Best Films of 2016

Selected by Piero Scaruffi
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Best of the decade | Best of 2017 | Best of 2015
The following list averages the opinions of my favorite critics plus (eventually) mine.

Foreign movies show sometimes a year later, so if you can't find a title, check last year's ratings.

Special section: The 2016 Film Festivals

Sundance (jan):
Kenneth Lonergan: Manchester by the Sea
Taika Waititi: Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Kelly Reichardt: Certain Women
Agnieszka Smoczynska: The Lure
Nicolas Pesce: The Eyes of My Mother
Babak Anvari: Under the Shadow
John Carney: Sing Street
Nate Parker: The Birth of a Nation
JD Dillard: Sleight

Berlin (feb):
Jeff Nichols: Midnight Special
Terence Davies: A Quiet Passion
Mia Hansen: L'Avenir/ Things to Come
Lav Diaz: A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery
Ivo Ferreira: Cartas da Guerra/ Letters From War
Danis Tanovic: Death in Sarajevo
Andre Techine: Being 17
Cannes (may):
Maren Ade: Toni Erdmann
Sang-ho Yeon: Train to Busan
Jim Jarmusch: Paterson
Kleber Mendonca Filho: Aquarius
Olivier Assayas: Personal Shopper
Nathan Morlando: Mean Dreams
David Mackenzie: Hell or High Water
Andrea Arnold: American Honey
Chan-wook Park: The Handmaiden
Michael O'Shea: The Transfiguration
Paul Verhoeven: Elle
Xavier Dolan: It's Only the End of the World
Dardenne brothers: L'Enfant/ The Unknown Girl
Ken Loach: I Daniel Blake
Venezia (aug):
Lav Diaz: The Woman Who Left
Tom Ford: Nocturnal Animals
Denis Villeneuve: Arrival
Pablo Larrain: Jackie
Damien Chazelle: La La Land
Ala Eddine Slim: The Last of Us
Amat Escalante: La Region Salvaje
Federica DiGiacomo: Liberami
Andrei Konchalovsky: Paradise
Francois Ozon: Frantz
Ama Lily Amirpour: The Bad Batch
New York (oct):
Maren Ade: Toni Erdmann
Cristi Puiu: Sieranevada
Barry Jenkins: Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan: Manchester by the Sea
Jim Jarmusch: Paterson
Ken Loach: I Daniel Blake
Kleber Mendonca Filho: Aquarius
Bill Morrison: Dawson City

Toronto (sep):
Maren Ade: Toni Erdmann
Tom Ford: Nocturnal Animals
Denis Villeneuve: Arrival
Barry Jenkins: Moonlight
Paul Verhoeven: Elle
Kenneth Lonergan: Manchester by the Sea
Damien Chazelle: La La Land
Joao-Pedro Rodrigues: The Ornithologist
Osgood Perkins: I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne: L'Enfant/ The Unknown Girl

Ratings for the 2016 season


7.5 Maren Ade: Toni Erdmann
7.4 Sang-ho Yeon: Train to Busan
7.4 Lav Diaz: Ang Babaeng Humayo/ The Woman Who Left
7.3 Jim Jarmusch: Paterson
7.3 Hirokazu Kore-eda: After the Storm
7.3 Cristi Puiu: Sieranevada
7.2 Tom Ford: Nocturnal Animals
7.2 Julia Ducournau: Raw
7.2 Kenneth Lonergan: Manchester by the Sea
7.2 Anocha Suwichakornpong: By the Time It Gets Dark
7.2 Paolo Genovese: Perfetti sconosciuti/ Perfect Strangers
7.1 Joao Pedro Rodrigues: The Ornithologist
7.1 Cristian Mungiu: Bacalaureat/ Graduation
7.1 Paul Verhoeven: Elle
7.1 Ala Eddine Slim: The Last of Us
7.1 Eugene Green: Le Fils de Joseph/ The Son of Joseph
7.1 Asghar Farhadi: Forushande/ The Salesman
7.1 Alejandro Jodorowsky: Poesia sin Fin/ Endless Poetry
7.0 Andrea Arnold: American Honey
7.0 Nitesh Tiwari: Dangal
7.0 Fernando Trueba: The Queen of Spain
7.0 Junfeng Boo: Apprentice
7.0 Argyris Papadimitropoulos: Suntan
7.0 Nacho Vigalondo: Colossal
7.0 James Gray: The Lost City of Z
7.0 Matias Pineiro: Hermia & Helena
7.0 Yoshinari Nishikori: Tatara Samurai
7.0 Jan Hrebejk: The Teacher
7.0 Shane Abbess: The Osiris Child: SFY1
7.0 Barry Jenkins: Moonlight
7.0 Night Shyamalan: Split
7.0 Damien Chazelle: La La Land
7.0 Olivier Assayas: Personal Shopper
7.0 Joel & Ethan Coen: Hail Caesar
7.0 Anna Biller: The Love Witch
7.0 Mike Mills: 20th Century Women
7.0 Amat Escalante: La Region Salvaje
7.0 Osgood Perkins: I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
7.0 Andrzej Wajda: Afterimage
7.0 Sean Ellis: Anthropoid
7.0 Mira Nair: Queen of Katwe
7.0 Travis Knight: Kubo and the Two Strings
7.0 Ira Sachs: Little Men
7.0 Meera Menon: Equity
7.0 Terence Davies: A Quiet Passion
7.0 Taika Waititi: Hunt for the Wilderpeople
7.0 Dan Trachtenberg: 10 Cloverfield Lane
7.0 Gary Ross: Free State of Jones
7.0 Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert: Swiss Army Man
7.0 Robert Zemeckis: Allied
7.0 Matias Pineiro: Hermia and Helena
7.0 Bertrand Bonello: Nocturama
7.0 Sangsoo Hong: Yourself and Yours
7.0 Gaston Solnicki: Kekszakallu
7.0 Radu Jude: Scarred Hearts
7.0 Jeff Nichols: Midnight Special
SO SO...:

