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23 December 2016updated 14 Sep 2021 2:44pm

The best films of 2016

Don't know what to watch this Christmas? Our film critic rounds up his picks of the year.

By Ryan Gilbey

Further Beyond (15)

dir: Joe Lawlor, Christine Molloy

Playful semi-documentary in which film-makers planning historical biopic confront immigration and mortality.

 

Little Men (PG)

dir: Ira Sachs

Two Brooklyn teenagers find their friendship jeopardised by a property dispute between their families.

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Ghostbusters (12A)

dir: Paul Feig

Colour, generosity and sparkling comic detail fill the screen in this joyful revamp of the 1984 comedy.

 

Love & Friendship (U)

dir: Whit Stillman

This delightful director and his Last Days of Disco star Kate Beckinsale put a very funny spin on Jane Austen.

 

Things to Come (12A)

dir: Mia Hansen-Løve

“Isabelle Huppert gives great performance” is no shock headline. The nuanced story of a teacher in midlife free fall.

 

I, Daniel Blake (15)

dir: Ken Loach

Loach’s strongest film in years – an indignant attack on the savagery of the British benefits system.​

 

Son of Saul (15)

dir: László Nemes

Géza Röhrig is outstanding as a concentration camp prisoner clinging to his humanity.

 

 Victoria (15)

dir: Sebastian Schipper

A Berlin clubber falls in with a gang of crooks in this daredevil thriller shot in a single, unbroken, 138-minute take.

 

Embrace of the Serpent (12)

dir: Ciro Guerra

Two real-life Amazon expeditions form the basis of a mischievous and visually ravishing adventure.

 

Florence Foster Jenkins (PG)

dir: Stephen Frears

A film about the world’s worst singer (played by Meryl Streep) could have been a joke. Tenderness abounds.

This article appears in the 13 Dec 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas and New Year special 2016