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Must Watch 2016 Movies

What make a movie great? Is it the story line? The cast? What makes you hit pause and just take in the moment or hit rewind to relive a moment? This is a debate that can take a billion different shapes because every individual has his/her own definition of a good movie. What, however, is for  a fact is that this changes with time, the movies that made us drop our mouths while growing up are not of the same genre and style as the ones that make it tick for us right now, and sure as hell fire by the time we turn 50 we shall have a different taste. Today however I am not here to lecture about movies and what makes them great, I am here to list the 10 movies in the great year of 2016 that blew the breathe out of me, literally. Now this list is not based on what you will find at the Box Office or Rotten Tomatoes, this is a list born out of movies that I have watched only, I am a screenwriter, or so I tell myself, and suspense is my food and water therefore I shall list this in ascending order.

Now before I delve in I would like to make a little clarification of some sorts, this list may come off in a way to suggest that I hate science fiction, I don’t hate science fiction. I love seeing spaceships try to destroy earth, I love seeing Tony Stark and his overpowered costume loving friends kick ass all over the place, I love watching Batman and Superman try to kill each other in their tight underwear but you see I am no longer that kid out for some adrenaline rush, there is no way I will rewind a movie to go see Iron Man try to subdue Captain America with a lock jaw move but I will damn right go back several times to hear Bryan Cranston drop some sarcastic remark in All The Way, I will damn right go back a million times to listen to that opening song in Sausage Fest, I will go back to see Johnny Depp slick his hair back in Black Mass just before killing someone, call me traditional but I live for the humour, the sarcasm, the suspense, the camera angles and movements, I live for the reality.

 

  1. All The Way

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STARRING: Bryan Cranston, Anthony Mackie, Frank Langella

The rise of Bryan Cranston in the film industry has been as unravelling as it has been meteoric, He is simply everywhere. This, however, was never the case. Like most of you I was introduced to Bryan Cranston in the acclaimed comedy Malcolm In The Middle where he played the role of a father handling a big family and his job, much of his post-Malcolm days are not very well documented, but his big break came with Breaking Bad, no need for me to delve into this masterpiece, we all know it.

All The Way is a breath-taking story of President Lindon Bird Johnson in the aftermath of JFK’s assassination in 1963. Lindon, masterfully played by Cranston, is forced into the forefront of a battle that was started by his predecessor and has to wade through the treacherous waters that is the Civil Rights Bill at a time when white supremacy in the United States was at its peak, His brush in with the Democrat politicians against the Bill coupled with the civil rights movement spearheaded by Dr. Martin Luther King (Anthony Mackie) create for a compelling drama littered with witty dialogue and sarcasm. The uncanny resemblance of Bryan Cranston and LBJ is astounding. Steven Spielberg as usual never disappoints

 

  1. Nina

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STARRING: Zoe Soldana

Before I watched this movie I did not know who Nina Simone was, I might have come across that name somewhere but if you had asked me who she was I would have given you a blank look, but by the time the credits came rolling up I was foraging the internet for copies of her songs. But her beautiful songs and this beautiful movie are not the only reasons why this movie has made this list, Zoe Soldana is the reason why this movie made this list, may the world be damned if she doesn’t win an Oscar for this. She perfectly nailed her role as Nina Simones to the point I started asking myself if she really was Zoe Soldana. For those that watched Colombiana be ready to be rendered speechless because this Zoe is not the Zoe you are used to. Set in the late 80’s and early 90’s Nina follows the true life story of Nina Simone, one of the greatest female musicians, in her final years of her life as she battled with drug abuse and legal problems. The camera work is magnificent, the script glorious and Zoe Soldana heavenly. You will feel like you are back in the 90’s.

 

  1. Storks

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Before I had even penned down the first sentence of this article I had already decided that Sausage Party was the best 2016 animation, that was until I watched Storks and I can now confidently declare that this is the best animation movie of the great year of 2016. But that is not where the surprises end, the movie is from the most unlikely of sources, Warner Bros! We are used to getting animated movies from the likes of Disney and Pixar and now suddenly Warner Bros get into the fray with this tantalizingly stunning chef-d’oeuvre, and the icing on the cake? The voice overs are done by people we don’t even know, not even a single A-List name in there!!

