Rob’s Top 10 Films of 2016

Here it is, my not-so-definitive top 10 films of 2016. This is of the films I’ve seen, obviously. I haven’t seen every film. 


10. Swiss Army Man

A truly unique film, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. It’s ultimately a story about one man dealing with his demons. Its absurd and ridiculous yet moving and poignant and with two great performances from its leads, Swiss Army Man is one not to miss. 

Full Review 

9. The Nice Guys 

Shane Black is back to do what he does best and that’s to bring us an incredibly funny, witty and smart buddy action movie. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe make a surprisingly brilliant double act and the chemistry the two share really makes this film. 

Full Review

8. The Big Short (2016 release in the UK) 

This clever and shocking story of the housing market crash of 2007 offers a truly unique and funny way of telling a true and tragic story. While often hilarious, The Big Short doesn’t shy away from emphasising the human impact of the crash and the immoral behaviour of the bankers who caused the issue.  Adam McKay directs a strong ensemble cast, who all bring something to the table. 

7. Spotlight 

Another true story told in a more conventional way but with more emotional significance than The Big Short, Spotlight tells the story of the Boston journalists who exposed the epidemic of paedophilia in the Catholic Church. It’s a moving and heartbreaking story which is hammered home by a strong cast. 

Full Review

6. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping 

The only straight up comedy in my top 10 and it’s one which might prove divisive if you’re not a fan of musical parodies. If you’re a fan of The Lonely Island however, you’re in luck because Popstar is a hilarious satire of the pop industry and everyone in it with some of the best cameos of the year. The soundtrack is absolute genius. 

Full Review

5. Captain America: Civil War 

The best superhero film this year. By a mile. Maybe even the best Marvel Cinematic Universe film. Maybe one of the best superhero films ever, Civil War is a superhero blockbuster that’s grounded in the characters we’ve grown to know and love since 2008’s Iron Man. Civil War creates a divide both philosophically and literally between our heroes and with high emotional stakes and great character moments, including some great new additions to the MCU, Civil War is the blockbuster of the year. 

Full Review

4. Captain Fantastic 

To be honest, this is the point in this list where the films could be in any order.

Captain Fantastic is just that. It’s a stunning film about differing ideologies told from the perspective of a grieving farther played beautifully by Viggo Mortensen. It’s funny, brilliantly clever and incredibly moving. 

Full Review

3. Hunt for the Wilderpeople 

The latest film from Taika Waititi is a triumph. What a filmmaker this guy is. He has such a distinct style and he’s genuinely one of the funniest filmmakers around. His vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows was testament to that. But in Wilderpeople he mixes that quirky New Zealand humour with a heartwarming story of a relationship between a foster child and his new ‘uncle’. An absolute gem of a film that’s guaranteed to have you smiling for 2 hours. 

Full Review

2. Everybody Wants Some!!

Richard Linklater’s latest is a story about a group of collage baseball players during the first weekend of university. And that’s it. We follow freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) and his new teammates go to parties and try to hit on girls but it’s so much more than that. It’s about the nuances of the group. The social subtexts. The dialogue is brilliant and the cast have fantastic chemistry. Imagine American Pie but with clever writing and genuinely likeable characters. 

Full Review

1. Arrival 

The cleverest sci-fi of a generation. Arrival is a stunning film. A truly different take on the alien ‘invasion’ genre that’s so clever I think it’s going to be one that only gets better with repeat viewings. Amy Adams is fantastic in what is her career best for me. 

Full Review 

Discussion article 


Let me know if you agree with my choices in the comments below! 

If you’ve enjoyed this article then why not check out our podcast and look out for our best and worst of 2016 episode! 

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6 thoughts on “Rob’s Top 10 Films of 2016

  1. Been dying to see captain fantastic since you originally posted your review. Still 20 days till it releases on DVD though! I’ll be watching Hunt for the Wilderpeople tonight as it got released earlier this week on DVD (I’m starting to notice I’m a tad behind on films this year).

