Last year I wrote about the Top 10 2016 Films I Missed in 2016. I probably didn’t call it something as complicated as that, but you get the picture. Either due to the local Odeon only showing films guaranteed to bring money in, or my own incompetence, there were a fair few films I missed in UK cinemas this year as well. In no particular order, here they are!
- Don’t Breathe
While I didn’t think much of the remake of ‘The Evil Dead,’ Fede Álvarez showed enough directoral pizzazz to whet my appetite for a horror feature by him that wasn’t a remake. And so we had ‘Don’t Breathe,’ which had its fair share of critical acclaim. The horror films I managed to watch at the cinema did not even give me the heebeegeebees (‘The Conjuring 2,’ ‘The Boy,’ ‘Lights Out’ to name but a few). Fortunately, I caught ‘The Witch’ on DVD (and forgot all about it for My Top 10 Films of 2016! How could I!). The scares are still with me. But I also heard very good things about ‘Don’t Breathe.’
When ‘The Guardian’ name a film as their favourite film of a certain year, you have to stand up and notice. Charlie Kaufman’s ‘Anomalisa’ was that their choice for best film of 2016. A stop-motion puppet movie? Come on, can it really be that good? Well, critical reviews pointed to it being really, really good. But, as it was, ‘Anomalisa’ was hard to find at the cinema in my part of the UK. I still don’t know much about it, which is the way I’d prefer to go into a film. It’s on my ‘to-watch’ list.
- Hell Or High Water
Well, I hadn’t heard anything about this film until I saw a trailer for it. Straight away, I was enraptured by what I saw. A heist thriller? Speak of it being Oscar-worthy? It involves two brothers who rob banks, but that’s about as much as I know. I’m always feverish for a film that has rave reviews (either to adore it or to hate it). And this film had rave reviews.
Yes, I know this film had mixed reviews. I never played the game. But this was a case of adoring the director, Duncan Jones. ‘Moon’ and ‘Source Code’ were great science fiction films. Surely he could spin out a great fantasy film as well? My brother loved World of Warcraft, so him and I were meant to see it. But it never happened (I bought it for him on Blu Ray). But the reviews haven’t put me off. I’m still looking forward to seeing it!
- The Nice Guys
Shane Black in the director’s chair? Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe leading together? Sign me up! Although I forgot to buy my ticket to see it at the cinema. This was another film met with critical acclaim. Apart from Iron Man 3, I haven’t see a Shane Black directed film. I hoped to rectify that by watching ‘The Nice Guys.’ However, my fiancée did buy it me for Christmas!
You can’t go wrong with Disney, can you? Well, they own pretty much everything. But Moana promised to be something different for the usually white-coloured Disney films. It was a tale about a girl in a Polynesian tribe and a sea goddess. Demigod Maui/The Rock (delete as appropriate) is her sidekick. The other Disney animation this year, ‘Zootropolis,’ was one of my Top 10 Films of 2016 (click here for the list!). Could Disney do it twice in one year? The critical response was an overwhelming yes. So I’ll try to see it…sometime.
- Nocturnal Animals
Like ‘Hell Or High Water,’ ‘Nocturnal Animals’ was another film I only learned about thanks to pre-film trailers at the cinema. It looked dark, mysterious, gritty, and violent…all qualities I admire in a film! It also has Jake Gyllenhaal in, who I have a mancrush on. So there. The plot revolves around a women’s ex-husband’s new novel. She’s convinced it’s some sort of sick revenge against here. Again, the critical response was very favourable. But it was hard to find at the cinema…
Has this even been released in the UK yet? I presume so, but I never found it at the cinema. The critical response was mixed. Oliver Stone hasn’t put out a good film since…oh, before you were born. I could never watch ‘W.’ or ‘World Trade Center’ the whole way through. But come on, he’s done some great films! He must have some of that greatness stored somewhere. And the story of Edward Snowden was one that needed to be told. I’ll find out if it was told well…
- Hail, Caesar
You can rarely go wrong with the Coen Brothers. That’s one of the only reason I was looking forward to this film. They’ve not put a wrong foot forward for a good while. A stellar cast also had my anticipation held high. I heard it was glacially paced and ranked in the lower echelons of the Coens’ work. But I still want to see it!
Remember, this was released in the UK in 2016! Brie Larson won an Oscar for her performance in the film. It was nominated for several other Oscars as well (including Best Picture!). Larson played a women held captive for years with her five year old son. It was supposed to be harrowing, uplifting, brilliant…but I forgot to see it at the cinema. Fortunately I have it on DVD.