The 10 Best Movies (I Watched) in 2016

junglebook2016It’s Oscar season, which means there’s a metric ton of movies — probably good ones — that came out at the tail end of 2016 I didn’t get the chance to see. (Arrival, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Hacksaw Ridge, etc.)

But I did my best. What follows is the definitive list of the 10 movies that came out in 2016 that I watched with my entire face and accompanying brain, ranked objectively by goodness.

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Rogue One is Something Special

heres-the-first-cast-photo-of-star-wars-spin-off-movie-rogue-one

About halfway through Rogue One, I found myself taking a mental tally, going over the characters I’d met, the events that had already unfolded and the threads and arcs that had been set up, and wondering, flatly, whether or not I loved the film or merely liked it to that point.

While that may seem like a criticism on the surface, it’s really just a testament to the sort of layered, multifaceted film Gareth Edwards has given us here.

Halfway through this movie, I stopped seeing the characters as heroes on the page or screen and started reacting to them emotionally as if they were people – real people I was witnessing endure in the face of overwhelming odds. Despite the film’s flaws — and there are some — it is the characters who push this entry in the Star Wars canon from simply good into the realm of great.

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