Best Films of 2016
Hell or High Water. Throwback to the great gritty ‘70s thrillers about brothers robbing banks and the about-to-retire Texas Ranger who’s chasing them, with a subtle satisfying twist at the end.
Tower. Documentary about Charles Whitman, the sniper who opened fire on the University of Texas campus in 1966. A moving combination of rotoscoped animation recreations and present-day interviews.
The Handmaiden. Korean period thriller is the most visually beautiful film of the year with unashamed eroticism and a twisty plot.
The Invitation. Another unpredictable thriller about a couple attending a dinner party that’s filled with nasty surprises. Premiered on DVD and pay-per-view.
20th Century Women. Soft-spoken ensemble drama about a young man’s coming of age in a ‘70s household with three complex, demanding women.
Hail, Caesar! The Coen brothers’ affectionate tribute to Hollywood in the 1950s is the funniest comedy of the year.
Rules Don’t Apply. O.K., another movie about Hollywood in the ‘50s and ‘60s is almost as funny with brilliant work by Warren Beatty as an increasingly unpredictable Howard Hughes.
Nocturnal Animals. Tom Ford’s unconventional second film (after A Single Man) is a thriller that’s almost impossible to describe but absolutely riveting all the way through.
Zootopia. In a year filled with excellent animation, Disney’s swiftly paced, smart comic suspense film could be the beginning of a fine series.
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
The Nice Guys