My Top 10 Movies Of 2016

Since a lot of people have been asking me to put up my top films of the year list, I thought I’d do it here instead of on the YouTube page.

Since all film is subjective, my list won’t be just like anyone else’s. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with theirs or with mine, it just means film hits us all in different ways.

Another thing to keep in mind about my list. To me, not all films have to be about heroes saving the world to be good. Not every film has to be about heroin addicted college drop outs struggling to restore a relationship with their alcoholic fathers to be good either. Great storytelling comes in all shapes and sizes and I hope my list reflects that.

Now, before I get to my list I want to highlight some honorable mentions. These films are all fantastic and absolutely no disrespect is intended for any of them for not making my final 10. The honorable mentions (in no particular order) are:

Sing Street
The Nice Guys
Midnight Special
The Jungle Book

So, without any further ado… here’s my top 10 0f 2016:

This is the kind of movie that reminds me of why I love the movies. It’s just a story about really good people doing really good things. There’s not even a villain. Just remarkable people confronting and overcoming their daunting circumstances and environment. I deeply love this film.

Honestly, I didn’t know Hailee Steinfeld had it in her, nor was I prepared for how well Woody Harrelson would play off her so hilariously. Being a teenager can suck, and I don’t think I’ve seen a better 80’s style teenage/coming of age comedy translated so well into a modern context.

It’s a daunting task for any director to present a story to an audience that may fall well outside their worldview. However, director Barry Jenkins does just that with an amazing sense of directness yet subtlety at the same time. The film makes you walk a mile in another person’s shoes so well that you almost forget to take them off when the film ends.

#7 – MOANA
I unapologetically include MOANA on this list. Not only is it the best animated film of the year, far outdistancing films like Dory, Zootopia and Kubo, but it deserves a place amongst the best films of the year. Beautiful mythology, fantastic music, two heroes journeys as one seeks her purpose and one seeks redemption with humor, excitement and thrills along the way. It’s one of those films that gets better and better with each viewing.

On just a pure entertainment level, DEADPOOL is a hard film to beat. The outrageous nature of the character mixed with sharp wit, frantic action and a legit love story all rolled into a fourth wall breaking escapade left audiences catching their breath and dying to see it again. It far exceeded even the most optimistic fan’s expectations and deserves to be on this list.

Newsflash: Musicals are not dead. Not by a long shot if this incredible feat of sound and images has anything to say about it. Emma Stone may very well get her first Oscar for this one and she flawlessly draws us into every scene she’s in with incredible emotion. And they Gosling guy is no slouch in this either. I know musicals aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but go see this movie. No seriously… forget your pre-existing thoughts on it and just see it.

Where most of my peers seem to enjoy the second half of this movie more than the first, to me the first half is where this movie really shines. More than another Star Wars film, ROGUE ONE truly has the feel of a space western with shades of The Dirty Dozen thrown in for good measure. This movie made me look at the Rebellion in a whole new, and admittedly dark, way. And yeah… VADER!

I know putting a comic book film on your top films of the year list isn’t the “cool” thing to do, and I’ve got two of them, but I really don’t care. CIVIL WAR was heart-stoppingly exciting with real dramatic tension and purpose to its awe-inspiring action set pieces all while delivering the best performances the MCU has given us thus far. Instantly one of the top 5 the genre has ever produced.

I really didn’t have high expectations for this film. The first 2 minutes set that aside pretty quickly. If any of us had any doubt that Chris Pine can be a powerhouse performer, this movie settles the debate. Ben Foster has been in my top 3 most underrated actors list for year and Bridges is just vintage in this. Powerful, slow burn, riveting film has you exploring your own ethics, changing sides and swapping between laughing and gasping more times than you can count. A BRILLIANT film that would have been my #1 film of the year had it not been for….

Even if this film weren’t based on a true story it would still be my favorite film of the year. The fact that it’s real just highlights it even more. An incredible performance by the entire ensemble, fist clenching action that makes you appreciate the heroism and horror of war all at the same time without being apologetic for either. It’s one of those films I think is important for people to see.

So there you have it. My personal top 10 of 2016. So many great films this year. Please feel free to comment and let me know your top 10. Cheers!


Author: campea

John is an online film pundit and is formerly the creator, Exec Producer and Head Of Programing for Complex Network's Collider Video as well as AMC Movie News for AMC Theatres. A massive fan of tech, Mixed Martial Arts and poker, when John's not in a movie theatre you can catch him on his twitter and facebook accounts at @JohnCampea

34 thoughts on “My Top 10 Movies Of 2016”

      1. Of course everyone has different opinions on movies but I find it hilarious that you didn’t even mention the movie and it is Jeremy Jahns’ favorite movie of the year. Love the subjectivity of it all. Nice list!!


