Lists

Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2016

In the words of Geralt of Rivia, f**k. I thought when it came to doing 2015’s list that it was getting easier to whittle these yearly lists down to 10 but my preliminary list for 2016 is currently 19 movies, and I really don’t want to cross out any of these, let alone 9 of them! 2016, you were clearly an incredible year for movies.

The end of 2016 was when I set up Often Off Topic so I had a quick glance at my original Top 10 of 2016 list in the hopes it would help but it looks like it was hard enough to write at the time, let alone now.

Well, here goes nothing. If you haven’t seen my other Top 100 Movies of the Decade lists you can find them here.

2016 Movies Watched: 93
Movies that just missed out: Rogue One, Moana, Bridget Jones’ Baby, Lion, Hacksaw Ridge, Colossal, Midnight Special, Tallulah, Swiss Army Man

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#10 Hidden Figures

Most of us know the story about the race to the moon between the US and Russia, but not many know the story of the 3 female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in that race. I knew I wanted to see Hidden Figures, but I never expected it to be such an entertaining watch.

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#9 Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange might just be my favourite Marvel character, you know. Maybe it’s because of Benedict Cumberbatch, but it’s probably more to do with the fact that Doctor Strange’s origin story felt so different to the other Avengers. I love how he’s still likeable, even though he’s a bit of a jerk, and only Iron Man gets away with that most of the time.

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#8 Nocturnal Animals

There may come a day that I stop mentioning the jump scare in Nocturnal Animals, but today is not that day. Damn it, movie! Anyway, Nocturnal Animals is terribly dark and gritty, but it has such a good story, and an ending that will really get you talking. It has one hell of a cast, too!

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#7 Kubo and the Two Strings

I love animated movies, and stop motion movies in particular. 2016 was the year I realised Laika Studios are brilliant, and that I’d happily watch anything they produced. It’s just incredible, the amount of work that gets put into every second of footage. Kubo and the Two Strings is a delightful story full of twists and turns, and it was surprisingly emotional, too.

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#6 I, Daniel Blake

Oh man, just thinking about this movie is making me upset. I wrote it off as another copy-cat piece highlighting how people in the UK on benefits exploit the system for more money, but it’s the complete opposite. It’s probably not a widely known movie but its so worth a watch!

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#5 Deadpool

How long were we waiting for the Deadpool movie in the end? The marketing behind this movie was legendary and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one terrified the movie would be awful after all the work that went into getting it made. Safe to say, it was hilarious, and everything it should have been.

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#4 Arrival

Arrival is one of those movies I want to erase from my memory so that I can watch it again for the very first time. Nothing beats that moment towards the end where your mind is fitting all the pieces together. What a year for Amy Adams, eh?

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#3 The Nice Guys

Making this list reminded me that quite a few bloggers told me to watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang after I raved about how much I loved The Nice Guys. I guess that makes it 4 years that it’s been sat on my watchlist, then. Whoops. Maybe 2020 will be my year for tackling the ever-growing watchlist?

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#2 La La Land

We’re surely due another Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling movie by now, right? Honestly, the pair of them have so much chemistry on screen it’s unreal. Add them to a beautiful movie set in LA with a glorious soundtrack and an ending that will rip your heart out and well. What more can I say?

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#1 Hunt for the Wilderpeople

I’m so glad Jojo Rabbit is doing so well right now, with critics and casual movie fans alike. Hopefully, it makes director Taiki Waititi more of a household name, and more people end up watching Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which is just fantastic in every sense. It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s serious, it’ll make you cry!

Movie Reviews

I, Daniel Blake (2016)

i-daniel-blake-movie-poster-2016Director: Ken Loach, Laura Obiols

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 100 Minutes

Main Cast: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Briana Shann, Dylan McKiernan, Kate Rutter, Sharon Percy, Kema Sikazwe

Plot: After sustaining a heart injury, Daniel finds himself needing to claim welfare benefits. When the time comes for his re-assessment, he winds up stuck in the impossible loop of being too ill to work but the state has declared him fit. Whilst fighting his case he meets Katie, a young mother with struggles of her own.

My Thoughts: Back when I, Daniel Blake was released, an advert for it was played on the radio at work what felt like every 20 minutes, to the point where I was sick of hearing about it. The movie didn’t seem to have gained much attention outside of the UK (other than it’s festival debut) but it was super popular here, even winning a BAFTA. We have so many crap reality shows about the benefits system I avoided the movie until now, but curiosity as always got the better of me.

Oh boy, this movie made me so mad and sad. Yes, there are thousands out there scamming the benefits system, but there are also many who are falling through the cracks, being ignored and suffering so badly as a result. The system is so, so wrong. Although Daniel is the main character here, it was Katie who had all of my attention. There’s a scene where she turns to the food bank for help and has a breakdown because she’s literally starving, and it broke my heart.

This absolutely wasn’t the movie I thought it would be, and I can see why it garnered so much attention now. The only thing is, it’s bleak and upsetting and absolutely not what you’d stick on the TV to watch on a Saturday night with a takeaway! However, if you ever find yourself wanting to find out more about the UK’s benefits system, I highly, highly recommend you watch I, Daniel Blake rather than the rubbish TV shows out there.

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Best Bit: The scenes that take place at the Job Centre were hard for me to watch, they made me so mad, but seeing that one lady go out of her way and even getting into trouble with her supervisor just for trying to help Daniel restored a little bit of my faith in the world.

Worst Bit: When Katie paid for her groceries at the corner shop but got caught shoplifting sanitary products, it broke me. It’s hard to even realise that there are women out there who can’t afford the ‘luxury’ of sanitary products, and I’ve made a vow to donate a pack every time I go food shopping now.

Fun Trivia: The woman helping Hayley Squires’ character, Katie, in the much-discussed food bank scene was not an actor – she worked in the food bank and was not told what was going to happen in the scene.

My Rating: 4 and a half receipts out of 5. What are the receipts for, you ask? Well, after you’ve spent all day giving out your CV to prospective employers, the Job Centre will ask for proof – and may even ask if you were given a receipt for your CV. Are these people for real?!