6.9 Sergei Loznitsa: Austerlitz
6.9 Kleber Mendonca Filho: Aquarius
6.9 Justine Triet: In Bed with Victoria
6.9 Jeremy Saulnier: Hold the Dark
6.9 Denis Villeneuve: Arrival
6.9 Martin Zandvliet: Land of Mine
6.9 Tatiana Huezo: Tempestad
6.9 Alison Maclean: The Rehearsal
6.9 Ulrich Seidl: Safari
6.9 Natalia Almada: Everything Else
6.9 Dane Komljen: All the Cities of the North
6.9 Alessandro Comodin: Happy Times Will Come Soon
6.9 Bill Morrison: Dawson City: Frozen Time
6.9 Pascale Breton: Suite Armoricaine
6.9 Ingrid Jungermann: Women Who Kill
6.9 Alain Guiraudie: Staying Vertical
6.9 Joachim Lafosse: After Love
6.9 Joseph Cedar: Cedar
6.9 Federica DiGiacomo: Liberami
6.9 Andrei Konchalovsky: Paradise
6.9 Francois Ozon: Frantz
6.9 Nathan Morlando: Mean Dreams
6.9 David Mackenzie: Hell or High Water
6.9 Michael O'Shea: The Transfiguration
6.9 Xavier Dolan: It's Only the End of the World
6.9 Paul Dalio: Touched With Fire
6.9 Scott Derrickson: Doctor Strange
6.9 Stephane Brize: La Loi du Marche/ The Measure of a Man
6.9 Terence Davies: Sunset Song
6.9 Andrew Ahn: Spa Night
6.9 Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan: Sausage Party
6.9 Elizabeth Wood: White Girl
6.9 Peter Berg: Deepwater Horizon
6.9 Mia Hansen-Love: L'Avenir/ Things to Come
6.9 Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne: L'Enfant/ The Unknown Girl
6.9 Whit Stillman: Love & Friendship
6.9 Babak Anvari: Under the Shadow
6.8 Ama Lily Amirpour: The Bad Batch
6.8 Kirsten Johnson: Cameraperson
6.8 Chan-wook Park: The Handmaiden
6.8 Kelly Fremon Craig: The Edge of Seventeen
6.8 Justin Tipping: Kicks
6.8 Alice Winocour: Disorder
6.8 James Schamus: Indignation
6.8 Mark Osborne: The Little Prince
6.8 Jodie Foster: Money Monster
6.8 Paddy Breathnach: Viva
6.8 Kelly Reichardt: Certain Women
6.8 Nicolas Pesce: The Eyes of My Mother
6.8 Lav Diaz: A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery
6.8 Brady Corbet: The Childhood of a Leader
6.8 Jaco Van Dormael: BenoŚt Poelvoorde/ The Brand New Testament
6.8 Ken Loach: I Daniel Blake
6.7 Ivo Ferreira: Cartas da Guerra/ Letters From War
6.7 John Carney: Sing Street
6.7 Nate Parker: The Birth of a Nation
6.7 JD Dillard: Sleight
6.7 Shane Black: The Nice Guys
6.7 Sacha Baron Cohen: The Brothers Grimsby
6.7 Warren Beatty: Rules Don't Apply
6.7 Jim Cummings: Thunder Road
6.6 Roberto Minervini: The Other Side
6.6 Danis Tanovic: Death in Sarajevo
6.6 James Bobin: Alice Through the Looking Glass
6.6 Rodrigo Garcˇa: Last Days in the Desert
6.6 Luca Guadagnino: A Bigger Splash
6.6 Byron Howard & Rich Moore: Zootopia
6.6 Dennis Hauck: Too Late
6.6 Lorene Scafaria: The Meddler
6.6 Derek Cianfrance: The Light Between Oceans
6.6 David Sandberg: Lights Out
6.6 Alex Lehmann: Blue Jay
6.6 Jim Hosking: The Greasy Strangler
6.6 Mel Gibson: Hacksaw Ridge
6.5 Natalie Portman: A Tale of Love and Darkness
6.5 Janicza Bravo: Lemon
6.5 Michael Thelin: Emilie
6.5 Pietro Marcello: Lost and Beautiful
6.5 Emmanuelle Bercot: Standing Tall
6.5 Duncan Jones: Warcraft
6.5 Michel Gondry: Microbe and Gasoline
6.5 Ang Lee: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
6.5 Theodore Melfi: Hidden Figures
6.4 Pedro Almodovar: Julieta
6.4 Sang-ho Yeon: Seoul Station
6.4 Ben Younger: Bleed for This
6.4 Tom Tykwer: A Hologram for the King
6.4 Matt Ross: Captain Fantastic
6.4 Jeff Baena: Joshy
6.4 Todd Phillips: War Dogs

