After the hoity-toity film critics had their say in the BFI’s Sight & Sound magazine, nominating German-Austrian comedy-drama Toni Erdmann as the “best film of 2016”, a film UK audiences will only have had the privilege to see during its film festival run, Empire magazine released its far-more agreeable top 10 films of 2016.
Trust Sight & Sound’s film critics to pick a film no one has seen in the UK as its best of 2016. It’s released in February next year, by the way. Toni Erdmann has proven to be a hit on the festival circuit and won acclaim on its general release in Germany and Austria earlier this year.
But in terms of popular cinema, Empire’s top 10 is far more agreeable, shirking the posturing of snobbish cineastes in favour of the sorts of films that appeal to the widest possible British audience. Let’s take a look at what made the top 10…
10. Green Room
Empire said: “Jeremy Saulnier’s horror-thriller pulls few punches and the violence will be too much for some tastes – the baddies are Nazis, after all – but it demands your attention.”
Read the full Top 10 Films review
Empire said: “It’s a small, unshowy, angry film, which – like its heroes – just diligently gets on with the job at hand.”
8. The Revenant
Empire said: “…an astonishing, gut-punching piece of cinema.”
7. Kubo And The Two Strings
Empire said: “Stop-motion animation has never been rendered more confidently, or more beautifully, as Kubo hops between emotional, scary, and comic moments, as assuredly as he wields his shamisen.”
6. The Hateful Eight
Empire said: “As the claustrophobia sets in and the bullets start to fly, there’ll only be one question on your lips: ‘can we have your third Western now please, QT?’”
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Empire said: “It’s cinema as theatre: alive, visceral, and electrifying.”
4. Captain America: Civil War
Empire said: “The idea of pitching 673 (or thereabouts) superheroes against each other was a dizzying notion, but the brothers Russo pulled it off with aplomb, introducing a unanimously crowd-pleasing baby Spidey in the process.”
3. Hell Or High Water
Empire said: “Gripping, provocative and very funny, it’s well worth tracking down.”
Empire said: “…[an] intensely cerebral piece of work, transforming Ted Chiang’s short story into an atmospheric wrong-footing puzzle which plays with narrative conventions and linguistic head-scratchers.
1. Hunt For The Wilderpeople
Empire said: “To say that Hunt For The Wilderpeople was a surprise is perhaps overstating it. Anyone who’d seen director Waititi’s vampire mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows would know we were in for an Antipodean treat. But the way it perfectly balances its elements – emotional without being overwrought, quirky without being twee, hilarious without losing touch of the story or characters – is an achievement that nobody saw coming.”