Category Archives: Awards

My Year at the Movies – 2016

Action Scenes of the Year

9) Finale, Sausage Party

8) Atomic breath, Shin Godzilla

7) Bourne vs. the Asset in the sewer, Jason Bourne

6) Mirror Dimension chase, Doctor Strange

5) The proposal, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

4) Batman’s warehouse brawl, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

3) Darth Vader unleashed, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (a horror-action sequence!)

2) Monkey vs. Karasu – duel on the high seas, Kubo and the Two Strings

1) Leipzig airport six-on-six face-off, Captain America: Civil War (the finale is a better dramatic scene but this a superior action scene)

Team Iron Man vs Team Cap

What if action figures were actual characters?

Bait-and-Switches

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: a better Pride and Prejudice adaptation than a zombie movie

Sausage Party: a better sociopolitical satire than a comedy

Best Non-2016 Films Discovered this Year

Visit http://letterboxd.com/paulstanis/list/best-non-2016-films-discovered-in-2016/ for 19 terrific films from prior years I discovered in 2016.

By the Numbers

5 Ben Foster performances (The Finest Hours; The Program; Warcraft; Hell or High Water; Inferno)

5 Michael Shannon appearances (Midnight Special; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Elvis & Nixon; Loving; Nocturnal Animals)

5 Hans Zimmer scores (Kung Fu Panda 3; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; The Little Prince; Inferno; Hidden Figures)

4 Chris Pine appearances (The Finest Hours; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Star Trek Beyond; Hell or High Water)

4 Henry Jackman scores (The 5th Wave; Captain America: Civil War; Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; The Birth of a Nation)

4 Idris Elba performances (Zootopia; The Jungle Book; Finding Dory; Star Trek Beyond)

4 J.K. Simmons performances (Kung Fu Panda 3; Zootopia; The Accountant; La La Land – 5 if you count the English dub of April and the Extraordinary World)

4 Jeremy Irons performances (Race; The Man Who Knew Infinity; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; High-Rise)

4 Jesse Eisenberg performances (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Louder than Bombs; Now You See Me 2; Café Society)

4 Michael Giacchino scores (Zootopia; Star Trek Beyond; Doctor Strange; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)

4 Michael Stuhlbarg performances (Miles Ahead; Arrival; Doctor Strange; Miss Sloane)

3 films climaxing with architectural reconstruction (X-Men: Apocalypse; Doctor Strange; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them)

3 films tackling the morality of drone warfare (London Has Fallen; Eye in the Sky; Snowden)

3 uses of “Spirit in the Sky” (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows; Suicide Squad; I am Not a Serial Killer)

2 Disney films starring intrepid seafaring women (Alice through the Looking Glass; Moana)

2 Disney-distributed films with black panthers (The Jungle Book; Captain America: Civil War)

2 films featuring Auschwitz (X-Men: Apocalypse; Denial)

2 films featuring “divine” elephants (The Jungle Book; The Legend of Tarzan)

2 films using the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as a plot point (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; X-Men: Apocalypse)

2 films with the subtitle “Resurgence” (Independence Day: Resurgence; Shin Godzilla/Godzilla: Resurgence)

2 Jane Austen adaptations (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Love & Friendship)

2 Jazz films (Miles Ahead; La La Land)

2 Olympic films (Race; Eddie the Eagle)

2 science fiction films inspired by Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Midnight Special; Arrival)

Favorite () Yet

Captain America: Civil War, my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film yet

Jason Bourne, my favorite Bourne movie yet

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, my favorite Star Wars prequel yet

Feelgood Movies of the Year

Hidden Figures; Eddie the Eagle; Moana; Queen of Katwe; Sing Street

Heroes or Antiheroes, Best of the Year

10) Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Hidden Figures

9) Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

8) Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Doctor Strange

7) Nadine Franklin (Hailee Steinfeld), The Edge of Seventeen

6) Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), Hunt for the Wilderpeople

5) Michéle Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert), Elle

4) Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Captain America: Civil War

3) Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), Moana

2) Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

cassian-andor

Does he have the eyes of a killer, or a friend?

1) Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), Miss Sloane

miss-sloane

Heroes or Antiheroes, Worst of the Year

3) Mowgli (Neel Sethi), The Jungle Book

2) Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), London Has Fallen

1) Superman (Henry Cavill), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

sam_r4_v11c3_151002_17mj_g_r709f.362886.tif

“…”

Ranking Disney-Distributed Movies

12) The Finest Hours

11) Alice through the Looking Glass

10) The BFG

9) Finding Dory

8) Zootopia

7) Pete’s Dragon

6) The Jungle Book

5) Doctor Strange

4) Queen of Katwe

3) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

2) Captain America: Civil War

1) Moana

moana

Sequel Improvement

Alice through the Looking Glass > Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Captain America: Civil War > Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Jason Bourne > The Bourne Legacy

Star Trek Beyond > Star Trek Into Darkness

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows > Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles\

Stray Observations

– 2016 is the only year besides 2002 in which both Star Trek and Star Wars movies were released. 14 years ago, the curtain closed on the Next Generation era of Trek films with the spectacular box office disappointment Star Trek: Nemesis, while Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones improved on The Phantom Menace while making all-new mistakes. While Nemesis has its flaws, Trek won that round. In 2016, both franchises enter the ring with excellent entries that balance nostalgia with new textures, but Star Wars ultimately carries the day over the wonderfully character-driven Star Trek Beyond with the emotional and explosive Rogue One.

