- O.J.: Made in America
There will be those who claim that O.J.: Made in America – a documentary that lasts seven hours and 47 minutes, and is divided into separate chapters – is in fact a long documentary on television. However, thanks to a limited theatrical performance in May, Ezra Edelman’s non-fiction opus is eligible for the 2016 film awards, and even in a year full of gems, he remains head and shoulders above the rest. A huge work of sociocultural commentary that fills themes of ambition, race, fame, ego and denial, Edelman’s masterpiece spends its first three hours of immersion that convey the magnetic personality and successful athletic career (and publicity) of O.J.
- The lobster
Yorgos Lanthimos’ lobster is one of the strangest movies in recent history, and one of the most hilarious (and surprisingly profound) as well. In this dark saga of future society, a single man (Colin Farrell) enters a hotel where, by law, he must find a partner/mate within 45 days or become the animal of his choice. In his crazy insanity, Farrell’s lonely loser meets other equally stranger types and tries to forge an affair with a female partner, before finally fleeing through the woods where the anti-monogamous rebels are stationed. An inexpressive dystopian comedy that also functions as an examination of the bizarre world of relationships, love, marriage and the basic human desire for connection, Lanthimos’ movie is the weird thing in today’s cinema: an unreserved original.
Steve Gleason was a strong New Orleans safety Saints that immortalized himself in the team’s history when, during the team’s first game in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina, he blocked a clearance against the Atlanta Falcons, a play that symbolized the Tireless spirit of return of the city. Tragically, at an early age of 34, and on the eve of the birth of their first child, Gleason was diagnosed with ALS (alias “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”). Using extensive footage filmed by the former athlete himself (some directed at his unborn child), J. Clay Tweel’s documentary explains the struggle of Gleason and his wife Michel with that incurable condition. To say that Gleason is heartbreaking is a huge understatement, but amidst his horrors inducing tears, conveys a genuinely uplifting sense of his subject’s refusal to quit, especially once he strives to use his fame and status to help others with ALS to the best of ability. The story of a man, and family, torn by disease, and yet unwilling to accept defeat, is the non-fiction film of the year.
- Green Room
The toughest thriller of the years, Jeremy Saulnier’s follow-up to critically acclaimed Blue Ruin is another extreme suspense exercise, coupled with a punk band (composed of the late Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, and Callum Turner) who recklessly decides to accept a concert at a neo-Nazi rural music club. Where they happen to witness the aftermath of a killing they became captive to resident skinheads and their leader leading to an extended confrontation that Saulnier stages as a series of silent, panicked moments And bursts of brutal Violence-a narration rhythm in tune with sludgy punk and metal thunder through the loudspeakers of the place. A relentless assault on the nerves that hits viewers with the same total viciousness displayed by racists dancing through the filthy, beer-drenched floors of the room, Green Room (which we call “mosh-pit cinema”) leaves a lasting mark.
- Hell or high water
The outlaw saga of David Mackenzie refers to two brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) who embark on a spree to steal money to raise enough fund to save their family farm from a foreclosure that lends the film a Drilling opportunity. However, the true power of this sheer genre effort comes from its stars and its attention to the atmosphere and detail of the characters. As the Yin-yang brothers are forced to embark on their mission out of necessity, fury and inherent imprudence, Pine and Foster share a compelling chemistry. And they complement (and, in fact, surpassed) the charisma department by the ever-great Jeff Bridges. As the sheriff was just about to retire on his way, Bridges offers one of his finest performances. Radiating wit and grief as an old-school relic who-as the criminals he pursues and the defeated land he wanders with his Native American partner -Mexico Alberto (Gil Birmingham) – is on the precipice of becoming a ghost of a bygone era