TOP FILMS OF EVERYTHING I SAW IN 2016

In cased you missed it, here are my other Top Films Lists

2015
2014
2013
2012
2011

My Top Films list compromises of any film (from any year) that I've seen for the first time in 2016. As always, I sadly wasn't able to catch all the awards contenders as I'd hoped (and yes, MOONLIGHT, HELL OR HIGH WATER, 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC and MANCHESTER BY THE SEA were a few I missed. Hope to get to them soon).

So this is more about discovering and enjoying movies I was able to catch in 2016. These stood out to me, all for reasons of their own. 

16. THE INTERN (2015) written & directed by Nancy Meyers
Felt like something the studios would've made in the 50s. But of course, it takes place modern day and is given the Hollywood polish. There aren't many studio comedies coming out lately that feel fresh, and this one did. Sometimes you want fluff. But smart fluff. And this is smart fluff. Plus, I'm a sucker for "workplace underdog" films like WORKING GIRL (one of the smartest comedies ever made) and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. I'd put this one just under those, but still entertaining nonetheless. 

  15. GLEASON (2016) -  written & directed by Clay Tweel
An incredible story about NFL player Steve Gleason and his battle with ALS. You don't have to know anything about football or sports to relate to his struggle and the power of the human spirit. Also, there's a touching father-son relationship thread explored that made me think of my Dad. So I was a blubbering mess. But don't worry, it's a positive film. Just get your kleenex ready.

14. SOMEONE ELSE (2015) written & directed by Nelson Kim
A mind-fuck of a movie. Definitely influenced by Bergman's PERSONA and Brian De Palma (which happen to be 2 of my favorite filmmakers). Plus, it's a film from an Asian-American, so it's great to see another voice out there. This is another film where I enjoy it for showing Asians in a different light. They're not just a supporting character, tech guy, nerd who can't speak English. These are fully realized characters. With doubts. With drive. With sexuality. Though not a perfect film, this definitely stuck with me.

13. A TALE OF WINTER (1992)  written & directed by Eric Rohmer
I find it funny that, like his films, Rohmer has slowly and quietly become one of my favorite filmmakers of the past few years. Just look at my list from last year and you'll see his movies there as well. This time, this tale explores longing and the "what might have been", in only the way Rohmer can do. There are some marvelous, understated performances going on...and I'm always fascinated on how he makes normal life in cinema so utterly engrossing (a perfect example of this is the last shot of the film). Also, in some strange way, I find Rohmer's tales now trickling into influencing my more personal scripts. I'm interested to see how this manifests itself when I make my next movie.

12. MEDECIN DE CAMPAGNE (2016) -  directed by Thomas Lilti | written by Thomas Lilti & Baya Kasmi
Okay, you might think I'm morbid, but for some odd reason....since the death of my father last year, films that deal with death and the quality of life you lead really hit me in a certain way now. So much so that I know this French film might be on the lighter side in terms of story. But the characters (and their predicaments) are so rich. And for me, I always love watching Francois Cluzet. He's always so endlessly interesting to me.  And he makes everything look so effortless. Marianne Denic

11. MODERN ROMANCE (1981) -  directed by Albert Brooks | written by Albert Brooks, Monica Mcgowan Johnson
Albert Brooks was in top form with his writing/directing game during the 80s (well honestly, all his films are pretty damn good). This one has a lot of industry jokes which I found very amusing. Kathyrn Harrold is utterly charming. It's fun to see the underrated Bruno Kirby (man, he' soooo good) in this too. Brooks' neurosis is pretty much unmatched in cinema (only Woody Allen is a close comparison), so be prepared. This is the rom-com that I love. And it's true, they don't make 'em like they used to anymore.

10. THAT MAN FROM RIO (1964) -  directed by Philippe de Broca | written by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Ariane Mnouchkine, Daniel Boulanger, Philippe de Broca
Look no further for an amusing cinematic adventure, where you'll find influences to Spielberg's RAIDERS all over it. I don't think I had a more enjoyable time in this crime caper led by the ever so charming Belmondo. 

9. MISTRESS AMERICA (2015) -  directed by Noah Baumbach | written by Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig
Watching a film with unlikeable characters is a fine balance. Some filmmakers do it very well,  some don't. Baumbach films are hit or miss with me...and it always has to do with if his lead character is someone I can stand being around for a few hours. And this film was one where I just somehow enjoyed being in the company of Brooke (deliciously played by Gerwig). It's the performances that make this film.

