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The 30 Best Movies of 2016

03 January 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Shane Scott-Travis

20. Hail, Caesar!

Hail Caesar

A bountiful, spirited, and splashy valentine to post-war Hollywood, Hail, Caesar! is a quick-witted comedy from Joel and Ethan Coen that zeroes in on Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), a film industry “fixer” in Tinseltown in 1951.

Eddie’s been hired by Capitol Pictures to figure out WTF happened to leading man Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), who was kidnapped from the set of a sand-and-sandals epic currently being filmed and costing the studio some major moolah. Seems a strange cult-like organization calling themselves “The Future” have kidnapped the superstar and are demanding a $100,000 ransom.

Everything from Busby Berkeley-style water-ballet musicals, drawing-room dramas, singing cowboys, religious epics, and more are adoringly spoofed by the Coens, and with an all-star cast including Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, and Channing Tatum, Hail! Caesar is an intoxicating and enamoured sendup of the bright lights of yesteryear. Utterly satiating, and startlingly good-natured, this is one of the Coen’s finest bene-factions.

 

19. The Fits

the-fits

Formative, atmospheric and utterly mesmerizing, The Fits marks the astonishing debut of writer-director Anna Rose Holmer. What at first appears to be a very uncomplicated story about an 11-year-old tomboy named Toni (Royalty Hightower, wonderful), who’s trying to fit in with her companions after joining an all-girl dance team when a pandemic of strange and unheard-of spasms befall the dancers. What ensues is as riveting as it is inimitable in one of the most breathtakingly energetic visions of magical realism to grace the screen in this or any other year.

The young cast, comprised of many real-life West End of Cincinnati dancers and athletes adds to the authenticity and strangeness of what Holmer so engagingly and dexterously depicts onscreen. Part rite-of-passage and poetically hypnagogic urban chronicle, The Fits also indulges in some stirring and impressively muscular long shots clearly announcing the arrival of a unique new director. This is introspective, absorbing, and joyful filmmaking at its finest.

 

18. Midnight Special

Midnight Special

Writer/director Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Loving) offers something a little different in this moody sci-fi thriller that delightfully pastiches Spielberg’s Golden Age (that’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T.) with some of John Carpenter’s Starman thrown in for added zip.

The atmospheric and always withholding story revolves around one Roy Tomlin (Nichols regular Michael Shannon) and his 8-year-old son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), who’ve escaped from a wackadoodle religious cult in rural Texas. The government want Roy and Alton, too, particularly as it seems the boy has some spooky special powers that may have an extraterrestrial origin. An ambitious film about fatherhood, faith, and hard science fiction, Midnight Special is a calculating and studious thrill.

 

17. The Wailing

This cleverly constructed and incredibly atmospheric South Korean horror film from director Na Hong-jin (The Yellow Sea) is a disturbing journey deep into the heart of darkness. Uncertainty and unhealthy suspicion decays into hysteria when rural Goksung villagers connect a string of ferocious murders to the arrival of a mysterious Japanese visitor (Kunimura Jun).

Investigating Officer Jong-goo (Kwak Do-won) soon finds himself in the center of a savage and genuinely formidable fright film with shamans, femme fatales, demonic possession and other assorted nightmares. This brief descriptor is deliberately vague so not to give away anymore of this surprising genre mashup in what’s one of 2016’s most surprising, powerful, and ominously imaginative chillers.

 

16. The Handmaiden

Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden is a stunning fetish revenge tale set in 1930s Korea, smartly adapted from Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel “Fingersmith”, and gorgeously lensed by celebrated cinematographer Chung Chung-hoon.

The primary players are pickpocket named Sook-hee (Park regular Kim Tai-ri), a charlatan named Count Fujiwara (Ha Jung-woo), and a mentally unstable heiress named Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee). But nothing’s what it seems as the director of Stoker (2013) and Oldboy (2003) gleefully runs wild in this mischievous mingling of sexploitation and vile revenge. The Handmaiden epitomizes excessive entertainment and opulent visuals in this highly eroticized and riveting psychodrama.

 

15. The Neon Demon

The Neon Demon

Probably the most polarizing film since Jonathan Glazer’s 2013 mindfuck Under The Skin, The Neon Demon comes to us courtesy of partition-adoring Danish auteur du jour Nicolas Winding Refn.

A kinda sorta obeisance of giallo cinema, The Neon Demon mixes elements of arthouse horror, sticky satire, and Marquis de Sade-level savagery in the seductively sordid tale of of sixteen-year-old wannabe model Jesse (Elle Fanning) and her terrifying odyssey into the Los Angeles fashion industry, where bloodlust, libido, carnal cravings and cannibalism all combat for the whip hand with a velvet glove.

