This has been bugging me for the longest time but was 2016 the greatest year for movies? Tell me another year when so many great films (not good, but great) were released? I believe 2016 gave us several once in a generation movies, and many struggle to get love because of the high bar set during that year.
1994 and 1968
The best counter point to 2016 being the greatest year is 1994. That year gave us Pulp Fiction, The Lion King, The Shawshank Redemption and Forest Gump. If anyone came to me and claimed one of the aforementioned movies was their favourite of all time, I wouldn’t question their taste.
1968 wasn’t anything to shake your head at either. That year produced 2001: A Space Odyssey, Rosemary’s Baby, Night of the Living Dead, Coogan’s Bluff, Planet of the Apes and The Odd Couple.
I’m always taken aback by the list of movies released in 2016. Of course everyone talks about Moonlight and La La Land, but it was also the year Zootopia, Moana, Kubo and the Two Strings, 13th, Arrival, Hidden Figures and Hacksaw Ridge were released. I’m not finished: Deadpool, The Nice Guys, 10 Cloverfield Lane… let me stop here. It sounds like I’m just listing films but these were special special joints.
Hell or High Water
The film I keep coming back to is Hell or High Water. It’s flat out extraordinary. Any other year and this film would have won the best picture Oscar. It doesn’t have the social or historical relevance of a Moonlight or Hidden Figure and it doesn’t have the razzle dazzle of a La La Land. It’s a dead simple story about poor white people robbing banks in Texas.
As a proud black man that loves Hidden Figures and Moonlight, I believe Hell or High Water is as glorious and as beautiful as any film released in 2016.
Chris Pine and Ben Foster are gobsmacking in this film. I saw this coming from Foster, but Chris Pine?
Honestly, don’t sleep on this film. If you haven’t seen it, find it because it is sensational.