The storyline is pretty elaborate, it is about the age old myth that babies come from the sky, delivered by huge winged storks, very straight forward but full of humour you will keep pausing and going back, especially the Wolves part. By the time the credits will come rolling up you will be having a severe bout of baby fever

 

  1. Hell Or High Water

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Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster

First of all, you should never ignore a movie that has Jeff Bridges in it. Secondly, you should never ignore a movie that has Chris Pine in it and this one has them both, on the opposite sides of the law. Hell or High Water follows the story of two brothers on a bank robbing spree in a bid to raise money to save their farm from being repossessed, in their quest they end up attracting the wrath of Marcus Hamilton, an about to retire police officer who makes it his last job to bring them down. The reason why this movie made it to this list is because of the aforementioned two….and Ben Foster, the humour is there, so is the action and so is the ever present growling voice of Jeff Bridges. You will not be disappointed, take my word.

 

  1. Magnificent Seven

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Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard et all……the last time a movie was this star studded was Snatch and it was a hit, so was this. Set in the late 1800s in the wild wild west Magnificent Seven follows a story of an small town that has come under the control of a gold mining company owned by a greedy and ruthless man who will go to any lengths to get what he wants, beaten and subdued the town folk have nowhere to run to, that’s until one woman decides to get the help of some 7 odd-ball people, each good in killing, to attempt taking back her town. The suspense in this movie is the stuff of heavens, the humour, albeit sparse, is worth every dime. Action packed from start to finish this thriller had me on the edge of my seat for the whole 2hrs and 12 minutes. The only annoying thing about is the incessant urge to count all of the 7 men every time they are on the screen, I couldn’t resist doing that and neither will you.

 

  1. Sausage Party

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Bad things happen, very bad things happen every time Seth Rogen and James Franco end up in the same room, and the last time they were in the same room Sausage Fest happened. I don’t know how they do what they do but they have successfully over the years become experts in buffoonery, the good kind of buffoonery. I discovered Sausage Fest by accident on Youtube, the moment I saw the title of the trailer all the bells started ringing in my head, when I saw Seth Rogen’s name in the credits I knew I had hit the jackpot. To call this animated flick insane is an understatement. The opening song in the first 5 minutes sent my ribs to the morgue, the humorous characterisation of food in this movie is from another realm.

  1. Kubo And The Two Strings

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Another animated movie on this list. It follows the story of a young boy who lost an eye in mysterious circumstances, he embarks on a journey to find the truth about his parents and along the way he has to face some very dark forces that have been haunting him all his life. A very simple storyline if you ask me, and a very boring one at the first look, but wait until you watch it. The main reason why Kubo And The Two Strings made the cut is the quality of animation, it is a far cry from what you are used to. Modelled on what looks like Chinese folklore It is simply elegant and artistic.

 

  1. Bakemono No Ko

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Another animated film. Yes, I know you are now wondering why I didn’t just call this an animation list. I love animation and this was among the best from 2016. Bakemono No Ko is Japanese for The Boy And The Beast. It is about a boy who loses his mother and father and doesn’t have anyone or anywhere to turn to, so he runs away from home and accidentally stumbles into a magical realm of beasts where he meets and makes new friends who help him come to terms with his loss. If there is one thing that I have come to love about Japanese animations is the humour, Bakemono No Ko is riddled with it. The chemistry between the boy and the beast he befriends will leave you in stitches. The movie comes with English dubs but I highly recommend it the Japanese version that comes with subtitles. Japanese humour loses its spark when translated.

 

  1. War Dogs

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No one hates Jonah Hill. He is chubby and funny and I would add cute but I won’t because a man is not supposed to call another man cute, but you get the picture, he is a loveable character. But in War Dogs Jonah Hill goes dark, the kind of dark that will make you hate him the way we hated Denzel Washington in Training Day, the irony here though is that the one person we all love to hate, Miles Teller, is actually the one who plays the good guy here. War Dogs is about a two childhood friends who decide to play the very dangerous game of arms dealing in their quest to make that quick buck, in their rush for gold they fail to see through the dangerous game of being arms dealers and by the time they realise their lives are at stake they are neck deep in trouble. War Dogs has the humour, the drama and the action, I loved it and I know you will too. Did I also mention Bradley Cooper is in this one too? Well he is, and he is not in his usual Mr. funny guy element, he is super scary.

 

  1. Black Mass

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You know I have never gotten over Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp literally carried that whole franchise on his shoulders, he is the reason I have re watched the Carribean movies several times over. As expected his steller performances there opened up more doors for him, but honestly I was not ready for Black Mass. Johnny Depp has gone super dark before, like in that Dillinger movie, but he still had his humorous touch, albeit sparse, but it was there….but Black Mass is a whole different story, he is not just dark, he is downright scary, the type of scary that makes you too frightened to even hate him. Black Mass is about a ruthless mob boss who was as……you know what, let me save my breath, just watch the goddamn movie and get spooked too