What a year in film. I'd have to go back and really analyze the stats, but I feel like this was the broadest collection of titles ever featured for this segment. This year, we only had one film appear on all five lists. That seems pretty crazy to me! I know there were plenty of entries that some of us didn't get around to, but that still seems like a pretty uncommon feat - especially for a group that generally agrees on film so much. Still, there's so much good that can come from such an occurrence: the opportunity to highlight and talk about even more films. This year overall we had 40 different titles showcased in these posts, more than we've ever had in the past. I'm sure a big part of that trend has to do with our growing and evolving interests in certain types of movies, but a big part of that can also be chalked-up to the ever-increasing accessibility of movies. In every subsequent year, more films become visible thanks to social media marketing, and accessible thanks to online streaming platforms. In the past we were more limited to what happened to show in theaters near us; now so much more is at our fingertips. That's pretty awesome.
Over the last five days, each writer on this year's panel has unveiled their individual lists for their Top 15 Films of 2016. As I've said many times before, what's great about our site is that we do have five different writers active at the same time providing their own perspectives on film. This not only gives five separate views on film (hence more chances to connect with certain voices and opinions), but it gives us all kinds of data to then build into composite lists. And really, that's what we want to give: each of our personal opinions, but at the end of the day, a group of films that we, as a collective, most appreciated and enjoyed. It's two very different but equally important views on the matter. And what's nice about having the individual lists first is we don't have to have any discussion for our group list - we simply plug in the titles each of us selected, give weight (point values) to higher picks, and let the formula do the rest. There's no debate or arguing over what we want to showcase - the rankings are what they are.
This year, the most significant factor in this ranking was surely due to certain films that certain contributors did not get around to (Moonlight, Everybody Wants Some!!, Nocturnal Animals, Miss Sloane, etc.). It's hard to know how this list would turn out if we'd all seen "everything", but that's just how this business goes. We're never all going to see every movie that was released in a given year, so this never serves as anything more than a benchmark. We saw most of the films we "wanted" to see, and this is how our ranking of those films turned out. As we've all mentioned, none of the rankings on this site should ever serve as definitive, end-all lists; simply a quick peak at how we're feeling based on what we've seen in the moment. It's never perfect, but it's a fun study and still an eclectic grouping of titles.
Before we (finally) jump in, note that no explanations were provided on specific titles below because everything on this list was featured on multiple individual lists over the last week. If you're interested in more information on each film, check out the last five posts on this site.
15. Hacksaw Ridge
14. Star Trek Beyond
13. Manchester by the Sea
12. La La Land
11. Captain Fantastic
10. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
8. Hell or High Water
7. 10 Cloverfield Lane
6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
3. Midnight Special
Overall, this feels like a really great collection of films with a lot of genre and tonal variety. As mentioned at the beginning, this list was compiled by doing nothing more than collecting up the picks from our individual lists already posted. So not much more explanation is needed - just go back to the lists if you want to know how/why a certain film ended up where it did.
Thanks, as always, for taking the time to check out all of our picks this year. As this was the broadest collection of films we've ever showcased in this series. hopefully you came across some titles that you might have otherwise missed.