2016 was dominated by animated films both commercially and critically. There’s even a few on this list
Deadpool took the tongue-in-cheek and self-referential tone of Ant-Man and turned it up to 11. It was unabashedly R-rated. The limited budget forced the filmmakers to make more creative and interesting action scenes. The best comic book movie of the past few years
The Edge of Seventeen
On paper this seems like a formulaic coming of age teen comedy. But its much more honest about growing up and about teen sexuality than most movies. Hailee Steinfeld delivers another star making performance. She really captures what it feels like to be a mixed up teenager. And this is the first mainstream teen movie I’ve ever seen that treats an Asian male love interest with respect.
Pixar has done it yet again. They’ve made a movie that appeals to kids on a surface level but has many emotional layers for their parents. This sequel to Finding Nemo feels like a natural continuation of that story. It pulls out themes that were buried or throwaways in the original and gives them emotional weight in this follow-up.
La La Land
This film is a realistic portrayal of a relationship and a making it in showbiz fantasy story. That is a musical set in an idealized version of Los Angeles. All of those disparate parts shouldn’t fit together, but director Damien Chazelle makes them. La La Land is its own world. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have good chemistry together and are perfect for their roles. But what makes the movie great is the visuals, the most imaginative and interesting of the year.
This animated childrens’ movie is quite a clear race allegory. The plot is rote, but the world its set in is engrossing. The movie is expertly animated, acted, and executed. An even better kids movie than Finding Dory.
Captain America:Civil War; Captain Fantastic; Custody; I, Daniel Blake; Kubo and the Two Strings, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story