I have been escaping my work every Friday for 17 years. 2016 was a bad year for me and an average year at the movies. While average, the 84 movies I saw in 2016 were a good way to disconnect from the real world in a dark, quite Movie Theater. Choosing my Top 10 movies is more difficult in an average year than it is in a blockbuster year as the difference between movie 10 and movie 30 is a close call. For those of you looking for Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea they are 11 and 12.
The envelope please:
10. Jackie - Get your gold statues ready! This film is amazingly acted by Natalie Portman and well directed by Pablo Larrain. It mixes three compelling story lines with historic footage that keep you engaged in a familiar story.
9. Hacksaw Ridge - An inspiring story of a person who is guided by their faith but also has the courage and tenacity to be a great solder.
8. The Innocents - There are so many items this film deals with I don't know where to start and I'm still processing most of them. The main subject that was dealt with at a deep and often disturbing level was the religious thought process of the nuns and their celibacy. The female director did a great job addressing this. The line that I can't forget. "Faith is 24 hours of doubt and one minute of hope"
7. Sing Street - Great characters with surprising and real relationships.
6. Tower - The perfect mix of animation and actual character interviews were hard hitting and poignant. Oscar worthy!
5. Hell or High Water - Captures the crazy like a fox spirit of Texans. Glad to see Post get some recognition.
4. La La Land - This movie takes an ordinary plot and transforms it into a great movie thanks to the trifecta of song, dance and acting! Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone prove they have deep artistic chops.
3. Captain Fantastic - What if we didn't shelter our kids from the harsh topics of the real world? What if we home schooled them too. This movie shows why that might be a good approach.
2. Hidden Figures - All three characters are compelling on their own but together their contributions to our space program are heroic. The spontaneous applause from the sold out theater confirmed that my feelings were shared
1. Fences - Santa and Hollywood make us wait for their gifts! Fences adopts many great aspects of the play it is based on, Incredible actors given the scene format from the play shine! Great dialogue and great performances make this worth the wait.