06 January 2017

Maynard's TOP 25 BEST MOVIES OF 2016

Hey and Happy New Year!

Here are my Top 25 favorite movies I've seen in 2016. For the very first time in Diary-history, I had to combine Horror and Non-Horror because... well, this was such an awful year for Horror, I wasn't even able to compile a Top 10 Best-of-Horror list.

Oh, one more thing: if you think 2016 was bad, beware, 2017 sure will be even worse. Just sayin'...

25.
James DeMonaco's
THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR
USA, 2016

Not as great as its predecessor "Anarchy", but still a cool and highly entertaining new entry in the "Purge" franchise. Can't wait for the planned 4th part + TV series!





24.

Stephan Rick's
DIE DUNKLE SEITE DES MONDES (a.k.a "The Dark Side of the Moon")
Germany / Luxembourg (2015)

Cool adaptation of the novel of the same name by Swiss bestseller author Martin Suter. If you haven't read the book beforehand, you might not dig it that much though.




23.
Florian Gallenberger's
COLONIA DIGNIDAD (a.k.a "Colonia")
Germany / Luxembourg / France 2015

Superb thriller about the infamous violent torture colony of the same name in Chile. Although largely a German production, it actually (and surprisingly) feels more like an American production.





22.
David Hartman's
PHANTASM: RAVAGER
USA, 2016

Although us Phans had to wait almost 20(!) years phor a new Phantasm Philm (we almost gave up waiting), and despite the phact that Don Coscarelli didn't direct this time, "Ravager" ended up as a very satisphying and heart-warming new (and phinal?) phanchise entry, and phor whatever reason, I liked it even more than I expected.


21.
Arnaud des Pallières'
ORPHELINE (a.k.a "Orphan")
France, 2016

Dark, heavy and very emotional portrait of a young woman over a period of more than two decades. Next to the 4(!) different actresses who geniusly portray the woman, we also get a wonderful Gemma Arterton who delivers a performance that reminded me a lot of Isabelle Huppert.



20.
Jeremy Saulnier's
GREEN ROOM
USA, 2015

Almost as great as Saulnier's previous movie "Blue Ruin", a brutal and stunningly thrilling shocker. Very authentic when it comes to depict modern punk rock bands and neo-nazis, and holy shit, Patrick Stewart as neo-nazi leader is just wow!




19.
Terrence Malick's
KNIGHT OF CUPS
USA, 2015

2016 was my Malick year. For the first time in my life, I watched 5 of his movies. I liked 4 of them, including this one. Yes, it's weird, yes, it makes not much sense, but somehow Malick managed to mesmerize me with thousands of insanely awesome images and an armada of stellar actors.



18.
Park Chan-wook's
AH-GA-SSI (a.k.a "The Handmaiden")
South Korea, 2016

It's as gorgeous and pretty as all of Chan-wook's movie, but it's also incredibly funny, unbelievably sexy, at times super-tense, at times super-emotional, and it delivers one of the most shocking plot twists in history, not kidding!




17.
James Vanderbilt's
TRUTH
Australia / USA, 2015

I had no expectations going into this and basically watched it only because of Cate Blanchett a.k.a the most beautiful woman in the world. In the end, the movie was brilliant and told me some super-interesting stuff about a real-life scandal I haven't heard anything about!



16.
David F. Sandberg's
LIGHTS OUT
USA, 2016

So simple, so unoriginal, and yet, so unbelievably powerful and effective. Far better than the short film it's based on, and also so much better than anything James Wan has produced over the last few years. Bonus point for the super-short tuntime!




15.
Antonin Svoboda's
DREI EIER IM GLAS (=Three Eggs in a Glass)
Austria, 2015

9 years after "Immer nie am Meer", IMO one of the greatest Austrian comedies of all time, the second collaboration between director Svoboda and Austrian/German comedians Stermann, Grissemann and Strunk - and, yes, it made me laugh... a lot! Weird story, strange characters, but it's all so absolutely hilarious!


14.
Thomas Vinterberg's
KOLLEKTIVET (a.k.a "The Commune")
Denmark / Sweden / Netherlands, 2016

Since "Jagten", Danish director Vinterberg is on a real roll, shooting one great movie after the other. This is no exception. Compelling and at times quite depressing drama with many great actors, splendid dialogue and at least one scene that made me cry hard.



13.
Sean Baker's
TANGERINE
USA, 2015

In terms of the extremely kick-ass soundtrack, this is pretty much the "The Guest" of 2016. A surpisingly amusing and also quite riveting tour-de-force that feels a bit like a Larry Clark movie... if Larry Clark had a heart and at least 2-3 emotions. 




12.
Yorgos Lanthimos'
THE LOBSTER
Greece / Ireland / Netherlands / UK / France, 2015

Greece's weirdest director at the moment delivers one of the weirdest movies of the year. The first half is ridiculously weird and imaginative. The second half isn't that imaginative, but far, far weirder. And the ending is a real shocker, damn!



