2016 IN FILM & TV | fivethreeninety

2016 has seen a whole lot of film & television – a lot of it amazing, maybe more of it bad. But for every few disappointing Hollywood blockbusters there has been an outstanding & incredible film that restores my faith. I’ve seen old & new, & expanded & tried to watch as much as possible so I can write about it on this blog.

Everything I saw that I wrote about on fivethreeninety will be linked in the title, so just look out for the blue, underlined ones for those.

Note: this is probably far from the complete list. I only started recording new films I’d seen in May, & then lost the entire list when my phone was wiped in September so had to re-write from memory. For 2017 I’ll start in January & do backups like all the time (promise).

I’ll start with the television I watched this year:

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War & Peace
2016

Created by Andrew Davies
9/10
This BBC mini-series stunned my Mum & I at the start of the year. It was visually stunning & beautifully acted. My sister’s boyfriend bought us the boxset for Christmas.
I wrote this post about it.

The X Files
2016

Created by Chris Carter
6/10
The reboot came with ten episodes that my mum & I devoured, & they were as silly & wonderful as we ever could hoped.

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Pretty Little Liars
2010 – present
Created by Marlene King
6/10
This is so brilliantly silly & stressful & actually really scary at times. I started this in March when I was ill & needed a new show that I could watch on my own, not have to wait to see with my mum or sister. Of course, my sister ended up join gin me & she’s now completely up to date while I’m still stuck on season 4.

Parks & Recreation
2009-2015
Created by Michael Schur & Greg Daniels
9/10
I’ve watched the odd episode or clip of this show but only properly watched it this year. My god it is amazing.

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Dexter
2006-2013
Created by James Manos Jr.
9/10
This was the second show I started to watch on my own, after my sister hijacked the first. But my mum joined me three episodes in, & now we’re on season five & in too deep to watch it separately. It’s SO GOOD.

Charmed
1998-2007
Created by Constance M. Burge
7/10
This is always on E4 around midday, & my boyfriend & I grew accustomed to watching it daily during the summer when we had no responsibilities.

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Stranger Things
2016
Created by the Duffer Brothers
10/10
Probably my favourite thing to come out of 2016. I adored every single second of this Netflix original series, & even dressed as Eleven for Halloween. So, so good. I just hope that season two can live up to the first series.

Black Mirror
2011-present
Created by Charlie Brooker
8/10
I missed this when it originally aired on Channel 4, so to have it all come to Netflix before series three was released as an original on the platform was perfect. It messed me up.

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Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
2016
Created by Amy Sherman Palladino
8/10
My sister & I are huge Gilmore Girl fans. We used to rise home from school every day to catch the reruns on E4, & the best christmas present we ever got was every season on dvd. So a revival was pretty exciting to us – & what a revival it was. It was perfect & it was wrong all at the same time, but that last episode was incredible.

And now, the main event. Time for the FILMS

Thanks to Netflix, starting work at a cinema & a whole lot of movie days with my boyfriend, I’ve seen a lot of new films this year. Here’s a quick run down of everything I can remember watching:

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The Visit
2015

Dir. M. Night Shyamalan
7/10
Incredible plot twist I somehow didn’t see coming

Stonehearst Asylum
2014
Dir. Brad Anderson
4/10
Bit cheesy, but good plot twist.

Room
2015
Dir. Lenny Abrahamson
9/10
Incredible. I have no words – adored the book, was an emotional mess after the film.

Hail, Caeser!
2016
Dir. Coen Brothers
8/10
Silly, fun & beautifully made.

Once
2007
Dir.John Carney
8/10
Really touching with excellent music.

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Sing Street
2016
Dir. John Carney
9/10
Brilliant, amazing cast, story & original music.

Hush
2016
Dir. Mike Flanagan
9/10
Best horror I’ve seen in ages.

What We Do in the Shadows
2014
Dir. Jermaine Clement & Taika Waititi
8/10
Hilarious. This is my new pick me up film when I’m a little sad & need a good giggle.

Batmans vs Superman
2016
Dir. Zack Synder
3/10
Let down. Don’t want to talk about it.

The Witch
2015
Dir. Robert Eggers
7/10
Dark & intense. Totally unique in the horror genre.

