Night Film Reviews’ Best and Worst Films of 2016

Each and every year, as the age of cinema increases, so does the skepticism of the art forms relevance and focus. Ever since doing a “Best of” list to showcase the best that cinema has to offer each and every year, there is always someone or a group of people declaring that the end of cinema; its ultimate demise, is upon us. Yet, this year, moreso, than any other year, phrases such as “profoundly moving”, “the reason we go to the movies”, and “historical achievement” are just some of the many phrases thrown around to more than one of the films released in 2016.

After seeing more than one hundred and ninety films this year, you can bet that Night Film Reviews is one of the most reliable and uncompromising spots to catch some of the best films you will see in 2017 that you may have missed, or want to see again.

Sadly, like everything good and beautiful in the world, must come the bad and ugly. Although 2016 is a year of great loss; including amazing individuals, talents, visionaries and humanitarians and a triumphant American leader, 2016 did have its fair share of duds also. So, without further ado, we begin our quest for the best, with the worst of the year.

Worst

8. Central Intelligence 

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I am the first person to vouch for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his unmeasurable charm, wit and overall beautiful attitude to life and his dedication to making fun-loving and happy cinema. And while Kevin Hart seems to be in everything in the last two years, I couldn’t be happier in hearing about the pairing of Johnson and Hart in a buddy-comedy spy film. Yet, while watching the central STUPIDITY of this film, the thing that threw me off about the film was how annoying Johnson’s character was; how artificial Johnson’s acting was, and how screechy Johnson’s acting made me intolerable to Hart’s usually bearable comedy. Central Intelligence was a painful buddy-comedy that puts two very talented comedic actors into two very scary roles that we never want to see again.

7. Mother’s Day 

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If there is one film that is overly offensive, highly ignorant and unforgivable as a whole, it’s the newest ensemble romantic-comedy of the year that touches upon one of the many commercially celebrated Western holidays, which is none-other than Mother’s Day. Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking; how can I include the last film by famed director Garry Marshall on this list after his very tragic passing shortly after the film’s release? Lets put it this way; this film is so bad, so rude and crude and deaf to the very tones and themes its trying to protect and keep intact, its almost implied that Donald Trump had something to do with this production. Mother’s Day is racist without class, sexist without taste and objectifies pretty well everything on screen.

6. Gods of Egypt 

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Alex Proyas was once a director that many watched for and anticipated highly. Remember such films like The Crow, Dark City, and to a certain extent, especially compared to this film, I,Robot. With Gods of Egypt, Proyas delivers a highly mumbled, convoluted and dismaying film of special effects, story and characters that no one really cares about to empathizes with. What becomes of Egypt is a mess of a film with certain talents having really regretted making this film altogether.

5. When the Bough Breaks 

John Taylor (MORRIS CHESTNUT) and Anna Walsh (JAZ SINCLAIR); 2am... John lets the last catering staff out... heads up to bed and hears music; John finds Anna playing music in the living room in Screen Gems' WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS.

I’m all for fun and highly unrealistic thrillers. Sadly, When the Bough Breaks offers none of those promised characteristics. Rather, the film offers some of the most laughable serious dialogue, some cringe-worthy performances and most of all, racism to films promoting African American culture to new lows. This is one film that took itself too seriously when it was performing at circus level standards.

4. The Boss 

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Its quite rare that a film that is featured on the “worst” list to be so inconsiderate to the overall theme it so heavily tries to shed, and that’s making money. Melissa McCarthy’s character Michelle Darnell is so intent on making money, even though the whole theme of “family” overwhelms her by the film’s end (relax, its not a spoiler, anyone could have guessed it), the film is one big attempt by the studio to cash in on the female comedy power of McCarthy so much, it misses its own boat and becomes one crowd-displeasing comedy for losers.

3. Norm of the North

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Animated films are so highly regarded in today’s cinematic society, all thanks to powerhouse studios such as Pixar, Disney, and of course, the artful and soulful Laika (the stop-motion studio guru), that animated films such as Norm of the North should have stayed on the shelves of the studio indefinitely. Plagued with B-list voice talent, an awful script and relying solely on its animation to get children into multiplexes, Norm of the North may not be the worst film of the year, but absolutely is the worst animated film of 2016.

