Alana Chase’s Top 5:
5. 10 Cloverfield Lane
The spiritual successor (I sense a trend developing for this in 2016 films) to 2008’s Cloverfield, this sci-fi psych thriller was a slow-burning bottle sensation with an intimate cast that got so many things right – a film that left me both clutching at my theatre seat’s armrests with rigid fingers and to the hope there might be a follow-up film. It also made me absolutely terrified of John Goodman, a feat not easily undertaken much less accomplished.
I know, I know – including a children’s movie in my cut for best films of 2016 (so far) is a bit questionable on the surface, and could be even laughable when considering the respective title, but believe me when I say Zootopia is neither deserving of condescension nor snickering. Dig deeper – not a difficult task, as the meat of the story isn’t exactly well-hidden – to see the film use allegory to tackle race, class, inequality and discrimination issues in modern-day America.
3. Green Room
This film will likely remain one of my favorites of 2016 through to the end of the year and beyond, not only for the expectedly stellar performance given by the late Anton Yelchin, an actor for whom I hold a great deal of respect and adoration, but for its almost total lack of empathy in the majority of its run. And I mean that in the best way: Green Room is savagely gory, horrendously gruesome and so well-calculated that a once horror-wary film-watcher like myself walked away with a newfound need for the genre. Incredible.
Regarded as a spiritual successor of Richard Linklater’s iconic 1993 Dazed and Confused, this ‘80s-set baseball not-so-bad-boy film boasts witty one-liners, a hefty dose of adrenaline, some alcohol-fueled hyper-confidence and the perfect amount of tenderness and heart. Everybody Wants Some!! in three words? Charming, sunny, sincere.
1. The Nice Guys
Know me and know that I am a sucker for all things ‘70s; my soft spot for the groove-funk era grew even larger with this Shane Black noir comedy starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as a loveably unlucky P.I. and a mostly-no-nonsense enforcer in a buddy pairing I never knew I needed. The Nice Guys is little bit rowdy, a lot bit clever and an all-around badass must see. (Plus, Ryan Gosling with a ‘70s ‘stache? Yes, please.)