TOP 50 MOVIES OF 2016 – 40-31

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Hey guys I was busy yesterday so I missed a day. I think. Shit, I don’t know, whatever. I have to say, I’m re-watching Twin Peaks right now and man oh man. If anyone reading this hasn’t seen it, WATCH IT. WOW OH WOW WATCH IT. Potentially my favorite TV series of all time, DEFINITELY my favorite live-action drama.

Sunny Pawar stars in LION
Photo: Mark Rogers
40. Lion
Directed by Garth Davis
Written by Luke Davies

Lion is the true story of a little boy named Saroo, who falls asleep on a train and doesn’t see his family again for 20 years. Great performances and a great script make this one of the better biographical films of the last couple years, especially considering how unlikely the story is. Really nice, inspiring, and not overly sentimental. All of the writing and performances felt really grounded in reality overall. I definitely recommend it.

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39. Moana
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker
Written by Jared Bush

Moana is a great, fun movie. The songs are mostly great, and even the weaker ones are still really solid. The ultimate big evil bad guy was kind of weak, but the journey there and the aftermath were excellent. And The Rock can sing! Def the best modern Disney “princess” movie. Frozen, Tangled, and Brave were all fine (really like Brave actually), but Moana is definitely the best. You know I still haven’t seen The Princess and the Frog. Definitely need to get to that. Anyway the best songs are “Shiny” and “You’re Welcome.”

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38. 20th Century Women
Directed by Mike Mills
Written by Mike Mills

20th Century Women is about a group of women raising a teenage boy in the 1970s. The different ways each of the women interact with him, all different ages with different perspectives, is a fascinating way to structure a coming of age drama. Annette Benning, his mother, is phenomenal (as always), Greta Gerwig is great (as always), and I’m super excited about Elle Fanning’s future. This is her second appearance on this list, and since she was only in two movies in 2016, that’s impressive (she was also in Trumbo, which made last years’ list).

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37. The Red Turtle (La Tortue Rouge)
Directed by Michaël Dudok de Wit
Written by Michaël Dudok de Wit and Pascale Ferran

This movie only has one word in it, and it is “hey,” which is only said a few times. Telling such a beautiful, emotional story without words is such a lost art in film, and it’s so refreshing when that one movie comes along every few years and does just that. Movies have the amazing ability to show us a story. And this did it so well. Ahh man. Studio Ghibli always knocks it out of the park. And this is the first non-Japanese-directed entry. Fun fact.

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36. Captain America: Civil War
Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Written by Christoper Markus and Stephen McFeely

Captain America: Civil War is a fun, politically relevant superhero movie. Does it have a LOT of characters? Yeah. But it still ends up being about Captain America. It’s got some good moral stuff in it yada yada yada this is pure wish fulfillment for me. I was 12/13 when the Civil War was happening in the comics and I was like “AW MAN WOW HOW COOL WOULD IT BE FOR THIS TO BE A MOVIE AW MAN IT’S NEVER GONNA HAPPEN BUT OH MAN SO COOL IT WOULD BE SO COOL” so this was a pretty fucking big deal for me and I had a great time watching it.

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35. Snowden
Directed by Oliver Stone
Written by Kieran Fitzgerald and Oliver Stone

OK. Everyone relax. Take a deep breath, ok? Cool it, calm it down, let’s just take a seat, have a drink, and jus-EDWARD SNOWDEN IS A HERO AND A PATRIOT AND YOU HATE FREEDOM IF YOU DISAGREE.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the movie. Snowden is a really solid political thriller with a great message. Great performances and writing make it entertaining as well as informative. A great dramatized companion piece to the excellent documentary Citizenfour.

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34. Zootopia
Directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore
Written by Jared Bush and Phil Johnston

Zootopia is a timely, relevant animated movie about cute animals living in a highly volatile and racist dystopia. Just like America. Seriously though, it’s a movie with a great, modern message about not judging people based on stereotypes about their race, sex, religion, species, etc, whatever. It’s also a great story regardless of morals, it’s very funny, and it’s colorful and fun.

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33. Train to Busan (부산행)
Directed by Yeon Sang-ho
Written by Park Joo-suk

Train to Busan is the closest I’ve ever come to crying in a zombie movie. And by that I mean it’s the only time I’ve ever cried in a zombie movie. And by that I mean holy shit this movie tore me apart.

The zombies are fine, but the real story is human interaction in the face of desperation, and how terrible and wonderful people are capable of being to one another.

“aloha ‘oe, aloha ‘oe…”

OH GOD NO IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN.

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32. The Jungle Book
Directed by Jon Favreau
Written by Justin Marks

When I think about The Jungle Book, I think of a great story about animals, a beautiful jungle, an animated movie I loved as a child, and Rudyard Kipling’s horrible racism and the evil imperialism of the source material.

Yes kids, the man who wrote the beloved classic The Jungle Book was a racist piece of shit and The Jungle Book is evil imperialist propaganda.

That being said, that’s all generally been stripped away in the Disney versions. Which is for the best.

All I can really say is that this is as good if not better than the 1967 animated movie, and that’s saying A LOT.

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31. Doctor Strange
Directed by Scott Derrickson
Written by Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, and C. Robert Cargill

Holy shit they made a Doctor Strange movie. And holy shit they didn’t fuck it up. Doctor Strange is, in my opinion, one of Marvel’s best alongside Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ant Man. It felt unique among its peers, told an interesting story, gave us compelling characters that I will be excited to see again, and didn’t totally ruin Dormammu, although he could have been slightly more interesting, but fortunately we had the unparalleled acting skill of Mads Mikkelsen to give us all the villain we needed.

OK that’s it for today. I should DEFINITELY be able to give you the next ten tomorrow, because I have the DAY OFF FROM WORK. FIRST ONE IN A WEEK. YEAH WOO. Also I’m hopefully going to finally get to see the new Beauty and the Beast tomorrow, which I’m pretty excited about. ANYWAY LATER.

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