There are still lots of movies I want to see that came out in 2016 but haven’t had a chance to, or haven’t gotten around to yet, but here are my ten favorites out of what I’ve seen. And I’m just glad that there were some damn good movies that came out this year because holy shit was 2016 shitty. Jesus fucking Christ what an awful, awful year from hell.
Barry Jenkins’ film adaptation of the play written by Tarell Alvin McCraney is incredibly powerful stuff. It’s one of those movies you see popping up on everyone’s best-of lists and you wonder, “Is Moonlight really going to be that good?” Yes. The answer is yes. It’s stronger in parts than as a whole (some of it doesn’t congeal together from one segment to the next), but some moments of the film are so strikingly beautiful, or just so absolutely perfectly written that it more than makes up for some of its very, very minor shortcomings. Mahershala Ali’s performance, in particular, is the stuff that super-stardom is made of.
The Blair Witch Project is a very, very scary movie that knows how to use its semi-gimmicky (and incredibly innovative at the time) “found-footage” format to good use. Peering through the video’s viewfinder puts us in the direct perspective of Heather, Josh and Mike as they find themselves lost in the Maryland woods, possibly in the realm of an ancient, evil witch that wants their souls.
Unlike many of the imitators that followed in the years since Blair Witch‘s release, it’s a movie that knows fundamentally what is scary. It knows how to manipulate an audience without ever having to give away any easy answers. Even though it’s popular to dismiss, it’s an incredibly effective, mysterious work that knows how to get under your skin.