Predictions for the 89th Annual Academy Awards

These are my Oscar predictions. During the ceremony tomorrow night, as I’ve done for the past couple of years, I’ll be live-tweeting the winners of the 2016 Endy Awards, the nominees for which can be found here. Follow along on twitter @TheEndofCinema.

BEST PICTURE

Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

BEST DIRECTOR

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

BEST ACTOR

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

BEST ACTRESS

Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

BEST FILM EDITING

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Passengers

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La Land
“The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

BEST SOUND EDITING

Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

BEST SOUND MIXING

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made in America
13th

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdmann

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

Extremis
4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

Ennemis Intérieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
Sing
Timecode

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
Piper

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2016 Endy Awards

These are the 2016 Endy Awards, wherein I pretend to give out maneki-neko statues to the best in that year in film. Awards for many other years can be found in the Rankings & Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I’ve seen the movie in question. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order and the winners are bolded. You can see my live-tweeting of the ceremony here. And the Endy goes to. . .

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A Top 50 Films of 2016, More or Less

As I did last year and the year before, I’m making a Best of the Year list following the conventional system for what counts as a 2016 film, mainly the nonsensical and ahistorical system that decrees that critics may only consider movies to have existed once they have played for a week in a commercial venue in New York City, or, in a new twist this year, on a television or streaming service in New York. This is the system that claims my favorite film of 2013 (La última película), which played for a week in Seattle in 2014, can only be considered a 2015 film because that is when it finally got a New York release, although it played Los Angeles for the first time in 2016. Not to mention the absurdity that my favorite film from 1991, Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday, qualifies for this list, along with a 30 year old Edward Yang movie and an Apichatpong Weerasethakul movie I saw in Vancouver in 2012. But alas, we all must bow to convention, however silly, every once in awhile.

My 2016 list of course will never be finalized, as there’s no such thing as a final list here at The End: there are always more new movies to discover and old movies to reevaluate. But in a couple of weeks I’ll have the nominations up for the 2016 Endy Awards, with the winners to be announced during the Academy Awards ceremony. This list is a snapshot of my favorites of 2016 as they stand now, on the last day of the year.

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1. Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata)

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2. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch)

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3. Love & Friendship (Whit Stillman)

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4. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

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5. Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke)

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6. Elle (Paul Verhoeven)

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7. Lemonade (Beyoncé Knowles & Kahlil Joseph)

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8. Things to Come Mia Hansen-Løve)

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

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10. Cemetery of Splendor (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

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11. Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)

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12. Sully (Clint Eastwood)

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13. Sunset Song (Terence Davies)

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14. The Love Witch (Anna Biller)

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15. The Terrorizers (Edward Yang)

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16. Three (Johnnie To)

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17. Kaili Blues (Bi Gan)

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18. Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sangsoo)

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19. Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater)

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20. The Mermaid (Stephen Chow)

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21. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (Karan Johar)

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22. The Age of Shadows (Kim Ji-woon)

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23. Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick)

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

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25. Mekong Hotel (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

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26. Hail, Caesar! (The Coen Brothers)

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27. Crosscurrent (Yang Chao)

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28. The Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig)

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29. I Am Not Madame Bovary (Feng Xiaogang)

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30. The Shallows (Jaume Collet-Serra)

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31. Tower (Keith Maitland)

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32. Rogue One (Gareth Edwards)

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33. Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson)

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34. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt)

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35. Train to Busan (Yeon Sangho)

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36. OJ: Made in America (Ezra Edelman)

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37. De Palma (Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow)

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38. Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)

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39. Short Stay (Ted Fendt)

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40. Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho)

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41. The Witch (Robert Eggers)

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42. My Beloved Bodyguard (Sammo Hung)

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43. A Train Arrives at the Station (Thom Andersen)

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44. The Wasted Times (Cheng Er)

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45. One Night Only (Matt Wu)

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46. Indefinite Pitch (James Kienitz Wilkins)

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47. SoulMate (Derek Tsang)

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48. Call of Heroes (Benny Chan)

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49. Garfunkel and Oates: Trying to Be Special (Riki Lindhome & Jeremy Konner)

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50. La La Land (Damien Chazelle)

Books of 2016

2016 was the first time since I started writing about movies on the internet that I averaged less than one film watched per day, with somewhere around 320 movies seen over the course of the year. Some of that is schedule-related: my kids are at such an age that watching a single movie in one sitting is difficult, let alone the two or three per day I could squeeze in when they were less ambulatory. But some of that is also a shifting of priorities: I read (and finished) more books this year than I had in all my five plus years of parenthood put together. And since this is the end of the year, and since I love to make lists, here is a ranked list of all the books I read (and finished) in 2016:

