Exclaim!'s Top 16 Films of 2016 Best of 2016

Exclaim!'s Top 16 Films of 2016  Best of 2016

11. O.J.: Made in America
(dir. by Ezra Edelman)

There aren't exactly any shocking revelations in the nearly eight-hour documentary OJ: Made In America, the crowning achievement of ESPN's marvellous 30 for 30 series, but it's downright masterful in how it contextualizes and re-frames the events we know so well to underscore their cultural significance. Through interviews with many of O.J. Simpson's friends and key players in his "trial of the century," the film details how Simpson went from a supremely talented running back and beloved personality who truly believed his abilities and appeal transcended race to a suspected murderer who walked free and was then forced to embarrassingly attempt to ingratiate himself to a black community he had never shown much interest to in the first place. 
Kevin Scott

10. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
(dir. by Jorma Taccone and Akiva Shaffer)

There's a history of audiences not immediately appreciating some of our finest comedies and, after a dismal showing at the box office this past summer, it sadly appears as if Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping will be resigned to the same fate. What people missed the first time around was the Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone) putting their own hilarious spin on the familiar meteoric rise and spectacular flame-out of a musician amidst a cutthroat, celebrity-obsessed culture. It also provides the framework for a whole slew of fantastic new songs from the group, including the ridiculously catchy "Finest Girl (Bin Laden Song)" and the Macklemore-aping "Equal Rights (Not Gay)." (Read more.)
Kevin Scott

9. Green Room
(dir. by Jeremy Saulnier)

Punk movies are almost never good — at this point it's basically a rule. Then again, Jeremy Saulnier has never been one to follow rules, and he's proven the theory wrong with Green Room. The white-knuckle thriller follows a young, amateur punk band as they foolishly take a paying gig at a neo-Nazi compound. A series of mishaps results in their being locked up in the venue's green room. What follows is an absurdly bloody film as limbs are severed and lives are taken. Plus, you've never seen Patrick Stewart in a role like this before. (Read more.)
Josiah Hughes

8. The Witch 
(dir. by Robert Eggers)

Much has already been said about Robert Eggers' powerful, terrifying debut about a 17th century New England family torn apart by desperation and religious mania, including how the decision to market the film as a straight-up supernatural horror led mainstream audiences to dismiss it as "boring." But viewers eager for a nuanced, meticulously researched depiction of Puritanism and how the fear of God, the Devil and damnation is far scarier than any creature found it in The Witch. It has been rightly called a new horror classic, and is both an incredibly promising start to Eggers' career as well as an exciting entry in a genre experiencing a new era of smart, subtle and quietly horrifying films. (Read more.)
Laura Di Girolamo

7. Toni Erdmann
(dir. Maren Ade)

With a runtime that approaches the three-hour mark, Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann feels like less of a movie and more like a binge-watch of a miniseries. As with any good binge-watch, however, the wealth of time means you can get to know the characters on a deeper, more intimate level. Toni Erdmann is filled with charms, a sweet and occasionally melancholy caper packed with one-liners and pure slapstick. Most importantly, it's both real and surreal as it explores the unbreakable bond of a father and his daughter. (Read more.)
Josiah Hughes