A rough, not official Top 38 of 2016













A slow news day brings a post such as this one. This year I went to the usual "important" film festivals: Sundance, Cannes, Toronto and SXSW. Saw close to 200 movies. Today I decided to work my way through the good stuff and the bad stuff to finally get to the list below. Not really in order of quality, but the first five or so movies are probably assured a spot in my year-end top ten list. 

I cut it down to 30 worthy films, a very rough first draft. I had cut it to 10 films for The Playlist, Village Voice and IndieWire polls, but the list I submitted was not even close to 100% correct, I usually need time to refine and re-edit until I get it right. 

For the time being look at this list, scroll through it, ponder it, learn it, catch up to it. Every film on it is a rewarding experience and right now is a good time to watch these movies before the deluge of holiday movies storms into theaters in the next few weeks. I consider each and every one of these to be a "great" movie, at the very least "very good." 

The four unranked films at the bottom will make the list, I just haven't found a ranking for them yet. So this is 38 films. It's been a great year.

1) OJ: Made in America (Ezra Edelman)
2) Paterson (Jim Jarmusch)
3) Krisha (Trey Schultz)
4) Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
5) Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)
6) La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
7) Indignation (James Schamus)
8) Arrival (Denis Villeneuve)
9) Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier)
9) A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino)
10) Zootopia (Howard, Moore and Bush)
10) 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg)
11) Jackie (Pablo Larrain)
12) Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)
13) Elle (Paul Verhoeven)
15) Aquarius (Kleber Mendonza Filho)
16) Right Now, Wrong Then (Sang-Soo Hong)
17) Loving (Jeff Nichols)
18) Weiner (J. Kriegman and Steinberg)
19) Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt)
20) Gleason (Clay Tweel)
21) American Honey (Andrea Arnold)
22) Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig)
23) The Wailing (Hong-Jin Na)
24) Newtown (Kim A. Snyder)
25) Hush (Mike Flanagan)
26) Miss Sloane (John Madden)
27) Lo and Behold (Werner Herzog)
28) Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford)
29) Don't Breathe (Fede Alvarez)
30) Equity (Meera Menon)
31) Hacksaw Ridge (Mel Gibson)
32) In a Valley of Violence (Ti West)
33) From Afar

Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie)
Silence (Martin Scorsese)
The Handmaiden (Park Chan-Wook)
Everybody Wants Some (Richard Linklater)
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