    I have to say I really think Civil War is over rated. I’m not a huge marvel film fan (love the comics and original cartoons and games) but the movie franchise feels a bit stale to me. But I watched them all this year to catch myself up for Dr Strange. I was pumped for Civil War which is what got me through the ordeal that is Thor 2. But when I got to Civil War I found that same issues that I have with all the others. I feel no fear at all that any of the main characters will die because the writing is forcing them to be alive. The moment that ruined the film for me was when Falcon grounds War Machine (which would have been cool if he’d been killed as a result), Iron Man blasts him. I thought this meant Falcon was dead. That would have been a turning point, not just for the characters involved but for the franchise as a whole. It would be much darker in tone and there would be less chance of everything just working out at the end. The same goes for the final fight between Cap and Iron Man. I liked the choreography of it all but the fact that I know nobody is gonna die takes away from it.

    Obviously Marvel would stand to lose a lot of money if it killed off one of it’s biggest characters but at what point do people stop caring how big the bad guy is or how powerful the superweapon is when they know the hero can’t die?

    Back onto the films though, I’m way behind, so I’m gonna watch all these (maybe not the musical one cause I’m a philastine) and see what I think!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Captain Fantastic is brilliant and I absolutely loved Wilderpeople but it might be a bit too happy for you!

      I agree with you that Marvel has a formula and they’re sticking to it and that means we get generic final acts with generic villains but I don’t watch Marvel for the grittiness or the darkness I watch it for the characters and the humour. I love Winter Soldier and Civil War and I put them way ahead of the others in my list. They’re focused solely on the characters and while you don’t really feel that anyone would die (though, thought Cap might, as he does at the end of the Civil War comic storyline) I feel like there are emotional stakes there, particularly in these two films. I think the Russos said in an interview they chose not to kill Cap off because that would instantly resolve the conflict between him and Tony. If that’s true and this conflict is carried over to the next Avengers then I applaud that, it’s an interesting debate and could be interesting to see where it ends up. WS and CV both have pretty high stakes involved, even if it’s not the death of a character and that’s mainly because they’re personal conflicts on the most part and not about saving the world from the next generic alien, which we obviously know they’re gonna beat. I think this is generally an unfair criticism which is almost solely thrown at superhero films. Most films end with the heroes winning and you know they’re going to from the start. At no part in The Lord of the Rings do I think that Frodo is not going to destroy the ring but they’re still my favourite films of all time because of the characters. The issue is when the writers don’t come up with anything else to create tension or drama and that’s where I think the Russos are spot on.

      And even with the more generic Marvel films I still find them fun to watch because I enjoy the characters. Compare it to Rogue One – I didn’t find it any more tense or dramatic because I didn’t know who might or might not die because I didn’t feel anything for any of the characters. So I don’t find it an issue with people dying, more an issue with generic plot beats. But I still agree it’s an issue they’re gonna need to address.

      Also another one to add to your list is Green Room, if you’ve not seen it. We’ve just watched it and it’s so good!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just finished hunt for the wilderpeople. I think you’re right in part about my verdict. I don’t like happy movies in general but it had some great moments. The chemistry between the 2 lead actors was great, I loved the humour (wasn’t expecting quite so much at such a high quality). Moments like the dog dying were really well done mainly because they aren’t over the top “look at how sad this is, aren’t you sad now????” kinda moments. It was graceful and quick.

    I’ve not seen too much this year I’ve enjoyed, I’d say this is in my top 10 for the year but doubt I will remember it in years to come. I’ll be watching Captain Fantastic next. The plot of that one sounds a lot more up my street given my history with reading philosophy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. After watching Captain Fantastic, I am baffled as to how it didn’t make it into all cinemas. That was absolutely beautiful and yet the general public would rather watch the latest Fast and Furious “film”. Captain Fantastic is easily in my top ten films of all time, a list which is becoming more and more occupied by films that never showed in most cinemas or were in for far too short a time (looking at you Birdman).

    Great list of films so far. I’ll have to watch through the rest of them soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I only managed to catch it at the cinema because I knew it was coming out and I had to chase down a cinema that was actually showing it, same with Wilderpeople. People are stupid.

      Glad you liked it though, I can’t wait to watch it again!


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