Another year has ended which means another round-up of my favorite movies! 2016 has been as good year for films, ESPECIALLY animated ones, and I’m glad I have such a great pool of eligibles for my ten favorite films.
Also, take note that these are my personal favorites. This isn’t a best list, it’s a favorite list. All the movies will be listed in chronological order by release date. On to the list we go!
Zootopia was probably the biggest surprise for me this year, because I knew I was going to like this movie (I mean, it’s the Disney Revival, after all), but I had no idea how much I was going to love it. The trailer made it seem like your average anthropomorphic animals movie, but what we got instead was a strong film about acceptance and prejudice. This movie couldn’t have come at a better time.
Also, can we please talk about how amazing Judy Hopps is? I love her so so SO much. She’s probably my favorite Disney Revival character.
Can you blame me? It’s a guilty pleasure. Plot holes aside, the movie’s just a lot of FUN. It’s face paced, thrilling, and even occasionally funny. I’ve watched it thrice already and I still get breathless at the dares and the movie’s ending. Also, Emma Roberts and Dave Franco certainly help. They’re both charming, easy on the eyes, and have great chemistry together.
And I think this deserves the paragraph of its own – the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. Seriously, I could watch this movie on mute and still enjoy it. And it meshes so well with the movie’s soundtrack, which is also great. This movie’s so aesthetically pleasing – it’s like scrolling through the coolest Tumblr blogs while the playlist plays hipster tunes.
Give me more female centric comedies, please. Especially ones as funny as this one.
You wanna know what my favorite part of Bad Moms is? Mila Kunis’s character, Amy, is going through a divorce, and it’s not a guy who helps her get through it – it’s her two best girl friends! And the three of them just feel like genuine friends, they actually act like they like each other. If there’s one thing that’s my weakness in books and movies, it’s good friendships.
Swiss Army Man
I’m not quite sure how to describe this movie, but this is a movie you have to see to believe. It’s just so odd and out there. I’ve never seen a movie quite like it. It’s certainly made me want to see more of the directors Daniels. I think part of my enjoyment for this movie is just how confident it is in its oddness. It wears its weirdness like a medal.
But while I love the film’s weirdness, it’s really the heart that gets me. This film has plenty to say on love, on life, and on friendship. There’s a lot this movie wants to say. And the scene where Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe both re-enact a bus scenario might be one of my favorite movie scenes all year. This movie’s kind of beautiful.
Florence Foster Jenkins
I’ve always been a huge fan of biopics (The Young Victoria still being my favorite) and I think it’s always a great decision for a biopic to humanize its subjects. Sure, you might not agree with all their decisions, but you always understand why. I have no idea about the real Florence, she might be a terrible person for all I know, but movie Florence is someone I sympathize with – as with movie St. Clair, and movie McMoon.
Meryl Streep elevates the character – but really, are you surprised? She’s Meryl Streep! The cast is definitely my favorite part of the movie, because they all give such fun and engaged performances. Hugh Grant is always a charmer – seriously, I feel like it’s impossible to hate the guy. Oh, and the guy who plays Mr. McMoon ended up being one of my favorites.
“People may say I couldn’t sing, but no one can say I didn’t sing.” Me too, Florence Foster Jenkins.
This movie’s fucking awesome. Fede Alverez is fucking awesome. There’s really something to say about seeing artists constantly improving themselves and taking constructive criticism. Fede Alverez’s first film, Evil Dead, was criticized for having too much gore, so for this film, Fede decided to tone down the gore and focus more on the thrill and horror.
And holy crap, did it pay off so well. This movie will make you not breathe. The concept alone is already great, but Fede succeeds so well in creating an atmosphere that’s almost claustrophobic. I remember being so breathless after coming out of the cinema. Fede, please do the world a favor and keep making horror movies. In a horror generation filled with cheap jump scares and haunted houses for the 500th time, the world needs your horror movies more than ever.
Bridget Jones’s Baby
You can never go wrong with Bridget Jones, and this third film doesn’t disappoint. I don’t love it as much as I love the first film, but the movie’s a great conclusion to the trilogy (I didn’t even know it was supposed to be a franchise. Was anyone asking for this? Oh well.) It’s still hilarious the way British comedies usually are, and Renee Zelweger still gives a great performance as Bridget. (Never forget, this portrayal scored her an Oscar nomination.)
Also, it’s always fun to watch Bridget Jones on the big screen again. She’s just so awkward and adorable.
The Edge of Seventeen
If this list was in order of ranking, this would be freaking number one. From the minute I saw the trailer, I knew I was going to love this film. Like, I was really excited for this one. I’m a huge high school comedy fan and this one seemed like it was going to be one of the best, in the leagues of Mean Girls and Easy A and Juno.
And wouldn’t you know it – I was right! There is just so much to like about this film, but the crown goes to Hailee Steinfeld, who gives such a riveting and engaging performance as Nadine, the film’s protagonist. I’m half convinced this movie was based off my life. I’m also fully convinced that I’m going to rewatch this movie over and over once the DVD comes out. (Maybe it’ll even be my new comfort movie. I dunno.)
Boy, was I wary of this one. Not because I thought it was going to be bad or anything. But Walt Disney Animation Studios releasing two films in a year? That didn’t work out so well for Pixar. I’m also not the biggest Hamilton fan PLEASE DON’T HURT ME I JUST THINK WAITRESS IS BETTER. But surprise, surprise – I really, REALLY liked this movie.
The best part of Moana is, well, Moana. Moana actually feels like a real protagonist. She doubts herself, she makes mistakes, and she develops as a character. You really feel her developing and growing throughout the movie. Also, as someone who’s maybe going through something like what Moana’s going through, it’s nice to see her get through it and learn to accept herself. (Though I may be a bit biased.)
La La Land
GAAAH. Where to start with this one? First off, the music’s fantastic. The acting’s fantastic. The cinematography’s fantastic. The choreography’s fantastic. The performances are fantastic. This entire movie’s just FANTASTIC! It’s filled with so much heart and energy, it’s like a Singin’ In the Rain 2.0. (And that’s a huge compliment coming from me.) They don’t make movies like this anymore.
Damien Chazelle, keep making movies, man. You’re like a John Carney if John Carney got nominated for Oscars.
So those were my favorite films of the year. What were yours? And are you plotting my murder right now because I didn’t add Arrival? Let me know in the comments below!