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Top 30 Best New Movies Of 2016 – Guide

12th – Deadpool
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano
Director: Tim Miller
Out: February 12, 2016

Wade Wilson (Reynolds), an unhinged former Special Forces operative turned neighbourhood-duties mercenary, finds the love of his twisted life, but then discovers cancer is about to end it. Approached by a shadowy man, he agrees to become part of a super-soldier program in return for a cure. The torturous rogue experiment scars him severely, but gives him incredible agility and accelerated healing powers. When its sadistic overseer Ajax (Skrein), who cannot feel pain, reveals that Wade is actually being turned into a super-slave, Wade breaks free, adopts the alter ego Deadpool, and sets out for revenge – amidst a sea of quips and 4th wall breaking commentary. Soon he enlists the help of two X-Men: steel-skinned Colossus and energy conductor Negasonic Teenage Warhead… Ryan Reynolds reboots the role he had in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ with an infinitely more accurate version. The movie’s at its best whenever he’s in costume, with the unique shifting eyes of the mask doing a great job of conveying the comic character. The script comes from the writers of ‘Zombieland’ and their humour proves a great match for Reynolds and ‘Pool, with the amusing tongue-in-cheek commentary, sometimes about Marvel movies themselves, providing the perfect antidote to the increasingly serious-faced genre. The story itself is perhaps a little too straightforward, and much of the backstory is played as straight drama, but better that than a spoof. It does a good job of making someone near invulnerable in the comic seem vulnerable but could have carried over more of his split personality and the surreal, there’s a hint of those aspects toward the end. All in all it’s a chuckle-worthy R-rated escapade with inventive action, that’s made an incredible amount of money at the box office.

11th – Train To Busan (aka Busanhaeng)
Starring: Gong Yoo, Kim Su-an, Jung Yu-mi
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Out: July 22, 2016

A selfish, workaholic father takes his 10 year old daughter on the bullet train from Seoul to Busan just as a zombie apocalypse breaks out. As the infection spreads down the carriages they must work with other suspicion-filled passengers to ensure the train reaches its destination… ‘Busan’ has been the biggest movie of the year at the S.Korean box office with 11 million tickets sold. Horror films from Asia have been dominated by the supernatural, but this is the best physical realisation of zombies in many years. The characters have authenticity and you really care what happens to them, from the young daughter who goes through considerable emotional turmoil, to the charismatic tough guy passenger who steps in to rescue the situation when the father lets them down. It’s not groundbreaking ala ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ or ’28 Days Later’ but does an excellent job of refining/remixing what’s out there while adding a few new rules of its own (such as how zombies react in tunnels) which work wonderfully. The director picks his shots and crafts a suspense sequence like an old master despite this being his first live-action film (having previously worked in animation). There’s not much in horror more entertaining than a zombie-breakout movie done well, and there aren’t many better than this.

10th – Arrival
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Out: November 11, 2016

A linguistics professor (Adams) joins a government first-contact team when mysterious spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As the hostility of other nations threatens to ignite an intergalactic war, she must rapidly devise a method of communication with the extraterrestrial visitors, to uncover their intentions… From the prolific director of ‘Prisoners’ and ‘Sicario’. ‘Arrival’ has been extremely hyped, with many critics going over the top in their praise (“deserves serious treatment as a work of art”). It’s good, it’s thoughtful, it makes interesting linguistic points, and there’s little to fault. But I was never startled or shocked, and the ending it’s building up to is too similar to a certain Christopher Nolan film, where it had more emotional impact. Nonetheless, ‘Arrival’ is the most plausibly and intelligently thought-through alien first contact film (to date).

9th – Deepwater Horizon
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Kate Hudson
Director: Peter Berg
Out: September 30, 2016

$110 million-budgeted disaster movie based on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. The event killed 11 men working on the platform and the subsequent gusher wasn’t capped for three months, the worst spill in U.S. history. Wahlberg plays one oil rig engineer, Kurt Russell the safety chief, and John Malkovich a visiting BP rep putting speed above safety. The source is New York Times article ‘Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours’, which covered the human stories but also examined what mistakes and shortcuts led to the blowout. Wahlberg and director Peter Berg previously collaborated on another true-story-turned-thriller, ‘Lone Survivor’, and went on to make ‘Patriots Day’ about the Boston Bombings. ‘Deepwater’ is compelling, made more interesting if you followed the news story (the explosion was barely covered compared to the spill). It’s an hour before the chaos, and much of that is spent following Walhberg as he tours the platform, including some tricky-to-follow interactions (authentic jargon is good but don’t also mumble under an accent), with a good grip on authenticity. The disaster itself is intense and anxiety-ridden, putting you right in the middle of exploding rooms and hellish meltdown. The film somewhat simplifies the blame (Transocean misread the pressure, Halliburton supplied unstable concrete) but doesn’t overplay its justified message. Like last year’s ‘Everest’, it continues the trend of well-researched, expensively-realised, real life tragedy-thrillers that are particularly haunting and thought-provoking.

8th – The Witch
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw
Director: Robert Eggers
Out: February 26, 2016

A farmer (Ineson, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Game of Thrones’) is cast out of his colonial plantation and forced to move his family to a remote plot of land on the edge of an ominous forest rumored to be controlled by witches. Almost immediately, strange and unsettling things begin to happen – the animals turn violent, the crops fail, and one of the children disappears. As suspicion and paranoia mount, everyone begins to point the finger at their teenage daughter (Taylor-Joy, TV’s ‘Atlantis’). They accuse her of witchcraft, which she adamantly denies…but as circumstances become more and more treacherous, each family member’s faith, loyalty, and love will be tested in shocking and unforgettable ways… Loosely based on America’s first witch hysteria in colonial New England, 62 years before the infamous Salem Witch Trials. It may not be bone-chillingly scary, but it does a remarkable job of transporting you back to the time period (it won Best Director at Sundance), the performances are painfully believable, the jarring music effective, it’s detail obsessed and thematically rich, and creepy throughout its slow burner build-up. It’s also littered with the most striking horror imagery of the year.

7th – The Nice Guys
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger, Matt Bomer
Director: Shane Black
Out: May 20, 2016

In 1970s L.A., a down-on-his-luck private eye (Gosling) and a hired leg-breaker (Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a fading porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power. Keith David (‘They Live’) and Beau Knapp (‘Super 8’) play hitman partners, while Kim Basinger is a chief justice with dubious interests… Shane Black is one of the greatest living screenwriters, responsible for the likes of ‘Lethal Weapon’ and ‘Monster Squad’. And ‘The Nice Guys’ feels like vintage Black, as good as ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight’ or ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’, because it is – he wrote the first draft in 2001. Gosling and Crowe have terrific chemistry with Gosling in particular showing great comic timing. You’re never more than a couple of minutes from a sharp one liner (“You just took the Lord’s name in vain.” “No I didn’t Janet, I found it very useful.”). It may not be the most authentic depiction of the 70s, but it’s a lot of colourful fun. On the downside the villain’s motivation barely holds together, Basinger’s poor acting lets the side down and the expert hitmen are terrible shots. But ‘The Nice Guys’ is vibrant and unpredictable filmmaking that shows Black is still the king of buddy movies.

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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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