A suitably amorous and atmospheric score from Cliff Martinez –– an inspired minimalist electronic fusion that pastiches Kraftwerk with John Carpenter –– helps the unabashedly sensual and endlessly eerie film unfold with just the right amount of hallucinatory expression to this beauty-obsessed tale of exploitation and WTF antagonism.

As pretentious and indulgent as it is glossy and pretty, this unflinchingly gruesome film is a brilliant conception. Intensely intriguing, The Neon Demon artfully conjures the dreamlike juxtaposing of bloody disturbance, decadent experience, and psychological splatter. You’ll either love it or hate it and that’s okay.

 

14. Hunt for the Wilderpeople

hunt-for-the-wilderpeople

“I didn’t choose the skuxx life,” declares 13-year-old Ricky Baker (a terrific Julian Dennison), “the skuxx life chose me.” See, Ricky’s a troubled problem kid and being the subject of a manhunt through the New Zealand wilderness with his curmudgeon foster father Hec (Sam Neill) isn’t doing him any favors either, in this delightful adventure film from Taiki Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows).

So joyful and sweet-natured, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is one of the best feelgood films you’ll find, full to brim with charming performances, wonderfully quotable dialogue, and consistently non-saccharine sentimentality.

Waititi does an outstanding job in adapting Barry Crump’s comic 1986 novel “Wild Pork and Watercress” making one of the most unfeigned, from the heart, and funny familial depictions around. You’ll be rhapsodic and sore from laughing by the finish, easily forgiving the few narrative imperfections because a film as ungrudgingly jubilant as this is a rare and welcome delicacy.

 

13. Silence

Silence

Martin Scorsese’s decades-in-the-making passion project, a spiritual and responsive musing on humanity as glimpsed through the eyes of two Christian missionaries (Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield) is every bit as prodigious and impressive as you might expect. Based off of Shūsaku Endō’s 1966 novel of the same name, Silence is an epic tale set in 17th century Nagasaki, Japan.

Sebastião Rodrigues (Garfield) and Francisco Garrpe (Driver) are Jesuit priests relocated from Portugal who are desperately searching for their missing mentor, Father Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson) in this historical fiction which has some true-life antecedents –– Garfield’s missionary is loosely based on Giuseppe Chiara.

Scorsese offers a lucid, harrowing, and often punitive visceral experience. It won’t sit well with most viewers, for all of the graphic violence and punishing martyrdom on display almost makes Raging Bull look debonair, but as far as experiential cinema goes, this is a master class in contemplative misery and gut reactions.

 

12. Jackie

Jackie

Elegiac, and deeply introspective, director Pablo Larraín (Neruda) and screenwriter Noah Oppenheim (The Maze Runner), with Jackie, offer one of the finest biopics in recent memory. After her husband’s assassination, Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) reels with heartache and mental strain. Captured with an intimate eye and yet conceived and captured as a kind of operatic choreography, almost like a lithe ballet, Jackie is a penetrating and profound spectacle.

Dread and horror dances with bereavement and sorrow as the First Lady decommissions Camelot. Has a wife’s anguish and a viewer’s contretemps ever been detailed in such a breathtaking measure as this? Perhaps not. Larraín’s loving closeups of Portman wield a soaring and heartening dynamism. Combined with Mica Levi’s ascending and sorrowful score, Jackie is a dewy-eyed and coolly wrought accomplishment.

 

11. La La Land

la-la-land

Damien Chazelle’s irresistible old-school musical is a dreamy Cinemascope rhapsody, romantic and full of feeling, La La Land is a footlight parade for a contemporary crowd. While it never quite reaches the Busby Berkeley heights it strives for –– and how could it? –– this tour de force symphony is the next best thing.

Mia Dolan (Emma Stone) is an aspiring starlet, Sebastian Wilder (Ryan Gosling) is a dedicated jazz man, and together in the “City of Stars” this kismet couple, easy on the eyes, will dazzle and delight even the most jaded “I hate musicals” audience member.

Old-fashioned to a fault, La La Land is a ravishing, and endearing entertainment. It may play heavily on novelty, nostalgia and cinematic sorcery, but isn’t that what we go to the pictures for in the first place? Destined to win a pile of awards, this is one of the best big screen experiences of the year. Just go with it.

