As always there are some films that are good, but can not make their way onto my top ten that I want to talk about. Be they 100 million dollar blockbusters or introspective indie films they were great. So in alphabetical order here are my honorable mentions of 2016.
Captain America: Civil War
The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps it’s hot streak going. Who would’ve thought that out of all the solo Marvel characters Captain America would have the trilogy that continued to improve with every film.
I read the script for this film when it leaked online and got excited, but doubted it would happen. I watched the leaked test footage and got giddy. When Fox announced Deadpool was being made I worried that they would screw it up like a few recent X-Men films. I exited the theatre and was blown away that against all odds this film got made.
Three films in on this list and they’re all based on Marvel. Am I Marvel nerd, yes I am. But I am one happy Marvel nerd. I never thought I’d see the day Dr. Strange would get adapted into a 100+ million dollar blockbuster film. The fact that this film exists and was done right is just as amazing as Deadpool’s existence.
Denzel Washington returns behind the camera and once again makes a great film. Antwone Fisher is an underrated gem that should be seen and Fences continues the man’s directorial winning streak. Throw in amazing source material, powerful performances, and the film overcomes the minor issue of having trouble transcending it’s stage roots.
It’s tough to see such a talented actor get taken away from us at such a young age. Anton Yelchin proved once again with this film that he was on his way to the A list. Green Room has some of the best tense scenes from a film of last year. The supporting cast is superb and Patrick Stewart is chilling.
It’s been great seeing Andrew Garfield take on a number strong roles in his post Spider-Man career. (We’ll talk more about that on my top 10 list). Hacksaw Ridge is a brutal story as much as it is an uplifting one. Quite possibly the best World War II film since Saving Private Ryan.
Hell or High Water
There’s always something compelling to me about a story that has smaller stakes. And what desperation can force two people to do when they’ve been screwed over. Ben Foster as always, turns in a gangbusters performance and Chris Pine ups his game showing there’s more to him than his recent blockbuster roles.
I know some were a little disappointed by this film, but I blame how they mis-marketed it. If you’re a fan of Key and Peele’s comedy this will be right up your alley.
Dev Patel continues his winning streak with another beautiful performance. It’s only a matter of time before he snags an Oscar and the sooner the better. I’ve always been a fan of true stories where people overcome impossible odds to achieve their goal. I can not wait to see director Garth Davis’ next film.
Talk about a divisive film. While some people called it pretentious garbage I fell into the category of people who enjoyed the odd examination of love and relationships. It does start off very dry, but once you get immersed in the story it gets intriguing.
I was on the fence about seeing this, but it was director Peter Berg’s name that got me interested. He takes what could’ve been an exploitative topic and handles it well. You feel the tension that traverses the film leading up to the bombing and get pulled into the investigation and stories of the survivors.
Star Trek Beyond
As it stands, for me Star Trek Beyond is the best of the reboot series. It felt like a nice combination of the original series plot with the more action oriented style of the Kelvin timeline. How they handled Leonard Nimoy’s passing was a touching send off to the man. And again, you’ll be missed Anton Yelchin.
There you have it. As always, what are your thoughts? Did any of these films speak to you? Remember you can also find me on twitter @sdfilmthoughts. Check back in for my top 10 of 2016.