980 CJME movie critic Brett Buster saw a lot of movies this year.
He wrote a list of his favourites:
10. 10 Cloverfield Lane
A completely unexpected, semi-sequel to 2008’s Cloverfield that was dripping with tension throughout. It features John Goodman like you’ve never seen him before and one of the smartest scripts of the year.
9. Lights Out
A short, well-made and very scary horror movie that packed a tragic, emotional punch that’s not normally seen. It started as a YouTube short film that caught the attention of Hollywood for good reason!
8. Don’t Breathe
My favourite premise of the year: Three thieves break into a blind man’s home and discover he’s more capable of defending himself than they thought. There was so much suspense in the theater, you could hear a pin drop and the film just kept surprising me.
7. Sing Street
Third music-centered film from Irish director John Carney who brought us “Once” and “Begin Again.” Absolutely nails the atmosphere of forming a band and composing music while being a flawless coming-of-age story set in Dublin.
6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
This is the Star Wars prequel that fans deserved. It ties up a lot of loose ends from the original trilogy, it features the most exciting third act of the whole year and the best Darth Vader sequence in the entire Star Wars saga. One of the most thrilling opening nights I’ve ever been to!
5. Hell or High Water
This was a phenomenal modern-day western that pulled no punches and mirrors the Coen Brothers in the best way. Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges and especially Ben Foster gave some of the best performances of the year and the ending has stuck with me all year.
4. Captain America: Civil War
Marvel does it again and gave us the best block buster of the year with hands down the greatest superhero action sequence ever put to film. It’s incredible how well the directors handled 10-plus characters and gave each of them time to shine, including Spider-Man who made his MCU debut.
The R-rated superhero film that set records and changed the Hollywood industry indefinitely. Ryan Reynolds owns the screen with non-stop gags, pop culture references and gleeful violence. Any film that shout-outs Regina, Sask., deserves to be on the list!
2. The Nice Guys
This was the best original film released this year that unfortunately many didn’t see. A buddy-cop action comedy featuring perfect chemistry from Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling and one of the funniest scripts of the year. I’m not normally an advocate for sequels, but I would gladly see another film featuring these characters!
1. Hacksaw Ridge
Brutal, disturbing, and relentless. No other film this year impacted me as much as this one. Mel Gibson’s triumphant return behind the camera presents the appalling, war-time violence in horrific detail and became the ultimate anti-war film. The exceptional cast features Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Luke Bracey, Sam Worthington and Andrew Garfield, who gives the best performance of his career. This is a rough one to sit through, but much like Saving Private Ryan, it will become a staple of World War II films for the distant future. It’s that good.
The honourable mentions include Zootopia, Hardcore Henry, Swiss Army Man, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and The Magnificent Seven.