6.4 Owen Harris: Kill Your Friends
6.4 Stephen Hopkins: Race
6.4 Michael Showalter: Hello My Name Is Doris
6.3 Alex Proyas: Gods of Egypt
6.3 Oliver Stone: Snowden
6.3 Athina Rachel Tsangari: Chevalier
6.3 Anzi Pan: For a Few Bullets
6.2 Janet Grillo: Jack of the Red Hearts
6.2 Nicolas Winding Refn: The Neon Demon
6.2 Terrence Malick: Knight of Cups
6.2 Ilya Naishuller: Hardcore Henry
6.2 Alex Fegan: Older than Ireland
6.2 Chad Hartigan: Morris From America
6.2 Fede Alvarez: Don't Breathe
6.2 Richard Tanne: Southside With You
6.2 Stephen Frears: Florence Foster Jenkins
6.2 Martin Scorsese: Silence
6.1 Pablo Larrain: The Club
6.1 Tim Burton: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
6.1 John Madden: Miss Sloane
6.0 Amos Gitai: Rabin, the Last Day
6.0 JA Bayona: A Monster Calls
6.0 Pablo Larrain: Neruda
6.0 Dante Lam: Operation Mekong
6.0 Mick Jackson: Denial
6.0 Antonio Campos: Christine
6.0 Roar Uthaug: The Wave
6.0 Marc Abraham: I Saw the Light
6.0 Hany Abu-Assad: The Idol
6.0 Robert Budreau: Born to Be Blue
6.0 Nicholas Stoller: Neighbors 2 - Sorority Rising
6.0 Don Cheadle: Miles Ahead
6.0 Victor Zarcoff: 13 Cameras
6.0 Jason Bateman: The Family Fang
6.0 Joey Kuhn: Those People
6.0 Anna Rose Holmer: The Fits
6.0 Michael Grandage: Genius
6.0 Avishai Sivan: Tikkun
6.0 Jaume Collet-Serra: The Shallows
6.0 Brad Furman: The Infiltrator
6.0 Andrew Neel: Goat
6.0 Woody Allen: Cafe Society

