In the Tradition of MovieRevolt Dan and OptimusSolo we bring you guys the first in our series of 2016 Movie Awards! We start with the Best Genre Films. Genre films are often left out of most movie awards. Occasionally you’ll get a Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark, but more often than not films like The Dark Knight, Die Hard, and The Matrix will be left out in the cold. With that in mind we wanted to continue to specifically highlight these films in our own way. I have gone through all of the main genres that stood out this year and picked out what films I thought stood above the rest.
As a side note, in selecting these films keep in mind that I may be selecting the film that I feel best represented the genre and not necessarily the film that I feel is the best overall film that could be classified in that genre.
I was struggling with this category quite a bit until I caught up with The Accountant in the weeks before making this post. Overall, the year seemed like a weak year when it came to straight action films, especially with the disappointment of an early favorite, Jason Bourne. The Accountant was a pleasant surprise and definitely included just enough bad-assery/ass-kickery to earn its spot amongst past winners in this category
Honorable Mentions: Blood Father
Past Winners: The Raid: Redemption (2012), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), The Raid 2 (2014), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Hunt for the Wilder People
Perhaps we are honing in on what exactly my sense of humor is here, with Taika Waititi taking home this prize for the second straight year, but Hunt for the Wilderpeople was such a fun ride for me overall. From the resurrection of Sam Neill’s career to a fantastic debut by Julian Dennison, Hunt gives us a perfect blend of crazy, funny, heart felt drama and clever dialogue to be a film that easy slides up the ranks in terms of re-watchability.
Honorable Mentions: Swiss Army Man, Deadpool, Captain Fantastic
Past Winners: Klown (2012), This is the End (2013), Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), What We Do In the Shadows (2015)
The Magnificent Seven
Not a film that everyone will be on my side for, but The Magnifcent Seven gave me everything I want in a Western Film. Great performances across the board, bigger than life stakes, witty dialogue, and guns a blazing. If you can’t have fun with The Magnificent Seven, you may need to take a break from film for a while and allow yourself to re-discover what makes movie going such a magical experience.
Honorable Mentions: Hell or High Water, Jane Got a Gun
Past Winners: Slow West (2015)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
It has the word right in the title…what was I suppose to pick? Fantastic Beasts is a nice turn in the Harry Potter universe full of stunning visuals, striking magic, and, well, fantastic beasts of course. A solid table setter for things to come for sure.
Honorable Mentions: Jungle Book, Pete’s Dragon
Past Winners: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), Blacncanieves (2013), Noah (2014), Cinderella (2015)
I’m so happy that intelligently written science fiction is coming back into the forefront this decade and Arrival may be a top that list. It does what good science fiction is suppose to do. It challenges us to re-think the way we see the world and the possibilities it holds. Denis Villeneuve knocks it out of the park once again.
Honorable Mentions: Passengers, 400 Days
Past Winners: Looper (2012), Gravity (2013), Under The Skin (2014), The Martian (2015)
Captain America: Civil War
In what may have been the closest race in these awards, I give the very slight edge to Captain America over Deadpool. Civil War, ie, Avengers 3, does a fantastic job of bring together a new class of superheroes that only left us salivating even more for future projects from the likes of Spider-Man and Black Panther just to name a few. The dynamics they gave us in this film were palpable as we saw the divisiveness in the ranks emerge.
Honorable Mentions: Deadpool
Past Winners: The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014), Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
Kubo & The Two Strings
While the masses were drooling over Zootopia, Kubo and the Two Strings quietly snuck in and stole the crown this year when it comes to the world of Animation, and it wasn’t even close folks. Kubo hit on every aspect, from visuals, to story telling, to voice work, to thematic resonance, Kubo is an instant classic that will only gain in appreciation as the years go by.
Honorable Mentions: Zootopia, The Little Prince
Past Winners: Paranorman (2012), Frozen (2013), The Lego Movie (2014), Inside Out (2015)
While, definitely a flawed film, (as most are of course) Hacksaw Ridge proved once again how visual or a story teller Mel Gibson can be. With war scenes we haven’t seen since the likes of Saving Private Ryan. Hacksaw Ridge also shines a light on some themes that we are not often exposed to when it comes to this genre. Perhaps I am giving more credit than is due for a film that simply depicts such a remarkable true story, either way, this film is definitely worth a watch.
Honorable Mentions: The Birth of a Nation, Free State of Jones
Past Winners: (First Time Awarded)
The Witch (From MovieRevolt Dan)
This was a haunting experience. One that uses horror to do much more than simply scare. I am rather amazed that this is the first feature film done by Robert Eggers. The sheer attention to period detail alone would make me assume this is coming from a cinematic veteran.
The effectiveness of slow burn horror is hinged upon proper pacing with this surely has. Through Eggers striking imagery and Mark Korven’s moving score there is a consistent feeling of uneasiness that kept me glued.
Honorable Mentions: Don’t Breathe, Lights Out, The Shallows, Hush
Past Winners: The Snowtown Murders (2012), The Conjuring (2013), The Babadook (2014), The Visit (2015)
As each year passes it seems like this genre is fading further and further into obscurity. In 2016, there wasn’t much to pick from quite honestly, however Bad Moms ended up being far better than it even deserved to be and was quite the surprise this summer.
Honorable Mentions: None
Past Winners: Friends with Kids (2012), Drinking Buddies (2013), Obvious Child (2014), Trainwreck (2015)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
In a year full of disappointments when it came to this category, Star Wars once again stood above the pack. Proving that a number is not necessary when it comes to anticipation and excitement for future films in this universe, Rogue One even landed better with some than one or two of the original trilogy films.
Honorable Mentions: Ghostbusters, Star Trek: Beyond
Past Winners: Skyfall (2012), Pacific Rim (2013), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
10 Cloverfield Lane
One of the most exciting things about the year in film was the sheer number of above average thrillers that came across our screens. It started early in the year with 10 Cloverfield Lane and Green Room but did not stop there as we saw a half a dozen other films that can only excite fans of the genre for what the future will hold.
Honorable Mentions: Green Room, Girl on a Train, The Wave, Deepwater Horizon
(First Time Awarded)
Everybody Wants Some!!
The reason you see Everybody Wants Some!! in this spot is most likely simply because I have not seen Moonlight as of this posting. However, that does not diminish how well this film recaptured the magic that we saw with Dazed and Confused. A great year overall for this genre and it definitely does not seem like it’s going away anytime soon.
Honorable Mentions: Sing Street, Morris from America
Past Winners: Mud (2013), Dope (2015)
Hell or High Water
At one point a hidden gem of a film in 2016 and later an Oscar contender, Hell or High Water delivered a great story full of both comedic and dramatic moments that kept you on the edge of your seat. A powerful story full of powerful performances, this is not a film you should miss.
Honorable Mentions: Allied, The Infiltrator, Eye in the Sky
Past Winners: Seven Psychopaths (2012), Prisoners (2013), Blue Ruin (2014), Sicario (2015)
After a surge in recent years of Biopics, it seems as though the studios pumped the breaks just a bit in this genre. They did manage to give us one film worth mentioning though in Sully. Sully had every right to be overly sentimental and mundane and instead gave us a riveting debate over the actions of a modern day hero. Well done
Honorable Mentions: Eddie the Eagle
Past Winners: Love & Mercy (2015)