The Vern’s Top 10 Best Movies of 2016

Happy New Years


Last time I went through a list of the movies I watched that were mostly Meh.  Today I am listing the one that made me say Wow.  These are the best movies I have watched  and ones, I will be happy to check out again.



10 Cloverfield Lane

10-cloverfieldThe sequel know one really wanted, turned out to be one of the best thrillers in a really long time.  John Goodman deserves an Oscar nomination for his role as the guy you are not sure what his motivations are.  The plot is brilliant as it keeps revealing more and more layers .  I would be excited to see a sequel to this.


Zootopia aka Zootropolis

zootopiaAn animated feature from Disney that combines elements from Chinatown and Do The Right Thing is really something quite amazing.  I really thought going into this latest feature from Disney was going to be all talking animals and that was it   I had no idea they were going tackle subjects such as  race relations and how the media uses fear to make you feel one way or another about a particular group.



The Love Witch

love-witchAt first watch, The Love Witch appears to be a loving tribute to  both Hammer horror pictures and the films of Russ Myers.  It’s central character Elaine(in a star making role by Samantha Robinson) has created a potion that will have men falling in love with her within minutes.  The downside is that after they do, they become an emotional wreck.  They can’t take all of those feelings and they die from the result.  It’s the kind of plot you would see on one of those late night softcore erotic flicks on Cinemax.  Yet Director Anna Biller is in a clever way mocking male behavior when it comes to how we act with women.   Elaine is the ideal fantasy woman, and she uses that power to take control over men instead of them.   The film should be nominated for numerous awards because it looks like a movie that was actually made in the late 60’s/early 70’s.  Anna Biller herself designed all the costumes, created the sets, composed the music and edited the film.  If this doesn’t get her a bigger budget than I may loose faith in the system




Natalie Portman deserves another Oscar Nomination for her portrayal of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy  in this tense drama that follows the events right after John Kennedy’s assassination.  Director Pablo Larrin wisely avoids any political opinions and or theories surrounding the tragic day.  Instead he focuses on a woman who had to be there first hand when it happened and her psychological journey through out it all.  I can’t imagine it would be easy  for any one to remain strong and composed after loosing someone so violently.  This movie shows how one woman managed to do such that.   The score from Mica Levi(Under The Skin) is  astounding and the music helps mirror the swirling emotions this woman is experiencing.




arrival-movie-trailer-images-amy-adams-41-600x249Finally and Alien invasion movie done right.  Director Denis Villeneuve story of a linguistic expert(Amy Addams) called in to help decipher the writings of a new life form was very life affirming, but I can’t tell you why that is until you watch it.  It will give away too much of the surprise and I don’t want to do that.  I love that any kind of  tension that appears never comes from the aliens, but from other humans.  Sicario made my list last year, and I’m very confident Blade Runner:2049 will make my list again in 2017.



The Lobster(Click name to read full review)

the-lobsterOne of the best dark comedies in several years.  The Lobster is dry humor at it’s absolute  best.  I have heard complaints that the dialogue is all stilled and every one acts like animatronic robots.  They don’t understand that’s the satire Director Yorgos Lantimos(I hope I spelled that right) was going for.  It’s the kind of  movie for people who are single and or married and can laugh at the absurdness of both.



The Neon Demon (Click link to read my review)

neon demon 4One of my favorite horror films of 2016.  The Neon Demon is bound to divide many film goers but I loved ever minute of this.  I loved the music by Cliff Martinez, the cinematography by Natasha Braier, and the casting of Elle Fanning and Jenna Malone.  There are images in this I can’t un see and I don’t want to.  There is a lot going on  in this movie that watching it once is never justified for me.



The Nice Guys.( Click link to read my review of the novelization)


The nice guys was the best action comedy of the year.  Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe have such great chemistry together on screen, I’m kind of  surprised this didn’t do as good as it should have when it was released. I only got to see this once because it only played in theaters for just one week and it was gone.  I like the story of one guy being hired to follow a girl and that same girl hires another to stop him from following and than they both get caught up in another full mystery none of them were suspecting.  Shane Black has created a script that is just as good as his earlier feature, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang


La La Land (Listen to my review at ScreenTrax)

la-la-landThere is a moment when Emma Stone is auditioning for a movie and singing a song about memories of her aunt in Paris that I felt tears start to form.  It wasn’t necessarily a sad story, but when watching it a second time.  I felt the same tears start to form.  I can’t explain why except for the fact that Miss Stone just slays it  and is such a powerhouse performance.  There are several other stand out numbers in this, and I love that the story is not just filler to get from one song to the next.  Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone rank among the best classic Hollywood screen couples.  Their chemistry is really good, and the two can both dance and sing quite well.  The moment I’m excited to watch with a commentary track  is the “Another Day in Sun” opening, because I want to know how that was choreographed to look like it was all done in one shot.




