Cinema…In this Economy? Our Favorite Movies of 2016

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The African-American artist and African-American narratives dominated the cultural landscape this year. In music, where rock-n-roll has been irrelevant for decades, Beyoncé prevailed, critically and commercially. In literature, Colson Whitehead won the National Book Award for The Underground Railroad and Paul Beatty won the Man Booker Prize for his acerbically funny The Sellout. On TV, Donald Glover’s Atlanta shone brighter than the rest. O.J. Simpson was also a big story, whether in Ryan Murphy’s limited series The People v. O.J. Simpson or in Ezra Edelman’s O.J.: Made in America. Edelman’s seven-plus hour documentary is technically a movie and will be vying for an Oscar. Meanwhile, Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight has been pushed by critics to win Best Picture. Neither of us responded to Moonlight, and you won’t find it on this list. But it’s not as if any of the other Oscar front-runners (La La Land, Manchester by the Sea) are great movies or masterpieces. So why not?


Alec Julian’s List

1. Dog Eat Dog

2. The Neon Demon/Knight of Cups/The Invitation  (L.A. Stories)

3. The Dressmaker/Love & Friendship/Jackie/Julieta  (Female-centered)

4. Author: The JT LeRoy Story/O.J.:Made In America/Zero Days (Docs)

5. Remember/Jason Bourne (Action)

6. Marguerite & Julien/Cafe Society (Love stories)

7. Hacksaw Ridge/Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk/Allied (War)

8. Creative Control/Chevalier (Satire)

9. Kevin Hart: What Now?

10. Elle/Wiener Dog (Sensibility)

11. The BFG/The 9th Life of Louis Drax (Children’s)

12. Mojave/Hell or High Water (No Country for Old Men knockoffs)

13. X-Men: Apocalypse/Deadpool (Comic Book/Franchise)

Favorite Actresses: Kate Winslet/Kate Beckinsale/Natalie Portman

Favorite Actors: Willem Dafoe, Christopher Matthew Cook, Michael Shannon, Vincent Cassel, Itay Tiran

Favorite Animal: Tracker the Dog, from Desierto


Carrie White’s List

1. Lion/Dheepan/Standing Tall

2. Green Room/Disorder/The Infiltrator/In Order of Disappearance (Thriller)

3. The Neon Demon/The Handmaiden (Fashion)

4. Eye in the Sky/Anthropoid (Politics)

5. Jackie/Miss Sloane/Our Little Sister/The Dressmaker/Elle (Female-centered)

6. Central Intelligence/Hunt for the Wilderpeople/Deadpool (Humor)

7. La Belle et la Bete/Assassin’s Creed/Passengers (Visual Fantasy)

8. Neruda/Knight of Cups/Author: The JT LeRoy Story (Poetic Adventure)

9. The Secret Life of Pets/Moana/Zootopia/The Red Turtle (Animated)

Favorite Actresses: Kate Winslet/Helen Mirren/Natalie Portman/Amy Adams/Jessica Chastain/Elle Fanning/Viola Davis/Jennifer Lawrence

Favorite Actors: Michael Fassbender/Mads Mikkelsen/Michael Shannon/Dev Patel/Vincent Cassel/Mahershala Ali

Favorite Comedians: Olivia Munn, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller, The Rock, Kevin Hart, Miles Teller, Jonah Hill


Not considered due to conflict of interest: Silence, Certain Women, American Honey, The Magnificent Seven, Deepwater Horizon, The First Monday in May, Jack Reacher 2

What we missed: Hidden Figures, Patriots Day, Paterson, Live by Night, Little Sister, Always Shine, Christine, Kate Plays Christine, I Am Not Your Negro, 13th, Fire at Sea, 20th Century Women, Under the Shadow