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By Matt Rodriguez

Top 10 Films of 2016

2016 was a fantastic year for film that saw plenty of wonderful films across a multitude of genres. From edge of your seat horror films and laugh out loud comedies to intimate stories of grief and joyful musical numbers, 2016 had it all. Here are my Top 10 films of the year:

10. The Witch
There are horror movies that aim to scare you, and then there are the ones that aim to psychologically break you down. The Witch will slowly creep into your head and never leave, forever reminding you how great it is we no longer live in colonial times and that witches stay confined to fairytales and folklore.

9. Sing Street
With a killer soundtrack and a charming coming of age story, Sing Street will leave you smiling ear to ear. It's a rocking romance that with plenty of comedy and drama, but most importantly heart.

8. The Nice Guys
Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling may seem like an odd pairing at first glance, but that’s exactly the reason why their dynamic is so captivatingly brilliant in The Nice Guys. Director and writer Shane Black brings plenty of dark humor and action to the buddy cop genre, making the film one of the funniest comedies in recent memory. This is one you don’t want to miss.

7. Green Room
No other film on this list is more intense than Green Room. A horrorfying story of survival, the film will have you constantly on the edge of your seat. It's the horror genre at its finest.

6. A Monster Calls
Prepare to have your heart broken because A Monster Calls is a monster of an emotional journey that will leave your heart aching and you eyes wet. Despite the monster at the center of the film, it confronts the various stages of grief headon and doesn't sugarcoat anything. This is one film you have to mentally prepare yourself for.

5. Arrival
Amy Adams delivers one of the best performances of the year in Arrival. The sci-fi genre often feels left out of Top 10 lists but between her performance, the intimate and fascinating plot, and Denis Villeneuve's brilliant directing, the film is one of the most memorable sci-fi stories of recent years.

4. Manchester by the Sea
Casey Affleck shines in this harrowing story of how a father deals with the struggle of loss and how to move forward without becoming trapped in the past. Manchester by the Sea is intimate and heartbreaking with Oscar-worthy performances by its entire cast. 

3. Moonlight
In a time where sequels, remakes, and reboots flood the theaters, Moonlight is a refreshing story that’s not only unique but also absolutely necessary. It’s an intimately personal story with universal appeal that is captivating from beginning to end. There’s no other film quite like it.

2. Hell or High Water
Hell or High Water delivers brilliant performances all around from Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges, and Gil Birmingham, and will leave you questioning your moral compass. It’s a film that continues to build and never lets up. It’s an intense and emotional character-driven film that explores the lengths people will go to for family and exactly what you would expect from the same writer of Sicario, Taylor Sheridan.

1. La La Land
Damien Chazelle delivers one of the best films of 2016 with La La Land. I love everything about this film. The story is wonderful, the performances are Oscar-worthy, and the music is catchy. You can’t help but smile for every minute of it. I’m simply la la for La La Land.