Get cosy on the couch – it’s time for a movie night!
2016 had some exceptional films, but life can get busy, so you may have missed a few. From action, to comedy, to drama, here’s our wrap-up of the best films from last year that are well worth a re-watch.
1. Nocturnal Animals
Tom Ford directs movies like he designs his clothing – with sophistication and elegance. When gallery owner Susan Morrow receives a manuscript from her ex-husband that details a revenge plot masquerading as a horrific crime, it’s up to the audience to figure out what is fact and what is fiction as the story progresses through its parallel narratives. It’s dark and confronting but also completely compelling.
Internet trolls be damned, Ghostbusters girls did the comedy spook fest justice – and then some! Chris Hemsworth is stellar as the try-hard receptionist and Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones fill the jumpsuits of the original spook slayers with style.
The mouthy mutant mercenary dispatches the bad-guys all whilst cracking jokes and setting a new standard for the X-Men movies. Ryan Reynolds nails the role of the smartass antihero and the action sequences are top notch and are sure to keep everyone entertained.
4. Suicide Squad
The baddest of the bad guys are recruited to save the world – what could possibly go wrong? With A-grade special effects and Margot Robbie’s stand out performance as everyone’s favourite psychopath Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad combines comedy and chaos to keep everyone enthralled.
5. The Nice Guys
Ryan Gosling is a bumbling private eye and Russell Crowe is the burly tough guy in this comedy-crime film reminiscent of the ‘Lethal Weapon’ movies. Great for a laugh and with enough substance and 70s styling to keep you intrigued, The Nice Guys makes for an entertaining evening.
Hard-core science-fiction with an emotional core, this film emulates classics like ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. It’s riveting and offers a point of difference to most alien invasion movies, where the main aim is to kill them before they kill us.
‘Sully’ deals with the aftermath of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s miraculous and casualty-free landing of an Airbus A320 on the Hudson River. Sully deals with his own PTSD whilst his career hangs in limbo. Tom Hanks is always incredible and with Clint Eastwood behind the camera, you know you’re watching a quality film.
8. Finding Dory
Everyone’s favourite forgetful fish is back! Dory has been living happily with Marlin and Nemo until one day she wakes up and realises her family is out there and may be looking for her. The whole gang and a (few new fishy faces) help Dory on her adventure to find her fam. Pixar’s amazing animation and the vocal talents of Ellen DeGeneres and co make this movie a must-see. While you’re at it, re-watch ‘Finding Nemo’ for all the feel good vibes.
9. Hell Or High Water
When the bank forecloses on the family farm, two brothers do what anyone would to save it – they start robbing banks. Jeff Bridges plays the Texas ranger on their tail in this Western. It’s a dramatic thriller sure to have you stuck to your seat.
10. Captain America: Civil War
With an all-star cast, the Marvel Comics creation comes alive with the biggest and best superhero battle to ever hit the screen. In-fighting between the Avengers due to the UN’s bid for control splits the group in two and all the high-voltage action ensues.
11. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
If you’re over the stock standard Hollywood formula, check out this killer flick from our Kiwi neighbours. Misfit kid Ricky and his grumpy foster father Hec go bush to avoid the cops. Hunt for the Wilderpeople has it all – humour and heart.
12. Hacksaw Ridge
Mel Gibson is proving to be a masterful filmmaker It details the story of conscientious objector-turned-war hero Desmond Doss, who believed WWII to be just, but that killing was fundamentally wrong so served on the front lines as the only unarmed soldier. Believe me, it will have your eyes glues to the screen. With the most brutally realistic war scenes since Saving Private Ryan, if you like your movies gritty and raw, this one’s for you.
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are phenomenal reprising their Broadway roles in the film adaptation of the August Wilson play of the same name. The film painfully, honestly and beautifully asks and answers the question: “what about my life?”
Paterson follows the daily life of a suburban bus driver and his wife. Jim Jarmusch writes and directs this poetic and whimsical exploration of mundane day-to-day existence and celebration of the ordinary. It will give you that warm fuzzy feeling all over.
15. O.J.: Made In America
Chronicling the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson, this documentary is a feat of investigative reporting and had us on the edge of our seats. Balanced and thorough, it showcases the life of O.J. before and after the infamous police chase and murder trial and explores two of America’s greatest fixations – celebrity and ethnicity.
16. La La Land
The forgotten art of movie musicals has been revived with the launch of La La Land. Starry-eyed song and dance numbers warm your soul and clearly pulled at the right heart-strings with film critics singing its praises. It has since been nominated for a ream of awards and has received rave reviews.
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