8. NUESTROS AMANTES (2016) written & directed by Miguel Angel Lamata
This is clearly influenced by Linklater's BEFORE trilogy. However, there's enough of a fresh spin on it that kept me engaged. It could also have to do wth the fact that I find Mihcelle Jenner so very charming (please see EXTRATERRESTRIAL if you haven't). This actually might be like  "Rohmer-light", which you can tell is the type of films really exciting me nowadays. 

7. CHLOE IN THE AFTERNOON (1972) written & directed by Eric Rohmer
Haha yes. Another Rohmer film. This is the last installment of his "6 Moral Tales" and it's really engaging. Dealing with marriage and fidelity. Again, it's a sort of meandering, but totally engrossing, snapshot of "ordinary" life and relationships. But it's done so, so well. You want it to last forever. 

6. FEMALE AGENTS (2008) -  directed by Jean-Paul Salome | written by Jean-Paul Salome, Laurent Vachaud
The kind of period-adventure film I'd love to direct. A great throwback adventure with some very engaging female leads. I was riveted the whole time. Sophie Marceau is a particular standout, but all the ensemble performances are great. Moritz Bliebtreu (for me, most memorable from RUN LOLA RUN) steals the show.

5. PAULINE AT THE BEACH (1983) written & directed by Eric Rohmer
At this point, you might be able to guess that I'm going through Rohmer's filmography. And you'd be right. This was my favorite of his that I saw in 2016. This is a delicate story taking place during a holiday getaway. We see their lives and revelations unfold without melodrama. It's all about little moments. And how significant they are. (Sorry, I couldn't find a trailer with English subtitles).  

4. THE HANDMAIDEN (2016) -  directed by Chan-wook Park | written by Seo-kyeong Jeong & Chan-wook Park
No other filmmaker took me on such an incredibly wacked-out journey this year. There is such vision to this tale that I don't know where to begin. Other than, it pretty much went in directions I never could predict. All the performances were stellar. And visually, it's probably the most beautiful I saw in 2016. 

3. LA LA LAND (2016) written & directed by Damien Chazelle
I love musicals, so I was biased already going in to this. And it delivered. So many great things about this film. The love for jazz. The struggles of artists. The songs. This is one I look forward to revisiting like an old friend. 

2. ARRIVAL (2016) -  directed by Denis Villeneuve | written by Eric Heisserer
I walked out of this feeling hope. And with the current state of the world, that was really important. So, it could be just great timing that this film came along when it did. It's life affirming. Full of love. The science fiction is smart. And I really appreciated most of the characters for being fully realized. The editing in this one is also very inspiring. Not sure if Amy Adams gives an Oscar-worthy performance, but she's solid as always and, yet again, makes me hope to work with her soon.

1. SING STREET (2016) written & directed by John Carney
Nothing brought a smile to my face more than this. Smart. Charming. Hopeful. And great songs. It's a nice blend of a John Hughes film with Carney's ONCE. And it handles expertly the evolution of a person learning about music, while also learning about themselves. Loved it. Another one I'll be watching again and again. 

My favorite tv shows I saw in 2016:

INSECURE
STRANGER THINGS
THIS IS US
THE PEOPLE v. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY

here's most everything I saw in 2016 (when I remembered to jot it down)