11.
Henry Joost & Ariel Schuman's
NERVE
USA, 2016

Considering my mega-low expectations, this freaking little flick rocked my world so fucking hard, I'm still gobsmacked. Simple story, simple concept, but executed in such a thrilling, stylish and really powerful way. More of that!




10.
Guillaume Nicloux'
THE END
France, 2016

The first of two Nicloux movies on this list. Depardieu, alone and lost in the forests. Very artsy and mystical, definitely not for everyone (my friend Christian hated the fuck out of it), but I completely fell in love with it. Enigmatic and eerie from start to finish. Yay!



9.
Edward Zwick's
PAWN SACRIFICE
USA / Canada, 2016

The severly underrated (and underused) Tobey Maguire as the greatest chess player of all time, Bobby Fischer, during that 70s phase where he almost lost his marbles. Strong performances, tight direction, and yes, Chess CAN be thrilling as hell.




8.
Marcus Dunstan's
THE NEIGHBOR
USA, 2016

Never mind the horrible "The Collection", here's the Marcus Dunstan I fell in love with it back in 2009 when he unleashed his insane "The Collector". His new film might be pretty unoriginal, but it's so incredibly well-directed and so unbelievably suspenseful and frightening, I'm at a loss for words.



7.
Stephen Frears'
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS
UK, 2016

No other movie this year has made me laugh AND cry so fucking hard like this absolutely wonderful gem of a movie. Entertaining, hilarious, touching and sad at the very same time. And holy fuck, Hugh Grant delivers an unexpectedly amazing performance that is totally Oscar-worthy.



6.
Guillaume Nicloux'
VALLEY OF LOVE
France / Belgium, 2015

The second Nicloux movie on this list. Two of the greatest French actors of all time united in a strangely spiritual and slightly spooky two-men show, at times funny, at times very sad, but most of the time just captivating, mesmerising and deeply fascinating.



5.
Tom McCarthy's
SPOTLIGHT
USA / Canada, 2015

A remarkable movie about journalism, pedophilia, the power of the media and the even bigger power of the church. Excellent cast, excellently written and directed, excellently paced and executed. "Spotlight" totally deserves the two Oscars, though, if you ask me, it should have gotten a couple more.



4.
Dan Trachtenberg's
10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
USA, 2016

It came out of nowhere and completely flabbergasted us all: a new Cloverfield movie (well, kinda), not just far better than the 2008 movie, but also one of the best, most intense, most suspenseful one-location movies in a very long time, including a fantastic powerhouse performance by John Goodman who manages to be even scarier than in "Barton Fink".


3.
Jan P. Matuszynski's
OSTATNIA RODZINA (a.k.a "The Last Family")
Poland, 2016

I know and like the works of  Zdzisław Beksiński, but I had no idea about his life and family... until now. And omg, I daresay: what a life! This is the greatest family portrait I have ever seen in my life including one of the most realistic plane crash scenes I have ever seen, one of the most bizarre failed-suicide scenes I have ever seen and one of the most gruesome end scenes I have ever seen. Masterpiece.

2.
Maren Ade's
TONI ERDMANN
Germany / Austria / Romania, 2016

Believe the hype: this movie really is as awesome as everyone says. A 160-minute long monster of a movie about a lonely retiree who tries to bring joy into the life of his lonely, hard-working daughter. At no time boring or lame, always compelling and fascinating, most of the time very, very funny, at times depressing and sad, weird and inexplicable. There are at least two scenes that will make you cry, and there are also at least two absolutely incredibly never-seen-anything-like-it scenes that will make you laugh so frigging hard, you will never ever think again that Germans and Austrians are unfunny bastards. Masterpiece.

1.
Denis Villeneuve's
ARRIVAL
USA, 2016

Denis Villeneuve's previous four movies "Incendies", "Prisoners", "Enemy" and "Sicario" were all absolutely incredible - however, this one is even more incredible. Next to "Under the Skin", the greatest science fiction movie of the last twenty years. Packed to the brim with the most beautiful images I've ever seen, delivering the most intelligent, most intellectual sci-fi dialogue since the golden 70s era. Top-notch acting, fully satisfying special effects, an eargasmic musical score, breathtaking cinematography and... damn, at no time I was able to predict how this movie would end. Goddamit, I'm so pumped for "Blade Runner 2049". Masterpiece.



Next Week:
Top 25 Worst Movies of 2016

Thanks for reading! :)





1 comment:

  1. Ah, The Lobster. So weird yet so emotional. Glad to see you also enjoyed Purge 3! The right balance of action, thriller and horror!

    Didn't care much for Lights Out, unfortunately. Too...Simple! As for Ravager, I dunno, I feel a bit hanging there and it was underwhelming, sadly. 8C

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