Critics Top Ten of 2016

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Re: Critics Top Ten of 2016

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:20 am

Armond White's top film and not so top films of 2016

The President > Southside with You Mohsen Mahkmalbaf’s epic parable about modern-day revolution in a country resembling Iran offers unexpected insight into the effects of despotism on a ruler and his subjects. Makhmalbaf’s insistence on shared humanity — a leader’s obligation to forgive his public and vice versa — furnishes the humanist critique that American media have avoided for the past eight years. Richard Tanne, instead, dished up another fatuous Obama-origin myth for political sycophants.

Being 17 > Moonlight André Téchiné’s exhilarating observation of French and Algerian teens in love anticipates New Europe’s complicated future; Barry Jenkins reduced the black gay American protagonist in his movie to an identity-politics martyr. A humane, visionary work vs. condescending, politically correct propaganda.

Sunset Song > Manchester by the Sea Terence Davies’s deeply empathetic Scottish drama (from Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s novel) finds national and ethnic awareness in a woman’s life struggle, while Kenneth Lonergan’s male weepie forgoes empathy for melodramatic clichés that never rise above self-pity.

Wiener-Dog > The Lobster Todd Solondz’s symbolic dachshund traverses three tales of human will, observing fragmentation nationwide with breathtaking boldness and humor; Yorgos Lanthimos’s self-congratulatory Kubrick-derivative nihilism mocks civilization.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk > La La Land Ang Lee’s moving 3-D vision of post-9/11 stress shows Americans loving one another as citizens and as soul mates — unlike Damien Chazelle’s childish ode to showbiz vanity. Lee transcends genre to remind Americans of what connects them; Chazelle distorts genre into idiotic escapism then deadens it.

Beautiful Something > Moonlight Joseph Graham’s intimate, multi-character cityscape follows the spiritual journey of several Philadelphia gay men, while Moonlight (yes, that con job again) exploits “minority” status to sentimentalize victimization. The personal vs. the pseudo-political.

Batman v Superman > Deadpool Zack Snyder continues to find depth in pop myths, making comic-book archetypes reveal our souls. But Tim Miller’s Edgar Wright–lite comic-book sarcasm defies and denies serious fun.

Hacksaw Ridge, Knight of Cups, Voyage of Time > Silence Mel Gibson professes faith the difficult way, by defending a conscientious objector’s war experience. Terrence Malick searches for faith in Hollywood (fiction) and throughout history (nonfiction). But Martin Scorsese’s latest protracted remake replaces their conviction and originality with a lapse of cinematic faith.

Eisenstein in Guanajuato > Cameraperson Peter Greenaway’s outrageous bio-pic about Sergei Eisenstein, whose impact on cinema is still felt, pairs compassion for the Russian exile’s private life with respect for his art. Kirsten Johnson confuses her ré​sumé as a photographer on PC docs with artistic expression. Genius vs. narcissism.

Miles Ahead > The Birth of a Nation Don Cheadle finds inspiration and invention in Miles Davis’s genius, while Nate Parker misunderstands Nat Turner’s insurrection as instruction. History is to teach not repeat.

Valley of Love, Don’t Call Me Son > Toni Erdmann France’s Guillaume Nicloux and Brazil’s Anna Muylaert both treat family dysfunction as serious business in two innovative films about the difficulty of parenting gay children, while Germany’s Maren Ade sees parental foibles and inherited perversity as a berserk sitcom. Nicloux and Muylaert go deep; Ade goes too far.

Will You Dance with Me? > The 13th Derek Jarman’s previously unreleased record of one night at a London disco in the 1980s survives as a document of assorted human desires unified by popular culture. Ava DuVernay uses the documentary form to showcase today’s race-hustling elites who promote social division through black victimization. Jarman’s joyous, personal interpretation of dance culture makes history; DuVernay’s dubious misinterpretation of the Constitution’s 13th Amendment violates it.

Sully > Rogue One Clint Eastwood celebrates true American heroism while reevaluating the cynical disbelief that has infected post-9/11 culture; Garth Edwards depicts the miasma of war as a dull Star Wars episode. An edifying entertainment for adults vs. ends-justifies-the-means propaganda for children of all ages.

The Mermaid > The BFG Stephen Chow’s action-fantasy just happens to make ecological points while defending the ethics of the forgotten working class. Spielberg’s political parable is a transparent valedictory salute to Obama’s ruling-class elitism, normalized as childhood fantasy. The most popular film in China’s history vs. an American election-year flop.

Kubo and the Two Strings > Finding Dory, Sausage Party Travis Knight responds to the crisis of our rotted pop culture with this fable about the sustenance a boy receives from family memory and hand-fashioned art. It’s far superior to another fishy piece of Pixar sentimentality and Seth Rogen’s millennial update of Animal House raunchiness.

