Top 25 Films of 2016: 25-21
So this year sucked. I could go on explaining all the reasons why this year sucked, but that would be too long and arduous, so I'll get straight to the point: This was a GREAT year in film. As painful as the most of the summer blockbusters were, overall this was mainly a fantastic year for independent cinema, as you will see on my list. The way this list will work is I will release my list piece by piece, slowly giving the public the list. I'll decide what part of the list to put out next and how I'll release it to the public. I might also post something related to my honorable mentions, but that's to be determined. Without further ado, let's talk about these five fantastic films from this year in my 25 to 21st ranked films from 2016
"Kicks" was a little 80 minute film released in early September, when we are all craving for just a couple films to power us through into Oscar season, and caught me by surprise. Despite the fact this was a critical success and had a decent amount of buzz around it, and the fact that I do try to see practically everything, I wasn't sure if I would have the time to seek out this film, and I did. Many people can relate to "Kicks" and the main protagonist of Brandon who just wants to get his damn Nikes. How this film really strikes to the audience's core is the fact that it's essentially about what lengths we go to in order to fit in, and how that affects us internally, and how we can let this obsession manifest deep within. It's a deeply underrated independent film that deserves to be seen.
24. Don't Breathe
Coming out of SXSW 2016, some of the biggest buzz was coming from a horror film by the director of the "Evil Dead" remake, Fede Alvarez, called "Don't Breathe". As the months rolled on, it continued to build steam towards it's post-August wide release date, and turned out to not only be a critical success, but a commercial one as well. The reason this film worked so well is that it's not only a great horror film, but a great film in general. It's incredibly well directed and shot, with a script that flows with the film perfectly, and one of the greatest horror movie villains in recent memory. This film also includes what might be my favorite reveal/plot twist of 2016 (I honestly haven't been able to look at a turkey baster the same way since watching this).
23. Swiss Army Man
Every time someone asks me what I think of when I think about "Swiss Army Mn", the honest answer is "What the fuck". Every time. This is a blissfully different and kooky film that scared many audience members, as well as critics, away from the meaningful message lying in this strange film revolving around a farting corpse. Daniels did an outstanding job directing this film, making it feel comfortable, but at the same time different, and really opening our eyes to the world around us. I'm still in shock that of all the movies to have this effect... It would be the farting corpse movie. Daniel Radcliffe gives what I believe to be his best performance since "Harry Potter" was in the title of the film, as well as Paul Dano shinning as well.
22. Little Men
It's beginning to seem like separating Ira Sachs from New York is like separating myself from movie theater, but if Sachs continues to make films as great as "Little Men", it won't matter where he makes them. This tells a personal tale about how not only the innocence of youth and growing up and fitting in, but how the trials and tribulations of life can sometimes overpower anything standing in its way. This was a film I originally thought would be automatically in my Top Ten, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to put other films higher on the list. Not to negate from the brilliance of this film, it just didn't connect with me in the long run like it did immediately after watching it. Fantastic performances all around from, Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Ehle, to the fantastic talents in the two young lead roles, Michael Barbieri and Theo Taplitz. Once again, Sachs directs this film with love and passion, as he does with all of his films.
One of the many indie surprises this year came from a little known Polish horror film called "Demon". This was a film that played for a single week in one theater in Dallas, with only about three showtimes each day, and I was lucky enough to catch it, because it blew me away. So many elements of horror were used to make an emotionally stirring piece like this, whether it be disturbing imagery to psychological horror. This is a film that if you get the opportunity to check out if you're a hardcore horror fan, you should. I will say it's not a film for everyone, due to the fact that it is a very slow burn. If you're patient, you will be rewarded with this very disturbing tale.