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.

The Martian


Viewed – 01 March 2016  Blu-ray

There seems to have been a bit of a trend in recent years for quality science fiction, or more literally quality space travel movies.  I think it began with Doug Jones’ acclaimed ‘Moon’ and then followed through with Gravity and then Interstellar.  Hollywood seems to have fallen in love with the great vastness of space again, and I have fallen in love along with them.  So this latest effort was high on my must see list.

the martian

Matt Damon plays astronaut Mark Watney who following an expedition to Mars, is left unknowingly behind by his crew following a freak sand storm.  With everyone thinking he is dead and a memorial back home, Watney has to learn how to survive on an alien planet until he can find out a way of communicating and hopefully getting rescued.  Based on the book by Andy Wier and directed by genre heavy-weight Ridley Scott, this is a gripping concept as we watch Damon put all his scientific knowhow to the test and learn to adapt to a harsh environment.  Back home Nasa and its myriad of boffins are also trying to figure out a way to save their man, headed by Jeff Daniels and supported by Kristina Wiig and Sean Bean amongst various other familiar faces.  Oh and the crew that left Watney jessica-chastain-the-martianbehind get the always watchable Jessica Chastian as their commander.  It’s clear to me this was a bit of a labour of love and is choc-full of detail and science terminology (even days are referred to a sol 1 and sol 2 etc).  Yet beyond some of the realism and authenticity the movie also finds room for well judged humour.  We also get a strongly potent emotional thread that builds and gets pretty heart-breaking.  Everyone here is on very good form but it’s obviously Damon’s show and he is simply superb…charismatic in the face of adversity and also very believable.  He’d have been my tip for Best Actor at the Oscars but sadly it wasn’t to be.

In addition to such a solid, layered performance however is excellent direction from Scott, who aided by cinematographer Dariusz Wolski, proves again he’s a master at capturing the perfect look and feel for Science Fiction, and redeems himself after the muddled Prometheus.  Some of the shots and vistas and photography here are jaw-dropping.  Honestly, there is very little I can say negative about this one apart from hey, where were Mark Watney’s parents??  And the first act is a trifle slow, but that’s some serious nit-picking.  If you are fascinated by space travel or are just attracted to decent human survival dramas, not unlike The Revenant I’ll add … then you have to see this.

Verdict:  5 /5