Standing Tall > Fences Emmanuelle Bercot’s story of a lost urban white kid in Paris gives an updated view of how society fails then rescues its own. It bests the theatrical and political clichés of August Wilson’s black Pittsburgh family drama. Contemporary humanism vs. cornball politics.

Patriots Day, The Finest Hours > Manchester by the Sea Peter Berg’s and Craig Gillespie’s true-life New England adventures feature ethnic sensitivity that redefines American character and the action-history genre. But Manchester by the Sea (yes, that con job again) peddles ethnic smugness. Two classic B-movies vs. indie pseudo-art.

Hidden Figures > Elle Theodore Melfi’s pre-feminist heroic trio outperform Paul Verhoeven’s Euro-trash post-feminist heroine. In the former, the personal humanizes politics, while the personal is shallowly politicized in the latter.

Love & Friendship > 20th Century Women Whit Stillman satirizes modern morality in Jane Austen drag, while Mark Mills drags viewers through a Sundance reeducation course in “feminism.”

Rules Don’t Apply > La La Land Warren Beatty’s misconceived whatzit briefly confesses the sex-and-business wonderland of his early days in L.A. It’s far more credible and fascinating than Chazelle’s clumsy, priggish, neo-yuppie “musical” (yes, that con job again).

Aferim! > Captain America: Civil War Radu Jude’s profane Romanian folktale is also an epic satire (in majestic black-and-white) of how a debased culture rationalizes terrorism, pain, and inhumanity. Marvel attempts the same with its superhero franchise, trivializing the concept of “civil war” the same way Bernie Sanders trivializes the concept of “revolution.”
"I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don't think that's right…It's gotten very quiet in here, but that's true." Susan Sarandon on Woody Allen, Cannes Film Festival 2016

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Re: Critics Top Ten of 2016

Postby danfrank » Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:21 pm

Metacritic has done a nice job of compiling the Top 10 lists in recent years: http://www.metacritic.com/feature/film- ... es-of-2016

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Re: Critics Top Ten of 2016

Postby anonymous1980 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:29 pm


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Re: Critics Top Ten of 2016

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:24 am

Film Comment's Top 10 Films of 2016

Like Sight & Sound taken from a poll of film critics (a lot of the same ones at that)

1. Toni Erdmann
2. Moonlight
3. Elle
4. Cemetery of Splendor
5. Certain Women
6. Paterson
7. Manchester by the Sea
8. Aquarius
9. Things to Come
10. No Home Movie
"I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don't think that's right…It's gotten very quiet in here, but that's true." Susan Sarandon on Woody Allen, Cannes Film Festival 2016

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Re: Critics Top Ten of 2016

Postby Sabin » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:37 am

Owen Gleiberman

There was once a time when great movies, as often as not, were mainstream movies. These days, it’s easy to feel that those two things are doomed to live on separate islands. Yet not always: A number of the movies on my list, from the bedazzled romance of “La La Land” to the somber excitement of “Patriots Day,” testify to a resurgence, at the movies, of a certain kind of old-school populism. And why not? These may be turbulent and troubled times, but that’s reflected in both the passion onscreen and the passion of moviegoers themselves.

1. “La La Land”
Damien Chazelle’s starry-eyed moody confection of a musical is the rare modern movie that does the thing we all (in our hidden hearts) long for: It puts you — and leaves you — in a trance. It’s set against a twinkling magic-hour L.A., with Ryan Gosling’s short-fused jazz snob and Emma Stone’s sharp-tongued aspiring actress melting through each other’s defenses until they’re dancing on air. But just when you think you’ve got it pegged as a newfangled, old-fashioned love story, “La La Land” becomes the ravishingly downbeat tale of what it takes to make creative dreamers tick. Justin Hurwitz’s melodies are irresistible in such a bittersweet way that they leave you in a teary swoon, and the movie, for all the MGM in its DNA, turns into a more sublime Jacques Demy film than Jacques Demy ever made.


2. “Hell or High Water”
You could call it a neo-Western, a hair-trigger crime thriller, or the tangled drama of two brothers: one (Ben Foster) born to be bad, the other (Chris Pine) a good man who needs to become bad to be good — to redeem his family in financially scary times. What it adds up to is that David Mackenzie’s riveting tale of amateur bank robbers is a movie that brilliantly echoes the desperate humanity of the underworld psychodramas of the ’70s. Pine, at last, proves that he’s a major actor, and Taylor Sheridan’s savory dialogue — the best of the year — is what Jeff Bridges chews on like tobacco to create a rawhide Texas Ranger as lived-in as he is ingenious.


