2016 in Review: Lisa Marie Picks The 26 Best Films of 2016!

Well, the time is here!  It’s time for me to reveal my picks for the best 26 films of 2016!

If there’s been any theme that I’ve found myself constantly returning to while looking back at the previous year, it’s that 2016 just wasn’t as good as 2015.  That’s certainly true as far as movies are concerned.  Whereas 2015 provided us with an embarrasment of riches, 2016 was — overall — a pretty bland year as far as cinema is concerned.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t some great films released in 2016.  I’m proud of this list below.  At the same time, I’m also a little bit frustrated.  As happens every year, there are a few films that, as of this writing, I have yet to see.  Weather permitting, I will see Silence and Jackie tomorrow and on Monday.  If I feel that they need to be included in my top 26, I will come back and edit this list.  And, of course, I still need to see some of the films that are no longer playing in theaters — Captain Fantastic, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and some others.  The list below should be considered my picks for the best 2016 films that I actually got to see.

Also, I still need to write reviews for two of the films listed below.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that today.  As soon as those reviews are posted, I’ll add links.

With all that in mind, here’s the list!


  1. American Honey
  2. Arrival
  3. Kubo and the Two Strings
  4. The Neon Demon
  5. La La Land
  6. Moonlight
  7. The Nice Guys
  8. Hell or High Water
  9. A Monster Calls
  10. Love & Friendship
  11. Sing Street
  12. The Witch
  13. Hacksaw Ridge
  14. Sully
  15. The Green Room
  16. 10 Cloverfield Lane
  17. Captain America: Civil War
  18. Finding Dory
  19. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
  20. Fences
  21. Manchester By The Sea
  22. Eye in the Sky
  23. Hush
  24. The Conjuring 2
  25. Hail Caesar
  26. Everybody Wants Some!!


You can check out my picks for previous years by clicking on 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015!

Agree?  Disagree?  Have a list of your own?  Let us know in the comments!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2016:

  1. TFG’s 2016 Comics Year In Review : Top Tens, Worsts, And Everything In Between
  2. Anime of the Year: 2016
  3. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw In 2016
  4. 2016 in Review: The Best of SyFy
  5. 2016 in Review: The Best of Lifetime
  6. 2016 in Review: Lisa Picks the 16 Worst Films of 2016!
  7. Necromoonyeti’s Top Ten Albums of 2016
  8. 2016 In Review: Lisa Marie’s 14 Favorite Songs of 2016
  9. 2016 In Review: 10 Good Things I Saw On Television in 2016
  10. 2016 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 10 Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2016
  11. 2016 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 20 Favorite Novels of 2016

Playing Catch-Up: White Girl (dir by Elizabeth Wood)


Ever since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, I’ve read the White Girl was the most “shocking” film of 2016.  You can take a look at the poster above and see that, according to The Hollywood Reporter, White Girl is “SHOCKING … AND SEXY AS HELL!”

Well, I finally got a chance to watch White Girl on Netflix and the only thing shocking about it is that so many (male) critics were apparently convinced that it was the most shocking movie ever made.  I certainly wouldn’t call it shocking.  (And considering that White Girl features two graphic rapes, I’d love to know why the critic thought “sexy as Hell” would be an appropriate description.)  A better description of White Girl would be “honest.”  Then again, considering the way that the movies usually present the experience of being young, female, and in the city, perhaps the fact that White Girl is an honest film is the most shocking thing of all.

Morgan Saylor plays Leah, a college student who, along with her friend, Katie (India Meneuz), moves into a New York apartment.  The apartment is located in a largely Spanish neighborhood, one that has yet to surrender to gentrification.  While Katie and Leah’s hipster friends are immediately suspicious of everyone else in the neighborhood, the Oklahoma-born Leah is far more adventurous (or perhaps reckless).  She approaches Blue (Brian Marc) on a street corner and asks him if he has any weed.

Blue has weed and a lot more.  He’s the neighborhood drug dealer and soon, he’s also Leah’s boyfriend.  When Leah isn’t getting high and having sex with Blue, she’s working as an intern at a magazine where, early on in the film, she’s sexually assaulted by her boss, Kelly (Justin Bartha, playing a predator who, for many, will seem disturbingly familiar).  Leah invites Blue to a party given by the magazine and Blue is able to make a lot of money selling cocaine to Leah’s wealthy co-workers.

