Top Ten Movies for 2016
Ridge”: The true story
of the conscientious objector medic who won the Medal of Honor in
World War II for his heroics in saving lives.
The first part develops the back story, the second part is the
grisly battlefield fighting. But
here's a war hero for the ages who never fired a shot.
Starring Andrew Garfield in a winsome performance.
Not a true story this time, but feels like it could have been.
French Canadian soldier (Brad Pitt) parachutes behind the
German lines in Morocco to meet up with a French spy (Marion Cotillard)
in order to assassinate the Nazi ambassador.
The twist is that she just might be a double agent.
Another true story about a real hero, Captain “Sully”
Sullenberger (Tom Hanks), the U.S. Airways pilot who not only
successfully crash-landed on the Hudon River, but in so doing saved
everybody aboard. Clint
Eastwood's spare direction lets the heart-warming story tell itself.
Another true story about real heroes, but this is a different
kind of struggle. Richard
and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) are an interracial
couple who marry in the 1950's, when it was illegal in Virginia.
All they wanted was to live their lives quietly, but their case
had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to allow them their simple
freedom to choose.
Another true story about real heroes, and also a
racially-charged context. In 1950's America, even talented employees
at NASA was routinely overlooked if they were black females.
But Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia
Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) rose to prominence the
old-fashioned way: they
earned it. And now, after
all this time, they're receiving some well-deserved recognition for
their important achievements in assisting the sucessful launch of John
Glenn's first orbital space flight.
What if the aliens landed and it takes a renowned linguistics
professor (Amy Adams) weeks to understand what they're trying to
communicate? They mess
with your mind on the time travel thing, and then mess with it again
by claiming that time is circular, not linear.
7.“Hell or High Water”:
Two brothers, Tanner (Ben Foster) and Toby (Chris Pine) decide
to go on a bank-robbing spree in small towns in West Texas.
What they don't count on is the persistence of almost-retired
Texas Ranger Marcus (Jeff Bridges) and his partner Alberto (Gil
Birmingham). But it's the
repartee that we enjoy the most.
8.“The Finest Hours”:
the true story of how a small Coast Guard ship churns into the
teeth of a mighty Nor'Easter to rescue the trapped crew of an oil
tanker, in 1952. Chris
Pine stars again.
9.“Free State of Jones”:
based on the true story of Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey),
the rebel Civil War soldier who deserted, then gathered a small
eclectic band of other deserters and runaway slaves to declare
independence from The Confederacy and form a “free state” in the
middle of Mississippi. Of
course it was doomed from the start, as all utopias are.
But for a few brief, shining moments, it was the land of the
free and the home of the brave for a few harried souls longing for
10.“The Birth of a Nation”:
Another true story about slaves in rebellion, this time 30
years before the Civil War, when Virginia slave Nat Turner (Nate
Parker) leads a brief bloody revolt against local slaveholders that is
quickly quashed, but not before scores of deaths and untold
retaliations. Difficult to
watch but effectively told, and an important history lesson.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, DfW Film Critics Association