– Line of the year: Anton Yelchin’s “It’s funny. You were so scary at night” in Green Room. It’s an astonishingly timely line, as the story encapsulates the threatening but ultimately pathetic nature of neo-Nazis.

– The most overrated film of the year is A Monster Calls, but I don’t begrudge anyone profoundly moved by it.

Most Underrated Films of the Year

9) Hardcore Henry

8) Swiss Army Man

7) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

6) Ben-Hur

5) Snowden

4) The Girl on the Train

3) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

2) Miss Sloane

1) Gods of Egypt (which also gets a complementary “Pardon one turkey” award)

Villains, Best of the Year

10) Time (Sacha Baron Cohen), Alice through the Looking Glass

9) Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang), Don’t Breathe

8) The Sisters (Rooney Mara), Kubo and the Two Strings

7) Darcy Banker (Patrick Stewart), Green Room

6) Messala (Toby Kebbell), Ben-hur

5) Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

4) Crowley (Christopher Lloyd), I am Not a Serial Killer

3) Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl), Captain America: Civil War

2) Paula (Rachel House), Hunt for the Wilderpeople

1) Shere Khan (Idris Elba), The Jungle Book (as a bonus, the other two villains – King Louis and Kaa – are great too)

Shere Khan

Villains, Worst of the Year

4) The Douche (Nick Kroll), Sausage Party

3) Psylocke (Olivia Munn), X-Men: Apocalypse

2) Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), The Magnificent Seven

1) All DC villains (Enchantress, Incubus, Joker, Doomsday, Lex Luthor), Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

dc-villains

Marvel may have a few bland villains, but this is something else entirely!

Biggest WTF Moments of the Year

6) The Little Prince: Climax of the framing story. Is this The Little Prince or Planes: Fire and Rescue?

5) Fathers and Daughters: Constant clichés.

4) Standoff: Hilariously over-the-top insults. (Sample: “Fuck leverage! Do the math, dipshit!”)

3) Don’t Breathe: The turkey baster. You know the one.

2) Now You See Me 2: Why are there twin Woody Harrelsons???

1) The 5th Wave: 15 minutes shot in almost complete blackness…?

blackness

WTF?

(Rough) Final Ranking of All 2016 Films Viewed (Best to Worst)

Moana; Captain America: Civil War; Miss Sloane; Swiss Army Man; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Arrival; Eye in the Sky; Snowden; La La Land; Sing Street; Star Trek Beyond; Green Room; Hunt for the Wilderpeople; The Nice Guys; Ghostbusters; Kubo and the Two Strings; Everybody Wants Some!!; Captain Fantastic; Hail, Caesar!; Hell or High Water; The Edge of Seventeen; Nocturnal Animals; 10 Cloverfield Lane; Queen of Katwe; Moonlight; Doctor Strange; The Jungle Book; Hidden Figures; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Midnight Special; Manchester by the Sea; Sausage Party; Pete’s Dragon; The Dressmaker; The Girl on the Train; Zootopia; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them; Hardcore Henry; Louder than Bombs; Elle; The Lobster; Jason Bourne; Kung Fu Panda 3; Eddie the Eagle; High-Rise; Finding Dory; The BFG; Money Monster; Denial; Lion; The Love Witch; Love & Friendship; Hacksaw Ridge; Deadpool; X-Men: Apocalypse; Fences; Ben-Hur; Gods of Egypt; Ip Man 3; The Light Between Oceans; Loving; Don’t Breathe; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny; Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows; Café Society; Blood Father; Shin Godzilla; Race; Miles Ahead; I am Not a Serial Killer; A Monster Calls; Tale of Tales; April and the Extraordinary World; Inferno; Sully; The Birth of a Nation; The Little Prince; Allied; The Program; The Accountant; The Trust; The Magnificent Seven; Standoff; Warcraft; Elvis & Nixon; The Man Who Knew Infinity; The Huntsman: Winter’s War; The Legend of Tarzan; Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; Independence Day: Resurgence; Jane Got a Gun; Creative Control; Triple 9; Alice through the Looking Glass; I Saw the Light; Now You See Me 2; Suicide Squad; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; The 5th Wave; Fathers and Daughters; London Has Fallen; Moonwalkers; Misconduct; The Finest Hours

