Each January I’ve written a blog titled “The Best Movies” of that year and each year I’ve felt the movies in general weren’t as good as the previous year.  It finally dawned on me that there is a disconnect between what I think are the best and what the critics and Oscar voters think.

The other thing I realized is we went to the movies less in 2016 because there wasn’t that much we wanted to see—don’t care much for science fiction, animated or scary flicks.

So from here on I will call this blog “The Movies I Enjoyed in 2016.”  Just not sure what “best” means any more.

In 2015, we listed six movies as our best:

  • Steve Jobs
  • The Martian
  • Spotlight
  • The Big Short
  • Brooklyn
  • Bridge of Spies

The Oscar winner was Birdman, which I didn’t want to see, and kind of proves my point.  So, here, in no particular order, are the movies I enjoyed in the last year, none of which will probably take an Oscar.  The figures in parenthesis are the ratings from the Rotten Tomatoes website.

The Music Of Strangers:  Yo Yo Ma And The Silk Road Ensemble – A sleeper with not the most inviting title, but an outstanding documentary.  The music was great.  It was a delight to see so much joyous music coming out of disturbance and pain.

Hell Or High Water – Texas Ranger Jeff Bridges, on the eve of his retirement, goes hot on the trail of two brothers who hatch a scheme to do a bank heist as revenge for the bank’s attempt to foreclose on their family’s property.

The Beatles:  Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years (95%) – In February 1964, the Beatles stepped onto the Ed Sullivan stage.  They performed to the then largest audience in television history and changed the music industry.  Most enjoyable documentary on how the group got started and got to the jumping off point of stardom.

Fences (93%) – Denzel Washington (always a favorite) directed and stars in this adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize play.  He plays a garbage collector in the 1950s who takes the frustration of an unfulfilled life out on his family.  Viola Davis is great as his wife.  Really good flick!

Sully (85%) – The always-outstanding Tom Hanks stars in this thrilling portrait of Chesley Sullenberger’s incredible, successful emergency landing of the Airbus full of passengers on the Hudson River.  Well done!

Manchester By The Sea (97%) – Casey Affleck inherits the guardianship of his spirited 16-year-old nephew and offers a compelling story of heartbreak and heartening.  It hits you with its honesty and authenticity as it resolves a basic conflict.

Café Society – Another underrated Woody Allen enjoyable romp and glittering valentine to the movie stars, socialites, playboys, debutants and gangsters who epitomized the excitement and glamour of the 1930’s.

Deepwater Horizon (84%) – Mark Wahlberg brings us back convincingly to the horrific oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.  Great photography and intense drama!

Hidden Figures – it’s the incredible untold story of three black women who were an integral part of NASA’s first launch of John Glenn into orbit.  Warm and humorous.  A feel-good flick.

An also ran was Eye In The Sky (95%) with another all-star performance by Helen Mirren.

That’s it.  Let’s see what we get in 2017.


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