Inspired by a friend, in 2016 I kept track of my movie viewing habits. I subsequently decided to make a post about my favorites.
In total I watched 142 full-length movies.* 50 of those were movies I’d seen at least once before. I also watched 20+ short films. The “plus” is because I was lazy & didn’t keep track of how many films I saw during the two days of the Oceanside International Film Festival that I attended.
Top 5 Full Length Films:
5. “Hello, My Name Is Doris” (2015), directed by Michael Showalter
After the death of her mother, 60-something Doris (Sally Field) slowly begins to blossom. This doesn’t have the best reviews online but I thought it was both sweet and charming.
4. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (2015), directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Teenager Greg (Thomas Mann) befriends Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a peer with cancer, and learns valuable lessons about life and friendship.
3. “Spotlight” (2015), directed by Tom McCarthy
A dramatized look at the Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic Church’s pedophile priest scandal. 2015’s Best Picture winner, it’s very, very good.
2. “The American Astronaut” (2001), directed by Cory McAbee
It’s a space western musical in which trader Samuel Curtis (Cory McAbee) sets out on a mission that will earn him a big payday. This movie is rather quirky, but I found it endlessly entertaining.
1. “The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young” (2014), directed by Annika Iltis & Timothy James Kane
This documentary showcases the Barkley Marathons, an “ultramarathon trail race” held in Tennessee each year. This marathon is insane and the documentary about it is absolutely delightful. I found it on a Reddit thread about “great films you’re missing on Netflix instant watch” and added it to my list. I was not disappointed.
Honorable Mentions: The Damned, Populaire, Chinatown
Top 3 Short Films:
3. “Alles Wird Gut (Everything Will Be Okay)” (2015), directed by Patrick Vollrath
A divorced man, feeling threatened by his ex-wife’s new relationship, does something desperate in order to retain custody of his daughter. You will hate this father and empathize with him all at the same time. It’s masterfully done.
2. “Shok” (2015), directed by Jamie Donoughue
Two young boys find their friendship tested in war-torn Kosovo. The ending is absolutely gut-wrenching. I felt devastated for days after.
1. “World of Tomorrow” (2015), directed by Don Hertzfeldt
In this animated short, a young girl is visited by her future self (sort of). It’s weird and inventive and funny and poignant.
Honorable Mentions: A Girl in the River (Best Documentary Short Winner), In Memory
*My criteria is that I had to watch the film in full. Frequently, I will turn on a film in the background while I'm working (usually something I’ve seen before) and not complete it. In my opinion, those don’t count.