The Young Folks’ Top 15 Movies of 2016

15. Toni Erdmann- Maren Ade

Maren Ade almost perfectly directs this outrageous comedy about a father and daughter trying to bridge the gap between each other. It’s a bit difficult to put an exact label on this film, because despite its hilarity, it’s also very touching and taps into timely themes that most people can likely relate to. So while it’s unlikely our dads would sneak into a business dinner wearing wacky teeth and playing an alter ego, we can relate to the goofiness, even embarrassment, but also the uber self-serious work culture we live in every day. Toni Erdmann encourages us to let go, enjoy our lives and wave our freak flags without a care in the world. – Gabrielle Bondi


14. Paterson – Jim Jarmusch 

With the delicacy that comes from a great, nature inspired poem, arrives Paterson directed by Jim Jarmusch, perhaps cinemas greatest lyrical storyteller. Paterson, played with grace and subtlety by Adam Driver, has an ordinary life by all accounts. He works, eats dinner with his life, sneaks off for his one beer and arrives home. In between he peppers his time with writing poetry but with no real ambition to make it his life work. The film, to its credit, never looks at this as a missed opportunity for him as it’s too preoccupied with capturing the beauty that lies in the day to day redundancies  of life and the love between a husband and wife that keeps life fresh and new, as different as the patterns of their ever changing curtains. – Allyson Johnson 


13. The Handmaiden – Park Chan-wook 

Sexy, expansive and lush, The Handmaiden has quietly risen in the ranks as one of the best and most stunning films of 2016. What could have simply become an erotic soap opera was instead quickly brought down to reality with some fine character work and immesne chemistry between the two leadS. There’s a balletic, choreographed movement that the film adopts throughout the entirety of its runtime, so that it always feels acutely cinematic. We’re never asked to forget that we’re watching a film. It isn’t so much a film to relate to as it is one to get lost in with it’s stunning, evocative imagery. With gorgeous cinematography and a narrative that manages to defy any possible exploitive pitfalls, the film weaves and flows through its numerous plot twists and development with ease, anchored by a truly tumultous and scorching love story at its center. – Allyson Johnson 


12. The Witch – Robert Eggers

There was a lot of talk about The Witch not being a horror movie because…well, I still don’t understand. Nary a jump scare you’ll find here. The Witch is pure atmospheric horror, with a haunting soundtrack and disturbing and seductive images. Everything from the acting, writing, and set design screams authenticity, even when the film moves into the black magic and supernatural of it all. This film doesn’t just scare you in the moment. It’s a fear that is not merely experienced, but felt in the destruction of a family, the obsession, and the terrible, inevitable corruption of one young girl who has nowhere else to turn. It’s creepy twins and a Billy goat named Black Philip. It’s the natural lighting and the perfect old English dialogue. The last time I saw this movie was in March, and it’s still with me, every disturbing moment. – Katey Stoetzel 


11. The Nice Guys – Shane Black 

My love for The Nice Guys is simple: the film is really, really nice. From its delicious score and soundtrack (Earth, Wind & Fire, Al Green, The Bee Gees? Please and thank you) to the expectedly dynamic performances from leads Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, this ambiently aesthetic, emotionally electric film boasts the breaking of bones in tight (but wonderfully grand-in-scale) actions sequences and genre tropes in kind. The Nice Guys acknowledges the somewhat overdone buddy-cup dynamic, gives it a signature Gosling smirk and turns its back to something much greater. It’s clever, fresh and surprisingly heartfelt — without ever resorting to the crutch of cliches that litter certain genre scopes, leaning too heavily on the charm of the main men or pandering to the audience with overt sexuality or crassness. Overall, The Nice Guys is a little bit rompy, a little bit cheeky and a whole lot badass. (Also, I can’t say no to gun-weidling Gosling with a sweet ‘70s mustache. I am a weak, weak woman.) – AJ Caulfield 


10. The Edge of Seventeen – Kelly Fremon Craig

In the past few decades there has been little shortage of coming of age films, and quite a few that could easily be labeled as great. However, there have been few that have tackled the storyline from the female perspective and less that have done so with the gusto and frankness as Kelly Fremon Craigs The Edge of Seventeen. With a killer soundtrack and an awards worth performances from leading lady Hailee Steinfeld, the film excels by having a keen understanding for what makes its characters tick, and extending its empathy far past the lead to all the supporting characters. No one character feels strictly periphery, rather, all serve a direct purpose while also getting backgrounds and characteristics of their own.- Allyson Johnson 

Next: 9-5

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