1/1 - The Song; Songs for Amy; Meet The Patels
1/2 - Big Significant Things; Rock Star (rewatch); Making a Murderer (2)
1/3 - Making a Murderer (2)
1/4 - Making a Murderer (3)
1/5 - Making a Murderer (3)
1/6 - Shark Tank; Absence of Malice; Kitten With A Whip;
1/7 - Man Seeking Woman;
1/8 - Room
1/9 - Shark Tank
1/10 - Adult World; The Aviator’s Wife
1/11 - Junior Masterchef; Bowie Doc; A Tale of Springtime
1/12 - Beyond Shark Tank; A Tale of Winter
1/13 - American Idol
1/14 - American Idol
1/15 - American Idol
1/16 - Galaxy Quest (rewatch); Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (rewatch)
1/17 - Junior Masterchefs
1/18 - Beyond the Shark Tank
1/19 - Chloe in the Afternoon; Spotlight
1/20 - The Apartment (rewatch); Ray Donovan (2)
1/21 - American Idol
1/22 - Go (rewatch); Switched At Birth
1/23 - The Last Detail (rewatch); Switched At Birth (2)
1/24 - Only You (rewatch); Switched At Birth; When Harry Met Sally (rewatch)
1/26 - Switched At Birth (2)
1/27 - Switched At Birth (3); Notting Hill (rewatch)
1/28 - About A Boy (rewatch); Last Shift
1/29 - American Idol; Beyond Shark Tank
1/30 - Shark Tank
1/31 - Grease: Live
2/1  - Frozen Time (rewatch)
2/4 - Jem and the Holograms; All Things Must Pass; Joe Vs. The Volcano (rewatch)
2/5 - The Great Beauty;
2/9 - American Idol (2)
2/10 - The Intern
2/12 - American Idol (2)
2/14 - Vinyl, Fresh Off The Boat
2/15 - Burnt
2/20 - Scott Pilgram Vs. The World; Steve Jobs; Infinitely Polar Bear;
2/23 - Unnerved; Broadcast News (rewatch); Tumbledown
2/24 - Tootsie (rewatch); Fresh Off The Boat; Becoming Mike Nichols
2/25 - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2)
2/27 - The Librarians; American Idol (2), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2)
2/28 - The Librarians (4); Oscars
3/1 - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
3/2 - The X-Files
3/3 - Pauline At The Beach; Secret Admirer (rewatch)
3/4 - American Idol; Barista
3/5 - Creed; Man Up
3/6 - Music and Lyrics (rewatch); Becoming Bulletproof; Take The Lead;
3/7 - Vinyl; Step Up (rewatch)
3/8 - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend; Five Easy Pieces (rewatch)
3/9 - Matchstick Men (rewatch);
3/10 - Breaking Through; Fresh Off The Boat; The X-Files,
3/11 - American Idol; Love (2)
3/12 - Shark Tank; Love (6)
3/15 - Love
3/16 - The Voice
3/17 - Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened; Fresh Off The Boat
3/18 - American Idol
3/19 - The Big Short
3/20 - Shark Tank; Togetherness (2)
3/21 - His Way; Everything Is Copy
3/22 - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend; Duets (rewatch)
3/24 - Fresh Off The Boat
3/25 - American Idol;
3/26 - Maze Runner: Scorch Trials
3/27 - Lachey’s Bar; Togetherness
3/28 - Ocean’s 11 (rewatch); How To Dance In Ohio
3/29 - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend; Lachey’s Bar (3)
3/30 - Fresh Off The Boat; Lachey’s Bar (2)
3/31 - The Cutting Edge (rewatch); St Elmo’s Fire (rewatch)
4/1 - American Idol; Lost and Found Music Studios
4/2 - Sucker;
4/3 - Trainwreck; Togetherness
4/4 - Billion Dollar Buyer (2)
4/5 - Restaurant Startup (2)
4/6 - Fabulous Baker Boys (rewatch); Billion Dollar Buyer; American Idol
4/7 - American Idol
4/8 - One More Time; Billion Dollar Buyer; Restaurant Startup (3)
4/9 - Shark Tank; Pauly Shore Stands Alone
4/10 - American Crime Story: The People V. OJ Simpson (2)
4/11 - The People V. OJ Simpson (2)
4/12 -  The People V. OJ Simpson (2)
4/13 -  The People V. OJ Simpson (2)
4/14 -  The People V. OJ Simpson; Fresh Off The Boat
