Filmoria’s Top 10 Films of 2016 Filmoria’s Top 10 Films of 2016
The Filmoria team have put together the ultimate End of Year list. Here's our official Top 10 Films of 2016. Filmoria’s Top 10 Films of 2016

December means only one thing: movie lists. Okay, two things including Christmas…

To keep festive traditions alive, the Filmoria team has burrowed deep into the archives of 2016 to extract the very best films the year had to offer. From awe-inspiring animation, to emotionally harrowing character drama, from caped crusaders, to intergalactic battles, we have consumed a rich variety of cinema across the last twelve months, and as a collective front, we have ranked it for your reading pleasure. So without further ado, here is Filmoria’s Top 10 Films of 2016!

Individual Top 10s from our wonderful staff follow the official Filmoria list, so be sure to have a look at what our writers have personally loved, too!

Note: this list is constructed in accordance with films released theatrically, on-demand, or via fellow home entertainment systems in the United Kingdom between 1st January and 31st December, 2016. 

10. Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford – USA – Cert: 15)

Source: Collider


Fashion designer Tom Ford’s sophomore effort – arriving some six years after his debut A Single Man – is a dazzlingly lurid, insatiably provocative tale of deceit and heinous crime. Exhilarating in form and aesthetic craft, and gloriously grotesque in thematic structure, Nocturnal Animals is a work so meticulous, it is almost impossible to believe this isn’t the doing of a master auteur. Straddling duel narratives in contrasting locations – from the thick dirt and heat of the West Texan desert, to the sterile, forensic workspaces Amy Adams’ protagonist resides within – it’s a feverish watch which absorbs every drop of sweat, tension, and heady fragrance from each frame. This is potent and challenging cinema, aggressive and nihilistic, but it’s also profoundly beautiful and enchanting. Ford doesn’t just tailor exquisite threads; he tailors exquisite film, too. [Chris Haydon]

09. Sing Street (John Carney – Ireland / UK – Cert: 12A)

Source: IMDb


Coming out of pretty much nowhere, but with a strong word-of-mouth buzz drawing cinemagoers in, the latest movie from Irish director John Carney proved to be a surprise hit. Telling the story of a boy who creates a band to impress the girl of his dreams, Sing Street is simple enough narratively, but it is solidly entertaining filmmaking which is charming, provides some excellent performances from its cast of relative unknowns, and perhaps most importantly, offers an array of incredible songs. Set in 1980s Dublin, it ticks the retro-feel boxes as well, but the story of young love and brotherly love, proves to be timeless, and cements Sing Street as the instant classic you probably haven’t heard of, but absolutely should’ve done… [Sarah Buddery]

08. Kubo & The Two Strings (Travis Knight – USA – Cert: PG)

Source: Collider


Laika Studios’ charming Kubo & The Two Strings details the story of a young boy on a quest to find mythical items which will help him defeat the demons of his past, and conveys as such impeccable craft and heart. Melodically animated in the production house’s signature stop-motion style, this sprawling and ambitious film features a cast of wonderful characters who populate an engaging, emotional, and spiritual story. It is a privilege to watch these personas grow in front of your eyes over the 100 minute adventure, which genuinely doesn’t have a dull moment throughout. Kubo is, in my opinion, the most superior animated offering to grace the cinema in 2016. It has been a strong year for the genre, but this beautiful and soulful work offers something new, something exciting, and doesn’t feel like a mere variation on a theme as a number of its competitors do. [Jade Sayers]

07. The Neon Demon (Nicolas Winding Refn – Denmark / USA – Cert: 18)

Source: IndieWire


The transcendent, hypnotic, and utterly nightmarish prowess of Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest renders it as perhaps the most exhilarating art film since Johnathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. This candy-coloured fever dream is a progressively powerful work of cinematic mastery; perhaps the purest, most insatiable presentation of audio and visuals to arrive on the silver screen this entire year. A transformative Elle Fanning delivers a career-defining performance as the sheepish, virginal beauty, who decadently evolves into a ferociously toxic femme fatale as she steals the heart of LA’s thriving fashion scene. The Neon Demon is a staggering technical achievement; a whirling waltzer of strobe lighting, angular framing, and intoxicating costume, but it’s also a remarkable character study, and proves Refn as far more than a mere provocateur, rather a ravishing craftsman. The world adores Drive, but this is his landmark achievement. Unforgettable filmmaking. [Chris Haydon]

