Peter Berg’s second movie with Mark Wahlberg this year, following “Deepwater Horizon,” is a beautiful and riveting portrayal of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. Sure, it starts off a bit cantankerous, but it continues with the kind of emotions, thrills, and tribute to the heroes and victims of the attacks.
9.) “Captain America: Civil War”
Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. star as Captain America and Iron Man in this colossal superhero battle that is smarter and more entertaining than “Batman v Superman,” and the first Marvel movie I’ve place on any my Top 10 lists since “The Avengers.” It has strong emotions, a manipulating villain, and a fresh intro for next year’s “Spiderman: Homecoming.”
As short as this was, it was a big hit with my family. Clint Eastwood’s latest opus is a beautiful portrayal of the Miracle on the Hudson. Tom Hanks shines as Captain Sully, who leads his passengers to safety, but begins to stress out about whether or not he is a hero.
This is a radiant and gripping drama from writer/director Barry Jenkins, about an African American homosexual man, growing up from childhood to manhood, while dealing with only one love and the people who torment him. This is a dazzling work of art, and the casting of the main protagonist is convincing on so many levels.
Denzel Washington directs and reprises his Broadway role as a father struggling through life in the 1950s. Viola Davis ignites the screen as his wife, and Jovan Adepo shines as his son, who is tired of being held back by him. This is the Denzel Washington movie I’ve been waiting for.
5.) “La La Land”
The best musical of the year, directed by Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”), stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as two dreamers in Hollywood. Throughout this masterpiece, you’ll be reminded of the great Gene Kelly, and why we fell in love with movie musicals to begin with.
The best Sci-Fi movie of the year is directed by the great Denis Villenueve, and stars Amy Adams as a linguist translating the language of aliens, who have landed in many ships in different countries. Unlike most alien pictures these days, this one is a work of art with dazzling special effects, a surprising twist, and strong performances.
3.) “Hell or High Water”
Chris Pine and Ben Foster play bank robbing brothers in the best western of the year. And Jeff Bridges tremendously redeems himself as a retiring ranger out to find the two criminals. If you look at it, you’ll find one thrilling, one gripping, and one charming scene after another.
With the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman, Disney’s “Zootopia” is the best animated film of the year. It’s about a world of animals dealing with both segregation and stereotypes, while keeping them at a kid friendly tone. If you judge a book by its cover, watch it and you’ll be surprised to find out there’s more than meets the fur.
1.) “Manchester by the Sea”
Casey Affleck gives one of his most extraordinary performances as a Boston handyman, asked to take care of his teenage nephew, after the death of his older brother. Lucas Hedges is a revelation as the troubled teen, who can’t relate to Affleck’s decisions, and Michelle Williams shines as his ex-wife, whom he reunites with, following their dark past. “Manchester by the Sea,” written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, is the first movie in years that I have begged to see a second time. It’s not enough to see it once, with its emotionally powerful performances, beautiful scenery, and a story that takes you beneath its true nature. I loved this movie, and I know for a fact it will be nominated an Oscar for Best Picture.
“The Jungle Book,” “Hail Caesar,” “Jason Bourne,” “The Accountant,” “American Honey,” “Moana,” “20th Century Women,” “The Handmaiden,” “War Dogs,” “Bleed for This,” “Eye in the Sky,” “Eddie the Eagle,” “The Red Turtle,” “Elle,” “Silence”