Well, we've reached the end of the year, and it's time for me to look back. I have compiled here a short list of my Top Ten favorite films, because I feel like this HORRIBLE year needs a little positivity. I will go over each one briefly, especially if I haven't gone over them before in a full review. A quick disclaimer: this list will only include movies I have seen this year.
So, let's begin! Here are the Top Ten Best Films of 2016, as chosen by yours truly.
NUMBER 10: Batman: The Killing Joke
I am definitely in the minority on liking this one. Many critics savaged this movie for its treatment of Batgirl and I can see why. But to be quite honest, this is the best Batman animated movie I have ever seen. It is the adaptation of the Caped Crusader that we both deserved and needed this year. I couldn't resist Mark Hamill's portrayal of the Joker, or Kevin Conroy's latest turn as Batman. Yeah, it's a controversial movie, and I really don't like the first third, but the rest is a truly faithful adaptation and more than makes up for the crap at the beginning. Sorry if you don't like this choice, but feel free to make a (reasonable) argument against it in the comments.
NUMBER 9: Star Trek Beyond
You know, I don't often watch Star Trek media, and I have only seen three of the theatrical films. I am a Star Wars fan first and foremost, but my father is a Trekker and I have been raised to at least know who everyone is. The continuing (rebooted) adventures of Kirk, Spock, Bones and the gang are awesome in this film. I enjoy all of the actors in the new cast immensely, and the villain is actually really good. There were some really fun moments and some great effects. I had a fun time overall. Thus, the film deserves a spot on this list.
NUMBER 8: Deadpool
Please don't hurt me for putting this one so low on the list. PLEASE.
I really like this movie. I do. I swear. I'm just not as enamored of it as so many others seem to be. Ryan Reynolds is a really excellent lead, the cast is great, the movie is HILARIOUS. I just wasn't super enthusiastic about the paint-by-numbers plot. For the most part, I thought the film was awesome. It just got pushed out of a higher spot by a bunch of other movies that I really liked, and since it came out so early in the year there were a lot of them. So, in short, I loved the movie, and it's definitely the best X-Men film of all time (destroying the muddled and strange Apocalypse that came out this year also), but it's not the best film of the year for me.
NUMBER 7: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Ok, so here's another one that I really enjoyed but got beat out for a higher spot. Fantastic Beasts is a really great start to a new franchise, and I think it got a little unnecessary flak from critics. To be quite honest, I liked the main cast of this movie, particularly its lead Newt Scamander, better than many others this year. The thing that dragged the movie down a little bit for me was the plot (again) which I felt was rather jumbled. It definitely is a franchise engine, and I expect that a lot of the plot will make more sense later. This film is a wonderful and promising start to a new Rowling series, and I hope it only gets better from here (full review coming soon).
NUMBER 6: The Jungle Book
Damn, I NEVER thought this movie would be as good as it was. This is one of those unexpected films that really messed up my expectations for the year and this list. I thought it would be a train wreck! It's 99% CGI and was never even shot in an actual jungle! But somehow, Jon Favreau and co. pulled together a movie that is truly awe-inspiring in its beauty and subtlety. I immensely enjoyed the main cast, and Neel Sethi is a really good Mowgli (it's his FIRST EVER MOVIE, for God's sake!). Disney has not struck out yet with these live-action adaptations of their classics, and this one actually improves upon the animated original.
NUMBER 5: Finding Dory
Finding Dory is a strange bird of a movie. It came out over a decade after the first film in the franchise, and usually that is a TERRIBLE idea (see Independence Day: Resurgence's reviews for proof). But for some reason, I loved it. I am a huge fan of the original, and this one is actually an improvement in a lot of ways, with great character development for all of its characters and a really intriguing setting and plot. I thought that this movie would be successful, but I didn't expect "highest-grossing domestic film of the year" success (or that it would hit this spot on my list). But, here we are- now let's "just keep swimming" to the top.
NUMBER 4: Doctor Strange
Well, here we go. The second Marvel film of the year makes the list in the top four, and who's to say it's the last (no spoilers at this point). This film is original, refreshing, and mind-bending. The special effects are the second-best of the year, and I have no qualms in saying that I enjoyed the entire cast, including the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton, the subject of a whitewashing controversy). I particularly liked good ol' Benedict Cumberbatch as Strange, who is like a new, magical version of Tony Stark. I will be giving this one a full review shortly, but for now, suffice it to say that I really was impressed by the "endless impossibilities". (full review coming soon)
NUMBER 3: Zootopia
This movie was NOT expected to be as good as it was, maybe by anyone. It currently holds a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, and by my estimation is almost a shoo-in for Best Animated Feature. I really think the reason that everyone enjoyed this anthropomorphic animal animation (ha HA) is because of the allegory it presents to our world today and because of its charming story and voice cast. I already did a Movie Minute for this one, and it is to this day my most popular review (why, I'll never know). Honestly, I think it deserves this high spot on the list.
NUMBER 2: Captain America: Civil War
Ah, Marvel. You never cease to amaze me.
This was definitely the best Marvel Cinematic Universe movie I've ever seen. It has great action, great character development, a great story, the MCU's best villain...what more could a fan like me ask for?? I can't possibly have liked this movie much more than I did. I personally can barely believe that it didn't top the list. But I really ate crow on this film, because I so hated the comic that it is adapted from that I thought it would be the MCU's first big bomb. Boy, was I wrong.
Just to give a little suspense for #1, I'm gonna drop in a few honorable mentions. They were good movies that didn't make the cut for this list.
Pete's Dragon, Lion, Hacksaw Ridge (the last doesn't make the list because I didn't see it this year...I'm sad, because it likely would have come close to the top)
Well, here we are at Number 1. Prepare yourselves, folks!
THE BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR IS...
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
This movie...I barely even know how to describe it.
This is another one that could have been terrible, just like Civil War. I really think that in the wrong hands it would have been. But it is a triumph of a film, just as I said in my full review. I love the cast. I love the story. I love the visuals. I love the emotional ending. Honestly, you can just read my review in full to get more of me fawning over it. It is another new Star Wars film for the ages! I cannot thank Lucasfilm and Disney enough for making this amazing and hopeful movie in a garbage year in real life.
Well, that ends this list! Comment below if you agree or disagree, but please be respectful of others' opinions. In other news, a joint review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Doctor Strange is coming soon on my channel here.
Here's to the New Year, and let's hope for more awesomeness (in film and TV at least) this time around the Sun!