Rogue One
La La Land
Hateful Eight
Midnight Special
Arrival
Green Room
Popstar
Sicario
Don't Breathe
Deadpool
Everybody Wants Some
The Neon Demon
Zootopia
Sausage Party
Spotlight
Room
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Finding Dory
The Shallows
The Revenant
Brooklyn
The Witch

5

Top Films of 2016

What a cracking year it was for cinema! Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to see everything released in Australia in 2016 but these were the special few that stuck with me.

As always, these films are my personal favourites and all lists are highly subjective to personal tastes.

Noteworthy

  • La La Land
  • Midnight Special
  • The Witch
  • Green Room
  • Don’t Breathe
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • Brooklyn

Most overrated

  • The Neon Demon
    — All style, very little substance from the Drive director.
  • The Revenant
    — Again, it looked incredible but ultimately I just found it an empty experience.

Biggest Bummer

  • Rogue One. Was it bad I yawned throughout the first two-thirds of the movie? Probably.

5

The Hateful Eight

Quentin finally got to shoot his pure Western, in 70mm nevertheless. There’s no doubt that this looks fantastic (mainly due to Robert Richarson’s cinematography) but at over three hours in length, it’s Tarantino at his most indulgent. Which isn’t a bad thing neccessarily as the dialogue is always top notch but it still feels like a lesser of his stellar catalogue. Which is still excellent by the way.

Watch the trailer

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

What a brilliant, hilariously uplifting film from New Zealand director Taika Waititi! Julian Dennison as Ricky Baker makes a star turn in what was easily the most fun I’ve had in a cinema this year. There’s an infectous positive nature to Waititi’s films that are just hard to resist and I can’t wait to watch this again.

Watch the trailer

4

3

Arrival

Smart sci-fi films are always a breathe of fresh air in the cinema these days and Arrival is everything you want. The design of the aliens, the score, the uniqueness to it is invigorating for the genre. I personally can’t wait for Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049.

Watch the trailer

Spotlight

A story that needed to be told, to the widest possible audience. With a strong cast, the abuse that the Catholic church hid for so many years is truely eye opening and Todd McCarthy handles the material with powerful levels of unrestraint and sensitivity. You can feel the characters frustration bubbling under the surface, Spotlight is a must-see.

Watch the trailer

2

1

Room

The best film (by a large margin) I saw in 2016 was this unshakable experience. Room is harrowing to watch at times but it’s the stunning performances from Jacob Tremlay and Brie Larson which make it a truely brilliant piece of cinema. Everything rests on their shoulders and they bring you into their world completely. An experience I’ll never forget.

Watch the trailer