2016 Top Ten

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‘We are Number One.’…and two, three and four, five and so on. It’s belated but I’ve finally found time to notch up my favourite 10 movies from last year. Surprisingly this was easier because there weren’t too many great films released in 2016! You could say most were Rotten! Ahaha…moving quickly on then to number 10….

…but quickly before that, here’s a few films that almost made the grade…The Neon Demon, Deadpool, The Witch, Moana, The Invitation, Captain America: Civil War, Eddie the Eagle, Midnight Special, The Girl with all the Gifts, The Danish Girl, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping then The Little Prince and Hush would have been on the list but didn’t gain theatrical releases so sadly, I didn’t include them.

So, in at ten –

10) GREEN ROOM…AND NOCTURNAL ANIMALS

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Enter the Green Room, a nightmarish small space in a neo-Nazi skinhead filled club. This movie brilliantly delivers on unsettling tension and dark turns as a band are menaced and killed. Full Review. Similarly, Tom Ford’s stylish Nocturnal Animals gives tension to the nth degree, the gritty story-within-a-story standing out as the best thing.

9) THE JUNGLE BOOK

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I don’t dislike the original Walt cartoon from yesteryear, but The Jungle Book isn’t my go to animation from them…so I was pleasantly surprised by this movie which looks incredible, the CGI landscape and animals are epic, Sethi as Mowgli blends into the darkly presented story very well and it zips along nicely as a well modernised tale. You wanna read my review-oo-oo? I know you do-oo-oo. Jungle Book

8) ARRIVAL

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Clever, gorgeous, intellectual, timey-wimey, language and love co-exist but with aliens. The story is always engaging, Adams’ performance is natural and affecting in her story that just happens to feature hovering space crafts and circular lingo. Arrive at my review.

7) ZOOTROPOLIS

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Fun but also incredibly on point about the very real politics of stero-typing and racial prejudice, this fluffy family flick is more in depth and smartly told than you’d think. Don’t be a sloth, quickly click on my review for Zootropolis.

6) 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE

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Dropped on us from nowhere, the Cloverfield world is expanded with this shift of genre as we get a claustrophobic thriller centered on relationships, mystery and danger instead of the found footage device. It was such a surprise and a fantastic film to boot. Tension kicks into overdrive, music is used so well and Goodman is a scary monster. Cloverfield

5) KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS

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Laika have done it again by golly! This is such a rich and awesome stop-motion fantasy that goes over some very interesting and cultural textures whilst still featuring the humour and charm you’d expect. I want to see it again to just admire the work put into making this beautiful film. Kubo.

4) VICTORIA

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I am so so…so glad that I got to see this film. It isn’t just the sheer marvelling feature of shooting the entire movie in one-take but the performances are fascinating and believable, the story is engaging and you connect to the world as Victoria becomes involved more and more.

Well….we’ve reached the golden trio, the three musketeers, the tricycle of brilliance from last year. What’s in at number 3 then??

 

3) SING STREET

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Ah, what a charming and musically gorgeous film. The coming of age story is fun in itself but added with 80’s nostalgia, humour and songs, Sing Street becomes a movie to feel happy watching. I re-watched it recently and still found myself adoring every moment.

2) HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE

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Ricky Baker. Ricky Baker. A hero for the ages. This is a gem of a film with bittersweet moments, heartfelt tenderness, sharp comedy, coming of age and bonding adventures, randomness, lush locations and the ever reliable brilliance of Taika Waititi behind it all. Hunt the Wilderpeople down now…it’s so worth it if you haven’t seen it.

It’s here, Bully’s special prize. Iiiiiiin 1 –

 

 

1) THE HATEFUL EIGHT

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It had to be, as a Tarantino fan there was almost no question that this movie would hit the heights but it’d still have to be a good film and gladly it is. Three acts that all soar with incredible cinematic talent both behind and in front of the camera. Morricone on board for the score ensures the sound is perfect. Seeing it in 70mm also helped elevate the special sweeping look of this western blood soaked Quentin extravaganza. Dialogue, violence, humour and details are as crisp as ever and I loved every second. 8

Til next year…maybe…let’s see what 2017 has to give us hey?!

