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Top 30 Best New Movies Of 2016 – Guide

18th – Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller
Director: David Yates
Out: November 18, 2016

Harry Potter spin-off, the first of “at least” a trilogy, which follows the adventures of writer Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne, ‘Theory of Everything’) in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards during the 1920s, as he attempts to document magical creatures – seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. Colin Ferrell plays once such wizard he meets, and comedian Dan Fogler (‘Balls of Fury’) plays a non-magical person whom Newt befriends. The mostly-secret plot is inspired by J. K. Rowling’s 2001 book of the same name that served as an encyclopaedia of the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. The movie’s screenplay is by J. K. Rowling herself, a first since the big screen Potters were all adapted by others. Director David Yates, who did a superb job with the second half of the Potter saga, returns here, as does the main producer of the Potter films. The movie will shoot in the same studio. The differences with Potter will be numerous, not least the American setting and having an adult in the lead, tonally we’ll have to wait and see if it plays lighter. It goes without saying that J. K. Rowling is a literary genius and whatever she’s cooked up will be well worth seeing, even if the wizarding world had been neatly wrapped up at this point.

17th – Don’t Breathe
Starring: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Stephen Lang, Daniel Zovatto
Director: Fede Alvarez
Out: August 26, 2016

The son of a cop (Minnette, ‘Goosebumps’) who crushes on a trailer-trash dreamer (Levy, ‘Evil Dead’) joins her and her streetwise boyfriend to rob houses in rundown Detroit. A tip leads them to the home of a reclusive, blind veteran (Lang, ‘Avatar’) who won a big payout after his daughter was killed in a hit and run. But rather than being an easy target, they discover he’s a highly-trained psychopath, relentless in his desire to pinpoint and execute them using his refined sense of hearing… ‘Don’t Breathe’ reunites the director of the ‘Evil Dead’ remake with its producer Sam Raimi and star Jane Levy (who does the best “terrified face” in the business). The plot is near identical to this year’s ‘Intruders’, with agoraphobia being swapped for blindness, though conceptually it works better because of the “rules” that blindness and threat of sound creates. Sporting the most memorable villain of the year, and a bit of ‘Cujo’ remake thrown in for good measure, it’s nail-biting throughout. The script is tight, tension and jumps are expertly done, and there’s one gruesomely unforgettable slow-motion death. Also note: Never has a stray hair caused such revulsion…

16th – Nocturnal Animals
Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon
Director: Tom Ford
Released: November 18, 2016

A wealthy art gallery owner (Adams) with a cheating husband receives a novel manuscript from her ex-husband (Gyllenhaal). It’s the story of a man (also Gyllenhaal) losing his family on a highway to a gang of rapists (led by Taylor-Johnson), and seeking bloody revenge with a cancer-ridden cop (Shannon). The story haunts her and makes her reflect on the pain of their separation. He wants to meet her again, but will she agree?… From Tom Ford, fashion designer and director of ‘A Single Man’, this won the Grand Jury Prize at Venice, and has had a solid run over awards season. Part gritty Texas thriller, part stylish relationship drama, it starts in a pretentious manner introducing a lonely Adams in the art world but soon settles into the bulk of the film – a straight up noir thriller telling the story of the manuscript. The weak Gyllenhaal losing his family to a gang, and the aftermath, is raw and well acted, with Taylor-Johnson a revelation as the hyperactive villain (winning him Best Supporting Actor at the Globes). Ultimately though it’s a movie about writing, it’s about getting back at an ex who didn’t believe their partner could pull it off. And indications are it’s Tom Ford seeking payback. These bitter relationship bookends mean it’s not traditional genre stuff but there’s plenty to be absorbed by.

