Best Films of 2016

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This year was a year chock-full of some mega-blockbusters–“Star Wars,” “The Jungle Book,” and “Suicide Squad” to name a few–but there were also plenty of lesser-known and indie flicks that rocked audiences. BTRtoday staffers share their top films of 2016.

The HBO documentary “The Jinx-The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” was fascinating. This is the documentary about the well-known real estate heir accused of killing his ex-GF and multiple others in various gruesome scenarios. He participated in the documentary for HBO, presumably to highlight his innocence. This backfired when he was confronted with a letter that was incriminating to his case. As he calmly excused himself to go to the bathroom, while visibly distressed, he forgot he was still mic-ed up and began confessing the crime to himself. The audience could hear his chilling “of course I did it” inner monologue and it made for an unforgettable moment in documentary history. It was so gripping and compelling because it felt like we were looking into the psyche of someone who is evil. I’ve never subscribed to the concept that there exists such a thing as someone inherently evil, however listening to Robert Dourdan made me at least consider the possibility. His expose provided a rare insight into the inner workings of a serial killer. – Ubah Bulale

So apparently it was out in festivals and every else in the world by 2015, but it didn’t reach U.S. theaters until Feb. 2016, so I’m including it–“The Witch.” I already love scary movies–add some amazing dynamic characters, some badass lead female roles, and a feminist undertone and I’m fucking hooked! – Elena Childers

Everyone can get off their comedy high horse because the best movie this year was “Ghostbusters.” Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones star as the paranormal hunters with a penchant for body function humor. Did they employ the same dry, one might even say stale, humor as the original? No and that was good. You get queef jokes, you get Chris Hemsworth as the sexy-yet-dim secretary, you get it all in this raunchy remake. Plus you see Kate McKinnon licking guns and it’ll make you question everything you thought you knew about your sexuality. – Taia Handlin

My favorite movie that I saw this year was the documentary “Weiner,” a film about the failed politician and avid sexter Anthony Weiner. The movie really gave some insight into strange and twisted mind of this very smart, very narcissistic man. It was funny, hopeful, and also a bit sad: everything that a good movie should be. Plus, it gets brownie points for being a documentary, because you can leave feeling like you’ve learned something! – Rebecca Chodorkoff

I enjoyed the film “How To Be Single.” The film follows the story of the main character, Alice (Dakota Johnson) who breaks up with long-term college boyfriend post-graduation before making the move to New York. At her new job as a paralegal, she meets Robin (Rebel Wilson) a carefree party girl who teaches Alice the tricks of the trade about being single in the Big Apple. In my opinion, there is something magical about living in NYC and watching a film that takes with NYC as backdrop. Rebel Wilson never fails to make me laugh. The characters’ flaws were relatable and the issues addressed in the films are applicable to real life. The ending of the film closes with a message of self-love and independence, which I liked. – Cassidy Colarik

I took myself on a date to see “The Innocents”–a French film directed by Anne Fontaine–back in August of this year. It was one of the best nights I’ve had all year (and not just because of the company). The film follows a young female Red Cross doctor who secretly helps deliver the babies of the nuns who were raped by German and Russian soldiers in a Polish convent during World War II. Many scenes were hard to watch, others were absolutely beautiful with an aesthetic of quiet white tenderness. It was angelic and nurturing, two adjectives that can only describe a movie rooted in the feminine. I was saddened and inspired on repeat for the full 2 hours. – Kimberly Ruth