4/15 -  The People V. OJ Simpson
4/16 - That Man From Rio; Heartbreaker (rewatch)
4/17 - Shark Tank
4/18 - One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich & the Lost American Film
4/19 - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
4/20 - Billion Dollar Buyer; Mr. Holland’s Opus (rewatch)
4/21 - Leave The World Behind;
4/22 - Patton Oswald
4/23 - Shark Tank
4/24 - We Are Twisted Fucking Sister; Life According to Sam;
4/25 - The Duff (rewatch); Fan Girl
4/26 - Born This Way (3);
4/27 - Born This Way (2)
4/28 - Born This Way
4/29 - Billion Dollar Buyer;
4/30 - Shark Tank; Fresh Off The Boat
5/1 - Beyond the Shark Tank; Silicon Valley; Petty
5/2 - Petty doc
5/3 - Petty doc
5/4 - Petty doc; Coda
5/5 - Petty doc
5/8 - Shark Tank
5/10 - Fresh Off The Boat
5/11 - Almost Famous (rewatch)
5/12 - The 60s (1)
5/13 - Road To Your Heart
5/14 - Hunger Games: Mockingly Part 2; Mistress America;
5/15 - The Sixties
5/16 - The Sixties (1); Silicon Valley (1)
5/17 - The Seventies, Fresh Off The Boat
5/18 - The Seventies
5/20 - Beyond Shark Tank
5/21 - Shark Tank; Chasing Fortune; Goosebumps
5/22 - Beyond the Shark Tank (2)
5/23 - Silicon Valley; DramaWorld (4)
5/24 - 72 Cutest Animals
6/9 - The Martian
6/10 - Zootopia
6/11 - 72 Cutest Animals
6/12 - Catch Me If You Can (rewatch); Silicon Valley
6/14 - Hello My Name Is Doris
6/16 - Jaco; Tokyo Fiancee
6/17 - Hail Ceasar
6/18 - The Conjuring 2
6/19 - The Nice Guys
6/22 - Silicon Valley
6/23 - Roadies
6/24 - Birdy (concert)
6/25 - Mudcrutch (concert)
6/26 - The Fundamentals of Caring
6/27 - Silicon Valley
6/28 - Game of Thrones (2);
6/29 - Game of Thrones;
6/30 - Deadpool
7/1 - The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
7/2 - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Game of Thrones
7/3 - Hamilton Listening Party
7/4 - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
7/5 - Where Eagles Dare (rewatch); The Muse, The Italian Job (rewatch)
7/6 - Almost Famous (rewatch); Modern Romance
7/7 - 10 Cloverfield Lane
7/8 - Suffragette; Lost In America (rewatch)
7/9 - The Thing Called Love; Mother
7/10 - Defending Your Life (rewatch)
7/11 - Mono
7/12 - Game of Thrones
7/13 - Everybody Wants Some
7/14  Dan In Real Life (rewatch)
7/15 - Stranger Things (3); Ghostheads; Road House (rewatch)
7/16 - Blood Sand; Miles To Go Before I Sleep; Stranger Things (4); Someone Else
7/17 - Stranger Things; Ballers; Green Room; The Mermaid
7/18 - Family Feud; The Match Game
7/19 - Crazy, Stupid, Love (rewatch);
7/20- Ant Man;
7/21 - 13 Going on 30 (rewatch)
7/25 - Ballers
7/27 -  Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days
7/28 - Divergent Series: Allegiant
7/30 - Sing Street
8/1 - Ballers; Miles Ahead;
8/2 - Midnight Special
8/3 - Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru
8/4 - What Women Want (rewatch)
8/5 - Loveless Zoritsa
8/7 - Mannequin (rewatch); I Know That Voice;
8/8 - Little Black Book
8/9 - The Little Prince
8/10 - I'll Do Anything
8/12 - Almost Famous: The Bootleg Cut
8/13 - Bedazzled (1967)
8/14 - Alabama Shakes (concert)
8/15 - Ballers; Working Girl (rewatch)
8/23 - Ballers
8/24 - Clue (rewatch)
8/25 - Freaks and Geeks (2) - rewatch
8/26 - Freaks and Geeks (2) - rewatch
8/27 - Point Break (1991) - rewatch
8/28 - Ballers
8/29 - Brooklyn
8/30 - Freaks and Geeks - rewatch
8/31 - Freaks and Geeks (2) - rewatch
9/1 - Freaks and Geeks - rewatch
9/2 - Freaks and Geeks (3) - rewatch
9/3 - Freaks and Geeks (2) - rewatch
9/6 - Freaks and Geeks - rewatch
9/7 - Freaks and Geeks (2) - rewatch
