From comedy, drama and mystery to action, animation and adventure, 2016 produced a lot of great movies from several different genres. But perhaps the best came from true-life historical tales that haven’t been unearthed for the masses until now. Find out what the best of the best were in this look at the top movies from last year.
10. “The Finest Hours” An incredible true story of a Coast Guard member’s (Chris Pine) act of selflessness over selfishness – a heartening tale from the 1950s that has amazingly been lost at sea until now.
9. “Kubo and the Two Strings”
Laika’s latest and greatest – this time about a boy’s mystical quest in ancient Japan – is a stop-motion masterpiece.
8. “Fences” Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are a powerhouse duo in the big-screen adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
7. “Deadpool” Ryan Reynolds redefines the superhero genre with a bombastic, laugh-out-loud R-rated look at the origins of the Merc with a Mouth.
6. “Nocturnal Animals” Writer-director Tom Ford takes a big step away from the fashion world with an ultra-intense story within a story about lost love and revenge.
5. “Eye in the Sky” Helen Mirren is a force to be reckoned with and Alan Rickman takes his final bow with grace in this heart wrenching war drama about a dilemma surrounding a pending drone strike.
4. “Manchester by the Sea” Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams deliver two of the best performances of the year in this heartbreaking family drama where a man is forced to return to his hometown and must confront his tragic past in the process.
3. “Hell or High Water” Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster command your attention throughout in this smart, intense crime thriller about a pair of bank robbing brothers on a collision course with an aging Texas Ranger.
2. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” The best “Star Wars” film since “The Empire Strikes Back” cleverly fills in the gaps between “Episodes III” and “Episode IV,” with a prequel about how exactly rebels stole the plans to the Death Star.
1. “Hacksaw Ridge” Director Mel Gibson has created an enduring masterpiece with this compelling true story of forgotten World War II hero Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), a battle medic who single-handedly saved 75 soldiers, one by one, in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. An inspiring, in-depth look at Doss — the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor – “Hacksaw Ridge” not only best film of the year but maybe the best film in years, and its message of courage, selflessness and sacrifice will echo for generations.
Honorable mentions: There are at least a dozen other films worthy of praise, including “Sully,” “Moana,” “Finding Dory,” “10 Cloverfield Lane,” “Don’t Breathe,” “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” “Deepwater Horizon,” “The BFG,” “Jackie,” “The Jungle Book,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “Patriots Day.”
Worst of 2016: The 10 worst films of 2016, in no particular order: “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Office Christmas Party,” “X-Men: Apocalypse,” “Blair Witch,” “Keanu,” “Zoolander 2,” “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” “Rules Don’t Apply,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” “Warcraft” and bonus pick, “Bridget Jones’s Baby” (wife’s pick).
Most overrated of 2016: Most critics loved these movies, but I simply didn’t get the fascination: “La La Land,” “Arrival,” “Midnight Special.”