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Added by PerfectPortal on 31 Dec 2016 10:57

My Top 10 Favourite Movies of 2016

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People who added this item 285 Average listal rating (187 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.3
I've always had a soft spot for coming-of-age dramas, and this is easily one of the best in recent years. Not only is it brilliantly written and acted, but very rarely have I related to a character as much as I did here. Nadine has social anxieties, just like me, and I was an outsider at school and had precious few friends, just like her. So I couldn't help but relate fully to her struggles, which felt realer to me than just about any other movie in this genre because I could very easily see myself making the same mistakes at her age.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1042 Average listal rating (767 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
Arrival (2016)
To my delight, this movie actually delivered the fresh new take on first contact that the trailer promised. :) It's refreshing in that it's not a typical alien invasion story. It uses language as its tool rather than hostility, and the goal is to prevent war instead of inducing it. The cinematography is top-notch, and all the characters seem very real. There is clearly mistrust, as no one is sure what to expect from the communication attempts, but there's no stereotypical obstinate higher-up character who just won't listen. The ending is the main thing I took from it, but I won't spoil it.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 242 Average listal rating (162 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.1
I heard this movie described as Hitchcockian when it came out, and that's exactly what it reminds me of. Its constant uncertainty and intrigue seems right out of a Hitchcock movie; the one I'm thinking of specifically is Suspicion. I love how it keeps you in suspense once Marianne's status as a suspected spy surfaces (I love alliteration!): it's suggested that the Secret Service might just be testing Max, which adds to our own suspicions at the same time as his. I know a lot of people didn't like this movie, but I stick up for it; I really enjoyed it.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 597 Average listal rating (435 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
The Nice Guys (2016)
Set in 1970s Los Angeles, it follows two mismatched private eyes who investigate a missing girl and the mysterious death of a porn star. Two words: Shane Black. Between this and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, he's becoming one of my favourite writers. Not only is this movie an excellent showcase of black humour, but its energy comes from two actors who've less than impressed me previously: Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. Here, they seem more alive than ever before, and their comedic chemistry is flawless. The whole thing is a perfect blend of humour and drama that I look forward to seeing multiple times.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 269 Average listal rating (195 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9
This is another one that's endlessly funny; I sat there with a smile on my face the whole way through. It stars Julian Dennison and Sam Neill respectively as a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who flee into the wild New Zealand bush, triggering a national manhunt. It's a little hard to put this movie's charm into words; it's offbeat and its humour is dark at times, but it's so passionate and cheerful that it's infectious. But by far the best aspect for me was Sam Neill. He is just on fire with this performance! :) It's the best I've seen from him in years.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 891 Average listal rating (590 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
Finding Dory (2016)
This was a big surprise for me, as Pixar doesn't exactly have the best track record when it comes to sequels, Toy Story aside. Not only is it a fantastically fun adventure packed with all the great characters we'd expect from Pixar, but its message is one you don't see too often: sometimes a little spontaneity is okay. One highlight for me personally was the scene where Dory gets lost in the pipes, which is done so well that you feel her panic in full. It's a truly delightful sequel that I think is not only as good as the original, but possibly even better.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1307 Average listal rating (963 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.8
Fuck Batman v Superman: I was far more excited about this movie about superheroes clashing! Like The Winter Soldier before it, the political aspects still lost me at times, but thankfully the politics aren't as prevalent this time. You can easily understand everyone's motivation, and both sides of the debate do raise good arguments. While some early action scenes are edited in a manner that's hard to follow, the massive brawl at the airport is undeniably a highlight. Plus, Tom Holland's Spider-Man may be the best I've ever seen. It's one of the best superhero crossovers ever, and definitely one of my favourite MCU movies.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1154 Average listal rating (879 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8
Zootopia (2016)
Disney really seems to be on a roll lately, having released two animated features within the same year โ€“ something that hasn't happened since 2002 โ€“ both of which are really good. :) But this is by far my favourite of the two, not only because the animation and characters are great, but because it tells a legitimately good mystery story: I'll admit I didn't see the outcome coming. Its message is not only one of overcoming prejudice, but also of pursuing your dreams โ€“ and it even addresses the need to accept the consequences that come with them, and the dangers of saying the wrong thing.
PerfectPortal's rating:
This latest animated film from Laika is about a young boy named Kubo who must locate a magical suit of armour to defeat a vengeful spirit from his past. I really liked Coraline and ParaNorman, but this is, hands down, my favourite Laika movie so far. The stop-motion animation is absolutely superb; if there was any CG involved, the stop-motion is so flawless that I can't tell where one ends and the other begins. The overall atmosphere this movie creates is just phenomenal: like a classic fairytale and a timeless myth all in one. Throw in some irresistible characters and you have a true masterpiece.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 163 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
A military operation to use a drone to bomb a group of terrorists in Kenya escalates when a little girl enters the kill zone, triggering an international dispute over the implications of modern warfare. I think of this as Alan Rickman's The Dark Knight, in that it probably attracted a lot of attention because it was his final role, but the movie itself is still brilliant even without that added intrigue. :) This is one of the most taut, tense thrillers I've seen in quite a while โ€“ far more engrossing than I was expecting a war movie with political debates to be! The arguments presented about the morality of the situation are truly compelling. What I especially like is how the movie puts you squarely in the mindset of the military personnel โ€“ you never get to know the terrorists or even hear what they're talking about โ€“ which adds all the more to the authentic, down-to-earth feel of the proceedings. Plus, Alan Rickman delivers the movie's final line, and it's one of my favourite lines ever uttered on screen! May he rest in peace, and I'll always be glad that he was a part of my absolute favourite movie of 2016.
PerfectPortal's rating:

Welcome to the second list recapping my own experience with movies in 2016. :) I already listed my least favourite movies of the year, which you can view here if you haven't seen it: www.listal.com/list/my-top-10-least-favourite-3694 Now that the bad movies are out of the way, I can start revelling in the movies that made this very trying year โ€“ and my passion for film as a whole โ€“ worthwhile! :) My earlier pessimism may have been a tad premature, because there were honestly far more movies this year that I liked than ones I disliked. In fact, I came up with so many runners-up that I was tempted to extend the list to a top twenty. I decided against that idea, though, mainly because I wanted to whittle it down to the ones that really stood out.
I would have liked to have seen more, but my local cinema didn't always have the most convenient schedule. As a result, I didn't get a chance to see Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Deepwater Horizon (though the fact that I got sick and tired of seeing the trailer all the time certainly didn't help!), Captain Fantastic, Don't Breathe or Hush, the new movie from Oculus director Mike Flanagan. Apparently a lot of people enjoyed the Magnificent Seven remake, too. Big awards contenders like Moonlight, Hacksaw Ridge and La La Land haven't been released in the UK yet, and neither has Shin Godzilla. But, of all the movies I missed out on, by far the one I regret the most is Train to Busan.
But like I said before, there were a great many movies I did see and very much enjoyed, and now it's time to pick out the ones that stand head and shoulders above the rest. This is it: my top ten favourite movies of 2016.

Kung Fu Panda 3
Money Monster
Nocturnal Animals
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Sausage Party
X-Men: Apocalypse

Honourable mentions: The Conjuring 2, Green Room, Lights Out and The Shallows are movies I only rated 7/10, but which still managed to stick in my head.

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