Nothing puts me on the spot more than the question I always get: “What’s a good movie you’ve seen lately that I should see?” Despite watching and writing about them, I’m often unable to come up with a single title, and wish I had a list in front of me so I could remember to tell you what’s good and what to skip.
So I made one: a list of what I reviewed in 2016, and whether they’re worth your time to check out.
“A Walk in the Woods” — Robert Redford ruins great book. Skip.
“Mr. Holmes” — Ian McKellen as old Sherlock Holmes. Recommended for fans of the actor or the detective.
“Irrational Man” — Joaquin Phoenix does Woody Allen. Misanthropes’ delight.
“Digging for Fire” — Watchable dramedy with the guy from “New Girl.”
“Dope” — Hilarious coming of age comedy about some wannabe gangster kids. Highly recommended.
“Hail, Caesar!” — Another impeccably genius Coen Brothers film. It bombed because it was too good for this world.
“The Overnight” — Decent but uncomfortable. DO NOT watch with parents/kids. Full-frontal nudity throughout!
“Trumbo” — This would actually be a good one to watch with your parents. Bryan Cranston is great in a story based on the Hollywood blacklist.
“Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” — Least disappointing “reboot” ever. Watch!
“Anomalisa” — Charlie Kaufman. Puppet coitus. It’s not for everybody.
“Steve Jobs” — TOO LONG. Skippable.
“Zootopia” — Definitely a high point in the animated movie year.
“Grandma” — Wonderful Lily Tomlin movie. Must see.
“Spotlight” — The rare Oscar winner that actually deserved it. The depiction of the importance of real journalism is now officially heartbreaking to watch.
“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” — One of the highlights of the year!
“The Family Fang” — Worth watching but not as good as the novel.
“Last Cab to Darwin” — Very moving and unusual.
“Love and Friendship” — Wonderful Whit Stillman movie of a Jane Austen book.
“Crimson Peak” — Gorgeous, blood-drenched Guillermo Del Toro story. Fun flick.
“Victor Frankenstein” — Crap, essentially.
“Don Verdean” — HORRIBLE.
“Legend” — Tom Hardy plays two roles but it’s still not great.
“Alice Through the Looking Glass” — Any resemblance to “Alice in Wonderland” is purely coincidental.
“Maggie’s Plan” — Definitely recommended drama with Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore and Greta Gerwig.
“Don’t Think Twice” — Favorite Movie of the Year.
“Captain Fantastic” — Viggo Mortensen is a (hot) off-the-grid dad. Sad but good.
“The Lobster” — You must experience this movie, even though the experience is actually painful.
“Knight of Cups” — I doze off at the mere mention of this Terrence Malick excursion. Skip!
“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” — I think one of the year’s biggest box office bombs was unfairly maligned.
“Everybody Wants Some!!” — Richard Linklater college movie. Watch!
“Moonwalkers” — There’s no reason to bother with this movie about a fake Stanley Kubrick fake moon landing.
“A Hologram for the King” — A perfect example of a really good movie that I totally forgot about. Definitely watch.
“Hell or High Water” — Second Favorite Movie of the Year.
“The Meddler” — Solid Susan Sarandon chick flick.
“Swiss Army Man” — Bring a strong stomach and an open mind if you dare.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” — Everything a fantasy should be.
“A Bigger Splash” — Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes are swoonworthy in performance, and costumes. Watch!
Now you’re ready to spend your holiday on the couch. Of all the movies I reviewed this year, I would put “Don’t Think Twice,” about a comedy troupe torn apart by fame, at the top of the list. It’s a hilarious and touching, well-written and memorable performance by a terrific comedic ensemble cast.