5.9 William Monahan: Mojave
5.8 Richard Linklater: Everybody Wants Some
5.8 Malcolm Lee: Barbershop - The Next Cut
5.8 Cynthia Mort: Nina
5.8 Captain America - Civil War
5.8 James DeMonaco: The Purge - Election Year
5.8 Jared Hess: Masterminds
5.8 Justin Kelly: King Cobra
5.8 Jeff Nichols: Loving
5.7 Tate Taylor: The Girl on the Train
5.7 Michael Bay: 13 Hours
5.6 Thea Sharrock : Me Before You
5.6 George Nolfi: Birth of the Dragon
5.5 Andrew Stanton & Angus MacLane: Finding Dory
5.5 Xiaogang Feng: I Am Not Madame Bovary
5.5 Ti West: In a Valley of Violence
5.5 Andre Techine: Being 17
5.5 Mike Birbiglia: Don't Think Twice
5.5 Pablo Larrain: Jackie
5.4 Ben Falcone: The Boss
5.4 Garth Davis: Lion
5.3 Benjamin Dickinson: Creative Control
5.2 John Hillcoat: Triple 9
5.2 Chris Kelly: Other People
5.1 Andrew Renzi: The Benefactor
5.0 Clint Eastwood: Sully
5.0 Todd Williams: Cell
5.0 Vikram Gandhi: Barry
5.0 Ron Howard: Inferno
5.0 Jocelyn Moorhouse: The Dressmaker
5.0 Adam Wingard: Blair Witch
5.0 Jay Dockendorf: Naz & Maalik
5.0 David Lowery: Pete's Dragon
5.0 Jonathan Jakubowicz: Hands of Stone
5.0 Paul Greengrass: Jason Bourne
5.0 Jon Lucas & Scott Moore: Bad Moms
5.0 David Ayer: Suicide Squad
5.0 Drake Doremus: Equals
5.0 Alessandro Carloni and Jennifer Yuh Nelson: Kung Fu Panda 3
5.0 Todd Solondz: Wiener-Dog
5.0 Liza Johnson: Elvis & Nixon
5.0 Rob Reiner: Being Charlie
5.0 Ben Wheatley: High-Rise
5.0 Eva Husson: Bang Gang
5.0 Susanna White: Our Kind of Traitor
5.0 Chris Renaud & Yarrow Cheney: The Secret Life of Pets
5.0 Edward Zwick: Jack Reacher - Never Go Back
5.0 Ewan McGregor: American Pastoral
5.0 Mike Mitchell: Trolls
5.0 Bryan Bertino: The Monster
5.0 Peter Berg: Patriots Day
5.0 Yimou Zhang: The Great Wall

4.9 Glenn Ficarra and John Requa: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
4.7 Luke Scott: Morgan
4.6 Jean-Marc Vallee: Demolition
4.5 Robert Schwentke: Allegiant
4.5 David Yates: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
4.5 Gavin O'Connor: The Accountant
4.5 Antoine Fuqua: The Magnificent Seven
4.5 Kevin Smith: Yoga Hosers
4.5 Justin Kurzel: Assassin's Creed
4.5 Morten Tyldum: Passengers
4.4 Tim Story: Ride Along 2
4.4 Tim Miller: Deadpool
4.4 Bryan Singer: X-Men - Apocalypse
4.2 Ross Katz: The Choice
4.1 Burr Steers: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
4.0 Wilson Yip: Ip Man 3
4.0 David Frankel: Collateral Beauty
4.0 Afonso Poyart: Solace
4.0 Sharon Maguire: Bridget Jones's Baby
4.0 David Yates: Tarzan
4.0 Steven Spielberg: The BFG
4.0 Ben Stiller: Zoolander 2
4.0 Christian Ditter: How to Be Single
4.0 Babak Najafi: London Has Fallen
4.0 Kirk Jones: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
4.0 Jon Favreau: Jungle Book
4.0 Daniel Noah: Max Rose
4.0 Timur Bekmambetov: Ben-Hur
4.0 Cedric Nicolas-Troyan: The Huntsman - Winter's War
4.0 Peter Atencio: Keanu
4.0 Garry Marshall: Mothers Day
4.0 Rawson Marshall Thurber: Central Intelligence
4.0 Jake Szymanski: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
4.0 Paul Feig: Ghostbusters
4.0 Galen Chu & Mike Thurmeier: Ice Age - Collision Course
4.0 Ron Clements etc: Moana
4.0 Mark Waters: Bad Santa 2
4.0 Katie Holmes: All We Had
4.0 Matthew Ross: Frank & Lola
4.0 Josh Gordon & Will Speck: Office Christmas Party
4.0 Clay Liford: Slash
4.0 Ben Affleck: Live by Night
4.0 Garth Jennings: Sing
4.0 John Hamburg: Why Him?
3.0 Dave Green: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Out of the Shadows
3.0 Gareth Edwards: Rogue One - A Star Wars Story

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TM, ®, Copyright © 2016 Piero Scaruffi