15th – Doctor Strange
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Director: Scott Derrickson
Out: November 4, 2016

A car accident ends the career of brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch). Seeking alternate ways to heal his destroyed hands, he finds his way to a mystical Eastern sanctuary that leads him to an order that holds the keys to another dimension. A sorcerer known as the Ancient One (Swinton), teaches him her mystic art and trains him to be protector of Earth against magical and mystical threats… Chiwetel Ejiofor plays dangerous mystic Baron Mordo, and Mads Mikkelsen is another villain, possibly Dormammu. Rachel McAdams plays a fellow surgeon of Strange, a lynchpin to his old life. The movie will be a full introduction to the supernatural/magic side of the Marvel universe, but involves scientific elements as well, such as quantum mechanics and string theory. And it’ll open up parallel dimensions for the first time. Horror veteran Scott Derrickson, responsible for ‘Sinister’ and ‘Deliver Us from Evil’, will direct. It’s one of Marvel’s most unique origin stories and their origin movies tend to be better than the sequels. Cumberbatch is over-exposed but he’s a terrifically versatile character actor that’s ended up in leading roles, he should bring something special here.

14th – Hunt For The Wilderpeople
Starring: Julian Dennison, Sam Neill, Rachel House, Rima Te Wiata
Director: Taika Waititi
Out: June 24, 2016

A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious overweight kid (Dennison) and his illiterate foster uncle (Neill) who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush. …The writer-director of ‘What We Do In The Shadows’, last year’s best comedy, proves himself again with this heartwarming and hilarious caper. A lot rests on the kid’s shoulders but the chemistry with grumpy Sam Neill is real and they make a terrific duo. The direction and writing are offbeat and every encounter has a fresh comic twist. While the story is tinged with poignant loss there’s nothing profound or soul searching here, and the conspiracy theorist toward the end is both overly-familiar and too OTT, but ‘Wilderpeople’ is charming and infectious fun.

13th – The Invitation
Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman
Director: Karyn Kusama
Out: April 8, 2016

A quietly grieving man (Marshall-Green, ‘Prometheus’) drives with his new partner up to the swish LA home of his ex-wife and her new man to attend a dinner party with old friends. His ex-wife’s mood is a little too happy and detached, while the strangers she has added to the mix seem a little off. Is this just a dinner party, or something else?… To say any more would spoil the mystery that slowly unfolds. ‘The Invitation’ does a brilliant job of playing with your suspicions and then reigning them in ever so slightly. The mood and paranoid tension are terrific and the pained performances work. The setting, characters, budget and tone share much with another excellent LA dinner party mystery from three years ago, ‘Coherence’. Long may this sub-genre continue.

12th Place >

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7 Comments »

  • MzGenuine said

    You missed the N.W.A. movie

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  • gd smith said

    Nothing grabs me here, Seems a very safe set of releases with one or two forcing a plot devise onto a vague outline.
    There will be good movies here and there, but I don’t see these being they. Talking of which, what happened to movie moron’s yearly best and worst of in 2014-2015?

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      There will be good movies here and there, but I don’t see these being they.

      Hold up, none of these 30 movies, the 30 biggest of next year, will be any good? Where’s your positivity man? What’s the movie that should be on here? Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ will be anything but conventional if that’s what you’re looking for. I agree it is a mainstream perspective. I’ll be updating it as it goes, as I’ve done sporadically with this year’s list – http://www.movie-moron.com/?p=29343 – a work in progress.

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      • gd smith said

        I don’t know. Increasingly, I find it’s the films I wasn’t expecting that turn out to be the really the good ones. Some of these look ok, but I can’t see myself putting them on a must see list is all I’m saying. It’s like I always whine about there being too many superhero movies and I always watch them. Truth to tell I tend to like them, but the prospect of them is never that exciting. If that makes sense.

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        • Sheridan Passell said
          Sheridan Passell

          A lot of the great independent stuff doesn’t rear its head this early, but it’ll be there. I definitely have superhero fatigue too, but then sitting down to watch something like X-Men: Days of Future Past, it really was terrific. It’s new phenomena that I get most interested by, whether it’s when Marvel was starting up or even observing something like 50 Shades-mania. By the end of next year we’ll be watching stuff on VR headsets, that’s what I’m most excited to experience, how they’ll find a way of providing movies in that medium.

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  • OLGA Broward college said

    I think Alice Through The Looking Glass – so fantastic and colored movie that i want to watch over and over.
    love the actors, costumes, nature and of course the idea of this movie.
    would love to recomend it to all people i know-)

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