 

 

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  • Jack action

    IMPERIUM (with Daniel Radcliffe , Toni Collette ….),
    great movie it teached me a lot.

    • sailor monsoon

      It’s ok but nowhere near the best of the year

  • Ivan Džaja

    Why noone mentions Captain Fantastic or the Nice Guys?!?!?!?

    • chrosTV

      The Nice Guys is one of the Top 50 best reviewed movies of 2016, as you can read here: criticstop10.com

    • Ted Wolf

      Good call on Captain Fantastic.

  • Tom Smith

    It’s a good list, but I’m baffled by some omissions (Hacksaw Ridge, Nice Guys, for example). Also, while The Neon Demon is a solid film, I don’t think it can be regarded as anything better than that. Same goes for Everybody Wants Some!! and Hail, Caesar! (which I still thoroughly enjoyed). I’m glad Arrival and Paterson got the recognition they deserve.

    • D Train

      Ugh… Hacksaw Ridge was just patriotic zeal/American agitprop. Not good.

      • Tom Smith

        As an Europan who rarely sympathizes with ”patriotic” movies, I still really enjoyed Hacksaw Ridge. This is coming from a person who doesn’t even like Braveheart. I think Gibson got away with sentimentalism by telling a true story about a hero who strangely was very ”unreal”, I would say. Also, I was surprised that the movie wasn’t really preachy, it only told its tale through a protagonist who has firm religious beliefs. Gibson found the perfect balance. I didn’t even mention the brilliant and gripping direction of war scenes.

  • Nocturnal Animals??

    • Abhishek

      How could it be missed? Even I am wondering. It might not be best but it is certainly in the top 30 movies of the year!

      • D Train

        It’s a pretty strong list, it would be hard to know what to drop in place for Nocturnal Animals—a fine but flawed film.

        • Abhishek

          Yeah could say that. Haven’t seen all the 30 so can’t really say.

        • Ashhad Raees

          flawed how?

    • Simone Bionda

      tom ford movies are fake movies, about fake people. formally flawless, basically empty. a real bluff

      • What do you mean fake people, fake movies? Like all the movies out there deal with reality. Dude, have you even seen the film yet? & BTW, Tom ford barely made films other than NA and his 2009 flick “A single man” which was pretty decent.

        • Simone Bionda

          all the characters are fictional, every representation is fictional.. but tom ford characters are also a fake representation, they are golems made with metrosexuals essence, journalistic expectations, aesthetic aspirations
          . Yes I saw it, it’s a good movie, but not enough to be on tasteofcinema 😉

    • Mayang

      An excellent example of what a cinematic experience should be!!!
      For a movie to inspire, captivate and satisfy is an accomplishment and Moonlight delivers….:)

      Recommended Site ==>> http://po.st/N2PoM5

    • Ross Waters

      hell no, It was horrible.

  • Lika Imerlishvili

    Tony Erdmann is an example of how a worlwide beloved film can be a pure cinematic garbage

    • D Train

      Shows your ignorance and misunderstanding of comic cinema. Comedy’s always get the shaft, especially when they’re written and directed by women. Toni Erdmann was great.

      • Lika Imerlishvili

        There is no such thing as women’s cinema or men’s cinema by direction. As for the comedy(I’d rather it be an irony), I agree that comedy is an essential part of a good film, but cinema is an artistic field whether you like it or not and when you have an ambition to be in this field, your film has to carry if not a great deal of art then at least a bit of art.. This comment shows YOUR ignorance in cinema, Sir/Madam.

  • Tiago Couto

    Eyes of My Mother and Personal Shopper are garbage,Toni Erdmann being a good film is massively overrated(At least the other overrated one from this year,Manchester By the Sea wasn´t present) and putting Love Witch at nº2 just shows the need to be ”different”…
    Remarkable films missing:
    -Graduation
    -The Salesman
    -Nocturnal Animals
    -Christine(not the John Carpenter movie)
    -The Nice Guys(probably the most entertaining movie of the year)
    -Raw(for some it maybe a 2017)

    • D Train

      “Eyes of My Mother” was garbage? Are you even a genre fan? And can I please see your directorial debut to tell you what flavor of shit it tastes like??? hahaha! You suck.

    • Afrikoka

      opinions.

    • Vincenzo Politi

      I don’t know about Eyes of my mother, Personal Shopper and Toni Erdmann, as I haven’t seen them yet. But Nice Guys is simply an awesome, awesome, awesome movie! 🙂 And Nocturnal Animals is spectacular.

