My year in movies

The year 2016 was a good but maybe not great year in film and since I love movies I thought I’d take this opportunity to list my favorite films of the past year.

Okay, so I’m no movie expert. I wouldn’t know a key grip if one were siting next to me.

But I do enjoy the movie experience, what they mean to me and how they move me. So, between Richmond and Dayton I try to see as may as I can each year. I have to say, 2016 was a strange year in which there were not a lot of great movies until late in the year.

So, after a mediocre spring and summer movie season, the year ended on a tremendous high note with a glut of great movies. That was both good and bad since it was difficult to see all the best movies by the end of the year.

And (again) since I’m no expert I base this list on sight, sound and emotion; movies that moved me, made me think, made me laugh, entertained me, opened my eyes. I ‘m especially drawn to the ones that haunted me and stayed with me for days after a viewing.

So with apologies to movies like “Jackie,” “Silence,” “Loving,” “Lion” and “Birth of a Nation,” none of which I saw, here is the list of my faves.

Again, I base these movies on what they meant to me.

1. Manchester by the Sea (Gritty yet so powerful, so sad, so haunting. Casey Affleck and Lucas Hedges are superb, as is Michelle Williams in a smaller role. Just the best.)

2. La Land Land (Just loved it. It made me smile throughout. Grand performances and there is something I love about Emma Stone.)

3. Moonlight. (Another great film. Troubling and sad yet tender and beautiful. Moving and unsettling with extraordinary performances by a relatively unknown cast.)

4. Sing Street (Terrific film from the Irish. So fun, so entertaining. A great rental if you’re looking.)

5. Fences (Great performances, powerfully sad. Had such a raw an authentic feel. Who doesn’t love Denzel Washington and Viola Davis?)

6. City of Gold (Fascinating look at the food, geography and culture of Los Angeles as told through the eyes of LA Times food writer Jonathan Gold. Great film, so interesting, a must see.)

7. Hacksaw Ridge (Rugged and brutal but a great story, great performances and great direction. Haunting yet inspirational)

8. Indignation (Terrific film based on the Phillip Roth book. Fascinating, puzzling but memorable.)

9. Allied (Loved it. Great period piece. Great performances.)

10. Weiner (Great stuff. Wonderful inside look at the collapse of a politician. Left me scratching my head.)

11. Dark Horse (2015) (Such a good movie, had to include it in this year’s list. Real people and a great underdog story.)

12. Patriot’s Day (Another powerful and moving film. Emotional and draining. So well done.)

13. Sully (Tom Hanks continues to amaze, aided by solid support from Aaron Eckhart. Understated movie that packs power.)

14. Rogue One (Gritty and interesting. Not a slave to pyrotechnics and goofy characters. I liked it more than I thought I would.)

15. Hell or High Water (Crazy, offbeat, but I really liked it. Terrific performances by Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges.)

16. Hidden Figures (Incredible story told well. Terrific performances. Jim Crow, the space race and math all in one movie. Wow!)

17. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (All right, so I got sucked in by the sorta journalistic look at life in war torn Afghanistan. But there are laughs and Tina Fey delivers.)

18. Money Monster (Good but not great story, a bit contrived but good Clooney performance.)

19. Don’t Think Twice (Good film, not great. A few laughs but not as many as you would guess in a film about a comedy troupe.)

20. Fantastic Beasts & Where You Find Them (Crazy entertaining film but not necessarily my cup of tea.)

How was your movie-viewing year? Tell me what you think.

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