3. “Manchester by the Sea”
“Devastation” is a word that’s been overused just enough to numb its meaning, but Kenneth Lonergan’s exquisitely sculpted drama never lets us forget what it means: The movie is about a man who’s a walking case of devastation — and with good reason. He destroyed everything he loved. Is there hope for him? That’s the question that powers Casey Affleck’s magnetically surly lost-soul performance. And it’s a question the movie confronts with masterly precision — and with a kind of cold-biting wintry wit, as Affleck’s Lee, a Massachusetts handyman, steps up to become the guardian of his nephew (the terrific Lucas Hedges), searching for a redemption that almost any other movie — i.e., one less bold than this one — would have given him.


4. “I Am Not Your Negro“
In a year of superlative nonfiction films (“Weiner,” “O.J.: Made in America,” “13TH”), Raoul Peck’s staggering meditation on the life, thought, and very being of James Baldwin towers over all of them as a documentary of haunting poetic force. It is also, ironically, the timeliest vision of racial politics made this year — even though it’s based on writings that are 30 to 50 years old. It’s an exhilarating kaleidoscope of filmmaking that explores the violence that racism inflicts upon the spirit: of the oppressed, and of the oppressors, too.

5. “Jackie”
Jacqueline Kennedy remains such an iconic dawn-of-the-media-age figure — the wardrobe, the manners, the breathy Brahmin vowels — that Pablo Larraín’s drama about the agonizing week she spent after her husband’s assassination may sound like a gossipy art stunt. But it takes us movingly close to her trauma, sensitivity, and unacknowledged power as an image manipulator. Natalie Portman creates a brilliant impersonation and uses it to etch her way inward, so that you may emerge feeling that you know Jackie Kennedy for the very first time.

6. “Sully”
In his enthrallingly structured, heart-wrenching docudrama, Clint Eastwood has the audacity to portray Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) as a countercultural hero: an airline captain who, in meeting disaster by landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River, didn’t go by the book (or the computer). He went on instinct, and that places him in opposition to the whole techno-bureaucratic machine. Hanks reminds you of how good it truly is when he’s great.


7. “Don’t Think Twice”
As soon as you hear the premise — an indie drama about a troupe of improv comics in New York City — you think, “Okay, that sounds really small.” But the beauty of Mike Birbiglia’s second feature, apart from how fantastically written and acted it is (especially its acid inside satire of “Saturday Night Live”), is that it captures, as much as “La La Land” or the career of Arcade Fire, the struggle to keep the candle of bohemia burning in a world of corporate entertainment.

8. “Snowden”
What if Oliver Stone made his most galvanizing film in 20 years, and nobody gave a damn? “Snowden” was written off as a middle-of-the-road, old-news triviality, yet it tells a story even “Citizenfour” didn’t: how the new surveillance state evolved — what it looks like, how it works, and (most subtly, since it’s something that a lot of critics didn’t get) why it’s probably not going away. As Edward Snowden, the lonely young hacker in the thick of it, Joseph Gordon-Levitt isn’t just a whistleblower hero. He’s our tersely captivating tour guide through the new Orwellian house of mirrors.

9. “Deadpool”
At this point, it’s no trick to concoct a franchise superhero movie that delivers the action/eye-popping/saving-the-world goods. But how do you make one that’s genuinely out-of-the-box thrilling? You do it by giving us an anti-superhero (Ryan Reynolds) with a face like the Phantom of the Opera, an attitude darker than Jean-Paul Sartre’s, and a wit like rusty barb wire. And you do it by having the movie itself mirror his cutthroat bravura: Tim Miller, in his first feature, directs with a zigzag nihilistic flash that makes every scene a surprise.


10. “Patriots Day”
Peter Berg’s film about the Boston Marathon bombing is the most riveting Hollywood docudrama to emerge from the post-9/11 world since “United 93,” and that’s not a coincidence, since Berg creates his own version of Paul Greengrass’s awesomely sprawling and spontaneous you-are-there aesthetic. The depiction of the bombing is profoundly suspenseful in its terror and horror, and the search for the perpetrators (who are portrayed as louts with a grudge) results in a gripping procedural that climaxes with an action sequence that will leave you drop-jawed.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Critics Top Ten of 2016

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:23 pm

Manohla Dargis:
1)No Home Movie
2)Toni Erdmann
3)Moonlight
4)O.J.: Made in America
5)My Golden Days
6)I Am Not Your Negro
7)Arrival
8)The Handmaiden
9)13th
10)From the Notebook Of...

H.M.s: “Aquarius” (from Kleber Mendonça Filho); “Autumn” and “The Dreamer” (Nathaniel Dorsky); “Bagatelle II” (Jerome Hiler); “Certain Women,” especially Kristen Stewart (Kelly Reichardt); “Creepy” (Kiyoshi Kurosawa); “The Fits” (Anna Rose Holmer); “The Illinois Parables” (Deborah Stratman); “Into the Inferno” (Werner Herzog); “Jackie” and “Neruda” (Palo Larraín); “Krisha” (Trey Edward Shults); “La La Land,” if mostly its finale (Damien Chazelle); “Loving” (Jeff Nichols); “Mountains May Depart” (Jia Zhangke); “Paterson” (Jim Jarmusch); “Sunset Song” (Terence Davies); “20th Century Women” (Mike Mills).