  • sailor monsoon

    20th century women
    Nocturnal animals
    The nice guys
    Green room
    The vvitch
    Belladonna of sadness (reissue)

    • D Train

      Green Room came out in 2014 didn’t it? And Belladonna of Sadness is like 40 years old, hardly a 2016 release. Great film though.

      • sailor monsoon

        Green room came out this year
        2016 that is and belladonna of sadness is 40 years old but it never got released in North America till last year

        • D Train

          According to wikipedia in May 2015, and I saw it that Fall at TIFF 2015 so it’s debatable. I know it’s on the Taste of Cinema list for Best Films of 2015: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2015/the-30-best-movies-of-2015/

          • sailor monsoon

            Fair enough
            I was referring to it being commercially available but I’m glad it made 2015’s list

          • D Train

            Green Room was great. Did you see his two earlier films? Blue Ruin and Murder Party, also excellent.

          • sailor monsoon

            I have.
            I knew he was going to be something based on murder party and I’m glad i was right.
            He’s an immense talent

  • Love to see The Neon Demon in here but where’s 10 Cloverfield Lane??

  • colonelkurtz

    After a certain number (10, maybe), counting top films is just piling on the best of the bad.
    Following that, Arrival was not great. It was good, yes, but not great. Random first-person narration was out of place and mood, the speed at which she learns a language (seemingly days with the military’s pressure) was completely unreal, and, as a language specialist, her first approach to teaching language was to pat her chest and write “human” and “Louise” on a whiteboard, which creates so many assumptions it’s silly (are Louise and human synonyms? Does patting the chest show self, dominance, submission, pride, etc.). If they can tell the future, why don’t they know English from the start and write using our letters before teaching us their language? Also, to the circular language and it’s “timelessness”—everything they spelled out were simple one-idea concepts. It falls apart when telling any kind of story that requires following events. Also how could Louise have “flashbacks” before she met the aliens/learned their language (at the beginning of the movie) when the flashbacks (I suppose flashforwards) were a result of the language? Then there’s the whole spiel with the Chinese general (who doesn’t truly have that power; it’s the chairman who does) and his wife’s last words. Were they really that riveting? And don’t get me started on that dumb negative space equalling 1/12 and what the hell was that? The music was good, but the story had too many small mistakes to be great. If asked for something better, my tastes would place Handmaiden, La La Land, and Hail Caesar! before Arrival. (Beautiful movie; simple story told well with rare interesting music—and the first adult musical in years; and one of the most intelligent funny films in a world where stereotyped/cliché funny films are the norm).

    • colonelkurtz

      And since I’m in a mood to gripe, Neon Demon was not good. I heard it was a shallow film about shallowness before I saw it, but as a fan of Nicholas Refn, I was baffled by how dull it was. It had good atmosphere, color, and music, but the pacing was poorly designed. It felt like he was trying for the slow approach of Tarkovsky and Wong Kar Wai, but without their artful touch. What truly turned me off, though, was how dumb the dialogue was. It wasn’t even dialogue, it was just the director telling us, the audience, “this is the theme, this is what I think of modern society, this is how it is.” That’s not art. That’s assuming he’s above us and has to pander to us, look down on our puny ways. It was a pedantic attempt to scorn the shallowness of consumerism, but his mind’s depth went no farther than the end of his nose.

    • Vincenzo Politi

      Actually, I think Handmaiden is overrated too. Wonderful direction, wonderful cinematography, but the psychology of the characters is so flat, so mono-dimentional. They don’t seem to have motivations on their own, they are just puppets in the hand of the plot. Apart from the love story they have, I don’t feel like I “know” anything else about the two girls – what they like, what they want from life, who they really are outside of their sapphic relations. I don’t feel I know about the two men either. Lot of girl-on-girl sex scenes, but since they are beautifully shot everybody say they are touching and poetic, and believe that the movie is a masterpiece – which is not, in my opinion. It is also uselessly long: the director could have dispensed with a a good 20 minutes.

      • colonelkurtz

        I can see that for sure. And I agree on the length, though I do enjoy slow-paced films.

        • Vincenzo Politi

          Don’t get me wrong: I like slow-paced films myself, but only if the slow-pace is appropriate to the film. In the case of Handmaiden, I think that some things could have been faster and kept shorter. Also, ‘pace’ and ‘length’ are not the same thing and my main problem with that movie was more with the length that with the pace. Curiously enough, watching Handmaiden made me re-evaluate Stoker, which received very mild reviews and is considered as one of Chan-wook’s ‘minor works’, almost the extravagant result of an ill-planned Hollywood adventure. In reality, the psychology of Stoker is more sophisticated and tridimensional, the characters are complex, the cinematography is superb, the movie says everything it wants to say in 90 minutes and Nicole Kidman’s performance is absolutely superb!