  1. I won’t lie, I am bias when it comes to certain movies. Sci-fi and Comic Book movies with some 80’s style action movie can fit any bill for me. But I do agree that Moana and Hell or High Water were damn good. It showed off Chris Pines dynamic acting abilities rather well.

    Deadpool and Rogue One were my top two with Civil War pulling up in 3rd.

    Deadpool was just that, Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds took this role and made it his own. I couldn’t stop laughing. Fox nailed this one. Which makes me wonder why they keep screwing up Fantastic Four.

    I also agree Rogue One showed a dark side of the rebellion, which was refreshing. And it was a awesome movie. And yes, any movie with Vader is automatically a winner. On a more humble note. Even though it was CGI it was good seeing the 19 year old Carrie Fisher again. She had a very large hand in making Star Wars what it is.

    A Civil War was good, but not great. It was a typical Marvel movie. Could have made it Avengers 2 1/2.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good list. Mines very similar. I couldn’t get Civil War and Rogue One to break the top 10 though.

    1) Hell or Highwater
    2) Arrival
    3) La La Land
    4) Hacksaw Ridge
    5) The Jungle Book
    6) Eye in the Sky
    7) Deadpool
    8) Deepwater Horizon
    9) Kubo and the Two Strings
    10) Manchester by the Sea

    11) Hunt for the Wilderpeople
    12) The Nice Guys
    13) Captain America: Civil War
    14) Sing Street
    15) Rogue One
    16) Sully
    17) Moana
    18) Doctor Strange
    19) Fences
    20) Star Trek Beyond


  3. Great list! There’s a few (LA LA Land, Moonlight) that I will have to catch when the theaters near me finally get them. Are you planning to do a “Worst of 2016” list? Lord knows there are plenty to choose from…


  4. 1. Arrival
    Rogue One
    Captain America: civil war
    Hell or high water
    David Brent: life on the road
    The Nice Guys
    Swiss army man
    Hunt for the wilder people
    Popstar: never stop never stopping
    10. Midnight special/Don’t Breathe

    It’s been a great year for films. Can’t wait to finally see Hacksaw Ridge when it comes out here in the U.K. next year.


  5. Thanks John. I’ve found from experience the last couple of years that your opinions will be a big indicator on whether I will enjoy a movie, and it’s you I trust to help me broaden my film viewing pool and to find new great films which challenge me to grow and see things from a new point of view. Thanks for taking the time to make this list.


  6. John
    I know I know….film is subjective
    You didn’t care for The Arrival? Do you have a review of it somewhere?

    Also. How many times had you seen R1 when you wrote this? I saw it for a second time. I thought it was much more enjoyable the second time. In top 3 of the SW movies now.



  7. Very interesting list. One of the reasons I love looking at people’s top 10 lists is to see just how broad everyone’s choices are. Personally I’m surprised just how well received Moana has gotten, I thought it was a good standard Disney movie, but man Hell or High Water was not only great, but I got to see a spectacular performance from Pine I never thought I’d get to see.


  8. I haven’t seen Queen of Katwe, but it’s definitely one I’ll look out for based on what you said! My top ten is…
    10. Don’t Breathe
    9. Edge of Seventeen
    8. Captain America: Civil War
    7. The Jungle Book
    6. Rogue One
    5. Arrival
    4. The Nice Guys
    3. Deadpool
    2. Sing Street
    1. La La Land

    I’m surprised to hear that you didn’t enjoy Arrival a whole lot. I loved it! Hey, that’s what makes film great though!
    Here’s to 2017!


  9. John, just curious, no love for horrors, there were a few great ones this year- don’t breathe, lights out, the witch, green room. Also have you seen train to busan, it’s awesome and definetly in my top 10 list


      1. Suicide squad is in my top 10 best movies of 2016 know the movie had lot of problems bad editing cutting all jared leto joker scenes out im still disappointed by tho it was better thab batman v superman


  10. Great list, John. After reading through your top 10 and honorable mentions, almost all of my favorites this year are listed. Glad to see you enjoyed Silence as I’ve been eagerly anticipating that film and can’t wait to see it. The only other one I haven’t seen yet is Queen of Katwe, but will as soon as it’s on VOD since you’ve been praising it since release. Thanks for taking time out during your vacation to do the list, it was a great read.