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The Boy
2016
Dir. William Brent Bell
6/10
I only watched it for Lauren Cohan but it was so fun & actually surprised me with the plot twist.

21 & Over
2013
Dir. Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
8/10
Surprisingly brilliant. I’ve watched it multiple times since first seeing it & it tickles me each time.

Finding Dory
2016
Dir. Andrew Stanton & Angus MacLane
9/10
Heartwarming & heart racing. The best possible sequel to Finding Nemo.

Zootropolis
2016
Dir. Byron Howard, Rich Moore & Jared Bush
9/10
Incomparable. Everybody in the whole entire world needs to see this.

As Above So Below
2014
Dir. John Erick Dowdle
9/10
Clever, aware & beautifully shot. Amazing horror film.

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10 Cloverfield Lane
2016
Dir. Dan Trachtenberg
7/10
Intense & riveting. So interesting to see this side of the original Cloverfield explored.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War
2016
Dir. Cedric Nicholas-Troyan
6/10
Fun. I’m a massive fan of Jessica Chastain so I was going to be pretty happy here.

The Jungle Book
2016
Dir. Jon Favreau
9/10
My childhood brought to life. Oh my goodness this was magical.

The Lady in the Van
2015
Dir. Nicholas Hytner
8/10
Wonderful story, wonderfully acted.

Sicario
2015
Dir. Dennis Villeneuve
8/10
Deep & intense. Emily Blunt is stunning.

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X-Men: Apocalypse
2016
Bryan Singer
6/10
Fun & didn’t take itself too seriously. I really enjoyed it.

Pitch Perfect 2
2015
Dir. Elizabeth Banks
7/10
Not as great as the first, but still incredible. Banks is incredible in the directors chair.

Me Before You
2016
Thea Sharrock
6/10
Debatable. Don’t know how to address it still.

Bad Neighbours 2
2016
Nicholas Stoller
6/10
This was actually pretty good.

Rebirth
2016
Dir. Karl Mueller
4/10
I love Fran Kranz (& he was great in this) but the story just wasn’t great.

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Florence Foster Jenkins
2016
Dir. Stephen Frears
7/10
Heartwarming. Meryl Streep is so wonderful.

Captain America: Civil War
2016
Dir. Anthony & Joe Russo
7/10
Proper enjoyed this. Not a fan of the loss of friendships though – but Spiderman!!!

Case 39
2009
Dir. Christian Alvart
6/10
Oh my god settle down little girl. Jesus.

The Purge: Election Year
2016
Dir. James DeMonaco
7/10
This franchise has progressed so much since the first movie, & this film the best of them all.

Hotel Transylvania
2012
Dir. Kennedy Tartakovsky
7/10
I am obsessed. This was so good.

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The Fundamentals of Caring
2016
Dir. Rob Burnett
9/10
If you somehow missed this on Netflix earlier this year, change that pronto because this is WONDERFUL.

Limitless
2011
Dir. Neil Burger
6/10
Alright, but a teeny bit average.

Jumper
2008
Dir. Doug Liman
6/10
Such a cool premise but it was all packed in to quick for it to be amazing.

Into the Wild
2007
Dir. Sean Penn
8/10
Made me want to travel – but with lots of my own food & maybe a phone for emergencies.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
1986
Dir. John Huges
9/10
Lived up to the hype. A classic for a reason.

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Dark Skies
2013
Dir. Scott Stewart
7/10
Creepy & suspenseful. I love me an alien film & this was pretty original.

Jeepers Creepers
2001
Dir. Victor Salva
6/10
Feels like an eighties film. Not sure if that’s a good thing.

The Road to El Dorado
2000
Dir. Bibo Bergeron
8/10
I know I know: how had I not seen this before? But I have now & it was excellent.

Grease Live!
2016
Dir. Thomas Kail & Alex Rudzinski
8/10
Technically genius. In awe of Vanessa Hudgens.

Shutter
2008
Dir. Masayuki Ochiai
4/10
This was kind of cool but too bad to really acknowledge it.

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Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
2003
Dir. Patrick Gilmore & Tom Johnson
6/10
Again, another Dreamworks classic I never saw. I was obsessed with prince of Egypt when I was a kid & just watched that over & over instead of branching into other ones.

