2016 is in the rear view, but we haven’t finished talking about it just yet. If you caught our Best of the Best in 2016 episode of Geek Hard last Friday, you got to hear my (as well as the rest of the GH panel’s) Top 5 Picks for the best films to grace screens of various sizes. Here now is my picks for the 10 Best Geek Films of 2016. There’s been a lot of great stuff that’s come out this past year but only so many can be touted as the best. So let’s take a look at my picks:
#10 Miles Ahead
Don Cheadle’s first feature as a director blends comedy, mystery and drama in unexpected ways. Set during the late seventies, Miles Ahead is more a crime caper film than an actual biopic as we follow the eccentric musician and a fictional journalist (played by Ewan McGregor) on the hunt for a recording that was stolen from Miles’ house. Touching on actual events that took place in Davis’ life, the film plays with narrative wrapped around this make believe adventure.
#9 The Edge of Seventeen
A heartfelt coming of age comedy, this film does a great job of capturing the anger and uncertainty of adolescence without coming off as angsty or insincere. Hailee Steinfeld plays Nadine, a girl whose world is thrown for a loop when her best (and only) friend starts dating her brother (who she despises). There’s a lot more happening here emotionally as the family is dealing with the loss of a loved one and repairing their inter-familial relations. This film has tons of heart.
#8 Me Him Her
Max Landis’ first feature was widely ignored by the general public but is pretty damn funny and has some great characters. The story of a guy who goes to Los Angeles to support his best friend who’s coming out but then get’s dragged into a strange love story of his own may seem a bit disingenuous on paper but the performances and direction deliver an engaging film that I wasn’t expecting. It’s a Chasing Amy for millennials.
#7 Kubo and the Two Strings
The Best Animated Film of the year, this film proves that Laika is now a leg up on Pixar at telling deep, emotional tales that are fun for all ages. The quest for Kubo to survive the wrath of his evil grandfather and the sacrifices made by his family to keep him safe make for an exciting adventure made all the more strong by the underlying message of the importance of family. And that Kubo can really rock those two strings.
#6 The Nice Guys
Probably the funniest film of last year. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe have amazing chemistry as a “buddy cop” duo and Shane Black proves once again he is the master of this sub-genre. The film is made all the more enjoyable by it’s commentary on the 1970s and America’s relationship with the car industry during that era. Angourie Rice steals the show as Gosling’s daughter in this hilarious adventure.
#5 Hell or High Water
A modern day western where there is no real bad guy. This is one of those films with such a seemless plot that you walk away completely satisfied with the outcome. This was also a film where all three leads got to act the shit out of every scene. Chris Pine delivers a strong performance as a man of desperate actions for noble reasons. Ben Foster (who plays his brother/accomplice) give the performance of his carreer. Jeff Bridges also nails it. A solid film.
#4 Sing Street
Set in Ireland in the 80s, Sing Street is the story of a high schooler going through hell who finds an escape by forming a new wave band. After meeting a young model he wishes to impress, the boy is inspired to become a musician and make music videos for her to star in. Another great coming of age tale about following your dreams, this film has the right mix of magic and realism to touch even the most jaded soul.
#3 Train to Busan
Korean writer/director Sang-ho Yeon brings us a horror film that transcends the genre with Train to Busan. The simple way to explain it is that it’s a zombie movie that takes place on a train. But the real story is about a man who has one last chance to repair the broken relationship between himself and his daughter and redeem himself. With tons of interesting characters and a well thought out plot, you actually care when people bite it. Best Zombie film I’ve ever seen.
#2 Captain America: Civil War
While there is a plethora of superheroes in this film, there are no good guys. Civil War is more about a conflict in ideologies than “good vs. evil”. With strong performances across the board and a villain that is much more brains than brawn, The Russo Brothers prove once again that they are the safest hands to handle the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Add in Spider-Man and that epic airport battle and you’ve got one of the best superhero films EVER!
#1 Green Room
This film is tragically my number one film. I say tragically because it’s now hard to watch seeing Anton Yelchin’s performance, knowing it could’ve taken his career to new heights. He’s phenomenal as the leader of a punk band that stumbles in on a murder in progress in the green room of a neo-nazi club. The tensions are high as this band tries to figure out how to get out alive. Patrick Stewart is amazing as a purely evil antagonist. This film is intense.
So there you have it. My picks for the 10 Best Geek Films of 2016. Let me know what your picks are by leaving a comment.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!