2. The Birth of a Nation 

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While many may think that this film is on here because of the undeniable controversy surrounding director/star/writter/producer Nate Parker’s rape scandal, its not. When The Birth of a Nation first gained accolades and traction at Sundance 2016, it was easily, my most anticipated and the most exciting movie for me to watch up until it made its way to TIFF16. Luckily for myself, I was unable to watch the film at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival premiere and caught the film at a screening weeks after, with tremendous regret. Parker’s Nation is violent, unforgiving and most of all, sends messages of hate and revolt during a very tender time where we need diplomacy, democracy and humanity. There is nothing humane, rewarding or of value in Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, only grotesque messages of resentment and holding grudges. This film should be happy it didn’t take my top spot for the worst, cause it is just plain awful and sends all the wrong ideas to people.

1. Lion 

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There is nothing I hate in cinema more than emotional manipulation, and unlike Slumdog Millionaire, a film that devotes its story to its characters and develops them into human beings, rather than emotions that are laid out, which allows audience members to pick and choose how they feel with the fates of characters, this film acts as one big emotional dictator. My biggest issue with Lion is that first time director Garth Davis lays out a template for how audiences such think and feel, using very obvious means of; score, script and cinematic aesthetics that not only give total false pretences to the characters in the film, but also asks, sometimes on cue, for how audiences should react. While many said Lion is the cry fest cinematic experience of the year, I beg to differ and ask you seriously not to watch this film for its apparent use of deceitful cinematic storytelling.

Now, on to the good stuff!

Best

16. Les Innocentes 

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While the trailer may look like an artful horror film, Les Innocentes is nothing short of miraculously divine. Mixing some of my favourite themes of religion, freedom of choice and abuse all into one film, Les Innocentes is a film NOT for the faint of heart, and perhaps not even for strong believers of the Catholic faith. Mixing Gothic visuals with some of the most striking images you may see in all of 2016, the film is a true testament to the very real horrors of the second World War. Set in Poland near the tail end of the Great War, the film sets a very controversial tone when many nuns found in an outskirt convent are found pregnant. Delicate, gut-wrenchingly morbid and often times unsettling, Les Innocentes is one film that many, if not all of you on here never heard of, but need to see. Dressed as a horror film, the film proves that the greatest horrors in life, come from the morbidness of reality.

15. Captain Fantastic 

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What is normal? Who determines what’s normal? All of these questions are answered in the most hipster yet deeply affecting drama film by actor/director/writer Matt Ross (he plays Bill Gates type Gavin Bellson in Silicon Valley…yea). Captain Fantastic is not a film for hipsters, not at all. The film deals with amazing concepts like why we celebrate Christmas and glorfy Saint Nicholas, instead of intellects and human pioneers like Noam Chomsky and why we don’t have a Chomsky inspired holiday. While the themes and elements of the film are deep rooted in family, the safety of children and the education of individuals, this is one film, like Short Term 12, a film that was featured on my list MANY years ago, that should be inducted into the ciriculum of schools everywhere. I can assure you that Captain Fantastic will charm you, enlighten you, but most of all, make you think think, wonder and question, in all of the most fantastic and beautiful ways possible. Now if a film does all this, I couldn’t think of a better reason why we go to the cinema. Captain Fantastic is spirited, heart-warming and most of all, delightful cinema.

14. Kicks 

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There is no film on this list that is more fresh, hip and contemporary than this one. Justin Tipping’s directorial debut is not only a tour-de-tour narratively, visually and emotionally, but Kicks is the type of film that you can’t get out of your head for years to come. Simple storytelling, poignant acting and some of the best scenes of friendship, mixed with some of the most powerful and relevant scenes of hardship, blended with some of the most beautiful and impacting scenes of family courtship in the year 2016, make this brisk, refreshing and fly as hell feature film kick ass and absolutely cool.

13. Zootopia

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Usually, like so many other accolades they collect through the year, Pixar films take the cake in the animated category in my best of list. After such films like Monsters Inc., Ratatouille, and of course Wall-E, Pixar had a huge mountain to climb this year with their underwhelming underwater sequel Finding Dory. Not that the film wasn’t filled with extreme sentiment, laughter and fun, but Disney’s Zootopia managed to be a film that is not only relevant in the issues that we are dealing with today, but also made a very socially conscious film for adults, that happens to be extremely enjoyable for kids as well. Packed with beautiful visuals, an impeccable voice cast, topped off with the always charming Jason Bateman, and captivating with its characters and story from start too finish, Zootopia has my vote for best animated film of 2016 and easily my pick for the film to grab Oscar Gold come February. Also, come on…that sloth scene though!

