Claudio’s TOP TEN of 2016

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It has been such an upside down year, in general. In the film world, it wasn’t as strange as the events happening in the real world, but it was definitely strange. The year started off with a whimper as always, not counting “Deadpool”, and the summer was huge failure in regards to the summer blockbuster. However, in writing this list, I realized that this year I broke my personal record of movies seen in theaters, so making this list was incredibly difficult. I had nine movies and ten other movies I had to choose from for that last spot. This list was made without me seeing “Arrival” and “Hacksaw Ridge”, so who knows where those would’ve ended up. Without further ado, here are my top ten!

10) Don’t Breathe


Wasn’t expecting this to be on my list because my close friends would tell you that I’m not much of a horror/thriller guy, but what this film does in building suspense left me thinking about it for weeks!

9) Star Trek Beyond


I was so afraid of this movie because while I enjoyed the JJ films, I felt they needed some fresh blood. Justin Lin, director of the “Fast and Furious” franchise was not my first pick. Joined by Simon Pegg on writing duty, they came out with such a character driven film that may be my favorite Trek film to date!

8) Green Room


Once again, not a thriller guy, but the set design and cinematography of this movie is breath taking and one of Anton Yelchin’s best performances. Coming from a rock background, I really felt at home with the dirty, grungy vibe this movie gave off.

7) Doctor Strange


Despite a rocky ending and a few bad jokes, “Doctor Strange” was jaw-dropping. Amazing performances from everyone on board, particularly Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton. Yeah, people are saying the Marvel “formula” is rampant in this movie, but I think this one executed it the best.

6) Deadpool


Before this movie came out, I was probably the only one not on board. The marketing was great aside from the trailers. Everyone talked about how funny the jokes were, but they were so Family Guy-ish, I couldn’t be excited. I mean the bad Family Guy seasons, too. Little did I know this would be my favorite comic-book movie of the year!

5) Swiss Army Man


I’ll admit that this movie isn’t for everyone. Also, fart jokes are the dumbest thing to come out of Hollywood and I’ll never know why they keep churning them out. However, “Swiss Army Man” managed to turn a fart joke into a quirky, fun, and endearing hour and a half film. Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe are severely underrated.

4) Zootopia


This is such an important film!! After such a weird year full of people being split by their beliefs, we need to be reminded that there is a way to work together! It only took a bunch of talking animals in a kid’s movie to relay this message. It’s not a perfect world or movie for that matter, but it offers something for everyone.

3) The Nice Guys


“The Nice Guys” is an incredibly underseen movie. It may have been swallowed up by the summer season, but this is one film I wouldn’t mind a franchise for. I felt the 70’s seeping out of it coupled with a relevant plot and great chemistry between the leads. While “La La Land” didn’t quite make my list, Ryan Gosling is my favorite actor of 2016 with the two movies he had out. If you haven’t seen this, GO TO A RED BOX NOW!

2) Hell or High Water


I don’t see Chris Pine do much outside the realm of the handsome and snarky lead, but that could be because I need to be exposed to more of his work. With this, I’ll definitely be more vigilant of his films because he proves what a power house he could be. Him and Ben Foster make you believe in their brotherhood, which I’m a sucker for. You could put this and my number 1 in the same category of my favorites because it was such a hard decision to make. Number 1 beat “Hell or High Water” by a hair.

And the number one movie goes to……


….just kidding. You can bet this would be in a top worst films list.

1) Lion


I feel like I’m the only person with this movie in a list. I don’t cry often in movies, but when I walked out of this screening and the marketing group was asking for my opinion, I couldn’t let them see my tomato red eyes. I could hear sniffling from my buddy next to me every now and again so I just let it all out. “Lion” is beautiful and such a happy and sad story at the same time. Dev Patel needs more work and while he probably won’t get much recognition for this, he’ll always be the best actor of 2016 in my eyes. This movie is as much about family as it is about the horrible poverty crisis happening in India. See this movie and then go out and do something good for other people and not yourself.

There you have it! 2016 ended up being not the worst year for films. Here’s to 2017 picking up the slack!