deadpool-movie-costume-pic-2The funniest movie of the year surprisingly had a lot of drama that didn’t feel tacked on to gain some sympathy and was integral to the plot of the movie.  This was the movie, my parents even enjoyed, and they normally are not fans of movies that use foul language constantly.  Ryan Reynolds was perfectly cast in this movie and all the meta jokes matched the tone of the comic perfectly.  I’m a bit upset that the Soska Sisters(Jen and Sylvia) have not been asked to direct the 2nd one but we did get one of the directors of John Wick so there is still hope


Honorable Mentions

The Babymoon (Click name to read full review on Cinema Sentries)

Lilith’s Awakening  (Click name to read full review)

Kubo and the Two Strings

Don’t Breathe

The Jungle Book

Captain America: Civil War

Swiss Army Men




About The Vern

I love movies and I enjoy writing about them too. They both go pretty much hand in hand with each other and it's fun to discover new classics. I co host the podcasts The Film Pasture, ScreenTrax, and soon Cinema Recall. While also contributing reviews and articles to other great sites when I can.
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37 Responses to The Vern’s Top 10 Best Movies of 2016

  1. Keith says:

    Fun list! We definitely share love for La La Land and Arrival. Both have strong spots on my list. I rewatched La La Land today. Absolutely intoxicating. I wish I had ranked it higher.

  2. 70srichard says:

    We shared three in common for our end of the year list. I have La la Land at number one.

  3. Jade says:

    Great list! Deadpool was a lot of fun. Arrival is only opening next week where I live, so I’m really looking forward to that one.

  4. Jessica Mazo says:

    Yes! Totally agree about Cloverfield Lane!

  5. Brittani says:

    Great list! I love seeing 10 Cloverfield Lane here. That movie was so much better than I expected it to be.

  6. Jay says:

    Kubo just missed the cut on mine as well – probably my #11.

  7. Pingback: Top 10 for 2016 | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

  8. So many on this list that I haven’t seen yet! Although in my own defense La La Land isn’t out here yet, ha! I’m always happy to see love for The Nice Guys, it was so largely ignored!

  9. Jess says:

    Many of these will be on my top 10.

    The Love Witch had all the perfect elements but I thought it was far too long and drawn out. After I saw so much of the trick of the film, it just wasn’t enough to carry it for 2 hours. I do hope the director gets noticed in Hollywood though!

    Overall, a very diverse top 10!

    • The Vern says:

      Yes, I can agree The Love Witch is a little long, but a lot of the flicks that she’s paying homage too were also the same length when they didn’t need to be. I’m more impressed that we have a female director who does practially everything. Thanks for reading

  10. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | LAMBCAST: #355 Best of 2016

  11. brainsnorts says:

    Swiss army man is at the top of my list. Arrival was good but disappointed me in its lack of a conclusion. Nice guys needed tighter editing but was still good, not great.

  12. emmakwall says:

    Happy New Year Verny 🙂 and great list! I loved 10 Cloverfield Lane 🙂

  13. Great list. So happy La La Land is ranked so high. And I really want to see The Love Witch. It sounds fascinating.

    • The Vern says:

      The Love Witch is coming to DVD in Feb. Just in time for Valentines Day I think. La La Land is my pick for best picture , but that will change after I see Moonlight. Thanks for reading

  14. dbmoviesblog says:

    Such an interesting list, but The Neon Demon, you really enjoyed it that much? I am so pleased to see the Lobster on your list! Every time I mention it to people so they see it, they go like: “I will think about it, maybe some day”. They just don’t know what they are missing out on!

    • The Vern says:

      Thank you very much for the nice Words. Yes I did love The Neon Demon that much. Both that and the Lobster are ones that many film fans like us love but getting my coworkers and friends to watch any of the ones on my list will be tricky

  15. Chris says:

    Good to see The Neon Demon get some love. As you say it’s divisive, but I also consider it among my favorite cinema experiences of 2016.
    Zootopia is another that I rate highly and look forward to rewatching, there’s something there for children and adults.

  16. The Vern says:

    Zootopia is something I really want to rewatch as well. Glad you liked The Neon Demon as much as you

  17. Khalid Rafi says:

    Awesome picks. So glad to see The Neon Demon so high up. It’s really good and such bold filmmaking that only someone like Refn could pull off. I don’t think I have words to describe Arrival right now. I think I need another watch to fully comprehend it. But it just might be the best thing I saw from 2016.

  18. I had no idea that the score in Jackie was by the same guy who did Under the Skin…it all makes sense now! Solid list, and it’s very different from what I’ve seen. I totally dig Deadpool being your #1. I’m not a huge fan of Marvel/DC, but I found Deadpool extremely enjoyable 🙂

  19. sgliput says:

    Quite an interesting list! I’m not a Deadpool fan, but I was delighted to see Arrival, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and Zootopia on here too. 2016 was certainly a good year for movies!
    By the way, I’ve nominated you for the Mystery Blogger Award.

    • The Vern says:

      Thank you very much for the nomination I have been busy lately and havent had time to do much stuff on this site. I will get to your post but it will take some time

  20. Pingback: Top 20 films of 2016 + my awards + links – movies and songs 365

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