Ok so I was in France this week and didn’t have to sort out a guest for this week’s Top 5. However I thought it was about time that I sorted out my favourite films of the year so far as we are about halfway through 2016. So I actually came up with a list of about nine films that were in serious contention for my list, and it was a tough job whittling those down to just 5. I have links to my reviews of all these films if you want a more in depth look at them.
- The Jungle Book – Coming in at number 5 is the Jungle Book. I was so pleasantly surprised that they managed to pull this off. Not only have they managed to remake one of favourite animated films of all time, but they also succeeded in making it just distinct enough to feel like it’s own film, but still holding to the original’s spirit. The voice cast was so on point, Idris Elba and Bill Murray are perfect as Shere Khan and Baloo, and Christopher Walken as King Louie was just a stroke of genius. You also have to give such incredible respect to the CGI work, as almost everything in the film is computer generated and it still looks so real. The Jungle Book is a great film, and just one of Disney’s unstoppable juggernauts this year.
- The Nice Guys – Shane Black made one of the most Shane Black films ever made. But it is also one of the funniest films I’ve seen all year, and one of the buddy actions films since Black’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling really make this film. They both give fantastic performances, and Gosling is near unrecognisable as Detective Holland March. Not only do they both give their own great performance, but also the two actors have such wonderful chemistry, and that really comes through, with their relationship being the basis that the rest of the film around it is built from. A great film, and one that deserved to resonate with a bigger audience than it did.
- Captain America: Civil War – I have said that this is the second best superhero film ever made, behind the Dark Knight, and I stand by that. Deadpool may have been one of the most original superhero films ever made, but Civil War just hit all the beats that it needed to. It perfectly set up the motivations of all the characters, which with a cast the size of Civil War could have been so tricky. The action in this film was just so incredible. The airport scene alone sits right up there in the pantheon of film action sequences, whilst the final action sequence dropped the CGI heavy, end of the world finales of a lot of Marvel films, and instead delivered a far more intimate end with stakes that we truly care about.
- Room – Whilst Room may have been a 2015 film in the US, it came out in 2016 in the UK. It was such a brilliant and moving film. The two central performances from Jacob Tremblay Brie Larson are so fantastic. And Brie Larson completely deserved her Best Actress Academy Award win at the 2015 Oscars. The scene where Tremblay’s Jack escapes from the room in which he and his mother are held prisoner was one of the best, and tensest sequences in any fill this year. I can’t say that I have read Emma Donoghue’s book, on which this film was based, but director Lenny Abrahamson has brought it to life so beautifully, and I really wish that it’d had a real chance at the last Oscars.
- Sing Street – This was one of the best feel good films I’ve seen in a long time. John Carney is really making the low budget musical scene his own right now, and Sing Street might just be the King of that genre. Set in 1980s Dublin, and featuring the rather simple plot of a boy starting a band to impress a girl, Sing Street tells such a sweet and lovely romance between these two central characters. The music in the film is all worked in extremely well normally through the band’s music videos, and the 80s influences on the music are clear to see for anyone familiar with the pop and rock music of the time. I have seen this film twice in cinemas, which hasn’t been the case with many films this year, but both times I was left with a huge smile and my face, and feeling completely uplifted.
So those are my top 5 films of the year so far. What do you think of my choices? I’d love to know your favourite film of 2016 so far, so comment and let me know.