It’s no secret that 2016 was a tough year for so many of us around the world, but it was a profoundly fantastic year for film. From incredible dramas to documentaries, and franchise favorites, this year delivered a ton of stand-out films that will have so many of us charmed for years to come. As we head into the new year and awards season, we take a look at some of the best films of 2016. Did your favorites make the cut?
Everything is Copy
Meg Quinn: I slacked on seeing movies this year (I really think it’s because this year was so incredible music wise, that most of my “pop culture time” was spent on listening instead of watching) and have a long list that I need to catch up on, but this HBO documentary on Nora Ephron was so fantastic. If you are a Nora Ephron fan, it’s a total must see. If you are a documentary fan, it’s a total must see. If you just like seeing well-made films, it’s a total must see! Nora has made some of my favorite movies and to see her honored in this way by her son (who directed it) was a treat.
Alex Keobke: There is definitely no shortage of reasons as to why Deadpool is many people’s favorite movie of 2016. How about the fact that it was wonderfully written and directed? While some superhero movies can lag at parts, Deadpool’s pace helped keep the audience hooked for the entirety of the film. The movie was clearly a passion project for Reynolds who worked for years to try and get the movie made and definitely delivered in the lead role. We’re sure a huge factor behind the $782 million that the movie grossed at the box office was due in part to people who realized they couldn’t just see Reynolds once! Personal love goes out to the movie for also proving that you could make an R-rated superhero movie and still succeed both with critics and fans.
How To Be Single
Jessica Fritz: I probably relate to How To Be Single a bit too much, but it’s definitely my choice for best movie of the year. Thanks to Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, and Alison Brie, it’s endlessly funny, and has a ton of heart. The film finds a great balance between the serious and light-hearted moments we all experience in life. It also proves women are hilarious and are not afraid of a little raunchy comedy. Plus, it heavily takes place around Christmas time in New York City. What more could you ask for?
Before the Flood
Tania Hussain: Like Meg, I didn’t have a chance to really dive into film this year. I’ve been kind of slow in watching new releases and end up watching many months later. However, I did get a chance to watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s beautiful and incredibly moving documentary for National Geographic, Before the Flood. The documentary follows Oscar winning actor, DiCaprio as he travels the world to examine and explore the firsthand effects of climate change and learn how we as a world can prevent catastrophic damage. Along his journey, he interviews President Obama, Pope Francis and technology innovator, Elon Musk. It’s a documentary that doesn’t really tackle new ground in terms of what we know about the truth in climate change, but it’s very sincere, heartfelt and one that will really appeal to those who value and cherish our world. Moreover, it provides us with really current information and a small measure of hope for change.
Captain America: Civil War
Katherine Hernandez: Civil War is by far my favorite movie of 2016. Marvel was able to balance such a large cast and still make one of its most enjoyable superhero movies to date. The introduction of the characters Spider-Man and Black Panther into the Marvel Cinematic Universe was one of the highlights of the film, as was Robert Downey Jr.’s flawless portrayal of Tony Stark. Though at times it felt more like an Avengers film than a Captain America solo film, there was still plenty of Steve Rogers and his friendship with Bucky Barnes to make it feel like he was the star. This movie could have easily turned into a disaster, but instead it ended up being one of Marvel’s best and one of the best of the year.
Nicole Drum: It might seem pretty common now to see mixed race couples, but just fifty years ago being in a relationship with someone outside your race was illegal in the United States. Loving is the story of the couple behind the landmark Supreme Court case that changed that law and thus, the lives of countless others after them. Including my own. Beautifully shot, deftly acted, and carefully crafted, Loving simply tells the story without propaganda, without melodrama, instead relying on the core of the story: two quietly ordinary people whose private lives where shoved into the public, but whose devotion to each other and their family altered the course of history.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Elizabeth The: As a proud member of the Harry Potter Generation, I was charmed and delighted to re-enter the Wizarding World once again through the first installment of the latest series addition to J.K. Rowling’s HP cinematic universe. I’ve always been curious to see witchcraft and wizardry in action in other parts of the globe, and having the film set in New York City during the jazz age was the decorative icing on the cake. Eddie Redmayne as the eccentric magizoologist Newt Scamander fits in perfectly with the magical world, and I’ve found a new favorite magical character in the free-spirited and kind-hearted Queenie Goldstein (played by Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy). The fantastic beasts in question were incredible and spellbinding to behold. Who else wants a Niffler to have and to hold as their own magical creature?