Well the summer movie season is almost over, and what a dire one it has been (an upcoming ramble will delve into this, how exciting *not) but as we’ve exceeded the halfway point let’s see what makes the list of my fave films this year…so far.
10. Room: Devastating, and yet incredibly uplifting. Features two of the best performances you’ll ever see in Brie Larson (future Captain Marvel) and Jacob Tremblay.
9. Creed: Stallone giving a career best, an old school familiar tale coupled with Ryan Coogler’s vital vibrant direction (that one take mid film bout) and an energetic fiery Michael B. Jordan all adds up to the most fist pumping film of the year..so far.
8. Eye in the Sky: A taut, tight, thrilling piece of adult cinema. Paul Greengrass style energy, paired with some great performances; notably Alan Rickman in his final ever role, and a plot so tightly wound that you leave breathless, tear streaked and exhilarated. Under seen on release, it has vital things to say about the future of warfare.
7. Zootropolis: Disney continue to fight for that animation crown which Pixar has resolutely worn for the last decade with a fun, zippy, peppy, piece of family entertainment. Containing messages around tolerance, acceptance and rising up against societal strictures, but it never ladles these themes on thick. Top level Disney.
6. The Nice Guys: Shane Black delivers again with a whip smart, wickedly funny slice of madcap escapism. Crowe and Gosling make an exceptional double act, bouncing off each other with the verve of old school Howard Hawks pictures. This is a a gift of a film that’ll keep on giving.
5.Pete’s Dragon: A new arrival that is lyrical, beautiful and full of wonder. This is what family films should be, heartfelt, captivating and just plain brilliant.
4.Midnight Special: Enigmatic, unusual and inventive. Jeff Nichols continues to be a vital voice in American cinema. Although you never quite know all the answers you can’t help but be swept up in the stunning visuals, fantastic performances and moving central relationships.
3. Captain America Civil War: The best blockbuster of the year. Marvel continue unchallenged (Yes DC your films so far have been shit) and deliver huge thrills, efficient character development (it needs to be efficient with a cast this big) and in its central ideological battle surprisingly emotional. But, and listen to this DC, we needed 13 films to get to this point. We’ve spent time with these people, we care for them all and to see them break each other apart is truly heartbreaking.
2. 10 Cloverfield Lane: A film of complete and utter tension that it’s almost unbearable. But it is also a chamber piece with 3 performers all excelling. Goodman is terrifying in his domesticity, and Winstead sells every frightening moment. The final scenes, as the Cloverfield name begins to make sense, could have felt out of place but somehow collate together to form a latter day Twilight Zone. If Cloverfield becomes an anthology name for thrilling character based high concepts with this sort of quality, then sign me up for more.
1.Sing Street: God I love this film. Full of adolescent yearning, big heart, and subtle looks at the costs of marriage, the loss of creativity and the trappings of home. All this may sound a bit heavy but it’s pure joy wrapped in Irish charms. The songs are deliciously catchy too. See it, love it, and see it again. Plus Lucy Boynton is gorgeous!!
Notable Mentions: Deadpool, Conjuring 2, Jungle Book, Green Room, A Bigger Splash, Kung Fu Panda 3, The BFG, Eddie the Eagle, Star Trek Beyond
There have been some damn good films this year, pity the summer shitbusters have let the side down. Here’s to the rest of 2016!!!