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1. Where I Was From – Joan Didion

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2. Slouching Towards Bethlehem – Joan Didion

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3. A Death in the Family – James Agee

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4. Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf

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5. Annals of the Former World – John McPhee

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6. The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin

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7. The Proud Tower – Barbara Tuchman

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8. Harmonium – Wallace Stevens

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9. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

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10. Lyrical Ballads – William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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11. The White Album – Joan Didion

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12. White Teeth – Zadie Smith

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13. The Souls of Black Folk – WEB DuBois

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14. Eminent Victorians – Lytton Strachey

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15. A Collection of Essays – George Orwell

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16. Meditations in an Emergency – Frank O’Hara

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17. Lady Susan – Jane Austen

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18. Salvador – Joan Didion

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19. Justine – Lawrence Durrell

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20. Violet Energy Ingots – Hoa Nguyen

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21. Kora in Hell : Improvisations – William Carlos Williams

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22. 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed – Eric Cline

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23. Love & Friendship – Whit Stillman

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24. The Silk Roads – Peter Frankopan

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25. A Galaxy Not So Far Away – Glenn Kenny, et al

The Best Older Movies I Saw in 2016

An annual tradition here at The End, this is a look at my favorite film discoveries of the year, any movie more than a few years old that I saw for the first time in 2016. Previous years include: 201520142013201220112010200920082007, and 2006. I watched 320 or so movies in 2016, less than one third of which qualified for this list. Here are 60 that I liked.

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1. Mahjong (Edward Yang, 1996)

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2. Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)

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3. Canyon Passage (Jacques Tourneur, 1946)

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4. The Yakuza Papers (Kinji Fukasaku, 1973-74)

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

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6. School on Fire (Ringo Lam, 1988)

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7. Viva Erotica (Derek Yee & Law Ch-leung, 1996)

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8. Tokyo Sonata (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2008)

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9. Isn’t Life Wonderful (DW Griffith, 1924)

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10. La bête humaine (Jean Renoir, 1938)

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

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

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13. Duelle (Jacques Rivette, 1976)

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14. Phantoms of Nabua (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2009)

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15. Sonatine (Takeshi Kitano, 1993)

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16. The Big Road (Sun Yu, 1935)

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17. Viola (Matías Piñeiro, 2012)

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18. Suicide Club (Sion Sono, 2001)

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19. Persuasion (Roger Michell, 1995)

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20. Swamp Water (Jean Renoir, 1941)

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21. Noroît (Jacques Rivette, 1976)

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

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23. Violent Cop (Takeshi Kitano, 1989)

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24. Dirty Gertie from Harlem USA (Spencer Williams, 1946)

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25. Cure (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997)

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26. The Unchanging Sea (DW Griffith, 1910)

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27. Pulse (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001)

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28. La chienne (Jean Renoir, 1931)

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29. Burning Paradise in Hell (Ringo Lam, 1994)

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30. Hearts of the World (DW Griffith, 1918)

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31. Medicine for Melancholy (Barry Jenkins, 2008)

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32. The Golden Coach (Jean Renoir, 1952)

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33. Beyond Hypothermia (Patrick Leung, 1996)

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34. Under the Cherry Moon (Prince, 1986)

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35. The Bitter Stems (Fernando Ayala, 1956)

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36. The Stunt Woman (Ann Hui, 1996)

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37. The Anthem (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)

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38. The Razor’s Edge (Edmund Goulding, 1946)

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

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40. Ebola Syndrome (Herman Yau, 1996)

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41. Viva (Anna Biller, 2007)

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

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43. Looking for Mr. Perfect (Ringo Lam, 2003)

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44. Gates of the Night (Marcel Carné, 1946)

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45. Stage Door (Shu Kei, 1996)

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46. Wishful Drinking (Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato, 2010)

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47. Desk Set (Walter Lang, 1957)

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48. Bastards (Claire Denis, 2013)

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49. Death Duel (Chor Yuen, 1977)

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50. A Letter to Uncle Boonmee (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2009)

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51. Big Bullet (Benny Chan, 1996)

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52. The Flame and the Arrow (Jacques Tourneur, 1950)

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53. Young and Dangerous 3 (Andrew Lau, 1996)

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54. The Sorrows of Satan (DW Griffith, 1926)

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55. The Black Pirate (Albert Parker, 1926)

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56. Shanghai Grand (Poon Man-kit, 1996)

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

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58. Mismatched Couples (Yuen Woo-ping, 1985)

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59. The Fun, The Luck and The Tycoon (Johnnie To, 1990)

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60. Prison on Fire II (Ringo Lam, 1991)

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.

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