Compiled by our staff editors and writers, here is the best film and television of 2016.
Best Films of 2016
Barry Jenkins pieces together a deeply moving investigation of masculinity, class, and race in this fictional biopic. Compelling visuals, and tense dialogue come together in heartbreaking performances to give this film our #1 spot.
2. All Vines
The video hosting platform Vine has tragically been shut down this year. The incredible diversity of 6-second Vines showcase hilarious and accessible filmmaking from a generation of smartphone wielders.
Andrea Arnold’s film is an intimate look into the life of a vagrant teenager traveling through the American South. Its modern soundtrack and themes of poverty and drug use make this film a unique tour of love, desperation, and reconciliation.
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Delving further into a familiar story, the Star Wars mythology is reimagined for the current age, with a cast of fresh faces and enduring themes of heroism, compassion, and revolution.
5. Don’t Think Twice
Don’t Think Twice follows a New York improv group whose members include Gillian Jacobs and Keegan-Michael Key. Some of the group members begin to succeed, and others must confront the fact that they might never “make it big.”
6. The Witch
Robert Eggers’ latest horror film, set in the 17th century New England countryside, is eerie and dark. The film explores the psychological dimensions of witchcraft panic, as it observes one family destroy itself from the inside out.
7. Edge of Seventeen
Hailee Steinfeld delivers a hilarious, brutally honest portrait of a confused, lonely teenager. This insightful coming-of-age tale neither condescends nor tries too hard to be relatable.
8. Green Room
Jeremy Saulnier’s ultraviolent thrill ride takes a believable indie music drama and promptly turns it on its head. The film’s punk rockers versus neo-Nazis (led by a stoic Patrick Stewart) premise delivers uncommonly heady and emotional genre thrills.
9. Embrace of the Serpent
Ciro Guerra’s film places the viewer in the centre of a jungle where everything is alive and deadly. The black and white cinematography lends an unmatched visual texture and depth.
10. Finding Dory
Guaranteed to rouse early-2000s nostalgia, this highly-anticipated sequel doesn’t disappoint. Watching Finding Dory is like returning home – it is emotionally exhausting in an extremely comforting way.
Best of TV
Stranger Things delivers a satisfyingly nostalgic and familiar story—a small-town, 80s mystery—with twists and excellent performances to keep audiences interested.
Donald Glover effortlessly glides into the role of creator in this absurdly endearing dramedy. Each episode of Atlanta is an intelligently-crafted think piece on timely issues of class and race.
3. Last Week Tonight
John Oliver has created a new brand of political humour on HBO, often choosing to focus his commentary on little known, but impactful, stories.
Part western, part dystopian science fiction, Westworld is a relentlessly captivating and deeply unsettling exploration of the potentially terrifying impact of artificial intelligence.
5.Game of Thrones
Television’s most expensive fantasy soap opera shook audiences this year with its gripping narrative and surprise deaths. Game of Thrones’ (surviving) characters are achieving cult status as television icons.
6. Black Mirror
Charlie Brooker’s excellent series returned for a new season, featuring forays into horror and crime genres, and a spectacular love story that transcends space and time.
7. The Crown
The Crown’s historical intrigue is totally riveting. Lavish design, along with excellent performances from Claire Foy and Matt Smith, bring the nuanced Royal story to life.
A mixture of historical accuracy and dramatic reenactment, Narcos returned as considerably darker and fast-paced than its first season.
9. The Get Down
Baz Luhrmann’s television debut offers a charming cast of characters and a dazzling portrayal of 1970s New York. The score shines through, allowing the viewer revel in the funk, jazz, and disco of the period.
Jill Soloway’s critically acclaimed series continues pushing boundaries into its third season as it explores the intersections between wealth, whiteness, and gender.