Twinsters
2015
Dir. Samantha Futerman & Ryan Miyamoto
7/10
Amazing documentary. Really incredible to watch.

Buried
2010
Dir. Rodrigo Cortés
7/10
Really incredible that a film entirely set in a tiny box with just one guy can be so good.

Midnight Meat Train
2008
Dir. Ryûhei Kitamura
3/10
You think you know how this film is going to turn out, but then (spoiler alert) it’s about lizard people.

Return to Oz
1985
Dir. Walter Murch
4/10
Terrifying & bizarre. What was up with Disney in the eighties?

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The Longest Ride
2015
Dir. George Tillman Jr.
5/10
Wasn’t that great – I wish the story had just been about the older couple. Still made me cry.

The Bay
2012
Dir. Barry Levinson
2/10
Dull. It’s should be everything I like in a horror film but it just wasn’t right.

Mad Max: Fury Road
2015
Dir. George Miller
7/10
While I did enjoy this, & marvelled at the cast of badass women – I don’t think it was as amazing as everybody said it was. I’m sorry! Maybe I need to see it again?

Push
2009
Dir. Paul McGuigan
6/10
Cool idea with cool moments, but all a bit too rushed to properly engage with.

Now You See Me
2013
Dir. Louis Leterrier
8/10
This was SO COOL. I LOVE MAGIC.

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Deadpool
2016
Dir. Tim Miller
9/10
So refreshing. Everything I could every want in a superhero movie. FINALLY.

The 5th Wave
2016
Dir. J Blakeson
5/10
Bit naff.

Pacific Rim
2013
Dir. Guillermo del Toro
8/10
This was so good??? Why did I never see it before??

Morgan
2016
Dir. Luke Scott
7/10
Fun, with some amazing characters.

Chernobyl Diaries
2012
Dir. Bradley Parker
5/10
Pretty decent for a low budget horror film, but ruined by the shitty ending.

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Whiplash
2014
Dir. Damien Chazelle
10/10
Actually flawless. Makes me passionate about films.

The BFG
2016
Dir. Steven Spielberg
8/10
Just so lovely that I wanted to cry.

Bad Moms
2016
Dir. John Lucas & Scott Moore
9/10
INCREDIBLE. PLEASE WATCH THIS.

Suicide Squad
2016
Dir. David Ayer
5/10
LET DOWN OF THE YEAR.

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Esio Trot
2015
Dir. Dearbhla Walsh
7/10
This was my favourite Roald Dahl book growing up, so my friend & I watched on what would have been his 100th birthday. It was so LOVELY.

Don’t Breathe
2016
Dir. Fede Alvarez
7/10
Interesting & original, so tense & so disturbing.

How to Be Single
2016
Dir. Christian Ditter
7/10
So much better than how it was advertised to be. I am so happy with all the comedies for women that aren’t about them getting together with men for a happy ending!!

Tallulah
2016
Dir. Sian Heder
7/10
Stressful, but gorgeously acted.

Z for Zachariah
2015
Dir. Craig Zobel
6/10
Three incredible actors with a kind of basic story.

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Brooklyn
2015
Dir. John Crowley
10/10
Beautiful. Filled me with a nostalgic kind of melancholy joy.

The Goonies
1985
Dir. Richard Donner
10/10
I don’t know how I missed out on this classic growing up but oh my, it was not a let down. Hey you guys!

Bridget Jones’s Baby
2016
Dir. Sharon Maguire 
10/10
Honestly the happiest I’ve ever been watching a film.

Kubo & the Two Strings
2016
Dir. Travis Knight
8/10
Jaw dropping stop-motion animation with a lovely story.

The Change-Up
2011
Dir. David Dobkin
7/10
So silly. I’m so for it.

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The Girl on the Train
2016
Dir. Tate Taylor
6/10
The book was incredible. The film was mediocre.

Swiss Army Man
2016
Dir. Daniels
7/10
Silly but warmed your heart so, so much.

Ashby
2015
Dir. Tony McNamura
7/10
Surprisingly lovely, but wish they’d been nicer to Emma Roberts.

