic about this film (thanks to Villeneuve) and hope it will live up to the original.
Check out my trailer breakdown and theories here!
2) Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Directed by James Gunn and with a budget over 150 million, #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy2 is set to be an impressive continuation of the story of the rag-tag group of criminals we met in #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy. Starring Chris Pratt (Jurassic World, Passengers), Vin Diesel (Fast and Furious, The Last Witch Hunter), Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Nina), Dave Bautista (Blade Runner 2049, Spectre), and Bradley Cooper (Limitless, The Silver Linings Playbook), 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' will probably be one of the best superhero movies of 2017. 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' premieres on 29th April 2017.
Check out my trailer breakdown here!
3) Wonder Woman
Being the first female-led Superhero movie, #WonderWoman is lined up to premiere on June 2nd, 2017. Though it has had shaky production, its fair share of directors, and the history of the #DCEU to overcome, the trailers and all of the promo images look brilliant. Starring Gal Gadot (Triple 9, Keeping up With the Joneses) and Chris Pine (Star Trek Beyond, Hell or High Water), 'Wonder Woman' will be directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster, Five) and hopefully restore our faith in the DCEU.
Christopher Nolan has delved into topics such as dreams, memories, Batman, and wormholes, never straying far from sci-fi concepts. He has never tried his hand at historical fiction. #Dunkirk, a rarely told story in cinema, is his first attempt at anything more realistic. Starring Nolan regulars Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) and Cillian Murphy (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) next to Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, The BFG), Kenneth Branagh (Cinderella, Thor), and Harry Styles! 'Dunkirk' follows the true story of the evacuation of allied troops from France and will premiere on July 21st, 2017.
5) The Dark Tower
#TheDarkTower is the long awaited revival of Stephen King's 8 book long saga beginning with 'The Gunslinger', finally bringing it to the big screen. Starring Idris Elba (Pacific Rim, Zootopia) and Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar, Contact), 'The Dark Tower' will be released July 28th, 2017. Though almost nothing has been released about the film, all we know is from the books, I am cautiously optimistic about this film and hope we get a trailer soon.
This movie has had practically no media coverage, other than the trailer that came out roughly a month ago. Starring Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal, Deadpool) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain, Southpaw), 'Life' will be directed by Daniel Espinosa and will premiere on March 23rd, 2017. the plot follows a mission through space to find life, but when they do find it, though small, it is not what was expected. An Alien-like thriller, 'Life' has Seamus McGarvey (The Avengers, Atonement) as head of cinematography. I am interested to see how this movie will play out and hope production will go well.
7) War For The Planet Of The Apes
Continuing the #PlanetOfTheApes saga, 'War for the Planet of the Apes' will star Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Lord of the Rings) and Woody Harrelson (Now You See Me, Zombieland). Not much has been released about the film but the plot seems to be that humans are at war with the apes, both trying to extinguish the others. It looks like the CGI will be incredible and the action will be intense. 'War for the Planet of the Apes' will premiere on July 14th, 2017.
8) Alien: Covenant
A sequel to 'Prometheus' but a prequel to #Alien, #AlienCovenant will be introducing new aliens and reviving the Xenomorph, ringing more true to the original than #Prometheus. Check out my trailer review and breakdown here! 'Alien: Covenant' will premiere on May 19th, 2017.
9) Ghost In The Shell
#GhostInTheShell is a live-action remake of the anime of the same name. Starring Scarlett Johansson (Lucy, Under the Skin), 'Ghost in the Shell' is an interesting idea backed up by some impressive talent. This is uncharted territory for Johannson but looks like it has some potential. 'Ghost in the Shell' will premiere on March 29th, 2017.
10) John Wick: Chapter 2
Starring Keanu Reeves (The Matrix, John Wick) and Laurence Fishburne (Man of Steel, The Matrix), John Wick will return, with a new tux and a new K9 partner, to take down the Italian Mafia. 'John Wick: Chapter 2' will delve deeply into the underground world of assassins and, if they live up to the original, the fight scenes will be bigger, better, and more impressive than ever seen before. 'John Wick: Chapter 2' will premiere on February 10th, 2017.
11) Hidden Figures
Following the true story of the many women behind the mathematics and science that is a necessity to every NASA mission in the great space race. Starring Octavia Spencer (The Help, Insurgent), Taraji P. Henson (Empire, Person of Interest), and Janelle Monae, #HiddenFigures is set to be a big Oscar contender. 'Hidden Figures' will premiere on February 17th, 2017.
12) Star Wars: Episode VIII
Yet another Star Wars. 'Episode VIII' will continue the Skywalker legacy and tide us over until the next spin-off. Hopefully, the question of Rey's parentage will be answered and Mark Hamill will actually speak. We will have to wait for a trailer but the news will start flowing later this year. 'Star Wars: Episode VIII' will premiere on December 15th, 2017.
13) Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Nothing is known about 'The Golden Circle' other than the fact it will follow on from #Kingsman the cast: Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, G.I. Joe), Taron Egerton (Eddie The Eagle, Legend), Julianne Moore (Still Alice, Boogie Nights), and Halle Berry (X-Men, Extant). Hopefully, we will get more news on this movie soon but if it lives up to the original, it will be brilliant.
Hugh Jackman has appeared as Wolverine 7 times and this is his final movie as our favourite clawed mutant. With co-star Patrick Stewart in his last movie as Professor X, James Mangold will be directing this big-budget superhero flick. Set to come out on March 2nd, 2017 and looks to be a brilliant final bang for Jackman and Stewart.
15) Thor: Ragnarok
Bringing Cate Blanchett and Jeremy Irons to the mix of MCU madness, #ThorRagnarok will follow the #PlanetHulk storyline. This will be yet another success in the seamless track record that Marvel has provided over the past 5 years. 'Ragnarok' will be taking a look at a more universal side of Marvel and stay away from Midgard.
16) Justice League
Though a trailer has come out for #JusticeLeague (and one is coming soon), not much has been released about the movie. The villain is Steppenwolf and everything else has been discovered from the trailer. 'Justice League' will premiere on November 16th, 2017 and news will be released soon.
Mute looks like it could be one of the most creative and visually stunning movies of 2017. Starring Alexander Skarsgard (The Legend of Tarzan, Battleship), Paul Rudd (Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man), Justin Theroux (Zoolander, The Leftovers), and Sam Rockwell (Moon, Mr. Right), 'Mute' will hopefully join 'Blade Runner 2049' in reviving the neo-noir genre. Directed by Duncan Jones (Warcraft, Moon) and adopting the neo-noir feel, #Mute will follow the story of a mute Amish man (Skarsgard) and his search for his girlfriend in a technology dependent world.
Sorry for the long post but I hope you found the list useful. Please check out my theory on why Iron Man will die in 'Avengers: Infinity War', my list of 5 awesome Iron Man suits we could see in 'Infinity War', or my trailer breakdowns for Alien: Covenant and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Be sure to check out my movie/book review blog at Readers of the Lost Arc and let me know what you think of this list in the comments.