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2016 First Watches

In 2009 I started keeping track of films I watched for the first time, initially it was just a challenge to myself to watch 100 movies I had never seen before in a single summer. I failed only reaching 66 between the end of the school year and the start of the next (April to September). In 2011, I wanted to beat my previous record, and try to hit 100. I failed at the 100 but hit 67 (you can read them here). I tried again in 2013, hitting 76 and there I started keeping track of first watches in general. Its how I kept working to expand my film repertoire. I hit 132 overall in 2014, and a personal best I will probably never top with 236 in 2015 (you can see those here).

For 2016, I faced full time work and one of my busiest school semesters. I still put up a pretty decent number with 174 first watches in the calendar year of 2016. I totally wanted to hit 175 for a nice clean number, but I worked this morning and feel like I’m too tired to sit and focus on a movie. So instead I’ve got Bridge on the River Kwai on my TV and I’m doing my 2016 First Watches write-up! The best part is this year I can share it with unREELFlicks.com.

The full list will be below, but first I’ll list the 20 best movies I watched this year (note this is not my best of 2016, that will come later). I think my biggest lesson from the year is to watch more movies made before 2015. Last year was a phenomenal year for film, but I still need to explore older cinema and foreign language cinema much more.

Without further ado, here are my 20 favourite first watches of 2016, and then below the entire list of 180 movies.

Chi-Raq (2015)

Chi-Raq (2015)

 

20 BEST FIRST WATCHES OF 2016
20 Stray Dog (1949) dir. Akira Kurosawa
19 The Nice Guys (2016) dir. Shane Black
18 The Handmaiden (2016) dir. Park Chan Wook
17 45 Years (2015) dir. Andrew Haigh
16 Last Days in Vietnam (2015) dir. Rory Kennedy
15 Son of Saul (2015) dir. László Nemes
14 Heaven Knows What (2015) dir. The Safdie Brothers
13 Fire at Sea (2016) dir. Gianfranco Rosi
12 Chi-Raq (2015) dir. Spike Lee
11 Green Room (2016) dir. Jeremy Saulnier
10 Hail, Caesar! (2016) dir. The Coen Brothers
9 The Lobster (2016) dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
8 Pete’s Dragon (2016) dir. David Lowery
7 American Honey (2016) dir. Andrea Arnold
6 Hell or High Water (2016) dir. David Mackenzie
5 Kilo Two Bravo (Kajaki) (2015) dir. Paul Katis
4 Tickled (2016) dir. David Farrier and Dylan Reeve
3 The Revenant (2015) dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu
2 Mustang (2015) dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven
1 The Thin Blue Line (1988) dir. Errol Morris

*EDIT: I somehow, somehow, somehow, forgot to list The Witch (2016) dir. Robert Eggers, that is an absolute oversight and I would probably place it right behind Mustang, pushing everything back. It may even be number 2. This is what happens when you spend far too much time living deliciously and not enough time proof-reading.

The Thin Blue Line (1988)

The Thin Blue Line (1988)

 

The Full List:

1 Hungry Hearts
2 Chi-Raq
3 The Experimenter
4 Entertainment
5 Son of Saul
6 The Assassin
7 James White
8 The Revenant
9 Anomalisa
10 Joy
11 The Salvation
12 What we do in the Shadows
13 Jafar Panahi’s Taxi
14 45 Years
15 Queen of Earth
16 The Clouds of Sils Maria
17 Heaven Knows What
18 Beasts of No Nation
19 Ringu
20 You’re Next
21 The Finest Hours
22 Stray Dog
23 Hail, Caesar!
24 Deadpool
25 Into the Grizzly Maze
26 The Witch
27 10 Cloverfield Lane
28 London has Fallen
29 Space Cop
30 Last Days in Vietnam
31 Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
32 Knight of Cups
33 The Lobster
34 Funeral Parade of Roses
35 Korengal
36 Dirty Wars
37 Secret in their Eyes
38 Sleeping Giant
39 No Escape
40 The Jungle Book
41 Detropia
42 Justice League vs. Teen Titans
43 Standard Operating Procedure
44 Eye in the Sky
45 The Thin Blue Line
46 The Green Room
47 Captain America: Civil War
48 Eugene Mirman: Vegan on his way to the Complain Store
49 Welcome to Leith
50 1971
51 Money Monster
52 A Bigger Splash
53 Keanu
54 Sunset Song
55 Broadcast News
56 The Hunting Ground
57 Murder Party
58 The Nice Guys
59 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
60 Magic Mike XXL
61 The Wave
62 Neighbors 2
63 X-Men: Apocalypse
64 Citizen Koch
65 Dheepan
66 Highrise
67 The Edge
68 The Long March of Newt Gingrich
69 Popstar: Never Stop Stopping
70 Warcraft
71 Central Intelligence
72 Finding Dory
73 Free State of Jones
74 Love & Friendship
75 Independence Day: Resurgence
76 Neon Demon
77 Genuis
78 Hunt for the Wilderpeople
79 The Legend of Tarzan
80 Swiss Army Man
81 The BFG
82 The Shallows
83 The Purge: Election Year
84 Wiener
85 Tickled
86 Owen: Hart of Gold
87 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
88 Confirmation
89 All the Way
90 A War
91 The Invitation
92 Demolition
93 Mustang
94 Kilo Two Bravo
95 Closet Monster
96 Ghost Busters
97 Star Trek: Beyond
98 Elvis & Nixon
99 The Innocents
100 Captain Fantastic
101 Café Society
102 Bad Moms
103 Jason Bourne
104 Suicide Squad
105 April 9th
106 Aferim!
107 Werner Herzog Eats his Shoe
108 Sausage Party
109 Pete’s Dragon
110 War Dogs
111 Anthropoid
112 Indignation
113 Krisha
114 Triple 9
115 1944
116 Stalingrad (1993)
117 Bethlehem
118 Monster Squad
119 Night of the Creeps
120 Where to Invade Next
121 Blood Father
122 Kubo and the Two Strings
123 Don’t Breathe
124 Bridget Jones’s Baby
125 The Light Between Oceans
126 The Magnificent Seven
127 Snowden
128 Hell or High Water
129 Sully
130 Zootopia
131 Monsters
132 Rams
133 Deepwater Horizon
134 Birth of a Nation
135 Don’t Think Twice
136 Denial
137 It’s Only the End of the World
138 Operation Avalanche
139 Two Lovers and a Bear
140 The Queen of Katwe
141 American Honey
142 The Siege of Jadotville
143 The Accountant
144 Man Bites Dog
145 The Conjuring
146 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
147 The 13th
148 Hellraiser
149 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
150 Gremlins
151 Desierto
152 The Brothers Grimsby
153 Everybody Wants Some
154 The Handmaiden
155 Certain Women
156 Chevalier
157 Arrival
158 Doctor Strange
159 Hacksaw Ridge
160 Moonlight
161 Elle
162 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
163 Under Sandet
164 Edge of 17
165 Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
166 Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
167 Little Men
168 Nocturnal Animals
169 Miss Sloane
170 Manchester by the Sea
171 Loving
172 Christine
173 Allied
174 The Fits
175 Florence Foster Jenkins
176 Toni Erdmann
177 Fire at Sea
178 Things to Come
179 The Witness
180 Aquarius

About Thomas

Film Critic/Writer for unREELFlicks.com. York University Film Production Graduate 2016

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