          • colonelkurtz

            I had to rewatch it to remind myself fully of the film, and I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree. What kept the interest for me was an acute use of musical cues on top of an interesting plot, plus the retelling from the mistress’s perspective wasn’t dull—some films that pull the rewind effect (Rules of Attraction) I find dull because not enough new info is given, whereas here we get the whole other side of the story, and the multiple levels of con. Obviously the cinematography was beautiful; music well used. The pace I found good, and I couldn’t have cut too much from the length on the rewatch: I didn’t find myself thinking “this shot is just cinematography porn, hurry up!” I do see some spots where others may disagree, so I understand your perspective.
            On the psychology, I think you’re mostly right: the mistress is naive, the uncle sadistic, Sook-hee sweet and charming (though a con-artist), and Fujiwara a con-artist (though his goals I found most interesting). I think what held me, though, was not fleshed-out characters, but how each character’s intentions battled with the others, especially knowing who is conning who. For me, it still beats Arrival, hahaha.

          • Vincenzo Politi

            For me, Handmaiden does not beat Arrival, although I don’t think Arrival is the best movie of 2016. I would have put both Handmaiden and Arrival on the top 30, they are both good movies (both better than Neon Demon, for instance, where the characterisation is not flat, it’s just absent!), they both give visual experiences which tend to stick with the viewer, but in the end I was expecting more from both and my expectations were a bit disappointed. Also, I think that perhaps I tend to forgive some things to Arrival and not to forgive other things to Handmaiden… and you look like you do exactly the opposite, ah ah!

          • colonelkurtz

            I was more critical of Arrival to begin with, but it gave me more to pick apart on brief viewing. But give me a night to sleep on Handmaiden and I might find another thing or two. 😀

  • Hernan Paz

    I am yet to see many of the films listed. I loved “Elle” and “The Wailing”. I think that “Hail Caesar”, “Everybody Wants Some” and “Midnight Special” are a bit overated, specially if we consider the great movies those directors gave us in the past. One of my favourites, “Green Room”, didn’t make the list. I also liked “Indignation” and “The Good Guys”.

    • D Train

      Green Room topped the list of “Best Films of 2015” right here: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2015/the-30-best-movies-of-2015/

      And seeing as Hail! Caesar and Midnight Special didn’t perform well at the box office, I’m not sure what you mean by “overrated” as audiences largely ignored them (really only the foreign press praised these films).
      What is “The Good Guys”?

      • Vincenzo Politi

        Perhaps he meant “The Nice Guys”… which is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tiago Nunes

      “Everybody Wants Some” and “Midnight Special” are so bad

      • D Train

        You spelled “awesome” wrong, Tiago.

  • JRoc

    I personally believe film critics should be able to separate art from life. I think that even some of the victims would be able to keep that in mind. Excluding Affleck’s performance because of his personal life seems a tad ludicrous.

    If you committed to that philosophy even more, you’d have to exclude Hail, Caesar as well considering Brolin’s domestic battery charges. If you outright refuse to watch such movies because of various celebrity allegations, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

    As for Affleck’s alleged white privilege, I’ll say that while I do believe white privilege exists, I think you fail to recognize the the difference between the allegations between the two. Parker was flat-out accused of rape – no nice way to put it. Affleck was, as far as I’m aware, accused of sexual misconduct. This certainly doesn’t mean he’s a saint, but I do think there’s a reason Parker got more attention. Frankly, his crime is worse.

    I don’t believe these stars deserve admiration for their personal lives. I’m under the impression that often, these allegations for true. However, as a film enthusiast, it’s unfair of to ignore films because of the people involved.

    • Vincenzo Politi

      Also, it is amazing that no one ever seems to care about the allegations to Woody Allen… Shouldn’t we watch Woody Allen anymore then?

      • D Train

        Woody Allen is a complicated mess but enough evidence suggests he’s potentially a victim, too. If you’d said Polanski, that’s different.
        In either case, it’s one thing to see their films, before or after their scandals, and debate them, and something else to find a platform and encourage others to support these filmmakers. I’ve seen most of Allen and Polanski’s films and I’m pretty sure they didn’t earn a cent from my viewing. Just sayin’.
        And for any victims of abuse that want to boycott these or any filmmakers, they have my full support and I won’t descry them their reasons or discredit their experiences. Neither should you, Vincenzo.