  11. My Top 8 movies of 2016:

    8.) The Nice Guys
    7.) Deepwater Horizon
    6.) Moana
    5.) Hell or High Water
    4.) Star Wars: Rogue One
    3.) Captain America Civil War
    2.) Deadpool
    1.) Hacksaw Ridge

    My Top 8 TV shows of all time:

    8.) Arrow (S01-2)
    7.) Spartacus
    6.) Game of Thrones
    5.) The Blacklist
    4.) The Flash
    3.) Supernatural
    2.) Sons of Anarchy
    1.) Battlestar Galactica


  12. Glad to see Hacksaw Ridge as your #1, what a masterpiece! It’s my #1 as well and also in my top 15 of all time!
    This is my top 5:
    1. Hacksaw Ridge
    2 .Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
    3. Captain America: Civil War
    4. Arrival
    5. La La Land

    Also I didn’t expect to love La La Land (not being a fan of musicals at all) but what a wonderful film this was. I think it’s among the best directed movies of the year along with Hacksaw Ridge, Damien Chazelle is a genius! I suspect La La Land might win the Best Picture.


  13. Damn, that`s a good top 10 list. Mine would look like this:
    Honorable mentions:
    Pete`s dragon
    The nice guys
    Hunt for the wilderpeople
    Hell or high water.
    10. Moana (an animation so different than the usual “princess stories” Disney bring us)
    09. The great wall (expected nothing, enjoyed very much, a Chinese story with Hollywood money, meaning it looks awesome)
    08. Captain America Civil war (there is nothing more to say)
    07. Sing Street (damn, there are a couple of amazing songs in this unexpected very good movie)
    06. Deepwater Horizon (Berg/Wahlberg have done it again)
    05. Kubo and the two strings (best animation, I had tears in my eyes because of how beautiful and emotional the story was)
    04. Arrival (a great SF based mostly on story and dialog and not visual spectacle)
    03. Deadpool (a comic book number 3? well, is 100% fun, from start to end, how can someone not enjoy this flick?)
    02. Eddie the eagle (probably my guilty pleasure of the year, damn, it made me cry no more than 3 times)
    01. Hacksaw ridge (amazing war movie, so visceral and well done, I expected to be good, but not that good).

    PS1. The same way John Campea did not love Arrival, I don’t understand all the fuss around La La Land. It was just a musical, nothing more, the acting was great, I’ll admit that, but the singing was kinda terrible and the songs were unmemorable except City of stars and that’s because they kept singing it. Yeah, is a tribute to the musicals of ’40-’60 but I rather re-watch a musical from that period. But as John Campea, movies are subjective, all opinions are tight and wrong at the same time.
    PS2. I am curious, would there be a Top 10 Worst Movie list?


  14. Nice list, sad I didn’t get to see many animated movies this year, so I can’t speak for Moana. My list goes:
    10. Deepwater Horizon (liked this and Lone Survivor, haven’t seen Patriots Day)
    9. Star Trek Beyond (I thought it was great fun)
    8. CA: Civil War (I thought the story was nonsense but it was too damn enjoyable to leave off the list)
    7. Deadpool (absolutely hilarious and self aware)
    6. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (not sure why I enjoyed this movie so much, but that’s the only reason it’s up here)
    5. Arrival (when I left the theater thought it was a bit overrated, but after thinking on it I started to like it a lot more)
    4. Doctor Strange (my favorite superhero movie of the year, I thought it looked stunning and had incredible setpieces)
    3. Rogue One (I loved all of this movie, and while it may be true there wasn’t a lot of characterization going on here, I still get a little choked up when I see everyone die)
    2. Hacksaw Ridge (absolutely incredible to watch, such an amazing story)
    1. Sing Street (Hacksaw was my number one until I just checked out Sing Street on Netflix, and I just couldn’t look away. The two leads are so sweet, the music is really good, I immediately watched it right after.


  15. Hey John looks like we got 50% films alike in top 10. Mine are :
    1. Captain America : Civil War
    2. Deadpool
    3. Hell Or High Water
    4. Rogue One : A Star Wars Story
    5. Doctor Strange
    6. The Jungle Book
    7. Queen Of Katwe
    8. Bleed For This
    9. The Accountant
    10. Zootopia


    1. True, sometimes we need such movies, to touch our hearts and fill us with emotions, movies like this one make me realize that big blockbusters are only visual noise and nothing more. Entertaining but soulless.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed, but sometimes I like the big blockbusters too! I love any excuse to go to the cinema, but my husband takes some nudging. He usually likes the blockbusters, so I save those for the weekends with him, and at least once a week, I go by myself to our local “art house” cinema to see something usually ( not always) a bit quieter.


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