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Movies and Film

Top rated movies of the year

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There are four seasons to a year, but only two parts to a film year: Summer (which normally  starts around late February) and Awards. Supposedly, the good movies don’t even start coming out until September. But lists of the best films of 2016 expose that truism for the lie it is. All of these titles are quality, even if their release dates make them long shots for the top prizes come December. That’s all the more reason to experience them now, and to celebrate their achievements before they get overlooked for the fall’s prestige. Here are some great movies that should be watched in 2016.

5. Hail, Ceaser 
Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

When Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) screens the news for his studio’s latest swords-and-sandals film, he comes to a part where the hero (George Clooney) confronts God. But there is no God, just a title card that reads “DIVINE PRESENCE TO BE SHOT.” God is literally absent in Hail, Caesar!, just as he is in so many Coen brothers movies about characters searching for answers in a baffling world. While it was billed as the Coens’ satire of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Hail, Caesar! was more of a loving tribute to cinema’s never ending spiritual power.

4. Green Room
Directed by Jeremy Saulnier

Pat (Anton Yelchin) describes his band’s punk music as the intersection of “time and aggression.” The Ain’t Rights don’t have a social media presence or share their stuff online because they believe that music must be experienced live; seperated from context, it loses its impact.

3. The Witch
Directed by Robert Eggers

The Witch’s reputation as one of the most terrifying  horror movies in years had put a big X on its back. Filmmaker Robert Eggers did tons of research into the folklore and historical witch trials of the period and imbued his directorial debut with an impressive level of authenticity; The Witch feels like it was taken directly from the nightmares of a 17th century Puritan.

2. Sing Street
Directed by John Carney

Sing street and timeless and magnificent scenes, like the one in which the hero, Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), imagines the music video version of his high school party, and tiny, unforgettable moments, like a leaf that randomly falls on one character’s shoulder in the middle of a chat in a park.

1. O.J. Made In America
Directed by Ezra Edelman

This is a 7.5 hour documentary with uncommon depth, unflinching candor, and surprising empathy for the man himself, director Ezra Edelman turns Simpson’s life and times into a full-blown romantic tragedy, and shows how a group was literally and metaphorically beaten down by its own police force that they would not only overlook a mountain of physical evidence to find a man innocent.

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