Top 30 Best New Movies Of 2016 – Guide# Top Ten # 7 Comments
Let’s explore the best new movies 2016 has had to offer. We’ve got Sir Spielberg, Wilderpeople, Mr.’Pool, Harry Potter universians and the biggest ever superhero scrap. What do you think were the top movies of 2016? Let me know in the comments.
30th – Eddie The Eagle
Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Out: April 29, 2016 (U.S. Release Dates)
A biopic about Britain’s first ski jumper to enter the Winter Olympics. In the 1988 Canadian competition Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards competed in the 70m and 90m ski-jumps, and combined with his Coke-bottle glasses and general aura of clumsiness, became an internationally loved man of mishap. Taron Egerton, suave star of ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’, admirably puts ego to one side taking the leading role (Rupert Grint fire your agent). Hugh Jackman plays his (fictional) coach, Keith Allen is Eddie’s doubting father, and Christopher Walken is a retired ski jump champ. Produced by Matthew Vaughn (‘Kingsman’), this is helmed by Dexter Fletcher, a cult UK figure himself, who directed the capable ‘Sunshine on Leith’. Critic say Egerton does pull off the unlikely transformation and the tale makes for a charming watch. It’s nice that they’re celebrating the never-say-die Mr. Magoo in a feel-good inspirational way.
29th – Grimsby (aka The Brothers Grimsby)
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson, Isla Fisher
Director: Louis Leterrier
Out: March 11, 2016
Grimsby football-mad father of 11 Nobby (Cohen) finally finds his long lost brother (Strong), who in the intervening years has become a polished super spy. But when he accidentally makes his brother chief suspect in an assassination, and causes Daniel Radcliffe to get AIDS, the two go on the run… Sacha Baron Cohen has been responsible for some brilliant comic characters: Borat, Ali G, Bruno. He isn’t as sure-footed with Nobby, or as amusing – when out promoting the film in character and during early scenes in the movie it’s not quite working. But that all changes when he teams up with Strong, with whom he makes a great double act. Strong’s a brilliant straight man, his looks of bafflement and concern are constantly amusing, in between barking ridiculous lines with sincere urgency. Cohen and Strong both do whatever it takes to get a laugh, neither leaves with their dignity intact. It’s extremely filthy and pushes the boundaries, but while the likes of ‘Vacation’ uses penis gags as a lazy crutch, the x-rated gags here are genuinely hilarious (particularly the elephant scene and sucking poison scene). Although ‘Grimsby’ is Cohen’s funniest narrative movie (‘Borat’ was a mockumentary), a lot of the humour is UK-centric – his impression of Liam Gallagher’s swagger and many other cultural jokes are going to be lost elsewhere. If you’re amused by someone lighting a firework between their buttocks and you’re British, it’s a must see.
28th – Alice Through The Looking Glass
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen
Director: James Bobin
Out: May 27, 2016
Alice (Wasikowska) has spent the past few years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London she is faced with a difficult choice about her future and returns to Wonderland to find The Mad Hatter (Depp) haunted by something from his past. To resolve these she borrows the Chronosphere, a time device that everyone, including the now banished Red Queen (Bonham Carter), wants and takes a trip through the years. But the half-clockwork evil Lord of Time (Baron Cohen) is not to be meddled with, and must be stopped before he moves the clock forward and turns Wonderland into a barren, lifeless old world… Sequel to the 2010 box office smash, loosely based on ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ by Lewis Carroll. The same cast return, including Anne Hathaway as the White Queen and Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Rhys Ifans joins as the Mad Hatter’s father, suggesting as expanded a role for Depp’s Hatter as first time round. The voice cast are back too, including Alan Rickman (Absolem the Caterpillar, his final role), Stephen Fry (Cheshire Cat), Michael Sheen (the White Rabbit), Timothy Spall (Bayard the Bloodhound), Paul Whitehouse (March Hare) and Barbara Windsor (Dormouse), with John Sessions joining as Humpty Dumpty. The same screenwriter stays on but James Bobin (‘The Muppets’, ‘Muppets Most Wanted’) takes over from director Tim Burton. His Muppets revival showed he was comfortable with an existing franchise and off the wall zaniness. He’s promised there will be more physical sets this time, to improve on the rather “green screen” feel of the first film. They mined much of the best material from the two books first time round, but it’s still an incredible set of characters and they should be able to create something highly entertaining.
27th – Under The Shadow
Starring: Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi
Director: Babak Anvari
Out: October 7, 2016
During the Iran-Iraq war of the 80s, a mother decides to stay in her Tehran apartment with her young daughter while her husband goes to serve. An unexploded bomb through the roof spooks the other residents into leaving, but also unleashes an evil spirit which threatens to rip her daughter away… Written and directed by an Iranian-expat as his directorial debut, this is Persian-language but produced by a British film company as a co-production with Qatar and Jordan. It was filmed in the latter. ‘Under The Shadow’ sits somewhere between ‘The Badadook’ (mother trying to cope with child and absent husband, mental breakdown may be behind events), and ‘Dark Water’ (mother-daughter in quiet apartment block, with the ceiling stain swapped for a bomb-inflicted crack). The Iranian time and place setting is a powerful one and is presented with compelling authenticity, the war climate alone would be unnerving enough to carry the film. And the sincerity and reality in that drama means that when supernatural notions start dropping into conversation they have more ‘integrity’ than normal. As things build, some simple conversations can send a chill. The movie loses a little of its uniqueness as the war and other characters are pushed to the background, but tension is kept on edge. The typical serviceable-but-immersion-breaking cgi does turn up eventually, which is a shame because the fx could easily have all been practical.
26th – Eye In The Sky
Starring: Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Aaron Paul, Barkhad Abdi, Jeremy Northam
Director: Gavin Hood
Out: April 1, 2016
A drone unit tracks some of East Africa’s most wanted terrorists to a Kenyan house where they prepare for a suicide bombing, observed from Surrey, London and Texas by the mission commander (Mirren), an army colonel (Rickman), the drone’s pilot (Paul) and many others in the military/political chain of command. When a innocent Kenyan girl positions herself in the potential drone-bomb radius, a legal and ethical debate breaks out over whether it should be dropped… From the screenwriter of well-received political dramas like ‘Five Minutes of Heaven’ and ‘Omagh’, this was originally developed at the BBC. The director has done well on similar ground with ‘Rendition’ and ‘Tsotsi’. It all boils down to an old premise: would you take one innocent life to save many others? The final decision creates more tears and anguish than would be plausible from professionals, while the emotional impact on the audience is not as strong as they presume. But it makes for a thought-provoking and very modern warfare scenario. It’s well acted, the different arguments succinctly presented, and the military/political chain of command is intelligently researched and handled. Alan Rickman’s final film is one to be proud of.
25th – Everybody Wants Some!!
Starring: Blake Jenner, Temple Baker, Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin
Director: Richard Linklater
Out: April 15, 2016
Comedy-drama about a group of college freshmen baseball players in ’80s Texas navigating their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood. With a title taken from a popular 1980 song by Van Halen, this is considered the spiritual sequel to Richard Linklater’s breakthrough 1993 film ‘Dazed and Confused,’ which was set in a Texas high school in the ’70s. It’s also reportedly set over a weekend, just as ‘Dazed’ was a single day, and sports another cast of relative unknowns. Linklater shot the movie in late 2014 while his previous project ‘Boyhood’ was gathering momentum as an awards season contender. Considering that film was Oscar-nominated for Best Director and Best Film, this ode to competition and coming of age in the 80s should be marked on our calendars.