        • JRoc

          Okay, now you’re coming off as immature – and I’m a bit disappointed. I consider myself an open-minded, liberal person. Hell, I’d even say to some extent I’m a feminist. Obviously the above post may not come across that way, but hear me out (though I imagine I’ll get personally attacked again, I’m hoping for maybe a reasonable reply. Fingers crossed).

          My post never once said I support these people. And it never, EVER said I don’t give a shit about the victims. That is a horrible, ruthless attack on my character based on ONE personal opinion of mine. Sexual abuse is heartbreaking to me, and just because I’ve never personally experienced it does not mean I “don’t give a shit.” Just because I’ll pay $10 to see a movie doesn’t mean I’m saying “go ahead, sexually assault all you want.”

          Nope. Not even close. This is a ‘best of’ list, though. The point is to make a list of the best movies. Authors are doing readers a disservice by excluding movies that they could potentially fall in love with because of the personal life of one. single. person. involved. I’ll even throw a bone and say that I can understand Birth of a Nation as Nate Parker was such an integral part of the film. Casey Affleck is just an actor in Manchester. He didn’t direct it, he didn’t write it, he didn’t produce it. Someone chose to cast him, so the whole movie is now plagued by him.

          I’ll say that the first part of my post was beyond ridiculous. I’ll give you that. Specifically where I said that the victims could also separate art from life. I’m not one of the victims and I shouldn’t speak for them. I sincerely apologize for making assumptions. I’ll even conclude that yes – I was probably mansplaining.

          Beyond that though, I think lists that are made to talk about films should be all inclusive. I’m sorry I have disgusting, immoral opinions about film viewing. I don’t like Casey Affleck as a person, but I’ll watch his movies. I don’t like Kanye West as a person, but I’ll listen to his music. I mean no harm to the author of the article – or to any of the victims. I just think the movies should be fairly viewed.

          Whew, sorry about that.

        • Vincenzo Politi

          When and where, exactly, did “I decry the victims of abuse” or even “discredit their experience”? Seriously, are you totally out of your mind???? Please, do not start putting in my mouth things which I haven’t said! As for Woody Allen, my point was NOT to give a verdict on him, but simply to stress the fact that some cases get more attention and are more publicly discussed than others. I didn’t say Polanski because everybody always speak about Polanski, while in the case of Woody Allen there is this sort of collective forgetfulness going on. (Then you go on saying that evidence suggests that Allen may be actually a victim… and it is ME the one “discrediting the experience of the victims”? Honestly!)

      • Brandon Thompson

        As someone who works in film I have decided to seperate the art and the artist. There are people I’ve come to know who I dislike but they make great films. Roman Polanski should have spent some time in gaol but I still love his work.

    • D Train

      Says the MAN who has never been the victim of sexual violence and will never admit to his own misogyny. Thanks for letting abused voices know you don’t give a shit and mansplaining your brilliant reasoning. Pfft!!

  • Did I misread this or was Manchester By The Sea omitted?
    Maybe the topic was the 30 Best Movies of 2016 NOT Named ‘Manchester By The Sea’?

    • D Train

      Read the intro, the writer omitted Manchester By the Sea and The Birth of a Nation in respect to the victims of sexual assault by the creatives of those films.
      Myself, speaking as a victim of sexual abuse, seeing these men’s names being praised everywhere with a largely unacknowledged slant of their crimes must be very triggering and harmful to those who haven’t yet had the courage to challenge their abusers, flee violent partners, etc.,.
      I for one applaud Taste of Cinema for opting out of praising those films here. Besides, you can read about those films and their merits on every other movie website (and other articles here, too).
      As a gesture and a political statement, it is a good one. Bravo and thank you TOC!!

      • HLLH

        I think a film’s merits shouldn’t be plastered together with the scandals of the creatives. That’s quite the opposite of art. I’m not saying TOC should praise those films, but I’m saying they should if they see it fit, if they honestly think those films are also some the year’s best. The private lives of the creatives are one thing and their work is other. If we’re talking cinema, we should judge the movies, not the private lives of the people involved in them.

