As the last films of 2016 are finally released in theaters this week, I can say that I found the year to be a very strong one in terms of quality. For every Dirty Grandpa-type disaster that was so jaw-droppingly awful, I discovered maybe three other movies worth shouting to the skies about. That is what makes this annual ritual of compiling the year’s 10 best — at least from my vantage point — so difficult to do. (Click on the link above to watch.) While I want to acknowledge several movies repeatedly being mentioned for Oscar consideration (and should be), I also want to balance this list with smaller, less-heralded movies that deserve a shout-out, so that is what I have done in putting together this two-part look at the films to be remembered and perhaps sought out as exemplary examples of cinema circa 2016.
Today it is the bottom five of my top 10. (I should note there is a tie for the ninth spot, and I will explain why.) On Friday we’ll post my final five leading to No. 1.
The biggest problem is that I had to whittle down this list from my initial 50 or so titles I really liked and felt could be counted, for one reason or another, as a worthy entry. It was tough to do. It was equally tough to rank the final chosen few. In many ways the ranking is arbitrary as all these movies simply should be judged against themselves and not one another, but this is the way the game is played, so here we go.
The one thing that distinguishes all of these choices is a sense of independence and originality, even if a movie falls into a certain genre. These are all films, even ones that seem familiar in concept, that don’t deserve to categorized in any way. They are unique, worthy and great examples of the art of filmmaking.
Check out No. 10-No. 6 above. Do you agree with me? Let us know what you think.