Entertainment Editor Reflects on the Best Movies of 2016


Photo courtesy New York Film Academy

Johnny Mocny, Entertainment Editor

I know this is pretty late, but when it comes to being a proper film critic, one must take the time to see as much as the can before making final judgement. For some reason, I still have yet to see Martin Scorsese’s Silence or the Oscar-winning Manchester by the Sea or a few other acclaimed gems from last year. Minding those gaps in my viewing resume, I’m still happy to give you my completely subjective opinion on the top 15 movies of 2016.

  1. Deepwater Horizon

Peter Berg’s second “Mark Wahlberg in a real-life disaster” movie is a tense thriller about the BP oil spill, with a fantastic cast, viscerally-directed action sequences, and really convincing effects. From the moment things got going, breaths were scarce in that movie theater.

  1. Harcore Henry

A revolutionary next-step in action filmmaking, Hardcore Henry pushed the boundaries of movies with practical stunts and a wonderfully fitting soundtrack. Also, Sharlto Copley gives a performance that actually made me giddy.

  1. Don’t Breathe

This was a refreshing horror-thriller that was actually great, with tension winding up like a broken slinky. Stephen Lang was terrifying, too.

  1. Zootopia

Yeah, I can’t stand the dumb Shakira song. But this one had some very mature social commentary and a great voice cast.

  1. Captain America: Civil War

In what is easily one of the best MCU movies to date, this epic clash of titans was moving and action-packed, featuring the best Spiderman yet.

  1. The Jungle Book

As part of the new Disney monopoly that’s happening, Jon Favreau’s effects-heavy film adaptation of the cartoon is visually stunning and has one of the best voice casts of recent years. Murray + Walken = Win.

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Fan service and action set pieces galore, this interquel had me shamelessly cheering.

  1. Swiss Army Man

This movie is so delightfully weird and freaking hilarious that I would be ashamed to not recommend this perfectly original indie- flick with avant-garde touches.

  1. Deadpool

This refreshing satire on the superhero genre brought back a great character previously killed by the hilarious X-Men Origins: Wolverine for an awesome, action-packed comedy with sharp wit and marvelous violence.

  1. Arrival

Denis Villeneuve is easily an up-and-coming great. I will watch anything this man helms. Arrival is the kind of intimate sci-fi epic that Interstellar wanted to be.

  1. Fences

Denzel Washington directed and starred in this acting tour-de-force based on August Wilson’s fantastic play. Viola Davis gives her best performance yet.

  1. Sing Street

This movie is so underseen, it’s a shame. If you like a good touching, funny coming-of-age story, this is one for you. The music is great, too.

  1. Moonlight

If you have a heart, this film will make your chest hurt. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking film that is so raw and genuine that it almost exempts itself from any criticism.

  1. Hacksaw Ridge

Say what you want of the guy, but Mel Gibson is one helluva filmmaker. This World War II drama is so visceral and emotional that I personally put it right up there with Saving Private Ryan. Andrew Garfield has really sprouted, too.

  1. The Nice Guys

This is one original, criminally underseen movie. Shane Black once again proved himself to be a force to be reckoned with in this 70s mystery-crime-comedy. The script was crackling and the chemistry between Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling was nothing less than amazing. If you appreciate cinema as an art form, please rent or buy this movie. I’ve seen it six times already.

I have a slew of honorable mentions, including Star Trek Beyond, Moana, 10 Cloverfield Lane, X-Men: Apocalypse, Eddie the Eagle, and La La Land, but what do you think? Did I neglect your favorites? Do you disagree with me? Well, if so, how does it feel to be wrong?