BEST FILMS OF 2016 (A Work Still In Progress)

 By Mark Saldana

2016 may have been the craziest, strangest and one of the most tragic years in news, but in cinema, 2016 has to be one of the all time best in terms of quality, progression and relevance. Race relations may have suffered setbacks. Tolerance may be quite low with hate on the rise; however, with movies such as Moonlight, Fences, Arrival, Moana and Zootopia in theaters, it is not due to a lack of trying on the part of filmmakers.  The top movies this year spread messages of love, communication, understanding, empowerment, and the filmmakers behind these movies have tried to quell prejudice. One can only hope that filmmakers will continue to promote these ideals for humanity and remain undaunted in their pursuits.

This year offered so many wonderful films, that I felt a top ten list alone would not do it any justice.  Instead of my usual top ten I have extended my list to a top twenty five.  Now, as I labeled in the title above, this is still a work in progress.  I am just a humble film critic who doesn’t have complete access to all movies released in the year.  Some of the films will be screened here in the coming weeks, closer to their Austin release dates.  As I watch these movies, I will edit this list appropriately and will finalize it later next month.  For now, here are my top films and my picks for acting and filmmaking in more specific categories.

1. Moonlight  (My review)

2. La La Land (My review)

3. The Handmaiden  (My review)

4. Manchester By The Sea  (My review)

5. Krisha (My review)

6. Arrival (My review)

7. Loving (My review)

8. The Lobster

9. Elle  (My review)

10. Kubo and the Two Strings

11. Fences (My review)

12. Touched With Fire  (My review)

13. Paterson 

14.  A Monster Calls

15. Zootopia  (My review)

16. Captain America: Civil War (My review)

17. The Witch (My review)

18. Florence Foster Jenkins (My review)

19. Hello, My Name Is Doris (My review)

20. Moana (My review)

21. Jackie (My review)

22. Lion (My review)

23. Swiss Army Man (My review)

24. The Nice Guys (My review)

25. Hail, Caesar! (My review)

Honorable Mentions: The Invitation, The Birth of a Nation, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Sing Street, Love & Friendship, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, 10 Cloverfield Lane, American Honey, Nocturnal Animals

Best Animated Film: Kubo and the Two Strings

Best Foreign Language Film: The Handmaiden

Best Documentary Feature: Tower (My review)

Best Director: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Best Cinematography: James Laxton, Moonlight

Best Original Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By The Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Actress: Viola Davis, Fences

Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea

Best Supporting Actress: Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Best Supporting Actor: Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Score: Andy Hull and Robert McDowell, Swiss Army Man

Best Song: Audition (The Fools Who Dream) -Performed by Emma Stone, Music by Justin Hurwitz and Lyrics by Pasek and Paul, From La La Land



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