I am so disappointed. Apparently I only saw…12 films that came out this year, and not that many great ones (Deadpool, Zootopia, Captain America: Civil War, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Jungle Book, Finding Dory, The Shallows, The Secret Life of Pets, Batman: The Killing Joke, Suicide Squad, Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them, and Moana). I’d be okay with putting maybe half of those in a top ten list, but honestly I can only imagine two that would deserve to be in my top five (Moana and Zootopia). So I don’t feel like I saw enough great films to make a list of just films.
But I did manage to watch a good amount of TV shows that came out this year (and so many amazing ones), so I thought I’d combine the two into one list. I’m considering making a list of the best films I saw this year period for the first time, but we’ll see.
Top Ten Films & TV Shows of 2016
- Westworld: Season 1, Created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. This was amazing. I had been looking forward to it ever since there were even whispers of it happening years ago. Jonathan Nolan is one of my favorite writers (Chris Nolan is my favorite director, and since Jonathan wrote many of them, they definitely go hand-in-hand), and his first TV show, Person of Interest, was absolutely fantastic (and is one of my all-time favorite shows period). So hearing that he would do a HBO show just got me incredibly excited because of the high-quality possibilities. He did a stunning job on CBS—I could only imagine what he’d be able to do on HBO. And it didn’t disappoint—highly recommended.
- Person of Interest: Season 4, Created by Jonathan Nolan. The only reason this isn’t #1 is because it’s just season 4 (which was amazing, and probably the best season). As a whole I actually definitely prefer PoI to Westworld, and for several reasons: First off, I just love Jim Caviezel, and I’ll watch anything he does—I think he’s just such a fantastic actor with amazing subtleties, and I also just love him as a person, as he just seems super nice and kind-hearted. Secondly, this is a Batman show. Not exactly, of course, but Nolan’s plan was to create a Batman show but CBS said no. So instead he created a Batman show that just didn’t feature Batman, haha. Elias is the Penguin, Reese/Finch are Batman/Alfred, Detective Carter is Jim Gordon, etc. So I’m biased, because Batman’s my favorite character, but I love how he was able to create a Batman show in this not-so-heavily-concealed way. And it’s just a fantastic show, one also becoming more and more relevant, unfortunately. Season 4 was bittersweet for me, because while it was, as I said, possibly the best season, it also means the end of such a fantastic show. But it ended great.
- Stranger Things: Season 1, Created by The Duffer Brothers. I mean, I’m a huge Spielberg geek, and this is basically an 8-hour Spielberg film. The team just created such an amazing show and got such fantastic acting from the child actors. I feel like there was so much about this series that could’ve gone wrong, but instead went perfectly. Cannot wait for season 2.
- A Game of Thrones: Season 6, Created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Game of Thrones deserves the #1 spot just as much as any of these other shows, and it’s just a testament to the great TV this year that it’s not. This season had its ups and downs, as all shows do, but overall it was definitely up—and those last two episodes were so incredible.
- Daredevil: Season 2, Created by Drew Goddard. This show. This show. Another show that should by all rights be #1 on this list. Season one was absolutely fantastic, and this one somehow upped the ante with Jon Bernthal’s inclusion as The Punisher. I don’t know if the season itself is better, as I just love Kingpin so much and he had less of a role here, but it was probably at least equally as great.
- Moana, Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. I hate how far down this is, and if I had seen more great films and made a list of them I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be in my top five. One of my all-time favorite Disney films, and the music is just so incredible (I mean, what do you expect from Lin-Manuel Miranda). The only scene I didn’t like was the neon-crab sequence, but otherwise it’s basically a pretty perfect movie.
- Zootopia, Directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore. Another fantastic, fantastic film that Disney made, and it’s weird that I’m featuring two Disney films and not a Pixar one, but they just did better this year. I love everything about Zootopia, and I can’t wait to show it to my kids—amazing messages, cute and adorable characters, and a fun, gripping story.
- Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. I love Sherlock, and I loved this special. It wasn’t the best Sherlock episode, but it also wasn’t the worst, and was a lot of fun.
- Luke Cage: Season 1, Created by Cheo Hodari Coker. After Daredevil and Jessica Jones, it was no surprise this would be amazing as well, and it was. Such great actors all around, and if we’re going by performances only this might win.
- Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Directed by Various. I’m lumping these all together because, at the end of the day, I liked them all fairly equally for vastly different reasons. Fantastic Beasts and Civil War were great and just fun all-around (though, unlike Winter Soldier, I’ve actually been liking Civil War less and less after each viewing, unfortunately—don’t get me wrong, it’s still great, but just not necessarily amazing like Winter Soldier); Deadpool was not completely my taste in humor, but I still really enjoyed it and I’ve loved rewatching it a couple times; BvS is by far the black sheep in this list, because I completely accept (and agree) that it’s not as good a film as the others, but I still honestly enjoyed it, and I’ve enjoyed re-watching the extended cut. Yes, it has a lot of problems, but Wonder Woman and Batman were so fantastic in it that they allowed me to ignore some of the problems. I’m also just a huge DC nerd in general, so I’m completely biased and I realize that. I’m just really hoping the films can up their quality (Suicide Squad was just pretty atrocious, unfortunately). If Wonder Woman isn’t amazing I will be so, so sad.
Need to see: Arrival, La La Land, Sully (actually just saw it, and loved it! This film pulled at my heartstrings far more than it had any right to, and I think it’s just because of Hanks’ performance, as I just completely love him—this would be #9 or #10 now, over those others), Silence, Rogue One (I’ve been having a Star Wars marathon recently and I CANNOT WAIT to see this), Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, Sing Street, A Monster Calls (one of my all-time favorite books), and so many more…
So not the best year for me in terms of films, but an amazing year for TV. ^^