Elementary Politics review of 2016 in film–just about the only good thing in this year.

So this year was good for quality movies but light on honorable mentions, which honestly I can deal with.  But still we miss the magic number of a top 10 movies. I fear we may never get to that magic number, especially since, as we’ll see at the end of the article not too much appears to be coming out.  Almost all the films on this list have already been reviewed by EP so we’ll link the original review and just give quick summaries of why they’re on this list.  Luckily this year did see quite a few films with standards of ethics and intelligence, so we should be grateful for small things.

8. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

This quirky little film was actually one of the most mature views I have yet to see of the war on terror and it’s after-effects.  Not a political screed or something that portrays everything as the days of wine and roses, but a intelligent look at just the insanity of war zones and occupations.  Who knew Tina Fey could actually act in addition to doing comedy.

7.Suicide Squad

Granted, the weakest of the DCU so far, but still delightful. Robbie stole this movie.

6.Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

If only all of the recent films made from young adult novels could have been this well done.

5. Deadpool

This was the role Ryan Reynolds was born to play.  In just the opening credits you know this movie was not going to follow any rules, and was exactly the kind of insanity this character deserved.

4.The Nice Guys

Shane Black again delivers a buddy cop movie that is witty, intriguing and intelligent.  If we could only have more films like this.

3. Collateral Beauty

The tear jerker story of the year.  We were worried that this movie would make one of the million mistakes it could have to turn it into another pretentious waste of film, but it avoided all of them to be a very touching piece.

2. The Accountant

It was neck and neck for number one. It’s simply that while a lot of the film making quality was superior on the accountant, the thematic material while strong was not as strong as our number one pick which choose to take on heavy philosophy rather than just corrupt corporate practices.

1. Dawn of Justice

As we have already stated, this is one of the best movies not just this year but of any year. It was moving, philosophical, well acted and directed, and not just the mindless popcorn film other superhero films are a little too comfortable being.

As for honorable mentions.

Denial: Good history but regrettably not a good movie.

The Legend of Tarzan: while the villain was a creative version of the evil that really existed, I would have to say of all the versions of Tarzan I have ever seen this is the one that most closely followed the actual characters from the book

Central Intelligence: This movie was far better than I expected, having that perfect mix of high and low brow comedy to keep things entertaining but without ever boring me.

Now You See Me 2: I was actually a little shocked that they clearly have a plan for this series and that it appears to be working.  Let us hope they don’t blow it with the third film.

As to the worst movie of the year, we had a few contenders. The Ghostbusters reboot was a desperate attempt to turn an unfunny script into social commentary with lackluster casting (although it’s not because they’re female comedians…it’s because they weren’t funny, not that there are really any male comedians right now as good as Ackroyd, Ramis, or Murray at their finest). There was the pointlessness of 10 Cloverfield Lane, which turned a bad sci-fi movie into a terrible sci-fi franchise. The terrible Turtles sequel.  Me before You which made suicide look like a good thing. But I think there is actually a tie for worst film of the year, but it’s for the same reason. The winners of worst film of the year are Allied and Heartbreak Ridge.  Why? Because both films want to make it seem like not wanting to kill Nazis is valid ethical choice. One of the films was even made by Hollywood’s biggest anti-semite. Somehow I feel the attitude that the worst evil in existence should be allowed to continue doing harm is just a little too morally abhorrent to be anything but the worst film of the year.

So what are we looking forward to next year?  Well we have hopes that Wonder Woman and Justice League will continue the pattern of deep, meaningful and powerful movies in the DCU.  Guardian of the Galaxy 2 we want to be good, but there is the problem that a good comedy sequel is all but unheard of. John Wick 2 will be delightfully fun.  On the worthless brain candy front we are looking forward to Resident Evil, Underworld, Kingsman, and XXX sequels…not because they’ll be any good but because they’ll be stupid fun.  A Cure for Wellness, might be good, we’re hoping the director can remember what he did in Dark City and give us something of equal quality. Beauty and the Beast might be okay if it’s more in the vein of the Cinderella remake and less in the vein of the Pete’s Dragon remake…Disney hasn’t quite got this remake thing down to a science…same with Pirates, might be good but the odds are not in their favor. The Mummy should be fun, as Cruise seldom disappoints.

Blade Runner, Murder on the Orient Express, and It might be okay…but honestly I doubt it. Blade Runner is too much a singular moment to have anything that works as well follow it up— Murder on the Orient Express will be a little dull as we all know the secret of this murder and they can’t change the ending as this particular twist is the very thing that makes this a stand out story— and It, well I’m sure the rest of the cast will be better than that horrid TV miniseries, but can you EVER do better than Tim Curry’s Pennywise?

Logan, Thor, Ghost in the Shell, The Circle, King Arthur, Alien, Spiderman, Transformers, Planet of the Apes, The Dark Tower, and Star Wars are all going to be big budget, big gross and soulless excuses for film.

So far of what I know is coming out the only thing I’m REALLY looking forward to is the DCU entries, and Live by Night and Dunkirk (i.e. the two films made by the best directors in Hollywood right now).


Categorised in: Entertainment, Movies, Political, pop culture

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