      • John W. Thackery

        First off, the allegations against Casey Affleck were not sexual assault. It was sexual harassment, that’s a huge difference. Nate Parker’s allegations dealt with sexual assault, namely rape. And another thing, Affleck settled his case out of court in 2010. So, why the hell does this sh-t matter for a film he made 6 years later? I mean, seriously. Should I not watch or praise Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist because of the allegations against Roman Polanski? Never watch another Woody Allen movie? Mark Wahlberg blinded a man in one eye in his youth, so I guess I should never watch The Departed again. Seriously, put the politics and personal lives out of mind when watching films. Otherwise, how the hell can you enjoy anything? The author of this article is also an imbecile for this decision.

        • D Train

          “First off,” he writes, mansplaining his case to defend abhorrent behaviour, attempting to highroad those who choose to defend women and believe them against a largely uncaring public.
          Guess what John W. Thackery, one can watch films by Polanski, Allen, Affleck, Parker, and they can do so and then NOT write about them in a blog for personal reasons for VERY valid reasons.
          Ask yourself; “why do I apologize and make excuses for rapists and sexual harassers? Why am I hostile to anyone who might suggest that these filmmakers get enough publicity already so skipping passed them somehow makes them an “imbecile”?
          And comments like “put the politics and personal lives out of mind when watching films” proves your ignorance. The best filmmakers make personal statements and films have been political since Eisentstein and the silent era.
          You’re who’s pathetic.

          • John W. Thackery

            Wow, you sure love dishonesty, don’t ya? Please highlight the section in my previous post where I defended their actions. I was not defending them or making excuses on their behalf. I stated a FACT that Casey Affleck was not accused of sexual assault. Nate Parker on the other hand WAS accused of much more serious charges like rape. And to lump Affleck in with Nate as if their actions are equivalent is dishonest, immoral and slanderous. If you’re gonna call the private lives of these actors into question, then at least be honest about it and not equate one’s misdeeds with those of an entirely different person.

            “And comments like ‘put the politics and personal lives out of mind when watching films’ proves your ignorance. The best filmmakers make personal statements and films have been political since Eisentstein and the silent era.”

            Oh thank you for informing me cuz I had no f-cking idea that art can serve as self-reflection. But just because a director/actor holds certain societal views at a given moment does not mean those views are always present in all of their work (and thus we should refrain from publically discussing or praising the work so as not to offend others). Example, Clint Eastwood at this point seems to be a Trump supporting, right-wing nutjob however the themes explored in “Letters from Iwo Jima” seem to suggest that he was a filmmaker with more liberal sensibilities. The Japanese soldiers in that film were humanized (conservatively slanted war films are jingoistic and tend to stereotype all foreign combatants as evil scum), and the film’s underlying message is that war is a battle of competing symbols and ideologies that have no meaning. And that the artificial divisions we’ve created hide the fact that we are all the same under the skin, with the same hopes, fears and desires. Beautiful message, sounds like the views of an obvious liberal but alas, it was directed by Eastwood. But I guess we shouldn’t praise and discuss the merits of Letters from Iwo Jima with its liberal message of understanding because Eastwood now publically supports Trump and praising his work might offend current liberals. Yea, lumping in all of a person’s work as being a complete reflection of their personal beliefs and defects sounds totally reasonable! Yea, we shouldn’t actually think critically and critique films on their own accord.

            “Oh, Nate Parker in real life is an alleged scumbag rapist so that must mean all his movies reflect his deviant desires and thus we should refrain from critiquing them on public websites because it might offend some readers.”
            –Yea, that sounds totally rational.

  • Jordan

    Nocturnal Animals
    The Lobster
    The Nice Guys
    20th Century Women

  • HLLH

    The Witch!

  • Mortimer

    Replace ‘Arrival’ with ‘Jackie’ at the top and I agree 100% with the list. ‘Jackie’ is for me the most fascinating movie of the year and Natalie is here even better than in ‘Black Swan’.
    Glad to see ‘Patterson’ in top 10.

  • Jerome Johnson

    Arrival was terrible and made no sense I would not say it was one of the best movies this year! On the other hand I was surprised that they didn’t mention The Accountant or Girl on a train!

    • D Train

      Uh, yeah, certainly Arrival wasn’t very good considering the creatives behind it and the awards it has been nominated for it. Duh doy.

      • Toby Smith

        A lot of films which get awards are dull and pretentious, Arrival is a prime example of that. It’s the most overrated film since Citizen Kane.

