Byron Duncan ’17, Staff Writer
Disclaimer: This list is subjective, and I have not seen every possible movie.
Top Picks for 2016
- – The Jungle Book
This 21st century adaptation of the beloved animated classic is a stunning example of the power that CGI can have when used effectively. Instead of animating explosions and destruction, this picture uses its computer generated images to bring the inhabitants of the jungle to life in a remarkable way. The entire movie is exciting and is sure to trigger nostalgia in any fan of the original.
- – Eddie the Eagle
Eagle is a film that captures the feeling of our childhood dreams in a comical and touching way. It finds a way to make Eddie an inspiring lead for chasing his dreams, despite his awkwardness as a person. This is a feelgood movie that may not have a lot of depth but is certain to entertain nonetheless.
- – Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Popstar is a short movie that certainly does not overstay its welcome as it is an exceedingly funny mockumentary packaged into 90 minutes. Everything about this movie seems so over the top, but for all its exaggerations, it surprisingly captures the ridiculousness of the entertainment industry.
- – Train to Busan
The one foreign film on the list, Train to Busan is a riveting zombie flick that manages to change many conventions of the zombie genre that keeps it fresh and unpredictable at every turn.
- – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One is the first of many Star Wars spin off titles we will be getting in the coming years, and it does a good job of taking a turn out of the main narrative of the episodic saga. The action is spectacular, but the film fails to make the viewer truly care about the entire ensemble cast, leading to an ending that lacks emotional weight.
- – Deadpool
With a relatively tiny budget, Deadpool is a film that shows how good something can be when everyone working on it truly cares and gives 110%. The movie is as rude as it needs to be to stay true to its source material, while managing to not resort to shock to make it funny.
- – Hell or High Water
Hell or High Water is a powerful drama about two modern outlaws and the men trying to detain them. It captures the decline of America’s middle class, making the bank robber brothers sympathetic, but keeping their actions inexcusable.
- – Moana
Moana is a movie that can truly be enjoyed by anyone. The music is catchy, the animation is fantastic, and the story takes turns that defy expectations.
- The Nice Guys
A callback to the buddy cop movies of the past, The Nice Guys is an original comedy that is a welcome break from the massive franchises that dominate our cinemas. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling both give amazing performances as the main characters; who are lowlife private investigators who get swept up into a massive conspiracy and the investigation that ensues is comical and memorable.
1 . Hunt for the Wilderpeople
My favorite film of the year, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, is a coming of age adventure directed by Taika Waititi. The movie follows a mischievous child who goes on the run into the New Zealand wilderness with his grouchy, foster father. It is incredibly stylistic and is full of creativity and imagination. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a must watch for anyone who enjoys movies.
BLADE RUNNER 2049
The long awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic Blade Runner is finally hitting screens in October 2017. The movie takes place in a dystopian Los Angeles where androids blend into the population and bounty hunters, known as Blade Runners, are hired to take them down.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell no Tales
The first Pirates of the Caribbean movie was an instant classic with the next two being enjoyable but not quite up to par with the first one. The fourth installment was terrible in every way, but hopefully with half a decade to put this picture together, it will return to the sense of adventure and fun of the earlier movies.
Alien: Covenant is a sequel of the Alien prequel Prometheus. The film has gone through some major creative changes through its development. It started as a piece about the engineers introduced in Prometheus, but now it one more closely resembles the original Alien with a parasitic infection spreading through the crew of a colonizing ship.
Silence is technically a 2016 movie but it only had a limited release in December, so I am counting it as a 2017 film as its wide release is this month. Silence is looking to a be a powerful drama directed by the renowned Martin Scorsese with a plot that centers on Christian missionaries in feudal Japan.
In a year of sequels and reboots, Bong Joon-Ho’s new movie Okja stands out as an imaginative and original concept. Known for the controversial movie Snowpiercer starring Chris Evans, Bong is a Korean director who has recently emerged in the western scene. Okja is about a young girl who has to protect a strange animal from a mysterious government agency.