There’s almost nothing movie fans love more than making lists, and honestly, maybe that’s one of the things I love so much about movies. I’ve always loved to rank things, whether it is movies, favorite baseball players, or memes. So with the decade coming to a close, it is the perfect time to do an annual retrospective on each year in the decade, continuing with 2016.
(Throughout this series, I’ll be using the Letterboxd release dates to determine which year’s list to put each film on.)
10. Split – This movie is a surprising return to form for M. Night Shyamalan. While it functions better as a standalone film than a secret sequel to Unbreakable, it still is a fascinating watch. James McAvoy is a revelation with his ability to distinctly play each one of these characters and was one of the most fun things to watch this year.
9. Nocturnal Animals – This is a dark and disturbing movie featuring some of Hollywood’s best actors. It deals with the depths of cruelty that humans are capable of. Nocturnal Animals isn’t for everyone, but it has a lot to say about love and life.
8. The Edge of Seventeen – Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson are a surprisingly perfect pairing. This is a movie that deals with the plethora of problems that come with growing up, and the need for someone to help guide you. Taken from the mold of Easy A, this movie is incredibly well-done and watchable.
7. Hacksaw Ridge – Movies that deal with religious or moral quandaries are right up my alley. Hacksaw Ridge is the perfect example of this – a pacifist going to war because of his personal convictions regarding helping others. This inspiring true story makes you think about these important themes largely due to Andrew Garfield’s gripping performance.
6. Hell or High Water – This is basically a perfect movie. When it finishes, you realize that you just watched something special. It deals with family, parenthood, and doing the right thing. Even if you don’t typically like westerns, this is absolutely one to check out.
5. Arrival – Arrival blew my mind the first time that I saw it. Any time something happens at the end of a movie to recontextualize everything that came before, I tend to love it. This is a movie that deals with life and suffering and choosing to live to the fullest no matter what, and it is beautiful.
4. The Nice Guys – This is so high up on the list simply because of how much fun it is every time I see it. Ryan Gosling is absolutely hilarious, and this is the perfect vehicle to show it off. This would be the perfect pair of characters for sequels.
3. Swiss Army Man – This is the definition of a “love it or hate it” kind of movie, and I absolutely love it. It’s all about not letting norms and traditions holding you back from living the best kind of life you can. Oh, and it’s full of hilarious and moving a cappella music from the main cast.
2. Silence – Silence is my favorite Martin Scorsese film because of the religious ideas it explores. Even the leaders of the religious community in this movie aren’t completely secure in their ideas. Are your beliefs or the lives of others more important? This is what Silence dives deep into and it makes me think every time I see it.
1. La La Land – This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It takes a realistic look at the nature of love and relationships in the world. Sometimes your professional goals and personal life don’t line up, and that’s exactly what La La Land shows. Also, the music is so, so great.
All images retrieved from IMDb