12. The Edge of Seventeen 

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Nevermind the fact that our next film on our “Best Of” list is teenage coming of age drama/comedy, ignore the fact that the film deals end of the world issues revolving around friendship, heartache and first loves, and forget the fact that the film is titled from one of Stevie Nick’s best songs ever made, The Edge of Seventeen is an absolute must watch if you’ve ever gone to high school and thought that the end of the world was happening every day of your high school life. The Edge of Seventeen is easily one of the best high school film representations in recent…actually, I take it back, probably of all-time. The dialogue is reminisce of those awful days of self-discovery, the situations are almost stolen exactly from my very cloudy memories of those days, and most of all, the film is just plain fun from all the serious and very daunting context of films that usually make the list. The Edge of Seventeen is a film for all the inner youth in all of us, mixing in memories we want to completely forget, blended in with the realities we can’t help but rmemeber. I HIGHLY recommend this film to everyone.

11. Everybody Wants Some!!

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I swear, I did not choose this movie to be next on my list because it is also named after another famous rock artist’s generation defining song, nor did I choose it because it is a very accurate and exuberantly fun representation of the frat-houses of America in the 80’s, I choose Everybody Wants Some!! because it was one of those films that not only surprised the heck out of me, but it was one of the most fun times I had in the cinemas in 2016. Mixing the goofiness of male testosterone comedy with some of the best 80’s music soundtrack ever compiled, with some of the most charming and endearing performances of the year, Everybody Wants Some!! makes Richard Linklater’s Boyhood follow-up a return to comedic form for one of the most versatile American directors to ever grace the screen. Everybody Wants Some!! will easily be one of the most enjoyable films to come out of 2016, one you will quote, reminisce about, and continue to smile about, long after its done.

10. Cafe Society

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This was the first film in 2016, and a summer release no less, that was a fantastic indicator that 2016 was going to be a magnificent year for cinema. My first favourite film of the year, Café Society is an infuriating film, only because we can’t help but deny the power, cinematic talent and comedy of Woody Allen even in his older age. Never losing his wit, sense of humour and charm, the film is a glittering account of the golden age of Hollywood, where love, beauty and ego run through the very veins of everyone involved, even if they don’t ever remember your name or what you did. As we start off the top ten, its very clear to see that everyone involved had the time of their lives filming this fun loving, engaging and super enjoyable film about fame and fortune. Its quite possibly the perfect date film.

9. Nerve 

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Now, I don’t expect a lot of people to believe me with this one, and when I first told my editor about my decision of including this film within my top ten list, and adding Lion in my worst film of the year, I was warned that I was going to lose major credibility, so hear me out. Nerve was and absolutely is a film for teenagers. The film depicts a very real and absolutely possible result when everyday, normal people become Insta-famous and go viral immediately. So, with that said, why did I like this film so much? Here’s the thing, I didn’t like this film; I LOVED IT! Days prior to catching this film in theatres, the very short-lived and highly annoying Pokemon Go! craze was well on its way of making everyone walking, talking and driving like zombies (as if cellphones weren’t enough). So, once I entered the cineplex for Nerve, everything I was seeing, as if purposely, was being foreshadowed and told without it even knowing. The film has a clear intended audience in the youth, yet, there is so much that my generation can learn from it, and a lot that older generations can understand, and perhaps mock. Made by the same guys that threw the documentary genre on its head in 2010 with Catfish, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman gathered a modest budget, with an incredibly unique story, amazing visuals, basking New York City in a neon-filled playground (think Neon Demon and Drive meets The Purge), and some decent youthful talent, taking us on a wild, daring and truth telling ride that shows how young people today are dealing with free time, friendships, the idea of fame, but most of all, the repercussions of expecting all of these time-consuming and investing ideas, instantly. Picking up almost immediately, the film is a brave and entertaining joyride filled with daring stunts, amazing set pieces and most of all, an incredibly thought-provoking ending that asks serious moral and ethical questioning that gets under your skin, and keeps you from wondering what other people in your household has hiding underneath their sheets, and on their device’s screens. If you haven’t seen Nerve yet, I dare you to now. Then ask yourself this; are you a watcher or a player? Just make sure you are ready for one of the biggest and most surprising guilty pleasures of the year.

8. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them 

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Whether or not you are a Harry Potter fan, fanatics or casual movie goer, I will be hard NOT to fall in love with Newt Scamander and his quirky and nerdy demeanour. For the first time in this billion dollar franchise’s existence, original author and children’s book mastermind J.K. Rowling contributed to the cinematic universe that made her the richest author in the history of the world by agreeing on writing the screenplay to her latest magical adventure; lending her knowledge of the characters she created with elegance and humour. The story is fun, the 1920’s period is amazing and adds a very unique depth to the wizarding world. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is a highly entertaining, enjoyable and fun family adventure that cements the fate of this franchise that will surely give audiences great big smiles, for years to come. It is easily one of the best family films of 2016 in the most thrilling, epic and adventurous ways possible.

7. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 

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If you guys don’t know already, I hadn’t watched ANY of the Star Wars films until last year, in preparation for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ever since then, my good friend (the same one who got me into the Star Wars Universe) has made it a tradition to share any and all of the new Star Wars films together, in addition to all comic book film adaptations (yes, you can call us nerds). The thing is, while Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a truly amazing original cinematic experience, I have to admit, I was a bit lost with so many references, inside jokes and Easter eggs, even though I was able to watch Star Wars: A New Hope beforehand. Force Awakens was a truly nostalgic return for fans that was easily swallowed by a new generation as well. So, once I learned we were seeing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in keeping with our tradition, I finally watched Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Although it is totally unnecessary to watch Empire, watching Rogue did show me a lot of differences in the newest Star Wars instalments I would not have picked up. The truth of the matter is, Rogue One is absolutely a much better stand alone film, but, in the grand scheme of things, thinking to the original title of this massive franchise, the understated word “war” shown between the Empire and the Rebellion has never really been showcased, as grand as it is, stretching galaxies and planets, until this film. Not only is Rogue One my favourite Star Wars film, I truly believe it is a sprawling achievement in the blockbuster war film genre, as well as a giant leap of conscience for the fate of the franchise. I was amazed, enthralled, entertained and grinning from ear to ear throughout the whole film and throughly enjoyed the ride. Star Wars: Rogue One is my pick for best Hollywood Blockbuster film of 2016 and the reason why popcorn flicks thrive and are still being made today. It has all of the human elements and horrors of war, set in a galaxy, far, far, away! “I m one with the force, and the force is with me.”

6. Hacksaw Ridge 

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While I am not a huge fan of Mel Gibson and his directing efforts, nor am I the biggest fan of the genre war films (even though the last two films on this list are war films, go figure), Hacksaw Ridge was a huge emotional and sentimental guilty pleasure of mine that I couldn’t ignore. The film, which centres on Desmond Doss (Garfield), a real-life solider who entered the fiery battles of World War II without a single firearm, is an inspiring and very wrought story that holds more relevance today than any other time in the history of the world. Violence, death and terror are stories surrounding us in the media and news everyday, so when the story of a solider that entered a World War with no firearm, and solely with the mentality of helping and saving others, is one that truly stays with me. In addition to being quite an incredible true story, the film itself is a very well-done film that, for the most part, ignores American Propaganda, and instead substitutes the glory of the human spirit and the wonders of good intentions followed by the power of love. Desmond Doss was an incredible man, who sadly didn’t make it to see this film gloriously grace the legacy of his life, and this film is a true testament to the truly amazing and wonderful people who are here to put the world back together, when so many are trying to tear it apart.

5. Jackie

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The fifth spot on my prestigious list is easily the film this year that I respect the most out of all the films I saw in 2016. Jackie was a film that I did not expect much from, but the truth of the matter is Jackie is the most cinematically conscious and a very difficult film to make, made by one of cinema’s hardest working film enthusiast. Pablo Larraín is a true master of the artform, blending archival footage with his shots almost unrecognizably. Shooting shots that maintain a certain vintage grain, with shots that are just beautiful and majestic, Jackie is a film of collaboration more than most, and the final product is very evident of that. Natalie Portman is unbelievable as the title character, delivering one of her greatest acting performances of all time, possibly better than her acting in Black Swan. Guided by a supporting cast headlined by Greta Gerwig, John Hurt, Billy Crudup and Richard E. Grant, the talent surround Jackie is overwhelming. Yet, the performance I was throughly impressed by, was Peter Sarsgaard, who’s turn of brother Robert Kennedy is my pick for the one of the best Supporting Actor turns of the year and one of the most underrated performances of 2016. Jackie is a film for people who want to see beyond the headlines, the preconceived notions of the norm, people who wonder and ponder for the greater meaning behind such tragedies; the film puts you dead front and centre, asking yourself, what would you do if all this happened to you? One of the greatest feats of the film truly is, after everything, that the film allows us to understand that we are all flesh and bone, regardless of your status in this world. Jackie is the essential thought-provoking pinnacle for grand cinematic achievements, with very little and simply with confident directing, stellar acting and a magnificent script. Delving deep into personal psychosis of one of the most public figures in American history, Jackie is a film that asks for open-mindedness; one that we should be talking about, for years to come.