2015 Top Ten

Well, I’ve left it long enough, either forgetfulness or not knowing where to start has seen it shuttle through eight days of January 2016 so it’s only right that before February hits us I run down my top ten movies of last year. This was hard, because I still haven’t seen some films that may have landed in the list, i.e. ‘Star Wars’ or because I had to drop some films I liked and found interesting, i.e. ‘It Follows’ or ‘Shaun the Sheep: The Movie’! Also please comment on agreements and disagreements you have and what you would put in your 2015 top ten, that would be cool! Enough pre-amble…on to the main event, in at #10…

10) Love and Mercy

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Wonderfully crafted and somewhat magical in the way it constructs the making of music and Brian Wilson. Paul Dano and John Cusack are equally fascinating and bring an engaging damaging sense to the man behind the Beach Boys. Read my Good Vibrations for this film by clicking on Love and Mercy.

9) Kingsman: The Secret Service

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Bundles of fun can be found within this secret service as we see probably the best spy movie of 2015 hit heights of energy, spoofing and class sequences. The mix of action and spy story-telling is sublime and the comic substance really makes for a riveting watch. Manners maketh man over at my full review for Kingsman.

8) The Lady in the Van

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Perhaps I loved this quite a lot because of the whole writing aspect. The Alan Bennett wit is ever present, Maggie Smith is a delight to watch and the mystery of who the lady is becomes a great narrative alongside Bennett’s typical Brit routine of politeness. The Lady in the Van review.

7) The Theory of Everything

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Here mostly for Eddie Redmayne’s brilliant immersion into the part of Hawking but also because Felicity Jones weighs up the other side of the relationship with captivating poise. It’s a well-told story done in a typically awards season way buy wow is it ever emotional. Review here.

6) The Voices

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I’d love this to be higher I truly would, but pretty much all of the following films became hard for me to order. This quirky dark comedy is so masterfully made, the performance by Reynolds is fun and disturbing and you just never know where you are with the film which is just great. See Voices and read my words at my review.

5) Inside Out

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When Pixar releases two films in one year, you know at least one of them will be reaching top ten lists everywhere and without any hesitation it must be this one concerning Riley and her head full of emotions that try to do their best to help her move to a new state. The movie is smart, emotional, fun, colourful and emotional…welp, I know I said that already but it is. I’ll need a minute, check out my review while I mull over sadness.

4) Whiplash 

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At one moment in 2015 this was my favourite film but it sadly drops a few places, that doesn’t make it any less exhilarating though. The music is phenomenal, both Teller and Simmons are incredible acting off each other and for a film about drumming this becomes one of the best edited and tense features I’ve seen for a while. My Whiplash review at my tempo.

3) Ex Machina

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Ugh, I adore this film, the sleek quality, the worrying theme of technology, the beginning of Alicia Vikander’s rise, the Oscar Isaac dance and the fantastic ending. It’s so well shot and written and I may just have to watch it again right now. Ex Machina review.

2) Room

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This has not even hit UK screens yet but I’m writing it up for 2015 because I was lucky enough to be studying in America when it was released there. Hopefully you’ll agree once you see it that the story is beautiful and raw, the performances from the two leads are heart-wrenching and engaging and the whole world and tragic darkness of its past are effortlessly created by Abrahamson and the source material of the novel. Review of Room.

 

1) Mad Max: Fury Road

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What a film, what a lovely film. I’ve seen this race in at a lot of top spots recently and it’s not difficult to see why as we get introduced to a dystopian world full of sandstorms, cars and strong women. The shots are absolutely amazing, the sequences and practical effects make the film stand out as true testament to what can be done and this really needs to be up for Best Picture because it isn’t just entertainment, it’s a greatly crafted feat of film-making too. Hop on down to my Fury Road review by clicking on Mad Max.