A.O. Scott
1)Moonlight
2)O.J.: Made in America
3)Toni Erdmann
4)Cameraperson
5)Aferim!
6)American Honey
7)Aquarius
8)Sausage Party
9)A Bigger Splash
10)Elle and Things to Come

Stephen Holden:
1)Moonlight
2)O.J.: Made in America
3)American Honey
4)Embrace of the Serpent
5)Manchester by the Sea
6)Neon Bull
7)Fire at Sea
8)Elle
9)Aquarius
10)RUNNERS-UP “Fireworks Wednesday,” “Krisha,” “Sunset Song,” “Wiener-Dog,” “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years,” “Chronic,” “Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened,” “20th Century Women,” “13TH,” “Paterson” and “Things to Come.”
"I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don't think that's right…It's gotten very quiet in here, but that's true." Susan Sarandon on Woody Allen, Cannes Film Festival 2016

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Re: Critics Top Ten of 2016

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:26 am

Big Magilla wrote:Yup, Roar, the bizarre 1981 Tippi Hedren movie was re-released in April, 2015 and on Blu-ray in November, 2015 which is where John Waters likely saw it for the first time.

https://thefilmstage.com/news/john-wate ... -and-more/


I loved Roar when I first saw it back in 1981. It had a great catch-line: "There's never been a film like Roar before, and there never will be again".

If I'm not mistaken I think at the time it was the biggest budgeted independent film ever made and it lost a bucket load of money.

I saw it again a few years again and it hasn't aged well at all. Even so I couldn't resist purchasing the blu-ray last year for old times sake.

I've also popped Like Cattle Towards Glow into my Amazon cart - have to see it for myself. Apart from that and Wiener-Dog which I'll see in the new year I've seen all of the other films on John Waters' list. Must say he is most unpredictable and I do share two of the same top ten (Elle & A Quiet Passion) with him.
"I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don't think that's right…It's gotten very quiet in here, but that's true." Susan Sarandon on Woody Allen, Cannes Film Festival 2016

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Re: Critics Top Ten of 2016

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:45 am

Yup, Roar, the bizarre 1981 Tippi Hedren movie was re-released in April, 2015 and on Blu-ray in November, 2015 which is where John Waters likely saw it for the first time.

https://thefilmstage.com/news/john-wate ... -and-more/

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Re: Critics Top Ten of 2016

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:48 am

John Waters' top ten of the year

I'm baffled by Roar I don't know if he means the 1981 film of something else?

Edit: Did a google search and it is the 1981 Noel Marshall film.

1. Krisha
2. Tickled
3. Everybody Wants Some!! ("the best accidentally gay movie ever")
4. Roar
5. Wiener-Dog ("the funniest dog movie since Godard’s Goodbye to Language")
6. Elle
7. Julieta (a "hellodrama")
8. Like Cattle Towards Glow (an "Eric Rohmer–like porno")
9. Valley of Love ("Even dead Pasolini would love this film")
10. A Quiet Passion
"I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don't think that's right…It's gotten very quiet in here, but that's true." Susan Sarandon on Woody Allen, Cannes Film Festival 2016

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Critics Top Ten of 2016

Postby Precious Doll » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:49 pm

From Sight and Sound poll of critics:

1. “Toni Erdmann” (Maren Ade)
2. “Moonlight” (Barry Jenkins)
3. “Elle” (Paul Verhoeven)
4. “Certain Women” (Kelly Reichardt)
5. “American Honey” (Andrea Arnold)
6. “I, Daniel Blake” (Ken Loach)
7. “Manchester by the Sea” (Kenneth Lonergan)
8. “Things to Come” (Mia Hansen-Løve)
9. “Paterson” (Jim Jarmusch)
10. “The Death of Louis XIV” (Albert Serra)
11. “Personal Shopper” (Olivier Assayas)
=11. “Sieranevada” (Cristi Puiu)
13. “Fire At Sea” (Gianfranco Rosi)
=13. “Nocturama” (Bertrand Bonello)
=13. “Julieta” (Pedro Almodóvar)
16. “La La Land” (Damien Chazelle)
=16. “Cameraperson” (Kirsten Johnson)
18. “Love & Friendship” (Whit Stillman)
19. “Aquarius” (Kleber Mendonça Filho)
=19. “Victoria” (Sebastian Schipper)
"I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don't think that's right…It's gotten very quiet in here, but that's true." Susan Sarandon on Woody Allen, Cannes Film Festival 2016


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