I would like to start this post by saying that I did not get to go to the movie theatre nearly as much as I would have liked to this past year, which means that I missed out on quite a few movies. I also wish I could have watched more independent movies. Looking back at the ones I did get to watch though, this list contains some of my absolute favorite 2016 releases in a few different genres.
I know it is definitely not the best, most original, most groundbreaking or most creative movie that was made in 2016 but Ghostbusters is by far my favorite movie of the year. I do not even know where to begin, I love it so, so much! I know it is almost a cliché to love this movie for its empowering portrayal of women but it really is a wonderful breath of fresh air in this (white) male dominated industry. The main cast is hilarious and badass and they have made me fall in love with the comedy genre more than any other movie ever has. This movie also started my addiction to Saturday Night Live and my huge obsession with Kate McKinnon, who is now one of my favorite people on earth. I adore her! I love the story, the characters, the visuals and just about everything about it. I have watched it a ridiculous amount of times already and it has crawled its way into my top five favorite movies of all time with very little effort.
Captain Fantastic (drama)
This is one of those movies that you watch, get your mind blown by and then cannot stop thinking about it for days on end. As soon as I finished watching it I immediately wanted to see it again. I will definitely write a full-length review about this movie soon because I have a lot of praise to give. The story is incredibly inspiring and intriguing, the movie is visually stunning, the cast, led by Viggo Mortensen is simply superb and it is a rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish. Every time you think you know where the story is headed it surprises you. This film challenges its viewers in many ways and is truly a gorgeous bit of cinema.
Zootopia – Finding Dory (animation)
When it comes to animated family movies these two are probably the most obvious choices but I genuinely love them both, and for the same reason. They’re lighthearted movies, yet they contain some really important messages at heart and the underlying layers of meaning are so impressive. Zootopia is all about embracing diversity and working hard to make your dreams come true, which is a refreshing contrast to the more classic Disney trope. Finding Dory to me is an empowering movie about how there is no one right way to get things done or to live your life. As someone who is autistic, it is such a joy for me to see a movie that shows that even though your brain does not work exactly like everyone else’s, you still have just as much of a shot at achieving your goals as others do. The humor in both movies is great and the storylines are fantastic, which is to be expected of a Disney movie of course. I also really enjoyed the work of the cast in both movies, they really elevated the story and their characters to the next level.
Deadpool – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
As far as big franchise blockbusters go, these three take the cake for me. Each one of them brings a new spin on an already existing universe and expands it in all the right ways. Let’s start with Marvel. Besides from The Avengers, Deadpool could easily be my new favorite Marvel movie. It is one of the only blockbusters that I was really looking forward to (see here) that did not turn out to be a huge disappointment (looking at you Suicide Squad, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Jungle Book, Miss Peregrine and Inferno). Ryan Reynolds could not have portrayed Wade Wilson any better and I could watch him play this character forever. They were made for each other. I was so happy to see that they did Deadpool justice. I do not think that I have ever had more fun watching a movie and I have never heard a cinema audience laugh harder. It is so good! Rogue One was the biggest surprise to me because I expected it to be good, but it turned out to be even better. From the diversity and insane amount of talent in the cast to the stunning visuals, camera work and effects to the plot to the new locations and the many references to the original trilogy, it was all so very entertaining. I also love that this movie, more than any other movie in the franchise, is not afraid to be more realistic when it comes to war and battle scenes. The entire third act of the film left me on the edge of my seat at all times and is truly epic. And of course I have to mention Fantastic Beasts as well. I have already written a review about this movie so I will keep this short. I love, love, love the screenplay, the characters and the cast, the visuals are stunning and I felt like a child again when watching this movie. J.K. Rowling can do no wrong to me.
Florence Foster Jenkins (biopic/drama/comedy)
Again, I have already written a review about this movie but it definitely deserves to be mentioned in my favorites too. As a huge Meryl Streep fan this movie was everything I wanted it to be and Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg just made it all the better. I had a lot of fun watching this one.
I know I have not featured any of the big “Award Movies” of 2016 but that is just because most of them have not yet been released over here and I am very, very impatiently waiting to see them. The movies I am looking forward to seeing the most are La La Land, Hidden Figures and Moonlight and I will definitely write reviews about them as soon as they come out. I am also going to post another favorites list later this week, featuring movies that I watched for the first time this year but have been released before 2016. Thank you for reading and do let me know what some of your favorite movies from last year are in the comments!