There are so many reasons to kick 2016 to the curb—the world refugee crisis, the loss of so many talented artists and a particularly ugly election season. Yet, I can't remember a year when I got so much inspiration, revelation and even joy at the movies. True, most of 2016 great films—and we're talking really great—didn't emerge until the last months of the year. That said, they were all worth the wait.
If hard pressed, I would say that the elite eight of 2016 were (in alphabetical order): Arrival, Fences, Jackie, La La Land, Loving, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight and 20th Century Women. My final four were Arrival, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight. The best two films—La La Land and Moonlight, far outshone any films I've seen in many moons.
Click on the image to the right (or grab a hard-copy at newsstands all over town) to see how, from hundreds of films, I narrowed the list to 32, then it's the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4 and my two favorite films of 2016.