The Best Films Of 2016 From An Outsider’s Point Of View

Here’s One Of The Most Bizarre “Best Films of 2016” Lists You’ll Ever See!

It’s the end of the year and so many “Best Of 2016” lists have been published. As one of the outsiders in the critic world, I decided to compile a list of the best films I’ve seen in 2016. From different countries and every genre, there’s something for everyone here. Don’t expect to find ‘Manchester By The Sea‘ and ‘Hell Or High Water‘ on this list. I’m throwing out for the most unusual picks you’ll ever see.

Let me know if any of your favorites make this list!

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Wailing
  • Tickled

10. ‘Blair Witch’ (Dir: Adam Wingard)

Best Films

  • You know this is for outsiders when ‘Blair Witch‘ kicks things off. A recurring theme on my list is my views being the complete opposite of the average movie critic’s opinion. Adam Wingard’sBlair Witch‘ is the first example of that. While most found it to be just another found footage film, I took it as the next step. The film pushes the genre conventions just enough but stays true to tropes we all expect. Also, that snapping in half scene is one of the year’s most brutal kills!

9. ‘The Girl On The Train’ (Dir: Tate Taylor)

Best Films

  • Before going into this film, I had no idea what to expect. ‘The Girl On The Train‘ is another best-selling novel turned big-screen adaption. Without reading the source material, I jumped into an pulpy novella told by a drunken wife. The filmmakers and actors knew the exact tone it was going for and sold it! Other critics found this erotic thriller to be exploitive & melodramatic. Those critiques are exactly what I loved about ‘The Girl On The Train‘.

8. ‘The Shallows’ (Dir: Jaume Collet-Serra)

Best Films

  • Is this the best shark movie since ‘Jaws‘? Who cares! ‘The Shallows‘ is just insane cinematic fun for everyone. Undeniably bonkers and very well made, it was great to see this horror film do well during the summer box office season. Not only that but it was also well received by most critics! Blake Lively handles the material well and even the seagull credited as Steven Seagull delivers a memorable performance. Welcome to 2016 in film…

7. ‘The Neon Demon’ (Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn)

Best Films

  • Like his films, Nicolas Winding Refn has slowly been building to something bigger. ‘The Neon Demon‘ feels like a great next level for him as a filmmaker. While films like ‘Drive‘, ‘Bronson‘, and ‘Only God Forgives‘ have been very male dominated, this makes a complete 180 degree turn. Starring Elle Fanning and Jenna Malone, ‘The Neon Demon‘ tells the sad story of a model looking for fame in a world of beauty & torture. The end result feels like ‘Showgirls‘ mixed with ‘Hostel‘.

6. ‘Sausage Party’ (Dir: Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan)

Best Films

  • I couldn’t ask for anything more of my animated films than an epic food orgy finale! ‘Sausage Party‘ comes at a time where many are striving for 100% political correctness and blows that idea out the water. I haven’t seen something this outwardly offensive and gleefully bizarre since early John Waters films. Coming from two directors with experience at Dreamworks and Disney, there has been no better parody of animation ever.

5. ‘Moonlight’ (Dir: Barry Jenkins)

Best Films

  • Moonlight‘ could possibly be one of the most raw pieces of cinema of 2016. You will find this on many “Best Films of 2016” list and it has a place on mine. The Barry Jenkins-directed movie is a wonderful look at masculinity as well as sexuality. While 3 different actors played the lead role of Chiron, it was Ashton Sanders that carried the film to another level. He brought something unique to the screen this year and let’s hope he gets many Best Actor nominations!

4. ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ (Dir: Dan Trachtenberg)

Best Films

  • The unexpected sequel that shocked everyone with how great it is. ‘10 Cloverfield Lane‘ was announced just months before its release and no one was ready for it. Critics and fans alike agree that this is undoubtedly one of the best films of the year. Part of that is from the great direction of Dan Trachtenberg and the other majority of the praise goes to John Goodman. Those two combined with the script’s stellar tension makes this so special.

3. ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ (Dir: Zack Snyder)

Best Films

  • I’ve personally never loved a superhero movie this much since ‘Watchman‘. In a genre filled with either extremely realistic pieces or kid-friendly adventures, ‘Batman v Superman‘ is refreshingly in the middle. The amount of hate it got upon release shocked me but then it became fun to love this polarizing piece. Zack Snyder has his insane visual storytelling and heavily relied on a great cast of talented actors to carry it. I love this film so much that I can defend the infamous “Martha” line.

2. ‘Arrival’ (Dir: Denis Villeneuve)

Best Films

  • Nothing could prepare me for how beautiful ‘Arrival‘ is. Never expected to even enjoy this film let alone consider this one of the top 2 best films from the entire year. I shouldn’t have doubted Denis Villeneuve after ‘Sicario‘ and ‘Prisoners‘ but I paid for it by having my mind melted by the sheer beauty of this piece. On top of how amazingly well-crafted this is, Amy Adams delivers the performance of her career. If there was any other time for her to win an Oscar, it’s now!

1. ‘The Handmaiden’ (Dir: Park Chan Wook)

Best Films

  • South Korean director Park Chan-wook released one of his best films to date with ‘The Handmaiden‘. Not only do I think that this is Park Chan-wook’s best film but it’s also the most outstanding cinematic experience I had this year. From the first frame, I was engrossed into this world and never wanted it to end. Another film that deals with sexuality, this one is even darker than ‘Moonlight‘. This hyper-sexual horrifying revenge tale is what filmmakers should strive for.
EJ Moreno
EJ Moreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at