VultureHound’s Top 10 Films of 2016 – Part 2

If our critics’ choices are anything to go by, 2016 has been a big year for science fiction films large and small, and animation (with some genre hits sprinkled in between). Since there was an introduction to the first part of our list, we’ll just get right into it. And so begins the next half of our list (in alphabetical order)!

Green Room

Green Room

Neo Nazism is definitely no laughing matter now, and admittedly makes Green Room a tougher watch. But, taken purely as a piece of cinema, it is bold, brilliant and bleak – so bleak that it shouldn’t be this entertaining… but it is. Expertly crafted, it crackles with the fearless energy of a new filmmaker. Its tight plotting, tighter character development and sense of fun all make a mockery of its duration, and in Patrick Stewarts villain we are given an iconic one.In todays cinematic landscape feel good fare is in demand, but sometimes you can’t beat a crafty shock to the system. – Isaac Asha Tomiczek

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War

The highest-grossing film of the year, Captain America: Civil War is an outstanding entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that sees the Avengers square off in opposing factions led by Iron Man and Captain America. Not only does Civil War feature a sprawling interpersonal superhero conflict with an ensemble cast drawn from all corners of the MCU, it also introduces fan-favorites Black Panther and Spider-Man, and finds time for several truly spectacular action setpieces. Considering how many moving parts it has, the fact that Civil War comes together as a well told, character rich, incredibly entertaining ride is nothing short of a marvel – pun absolutely intended. – Stanyo Zhelev

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Arrival

The latest instalment from the ultra-competent and highly prolific Denis Villeneuve, Arrival is something of a mini masterpiece of “good taste” sci-fi, a slow-burning tale of intergalactic diplomacy and the possibilities of language. Without getting bogged down in the semantics, Arrival credibly evokes both Kubrick’s 2001 and Spielberg’s Close Encounters without ever seeming in debt to them. It’s a unique and daring take on the genre, interested as much in humanity, love and language as it is aliens, with great performances turned in at all angles, and is one of the best films of the year by far. – Edward Dixon

Anomalisa

Anomalisa

Released to a fairly underwhelming box office reception that made the writer/director rethink his career, Charlie Kaufman’s stop-motion animated romance is as surreal and nightmarish as it is cuttingly true-to-life. With a voice cast of 3 people, the film follows salesman dude Michael Stone (David Thewlis) as he struggles with the monotony and loneliness of his lifestyle – in which everyone has the same face, and the same voice (that of the fantastic Tom Noonan), saying the same arbitrary stuff. A unique, beautiful, quietly powerful film with a strange sense of humour, Anomalisa deserves a bigger audience than the one it got. – Kambole Campbell

10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield Lane

This Spin-off from the J.J Abrams produced Cloverfield was released all the way back in March. Containing the thinnest possible connection to its predecessor 10 Cloverfield Lane stands on its own two feet thanks to terrific performances from Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. Although it is inevitably the enigmatic display of the evergreen John Goodman that tips 10 Cloverfield Lane into the highly engaging thriller that it is. First time director Dan Trachtenburg shows plenty of promise and with God Particle, another Cloverfield anthology film, on the way next year this could be an interesting regular feature in the cinematic calendar. – Alex Halsall

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HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Captain Fantastic, Everybody Wants Some, Hell Or High Water, I, Daniel Blake, Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Chi Raq

THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE (FOR SOME REASON): Deadpool