The Best Movies of 2016 (So Far)

We are now halfway through the year and as has become an annual tradition here at The End, it’s time to look back at the best movies of the year so far. As I discussed in the 2013 halfway post, the consensus movie-dating system is nonsensical and posits New York as the center of the universe. Far more logical (and much easier to use) is a system reliant on imdb’s dating system, which locates a film in whatever year it first played for an audience. That’s what we use here for all Rankings & Awards as it’s the most fair to all eras and areas. (A dating system reliant on playing in a certain locality I think can be valuable for a publication that is geographically specific, like a local newspaper or website. We’ll be putting together a Seattle-specific lists for Seattle Screen Scene later this week, for example. But here at The End, we have a global reach.)

A by-product of the system is that a number of films that first go into wide-release in any given year actually had their premiere in the year before. A number of the films on many critics’ halfway-thorough lists include these films, films that find their proper home here on my 2015 list. And so here we have two lists: the Best Movies of 2016, following the strict imdb dating system, and the Best 2015 Movies of 2016, which includes those films from last year that you might find on a more chronologically-illogical list (and despite the title, also includes one film from 1991 and one from 2012, both of which only premiered in New York this year). I also have a third list, Best Unreleased Movies of 2015, of last year’s films that have yet to see a New York release and therefore don’t (yet) exist by the standards of most critics. And a fourth list, a halfway version of my annual Best Older Movies list, counting the top movies I saw for the first time this year that are more than a few years old.

Best Movies of 2016 (So Far)

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1. Love & Friendship (Whit Stillman)

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2. Lemonade (Beyoncé Knowles, Dikayl Rimmasch & Jonas Åkerlund)

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3. Three (Johnnie To)

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4. Everybody Wants Some!!! (Richard Linklater)

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5. Hail, Caesar! (Joel & Ethan Coen)

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6. The Mermaid (Stephen Chow)

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7. A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (Shunji Iwai)

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8. Trivisa (Jevons Au, Frank Hui & Vicky Wong)

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9. OJ: Made in America (Ezra Edelman)

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10. Creepy (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

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11. My Beloved Bodyguard (Sammo Hung)

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12. Lo & Behold: Reveries of a Connected World (Werner Herzog)

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13. 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg)

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14. Chongqing Hot Pot (Yang Qing)

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15. The Mobfathers (Herman Yau)

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16. The Seasons in Quincy (Tilda Swinton, Colin McCabe, Christopher Roth & Bartek Dziadosz)

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17. 13 Hours (Michael Bay)

Best 2015 Movies of 2016 (So Far)

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1. Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata)

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2. Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke)

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3. SPL 2: A Time for Consequences (Soi Cheang)

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4. Sunset Song (Terence Davies)

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5. Kaili Blues (Bi Gan)

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6. Mekong Hotel (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

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7. The Thoughts that Once We Had (Thom Andersen)

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8. Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

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9. Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick)

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10. Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sangsoo)

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11. De Palma (Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow)

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12. The Witch (Robert Eggers)

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13. Eisenstein in Guanajuato (Peter Greenaway)

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14. The Treasure (Corneliu Porumboiu)

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15. In the Shadow of Women (Philippe Garrel)

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16. My Golden Days (Arnaud Desplechin)

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17. Francofonia (Alexander Sokurov)

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18. Ip Man 3 (Wilson Yip)

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19. Monster Hunt (Raman Hui)

Best Unreleased 2015 Movies (So Far)

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1. 88:88 (Isiah Medina)

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2. La La La at Rock Bottom (Nobuhiro Yamashita)

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3. Li Wen at East Lake (Luo Li)

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4. Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton (Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson & Galen Johnson)

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5. Murmur of the Hearts (Sylvia Chang)

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6. Night Without Distance (Lois Patiño)

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7. Port of Call (Philip Yung)

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8. No No Sleep (Tsai Ming-liang)

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9. O Kadhal Kanmani (Mani Ratnam)

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10. A Tale of Three Cities (Mabel Cheung)

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11. Topophilia (Peter Bo Rappmund)

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12. Forget Me Not (Kei Horie)

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13. Concerto: A Beethoven Journey (Phil Grabsky)

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14. Bitter Lake (Adam Curtis)

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15. Thithi (Raam Reddy)

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16. Greed; Ghost Light (Kim Nakyung)

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17. The Exquisite Corpus (Peter Tscherkassky)

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18. Tag (Sion Sono)

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19. Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce)

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20. Ten Years (Various)

2016 Discoveries (So Far)

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1. Mahjong (Edward Yang, 1996)

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2. Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)

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3. Canyon Passage (Jacques Tourneur, 1946)

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4. Duelle (Jacques Rivette, 1976)

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5. Fire Walk with Me (David Lynch, 1992)

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6. Viva Erotica (Derek Yee & Law Chi-leung, 1996)

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7. Tokyo Sonata (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2008)

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8. The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, 1992)

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9. The Big Road (Sun Yu, 1935)

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10. Battles without Honor and Humanity (Kinji Fukasaku, 1973)

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11. Phantoms of Nabua (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2009)

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12. Prospero’s Books (Peter Greenaway, 1991)

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13. Cure (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997)

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14. Noroît (Jacques Rivette, 1976)

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15. Sonatine (Takeshi Kitano, 1993)

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16. Beyond Hypothermia (Patrick Leung, 1996)

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17. Pulse (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001)

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18. The God of Cookery (Stephen Chow, 1996)

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19. Deadly Fight in Hiroshima (Kinji Fukasaku, 1973)

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20. Youth of the Beast (Seijun Suzuki, 1963)

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21. Violent Cop (Takehi Kitano, 1989)

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22. Los tallos amargos (Fernando Ayala, 1956)

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23. So Dark the Night (Joseph H. Lewis, 1946)

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24. Bastards (Claire Denis, 2013)

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25. Mysterious Object at Noon (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2000)

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3 thoughts on “The Best Movies of 2016 (So Far)

    • Definitely want to see that. Missed it at VIFF last year and again when it played here this year; timing just never worked out. Will definitely see it before the end of this year though.

      Like

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