06. Son Of Saul (László Nemes – Hungary – Cert: 15) 

Source: Curzon Artificial Eye


When your debut wins an Oscar, the Cannes Grand Jury prize and a Golden Globe, what do you do next? It’s the decision facing Hungarian director László Nemes. His first feature, Son Of Saul, is the type of film any director would be more than proud to make at the peak of their career. In a work of outstanding maturity, he takes us on a journey through the human hell of a German concentration camp, with the camera constantly focusing on the Saul of the title. Around him, everything else is blurred, but the babel of gunfire, screams and beatings means we know exactly what’s happening. This cacophony of the damned masterfully re-creates the multiple horrors he witnesses while trying to preserve the spark of humanity left in his soul. It’s an exhausting, and emotionally draining portrait of a never-ending nightmare. And an utterly unmissable one, too. [Freda Cooper]

05. Captain America: Civil War (Anthony & Joe Russo – USA / UK – Cert: 12A)

Source: Marvel


Tackling Marvel Comics’ most famous – some might even say infamous – storyline of recent times was no easy task (particularly when you only have a handful of superheroes to play with), but the Russo Brothers somehow managed to pull it off with Captain America: Civil War. This character-driven feature is arguably up there with The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy as a true Marvel Studios great, largely due to its focus on the relationship between Captain America and his long-time best friend, and all-round life partner, Bucky Barnes. The duo provide the film an emotional heft that’s often missing from the franchise’s shallower flicks. Civil War might be Chris Evans’ final solo appearance as America’s favourite fighting patriot, but it serves as a hugely fitting tribute. Both he and Robert Downey Jr. are electric throughout, and as tensions heighten, so do the fireworks. Plus, it introduced Spidey back into the MCU’s fold, so what more could you want? [Liz Tresidder]

04. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy – USA / Canada – Cert: 15)

Source: IndieWire


Proving the worthy recipient of 2016’s Academy Award for Best Picture, Spotlight is a staggering story which uncovers the cases of child molestation within churches around Boston and across the globe, packing seriously powerful punch in the way it presents the real-life story. Featuring an impressive cast all at their very best, director Tom McCarthy’s film never over-dramatises the events unfolding and instead creates a wholly immersive and quietly horrifying saga that is impossible to look away from. All too often dramatisations of factual accounts can be rather disappointing in their transfer to the screen, but McCarthy instead produces something grounded, sobering and well-realised. This chilling and thrilling work certainly deserved the many accolades it claimed. [James Thompson]

03. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Gareth Edwards – UK – Cert: 12A)

Source: Lucasfilm


Throughout the year, one had been questioning if Gareth Edwards’ standalone film would either A) work within the realms of Star Wars, or B) even be enjoyable. Thankfully, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was an extremely pleasant surprise. It’s not only a beautifully rendered and realised Star Wars film, playfully recalling the original trilogy in parts, but also a tremendous war film on its own merits. The characters, although unfamiliar and unlinked to other known Star Wars figures, feel more human than ever before. There’s a notion in the back of your mind that these people are just that; people. They’re not superheroes or Jedi…they’re expendable. A gaggle of misfits caught inside an ugly, costly, and unfair battle. Whilst we know the eventual outcome, it’s the execution of it all which impresses so greatly. The urgency, the tension, and the sheer weight of the mission throughout the last hour or so – and that’s a testament to Edwards’ assured direction and John Gilroy’s exquisite editing. Rogue One is both technically and narratively ahead of most other blockbusters released this year, and kick-starts an exciting new chapter inside A Galaxy Far, Far Away. [Scott Allden]

02. Room (Lenny Abrahamson – Ireland / Canada – Cert: 15)

Source: Deadline


Lenny Abrahamson’s follow up to his brilliant and idiosyncratic 2014 hit Frank, and the film that deservedly earned Brie Larson her Academy Award for Best Leading Actress, is of course Room. No other picture this year has managed to break and shatter my heart into pieces quite like this one did. Based on the best-selling novel by Emma Donoghue – who also wrote the screenplay for the film – this emotionally devastating yet profoundly human drama unfolds inside the titular location which serves as both prison and sanctuary for mother and child. Newcomer Jacob Tremblay delivers a simply astonishing performance as young Jack, whose entire existence has unfolded within these walls, consequently clouding his sense of reality. The initial sequence in which he discovers there is a whole world outside of room is nothing short of breathtaking. Whilst Abrahamson’s latest can at times be a tough pill to swallow, it’s also a thrilling, uplifting, and ultimately life-affirming exploration of family, love, and personal discovery. [Martin White]