        • Phil Surtees

          The fact that you 3 are ignorant imbeciles who wouldn’t know good science fiction – or a good movie in general – if it slapped you in the face does not make Arrival a bad film; it just makes you 3 complete idiots. I mean … Toby Smith thinks Citizen Kane is overrated – not just overrated, but the MOST overrated film until now no less – and obviously someone who is THAT uneducated, THAT stupid, and THAT ignorant isn’t going to enjoy another brilliant film like Arrival.
          It’s alway interesting to me, the way completely and utterly idiotic people like you 3 think you know better than everyone else. What’s it like to be so delusional and so out of touch with reality? What is daily life like with such an incredibly low intelligence level? Surely being such monkey-brained morons makes day to day life difficult? Or do you just get used to EVERYONE else being smarter and more knowledgeable than you? Surely it must be difficult and embarrassing when someone with Down Syndrome corrects your maths or grammar though?
          I guess when you’re so stupid and so ignorant that you’ll voice your moronic opinions here in ‘public’ on the Internet, without realising or caring how stupid they make you look, then you’re probably too thick, and too delusional, to realise that you’re constantly being shown up in real life too. I guess your ignorance in that instance truly is bliss…

          • Toby Smith

            What a silly hissy fit, are you embarrassed by it? Citizen Kane was watchable but far from memorable, nothing significant happened, it was a bit of a non event. Can we remember any of the characters in it? What characters? There were none of any significance. Arrival was mainly half a dozen people in special suits standing in front of frosted glass holding up boards with symbols drawn on them and showing them to octopuses from space. The novelty of that wears off after a while and would only impress simple folk such as yourself.

          • Tommy T-tone

            Yes, even more proof positive of what a clueless, contrarian twat you are. I shudder at the thought of what crap shite you think is great. Oh let me guess, they’re those films or series that only 2% or less of the general public have ever heard of, so you and your sad little ilk cling to them cuz it somehow makes you feel unique and somehow special when the rest of the world sees you for the miserable bit of carbon you truly are. Probably a Hal Hartley fan.

          • Toby Smith

            Another silly hissy fit. Are you related to Mr Surtees by any chance? And who on earth is Hal Hartley?

  • Toby Smith

    Not much in the way of action films. We shall therefore agree that this is not a good list, especially as Arrival is at number one, it’s rather dull.

    • Phil Surtees

      No. Actually we’ll agree that you’re a moron who has no idea what they’re talking about…

      • Toby Smith

        Well yes i do actually as i have seen Arrival and it was very dull. There is nothing exciting about people holding up boards with symbols on them and showing them to octopuses through frosted glass.

      • Maryanne

        Phil your a fucking moron

  • Javi Blanco

    I miss Hacksaw Ridge in the top 10 (or even in the top five) and also Nocturnal Animals, wich was absolutelly beautiful. I would aslo add 10 Cloverfield’s Lane, one of the most surprising (and great movies) of the 2016.

  • Kosta Ilić

    It is highly commercial and pro-american list, this may be best of Hollywood but I really doubt in that too (with exception of few like Toni or Aquarius…which are pretty popular in USA too). Personal shooper is just a good example of the bad side of Hollywood (wherre Movie is an industry and not the seventh art). Also Manchester at sea, where is it? Graduation (from Romania) or some film from Iran (Salesman, Malaria) and so on. Top ten list is relatively fine, but I’m afraid that you missed much more than just good american movies.

  • SandFe

    Was Hail Caesar better than Nocturnal Animals, Captain Fantastic, Lion, The Nice Guys??? Really???

  • Ali Sam

    heeeeeeeeeey where is MANCHESTER BY THE SEA

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  • Milo Ricketts

    Manchester by the sea, Fences?

  • Sravani Reddy

    love witch ? r u kidding me ? that should be in worst films ever.

    • Alex Khype

      I totally agree. I think that the idea had potential, but the actual development in this movie was pathetic.

  • onebox hd

    This list is simply awesome guys. I watched 9 from this list. I watched all the movies on my Android mobile in HD quality. And, other movies also available on OneBox HD app. Download OneBox HD and enjoy all the movies on your mobile.

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  • Jérôme

    I agree to most of it,
    dont wanna say some of them are garbage,
    but how could you miss such essential movies as,

    Manchester by the Sea
    Fences
    Nocturnal Animals
    The Salesman
    Jackie
    Imperium
    Green Room
    10 Cloverfield Lane
    The Nice Guys
    And you should definitely change Love Witch with The Witch..

    Not even in the Top30? Thats ridiculous

  • Miguel Alonso

    no Manchester by the Sea xD what a shame

  • Gogzilla

    Seen one movie on this list & it was horrible. Have no interest in any of the others.

  • oscarstan

    Elle is trash

  • Milo Ricketts

    moonlight for no 1