Tony’s Top 10 films of 2016


“Well another year, another heap of films to come and I’m really enthusiastic about 2016 with many promising films on the horizon.” ~ Tony 04/01/2016

Yep, those are my exact words this time last year. It’s become a bit of a trend to rip into the quality of films this year and while is not completely unjustified, I still have to say I struggled to put together this list. In terms of blockbusters, 2016 has mostly been a dud with dumbed down, lazily written punch fests turning audiences away. However one of my favourite aspects of the year is how through word of mouth and discussion with fellow movie lovers I’ve discovered some of my favourite films of the year.

Compiling this list has proved more of a challenge than I anticipated as some entries have shifted in rank with further reflection and a few latecomer (films I finally got around to seeing) films have stolen a placement as well. I’ve drafted this list over seven times till I was finally satisfied with the entries in my list below. I do believe I fulfilled my promise last year to see more cinema releases, however, due to limited release and clashing working hours I’ve missed the chance to see highly touted films such as Moonlight, Embrace The Serpent and Patterson. Other films such as La La Land and Manchester By The Sea have yet to be released here in Ireland but are at the top of my must-see list.

I certainly don’t want to have to eat my own words again this time next year, but 2017 is shaping up to be a phenomenal year in film. I’ve made a vague promise of self-interest and improvement (I believe others call them resolutions) to myself that I would lessen my cynicism and have a more optimistic view. Hopefully, I can at least apply this new outlook to the movies this year.

10.Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


I was fairly skeptical for this film as it was loosely based on a short story by Rowling and screamed cash grab to me. Instead, this is a fantastically crafted film which reintroduces us into the Wizarding world and shows us a fresh new take on it on a different continent and time period. Sporting a superb cast and some thrilling action sequences that both blend with fun and innocent to dark and scary.

Read the full review here.

9. Rogue One


Rogue One has the honour of being the only film on my top 5 anticipated films for the remainder of 2016 to make it on this list. While I note there are a few flaws and a slow burner of a first half the film really kicks into gear in the second half and never let’s go. The Final battle is the most breathtaking action sequence and a true highlight of the Star Wars saga.

Read the full review here.

8. Zootopia (Zootropolis)


I’ve yet to see Moana but I aim to rectify this quickly, but for me, it would be very hard for it to top Zootopia which continues Disney’s streak of producing high quality animated films which are enjoyed by children and adults alike. Zootopia also gets some brownie points for having the balls to integrate a story about systemic racism in a kids film.

7. Sing Street


While I may have missed it at release luckily Netflix here in Ireland added this gem in the last week of 2016. This is actually the last film I’ve seen in 2016 as I missed the countdown I was so enthralled by it. Sing Street is the feel-good film of the year with a heavy dose of humour and easily the best soundtrack of the year. I really can’t recommend it enough.

6. Captain America: Civil War


Captain America: Civil War is the true Avengers sequel we all wanted. The Russo brothers somehow maintain the quality of The Winter Soldier and delivered a brilliant popcorn flick which is surprisingly more intelligent than you would expect but also far exceeded anyone’s expectations in terms of action set pieces. The Superhero Royal Rumble alone gives this film a place on the list.

Read the full review here.

5. Kubo and The Two Strings


If it wasn’t for Kubo then Zootopia would have been my favourite animated film of the year. Laika is a fantastic studio who have time and time again handcrafted these beautiful stop-motion animated films with Kubo being their crowning achievement. The film also delivers an uplifting message of the beauty which humanity holds, a message we see less and less of each day.

Read the full review here.

4. Hunt For The Wilderpeople


Hunt for the Wilderpeople is Waititi’s best film to date, a huge feat considering the quality of What We Do in the Shadows, and also one of the few saving graces of this year’s film releases. Waititi has superb comic timing and knows just the right amount of time it takes to get to the punchline. Peppered with movie quotes and pop culture references which are mostly played to hilarious effect.

Read the full review here.

3. The Nice Guys


Funniest film of the year hands down, no debate. Gosling and Crowe make a dynamic duo in this madcap buddy comedy as they find themselves sucked into a conspiracy involving porn stars, assassins, and senators. Shane Black is a master of dark comedy and this is his best work since Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Read the full review here.

2. Arrival


Arrival is not only Villeneuve’s best film or 2016’s best film it might just be one of the best science fiction films of the last decade. Science Fiction has always been my favourite genre and when it’s handled with this kind of skill and acumen It just warms my heart. The third act of this film floored me, just when I thought I had it figured out it took on a whole new direction that astounded me, it’s an unforgettable moment that will have this film stick with me for years.

Read the full review here.

1. Hell Or High Water


I’ve jumped back and forth constantly between this film and Arrival as to which would take the number one spot on this list, but in the end, I just had to go with Hell or High Water. I only found out about this film by word of mouth and saw it in an empty screening. The best way to describe this film is a modern western where instead of Industrialism killing the Wild West, here it’s the banking crisis. Chris Pine and Ben Foster are the two outlaws we find ourselves rooting for to the end. Jeff Bridges is also fantastic when you can actually understand him.

Read the full review here.

Make sure to check out Shaun’s Top 10 Films of 2016 and Adam’s Top 10 films of 2016.

Tweet us your #Top10 films of 2016 @ReelTimeDublin and we’ll judge you publicly for them!

Author: Reel Time Flicks

Passionate about film and writing since 2015.

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