For Blue, drugs are a business and he refuses to do hard drugs himself.  To Leah, it’s an adventure, one that she believes doesn’t have any real consequences.  Or, at least, that’s the way she sees it until Blue is arrested.  With Blue, a repeat offender, facing a life sentence, Leah manages to find a lawyer (Chris Noth, who will make you skin crawl) but she needs to raise the money to pay him.  Fortunately, Leah has a stash of cocaine that Blue was supposed to sell.  Blue tells Leah that she needs to return the cocaine to his dealer but instead, Leah decides to sell the cocaine herself.  Or, at the very least, she’s going to sell whatever cocaine she doesn’t end up snorting herself…

White Girl has been called shocking because of its open and nonjudgmental portrayal of both drugs and sex but, honestly, there’s nothing shocking about it.  It may be a generational thing but, to me, Leah’s story was a familiar one.  I’ve known a lot of Leahs and, personally, there were moments in White Girl that left me cringing just because I could relate to one of Leah’s naive notions or I could remember what it was like to feel like, no matter what I did, there would never be any consequences.  Leah may not always be a likable character but it’s not because she has sex or experiments with drugs.  Instead, it’s because she spends most of the film blissfully unaware of her own privilege.  Leah thinks that she understands the realities of Blue’s world but, as she learns by the end of the film, she’s really just a tourist.  And, unlike Blue and the rest of her neighbors, Leah can always leave whenever she wants.

So, White Girl was not a shocking film to me.  Instead, it was a very honest film.  It can currently be viewed on Netflix.

Here Are The 2016 Nominations From The Casting Society of America!

The Academy really should give out an Oscar for Best Casting.  But until they do, we’ll just have to be happy with the annual nominations from the Casting Society of America!

Here are the 2016 nominations.  (It’s interesting to note that this is the third guild to nominate Deadpool.  How many heads would explode is Deadpool somehow landed a best picture nomination?  That probably won’t happen but the wild speculation is the best part of Oscar season!)


  • Deadpool”  Ronna Kress, Jennifer Page (Location Casting), Corinne Clark  (Location Casting)
  • “Hail, Caesar!”  Ellen Chenoweth, Susanne Scheel (Associate)
  • “La La Land”  Deborah Aquila, Tricia Wood
  • “Rules Don’t Apply”  David Rubin, Melissa Pryor (Associate)
  • “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”  Bernard Telsey, Tiffany Little Canfield, Jo Edna Boldin (Location Casting), Conrad Woolfe (Associate), Marie A.K. McMaster (Associate)


  • “Arrival”  Francine Maisler, Lucie Robitaille (Location Casting)
  • “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”   Fiona Weir, Jim Carnahan (Location Casting)
  • “Hidden Figures”  Victoria Thomas, Jackie Burch (Location Casting), Bonnie Grisan (Associate)
  • “Nocturnal Animals”  Francine Maisler
  • “The Girl on the Train”  Kerry Barden, Paul Schnee, Joey Montenarello (Associate), Adam Richards (Associate)


  • “20th Century Women”  Laura Rosenthal, Mark Bennett
  • “Bad Moms”  Cathy Sandrich Gelfond, Meagan Lewis (Location Casting)
  • “Café Society”  Juliet Taylor, Patricia DiCerto, Meghan Rafferty (Associate)
  • “Hell or High Water”  Richard Hicks, Jo Edna Boldin, Chris Redondo (Associate), Marie A.K. McMaster (Associate)
  • “The Edge of Seventeen”  Melissa Kostenbauder, Coreen Mayrs (Location Casting), Heike Brandstatter (Location Casting)


  • “Captain Fantastic”   Jeanne McCarthy, Angelique Midthunder (Location Casting), Amey Rene (Location Casting)
  • “Jackie”  Mary Vernieu, Lindsay Graham, Jessica Kelly (Location Casting)
  • “Lion”  Kirsty McGregor
  • “Loving”  Francine Maisler, Erica Arvold (Location Casting), Anne N. Chapman (Location Casting), Michelle Kelly (Associate)
  • “Manchester By the Sea”  Douglas Aibel, Carolyn Pickman (Location Casting), Henry Russell Bergstein (Associate)


  • “Christine”  Douglas Aibel, Stephanie Holbrook, Tracy Kilpatrick (Location Casting), Blair Foster (Associate)
  • “Goat”  Susan Shopmaker, D. Lynn Meyers (Location Casting)
  • “Hello, My Name is Doris”  Sunday Boling, Meg Morman
  • “Moonlight”  Yesi Ramirez
  • “White Girl”  Jessica Daniels


  • “Finding Dory”  Kevin Reher, Natalie Lyon
  • “Moana”  Jamie Sparer Roberts, Rachel Sutton (Location Casting)
  • “The Jungle Book”  Sarah Halley Finn, Tamara Hunter (Associate)
  • “The Little Prince”  Sarah Halley Finn, Tamara Hunter (Associate)
  • “Zootopia”  Jamie Sparer Roberts