As weird (and somewhat depressing) as 2016 was, the avid moviegoer such as myself has to admit…it was an incredible year for movies. While there were some pretty disappointing flops such as Suicide Squad, Warcraft, and Ben-Hur, (don’t forget the abyssal God’s of Egypt) as well as plenty of dumpster fire Hollywood garbage that is neither funny, original, or even decent, the year 2016 thankfully also boasted some incredible works of cinematic achievement that gave us hope for the powerful art of film in the years to come. In honor of a great cinematic year here is The Daily Diatribe’s  Top Ten Movies of 2016. These films are ranked with several factors in consideration including but not limited to cinematography, story line, and and the strength of the acting. So without further ado, let’s dive into it!

10. Nocturnal Animals

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Boasting a strong story-line, assured directing, and powerful talent, Nocturnal Animals is a grim yet intriguing look at the dark side of love, passion, and human nature. The film also has some of the best cinematography of the year with a masterful script and a thought provoking plot. Daily Diatribe Rating: 8/10

 

 

9.  Birth of a Nation

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An incredible retelling of a classic film, Birth of a Nation tells the powerful story of Nat Turner, a young black slave who being forced to preach the Word of God in order to improve morale among the plantations instead lights the fires of revolution against the white slavers across Southampton County. Daily Diatribe Rating: 8/10

 

 

8.  Kubo and the Two Strings

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With a story as beautiful as its animation, Kubo and the Two Strings powerfully demonstrates the virtues of loyalty, respect, and courage. This is the only animated film on this list, and without a doubt will win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Mark. My. Words. Daily Diatribe Rating: 9.5/10

 

 

7. Sully

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Airline Captain Sully Sullenberger gets the film tribute he deserves in  Sully starring Tom Hanks as the Hero of the Hudson. Directed by the talented Clint Eastwood, Sully’s greatest strength lies in the unique assured re-telling of true events without the need to present them as melodramatic or contrived. Daily Diatribe Rating: 9/10

 

 

6. Hell or High Water

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While Hell or High Water may have skipped past your radar this summer it will not skip past the recognition it deserves. A unique and original take on brotherly love, Hell or High Water follows the story of two Texas brothers who rob the banks threatening to foreclose on their home as last ditch effort to take their future back. Boasting full-bodied characters and a strong plot, Hell or High Water is a heist film with heart. Daily Diatribe Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

5. Snowden

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Another phenomenal  biopic directed by Academy Award Winner Oliver Stone, Snowden features the incredibly talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt portraying Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower whose controversial actions stirred up questions of government regulation and control. With intelligent acting, a smooth and well paced plot, and a consistent theme that is eye-opening and thrilling, Snowden is an honest look at the principle that the people should not fear their government; but rather the government should fear its people. Daily Diatribe Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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The prequel that Star Wars fans deserved, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story blew our expectations out of the water and demonstrated irrevocably that Star Wars is not dead, but rather has the potential to be better than ever. Rogue One is chock full of everything that makes a film great and when those elements are added to a world as engaging as the Star Wars universe you have yourself a true masterpiece. Daily Diatribe Rating: 9/10

 

 

3. Hacksaw Ridge

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Mel Gibson knocks it out of the park once more with the incredible story of Desmond Doss, the man whose religious convictions sent him to war without a weapon to defend himself. Hacksaw Ridge is incredibly gripping, emotionally charged, and stunningly directed war drama that will leave you drained yet incredibly satisfied. Daily Diatribe Rating: 10/10

 

 

2. Manchester by the Seamanchesterbythesea_trailer

Simple yet powerful, Manchester by the Sea serves as a microcosm of life with some of the most down-to-earth and realistic characters I have ever witnessed in a film and a dramatic narrative that speaks volumes on the beauty of humanity. Set in modern day New Hampshire, this compelling drama deals with the themes of grief, family ties, blame and bitterness in a way that is as pertinent as it is poignant. Daily Diatribe Rating: 10/10

 

 

1. La La Land

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I never thought the last movie I saw in 2016 would be the best of the entire year but La La Land deserves that honor and more. Everything is just marvelous in this film–from the amazing acting and directing, to the music and costumes, and it can truly be said that this kind of film comes once in a generation. Reviving a genre that many had discounted as long gone, this musical masterpiece joins the ranks of the classic works of years gone by. This modern take on what it means to dream has more heart, emotion, and beauty than any other film this year and is a true to life look at love, passion, and humanity. La La Land truly is extraordinary. Daily Diatribe Rating: 10/10