Ah, the annual Top 10. Welcome. As you probably know from reading in the intro of every single annual Top 10 list, we film nerds tend to stress ourselves out to a ridiculous extent over our picks. There’s a lot of hair pulling, fretting and last-minute switches as you try to hone in on the select few films of the year you want to single out above all others. Usually, at a certain point, the pieces start to fall into place, but this year proved more of a struggle than usual.
It’s no original sentiment to say that 2016 was a “garbage fire” (to use the phrase of the year), and for a while there it seemed that sentiment might extend to the year’s film output as well. The summer movie season was a drag to be sure, but ultimately the year’s haul turned out to be pretty extraordinary. Even with a dry blockbuster season, there was an abundance of fantastic popcorn entertainment. Horror flourished in 2016, one of the best years in recent memory by a mile. We got a new Scorcese, a new Jarmusch, a new Verhoeven, and a new Chan-Wook Park film. Yeah, it was a good year.
As ever, there are some films I didn’t catch that haunted me as I wrote this list. Foremost, Silence and Toni Erdmann. I also never got to Sunset Song or Krisha. But I’m a notoriously bad watcher of documentaries (the pain is too real, man), so I’ve also missed 13th, Weiner, O.J.: Made in America, and I Am Not Your Negro.
Everybody has their own way of doing Top 10 lists. I’m not saying these are the best movies made this year. Like I said, I haven’t even seen everything, so I’m definitely not qualified to make that judgment. And hey, spoiler, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight aren’t on this list and they’re quite possibly the two most technically perfect movies I’ve seen this year. And I love them. But I love the ten movies you’ll find below just a little bit more. That’s what this list si all about for me, movies I absolutely love. I wish I had fifteen spots this year, but I didn’t. I wish we didn’t have to rank the movies, but folks love rankings. Last year I told you you’d be better off picturing the numbers as dancing monkeys. Same rules apply this year, but let’s keep things current and picture trash fires instead.
Ok. Great year at the movies, check. Hard to narrow the list down, check. Rankings are goofy, check. Right, that covers it. Let’s get on with it then…