November 2016 was a month full of movies for me, and though I saw a few that I more that disliked, there were many that I absolutely loved; in fact, some of my favorite films of the entire year are ones I saw in the last 30 days! Of the 38 films I watched during this month, here are the seven that impressed me the most (in alphabetical order… gotta keep My 2016 Top 10 List a surprise).
1. Big (1988) [full review here]
Big was one of those films that I’d never heard anything bad about, but simply had not watched until I finally decided to go for it- and I loved it even more than all of the positive reviews could have prepared me for. The humor and the heart are the two aspects that I adored the most, and all of that revolves around Tom Hanks’ portrayal of his character- a little boy who suddenly finds himself in the body of a man. This movie is about what it really means to be a “grown-up,” and that maybe we take things too seriously to really enjoy life as we should. Don’t you love a good movie with a good message?
2. Doctor Strange (2016) [full review here]
Marvel strikes again, and this is by far the most ambitious of their films yet. If the visual effects aren’t enough to sell you, then the cast and story most definitely will; Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelson, etc all do a great job portraying their characters which elevates the story that much more. As far as originality goes, a cocky billionaire who has to learn how to be a hero and travels to Asia to do so may seem like a rehash of other films (Batman Begins and Iron Man), but the details are where this movie shines brightest. The openmindedness as far as psychedelics was concerned was a breath of fresh air from the stigma many other big hollywood movies seem to possess. Marvel knows how to appeal to their audience members, and the audience is always happy with them!
3. The Edge of Seventeen (2016) [full review here]
The story, cast, and themes of the movie were all impressive and writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig’s handling of them all deserve applause for sure. For those who complain about not seeing any original films in the theaters, it’s your fault for not going to see the original films when they come to theaters- because they are there all of the time, and here is a great example of it. Overall, this was a beautiful, heartbreaking, and heartwarming film that is more authentic than almost any other I’ve seen this year; the cast and story were both great, and Craig’s writing/directing debut shows great promise for her career, and I can’t wait to see where this film takes her!
4. Green Room (2015) [full review here]
This is a film that surprised me in just about every way- i went into this knowing nothing besides the cast, and what I got was a gruesome thriller that pulled no punches and was not afraid to do the unexpected. There were parts of the film in which I couldn’t comfortably look at the screen, but i was never able to take my eyes off of them; those moments are what draw you in because you know that none of your characters are safe, and the entire film is so much more interesting, entertaining, and intense. There is blood and gore galore, but the characters, performances, and extremely fast pace are what made me unable to look away, and I would definitely rewatch this soon if I have a chance.
5. Hacksaw Ridge (2016) [full review here]
War films are a genre that are very hit-or-miss for me- they usually seem pretty similar, so it takes a lot of uniqueness and style for me to get into one, and Hacksaw Ridge is one of the best that I’ve ever seen. There was a beautiful romance, incredibly tense action, the best character I’ve seen on screen all year, and a story that was so amazing that I was on the verge of tears for the entire run time. Overall, this film is an absolute-must see, and it doesn’t do a single thing that I didn’t love- I can only ask for more from the movie of what it already gave us. Hacksaw Ridge is easily my favorite film of the year up to this point, and I cannot wait to see what this film does for Mel Gibson’s career, and Andrew Garfield’s as well. If you have not seen this film, please rush out to see it as soon as you get the chance, because it is an experience worth every penny.
6. Swiss Army Man (2016) [full review here]
This film gets my award for “Best Originality” for sure, and I don’t think I need to wait another 2 months to see the rest of the films because this will still win. There is so much to this film to love- and so much more than I would’ve expected to love. One of the most notably hilarious and impressive aspects of the movie was the soundtrack/score. The film’s social commentary should be taken to heart as it regards why people and society should be less judgmental and more accepting, and loving. Hate hurts and love saves, is a message that this film offers up without sounding preachy at all- and it teaches us to be better people as a whole. Overall, I would say that Swiss Army Man is a great movie; the originality, humor and cast make writer/directors Kwan and Schreinert’s film a diamond in the rough. This gem of a movie discusses life, love and friendship in a very thought-provoking and enjoyable way, and I do feel as though I profited from my experience watching the film in a very positive way.
So, these are my favorite films that I watched in November- what’s your list? Have you seen all of these, and if not, have I persuaded you to maybe check them out? They’re all worth a watch! As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!