Top Ten Movies 2016


I watched a lot of movies this year.  I watched a lot of very good movies.  I also watched a few bad ones and several disappointing ones.  But the list below, in descending order compiles the movies that had the greatest impact on me during 2016.  A few may have actually been theatrically released prior to 2016 but I didn’t get to see them until this year.

10.

Zootropolis

Zootropolis

‘Disney does it again with very likeable characters, gorgeous animation and a fun, exciting story with plenty of great moments’

9.

The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys

Shane Black writes and directs the spiritual sequel to Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and the result is every bit as good as that sounds’

8.

The Witch

The Witch

‘One of the more original and genuinely disturbing horror movies of the year’

7.

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book

‘It shouldn’t work but oh boy … does it.  Disney deliver a remake that really impresses’

6.

X-Men Apocalypse

X-Men Apocalypse

‘Underrated comic book entertainment and for me, the best X-Men movie since X2’

5.

Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton

‘The biopic of the controversial rap pioneers proves more emotional than I expected’

4.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One

‘A spin off movie every bit as good as the famed saga?  Oh yes and then some!’

3.

The Revenant

The Revenant

Alejandro G. Iñárritu delivers a powerhouse man vs nature survival epic that breaks as many hearts as it does DiCaprio’s bones’

2.

Sing Street

Sing Street

‘Feel good coming-of-age drama with great music, great characters and great performances’

1.

The Martian

The Martian

‘Ridley Scott proves without a doubt that he’s still got it and delivers a powerful, funny, breath-taking sci-fi drama with genuine heart’

A few almost as deserving ‘honourable mentions’ include:

When Marnie Was There

Arrival

Captain America: Civil War

It’s been another great year for movies and I am already looking forward to what 2017 has in store.  Happy New Year everyone and hoping next year is good to you all.

Craig.

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Straight Outta Compton


Viewed – 23 January 2015  Online rental

Yes I’m mopping up the left overs from last year I probably should have got around to seeing.  This biopic of the notorious rap group was high on my radar but I didn’t get to see it for one reason or another.  So I jumped on the chance when it turned up for rental.  This charts the small beginnings, the eventual rise to fame (or infamy) and the gradual descent of N.W.A. which went on to launch the careers of Ice Cube and Dr Dre.

Ice Cube

Directed by F. Gary Gray (The Negotiator) this is a respectful and very well observed drama that is particularly well cast by mostly unknown actors filling the rather big shoes of famed rap legends … and doing one hell of a job; most notably Ice Cube’s own son O’Shea Jackson Jr playing his Dad!  But the strongest turns come in the form of a complex Jason Mitchel as the late Easy-E and also Paul Giamatti as their mentor / manager.  I was glad to see this didn’t shy away from the tougher aspects of the band’s rise to fame, with Police harassment, racism and violence constantly rearing it’s head (with an inclusion of the Rodney King incident).  However I quickly began to think that neither side was right in some of their actions; the Police portrayed as always out to arrest black minorities regardless of what they’ve done … and the band and those closet to them portrayed as angry young men out to prove themselves whilst at the same time making themselves look and sound just like the gangsters the Police take issue with.  Their own worst enemy you might say.  Yet the bravado, attitude and simple ‘two finger’ salute to the man was a riot to watch play out (getting arrested at a gig, their album being burnt in the streets, being threatened by the FBI).

At the end of the day also, this bands eventual influence on a generation of artists including Snoop Dogg, Tupac and Eminem can’t be dismissed.  For me also, even though not a major enthusiast of rap, the tunes this band came up with just kick all sorts of ass.  As a classic rags to riches story, think back to the rise and fall of The Sex Pistols and you’ll get an idea where this one hits hardest.  Thoroughly entertaining and very well acted, making this a must see.

Verdict:  5 /5