Films of the Year 2016

The best films I saw in 2016, not the best films released in 2016

I was going to do my top three in reverse order. But I can’t decide which is second and which is third. So, in joint second place:

2.a) The Martian

The ending is underwhelming. The rest is great. A logical, practical look at space colonisation. More thoughts here

2.b) Straight Outta Compton

For a large part of this film, I was ready to proclaim it as an all-time classic. It couldn’t maintain that super-high level of quality, but is great nonetheless. More thoughts here

And my favourite film of 2016 (*dramatic drum roll, readers close tabs).

1) Arrival

Before seeing Arrival in the cinema, I arranged to get a lift home. When I left the Odeon, I wished I’d passed it up and had to make my own way. A walk, then a subway, then a train would’ve given me time alone with my thoughts to try and make sense of what I’d seen, and to fully appreciate Arrival’s genius. I loved everything about this film – from Amy Adams’ performance to the design of the aliens to the way the film plays with camera focus.

There are some great, spoiler-heavy discussions about Arrival on Reddit here and here. Watch it, read the posts, then watch it again.

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