4. Hell or High Water 

(Left to right) Ben Foster and Chris Pine in HELL OR HIGH WATER. [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

Taylor Sheridan has been gracing the small screen since the mid nineteen nineties, appearing in small roles in Walker, Texas Ranger, Party of Five all the way up to Sons of Anarchy a couple years ago. So, like so many surprising talents that come from television, Taylor Sheridan shook the film world with his feature film debut script Sicario, an increidbly passionate and visceral tale of the battles being fought daily along the Mexican-American boarder. Funny enough, Sicario made it to my fifth top spot in last years list, but it seems Sheridan’s sophomore effort proved that a little experience and time seasoned him just right. Hell or High Water is a modern Western genre film with some of the best commentaries on social, political and economic injustice taking place all over the United States today. Riveting storytelling, brazen directing from one of my “Must Watch” directors of 2013 David Mackenzie (Starred Up), and a phenomenally meshed cast of veteran actors in Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, and my personal favourite, Ben Foster (who should be getting some Oscar love this year for his portrayal of a broken and wild man who’s alliances to his family, despite tremendous hurt, trumps all). Pine has never been better, although he has never been one of my favourite actors, it would be totally unjust to slam his performance; Pine delivers his best performance to date hand-down. Don’t be fooled by the parabolic title, Hell or High Water is graceful and passionate storytelling. All hail the best movie of summer 2016!

3. La La Land

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Now, I will be honest and tell you here and now, my third and second choice picks did spend a lot of time interchanging throughout the course of the later year for a very long time until writing this piece. I will explain in detail why each film ended where they did. Not that its a very bad place on the list, but La La Land cemented its number three spot for many reasons. For starters, for the last three films on this list, you will see quite the trend of execution; the way in which the story is told. For the most part, each one of these last three films do share familiar narrative territory; a love story, a film of self-doscovery and a film about conflict. Yet, La La Land took one of the most cliched stories told about Hollywood, and spruced it up. Not that Damien Chazelle’s newest film isn’t anything to marvel at, it totally is. Much like what The Artist did in 2011 with black and white early silent films, La La Land reinvents the classical musical film for audiences in 2016, in ways they’ve never seen before. The film is one of the most cliched stories told for 2016; small town Colorado girl Mia (Emma Stone) makes her way to Hollywood in search of the Hollywood dream. Along the way, she runs into Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) as he allows life to continuously get him down, waiting patiently for his chance at retribution with the world, and his dreams of opening up his own jazz club. As you can guess, Gosling and Stone are magical together (as always), the script is simple yet poignant, the direction and cinematography is confident and masterful, so what makes La La Land so special? I can honestly say, La La Land excels far and beyond thanks mostly, to the music! Justin Hurwitz, Chazelle’s frequent musical collaborator, knocks it out of the park with some of the most beautiful music in 2016, beautiful compositions, one of the best scores and easily, the most essential soundtrack of 2016 which elevates the magic of La La Land to new heights. Considering all the amazing characteristics that make up La La Land, and you have a modern day musical that not only appeases dreamers, but one thats VERY VERY exciting for audiences everywhere!