01. Arrival (Denis Villeneuve – Canada / USA – Cert: 12A)

Source: Collider


Arrival saved an exceptionally gloomy year in many eyes. Denis Villeneuve provided us with a cinematic beacon of hope and superior thought that served as a beautifully crafted counterpoint to a fractured and disillusioned world, along with being a tantalising teaser of what the director could bring to the science-fiction genre, with audiences eagerly anticipating his Blade Runner sequel. Amy Adams’ brilliantly-played linguist is at the heart of its superb story as various mysterious spacecraft scattered across the globe leave many political figures looking to declare war, and through aesthetic and its narrative purpose, it represents the steep learning curve we mere humans perhaps still need to adopt. In understanding different cultures and viewpoints; the shared emotions that run deep which transcend the language barrier. Underpinned by Jóhann Jóhannsson’s spine-tingling score, and complete with a stunning finale that takes your breath away, once Arrival is seen, it refuses to leave the memory banks. Simply astonishing cinema. [Darryl Griffiths]

James Thompson – Managing Editor

Source: Collider


01. Room
02. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
03. The Neon Demon
04. Arrival
05. Spotlight
06. Green Room
07. Creed
08. The Revenant
09. Moana
10. The Nice Guys

Chris Haydon – Sub-Editor

Source: Lucasfilm


01. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
02. The Neon Demon
03. Son Of Saul
04. Nocturnal Animals
05. Arrival
06. The Witch
07. Kubo & The Two Strings
08. Things To Come
09. Julieta
10. American Pastoral

Darryl Griffiths – Social Media Manager

Source: The Verge


01. Sing Street
02. Arrival
03. Room
04. The Witch
05. The Neon Demon
06. Swiss Army Man
07. Nocturnal Animals
08. Mustang
09. The Revenant
10. The Pass

Scott Allden – Contributor 

Source: Lucasfilm


01. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
02. Spotlight
03. Zootropolis
04. Arrival
05. Son Of Saul
06. Kubo & The Two Strings
07. Captain Fantastic
08. Your Name
09. The Neon Demon
10. Hunt For The Wilderpeople

Freda Cooper – Contributor 

Source: FilmAffinity


01. Spotlight
02. Son Of Saul
03. Paterson
04. The Jungle Book
05. Hell Or High Water
06. Room
07= Star Trek Beyond
07= Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
08. Captain America: Civil War
09. Hunt For The Wilderpeople
10. Embrace Of The Serpent

Martin White – Contributor

Source: The Verge


01. Room
02. Arrival
03. Nocturnal Animals
04. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
05. Creed
06. Sing Street
07. Son Of Saul
08. Green Room
09. Captain America: Civil War
10. I, Daniel Blake

Thomas Harris – Contributor

Source: Peccadillo Press


01. Embrace of the Serpent
02. Arrival
03= Under The Shadow
03= The Childhood Of A Leader
05. Paterson
06. Son Of Saul
07. Anomalisa
08. Everybody Wants Some!!
09. Chi-Raq
10. American Honey

Sarah Buddery – Contributor

Source: Access Hollywood


01. Spotlight
02. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
03. Arrival
04. Sing Street
05. Kubo & The Two Strings
06. Room
07. Zootropolis
08. Nocturnal Animals
09. Captain America: Civil War
10. Your Name

Charlie Derry – Contributor

Source: The New Yorker


01. The Hateful Eight
02. The Light Between Oceans
03. The Danish Girl
04. Room
05. Spotlight
06. Deadpool
07. The Revenant
08. 10 Cloverfield Lane
09. Creed
10. The Girl On The Train

James Wheatley – Contributor

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


01. Train To Busan
02. Sing Street
03. Captain America: Civil War
04. Everybody Wants Some!!
05. Hunt For The Wilderpeople
06. Zootropolis
07. Green Room
08. Swiss Army Man
09. The Nice Guys
10. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Jade Sayers – Contributor

Source: IndieWire


01. Kubo & The Two Strings
02. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
03. Your Name
04. Room
05. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
06. Zootropolis
07. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
08. Moana
09. Captain America: Civil War
10. The Nice Guys

Liz Tresidder – Contributor

Source: Collider


01. Captain America: Civil War
02. Arrival
03. Moana
04. Spotlight
05. Hunt For The Wilderpeople
06. Deadpool
07. The Jungle Book
08. The Witch
09. Captain Fantastic
10. Room

From all of us here at Filmoria, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Here’s to an action-packed 2017!

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Chris Haydon

Sub-Editor of Filmoria. Dwayne Johnson's No.1 fan. Arthouse celebrator. Romancer of all things Michael Haneke & Woody Allen. Irrevocably in love with Felicity Jones. She'll be my wife one day; you'll see...