I’ve spent the year watching, discussing, debating and dissecting most of what 2016 has had to offer cinema going audiences, and though it’s been tough, I’ve managed to narrow down my personal favourites for you to enjoy. Feel free to get in touch on our Facebook page to tell me I’m batcrap crazy or, to lovingly agree. FYI these are in no particular order.
I do love Ryan Reynolds and I do love self-aware characters like Wade. Deadpool was on of this year’s most thrilling and hilarious films, and was made all the more special by the fact that Reynolds spend YEARS trying to get this damn thing made. Persistence pays off sometimes.
2. Don’t Breathe
There’s nothing I love more than being so scared in a cinema that I’m constantly pinching or punching my unlucky companion every time I feel the bad guy is getting closer, and Don’t Breathe gave me plenty of opportunities to do just that. It was original, refreshing and had a fantastic twist ending.
3. Hunt For The Wilderpeople
I’m not just throwing this one on the list because I’m a proud Kiwi — anyone in the world who has seen this film can agree on its epic-ness. Taika Waititi has been directing brilliant films for years, but this one is by far my favourite. Julian Dennison was a terrific find, and Sam Neill was spot on as his grumpy uncle Hector. Fingers crossed for a reunion soon.
4. Captain America: Civil War
I’m mad for Marvel and even crazier about Chris Evans, so you won’t be too surprised that this made the list. Civil War marked a bold new direction for Steve Rogers, really upped the ante in terms of story, action sequences and ship-worthy moments between Bucky and Steve.
5. Love and Friendship
I never thought Jane Austen could get so saucy and sassy, but this adaptation of the author’s novel, Lady Susan, really opened my eyes. Kate Beckinsale led a perfect cast of fresh faces and veterans, and really showed off her comedy chops in the process. It’s got scandal, laughs, romance, more scandal, and an ending that’ll make you go “oh Jane you tricky minx.”
6. Midnight Special
I managed to catch a screening of Midnight Special during the film festival in my city, and thank goodness I did. Michael Shannon has long been one of my undisputed Hollywood champions, and he really showed off his sensitive and nurturing side in this out of the box sci-fi drama that combined religion, government and aliens.
Scorsese rarely puts a foot wrong, and this passion project also proved to be well worth the wait. I wasn’t expecting to even like Silence, but my doubts were..forgive me…silenced within 15 minutes. Andrew Garfield blew me away with his performance as a Catholic priest, and though quite a long watch, Silence was a completely alluring experience.
I could go on and on about how brilliant Natalie Portman’s portrayal of Jackie Kennedy was, and how deserving she is of next year’s Best Actress Oscar. This film moved me in ways I hadn’t been moved by a film in a long time, and whether it was the realisation of how utterly brave and fierce Kennedy was, or how strong Portman’s ability was to elicit true empathy, I’m not sure. All I know is that Jackie is a triumphant film that’s worthy of being fussed over.
9. Eddie the Eagle
Bit of a random one but stay with me.
This funny and heartwarming flick saw Taron Egerton playing real life British skier Eddie Edwards, who was in fact that first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping in 1988. Hugh Jackman also starred as Eddie’s reluctant and alcoholic coach. It’s similar in many ways to cult fav Cool Runnings, and for some reason stayed with me long after I left the cinema.
10. Bridget Jones’s Baby
As a huge fan of the first two Bridget Jones films, I was ready for a bit of a mess going into what I thought to be an unnecessary third entry to the franchise. Boy oh boy was I wrong.
The film created a new and unexpected conundrum for Jones, while bringing back Colin Firth’s gorgeous Mark Darcy and introducing the swoon-worthy Patrick Dempsey as a new and totally worthy love interest. Bridget Jones’s Baby was a genuinely funny and enjoyable watch, and kicked my pre-conceived notions to the curb.