100 – The BFG
The book probably doesn’t lend itself well to a film adaptation. Or perhaps it casts such a spell on your imagination as a child that somebody else’s version of it is never going to be quite right. Certainly something prevented this film from soaring despite there being nothing much wrong with it. Ruby Barnhill and Jermaine Clement are great, it looks good, and its funny and scary in all the right places, but it’s not quite the classic it might have been.
99 – Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Perhaps a bit sprawling at times, this was still a solid romance with good performances, especially from Anushka Sharma.
98 – Nerve
It would be fair to say this cautionary tale of the dangers of living your life through social media falls apart somewhat in the last twenty minutes or so. But the first hour, as the two protagonists fall for each other while participating in a series of more and more elaborate and dangerous dares manages to establish the characters in an enjoyable and sweet way few thrillers manage. Consequently, you care about the characters even while the plot they inhabit stumbles then falls apart.
97 – Forever Pure
Documentary about the fallout from Beitar FC’s decision to hire two Muslim footballers. A brilliant, if incredibly depressing, look at the worst of football tribalism.
96 – My Scientology Movie
A fun, if gentle, ribbing of Scientology. If you are looking for a hard investigation, look elsewhere.
95 – Morgan
The directorial debut of Luke Scott, son of Ridley Scott, plays out like a love letter to Blade Runner and, bar a clumsy last scene, does so very well. Which is not to say it is stylistically similar but that it has nice nods to the ideas it explores. A great cast add spice to a solid horror/sci-fi thriller. Morgan didn’t get a particularly warm response and disappeared without a trace from the cinemas but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is more favourably remembered when Luke Scott has a couple more films under his belt and is less in the shadow of his father, if only as a solid debut that confidently blends character and action.
94 – Journey to the Shore
This supernatural road-movie about death and ghosts and mourning shows just how deep into the fantasy genre you can go without using special effects if you have imagination and you trust your audience’s intelligence.
93 – Trumbo
OK, so it’s a bit Hollywood bio-pic by numbers at times, but it is hard to argue with a cast this good, doing what they’re good at.
92 – Southside with You
Barack and Michelle’s first date: the movie. So warmhearted it is contagious. To the point that I actually had a conversation with a complete stranger on the way out of the cinema.
Incidentally, speaking of presidents, I had a dream about Donald Trump last night. He waved a blue plastic sword around calling it his Super Blueper Whammying Stick and was scared of the rain. I dunno. Don’t ask me. I just dream ’em.
91 – Why Him?
2016 wasn’t a bumper year for Christmas films (Or maybe it was. Honestly, this was the only one I could be bothered to see. Perhaps some of the ones I didn’t see were amazing.) but Why Him? managed to be a bit dumb and a bit sentimental but ultimately lovable in all the right ways. Ostensibly a riff on Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner but with a tech-millionaire as the daughter’s love interest. It works because there is no nastiness, everyone means well. Oh, and because Bryan Cranston is very good at comedy.