Film Review Archives 2016

Best Film of 2016:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (d. Gareth Edwards USA 2016) – Review

2016 marks similar themes that has been around for a while. Sci-Fi, Superheroes and Fantasy are in and nostalgia is the king at the moment. There is a touch of the dark and real dramas also shining through. So, looking to superheroes we see a clash of ideals as Captain America and Iron Man fight it out and Batman and Superman clash in one of the most anticipated failures this year. It seems we, as heroes, are starting to question ourselves and this is also reflected in the rising dramas like Deepwater Horizon (d. Peter Berg Hong Kong/USA 2016), Nocturnal Animals (d. Tom Ford USA 2016) and The Neon Demon (d. Nicolas Winding Refn USA/Denmark/France 2016), that bring us back to a complex reality. Star Wars and Star Trek continue their Sci-Fi franchies and for fantasy: Warcraft: The Beginning (d. Duncan Jones USA/Canada/China/ Japan 2016), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (d. David Yates USA/UK 2016) and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (d. Tim Burton USA/UK/Belgium 2016). Disney continues the nostalgia whilst introducing more CGI and darkness with The Jungle Book (d. Jon Favreau USA/UK 2016) and Pete’s Dragon (d. David Lowery USA 2016). Is darker necessarily more realistic? These films have the atmospheres of both. The darkness is certainly appreciated elsewhere with Deadpool (d. Tim Miller USA/Canada 2016) and Sausage Party (d. Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon USA 2016). Certainly 2016 had some blunders that mostly reflect studio panic:Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (d. Zack Snyder USA 2016) and Suicide Squad (d. David Ayer USA 2016). It seems with studios worrying about the most bankable films and relying on franchises: Independence Day: Resurgence (d. Roland Emmerich USA 2016), London Has Fallen (d. Babak Najafi USA 2016) or adaptations The BFG (d. Steven Spielberg USA/UK/Canada 2016), The Legend of Tarzan (d. Yates USA/UK/Canada 2016), it seems they also can’t decide where to take films and therefore impose last minute cuts! The studio system is crumbling. Also worth mentioning new spins on revivals with the all girl Ghostbusters (d. Paul Feig USA 2016) – not a bad idea but not a good film. 

So quite a mixed year with a lot happening and with all this in mind I want to give honourable mentions. Despite the disasters and mess there were some great landmarks in film. Deadpool and Doctor Strange (d. Scott Derrickson USA 2016) have flaws but are also pushing boundaries and (re)introducing characters in entertaining ways. I have to confess I unfortunately missed シン ゴジラ / Shin Gojira (d. Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi Japan 2016), Zootopia (d. Byron Howard, Rich Moore USA 2016), La La Land (d. Damien Chazelle USA 2016) and Hail, Caesar! (d. Ethan Coen, Joel Coen UK/USA/Japan 2016). Best film of 2016 is therefore Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (d. Gareth Edwards USA 2016). Despite some of the criticism for the characters and effects I feel this film pushes boundaries, is technically impressive and is very entertaining. Moff Tarkin will probably be the biggest wild card for people, I feel they were convincing and impressive though others can see some flaws. (Personally, I may have missed them due to being distracted by the knowledge he’s dead – need to re-watch!)

Further Reading

2016 Gross

Dystopia of 2016

Black Cinema 2016

Archived Reviews

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Doctor Strange

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Sausage Party

Star Trek Beyond

Suicide Squad


Ghostbusters (2016)

Warcraft: The Beginning

X-Men: Apocalypse

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Captain America: Civil War

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

London Has Fallen


2017 2015

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