On the heels of the Critics Choice Awards nominations and the New York Film Critics Circle Awards announcement, Sight & Sound magazine has unveiled its annual Top 20 list of the best films of 2016. It is, as usual, a delightful mix of indies, foreign films, and more populist fare—although the latter is in short supply this year. Maren Ade’s acclaimed German comedy Toni Erdmann takes the top honors after first getting a rapturous response at the Cannes Film Festival. Positive notices continued on the Fall Film Festival circuit, and Sight & Sound singled this film out as the top film of the year.
2016’s three biggest Oscar contenders—Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, and La La Land—also made the cut, as did Andrea Arnold’s well-received coming-of-age road trip film American Honey, and Sight & Sound also found room for Kelly Reichardt’s drama Certain Women in the Top 5. Also making the Top 5 is Paul Verhoeven’s rape revenge drama/comedy Elle, with Moonlight taking the #2 slot.
Overall, the full list is an expectedly eclectic mix and certainly spices up the year-end-list season a bit. Check it out below.
- Toni Erdmann directed by Maren Ade
- Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins
- Elle directed by Paul Verhoeven
- Certain Women directed by Kelly Reichardt
- American Honey directed by Andrea Arnold
- I, Daniel Blake directed by Ken Loach
- Manchester by the Sea directed by Kenneth Lonergan
- Things to Come directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
- Paterson directed by Jim Jarmusch
- The Death of Louis XIV directed by Albert Serra
- Personal Shopper directed by Olivier Assayas
- Sieranevada directed by Cristi Puiu
- Fire at Sea directed by Gianfranco Rosi
- Nocturama directed by Bertrand Bonello
- Julieta directed by Pedro Almodóvar
- La La Land directed by Damien Chazelle
- Cameraperson directed by Kirsten Johnson
- Love & Friendship directed by Whit Stillman
- Aquarius directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho
- Victoria directed by Sebastian Schipper