The Movie Year in Review, 2016

Happy New Movie Year! Here is a look back at the previous movie year.

The Lists:

Favorite 2016 Movies
Favorite Recent Movies watched in 2016
Favorite Older Movies watched in 2016
Special Screenings and HD Rewatches, 2016
Favorite Shorts of 2016
2016 Movies To Watch
Previous year lists

Bonus List: The Year in Television

Best shows I watched this year, not counting shows I/we haven’t finished yet, and excluding some miniseries that I am counting as movies:

1. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
2. Master of None
3. Archer
4. Neon Genesis Evangelion
5. Black Mirror
6. Rick and Morty
7. Horace & Pete
8. Veep
9. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
10. BoJack Horseman


I find either top-1000 lists or large collections of annual top-ten lists very appealing, because among all the obligatory auteur favorites and consensus greats there’s plenty of room for unusual selections. And 1000 titles seems like a good canon size, a whole lifetime of film viewing for normal, non-movie-obsessed people, and can cover the entire timeline of film history. A compulsive list-o-phile, I’m always tempted to make my own top-1000 list, but stop myself because I feel like I’ve never caught up with enough of the classics – and also it’d be a lot of work, nobody would ever read it, and as soon as I watch Fanny & Alexander or The Passenger or Paterson it’ll probably change.

As recently discussed in the 10th Blogniversary post, my go-to top-1000 lists have been Jonathan Rosenbaum’s and They Shoot Pictures. I just realized there are massive movie lists online by three more of my favorite critics on their personal sites: Vadim Rizov, Mike D’Angelo and Michael Sicinski. Plus you’ve got your Sight & Sound polls, your Cahiers top-tens, Edgar Wright’s recent list, recommendations from books and magazines and all over. And I’ve started organizing and tagging these.

So, to celebrate my turning A Certain Age this year, instead of listing my favorite movies, I’ve made a composite checklist of the top 1000 unseen movies that I need to watch. Maybe if I get through these, I’ll list my own favorites. No promises.

Almost all are narrative features that I think I might be able to find on video (aiming for HD). Probably half are written and directed by white male Americans, too bad. Mostly excluded are shorts (because I’m tracking them elsewhere) and documentaries (ditto) and avant-garde features (because of availability) and everything from Africa (because we watch those on Katy’s schedule) and movies I’ve already seen and hope to rewatch and anything from the current decade.

Needed a stupid, catchy name for the list, settled on BLIGS (short for “obligatory”, acronym for “Big List I Gotta See”). Sortable list of bligs is here.

Sally Jane Black:
“I haven’t finished watching a movie until I write about it.”

My writing has gotten worse and lazier lately, but it has been a year full of distractions… at least I’m keeping up. Here’s to a better 2017.