It feels like yesterday when Leonardo DiCaprio won his first ever Oscar for an unalloyed, riveting performance in The Revenant. It’s Christmas again and another year is about to end as we head closer to the awards season. But before that, let’s do a quick recap of the best Hollywood movies that released this year.
21) 10 Cloverfield Lane
A taut, tense, claustrophobic thriller, 10 Cloverfield Lane rode high on excellent performances from John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Not only did the film entertain in its crisp 90-minute runtime, but also established a strong foundation for the brand and films to come in the future.
Disney’s Moana is a fine example of the quantum leap we’ve taken with technology. Animated films weren’t everyone’s cup of tea but the recent technological innovation has changed the landscape. Moana’s visual inventiveness and evolved storytelling appealed to the eye and the mind. A blast of colors to clear the post Presidential election gloom!
Recommended: Moana – How Animated Can Animation Get?
19) Don’t Breathe
Don’t Breathe was an intense home invasion thriller that excelled in delivering genuine chills and thrills. Like it’s title, the razor sharp editing hardly gave a minute to settle. Stephen Lang’s performance and Pedro Luque’s cinematography made it an exhilarating watch.
18) The Nice Guys
Shane Black made an emphatic return to form with the year’s most hilarious film. The Nice Guys proved why buddy cop comedies are timeless. It teamed up two magnificent actors who enthralled with their effervescent charm and rib-tickling comic timing. Not only did the film render great entertainment with its black humor but also had a good enough story to segregate it from the slapstick genre.
17) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
J.K.Rowling and David Yates expanded the Potter universe with a new franchise last month. Fantastic Beasts was visually dazzling and emotionally satisfying as it boasted likable characters and an interesting storyline. Furthermore, the film was politically striking as it spoke in dozens about the first world problems albeit in a third world setting.
16) Midnight Special
Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special was a great blend of commercial and art house cinema. It portrayed a simple but deeply infectious sci-fi story that soared high through the wholesome effort of the star cast and the gripping camera work.
15) The Hateful Eight
The Hateful Eight is a film which demonstrates, with cinematic flourish, the logic of brutality stitched in its every cell.
Tarantino confronts all the ugly things of life we like to hide behind a veneer of politeness and splashes it on the screen in his nihilistic, macabre fashion.
The relationship he strives to make with viewers is strikingly unequal; he taunts us, enjoying our mutual repugnance and perverse fascination towards these ugly things; he uses his movie as bait to document our betrayal towards our civilised selves. (By Soven Trehan).
Recommended: The Hateful Eight Review: Devastatingly Brilliant
14) The Witch
2016 was a phenomenal year for horror films. And The Witch was one of the most loved in the genre for its terrific attention to detail and the visceral atmosphere. Robert Eggers’ splendid directorial debut was thought-provoking and visually captivating. It challenged the genre tropes with its different, unsettling methods of building suspense and scary moments.
Recommended: 15 Best Horror Movies Of 2016, Ranked
13) Everybody Wants Some
Everybody Wants Some was the much needed, refreshing break from disappointing summer blockbusters. Richard Linklater’s nostalgia-inducing college drama brought back fond school and college memories. Time is an important, recurring element in Linklater’s films. Like in the Before trilogy, this film too emphasized its value in our lives.
12) The Jungle Book
Jon Favreau’s delightful The Jungle Book pushed the visual-effects bar to an altogether different level. With just one actor in the film — the super adorable Need Sethi — Team Favreau created a world where everything felt so vivid and real. The film grossed almost a billion dollar on the box-office worldwide. (Read full review here)
Long live Frozen! Disney unlocked a new achievement with Zootopia. It produced a film that had a great concept, suitable for all classes of the audience (some of it for adults, in particular) along with embodying state-of-the-art animation and rip-roaring dialogues. And frankly speaking, nothing gets better when cinema entertains and educates collectively.
Recommended: 10 Best Animation Movies Of 2016, Ranked