We're a little over a quarter-way through the year, the Roger Ebert Film Festival is about to kick-off, and so I thought it would be a good time to take stock and rank the 2016 films I've seen thus far. It's been an interesting year....
1. Hello, My Name Is Doris
The three leads -- Sally Field, Max Greenfield and Tyne Daly -- turn-in such delightful performances in this gem of a film. Doris, an eccentric sixty-something woman, develops a crush on her thirty-something co-worker, and awkward hilarity ensues. Really sweet movie.
2. 10 Cloverfield Lane
Look up the word "taut" in the dictionary, and a still from this film should accompany it. An engrossing, stage play-like tour de force from the three main actors, combined with great direction and pulse-pounding music, makes this an edge-of-your-seat experience.
3. Eye In the Sky
Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman (in his last live-action role) headline this tense political thriller about the use of drone warfare in the Middle East. Despite prepping myself for its agenda and expecting some ham-fisted moralizing moments, the movie actually really, really works.
Most of you have probably seen this R-rated superhero flick already. It's a nice break from the norm. I didn't think I'd like Ryan Reynold's sarcastic shenanigans, but the movie won me over. From the opening Juice Newton song, to the Bea Arthur shirt, to the Fawlty Towers and Sinead O'Connor references, everything just works.
5. Midnight Special
Another odd film from director Jeff Nichols (though a good kind of odd). The man who brought us Take Shelter and Mud (and who has been at Ebertfest multiple times), brings us an entrancing story of a father, his young son with special powers, a multi-state road chase, and characters with humanity and depth.
6. Hail, Caesar!
7. The Witch
8. The Boy
9. The Forest
10. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
11. Knight of Cups
Here's to the movies still to come in 2016!