2. Moonlight

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The last two films on my list are two films that affected me greatly as a person; as an artist; and most of all, for the person I am going/want to become in the future. Moonlight has been praised, the moment it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, with words I have heard before, and new words I have never had the pleasuring of hearing; describing its audacious and incredible feats as a narrative feature. There isn’t much more praise I could give the film that it hasn’t received already, but that won’t stop me from adding a little bit more here today. As the slogans so easily convey, Moonlight is “The Story of a Lifetime”, giving us three acts of one individual Chiron, played as a child by Alex R. Hibbert, played as a youth by Ashton Sanders, and portrayed by Travante Rhodes as a man, and all the very influential people who enter Chiron’s life. From Juan (Mahershala Ali), Teresa (Janelle Monáe), Kevin (another character by three different actors as well: Jaden Piner, Jharrel Jerome and André Holland) and Chiron’s mother Paula (Naomie Harris), all of the intersects, interactions and meetings of other people with Chiron shape the person he is, and the man he becomes later in the film. The beauty about Moonlight aside from the fact that it is beautiful to look at, easy to engage with, and talking about music, another composer who knocked it out of the park in 2016, Nicholas Britel, who’s score is a form of modern hypnosis,  Moonlight is a revelatory film with a simple story but the most powerful characters of 2016. Jenkin’s characters live, eat, breath the same air that we all do, and have all the same challenges we all do as well, never taking us away from being a production with high standards of imaginary scenarios. Moonlight is as real a film that you’ll ever see, regardless of your sex, gender, race or culture. While I haven’t met one person who has seen the film who hasn’t enjoyed it, there was one person that I spoke with that had an issue with the third act, saying that the film becomes too much of a stereotypical portrayal of the American black man. Here is my argument to that: He doesn’t! Chiron, becomes a individual chameleon of character who adopts a skin, a persona, a loving memory of a character to hide the very person who is not, not because he wants to, not because he chooses to, because he has to in order to survive. Moonlight will spark the conversation, Moonlight will ignite the fire but most of all, Moonlight is a film that will leave you in complete and utter awe, and not for what is seen on screen, but what laminates with you after, and that question is as simple as…”who is you?”.

“At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you’re going to be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you.” 

1. Arrival 

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As I mentioned in the earlier entries on this list, the last three films are very familiar stories in cinema that have been told millions of times before, but appeared at the tail end of this list for one reason, and one reason only, execution. With Arrival, a film, once I first saw it, I knew immeidtaly, was my favourite picture of the year. After seeing it an additional two times in theatres, it became clearer than day to me that, I was experiencing one of the most defining cinematic experiences of my life with this film. Much like the first time I experienced Christopher Nolan’s Memento, the film that convinced me and made me realize that my life in cinema would be more than just as a spectator or audience member, Arrival is a film that changed and challenges the conventions and norms of narrative cinema, and the ways in which we tell a story, and inspired me to follow my dreams as a screenwriter further; being able to constantly challenge myself. If you’re curious what its about, essential, Arrival is a story about human being’s first contact with an unknown and unfamiliar alien race. Yet, the film becomes a descent into the greater pysche of human understanding, communication and language, therefore questioning many of the choices we make as individuals and as a human race. Arrival ups the ante at every opportunity, and challenges the ways in which we understand, and the ways in which we read, follow and comprehend modern storytelling. Thanks to the amazing direction of Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, the hazy cinematography of Bradford Young, my personal favourite score by Jóhann Jóhannsson, career best performances by Jeremy Renner and especially Amy Adams, who in my opinion is the actress who should receive Oscar gold in February, as well as my favourite script of 2016 by the tremendously talented Eric Heisserer based on the story Story of Your Life by Ted Chaing, Arrival is at the very least, cinematic perfection! Now, if you’re wondering how and if I can actually call a film perfect, I just did. And perhaps, the messages that the story conveys about coming together, about family and about the absolute need for human beings to connect with each other, become one and trust in the inherit good in each and every one of us, especially in a time such as now, these messages couldn’t be more powerful and relevant to the people living their lives, everywhere in the world. Some say to me, since I did watch the film the day after President Donald J. Trump was voted the next President of the United States, that my opinion of this movie is biased, due to the horrors of our reality today and the uncertainty of our futures tomorrow. Maybe it is; maybe it isn’t. All I know, deep and wholly in my heart is, on the nature of daylight, Arrival is a film that I don’t only weep to every time I see it; it is a film that affects me greatly and makes me want to love, share and be the best version of myself I can only hope for each and every day. Please, if there is ONE movie you can trust me on and watch this year, let it be this one, and I promise you, it will be one example of a non-zero-sum-game. Memory is a strange thing, but I promise each and every one of you reading this, Arrival is one film that will be embedded in your memory, forever.

After seeing the film, just ask yourself this one question; “If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?”

Honourable Mentions: 10 Cloverfield Lane., Barbershop: The Next Cut, Captain America: Civil War, Deadpool, Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, Morris From America, Our Kind of Traitor and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. 

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So…there you have it ladies and gentleman. The VERY BEST and worst of 2016. If you honour me enough to watch every single one of the BEST films on this list, my purpose here has been justified. Night Film Reviews is dedicating to getting the word and your butts out to these movies, and not for our own sake, but for yours! These are films that will inspire, change and challenge you in ways you never thought film could, we are just the platform to get you there. Thank you for all who read, follow and love film as much as we do. Cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store for us!

“Despite knowing the journey and where it leads… I embrace it. And I welcome every moment of it.”

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