Doctor Strange
2016
Dir. Scott Derrickson
8/10
Despite it’s white-washing I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I ever would.

Lights Out
2016
Dir. David F. Sandberg
7/10
Basic story with a very scary villain.

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A Streetcat Named Bob
2016
Dir. Roger Spottiswoode
6/10
Just a really lovely story with a really lovely cat.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
2013
Dir. Adam McKay
6/10
I haven’t even seen the first Anchorman & I don’t know if is was as big a mess as its sequel.  I liked Paul Rudd & Steve Carell though.

The Accountant
2016
Dir. Gavin O’Connor
6/10
Should have had more Anna Kendrick.

Arrival
2016
Dir. Dennis Villeneuve
10/10
The best film of the year, hands down. Now one of my all time favourite films – completely blew me away.

Storks
2016
Dir. Nicholas Stoller & Doug Sweetland
9/10
I LOVED this. It was so fun & clever & those wolf jokes got me every single time.

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Allied
2016
Dir. Robert Zemeckis
7.5/10
Felt like a slightly cheesy Old Hollywood movie & I adored it.

Trolls
2016
Dir. Walt Dohrn & Mike Mitchell
6/10
It was nice. That’s all I can really say.

Bleed For This
2016
Dir. Ben Younger
6/10
Accurate biopic, let down by it’s lack of emotion.

That Awkward Moment
2014
Dir. Tom Gormican
6/10
I am so here for films advertised as raunchy comedies that are actually about loving & accepting yourself & having friends.

Easter Parade
1948
Dir. Charles Walters
7/10
So cute. The songs, the outfits – I am always there for Judy Garland.

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Moana
2016
Dir. Ron Clements & John Musker
9/10
Perfect. I am loving everything Disney did this year.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
2011
Dir. Todd Strauss-Schulson
5/10
The only holiday film I watched this year. I don’t know what happened.

Wanderlust
2012
Dir. David Wain 
6/10
Not really sure what this film was, but it had a lovely ending.

The Good Neighbour
2016
Dir. Kasra Farahani
7/10
Really cool, & totally different than what I expected.

The Late Bloomer
2016
Dir. Kevin Pollak
5/10
I don’t really know what this was. But I didn’t hate it?

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My Week With Marilyn
2011
Dir. Simon Curtis
8/10
Gorgeous love letter to Marilyn.

Passengers
2016
Dir. Morgen Tyldum
6/10
Cheesy romcom, just in space.

Carol
2015
Dir. Todd Haynes
7.5/10
Beautiful & elegant. I’m so for vintage Christmas lesbians.

Fight Club
1999
Dir. David Fincher
7.5/10
If was the only film with the idea “I’m a man I can do & own anything!” then it would be really cool. Unfortunately there are thousands of films like that. Still very good though.

Hell or High Water
2016
Dir. David Mackenzie
8/10
An amazingly sophisticated Western. Really impressive.

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Nocturnal Animals
2016
Dir. Tom Ford
10/10
Seductive, violent, artistic & intense. I loved it.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople
2016
Dir. Taika Waititi
9/10
Soul-restoring. Hilarious & heartwarming.

Area 51
2015
Dir. Oren Peli
4/10
I’m a sucker for a good found footage horror film. This was alright.

Ghostbusters
2016
Dir. Paul Feig
8/10
YES!! SLAY LADIES!! YES!!

Mama
2013
Dir. Andrés Muschietti
8/10
I watched this late at night on my own & it scared the crap out of me. If you haven’t seen it watch it in daylight with curtains open & at least two or three friends.

That’s 105 films – & they’re just the ones I remember. Yet I still feel like I haven’t seen enough?

This blog has grown in ways I didn’t expect. I don’t like to call my posts about films ‘reviews’, because I way prefer to just talk about everything in the film than critically assess it. I realised that white a bit into the year, which meant I missed lots of film I wanted to write about due to not thinking my analysis was good enough to be a review.

2016 has had some incredible films & television that I’m so happy to have been able to see in cinemas or on streaming, & to be there when they were created. It’s been beyond comforting to see that in this year filled with awful events, that there have been creations this beautiful & full of passion.

I just hope that 2017 can continue that greatness – & I’m sure it will.

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