9/8 - Freaks and Geeks (2) - rewatch
9/9 - One Mississippi (1), De Palma
9/10 - The Iron Giant (rewatch)
9/11 - One Mississippi (1)
9/12 - One Mississippi (1), Savage
9/13 - One Mississippi (1); Terminator: Genisys
9/14 - Pureplant Nation
9/16 - the walking dead
9/17 - Blazing Saddles (rewatch); Young Frankenstein (rewatch)
9/20 - Hall and Oates (concert)
9/22 - Nathaneil Rateliff (concert)
9/23 - The Secret of My Success (rewatch)
9/24 - 9 To 5 (rewatch)
9/28 - Eddie the Eagle; Me Before You; Joy
9/29 - Operator
9/30 - Body
10/1 - How To Plan an Orgy In A Small Town
10/2- The Jungle Book; Murder by Numbers; Marley & Me (rewatch)
10/3 - Westworld; Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made
10/4 - The Secrets of Emily Blair; Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2; Time Lapse
10/5 - Central Intelligence
10/6 - Night of the Living Deb
10/7 - Westworld; Crisis in Six Scenes (1); Particle Fever (rewatch);
10/8 - Predestination
10/9 - Hardcore (rewatch); Act of War
 10/10 - Crisis in Six Scenes (1); Echo
10/11 - Crisis in Six Scenes (1)
10/12 - Crisis in Six Scenes (1)
10/13 - Crisis in Six Scenes (1)
10/14 - I'll Sleep When I'm Dead;
10/16 - Fresh Off The Boat;
10/17 - Big Trouble in Little China (rewatch); Westworld (1)
10/18 - Man Bait; Night of the Comet
10/20 - Being George Clooney
10/21 - Crisis in Six Scenes (1); Hamilton's America; Unutra
10/22 - Mabel At The Wheel; Tillie's Punctured Romance;
10/23 - The Handmaiden; Front Cover
10/24 - Life, Animated; Fresh Off The Boat
10/25 - The Blacklist (1); Westworld (1)
10/26 - The Get Down (1); Other People
10/27 - No Tears For The Dead
10/29 - New Nightmare; The Frighteners (rewatch)
10/31 - Hush; Black Mirror (1), Fresh Off The Boat
11/1 - Black Mirror
11/2 - Black Mirror
11/4 - Love Arcadia, Star Trek: Beyond; Blindspot (2); Captain America: Civil War; Born To Be Blue
11/14 - Ghostbusters (2016); Now You See Me 2; Nuestros Amantes; Medecin de Campagne
11/18 - Cleopatra Jones
11/19 - West Side Story (rewatch); I Am Your Father
11/20 - Female Agents; Born This Way (4); This Is Us (3)
l1/21 - Dirk Gently (2); Cleopatra Jones and The Casino of Gold; As I Am: the Life and Times of DJ AM;
11/22 - Fresh Off The Boat; Born this Way
11/23 - Timeless (2)
11/24 - Billion Dollar Buyer; Timeless (1)
11/25 - Timeless (3)
11/26 - This Is Us
11/27 - Born This Way (2)
11/28 - Insecure;
11/29 - Black Mirror
11/30 - Black Mirror
12/2 - This Is Us; Timeless; Billion Dollar Buyer
12./3 - Shark Tank (3); Fresh Off The Boat
12/4 - Born This Way
12/5 - The Wailing
12/6 - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
12/7 - Arrival
12/8 - Lion
12/10 - Dick Tracy; Nightmare Before Christmas (rewatch)
12/11 - Billion Dollar Buyer; This Is Us
12/12 - Million Dollar Listing
12/13 - Million Dollar Listing (2);
12/15 - Million Dollar Listing (2)
12/16 - Secret Lives of Pets
12/18 - La La Land; Blue Jay; The Wailing; The Lobster
12/19 - Insecure (4);
12/20 - The Boatman
12/21 - Insecure (2); For The Love of Spock;
12/22 - The Zen of Bennett (rewatch)
12/23 - Cafe Society; Final Destination 3 (rewatch)
12/24 - Travelers (2); BTS Force Awakens
12/25 - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (rewatch); In Bruges (rewatch)
12/26 - About Time (rewatch)
12/27 - Wishful Drinking; Cas and Dylan; Fresh Off The Boat (2)
12/28 - Postcards from the Edge
12/29 - Neon Demon; The Big Picture (rewatch); Glitter; Searching for Sugarman
12/30 - Young At Heart; L.A. Apocalypse
12/31 - Gleason; Banshee (2)