My Film Awards – 2016

Best Supporting Actress

kate-mckinnon

Kate McKinnon, Ghostbusters

Judy Davis, The Dressmaker

Rachel House, Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Lupita Nyong’o, Queen of Katwe

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

 

Best Supporting Actor

daniel-radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe, Swiss Army Man

Ben Foster, Hell or High Water

John Goodman, 10 Cloverfield Lane

André Holland, Moonlight

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

 

Best Original Song

moana

How Far I’ll Go”, Moana

“Drive it Like You Stole it”, Sing Street

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”, La La Land

“The Great Beyond”, Sausage Party

“Montage”, Swiss Army Man

 

Best Cinematography

arrival

Bradford Young, Arrival

James Laxton, Moonlight

Sean Porter, Green Room

Adam Stone, Midnight Special

Vittorio Storaro, Café Society

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

hunt-for-the-wilderpeople

Taika Waititi, Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Joel & Ethan Coen, Hail Caesar!

Eric Heisserer, Arrival

Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, Captain America: Civil War

Simon Pegg & Doug Jung, Star Trek Beyond

 

Best Editing

louder-than-bombs

Olivier Bugge Coutté, Louder than Bombs

Julia Bloch, Green Room

Matt Cheese, Money Monster

Luke Haigh, Tom Eagles & Yana Gorskaya, Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Matthew Hannam, Swiss Army Man

 

Best Original Score

justin-hurwitz

Justin Hurwitz, La La Land

Michael Giacchino, Star Trek Beyond

Daniel Hart, Pete’s Dragon

Andy Hull & Robert McDowell, Swiss Army Man

Matthew Margeson, Eddie the Eagle

 

Best Production Design

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them

Stuart Craig & James Hambidge, Fantastic Beasts and where to Find them

Russell Barnes, Captain Fantastic

Doug Chiang & Neil Lamont, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Mark Tildesley, High-Rise

Charles Wood, Doctor Strange

 

Best Original Screenplay

green-room

Jeremy Saulnier, Green Room

Shane Black & Anthony Bagarozzi, The Nice Guys

Daniels, Swiss Army Man

Richard Linklater, Everybody Wants Some!!

Jonathan Perera, Miss Sloane

 

Best Director

barry-jenkins

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Daniels, Swiss Army Man

Anthony & Joe Russo, Captain America: Civil War

Oliver Stone, Snowden

 

Best Actor

manchester-by-the-sea

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Paul Dano, Swiss Army Man

Robert Downey Jr., Captain America: Civil War

Ryan Gosling, The Nice Guys

Denzel Washington, Fences

 

Best Actress

miss-sloane

Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane

Amy Adams, Arrival

Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train

Viola Davis, Fences

Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen

 

Best Picture

moana

Moana

Captain America: Civil War

Miss Sloane

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Swiss Army Man

My Film Awards – 2015

In advance of the Golden Globes ceremony, and Academy Award nominations, I present my own personalized awards for the year in film – at least of movies I’ve seen. (So if none of my winners get awards in those or other venues, they can take comfort that they’re winners to me!)

Best Supporting Actress

Jane

Sarah Snook, Predestination

Olivia Cooke, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

 

Best Supporting Actor

Adam Driver

Adam Driver, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Oscar Isaac, Ex Machina

Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

 

Best Original Score

Tom Holkenborg

Tom Holkenborg, Mad Max: Fury Road

Patrick Doyle, Cinderella

Michael Giacchino, Inside Out

Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs

Howard Shore, Spotlight

 

Best Production Design

Allerdale Hall

Thomas E. Sanders, Crimson Peak

Dante Ferretti, Cinderella

Colin Gibson, Mad Max: Fury Road

Arthur Max, The Martian

Gary Williamson, Paddington

 

Best Director

George Miller

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Ryan Coogler, Creed

Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies

Matthew Vaughn, Kingsman: The Secret Service

Denis Villeneuve, Sicario

 

Best Actor

Steve Jobs

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Tom Hardy, Legend

Michael B. Jordan, Creed

Peter Sarsgaard, Experimenter

Jason Segel, The End of the Tour

 

Best Actress

Furiosa

Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road

Cate Blanchett, Truth

Emily Blunt, Sicario

Anna Kendrick, The Last Five Years

Daisy Ridley, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Drew Goddard

Drew Goddard, The Martian

Matt Charman and Ethan & Joel Coen, Bridge of Spies

Paul King, Paddington

Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight

Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs

 

Best Original Screenplay

Docter LeFauve Cooley

Pete Docter & Meg LeFauve & Josh Cooley, Inside Out

Michael Almereyda, Experimenter

Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi, What We Do in the Shadows

Alex Garland, Ex Machina

S. Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk

 

Best Picture

The Fleet

Mad Max: Fury Road

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The Martian

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Steve Jobs

 

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